First-place Padres dispatch D-backs in game marred by benches-clearing scuffle

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres keep finding ways to stay atop the NL West.

Getting a pair of homers from Chris Denorfia and Everth Cabrera's go-ahead triple, the Padres completed a three-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 6-4 win on Sunday.

Not even Cabrera's ejection following a tussle with Mark Reynolds put a damper on San Diego's fast start following the All-Star break, before it embarks on a six-game road trip.

"You like to get out [fast] after the All-Star break," Padres manager Bud Black. "You never know how you're going to come out. We had a good workout on Thursday night with a lot of energy and it carried over to the weekend."

San Diego's bench played a big part in its fourth straight win.

Denorfia, who also tied his career highs with four hits and three runs, hit solo homers off Edwin Jackson (6-8) and Juan Gutierrez for the first multihomer game of his career. Cabrera, the starting shortstop early this season, has been limited by a pair of stints on the disabled list that cost him 42 games and the standout play of Jerry Hairston Jr.

Cabrera got a start Sunday, though, and contributed with a triple that scored Denorfia and put the Padres ahead to stay at 4-3 in the sixth inning.

"Everybody comes in here every day hoping to play," Denorfia said. "When we're not, we get our work done. We work hard as a group and we feed off each other. It's the mark of good teams."

The win allowed San Diego (54-37) to go 17 games over .500 for the first time this season. The Padres also increased their lead to four games over second-place Colorado.

San Diego had 14 hits, and 10 or more over the past nine games.

"A big reason for the run production is that you are seeing it from everybody," Black said. "We are doing a lot of things right offensively. We just have to keep it going."

Cabrera, who struck out his first two at-bats, tripled into the right-field corner off Jackson in the sixth to score Denorfia and give the Padres the lead.

With a 3-1 count on the next batter, Tony Gwynn Jr., catcher Miguel Montero attempted to pick Cabrera off at third base. Reynolds took the throw and as he applied the tag to Cabrera, who was sliding back head first, Reynolds fell on Cabrera's backside and rolled over him.

Third base umpire Dana DeMuth called Cabrera out. As the two players were on the ground with their legs tangled, Cabrera appeared to push his foot into Reynolds, who then shoved his left foot into Cabrera's side. Both players quickly got to their feet and Reynolds pushed Cabrera, who removed his helmet and began backing up.

Both benches and bullpens emptied, but the two sides simply mulled around with no punches being thrown. A few minutes later, Cabrera was ejected.

"What I saw was Everth Cabrera kick, a pretty aggressive kick," DeMuth said. "Reynolds was pulling away. Reynolds actually pushed Cabrera away. When he did that, Reynolds was saying, 'You can't do that.' Cabrera's aggressiveness was unnecessary."

Cabrera said he was just trying to get out of the entanglement.

"He got out a little too far and he tried to get back as aggressively as he could into third base," said San Diego first-base coach Rick Renteria, who translated for the Spanish-speaking Cabrera. "Reynolds also came in aggressively."

Said Reynolds: "The only play I had was to kind of lunge at him. We got tangled up and he hit my stomach with his foot. It was a heated moment. It's baseball, these things happen.

"There's no reason to kick people."

Arizona lost for the 10th time in 12 games to fall a season-high 20 1/2 games behind San Diego in the NL West. The last-place Diamondbacks have lost seven of nine to the Padres, including six straight at Petco Park.

The Diamondbacks went ahead in the first inning on Kelly Johnson's two-run homer off Kevin Correia (6-6). It was his 15th homer and scored All-Star Chris Young, who led off with a single.

Justin Upton hit a solo homer for Arizona to tie the score at 3-all in the fifth. He also doubled in a run in the ninth off All-Star Heath Bell, who closed out the win for his major-league leading 26th save in 29 chances.

Correia, who had not won in seven starts since May 31, gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings. The righty tied his career high with nine strikeouts and he walked two.

Jackson, who is 1-2 since throwing a no-hitter at Tampa Bay on June 25, pitched into the seventh inning but left after walking the first two batters. He allowed four runs on nine hits.

Game notes
The sweep was the Padres' fifth of the season and its second against Arizona. San Diego also swept the Diamondbacks at Petco Park, April 16-18. ... Arizona has been swept nine times. ... Johnson's home run was just his second in his last 14 games. ... Denorfia has had four hits one other time in his career, Sept. 26, 2006.