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Burks Grand Slams Padres


Ever since coming off the disabled list, Ellis Burks has been on a hitting tear that has helped the San Francisco Giants stay atop the NL West.

Burks hit his 10th career grand slam and added an RBI single as the Giants broke a three-game losing streak with a 10-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday night and maintained their 1 1/2 game lead over Arizona.

Burks hit his 15th homer of the season to straightaway center field after Rich Aurilia singled, Barry Bonds walked and Jeff Kent reached on an error with one out in the third.

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Game Summary

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  • "It was a fastball, right down the middle and low, the kind of pitch you look for," Burks said. "I hit it to the biggest part of the ballpark, and got it over the fence."

    Burks, who had an RBI single in the first, has eight homers in 16 games since coming off the disabled list June 26. He had been sidelined with inflammation in his right knee.

    Burks' hot hitting has helped compensate for the struggles of Bonds, who is hitting .252 in an injury-tormented season.

    "Ever since I've come back the swing hasn't been a problem, it's right there," Burks said. "The problem is bearing weight on that right foot."

    Charlie Hayes, who came off the DL before the game, added an RBI double in the fifth and Aurilia hit his 15th homer a two-run shot

    in the sixth. F. P. Santangelo, who had three hits, had a two-run double in the seventh.

    Russ Ortiz (12-6) allowed two runs, four hits and six walks in 6 1-3 innings to win for the fourth time in his last five starts.

    "The big lead allowed me to not be concerned with my inability to throw strikes," Ortiz said. "I didn't have the greatest stuff tonight, but I was fortunate enough to get by with it."

    Ben Davis, who had three hits for San Diego, led off the seventh with his second major league homer. Ruben Rivera added a pinch-hit RBI single in that inning for the Padres.

    Sterling Hitchcock (9-7), who had won his previous five starts, allowed six runs, seven hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out six.

    "Sterling wasn't as sharp as he usually is," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've been playing very good ball recently, but we didn't play very well tonight."

    Tony Gwynn, who is 17 hits away from 3,000, missed the game for the Padres. He played Monday and Tuesday, after missing 19 games with left calf tightness.

    The Giants improved to 31-18 in San Francisco this season, the best home record in the NL. They have won seven of their last eight games at home.

    Notes:

  • As one of the "Turn Ahead the Clock" games this season around the majors, the Giants and Padres wore "futuristic" uniforms supposed to represent what teams will wear in the year 2021.
  • The Padres stole four bases, giving them 16 steals in their last seven games.
  • Hitchcock had allowed three runs or fewer in each of his previous eight starts.
  • Aurilia's 15 homers are the most by a Giants shortstop since Chris Speier also had 15 in 1972.
  • The Giants are 6-2 against San Diego this season.
  • Aurilia went 2-for-3 with two walks and is now 17-for-30 (.567) against the Padres this season.
  • The Padres had a three-game winning streak snapped.
  • The Giants optioned INF Ramon Martinez to Fresno of the Pacific Coast League to make room on their roster for Hayes.
  • The Padres made three errors, all in the first three innings.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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