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Brown, Padres Top Giants

Kevin Brown has no idea why he's dominated the San Francisco Giants, and what he doesn't know won't hurt him.

Brown kept up his mastery of the Giants with 8 2-3 impressive innings, leading the San Diego Padres past San Francisco 5-1 Sunday for their 12th win in 13 games.

"I guess when you're having success against a team, you don't really care why as long as it continues," Brown said. "When you struggle against somebody is when you go looking for answers. It's blessed ignorance, I guess."

Brown (8-3) improved to 6-0 with a 0.58 ERA in seven regular-season starts against the Giants. He admitted he felt some pressure to extend his run of success, but he said he feels that way every time out any way.

"You want to win every time you walk out there," said Brown, who gave up seven hits, struck out nine and walked one. "All I'm trying to do against these guys or anyone else is keep the job in focus and don't get carried away with the peripheral stuff."

Rebounding from Saturday's 5-2 loss that snapped their club-record tying 11-game winning streak, the Padres got a pair of run-scoring singles from Carlo Hernandez in sending the Giants to their eighth loss in 11 games. Six of those of defeats have come against San Diego.

After the game, the Padres announced they acquired catcher Jim Leyritz, with minor league outfielder Ethan Faggett, from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handed pitchers Carlos Reyes and Dario Veras and catcher Mandy Romero.

Tony Gwynn broke out of an 0-for-14 drought matching the longest of his career by going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Steve Finley hit a run-scoring triple as the Padres stretched their lead in the NL West to 5 ½ games over San Francisco.

"(Brown) was in control," Gwynn said. "For whatever reason, this is a team that doesn't handle him well and we were able to get him some runs early."

Brown pitched a four-hit shutout on April 15 in his first appearance at San Francisco since pitching a no-hitter against the Giants while a member of the Florida Marlins on June 10, 1997.

"He wasn't as sharp against us as he has been in the past but he was sharp when he needed to be," San Francisco manager Dusty Baker said.

San Francisco's Brent Mayne, who had two hits off Brown, was one of the few Giants batters to have any success against him.

"I just see the ball and hit a pitch that's up a bit, not when it was a vicious sinker," Mayne said. "With him, it's very difficult to get a good view of the ball. He works all the angles.

"They're a better team right now, because they're healthy," added Mayne, referring to the continued absence of injured second baseman Jeff Kent and first baseman J.T. Snow, who was at his mother's funeral his weekend. "We've got to get the engine going again. There's a long way to go."

Trevor Hoffman closed for his 22nd save in 22 chances. He gave up a single that loaded the bases, then struck out Rich Aurilia to end the game.

The Giants' only run came in the sixth when Darryl Hamilton led off the sixth with a double, took third on Bill Mueller's groundout and scored on a ground out by Barry Bonds.

But San Diego got back a run in the seventh as Quilvio Veras doubled, stole third and scored on Ken Caminiti's sacrifice fly.

Orel Hershiser (6-5) was removed after three innings, his shortest outing of the season.

No match for Brown on this day, Hershiser allowed four runs, including three in the third, on six hits while walking two and striking out two.

Hernandez's run-scoring single put San Diego up 1-0 in the second and the Padres added three in the third to finish Hershiser. Veras walked and scored on Finley's triple and Gwynn followed with an RBI double. Hernandez beat out an infield single to drive in his second run of the day.

Notes: The Giants went 3-4 on their seven-game homestand. It was the first time they had a losing record in six homestands this season. ... In the last 12 days, the Giants have lost 6 ½ games in the standings to San Diego after gaining 4 1-2 over the previous 11 outings. ... After posting a 19-17 mark against NL West teams last season, San Diego has gone 15-3 this season. ... San Diego leads the season series with the Giants 7-2. ... The only other time Gwynn had a hitless string reaching 14 at bats was May 12-16, 1993. ... Mayne batted cleanup for the first time in his career.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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