|San Diego «||3||0||0||1||0||5||0||0||x||9||14||2|
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres' luck seems to be changing, along with the calendar.
The NL West-leading Padres couldn't get down two bunts on Wednesday and turned them into two home runs. The big blow was Ben Johnson's first career homer, a three-run drive, and the Padres beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-5 to chug into September with a .500 record.
The Padres (66-66) took two of three from the Diamondbacks, who dropped into third place in baseball's worst division. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 7-0 to take sole possession of second place, 5½ games back.
"Obviously, the calendar is on our side," said Dave Roberts, who hit a solo homer after failing to get down a squeeze bunt.
Roberts said the Padres need to worry about themselves, not their pursuers.
"We expected to win this division, we said it from day one, and we want to go far in the playoffs," Roberts said. "We're worried about ourselves playing better baseball because if we don't, we're not going to fare too well in the postseason."
The Padres were 15-12 in August, only their second winning month of the season. The other was May, when they were 22-6 to set a franchise record for wins in a month. On May 31, they were 33-19 and led Arizona by three games.
Roberts had three hits, scored three times and stole his 20th base. Khalil Greene and Mark Loretta each had three hits. Chan Ho Park (4-1) held Arizona to two runs and three hits in six innings.
Arizona's Javier Vazquez (10-14), whose start was pushed back a day because of stomach flu, allowed both Padres homers in losing to San Diego for the first time in three starts this year.
After Greene and Miguel Olivo singled to open sixth, Johnson tried to advance them by bunting. He fouled off the first pitch and pulled back on the second, which was a called strike. He then drove a 2-2 fastball to straightaway center for a 7-1 lead.
Johnson was recalled from Triple-A Portland on Monday when right-hander Pedro Astacio went on the disabled list. He made his major-league debut on June 26 against Seattle, during his first stint with the Padres.
"I was still disappointed in myself I didn't get the bunt down because I feel I can do it, but I guess it all worked out today in the end," Johnson said. "We'll take it, but in the end we'll have to execute. Stuff like that very rarely happens."
San Diego added two more runs in the sixth, on Robert Fick's single and a throwing error by shortstop Royce Clayton.
"The sixth was a big inning," Arizona manger Bob Melvin said. "Johnson's blow is the one that makes you think that now we have to scramble. Especially after winning game one, we didn't think we'd lose two of three."
Park walked Shawn Green leading off the seventh and made way for Clay Hensley. The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the inning, on three hits, two walks and two errors. Chad Tracy singled in one run, and two runs scored on Hensley's throwing error on Craig Counsell's infield hit.
Roberts hit an opposite-field homer to left with two outs in the fourth, his eighth. It came just after Johnson was tagged out by catcher Chris Snyder on a botched squeeze.
Roberts said Vazquez threw a changeup that bounced on the plate "so I couldn't bunt it. Fortunately, I was still able to drive in a run."
The Padres have turned the last two squeeze attempts into a triple and a homer.
"Sometimes it's better off not executing, I guess," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Johnson, I mean, he crushed that ball. That's huge at that point. It gave us a comfortable lead, because we were trying to let them back in."
Luis Gonzalez hit a solo shot off Park with one out in the sixth. It was his 21st, and his second in two games.
Vazquez, who had beaten the Padres twice this year, allowed 10 hits and eight runs, seven earned, in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. In his last six starts against San Diego, dating to Aug. 17, 2001, he'd only allowed four earned runs in 50 innings.
"I did the best I could," he said. "They beat me today."
San Diego took a 3-0 lead in the first. Greene had an RBI single, one run scored on a wild pitch by Vazquez and another scored on third baseman Troy Glaus' throwing error on a grounder by Olivo.
|Players of the Game|
|Craig Counsell, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||1||0||.267|
|Chad Tracy, RF||5||0||1||1||0||1||2||.291|
|Luis Gonzalez, LF||3||1||2||1||2||0||0||.278|
|Tony Clark, 1B||5||0||1||0||0||1||3||.311|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.263|
|Shawn Green, CF||3||2||1||0||1||1||2||.293|
|Royce Clayton, SS||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.270|
|Chris Snyder, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.207|
|a- Quinton McCracken, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.229|
|Brandon Medders, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Alex Cintron, PH||1||0||1||1||0||0||0||.259|
|Jason Bulger, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javier Vazquez, P||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||.235|
|Lance Cormier, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|c- Conor Jackson, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.171|
|Kelly Stinnett, C||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.287|
|a-lined out for Snyder in the 7th|
|b-singled for Medders in the 8th|
|c-flied out for Cormier in the 7th|
|2B - Luis Gonzalez (29, Hensley)|
|HR - Luis Gonzalez (21, Park)|
|RBI - Chad Tracy (51), Luis Gonzalez (70), Alex Cintron (30)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chad Tracy (15)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|E - Royce Clayton (10, Wild throw), Troy Glaus (21, Eild throw)|
|Javier Vazquez (L,10-14)||5.1||10||8||7||2||5||2||4.80|
|IBB - Klesko by Jason Bulger|
|WP - Javier Vazquez (6), Jason Bulger (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Javier Vazquez 94-66, Lance Cormier 16-7, Brandon Medders 19-14, Jason Bulger 23-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Javier Vazquez 4-7, Lance Cormier 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Javier Vazquez 28, Lance Cormier 4, Brandon Medders 5, Jason Bulger 5|
|San Diego Padres|
|Dave Roberts, CF||5||3||3||1||0||1||2||.267|
|Mark Loretta, 2B||4||2||3||0||1||0||0||.294|
|Robert Fick, 1B||4||0||1||1||1||1||2||.298|
|Brian Giles, RF||3||1||0||0||1||0||2||.299|
|Damian Jackson, PR-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.250|
|Joe Randa, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.274|
|Clay Hensley, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Hammond, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Scott Linebrink, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Ryan Klesko, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.258|
|Akinori Otsuka, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Khalil Greene, SS||5||1||3||1||0||0||2||.259|
|Miguel Olivo, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||1||.206|
|Ben Johnson, LF-RF||4||1||2||3||0||1||3||.240|
|Chan Ho Park, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.267|
|Sean Burroughs, 3B||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.258|
|a-was walked intentionally for Linebrink in the 8th|
|2B - Mark Loretta (12, Bulger), Ben Johnson (4, Vazquez)|
|HR - Dave Roberts (8, Vazquez), Ben Johnson (1, Vazquez)|
|SH - Chan Ho Park (4)|
|RBI - Dave Roberts (34), Robert Fick (24), Khalil Greene (50), Ben Johnson 3 (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Dave Roberts (18), Khalil Greene (17)|
|SB - Dave Roberts (20, 2nd base off Cormier/Snyder)|
|CS - Ben Johnson (1, Home by Vazquez/Snyder)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Damian Jackson 1|
|E - Clay Hensley (1, ), Ben Johnson (1, )|
|San Diego Padres|
|Chan Ho Park (W,12-6)||6||3||2||2||3||4||1||5.79|
|WP - Chan Ho Park (5)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chan Ho Park 101-59, Clay Hensley 22-12, Chris Hammond 14-11, Scott Linebrink 6-4, Akinori Otsuka 18-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chan Ho Park 10-4, Chris Hammond 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Chan Ho Park 24, Clay Hensley 6, Chris Hammond 4, Scott Linebrink 2, Akinori Otsuka 4|
|Attendance - 27513|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 73|
|Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Brian O'Nora, Third Base - Tim Welke|