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Davis, Padres Leap Over Giants


Ben Davis never had three hits in a major league game before this week. Now he's done it twice in less than 24 hours.

Davis hit a three-run homer and added an RBI double as the San Diego Padres built an early six-run lead and then held on for an 8-7 win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Davis, promoted from the minors in late June to replace the injured Jim Leyritz, went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .303. He went 3-for-4 Wednesday night in the Padres' 10-2 loss to the Giants.

"I've had some good offensive years in the minors, but when I came up here I knew my priority was defense," Davis said. "But my feeling is if you can't hit, you can't help the team out."

Tony Gwynn, who had missed 20 of the previous 22 games, added an RBI single and had two hits for the Padres -- leaving him 15 short of 3,000 career hits. He got a standing ovation when he left the game for a pinch-runner in the sixth inning.

"People are kind of focusing in on 3,000 -- I'd rather win," Gwynn said. "This club has really been unbelievable here in the last month. I'm afraid that pursuit of 3,000 is going to overshadow the team."

The Padres, who have won nine of 12, hit back-to-back homers in the first and third innings. Reggie Sanders and Phil Nevin hit consecutive solo homers in the first and Damian Jackson hit a solo homer immediately after Davis' homer in the third.

Those four homers, all off Kirk Rueter (8-5), gave San Diego a 6-0 lead.

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Game Summary

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  • "I was just missing on location. I can't pitch that way and be successful," Rueter said. "Two of those homers came on 3-and-2 pitches. I don't walk guys, I make them hit, and today they hit them out. I made mistakes and they made me pay."

    Marvin Benard hit a three-run homer in the third for San Francisco to make it 6-3. After Gwynn's RBI single made it 7-3 in the top of the sixth, Benard tripled and scored on J.T. Snow's RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.

    Davis, who also had a single in the second, made it 8-4 in the top of the seventh with his run-scoring double. The Giants pulled within 8-7 in the bottom half on RBI singles by Benard and Bill Mueller and a wild pitch by reliever Carlos Reyes.

    Kirk Rueter of the Giants hides after allowing four home runs to the Padres in three innings.  <b>
    Kirk Rueter of the Giants hides after allowing four home runs to the Padres in three innings. (AP)

    Woody Williams (5-8), who had lost his previous three starts, allowed four runs on five hits while striking out eight in 5.2 innings. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 26th save in 29 opportunities.

    Rueter allowed six runs and eight hits in 3.1 innings, the fourth time this season he has failed to last four innings in a start.

    Barry Bonds struck out four times for the Giants, the third time he has done that in his career. He had not done it since April 21, 1991, while playing for Pittsburgh against the Chicago Cubs.

    "I was just swinging and missing and going down. I've been struggling," said Bonds, whose average has dipped to .245 in this injury-riddled season. "I got pitches to hit and still couldn't do it. I'm not feeling overpowered, I'm just not getting there."

    Notes

    • Reliever Jerry Spradlin struck out four batters in the seventh, becoming the first San Francisco Giants pitcher to do that and the 34th pitcher in major league history. The last time a Giants pitcher did it was 93 years ago, when the team was based in New York.
    • The Giants have lost six of their eight games since the All-Star break.

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

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