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Padres, one game under .500, lead NL West by two games

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Diego Padres finally joined the rest of
the NL West on the wrong side of .500.

The amazing thing is, they still lead the second-place Arizona
Diamondbacks by two games.

"Obviously, that's very surprising," San Diego's Brian Giles
said Friday night after the Padres lost 8-3 to the Cincinnati Reds,
who got two two-run homers from Adam Dunn.

The Padres (51-52) have lost 10 of 11 overall and 33 of 51 since
June 1, when they were 14 games over .500.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Padres are the first
team to lead a division this late in a season with a losing record
since the Texas Rangers were on top of the AL West at 52-62 on Aug.
11, 1994. That was the day before the players' strike began, wiping
out the rest of the season.

Padres manager Bruce Bochy put it in perspective.

"We're very lucky, and we know it," he said. "We're fortunate
to be in this division, because at this point we know we don't
deserve to be in first place. But we've still got to look at it as
we are in first place, and we'll take it."

The loss came hours after the Padres said they plan to trade
slugger Phil Nevin to the Rangers for pitcher Chan Ho Park, a deal
that awaited approval from the commissioner's office.

The Reds, fifth in the NL Central at 45-58, won three in a row
on the road for the first time this season.

Rookie Edwin Encarnacion hit his first career homer and got his
first two RBI. He was called up after the Reds traded third
baseman Joe Randa to the Padres last Saturday. Ken Griffey Jr. had
two RBI.

Dunn reached 30 homers for the second straight year. He hit 46
last year.

His first shot went an estimated 423 feet to right field and
scored Griffey to cap a three-run third. Dunn's second went 387
feet and scored Felipe Lopez during a four-run fifth. Both came off
Brian Lawrence.

"I thought the ball didn't fly at Petco," Reds manager Jerry
Narron said. "When Dunner hits 'em, it doesn't matter."

Dunn agreed.

"I hit them pretty good. Whenever I make good contact, I
usually hit 'em out."

Griffey doubled in a run in the third and had a sacrifice fly in
the fifth.

Encarnacion doubled in the fifth for his first career RBI. He
homered to left off rookie Craig Breslow with two outs in the
seventh.

Dunn, the Reds' left fielder, sought out the fan who came up
with Encarnacion's home run ball and persuaded him to trade it for
another ball.

"It's one of those things where I know how important it was to
him. It was getting late in the game," Dunn said.

However, the fan wanted Dunn to sign the ball he was swapping.

"I said, 'Yeah, hurry.' He threw me a pen and it didn't work.
Then he finally got me one that worked and I signed it," Dunn
said.

Lawrence "just missed his spots and paid for it tonight,
obviously to Dunn," Bochy said. "He did a lot of damage against
us tonight."

Said Lawrence: "The two home run balls, I definitely left them
over the middle of the plate."

Luke Hudson (2-5) got his first win in eight starts, allowing
three runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out four and
walked four.

Lawrence (5-11) lost his fifth straight decision. He allowed
seven runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, walked four and struck
out four.

Ryan Klesko hit an RBI double for the Padres in the first, Brian
Giles had an RBI infield single in the third and Mark Sweeney
scored on a double play in the fourth.

Game notes
Dunn became the first Reds player with consecutive 30-homer
seasons since Dave Parker hit 34 in 1985 and 31 in 1986. ... The
last time the Padres were under .500 was May 3, when they were
13-14. ... The Padres have lost 10 of Lawrence's last 12 starts.
... Padres C Ramon Hernandez was placed on the 15-day disabled list
after undergoing surgery to repair torn cartilage in his left
wrist. Hernandez will wear a splint for a week and then begin
therapy with the team's training staff. ... The Padres also placed
left-handed reliever Chris Hammond on the DL with a strained neck.
To fill their roster spots, catcher David Ross was activated and
Breslow was recalled from Double-A Mobile. Ross was acquired
Thursday in a trade with Pittsburgh.