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Padres' Hoffman now gets third save

4/25/2004

PHOENIX (AP) -- Ryan Klesko and the San Diego Padres took their
time beating the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Padres were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position until
Klesko hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the ninth inning of San
Diego's 4-2 victory Saturday night.

"It was a weird game," said Klesko, who beat the Diamondbacks
on April 18 with a walkoff homer. "That's the type of game you've
got to take advantage of and win when you get the chance.

"It was one of those games when both pitchers threw good, and
one hit can make you win or lose."

The Padres tied it in the eighth with the help of three walks,
then took the lead in the ninth.

With one out, Mark Loretta hit an infield single off Oscar
Villarreal (0-1), and Brian Giles followed with a single. Both
scored when Klesko lined a sinker into the right-field corner.

"That's why he's in the lineup," Sean Burroughs said. "He got
the big hit here. He got the home run to save us at Petco (Park).
He's a good hitter."

Trevor Hoffman worked a scoreless ninth, earning his third save
in four tries.

The Padres evened it at 2-2 when Arizona reliever Jose Valverde,
who replaced starter Steve Sparks, walked three of the first four
Padres he faced.

Valverde was pulled for Mike Koplove, and pinch-hitter Kerry
Robinson tapped a grounder to Shea Hillenbrand. The third baseman
threw the ball into the dirt in front of Robby Hammock at home
trying to force Giles, and Giles scored.

"I thought it was a foul ball, and that play has nothing to do
with the outcome of the game," Hillenbrand said.

Koplove struck out Khalil Greene and pinch-hitter Miguel Ojeda
to end the inning.

Akinori Otsuka (1-1) pitched a perfect eighth for the Padres.

Luis Gonzalez had a two-run homer in the sixth for the
Diamondbacks, preventing David Wells from getting his first
National League win in nine years.

"He did a great job," manager Bruce Bochy said about Wells'
76-pitch outing, his fourth since signing with the Padres as a free
agent in the offseason. "We just got in a situation where we were
down nine outs and hit to hit for him there, but he pitched great.
We scrapped -- our first two runs, I don't think we got a hit."

Wells allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, and retired
11 consecutive hitters at one point.

Wells had Gonzalez down 1-2 before the slugger worked the count
to 3-2 and then drove a shot into the right-field bleachers to make
it 2-1.

"The pitch was down in the dirt," Wells said about his
curveball to Gonzalez. "He went down and got it. It's frustrating
when you make a good pitch like that and they hit them."

Scott Linebrink relieved Wells in the seventh and gave up a
leadoff single to Danny Bautista, who kept his 16-game hitting
streak -- best in the majors -- alive. But Bautista was eliminated on
a double play when Hillenbrand grounded to second, and Linebrink
struck out Hammock.

Sparks, who worked three innings of relief in Milwaukee on
Wednesday and Thursday, allowed one run on four hits and three
walks in seven innings -- his longest outing since he worked eight
for Detroit against Minnesota on Sept. 18, 2002.

"It couldn't have been much better," Arizona manager Bob
Brenly said. "Especially considering what he's done for us over
the last three days coming out of the bullpen."

Game notes
The Padres have played 18 straight games against NL West
foes with Sunday's finale in Phoenix to go before facing a
non-division team (Montreal). ... Bautista's previous career-best,
15-game hitting streak ran from Aug. 15-Sept. 1, 2000. ... Long,
2-for-3 this game, is 7-for-15 against Sparks, a knuckleball
specialist. ... Burroughs sprained his left ankle batting in the
third inning and left the game in the fifth.