for this game

Giles, Padres blow out Diamondbacks to remain in first place

Sep 29, 2006 - 5:32 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The San Diego Padres used a potent offense to help secure to a playoff berth in the National League.

Russell Branyan and Brian Giles homered to pace a 15-hit attack and Jake Peavy continued his late-season surge as the Padres posted a 12-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the opener of a season-ending four-game series.

With Philadelphia losing to Washington, 3-1, the Padres have clinched at least a tie for a spot in the postseason.

"We said this all along, it is important to come out and win ballgames," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "We don't even look at the (other) scores; we have to win games. That is the way it works at this point. If we do that, we can take care of business."

Dave Roberts drove in two runs for San Diego (86-73), which used two four-run innings to remain one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers (85-74) in the NL West Division with three games remaining. The Dodgers, who kept pace with a 19-11 win over Colorado, end their season with three games at San Francisco.

Roberts' two-run single with two outs capped a four-run second inning. Branyan singled and scored in the frame before hitting his sixth homer since being acquired from Tampa Bay in the fifth.

"We scored five or six runs with two outs tonight, and that is a backbreaker," Roberts said. "We said from the beginning that we are going to be in this thing until the end. We expect to go to the postseason and we want to be playing our best baseball in September, and that is the way it is playing out. I like our chances as much as anyone's right now."

Giles hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his 14th of the season, against Arizona starter Miguel Batista (11-8) and added an RBI double in a four-run eighth.

The offense was more than enough for the resurgent Peavy (11-14), who allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked four to improve to 4-1 with 2.45 ERA in his last six starts.

"I had real good stuff, but my job is really easy when the boys go out and do what they did tonight," Peavy said. "The biggest at-bat for me was Dave Roberts making it 4-0. Then the boys kept going after that and made my job easy. I had a tough first half this season, but in the second half, I felt good and have been giving my team a quality chance to win."

Batista was tagged for seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

"There is not too much to say. I got hit," Batista said. "I missed my location every now and then, but they hit good pitches. Some guys guessed right and they had a very good plan and they figured out most of the stuff we were doing."

"Miguel looked good in the first inning, but the Roberts hit hurt, and then the home run," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "He had a stretch there where he had trouble throwing the ball over the plate. You feel bad about that because you don't want to end your last game of the season doing that."

Conor Jackson had two hits and an RBI for the Diamondbacks.






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