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NL: Series win buoys Padres

By Associated Press
Published August 5, 2005

PITTSBURGH - The San Diego Padres haven't felt this way in a while: They were truly disappointed to be leaving an out-of-town ballpark.

Brian Lawrence outpitched his brother-in-law as the first-place Padres scored seven off Mark Redman in the first three innings to beat the Pirates 12-7 Thursday and win their first series in nearly a month.

San Diego found its offense after slumping for more than a month, scoring 31 while winning twice in the three-game series. Khalil Greene and Miguel Olivo both homered for the second straight game, giving the Padres five homers in two games after they went nine games and 320 at-bats without one.

"We haven't been hitting the ball at all ... we've been so flat and dead that we haven't been able to do anything like that," former Devil Ray Robert Fick said. "It's something to build on."

Before scoring at least eight in every game in Pittsburgh, the Padres had lost 12 of 13 while going 8-18 in July. They were coming off a three-game sweep by Cincinnati at Petco Park in which the Reds outscored them 24-5 and hit eight homers to their none.

San Diego hadn't won a series since taking two of three in Colorado from July 8-10.

"We knew it would turn; it couldn't stay the way it was, not a team this good," Lawrence said. "It seems now that we got out of July and in August we're putting some runs on the board. Hopefully the trend continues and the pitching stays as good as it's been."

In a matchup of slumping pitchers who began the game with identical records and close family ties, Lawrence lasted into the seventh to end his five-game losing streak and deal Redman his eighth loss in nine decisions.

Lawrence, who is married to Redman's younger sister, Maripat, won for the first time since beating the Dodgers 8-3 on June 28.

NATIONALS 7, DODGERS 0: John Patterson struck out a career-high 13 in his first shutout, and Brad Wilkerson hit a grand slam to lead host Washington to its first series victory in a month.

Patterson allowed four hits and no walks, facing two batters over the minimum and never allowing a runner past second base. He struck out everyone in Los Angeles' starting lineup at least once, getting Jeff Kent, Jose Valentin, Oscar Robles and Dioner Navarro twice each.

For a change, Patterson got some support from an offense that hadn't scored more than four in 15 games. He has a 1.02 ERA with 54 strikeouts over his past six starts, yet he's just 2-1 over that span.

PHILLIES 6, CUBS 4: Bobby Abreu's grand slam snapped a 25-game homerless streak, and Todd Pratt and Chase Utley also homered for host Philadelphia.

Abreu was mired in a monthlong slump, hitting .217 since winning the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break in Detroit. Abreu and manager Charlie Manuel both consistently denied the 41-homer exhibition performance affected the slugging rightfielder's swing.

His first-inning grand slam off Mark Prior was his 19th homer of the season and first since a grand slam against Pittsburgh on July 4.

BRAVES 7, REDS 4: Andruw Jones hit his 33rd home run to take over the league lead, and Jeff Francoeur also homered as visiting Atlanta overcame Sean Casey's two home runs and four RBIs. Francoeur and Rafael Furcal each drove in two to help rookie Kyle Davies improve to 4-1 in his past seven starts.

D'BACKS 7, ASTROS 3: Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer and Shawn Green and Tony Clark also connected, powering host Arizona. Craig Counsell drove in a run and Glaus also doubled for the Diamondbacks, who avoided their first series sweep against Houston.

MARLINS 4, CARDINALS 3: Miguel Cabrera had four hits and A.J. Burnett pitched into the eighth inning, helping visiting Florida split a four-game series.

BREWERS 12, METS 9: Geoff Jenkins went 5-for-5 and drove in the tying run, keying a five-run rally in the ninth that carried visiting Milwaukee. Pinch-hitter Damian Miller drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single.

GIANTS 6, ROCKIES 4: Lance Niekro broke out of a slump with a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth, and host San Francisco snapped a four-game losing streak.

[Last modified August 5, 2005, 01:08:13]

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