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This win is grand for the Padres

June 15, 2008|From the Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Kevin Kouzmanoff might not have seen the irony, but the Cleveland Indians certainly did.

Kouzmanoff's grand slam highlighted San Diego's five-run 10th inning, and the Padres beat the Indians, 8-3, Saturday night.

While the Padres were waiting for the big hit, a superb pitching effort kept them in the game. Cha Seung Baek, Heath Bell and Bryan Corey held the Indians to four hits. Baek and Bell combined to retire 23 of 24 hitters, including 19 in a row.

Baek made only his fourth start of the season and third for the Padres. He was acquired from Seattle on May 28.

Kouzmanoff, acquired from the Indians after the 2006 season, hit a 1-1 pitch from Edward Mujica into the left-field bleachers for his 10th home run of the season and third grand slam of his career.

Kouzmanoff's first slam came with the Indians on Sept. 2, 2006, against Texas on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues.

The third baseman, who put up big numbers throughout his minor league career with Cleveland, was traded to San Diego for second baseman Josh Barfield a few months later.

Kouzmanoff didn't view his home run as revenge against his former team.

"I guess it's kind of bizarre that my first hit was a grand slam and now I'm playing my old team and I hit a grand slam," he said.

"It's not like I was out there getting payback against the Indians. I have no negative feelings about the Indians for making a business decision."

Kouzmanoff didn't go to the plate with any grand intentions.

"Fortunately, I got a good pitch to hit and put the barrel on the ball," he said.

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