<
>

Young outduels Zito, combines on five-hitter in win

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy is lobbying for
teammate Chris Young to be selected to the All-Star team.

Young outdueled Barry Zito to strengthen his credentials,
leading San Diego to a 3-0 victory Tuesday night over the Oakland
Athletics, who saw their ace's six-game winning streak end.

The 6-foot-10 Young (7-3) won his fourth straight decision over
six starts. He and four relievers combined on a five-hitter against
the AL West-leading Athletics, who lost for only the fourth time in
17 games.

Young gave up two hits in six innings while striking out six and
walking four.

The right-hander has allowed only four earned runs in 38 2/3
innings during his last six starts, lowering his ERA from 4.32 to
2.97.

"I would love to see this guy get the national credit he
deserves," said Peavy, who was San Diego's only All-Star last
year. "He's been an All-Star for the first half. I hope that
doesn't go unnoticed. I know we fly under the radar on a lot of
things; I hope this isn't one of them."

Young deflected All-Star talk, saying closer Trevor Hoffman and
setup man Scott Linebrink deserve to go to the midsummer classic.

While saying it was "extremely nice" that his teammates are
pushing him for the honor, Young added: "I think every guy in this
clubhouse will take playing in the playoffs, and right now we're
playing decent baseball. I think that we can play a little bit
better, and we're continuing to improve."

The defending NL West champion Padres leaped over the Los
Angeles Dodgers into first place in the division. The Dodgers lost
9-2 at Minnesota.

Hoffman said Young is "definitely a deserving candidate" to be
an All-Star.

"He's certainly pitching like one," manager Bruce Bochy said.
"That's another great effort. He's really stepped up and done a
terrific job."

Young struggled at times against the A's but got out of each
jam. He walked the first two batters of the second inning before
striking out Jay Payton and getting Jason Kendall to hit into a
double play. Marco Scutaro hit a leadoff double in the third and
advanced to third with one out before Young retired the next two
batters. He issued consecutive walks with one out in the fourth
before retiring the side.

"He's got the ability to keep his composure and make pitches
when he has to," Bochy said.

"I just felt like in the middle innings I lost my rhythm a
little bit," Young said. "I wasn't able to throw the ball exactly
where I wanted with the life I wanted, then all of a sudden I got
in some jams and I was able to make pitches when I needed to."

Said A's manager Ken Macha: "He puts the fastball up in the
zone and it's tough to lay off. Give him some credit. He's been
pitching extremely well lately."

Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 20 chances. He
has 455 career saves, 24 short of Lee Smith's major league record.

Zito (8-4), who went to high school in San Diego, lost for the
first time since May 12 at the New York Yankees. His winning streak
was over eight starts.

The left-hander went five innings, his second-shortest outing
this year. He allowed eight hits and three runs, walked four and
struck out three. He also allowed a run on a balk.

Mike Piazza had two hits, including an RBI double for San Diego,
while Brian Giles walked three times and scored twice.

The first three Padres reached base in the first, with Mike
Cameron scoring when Piazza hit into a double play.

Giles drew a one-out walk in the third and scored on Piazza's
double that bounced off the center field fence. Giles drew a
leadoff walk in the fifth, reached third with two outs and scored
when Zito was called for a balk after he started his motion, then
stopped.

"I got a little disoriented for a second," Zito said. "I
don't know what happened. I thought maybe I should be in a windup
for a second."

Game notes
The Padres lead the NL with eight shutouts. ... Oakland SS
Bobby Crosby stole a career-high three bases. ... Padres RHP Woody
Williams, who got shelled in a rehab start on Monday night at
Triple-A Portland, is scheduled to start the second game of a
doubleheader Saturday against San Francisco. Williams allowed six
runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings Monday night, with two walks.
He threw 68 pitches in his second rehab start. He's been on the DL
since May 13 with a strained left calf. ... Oakland DH Frank
Thomas, on the DL with a sprained right quadriceps, did some
running and took batting practice.