Padres, Cards hitters go the distance

Two home runs were the longest hit in Petco Park’s history.
Monday, May 29, 2006 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 8:00 a.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals did their best to wreck Petco Park’s reputation as a pitcher’s park.

Mark Bellhorn hit the longest home run in Petco’s three-year history and drove in four runs, Josh Bard connected twice and had three RBIs, and San Diego beat St. Louis 10-8 Sunday.

With Mark Mulder and Jake Peavy leaving pitches up in the strike zone, balls were flying out of the spacious downtown ballpark in big numbers and at record distances.

“It probably wasn’t predicted that way, but this is baseball,” Peavy said. “You think you’ve seen it all but you haven’t.”

San Diego rallied for eight runs in the fifth inning, all coming with one out, to get Peavy off the hook. Peavy (4-5) had fallen behind 6-2 after the five-run St. Louis fifth, when Albert Pujols hit a three-run drive for his major league-leading 24th home run.

Bard hit a two-run home run in the fifth, just after Bellhorn’s three-run double. Bellhorn and Bard hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the fourth. Bard, Mike Cameron and Bard had three hits apiece.

Each team hit three home runs, and they were all no-doubters in a park that measures 396 feet to center field and 402 in the power alleys.

Each team had 16 hits, setting a Petco record for total hits in a game.

Petco Park, which opened in 2004, surrendered its two longest home runs, and three of its longest four. Sammy Sosa’s old record of 434 feet, set in 2004, was eclipsed twice in a matter of minutes.

Bellhorn hit a 1-0 pitch from Mark Mulder (5-3), estimated at 438 feet, that cleared the sand play area beyond the fence in right-center and landed in the bleachers, tying the game at 1 with one out in the fourth. Bard hit Mulder’s next pitch an estimated 434 feet off the railing of the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building, just beyond the left-field corner.

Pujols capped the Cardinals’ fifth with a 436-foot shot to straightaway center field on a 1-1 pitch from Peavy, giving the Cardinals a 6-2 lead. David Eckstein singled in a run and John Rodriguez hit an RBI double.

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