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Gonzalez, Byrnes lift Diamondbacks over Padres

Sep 20, 2006 - 3:40 PM SAN DIEGO (Ticker) -- Edgar Gonzalez has only won twice as a starter, and both victories have come against the San Diego Padres.

Gonzalez pitched seven effective innings and Eric Byrnes drove in two runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks posted an 8-2 triumph over the Padres.

Despite the loss, San Diego (79-72) remained one-half game ahead of the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers (79-73) in the National League West Division standings.

"We just didn't play well today," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We made some mistakes, didn't move runners over, and it came back to haunt us. We didn't get it done tonight."

Entering the contest with a 3-13 career record, including a dreadful 0-9 mark with a 9.32 ERA in 10 starts in 2004, Gonzalez obviously has not seen much major league success, except when facing the Padres. The Mexican righthander beat them, 10-4, on June 1, 2003 in his major league debut.

On Wednesday, Gonzalez (2-3) came away on top once more against San Diego, yielding a run and six hits without issuing any walks. He threw 67 of 97 pitches for strikes and struck out three.

"(Johnny Estrada) was catching tonight, and if he said throw inside, I threw inside," Gonzalez said. "If he said throw a slider, I threw a slider. I just followed what he called every pitch. This is the best I have felt pitching in the major leagues."

"(Gonzalez) pitched not only well but got out of some jams that were really not self-induced at times," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "He really started making better pitches in situations where he had (guys on base). It seems like he is really starting to get it at this level."

With the score knotted at 1-1 in the third, Byrnes gave Gonzalez and the Diamondbacks the lead for good with a two-out, two-run single to right-center field against Padres starter David Wells (0-2).

After Conor Jackson made it 4-1 in the seventh with an RBI base hit to right and Estrada - who had three hits - singled to load the bases, Byrnes scored when pinch hitter Chad Tracy drew a bases-loaded walk against reliever Jon Adkins.

Rookie Alberto Callaspo, who had three hits, capped the uprising with a three-run triple into the gap in right-center for an 8-1 cushion.

"Callaspo's hit was huge, it kept (Gonzalez) in the game," Melvin said. "And that was one great at-bat."

Wells gave up four runs and a season-high 11 hits in 6 1/3 frames. The burly lefthander struck out five while walking one.

"My ankle felt great," Wells said of the right ankle injury that has been giving him problems since running the bases September 3. "You can't do nothing when you get beat up by (11) singles. Even if you make good pitches, those things are going to happen, so you've just got to keep battling."

"I thought David threw all right," Bochy said. "He's fine, he was healthy. He didn't have a lot of luck, too. A couple of balls they didn't hit very well, but they found holes. That's part of the game."

Luis Gonzalez and Jackson had three hits apiece for the Diamondbacks, who tied a season high with 18.






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