The San Diego Padres are getting closer and closer to an NL West title, and they just might finish with a winning record.
The Padres look to put some more space between themselves and the rest of the mediocre division as they continue a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Padres beat the Diamondbacks 5-3 in Friday’s series opener, maintaining their five game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants in the West. The Giants, re-energized by the return of slugger Barry Bonds earlier this month, beat the Colorado Rockies 7-6.
San Diego trimmed its magic number to five with nine games remaining, including four against San Francisco at Petco Park beginning Monday.
“It’s in our hands,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “We like to win ballgames. That’s what we need to do—take care of business.”
Khalil Greene homered and drove in three runs for the Padres, who moved back above .500 with their sixth win in nine games after a four-game losing streak. Ramon Hernandez had an RBI single and Brian Giles added an RBI double in San Diego’s two-run eighth inning.
“Struggling somewhat earlier in the season or what have you, there’s always something you could take from knowing it is a long season,” said Greene, who has four homers, including his first career grand slam, and 12 RBIs in the last seven games.
“One game could kind of turn it around for you, and now is when it matters more than any other time, I guess, if you look at it that way.”