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Giles homers in third straight game

5/22/2004

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brian Giles did more damage to the
Philadelphia Phillies with a hard slide than he did with his sweet
swing.

Giles homered for the third straight game and his aggressive
slide in the sixth inning forced a two-run error, leading the San
Diego Padres over the Phillies 9-6.

With the Padres trailing by one, Giles broke up a double-play by
sliding into Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal, knocking Lieberthal
off-balance and sending his throw into right field.

"I'm out, so if I can get there, I have to make sure they don't
get two," Giles said of the play that scored the go-ahead run. "I
hit him perfect: right when he was releasing and the ball sailed on
him."

Justin Germano went five innings for the win in his first major
league appearance. Germano allowed four runs, five hits and four
walks, but struck out five.

The 21-year-old displayed a good curve ball in front of several
family members who had traveled down from New York for his debut.

"I had pregame jitters going into it, but I always do,"
Germano said. "Once I was on the mound I was all right. I just had
to realize it's just the game of baseball that I've been playing
all my life."

Chase Utley also homered for the third time in as many nights
for the Phillies, who had won four straight.

Roberto Hernandez (0-1) got the loss after relieving Phillies
starter Josh Hancock to start the sixth and walking three of the
first four batters he faced. Ramon Hernandez then tapped a ground
ball back to the pitcher, who flipped to Lieberthal.

Giles came hard down the line and slid feet-first into the
catcher's left shin guard. Ryan Klesko and Jay Payton scored on the
play.

"We took advantage of some walks," Padres manager Bruce Bochy
said. "To get two runs without any hits is always nice. We'll take
it."

Klesko had a two-out, two-run single off Amaury Telemaco in the
seventh that made it 7-4.

Giles reached base in all five plate appearances, drawing three
walks, while scoring three runs. He is 7-for-16 with three home
runs, six RBI and eight runs scored in his last five games.

"It feels like we haven't scored runs we're capable of scoring,
but it seems like every game we're giving ourselves
opportunities," said Giles, who hit a solo homer in the fourth.
"Eventually, you're going to score 7, 8, 9 runs a game."

Phil Nevin hit his fifth home run of the season for San Diego.

Hancock, making his first big league start since Sept. 26, 2002,
gave up three runs and five hits in five innings. Hancock threw
just 61 pitches before leaving with the lead.

Hancock's first appearance since the last game of the 2003
season came in place of starter Randy Wolf, who missed his turn in
the rotation because of elbow tendinitis. Wolf threw 40 pitches
before the game and said that he expects to be ready for his next
start.

"Hancock did a great job pitching on three days rest,"
Phillies manager Larry Bowa said. "He was only going to go six
innings at the most."

Rod Beck, who rejoined the Padres on Friday after missing over
two months because of personal problem, made his first appearance
and allowed one run on two hits in the seventh.

"It's good to see 'Shooter' out there," Bochy said. "He's
close to where he normally is. He just had bad luck."

Utley hit a three-run homer to right to cap a four-run third
inning. He now has four home runs and 16 RBI since replacing the
injured Placido Polanco.

The Padres scored two runs on four singles in the ninth to make
it 9-5, and Philadelphia's Pat Burrell had an RBI grounder in the
bottom half off closer Trevor Hoffman.

Game notes
Phillies RF Bobby Abreu had an RBI single in the third that
extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... Tomas Perez made his
first start of the season at 1B for injured Phillies Jim Thome
(finger) and went 2-for-4. ... Padres 2B Mark Loretta hit his
team-leading 12th double of the year in the seventh inning. ...
Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole
his team-high 11th base.