Beltre hits a pair of homers in loss

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The Padres are keeping things interesting.

Ramon Vazquez and Ramon Hernandez each hit a three-run homer for
San Diego, and Adam Eaton beat Los Angeles for the fourth time this
season in a 9-4 victory Tuesday night that cut the Dodgers' NL West
lead to 1½ games over San Francisco.

Adrian Beltre hit a pair of two-run homers for the Dodgers, who
have their smallest lead since July 17, when they also led the
Giants by 1½ games. San Francisco beat Houston 9-2 Tuesday night.

The Padres pulled within 5½ games of the Dodgers, but remained
four games behind the Giants in the tight wild-card race.

"We know we're in a situation where we've got to win games,
there's no getting around it," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
"Where we're at in the standings, we're desperate. The guys played
like it tonight."

Eaton, who won at home for the first time in 10 starts, agreed.

"I saw a sign tonight that said: '12-0 and we're there.' I
think that's pretty fair. There's no give-up in this team," said
Eaton, who will come back on three days' rest for the first time in
his career and start Saturday night against Arizona.

He improved to 4-1 against Los Angeles in six starts this
season, and 8-2 lifetime against the Southern California rival.

Eaton (11-13) settled down after allowing Beltre's two-run homer
with two outs in the first. He threw an 0-2 pitch down the middle
and Beltre drove it an estimated 404 feet to left-center. Beltre,
who leads the majors with 47 homers, connected off Blaine Neal with
two outs in the eighth.

Eaton won at home for the first time in 10 starts, holding the
Dodgers to two runs and four hits in five innings. He struck out
five and walked two.

Mark Loretta also homered for San Diego, a solo shot in the
ninth, his 16th.

The first two Padres homers came off Jeff Weaver (12-12), who
was pulled after Hernandez's shot gave them a 7-2 lead with one out
in the fifth.

Once again, starting pitching hurt the Dodgers, who led the
division by six games on Sept. 11.

"We need more effective innings from our starting pitchers,"
manager Jim Tracy said. "We've been piecemealing it over the last
14 games. Sooner or later, you need a step-up performance from one
of your starters."

Vazquez started the Padres' comeback when he homered off the top
of the scoreboard on the right-field wall to give San Diego a 3-2
lead with one out in the third. It was the first of the season for
Vazquez, who's playing shortstop in place of rookie Khalil Greene,
who broke his right index finger against the Dodgers on Sept. 13.

Rich Aurilia and Jay Payton singled to open the third.

Aurilia hit an RBI double in the fourth and the Padres scored
four in the fifth. Brian Giles hit a leadoff double and Ryan Klesko
drew a one-out walk ahead of Hernandez's 16th homer, off the lower
balcony of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building just beyond the
left-field fence.

"I was trying to overthrow a little bit rather than pitching
within myself," Weaver said. "I didn't do a good job of damage

The Padres got nine hits and seven runs off Weaver, who walked
three and struck out one.

Game notes
Dodgers LHP Wilson Alvarez felt discomfort in his hip
during a bullpen session and won't start Thursday, Tracy said.
Kazuhisa Ishii will start in his place. ... Beltre is the third 3B
in big league history to hit at least 47 homers. Mike Schmidt hit
48 in 1980, and Eddie Mathews had 47 in 1953. ... Eaton is 3-7 in
15 home starts. ... Dodgers 1B Shawn Green is expected to announce
in the next few days whether he will play in two key games against
the Giants on Yom Kippur, the holiest holiday on the Jewish
calendar. Yom Kippur starts at sunset Friday, and the three-game
series at San Francisco begins that night. Tracy said he and Green
have discussed the situation.