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Slumping Padres drop heartbreaker at home to Giants

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- At last, Shea Hillenbrand got that big clutch
hit the San Francisco Giants have been waiting for.

Hillenbrand singled in the go-ahead run with two outs in the
eighth inning and the Giants beat the slumping San Diego Padres 3-2
Tuesday night.

It was the second one-run game between the teams, with San
Francisco having won 1-0 on Monday night.

"Finally," said Hillenbrand, who was acquired from Toronto on
July 21.

Hillenbrand said shortstop Omar Vizquel keeps reminding him in
RBI situations: "That's why we brought you here."

After the Padres tied it in the seventh, the Giants reclaimed
the lead off Padres setup man Scott Linebrink (6-3). Linebrink
struck out Moises Alou and got Barry Bonds to fly out to deep
center before Ray Durham singled just in front of center fielder
Mike Cameron. Durham stole second and scored on Hillenbrand's
single to right. Brian Giles' throw home was well off the mark, and
Hillenbrand was thrown out trying to take second.

"It's good," Hillenbrand said. "It's a close ballgame. I
think it was even bigger when Ray came through, with two strikes,
and got that base hit up the middle and stole second base to give
me a chance, to make it a lot easier for me."

In the second inning, Hillenbrand drew his first walk in 20
games with the Giants.

Rookie Eliezer Alfonzo had three hits for the last-place Giants,
who won their second straight game after losing five in a row. San
Francisco won for just the fifth time in 21 games. The Padres lost
for the sixth time in eight games, a skid that has cost them the
division lead. San Diego is 12-19 since the All-Star break.

Mike Stanton (4-6) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the win
and Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his second save in as
many nights, and his 15th in 22 chances.

San Francisco's Matt Morris took a 2-1 lead into the seventh
before he allowed his otherwise decent outing to fall apart,
leaving him winless in six starts since his last victory, on July
14. He went 6 1-3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on six
hits.

Todd Walker hit a leadoff single to right-center and Josh
Barfield a one-out chopper to Morris, who tried to force Walker at
second but threw the ball into center field for an error, allowing
Walker to take third. Pinch-hitter Mike Piazza was hit by a pitch
on the left hip to load the bases before Dave Roberts hit a
sacrifice fly to center to score Walker with the tying run.

"Too bad he didn't go home with a win," manager Felipe Alou
said. "He pitched great ball. He made a bad throw, off balance,
and he hit Piazza with a breaking ball. He pitched well."

Said Morris: "I just tried to rush it. That's all."

The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the third when Vizquel singled in
a run and Moises Alou drove in another on a groundout. After
Vizquel singled in Alfonzo with one out, he and Randy Winn pulled
off a double steal. Winn scored when Alou grounded to short.

Giles homered off Morris with one out in the sixth for the
Padres' first run in 16 innings. It was his ninth. It was also just
the second earned run allowed by the Giants in 32 innings.

Otherwise, the Padres' offense continued to sputter. San Diego
stranded two runners in both the first and second innings. Walker
reached third with one out in the second but was caught in a
rundown after Barfield hit a grounder to third baseman Pedro Feliz.

"We really need a key hit and we can't get one," manager Bruce
Bochy said. "That's our problem right now. The pitching has been
there. Somebody's got to come through and help us win a ballgame
here."

Said Cameron: "We're not getting it done and we can't let it
slip away. We've worked too hard to not fight back and start
winning again."

Padres starter Chris Young allowed two runs and six hits in six
innings, struck out four and walked two.

Game notes
Bonds tied Eddie Collins for 17th on the all-time list with
2,826 games played. ... San Diego's Khalil Greene snapped an
0-for-11 skid with a single in the second inning. ... Piazza didn't
start due to a bruised right forearm that forced him out Monday
night. He was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Brad Hennessey.
... Josh Bard started at C. He missed Monday night's game to be
with his wife, who gave birth to a girl.