Padres touch Giants ace for 8 runs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Schmidt's 12-game winning streak
ended with a dud.

Jay Payton hit a three-run homer in San Diego's six-run third
inning and the Padres handed Schmidt his first loss in three
months, beating the San Francisco Giants 9-4 on Thursday.

Schmidt (12-3) has been the NL's most dominant pitcher for most
of the summer, leading the league in victories and hovering near
the top of several other categories. But he was off from the outset
in his worst start of the season, allowing nine hits, eight runs
and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.

It was Schmidt's first loss in 17 starts since April 21, when
the Padres beat San Francisco 11-0. He had the majors' longest
winning streak since Toronto's Roy Halladay won 15 straight last
season, and he fell four victories short of Jack Sanford's San
Francisco record, set in 1962.

David Wells (6-5) allowed four runs, 10 hits and an unusual two
walks, but still moved above .500 for the first time this season
with his fourth straight victory.

Rich Aurilia hurt his former teammates again with a two-run
single for the Padres, who won their fourth straight and swept a
two-game series with their fifth straight win over the Giants.

Mark Loretta also homered and had three hits, while Ryan Klesko
added an RBI double as San Diego nudged a game ahead of San
Francisco atop the NL wild card standings.

Pedro Feliz hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who lost their
only two home games during a 15-game stretch.

Nothing was working for Schmidt on a gorgeous day on the San
Francisco waterfront. He allowed two singles to open the game
before striking out the side -- but the Padres batted around in the
third when Schmidt lost his control.

Wells started the rally by drawing a walk, and Terrence Long
beat out an infield single with the bases loaded for San Diego's
first run. Aurilia added his two-run single, and Payton followed
with his third homer of the season on a letter-high pitch.

Aurilia went 3-for-4 with two doubles Wednesday night in his
return against the Giants, who allowed him to leave last winter
after 10 seasons in San Francisco. He joined the Padres last week
after a frustrating stint with Seattle.

Wells, the majors' best control pitcher with just 0.7 walks per
nine innings, was frustrated by umpire Matt Hollowell's strike
zone. He spoke with Hollowell after Barry Bonds got a 3-1 count in
the second inning and crushed the next pitch off the wall in

Everybody in the park, including Bonds and Wells, thought the
ball was headed out, but it missed becoming Bonds' 683rd homer by a
few feet.

Feliz followed with his 14th homer of the season. Two batters
later, Wells walked Dustan Mohr on four pitches -- just Wells'
second walk in 10 starts.

San Francisco loaded the bases in the fifth, but A.J. Pierzynski
fouled out to catcher Humberto Quintero. The Giants chased Wells
with two hits in the sixth, but Scott Linebrink got Feliz to fly
out with the bases loaded.

All told, the Giants stranded nine runners in four innings
midway through the game.

Game notes
The Giants had the largest crowd in regular-season history,
with 42,686 fans in the park. The team regularly tinkers with
seating configurations, expanding the park's seating capacity. ...
Wells got his first career victory over the Giants. ... Bonds drew
his 78th intentional walk of the season in the sixth, extending his
major league record. ... Pierzynski grounded into two double plays,
giving him 17 this season.