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Hoffman reaches 40 saves for the sixth time

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres are doing whatever it
takes to keep their faint playoff hopes alive, from going with a
four-man rotation to bringing in Trevor Hoffman in the eighth
inning.

Hoffman ended a final threat by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and
Ryan Klesko hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh inning to
lead San Diego to a 6-5 win Saturday night.

The Padres pulled within 3½ games of Chicago in the wild-card
race, with Houston and San Francisco also ahead of them, and within
4½ of Los Angeles in the NL West.

"Really, the bottom line is to get a win no matter how you do
it," said Hoffman, who got the last four outs for his 40th save in
44 chances. He extended his big league record by reaching 40 saves
for the sixth time, his first since 2001.

Hoffman struck out Luis Terrero with runners on first and third
in the eighth after Akinori Otsuka allowed Scott Hairston's two-out
RBI single to pull the Diamondbacks to 6-5.

"We're in a win-or-go-home type of situation," Hoffman said.
"We can't falter in the spot we're in."

Not only did Hoffman come up big, but Antonio Osuna (2-1)
pitched a scoreless seventh, striking out three and allowing one
hit. Osuna hasn't allowed a run in his last nine appearances.

San Diego's bullpen was thin because Scott Linebrink, who
normally pitches the seventh, was too sick to even come to the
ballpark, and Otsuka has had a heavy workload recently.

Manager Bruce Bochy spoke with Hoffman a few days ago about
possibly pitching in the eighth inning if needed down the stretch.
It was the first time Hoffman came in during the eighth since Sept.
12, 2002, against San Francisco.

"He saved us there, getting those last four outs," Bochy said.
"At this stage, we're going to do things a little bit different
than normal. I think they understand where we're at. The only way
to get it done is to win every game, and they're playing like
that."

Klesko, who had four RBI, hit a two-run single in the third
inning to help the Padres take a 4-0 lead, which Adam Eaton,
starting on three days' rest for the first time in his career,
frittered away.

With the score tied at 4, the Padres loaded the bases with one
out in the seventh against Chad Durbin (1-1) on Brian Giles' single
and consecutive walks by Phil Nevin and Rich Aurilia. Klesko then
doubled into the right-field corner to score Giles and Nevin.

Giles had three hits and scored twice.

Eaton opened with three perfect innings, then allowed three runs
in the fourth, on four hits and a walk. Doug Devore and Chris
Snyder hit RBI singles and Josh Kroeger got his first career RBI on
a groundout.

Arizona tied it with two outs in the sixth when Snyder singled
in Shea Hillenbrand, who hit a leadoff double and advanced on a
groundout.

San Diego's Jay Payton extended his hitting streak to 11 games
with a leadoff double in the first. He advanced on Mark Loretta's
single and scored on Brian Giles' sacrifice fly.

The Padres took advantage of Stephen Randolph's wildness in the
third to score three runs. Randolph walked three, including Aurilia
with the bases loaded, before Klesko singled in two runs.

"The walks hurt us in big situations," Arizona manager Al
Pedrique said. "We've got to make them swing the bats."

Eaton allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, struck
out five and walked one. Randolph went 5 2-3 innings, allowing four
runs and five hits with five strikeouts and five walks.

Game notes
Hoffman entered in the eighth for the first time this year.
... Payton's leadoff double in the first gave the Padres a club
season record of 293. ... Sunday's starter for the Padres, RHP Jake
Peavy, will also be going on three days' rest for the first time in
his career. Manager Bruce Bochy is going with a four-man rotation
because the No. 5 spot has been so awful down the stretch. ...
Peavy, who has allowed two earned runs or less in 21 of 25 starts,
needs to pitch 7 2-3 more innings by season's end to have enough
innings to qualify for the NL ERA title. Peavy has a 2.27 ERA,
which would lead the league if he pitched the required minimum
innings. ... The game drew a Petco Park-record crowd of 44,863.