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Pavano goes six, homers, drives in two

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Carl Pavano helped the Florida Marlins stay on
track at the end of their road trip.

Pavano pitched six solid innings, homered and had two RBI as
the Marlins defeated the San Diego Padres 8-3 Sunday to win their
third series on a nine-game road trip.

"We have a goal to win every series," Pavano said. "We know
what we have to do to get back into this and get to where we want
to be."

The Marlins, who lost seven of 11 games heading into the trip,
remained 5½ games behind San Francisco in the NL Wild Card race.
Florida is still 7½ games behind Atlanta for the NL East lead, but
the defending World Series champions believe they are well
positioned for a postseason run.

"We came on the trip with the idea of doing what we had to do
to win these series," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "We found
a way to win these kind of games."

Luis Castillo also drove in two runs for the Marlins, who won
six of nine games away from home.

Pavano (14-5) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and five hits,
struck out three and walked three.

"I thought I was wild," Pavano said. "I thought I was lucky
to get the runs I did. I settled down a little bit and then the
pressure was on their team to score runs. With a team like (San
Diego), you feel fortunate to get out of some of those jams with
one run."

Pavano also helped himself with his second homer of the season,
leading off the second inning. He sent a 413-foot shot off Sterling
Hitchcock into the upper deck in left field for a 2-1 lead. Pavano
also had an RBI double as part of the Marlins' four-run sixth
inning.

Guillermo Mota worked 2 2-3 hitless innings for his third save.

Hitchcock (0-3) left the game after four innings because of a
strained left elbow. Hitchcock, who had ligament replacement
surgery on his left elbow in 2000, allowed three runs and six hits
before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. He was making his fourth
start after rib and groin injuries sidelined him for the first 107
games.

"It's a little bit different than it was in 2000 when I blew it
out," Hitchcock said. "But it's right in the same area and that's
what I'm concerned about."

Ramon Hernandez homered and drove in two runs for San Diego,
which has lost 11 of 15 at home and has lost its last five home
series.

"We need to pick it up," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "It
doesn't matter whether we're here or on the road, we have to play
better than that if we think we're a contending club."

The Padres remained seven games behind first-place Los Angeles
in the NL West and dropped 2½ games behind the Giants in the wild
card race.

Castillo put the Marlins ahead to stay with an RBI single in the
fourth inning. Damion Easley drew a leadoff walk and went to second
on a wild pitch by Hitchcock. One out later, Castillo lined a
single to left to drive in Easley and make it 3-2.

Florida broke it open with four runs in the sixth. Mike Lowell
and Easley each singled off Ricky Stone to start the inning, and
Juan Encarnacion followed with an RBI single.

Scott Linebrink replaced Stone and an error by second baseman
Rich Aurilia let another run score before Pavano doubled in the
third run. Juan Pierre added a sacrifice fly to close the scoring.

The Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Pierre led
off with single, stole second, went to third on Paul Lo Duca's
infield single and scored on Miguel Cabrera's double-play grounder.

Hernandez tied it at 1 with a run-scoring double in the second
inning, but Pavano quickly regained the lead with his homer in the
bottom of the inning.

The Padres tied it again in the third when Freddy Guzman hit a
leadoff double and scored when Sean Burroughs lofted a fly to left
and it hit off Cabrera's glove for an error.

Game notes
Pavano improved to 9-1 on the road. His last road loss was
May 1 at San Francisco. ... The Marlins have won six straight
series against the Padres, including the last four in San Diego.
... Hitchcock has allowed five homers in 21 1-3 innings of his four
starts. ... Right-hander Marty McLeary made his major league debut
for the Padres and allowed one run in two innings. ... Florida
leads the majors with a 23-12 record in day games.