Friday, July 8th, 2011
By Associated Press
Luebke pitches well in Padres' 2-1 loss to Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Marion Local High School graduate Cory Luebke continues to make a comfortable switch back into the starting rotation for the San Diego Padres. Even after allowing his first runs as a starter this season, the left-hander was in control.
"They got guys in scoring position and I didn't execute two pitches," Luebke said after the San Diego Padres' 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night. "It ended up costing us the game."
After winning the first two games of the series with their NL West rivals, the Padres dropped two one-run decisions. They have still won 10 of their last 15 games.
Luebke has been working to add a curveball to his repertoire and it was a curve that Eli Whiteside hit for a home run to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
"It was something I started working on in spring training," Luebke said. "It wasn't a terrible pitch. He just stayed back and hit it out of the park. It was probably not the right pitch to throw but that happens."
He also made a sixth-inning mistake to Pat Burrell, who took advantage and singled home a run to make it 2-0.
"I had a chance to get out of that," Luebke said. "I didn't execute the pitch on 0-2."
Luebke struck out a career-high eight and walked one in his six innings. He allowed five hits and two runs.
"He threw the ball well," Padres' manager Bud Black said. "His fastball had life, he threw a couple of good curves and he's building his pitch count. He pitches aggressively and with a good tempo."
Barry Zito (3-1) won his third straight start since coming off the disabled list, allowing one run and four hits over eight innings with a season-high seven strikeouts while beating the Padres for the first time in nearly three years. The left-hander did not walk a batter and retired 14 of the final 16 hitters he faced.
Ryan Ludwick homered for San Diego, who fell to 3-4 on its 10-game road trip.
Zito had gone 0-6 with a 5.79 ERA in his nine previous starts against the Padres before his most impressive outing of the season helped the Giants to their fourth win in the last nine games.
That helped San Francisco to its 50th win, the first time the Giants have reached that milestone before the All-Star break since 2003.
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