Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1
SAN DIEGO (AP)—San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy is going to have some interesting decisions to make in a few days.
Jackson, one of the super-subs who have helped keep the Padres atop the NL West despite numerous injuries, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games with a solo homer in San Diego’s 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.
Ryan Klesko homered for the second straight night and Khalil Greene also connected for the Padres, who increased their lead over the Diamondbacks, their closest pursuers, to a season-high 6 1/2 games.
Leading off the sixth inning, Jackson drove a 2-0 pitch from Claudio Vargas (3-5) into the balcony on the third level of the Western Metal Supply Co. brick warehouse just beyond the left-field corner to give the Padres a 3-1 lead. It was his fifth this season.
“Wow, you can’t say enough about what Jackson’s been doing,” Bochy said. “D.J.’s just played tremendous ball. We’re going to have get creative here when these guys get back.”
Bochy wouldn’t say where he plans to play Jackson once Loretta returns, or if he’d stay in the starting lineup for sure.
“With the way he’s playing, you’d like to find someplace to put him,” Bochy said. “He certainly has earned a lot of playing time.”
First baseman Phil Nevin also is expected to be activated on Tuesday.
Greene hit a solo shot to straightaway center off Greg Aquino with two outs in the seventh, his sixth.
All-Star Jake Peavy (8-3) pitched seven strong innings to snap a two-game losing streak. He held the Diamondbacks to one run on six hits while striking out eight and walking two.
“We got a foot on their throats,” Peavy said after the Padres beat the Diamondbacks for the second time in the four-game series. “I hope we can break their backs tomorrow, put some distance between us.
“I want to win every game I start. I want to be a go-to guy, but this was as big a game as I’ve pitched all year,” Peavy said. “I didn’t want to let them back in and hope they could win three of four. Now we’re guaranteed of a split and they’ll leave town 5 1/2 back no matter what.”
Bochy called Peavy’s outing “a gutty performance.”
After each team had 13 hits in a 10-7 Padres win on Friday night, the Diamondbacks had just six hits and the Padres five.
The Diamondbacks felt they had good at-bats against Peavy but didn’t have much to show for it. Their only run came on Chad Tracy’s solo homer in the first, his 11th.
“When we had chances, he just seemed to bear down a little bit extra and get the outs that he needed to,” Tracy said.
“We hit Peavy as hard as we’ve hit him,” manager Bob Melvin said. “But we hit balls right at people. We just didn’t hit with some better luck.”
The Padres took a 2-1 lead in the first on Brian Giles’ RBI groundout and Klesko’s solo homer to right-center with two outs.
Klesko homered just to the left of the 411 sign, the deepest part of Petco Park. It was his 16th. He had nine homers last year, when he was not only coming off shoulder surgery, but was one of the Padres’ sluggers who groused about Petco’s spacious dimensions.
“The ball does carry a little bit later in the season,” Klesko said. “The weather’s a little hotter. I hit it good. You hit balls like that later in the game or earlier in the year when it’s colder and it probably won’t carry as far.”
Klesko hit a two-run homer in the first inning of Friday night’s win.
Vargas lost for the first time in four decisions. He allowed three runs and three hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two.
Arizona 3B Troy Glaus was back in the lineup after missing the start Friday night so a team doctor could examine his left knee. … Glaus fouled a ball off his left shin in the sixth. … Padres C Ramon Hernandez, who will be eligible for free agency after this season, wouldn’t confirm or deny reports that he’s changing agents from Eric Goldschmidt to Scott Boras. “Everyone keeps asking me about that,” Hernandez said. “I’m tired of hearing that.” Said Boras: “I don’t comment on what players I meet with or talk with.”