SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Ron Gant has learned to relax in pressure
Gant tied the game with a run-scoring triple in the eighth
inning and won it with a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth
Thursday, lifting the San Diego Padres to a 7-4 victory over the
Philadelphia Phillies. ''I've been playing this game a long time,'' the 37-year-old
Gant said. ''That's what the game's all about, getting a big hit in
a clutch situation to win a ballgame.'' Gant hit Terry Adams' 2-0 fastball 400 feet to left, capping a
comeback from a 4-0 deficit. His triple, also off Adams (4-8), tied
it at 4-all. ''I got good hitter's pitches to hit in both situations,'' Gant
said. ''I just told the guys that I didn't want to be here another
16 innings.'' Gant was referring to the Padres' 5-4, 16-inning defeat to the
Phillies on Friday night, a game that lasted 4 hours, 51 minutes.
But the 15-year veteran made sure the game didn't go into extra
innings this time. Trenidad Hubbard walked to start the ninth and went to second on
Mark Kotsay's sacrifice. Adams then walked Ryan Klesko
intentionally to face Phil Nevin. Nevin hit a line drive to right field, but Bobby Abreu made a
leaping catch and Hubbard advanced to third. Gant then hit his 12th
homer. ''He had to throw a strike there,'' Gant said. ''I was just
aggressive, got what I wanted and didn't miss.'' Adams gave up four runs on two hits with two walks in 1 2/3
innings. ''I didn't have anything today, I had nothing,'' said Adams. ''I
was struggling with my control. I was trying to throw a fastball
down in the zone and I centered the pitch right down the middle.'' Tom Davey (1-0) pitched the ninth for the victory, allowing one hit
and striking out two. ''(Gant) has got no fear,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said.
''He plays to win. He plays the game right. He's clutch.'' Trailing 4-0 after five innings, the Padres scored two in the
sixth, and added runs in the seventh and eighth. ''We've been playing better lately, and a game like this gives
you a big lift,'' Nevin said. Gant hit his run-scoring triple in the eighth with no outs, but the
Padres were unable to push across the go-ahead run. After a walk to Gene Kingsdale, Adams got pinch-hitter Tom
Lampkin on a popup. Wil Nieves then grounded to shortstop Jimmy
Rollins, whose throw home nailed Gant. Julius Matos ended the
inning with a flyout. ''We don't know how to put teams away yet offensively,''
Philadelphia manager Larry Bowa said. ''We go into a meltdown. We
get a four-run lead and we shut it down.'' Philadelphia starter Joe Roa, who left with a 4-2 lead, lost a
chance to win his first major league game in five years. Roa
limited San Diego to two runs on eight hits in six innings. Roa, making his third start since being recalled from Triple-A
Scranton on July 11, last won in the majors with San Francisco on
June 14, 1997 at Anaheim. Abreu, who had three hits, and Travis Lee each had run-scoring singles
for the Phillies, who lost a road series for the first time in
their last 10. Philadelphia's Ricky Ledee tripled, doubled and scored twice. Klesko hit his 20th homer off Roa with two outs in the sixth
following a single by Kotsay. Pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan added a
solo shot in the seventh against Mike Timlin. Brian Lawrence was hit hard over 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander
gave up four runs on nine hits. Ledee led off the game with a triple over Kotsay's head in
center, and scored one out later on Abreu's single. Ledee scored again in the third after he led off with a double,
went to third on Lawrence's balk and came home on Placido Polanco's
ground out. Abreu followed with a single and scored all the way from first
on Pat Burrell's single to right and Kingsale's two-base error.
Travis Lee then made the score 4-0 with a run-scoring single to score
Burrell. After Buchanan's home run in the seventh, the Padres loaded the
bases with two outs, but Dan Plesac got Klesko to fly out.
Roa was 14-0 with an 1.86 ERA in 17 starts at Scranton. ...
The last time Philadelphia lost a road series was a three-game
sweep at Montreal, May 24-26. ... San Diego extended its streak of
having 10 or more hits to nine games. ... Phillies shortstop Rollins was
back in the starting lineup after missing two consecutive games with a
sore right arm.