1969: Dierker, Astros Shut Down Padres

April 23, 1969, San Diego: Astros 4, Padres 0 (box score)

The Padres, perhaps feeling guilty about the eight runs they’d scored against Atlanta the previous night, put up very little fight against Larry Dierker and the Houston Astros. Dierker, who had lost to the Padres two weeks earlier, limited the home club to just two singles and two walks en route to a 4-0 victory.

Clay Kirby started for San Diego and, as often was the case, struggled with his control. He walked five batters in 5 2/3 innings, and both runners that scored against him had reached base via the base on balls.

No play-by-play data for this game exist, and it’s probably just as well. The final run came with two out in the top of the eighth. With Norm Miller (who reached base all five times he came to the plate) at third and Joe Morgan at first, southpaw Johnny Podres balked, forcing Miller home.

The Padres fell to 5-10 on the young season. Houston climbed to 4-12, still worst in the National League but now just 1 1/2 games behind San Diego.

Trivia: This game marked the unofficial beginning of the Nate Colbert era. Although Colbert had been with the Padres since Opening Day, he had started just three of the club’s first 14 games, batting .250/.294/.375 in 17 plate appearances. Colbert became a fixture in the lineup on April 23 and hit .255/.323/.486 the rest of the way.

Elsewhere in the world: Los Angeles Lakers star Jerry West scored 53 points against the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals; the Beatles’ “Get Back” reached #1 on the UK charts.

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