HOUSTON (Ticker) -- The
needed five relievers to protect a hard-earned victory for
Fernandez allowed just one run in six innings and watched his bullpen nearly blow a six-run lead before the Astros held on for an 11-6 victory over the
San Diego Padres
Houston needed a victory to remain tied with the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central Division. Fernandez delivered, allowing just five hits in six innings before departing with a 7-1 cushion.
"I skipped the last start with the day off. I worked with (pitching coach
) on the curveball and slider," he said. "That 10 days really helped. It made me a lot more comfortable."
"He set the tone of the game with six good innings," Houston manager
said. "Through six innings that's probably his strongest performance."
The knuckleballer was optioned to Class AA Round Rock following the game but will not report. He will be recalled Monday when major league rosters expand.
San Diego scored five runs in the seventh, including four off
, who took over for Fernandez (2-3) but failed to record an out.
"I was stressed out a little bit," Fernandez said of watching the seventh inning from the dugout. "But we've got the best bullpen ever."
worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning and tossed a perfect ninth for his 37th save.
Houston put away the game with four runs in the eighth, when Wagner and
drew consecutive bases-loaded walks. It was the first career RBI for Wagner.
"That's strictly luck," Wagner said. "I wasn't going to swing. You're facing the opposing pitcher with the bases loaded and you think it should be easy to throw a strike, but it's not. That zone all of a sudden turns into a teacup."
"We just melted down in the eighth inning," San Diego manager
said. "We had trouble throwing strikes. We fought hard to get back in that game."
homered, walked three times and scored three times for the Astros, who have won four of their last six games.
(4-7) was shelled for seven runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings as the Padres had their four-game winning streak snapped.
"I thought Jarvis threw better than the numbers showed," Bochy said.
The Astros jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second, when they reached Jarvis for four hits and two walks.
had run-scoring singles and
capped the inning with an RBI double.
Berkman opened the third with his 23rd homer and
hit a leadoff homer in the sixth for a 6-1 lead. Vizcaino added a run-scoring single off reliever
eight batters later.
Lidge struggled mightily, hitting
to open the seventh and, after
singled, walking Gary Matthews Jr. to load the bases.
Ojeda scored on a wild pitch and
plated Vazquez with a single to chase Lidge.
entered and surrendered an RBI single to
's base hit plated Burroughs and Klesko followed with a sacrifice fly to bring the Padres within 7-6.
got the final two batters of the seventh and left with a runner on first and two out. Wagner gave up a single to Burroughs and hit Loretta to load the bases before retiring
to preserve the lead.