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Williams picks up first win in nearly two months

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- On a night when the San Diego Padres won
another one-run game, the NL West leaders got more bad news.

Woody Williams pitched 6 2/3 solid innings and Robert Fick drove
in two runs to lead the injury-plagued Padres to a 2-1 win over Los
Angeles
on Tuesday, handing the Dodgers their eighth straight loss.

The win was the Padres' fourth in a row, and it increased their
record in one-run games to an NL-best 17-5. But with second baseman
Mark Loretta already out until after the All-Star break, the Padres
revealed after the game that first baseman Phil Nevin strained his
oblique muscle during batting practice.

Nevin was a late scratch from the starting lineup. And although
manager Bruce Bochy wouldn't speculate about how much time Nevin
might miss, he didn't sound optimistic.

"In that area, you are concerned," Bochy said.

Nevin is batting .268 with nine homers and a team-leading 47
RBI.

In addition, Bochy said right-hander Adam Eaton, who has missed
one start with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger,
will miss his next start as well and could be another candidate for
the disabled list.

"We're probably going to have to get another pitcher up here,"
Bochy said.

Earlier in the day, the Dodgers received their own bad news when
they learned closer Eric Gagne will have season-ending surgery to
fix a sprained ligament in his right elbow. The 2003 NL Cy Young
Award winner had a second MRI on Tuesday and doctors concluded he
needs Tommy John surgery.

The operation is scheduled for Friday.

Williams (3-5), who earned his first win in nearly two months,
spent a month on the disabled list earlier this season with the
same type of injury that Nevin has. The oblique muscle, located
near the rib cage, can be a painful problem.

"I find myself being awfully careful still," said Williams,
who was making his third start since being activated on June 5. The
win was his first in five starts since April 25 against San
Francisco.

The Padres are still trying to decide what to do with catcher
Ramon Hernandez, who hurt his wrist while sliding on Friday in
Minnesota and has not played since. If he does not improve soon, he
might be put on the DL.

"We have been overcoming a lot and still maintaining our
lead," said Brian Giles, who tied his franchise record by reaching
base for the 11th consecutive time with three walks and a single.
Giles leads the majors with 54 walks.

The Padres maintained their 4½-game lead over the Arizona
Diamondbacks.

Williams turned in a solid performance by allowing one run and
five hits with four strikeouts and one walk. Trevor Hoffman pitched
the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.

"We are winning a lot of low-scoring, close games in our
ballpark with pitching and defense," Giles said. "That's been the
key."

The Dodgers are going in the opposite direction.

"I feel bad for our pitchers," catcher Jason Phillips said.
"They're throwing great ballgames and we can't support them."

Los Angeles has scored just 16 runs during the losing streak and
has been shut out twice in the last five games. Jake Peavy and
Hoffman combined on a two-hitter in the Padres' 1-0 win Monday
night.

Fick drove in both San Diego runs with a single in the fourth
inning off Derek Lowe (5-8).

Lowe allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. Ranked
third in the NL in fewest walks per nine innings (1.57), he
uncharacteristically walked four with five strikeouts.

Lowe escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third when he struck out
Mark Sweeney. But the right-hander couldn't get out of a jam in the
fourth.

Sean Burroughs led off with a walk. Khalil Greene and Damian
Jackson followed with singles. Burroughs attempted to score from
second on Jackson's hit, but left fielder Jayson Werth's throw was
on the fly to Phillips, who tagged out Burroughs.

Williams sacrificed the runners over, and after a walk to Dave
Roberts, Fick lined a single to right field to put San Diego ahead
2-0.

Los Angeles cut the lead to 2-1 in the seventh after a pair of
two-out singles chased Williams. Scott Linebrink then allowed an
RBI single to pinch-hitter Jason Grabowski.

Game notes
Bochy was ejected by plate umpire Dan Iassogna for arguing
a called strike against pinch-hitter Geoff Blum in the eighth. ...
The last time the Dodgers lost eight straight was May 2004.