Padres increase advantage in NL West with win over Diamondbacks

SAN DIEGO -- Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Tejada more than made up for the mistake pitches Wade LeBlanc threw to Stephen Drew.

Gonzalez hit a three-run homer and Tejada had a two-run shot to help the San Diego Padres beat the last-place Arizona Diamondbacks 9-3 on Wednesday night to take a season-high 6 1/2-game lead atop the NL West. They're also a season-high 27 games above .500, the first time they've reached that number since 1998, when they made their last World Series appearance.

The Padres' closest pursuer, the San Francisco Giants, lost to Cincinnati, 12-11 in 12 innings. David Eckstein had three hits and three runs, and Tejada also scored three runs to help San Diego improve to an NL-best 76-49.

Drew went 4 for 4 with two solo homers for his first career multihomer game, plus two doubles.

"Anytime your offense can answer the runs that you gave up and the mistakes that you make, it's a good boost in order to have it back like that," LeBlanc said. "Not only did they answer but they kept pouring it on."

Drew wound up with a leadoff home run after umpires used instant replay to reverse the original call. His second homer left no doubt, clanging off the top of an advertising sign atop the right-field wall with two outs in the seventh to chase Wade LeBlanc (8-11).

The game was briefly delayed in the third inning when a woman with a Mexican flag and a man ran onto the field, apparently protesting Arizona's immigration law. Both were quickly apprehended by security and led off the field.

Gonzalez's homer was his 156th in five seasons with the Padres, tying him for second with Phil Nevin on the franchise all-time list. He's seven shy of Nate Colbert's record 163. His shot to right-center off Joe Saunders (1-4) with no outs in the fourth inning was his 26th. Eckstein and Tejada were aboard on singles.

Drew led off the game with a fly ball into the right-field corner. First base umpire Ted Barrett signaled fair ball as the shot off LeBlanc ricocheted back onto the field and Drew pulled into second base.

The umpires huddled, then went to review video. Replays showed that the ball hit off a seat in the home run porch.

"I did actually," Drew said when asked if he thought it was a homer, "and so did Tejada."

The 1-0 lead didn't last long.

Eckstein singled leading off the bottom of the inning and Tejada drove an 0-2 pitch from Saunders into the Padres' bullpen beyond the fence in left-center for a 2-0 lead. It was Tejada's second since coming to San Diego in a trade with Baltimore on July 29, and his ninth overall.

San Diego scored four runs in the third to take a 6-1 lead. Three were unearned due to two errors. Eckstein scored on a bases-loaded fielding error by Drew, the shortstop. Jerry Hairston Jr. hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Tejada. As Tejada slid into home, the three-hop throw by left fielder Rusty Ryal hit him in the back for an error, allowing runners to advance to second and third. Yorvit Torrealba followed with a two-run single.

Arizona's Adam LaRoche hit an RBI double in the fourth and Drew homered again in the seventh, giving him 10.

"It's one of those nights," Drew said. "But it still sticks with me -- the play in the third inning. I think I kind of overran it, tried to rush a little bit. The next thing you know they get four runs. It's kind of an unfortunate thing."

LeBlanc allowed five homers in his first 12 starts, and has allowed 16 in his last 12. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked two.

"I felt OK," he said. "I made four mistakes to Drew and he did what he's supposed to do with them. Wish I could have those back. Other than that, anytime down the stretch like this you can get a win it's good."

Saunders also lost 10-1 to the Padres on Aug. 8 at Phoenix. He allowed nine runs and eight hits, walked three and struck out one.

"It wasn't a good night," Saunders said. "I couldn't command anything. I fell behind and they hurt me. It's frustrating. It's embarrassing to go out there and give up that many runs. Hats off to them. They are a good ballclub. The way I've been pitching, I'm making them look like Babe Ruth out there."

Game notes
San Diego has won nine in a row at home against the Diamondbacks, including eight straight this year. ... Padres RHP Chris Young will throw a simulated game on Thursday as he continues his rehab. Young has been on the DL since April 12 with a strained shoulder and would like to pitch again this season. ... Drew joined Ryan Howard, Victor Martinez and Dustin Pedroia as the only major leaguers with four extra-base hits in a game this year.