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Ciriaco's first homer helps Padres down Dodgers

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Pedro Ciriaco said he immediately felt at home with his new team.

"I've been here like a week, and I feel like I've been here longer," said Ciriaco, who was acquired by the San Diego Padres in a trade with the Boston Red Sox last Friday. "(The Padres) make it easy for me. Everyone, the team, the manager and coaches, have been incredible. They just let you play."

Ciriaco played a pivotal role for the Padres on Thursday night. He homered and drove in three runs to power San Diego to a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.

Ciriaco, who is batting .500 in his last four games, went 2-for-4 with his first home run in a Padres uniform, a two-run shot to left in the eighth inning off reliever Peter Moylan. His hitting allowed the Padres (37-36) to capture their seventh home win in a row and hand the Dodgers their eighth setback in the past 11 games.

"I got lucky. He left one pitch up in the zone, and I made a swing," said Ciriaco, who recorded his first homer in the National League and only his second multi-hit game.

"As the saying goes, a moving bat is dangerous," Padres manager Bud Black said. "He got a high sinker and put it in the seats."

The 27-year-old shortstop also hit an RBI triple in the seventh inning, giving the Padres the lead for good.

Nick Vincent (2-0) relieved San Diego starter Jason Marquis and worked a scoreless seventh inning for the victory.

Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier (2-3) was tagged for two runs on only six pitches and suffered the loss. Guerrier didn't retire a batter.

Marquis, who was shooting for his ninth consecutive winning decision, lasted six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk. He gave up a homer in the first to Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig and a sacrifice fly to Juan Uribe in the sixth that knotted the score at 2.

Marquis clearly didn't have his best stuff, but he was good enough to keep the Dodgers' hitters off-balance when it mattered most.

"He didn't quite have a great feel for his pitches, but he made pitches," Black said. "He worked his way through a game where he probably wasn't having the feel for the baseball that he normally has, but it was a workmanlike performance."

Stephen Fife gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings for the Dodgers (30-41), fanning six and walking one. Fife earned his first win in the majors in a 2-1 decision over the Padres on June 3, when he limited them to a run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"They're just kind of pesky," Fife said of the Padres. "My biggest concern was not making any mistakes. Just tried to make pitches and repeat them and let them get themselves out really."

Defense also figured in San Diego's win. Center fielder Alexi Amarista made a diving catch to rob Uribe of a possible extra-base hit in the eighth. Second baseman Logan Forsythe and left fielder Chris Denorfia also made highlight-reel grabs.

"Those were three really great plays," Black said.

Puig drove Marquis' first pitch into the sandbox area in right-center for a 1-0 Dodgers lead with one out in the first.

The Padres rallied in the fifth. Amarista led off with a single to right and went to third on Mark Ellis' error with one out. Amarista scored on Marquis' single to left to tie the score.

"Obviously, my error was a huge part of the game, changed the whole momentum of the game and gave them two runs," Ellis said.

Forsythe followed with a single to right, scoring Ciriaco and giving the Padres a 2-1 lead.

NOTES: Dodgers CF Matt Kemp could begin a rehab assignment by early next week. "He's feeling better, a lot more confident. I can hear that in his voice," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's been running harder and not having any problems the next day. (Friday) is another day we'll push him either further." Kemp has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a strained right hamstring. ... Los Angeles OF Scott Van Slyke will begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Albuquerque. Van Syke has been on the disabled list since June 11 due to left shoulder bursitis. ... Padres LF Carlos Quentin missed his sixth consecutive game with a sore shoulder. The timetable for Quentin's return remains unknown, and manager Bud Black said no decision has been made about putting Quentin on the 15-day disabled list. ... The game drew a crowd of 30,656.
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