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MIL@SD: Volquez fans three over seven scoreless

SAN DIEGO -- The formula that has served the Padres so well during manager Bud Black's first six years as manager was on display at Petco Park on Wednesday, possibly for the first time in 2013.

Strong pitching, air-tight defense, solid bullpen work and just enough offense sprinkled in to make sure everyone goes home happy.

This was long overdue, said Padres catcher Nick Hundley.

"That reminds me of how we win games," Hundley said.

It's been a struggle at nearly every turn this season for the Padres, though Wednesday proved to be a much welcomed respite from the misery of the first three weeks, as they edged the Brewers, 2-1, before a crowd of 17,205 at Petco Park.

The loss snapped the Brewers' nine-game winning streak. Conversely, the victory broke a five-game losing streak for the Padres.

The Padres (6-15) got a mammoth home run from Carlos Quentin and seven scoreless innings from their starting pitcher, Edinson Volquez, who entered the game winless in four starts with an 8.84 ERA.

But Volquez, using a three-pitch mix, had his plus-changeup working and spotted his fastball well inside. He allowed five hits and had three strikeouts while getting 12 ground-ball outs.

"And no walks," Volquez said, beaming. "It's about time."

This marked only the fourth time Volquez (1-3) hasn't walked a batter in 127 career starts, though he's done it twice since joining the Padres before last season.

"At any point, you run into a pitcher that's on the top of his game, and we knew we were in for quite a challenge," said Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. "We've faced him enough in the past to know that when he's throwing strikes, he's challenging. He had command of all his pitches tonight."

Better still, Volquez wasn't stressed in the least. He didn't allow more than one baserunner in any of his seven innings and retired 11 of the final 12 hitters he faced.

"The change was the focal point," said Padres manager Bud Black. "That's more like it."

Volquez pitched well in his last start in San Francisco on April 19, allowing two runs in his six innings as the work he had done on the side with Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley on his tempo started to take hold. On Wednesday, his delivery was clean and his rhythm appeared undisturbed.

"I don't want to rush myself to the plate," Volquez said. "Every time I throw a bullpen, I want to calm myself down."

Quentin, who played in his first game Tuesday after serving an eight-game suspension, hit his first home run of the season in the fourth inning off Brewers starting pitcher Marco Estrada (2-1). It was more of a lightning bolt, a 392-foot blast that nearly perforated the brick in the third deck of the Western Metal Supply building.

"It was crushed," said Padres third baseman Chase Headley.

The Padres got another run in the fifth inning, though this one wasn't nearly as conventional.

Hundley singled with one out and then moved to second base on a bunt by Volquez. But when Brewers third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt -- charging hard on the bunt -- didn't retreat to third base in time, Hundley bolted for third with shortstop Jean Segura trailing him.

Milwaukee second baseman Rickie Weeks, covering first base on the bunt, threw wildly past Segura as the ball rolled into foul territory. At that point, Hundley jogged home for a 2-0 lead.

"A heads-up play. The third baseman crashed hard and there was no retreat by him. Nick recognized it was a foot race. That's a tough play," Black said.

After Volquez left, Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Huston Street allowed a run on two hits in the ninth. But with the tying run on second base, he got Martin Maldonado to tap a ball in front of the plate that hit him while outside the batters' box.

Maldonado was called out on batters interference, ending the game.

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