Padres Routed, Portland Ultimatum

Loretta on fire

The San Diego Padres were rocked on Thursday, losing 13-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers. Ben Howard allowed six runs, five earned, over two innings of work and Lyle Overbay drove in five runs for the Brew-crew. <br><br> The City of Portland is making a stand on the Portland Beavers stadium situation and a resolution is expected by next week.

Ben Howard might be happy he is heading to Portland. In just 6.2 innings of work this spring, Howard has allowed 12 earned runs on 13 hits while walking seven.

Jason Szuminski, a rule V pickup this year, followed Howard and allowed two runs over two innings. Szuminski was having a terrific spring and entered the contest with just one earned run against to his credit and a 1.08 ERA. His ERA now sits just under 3.00.

Scott Linebrink also got shelled in his one inning of work. Linebrink allowed three runs on four hits and Eddie Oropesa allowed the last run. Joey Hamilton and Bart Miadich eached pitched one scoreless inning with Miadich striking out the side. Miadich has now struck out 16 in nine innings of work.

The offense was led by Mark Loretta who continues to tear the cover off the ball. Loretta went 3-3 and is now hitting .512 this spring.

Khalil Greene went 2-3 and continues to bring his average up. Greene is now hitting .415 and his two doubles on Thursday give him four for the spring.

"He looked great," Manager Bruce Bochy said.

Portland:

This week, the city of Portland wrote the Pacific Coast League, demanding a resolution to the PGE Park's operation before the Beavers home opener, April 16.

The letter "basically said we're not letting you use the park unless we have an operating agreement," a spokesman for the Mayor said.

The city wants to finalize an agreement to run the ballpark before the Beavers start play.

The Beavers issued their own statement in return:

"Like the city, the Pacific Coast League and the A-League, the Beavers and Timbers are hoping for a resolution prior to the beginning of the season. It is management's responsibility — in the interest of everyone involved — to continue preparations for the upcoming season at PGE Park."

Notes:

The San Diego Padres have agreed to play one of the two exhibition games against the Mariners next weekend at Petco Park under American League rules. The DH will be in effect for the night game April 3.

Kevin Towers explained that setup men are the most vital part of the success of a team. It is one of the main reasons he spent a significant part of the winter acquiring help to bolster the bullpen:

"I think more games nowadays are lost in the seventh and eighth innings than there are in the ninth," Towers said. "More often than not, the difficult thing is getting to the closer. You're keeping your fingers crossed trying to get to the ninth."

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