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Feliz hits three-run homer on 30th birthday

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Pedro Feliz's steady bat has been crucial
for San Francisco with Barry Bonds on the sidelines. Jason
Ellison's instant offense and heads-up outfield play has earned the
rookie more playing time.

Both had big days at the plate, with Feliz hitting a three-run
homer on his 30th birthday as Kirk Rueter finally got enough run
support for his first win of the year, a 10-3 Giants' victory over
the San Diego Padres on Wednesday.

"It's good for the team and good for me to have a game like
that on my birthday," said Feliz, among the league leaders with 21
RBI playing in place of Bonds while the seven-time NL MVP recovers
from two knee operations. "Without that happening (to Bonds), I
always think I want to be in there doing the best for the team. I
can't try to do too much. Just be me."

Ellison had a triple among his three hits and scored three runs
for the Giants, who took two of three from the Padres to capture a
series for the first time in their last four sets. Yorvit Torrealba
doubled and singled, drove in a run and scored twice.

The speedy Ellison has played all three outfield positions so
far.

"With Ellie playing the way he is, I am going to have to
respond to that by playing him more," manager Felipe Alou said.
"Even with the cold rain, there was a lot of heat. I'm talking
about energy. Ellison brings a lot of electricity to the game."

Feliz connected for his fourth homer of the year when he sent a
1-0 pitch from Tim Redding (0-4) over the left-field wall in the
Giants' decisive six-run fourth. That gave Feliz a 10-game hitting
streak, matching his career high.

Dave Roberts, being worked back in slowly from a groin injury
sustained in spring training, singled and doubled and the Padres
committed two errors in a game played through a steady drizzle for
most of the afternoon.

"It's hard to put together a game as bad as we did today,"
Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "There's absolutely no excuse for
it. We were just horrible. That's pathetic baseball. They know
it."

Rueter (1-2) pitched 5 2/3 strong innings in his fifth start of
the season. He retired the first nine batters and 11 of the initial
12 before Phil Nevin extended his career-best hitting streak to 12
games with a double to left leading off the fifth.

Rueter received a warm ovation from the chilly fans who stuck
around despite the weather, dressed in ponchos or holding
umbrellas. The left-hander, 12-4 lifetime against the Padres,
allowed one run on four hits with a walk.

His outing was even more important considering closer Armando
Benitez was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game with
a strained right hamstring after getting hurt on the final play
Tuesday night.

"It was tough to see Armando go down," Rueter said. "You just
have to keep going. Like I said in spring training about Barry, I
don't think anybody is going to feel sorry for us."

After Feliz's homer, the Giants got two more runs on Redding's
throwing error.

Omar Vizquel, batting leadoff for just the third time this
season, followed with an RBI single that chased Redding after only
3 1/3 innings and 67 pitches.

Ray Durham hit third for the first time this season and added a
two-run single in the sixth for San Francisco, which had lost three
of the first four meetings with San Diego to start the season.

The Padres were swept in a weekend series at Arizona and have
dropped five of six.

"Everybody is frustrated," left fielder Ryan Klesko said. "We
play a couple of good games, then we fall back."

Game notes
Ellison had his first career three-hit game. ... Giants 3B
Edgardo Alfonzo was given the day off as a precaution after he came
out following his eighth-inning at-bat Tuesday with tightness in
his left hamstring. The team has an off day Thursday, so he should
be fine to play Friday at Pittsburgh. ... Giants reliever Al Levine
made his first major league plate appearance in the sixth and
popped out trying to bunt. ... Benitez underwent an MRI on
Wednesday morning and was to be evaluated by several doctors
throughout the day. Trainer Stan Conte said Benitez will be out two
to six weeks, with the time frame depending whether the MRI results
show damage to the muscle. ... The Giants recalled RHP Scott Munter
from Triple-A Fresno to take Benitez's roster spot. Also, OF Tony
Torcato was outrighted to Fresno five days after being designated
for assignment.