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Giles' homer rallies Padres past Braves to avoid sweep

ATLANTA (AP) -- San Diego's Scott Linebrink says relief pitchers
must have short memories. Still, he couldn't help but have a
flashback Sunday.

Only two days after taking his first loss in almost a year,
Linebrink pitched out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings as
the Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 4-3 to avoid a three-game sweep.

Linebrink gave up a go-ahead homer to Jeff Francoeur with two
outs in the eighth inning Friday. On Sunday, Linebrink (1-1)
relieved Alan Embree with two on and two outs in the seventh and
struck out pinch-hitter Brian Jordan. Linebrink then retired
Francoeur to open the eighth, and with runners on second and third
in the inning, he struck out Pete Orr.

"It's a funny game," Linebrink said. "You come back in a
tight ballgame, and you're facing the same guy that beat you two
nights ago. You've got to have a short memory down there in the
bullpen. There's no better way to forget about a bad game than to
come back with a good one."

Atlanta led 3-0 before Brian Giles sparked the comeback with his
first homer of the season. The solo homer in the seventh off Ken Ray, who had just entered, ended San Diego's scoreless streak at 20
innings.

Rob Bowen and Adrian Gonzalez followed with doubles, and Oscar Villarreal relieved and gave up Josh Barfield's tying sacrifice
fly.

Dave Roberts tripled off Mike Remlinger (1-1) past a diving Ryan Langerhans in left field leading off the eighth. The ball went all
the way to the wall and had to be retrieved by center fielder
Andruw Jones.

Pinch-hitter Eric Young followed with a grounder that deflected
off Orr's glove at third base for a go-ahead infield single.

"I was just hoping it would drop in," Roberts said of his
triple.

Langerhans said he made the right decision to go for the catch
instead of pulling up to make sure he kept the ball in front of
him.

"It was right there," Langerhans said. "It was kind of
slicing, coming off the edge of my glove. I got a piece of it. It
was a catchable ball. I thought I should have had it. I get that
ball 10 more times, I probably catch it all 10. It just didn't go
in the glove."

Said Roberts: "He's an aggressive outfielder and he tried to
make an aggressive play. Fortunately for us, it dropped in."

Trevor Hoffman gave up two-outs singles to Jones and Jordan in
the ninth, then struck out Francoeur for his first save.

"This could be a catalyst that gets things going for us,"
Hoffman said, adding that his first save opportunity "is secondary
to the position the club is in."

The comeback allowed the Padres to stop a three-game losing
streak.

"It was a much-needed win," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy
said. "It stopped a streak. It was huge."

Braves starter John Thomson allowed one hit in six shutout
innings and struck out six. He was removed after 74 pitches.

Thomson was making only his second start of the season. He is
still building his endurance after missing time in during spring
training with an elbow injury and beginning the season in the
bullpen.

"If you look at it too long, it'll drive you crazy," Thomson
said when asked whether he could have pitched another inning.
"Who's to say the same thing wouldn't have happened?"

San Diego starter Woody Williams struck out nine in six innings,
giving up three runs and six hits.

Embree, Linebrink and Hoffman combined for three shutout innings
despite giving up three hits and three walks.

Jones hit his fourth homer for a 1-0 lead in the second, Thomson
doubled in a run later in the inning, and Francoeur added an RBI
single in the third.

Game notes
Thomson already has two doubles and three RBI. ... Pratt
stole second base in the fourth inning. It was his sixth career
stolen base and his first since 2002 with Philadelphia. ... Padres
C Doug Mirabelli was removed from the starting lineup due to lower
back stiffness and is day to day. Bowen filled in and made his
first start.