Jerry Hairston Jr. watched Albert Pujols crush a ball that ended up being caught in Petco Park's vast center field.


Jerry Hairston Jr. watched Albert Pujols crush a ball that ended up being caught in Petco Park's vast center field.

An inning and a half later, with two outs in the 13th, Hairston lined a shot that cleared the fence in left-center to carry the San Diego Padres a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.

"I knew I hit it well, but this ballpark sometimes holds these balls," Hairston said. "I'm glad it went over. Everybody knows this park is really, really tough. There's reasons why we have one-run ballgames at night here. It's so hard to hit."

Hairston homered on the first pitch he saw from Mitchell Boggs (0-2), the Cardinals' seventh pitcher. It was his second.

His first came on Tuesday night, when his second-inning shot — also with two outs — carried the Padres to a 1-0 win.

"I know Boggsy; he throws extremely hard," Hairston said. "I didn't want to get behind on him because he can elevate or come in with a fastball, so I just wanted to get a good pitch to hit. I was able to get one and put it in play hard. Fortunately, it went over the wall."

"I had two quick outs and I was trying to go right after him," Boggs said. "I made a bad pitch, left it up and you have to credit him for putting a good swing on it and stepping up in a big moment."

Hairston "took some good swings tonight throughout the course of the game," manager Bud Black said. "He squared that one up. That was well-struck."

Edward Mujica (2-0) pitched two perfect innings for the win.