Padres extend winning streak to five


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- In a graphic example of role reversal, the
San Diego Padres resembled the team contending for a postseason
berth the past three nights.

The Los Angeles Dodgers looked like the team trying to fight its
way out of last place.

Ryan Klesko hit a two-run homer and the Padres sent Kevin Brown
to his third straight loss, beating the sputtering Dodgers 7-4
Thursday night for a three-game sweep.

Gary Bennett doubled home two runs and Adam Eaton won for the
first time in five starts, helping the Padres extend their longest
winning streak of the season to five games -- one more than their
longest of last year.

"We've been playing very well the past three weeks or so, and
our record shows that," Eaton said. "We come out with the same
effort and enthusiasm every day, and it's finally starting to pay

The Dodgers have lost a season-worst six straight and nine of
10, after winning 10 of their previous 11. They remain 5{ games
behind San Francisco in the NL West.

"I don't feel it slipping away," right fielder Shawn Green
said. "We're only halfway through the season. We just need to turn
it around, and we have three months to play. We were 8{ games out
in April, and all of a sudden we were in first place. So it changes
fast and it's going to keep changing."

Eaton (3-7) allowed four runs -- one earned -- and nine hits over
six innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter, after
issuing five walks in each of his previous two starts.

Rod Beck pitched the ninth for his sixth save in six chances.

Brown (10-4) gave up five runs -- two earned -- and eight hits in
five innings before leaving with a lower abdominal strain. He got
hurt while running the bases in the fourth, but scored a run and
persevered through one more inning on the mound.

"As he was rounding second base and heading to third, you could
tell that something was bothering him by the way he was running --
which was why I went out there with (assistant trainer) Matt
Wilson," manager Jim Tracy said.

"When he came off the mound after the fifth inning, he told us
he was done and was unable to go any further. Kevin's day-to-day,
they'll check him out again tomorrow and I'll have some more
information for you then."

Brown, who appeared to be a lock for his sixth All-Star game
after going 9-0 with a 1.27 ERA in the 10 starts prior to this
recent skid, has allowed eight earned runs and 26 hits in 17
innings over his last three outings for a 4.24 ERA.

He dropped to 6-1 against the Padres in 10 starts since June 30,
1999, when he faced them for the first time after leaving San Diego
as a free agent and lost 11-2.

The Padres scored five times in the second against a team that
has scored no more than four runs in eight of its last nine games.

The biggest play of the inning was a botched force, when
shortstop Cesar Izturis failed to hold a backhand flip from second
baseman Alex Cora on a grounder up the middle by Gary Matthews Jr.
Izturis was charged with an error.

Bennett opened the scoring with a bouncer between Adrian Beltre
and third base that drove in Sean Burroughs and Matthews. Donaldo
Mendez followed with an RBI double, Mark Kotsay had a run-scoring
groundout and Mark Loretta capped the rally with a bloop RBI

Izturis sparked the Dodgers with an RBI single in the bottom
half, and they closed to 5-4 in the fourth with three straight
run-scoring hits after Cora was hit by a pitch and Mendez misplayed
Brown's two-out grounder to shortstop for an error.

Wilkin Ruan had an RBI double, Paul Lo Duca followed with an
infield single that drove in Brown, and Ruan scored when Green's
popup fell between Eaton and second baseman Loretta. Green was
credited with a hit, but all three runs were unearned.

"It was one of those 'tweener balls," Eaton said. "I saw him
coming at the very end and I sort of alligator-armed it. We
definitely would have been better off if I had stayed out of it. I
should have checked him out to see where he was at, and if I had
done that, he would have had an easy play."

Klesko tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh against
Tom Martin with his team-high 17th homer, and third against a
left-hander. The other two came off Colorado's Denny Neagle on June
17 at Coors Field.

Game notes
Ruan was promoted earlier in the day from Triple-A Las
Vegas when center fielder Dave Roberts was placed on the 15-day
disabled list for the second time this season with an injured right
hamstring. ... The Dodgers also purchased the contract of OF Chad
Hermansen from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned OF Jason Romano back
to Triple-A.