The San Diego right-hander allowed one hit in seven innings,
Phil Nevin and Brian Giles homered, and the Padres beat the Dodgers
3-0 on Sunday to avert a three-game sweep by the NL West leaders.The loss was only the third in 20 games for the Dodgers, who had
won 11 of their previous 15 meetings with the Padres. Los Angeles
leads San Diego and San Francisco by 3½ games."They've been hot for the past month, and that's hard to do at
this level," said Eaton, who restored order after Saturday night's
12-2 loss."They were feeling good after last night, so I could have put
some money down that they were going to have a letdown today,"
Eaton said. "Each game is different and each game is going to have
a different story. Last night was done after the final out, and we
came back ready to play today."Eaton (6-8) allowed only a scratch single by Alex Cora, struck
out three and issued leadoff walks in the sixth and seventh. He
improved to 6-1 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 1.96 ERA."With the lineup they're throwing out there in a daily basis,
if you feel comfortable against them, you're going to get hurt. So
I just wanted to get ahead of them early and make good pitches when
I needed to," Eaton said after winning his fourth straight road
start."They were aggressive early in the count, but I was able to
make quality pitches to get them out. I felt like I was on top of
my game."Eaton -- who took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against
Kansas City on July 3 -- retired his first 10 batters. But Cora's
fourth-inning grounder deflected off the tip of third baseman Sean
Burroughs' glove as he dived for the ball, then skipped behind
shortstop Khalil Greene for a hit with one out in the fourth.Eaton, who has made it back from Tommy John surgery, has allowed
three earned runs and 11 hits over 22 innings in his three starts
against the Dodgers this season."He's always pitched good against us, but we didn't think about
that before the game," said Adrian Beltre, who popped out, fouled
out and grounded into a double play in his three at-bats after
entering with a team-high .330 average, 71 RBI and a career-high
27 home runs."He really had it going today," Beltre said. "He was painting
his fastball away, he had a lot of movement on it and he was
sneaky. He was throwing every pitch on the black and he obviously
didn't make many mistakes, because we got only one hit against
him."Akinori Otsuka pitched a perfect eighth, and Trevor Hoffman gave
up Cesar Izturis' double in the ninth before earning his 26th save
in 29 attempts and completing the two-hitter.Hoffman needs 12 saves to move into a tie for third place on the
career list with Dennis Eckersley, who was inducted into the Hall
of Fame on Sunday.Jeff Weaver (7-10) allowed two runs and six hits over seven
innings with five strikeouts and a walk. The right-hander is 0-2 in
three starts this season against the Padres."It was a tough loss, considering that it was San Diego and
that we had a chance to really separate us from them," Weaver
said. "But Eaton's tough against us and he was on his game today.
Sometimes it only takes one inning or one pitch to make a
difference, and that's what happened."Nevin led off the second with his 15th homer, and first since
July 2, driving a 1-1 slider into the pavilion seats in left-center
field. It was his 136th homer with the Padres, moving him past Tony
Gwynn into third place on the team's career list behind Nate
Colbert (163) and Dave Winfield (154).Dodgers left fielder Dave Roberts sat out because of a strained
neck, which happened while he was swinging in the indoor batting
cage Saturday. Jason Grabowski started in his place and misplayed
Greene's sinking liner into a triple with a last-ditch dive.
Humberto Quintero's grounder drove in Greene with the Padres'
second run.Giles led off the ninth against Tom Martin with his 15th homer.
Giles, who entered this season with a .302 career average against
the Dodgers, was 3-for-32 against them this year before hitting a
ground-rule double in the sixth.
Eaton, who threw 100 pitches, hasn't had a complete game
since beating the Dodgers 6-1 on June 24, 2001, at Chavez Ravine.
... The Padres finished their road swing 7-3, tying the club record
for most wins during a 10-game trip. They begin a season-high
13-game homestand Monday night against the Giants.