Padres 2, Diamondbacks 0

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SAN DIEGO (AP)—Adam Eaton gave the San Diego Padres exactly what they needed.

One start after getting ejected in the first inning, Eaton threw 6 2-3 shutout innings as the struggling Padres broke their five-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

Eaton (5-7) combined with four relievers on an eight-hitter for San Diego, which was outscored 18-2 in its previous three games, including 15-1 against Arizona in the first two games of this series.

(Eaton) was outstanding,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s what you need when the offense is sputtering a bit.”

Although Eaton pitched last Sunday at St. Louis, this was his first extensive work since July 8 against Los Angeles. In his last start, Eaton was thrown out in the first inning after hitting St. Louis’ Albert Pujols with a pitch.

“It was actually nice to get a break and give the body a rest,” Eaton said. “Combined with the three days off for the All-Star break, I feel fresh.”

Eaton was sharp as he gave up six hits and allowed just two runners to reach second base—Luis Gonzalez in the fourth and Shea Hillenbrand in the sixth. Eaton struck out seven, walked one and hit one batter.

After giving up a two-out single to pinch-hitter Luis Terrero in the seventh inning, Eaton was lifted for Mike Matthews. The left-hander struck out Craig Counsell to end the inning.

“We’ve seen glimpses of what (Eaton) can be when he’s healthy,” Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. “We got a real good look at him tonight.”

Matthews, Jay Witasick and Jesse Orosco each got one out in the eighth, and Rod Beck pitched the ninth for his ninth save in nine chances.

Eaton, who underwent “Tommy John” surgery in August 2001, feels he is beginning to pitch to the level the Padres projected for him when he made 22 starts as a rookie in 2000.

“I have been feeling really good, really confident,” Eaton said. “I feel I’m starting to pitch the way I know I can.”

Ramon Vazquez scored both of San Diego’s runs. Mark Loretta’s single off rookie Brandon Webb scored Vazquez in the first inning, and in the third, he came home on Ryan Klesko’s grounder.

“My job is to get on and make things happen, and tonight, I did just enough of it,” said Vazquez, who was moved to the leadoff spot for the first time since coming off the disabled list July 7.

Webb (7-3) had won four straight starts. He allowed only two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking three.

Eaton worked out of his only major jam in the fourth after allowing a leadoff double to Gonzalez and hitting Hillenbrand with a pitch. Eaton then struck out Steve Finley and Robert Hammock before getting Matt Kata on a flyout.

“We couldn’t get any hits off Eaton with men on base,” Counsell said. “It seemed like we had runners on, but couldn’t come through with key hits.”

Finley, who came into the game hitting .514 with four homers and 12 RBIs against the Padres, went 1-for-4 with a single. Finley hit a three-run homer ineach of the first two games of the series.

Notes

Arizona RHP Brady Raggio will be outrighted to Triple-A Tucson on Sunday to make room for LHP Randy Johnson, who will come off the 15-day DL to make his first start since April 27. … Diamondbacks SS Alex Cintron was a late scratch from the lineup with a right wrist strain. … Webb has pitched at least six innings in each of his 16 starts. This was the 10th time he has given up two runs or less. … Eight-time batting champion Tony Gwynn was a guest in the luxury suite of Padres president Dick Freeman. The visit came 21 years tothe day that Gwynn made his major league debut against Philadelphia.

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