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SAN DIEGO 7, SAN FRANCISCO 3

9/18/2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Giants manager Felipe Alou figures it would
be unfair to evaluate Sidney Ponson based on his latest outing --
none of San Francisco's regulars were behind him.

Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run double and the San Diego Padres
avoided a four-game sweep with a 7-3 win Thursday over a Giants
lineup of all reserves.

The Giants clinched the NL West title Wednesday night and Alou
gave all his regulars a day of rest following a fun-filled night of
celebrating. That was fine with the Padres, who ended a six-game
losing streak.

San Francisco had its four-game winning streak snapped -- the
last time the Giants lost also came when Ponson pitched. He has
been extremely hard on himself lately.

"You don't know what the lineup is going to be for the
playoffs, somebody could get injured," Ponson said. "I have a job
to do, and I didn't do it. How do I explain it? I don't know what
to say. It's frustrating when you make good pitches and they get
base hits.

"It's hard, man. Hard on me, hard on guys behind me trying to
play catch-up all the time."

Ponson (3-5) was tagged for a season-high 11 hits, and the burly
right-hander has struggled in his last three outings. In 17
innings, he has allowed 24 hits and 13 earned runs for a 6.88 ERA.
Still, Ponson is slated to be one of the Giants' postseason
starters in a four-man rotation.

He allowed a season-high six runs -- five earned -- in five
innings Thursday, striking out five and walking none. Ponson,
acquired from Baltimore on July 31, hasn't won in three starts
since Sept. 1 at Arizona.

"This is a guy we traded for knowing the caliber of pitcher he
is," Alou said. "Today's really not the best day to evaluate
anything after the kind of night we had last night. I know, myself,
I was way below par today."

When San Francisco's lineup was announced, it sounded more like
a spring training game than a September contest.

Khalil Greene doubled twice among his three hits and drove in a
run for the Padres, who were outscored 20-12 in the first three
games of the series. It was the first career multihit game for
Greene, a rookie. Mark Kotsay and Brian Giles each added two hits
and an RBI as San Diego did plenty to back up starter Jake Peavy.

Peavy (12-11) pitched 6 1-3 solid innings, allowing six hits and
three runs with two strikeouts and one walk. Peavy went 2-2 against
the Giants this year, his other win coming April 8 here. He won on
the road for the second time in his last five starts.

"That lineup out there for them was less dangerous, but you've
still got to go out and make the pitches," Peavy said. "I knew
this was a big game for me. I knew I had to pick up the ballclub."

After scoring only two runs and getting swept at Los Angeles
last weekend, San Diego entered averaging just 3.2 runs in its last
12 games. The Padres finished with 13 hits Thursday, including five
doubles.

"We just played a lot better today and it was an important win
for us," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We're in a skid and we needed
a win to stop it. We haven't played well here."

Jeffrey Hammonds hit a two-run single and Yorvit Torrealba
homered for the Giants, who have led the division since opening
day. Torrealba connected on a 1-1 pitch from Peavy for his fourth
homer of the season leading off the Giants' three-run third.
Hammonds batted .385 (5-for-13) on the homestand.

"When we play, we've got a job to do," Hammonds said, speaking
of the backups. "We're still wearing a Giants uniform."

Game notes
Ponson made his first career start against San Diego. ...
Peavy threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes, to Ponson's 92 and 63
strikes. ... The Padres finished the season series 5-14, with three
wins at Pacific Bell Park. San Francisco swept one of the six
series between the NL West foes, from March 31-April 2 at Qualcomm
Stadium. ... The Padres still have a three-game series at Colorado
this weekend to finish their 10-game road trip, then they return
home for the final seven games of the season. ... Giles had been in
a 3-for-21 road slump before Thursday.