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SD@MIL: Richard belts his first career home run

MILWAUKEE -- At no point during the last 10 or so days did Padres pitcher Clayton Richard fixate on or ponder the possibility of winning what would have been a career-best 15 games in a single season.

"I just wanted whatever the next one was really bad," Richard said. "I was just trying to get a win for us. That's what I was thinking."

Richard fell short in his second bid for a milestone victory, as he allowed three home runs at Miller Park on Monday as the Brewers topped the Padres, 5-3, before a crowd of 30,398.

But Richard accomplished something notable in 2012.

After all, he made all 33 of his starts and tossed a career-high 218 2/3 innings. He did so coming off a 2011 in which he missed the second half of the season after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in July.

"When you look at Clayton individually and what he wanted to accomplish coming back off the surgery, it was to make his starts," said Padres manager Bud Black. "From start to finish, he did his part and held up his part of the bargain."

Richard, who allowed five runs on 10 hits in seven innings, allowed a solo home run to Carlos Gomez in the fourth inning, a two-run home run to Rickie Weeks in the fifth inning and then another solo home run to Jonathan Lucroy in the sixth inning to pace the Brewers.

For the season, Richard allowed 31 home runs. This was the ninth time he's allowed two or more home runs in a start this season.

"I just didn't execute, and it seemed like they jumped on anything I didn't execute," Richard said. "They are a good hitting team."

Richard gave the Padres a lift offensively in the third inning when he jumped on a pitcher from Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum, sending it well over the fence in right field for his first career home run.

The Padres pushed Marcum hard in that inning, as Everth Cabrera, Chase Headley and Yasmani Grandal all reached on walks. But Yonder Alonso's drive into the gap in left-center field was run down by Ryan Braun to end the inning.

"We had him [on the ropes] a couple of times. We had the bases loaded in the third and Alonso hit the ball right on the nose. We stressed him but he hung in there," Black said.

Marcum got through six innings, allowing two runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

"He made good pitches when he had to," Lucroy said of Marcum.

San Diego added a run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Jesus Guzman. That hit scored Will Venable, who had three hits, including two doubles. Grandal, who reached base three times, drove in a run with a single in the seventh inning to cap the Padres scoring.

As for Richard, he said he was "happy with the consistency" of his season, though he admitted that he felt "there was a little more there."

After the game, the fan who tracked down Richard's home run ball met him outside the clubhouse. The two shook hands and the man gave Richard the baseball after getting an autograph.

Richard, who also won 14 games during the 2010 season, said he would have preferred a victory than a souvenir. Not for himself so much, but for his teammates.

"I'll take a win over a home run every day," he said.

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