<
>

Padres hand D-Backs fifth straight loss

9/3/2003

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Already eliminated from the playoff race, the
San Diego Padres were only too happy to continue the Arizona Diamondbacks' misery.

Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run triple to highlight the
seven-run second inning as the Padres won 12-0 on Wednesday to
sweep a two-game series and hand the NL West rival Diamondbacks
their fifth straight loss.

The Diamondbacks, who started the day four games back in the
wild-card race, have lost 14 of their last 20, including four
straight to the Padres, who have the NL's worst record. It was the
biggest shutout loss in the Diamondbacks' six-year history.

"This club isn't going to lay down for anybody," said Mark Kotsay, who had two of San Diego's 15 hits, including an RBI single
to cap the second. "Anytime you can beat a contending club shows
that you're playing good baseball and things are headed in the
right direction."

The Padres have won 10 of 14 -- they're 5-1 since obtaining Brian Giles from Pittsburgh -- and look nothing like the disaster they were back in May and June.

The Padres won the season series 10-9.

"This team doesn't have much to look forward to except next
year," said Brian Lawrence, who combined with two relievers on a
five-hit shutout. "The biggest thing we can do this year is play
teams hard."

The only courtesy the Padres showed Arizona was to move up the
starting time by five hours so the Diamondbacks could fly to Kansas
City, where they have to play a makeup game Thursday. The
Diamondbacks then turn around and fly to San Francisco for a
weekend series against the NL West-leading Giants.

Even though the time change was announced a few weeks ago, there
were only a few thousand fans in their seats for the first pitch.
The Padres sold a season-low 10,810 tickets, but probably only half
that number showed up.

Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly used a mild profanity to
describe how his team played.

"Bad at-bats, bad approach, bad pitches," Brenly said. "You
have to give some credit to Lawrence. He pitched a good ballgame.
But I don't think it would have made a difference who was out there
today. We didn't look very good."

Lawrence (8-14) allowed four hits in seven innings, struck out
four and walked two to win his third straight start.

The Padres had a 10-0 lead by the sixth.

"Ten runs, you're not going to get that every time out,"
Lawrence said. "I was going to do my best not to mess it up."

Mark Loretta and Giles had three hits apiece. Dave Hansen, a
late-inning defensive replacement, hit a two-run homer in the
eighth off Mike Myers.

The Padres batted around against Miguel Batista (9-8) in the
second, getting six hits, two walks and a sacrifice to take a 7-0
lead. Batista lasted just four innings, and Elmer Dessens,
scheduled to pitch Sunday at San Francisco, came on to start the
fifth.

Gary Bennett hit a one-out RBI single to start the Padres'
second-inning rally. They got their next five hits and six runs
with two outs, including consecutive RBI hits by Sean Burroughs,
Loretta and Giles before Phil Nevin walked. Matthews then tripled
into the right-field corner and Mark Kotsay singled him in to
finish the scoring.

"That doesn't happen a lot, to get that many two-out hits,"
manager Bruce Bochy said. "It just got contagious there. We had
some really big at-bats."

Brenly said Batista "was either missing the strike zone a foot
in front of the plate or he threw the ball right down the middle.
No in-between. They made him pay for it."

Burroughs, who's batted leadoff since Aug. 22, extended his
career-best hitting streak to 14 games with his second-inning
double.

The Padres added three more runs in the sixth on Giles' single,
an error on right fielder Danny Bautista and Nevin's sacrifice
fly.

Game notes
San Diego's Humberto Quintero made his big league debut in
the seventh, pinch-hitting and getting his first big league hit, a
single to left, on the first pitch he saw. ... Khalil Greene, the
Padres' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, also made his big
league debut, flying out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, then
taking over at shortstop. ... Padres slugger Ryan Klesko will have
surgery Thursday morning on his sore right shoulder and will miss
the rest of the season. Doctors will shave down the end of his
collarbone. ... The Padres purchased the contract of RHP Brandon
Villafuerte from Triple-A Portland.