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Greg Vaughn Turns 40 In S.D. Victory


Greg Vaughn had the big hits and Quilvio Veras did the little things for the San Diego Padres.

Vaughn became the fourth player to reach 40 home runs this season and Veras scored the go-ahead run on Mike Redmond's passed ball as San Diego beat the Florida Marlins 7-5 Tuesday night.

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    Forum: Can Vaughn top 50 homers this season?

  • "We found a way. That's something special in this clubhouse," said Vaughn, who reached the 40-homer mark for the second time. "We never quit. We've got too much character and too much heart."

    Vaughn sparked San Diego's four-run first inning with an RBI double, then lined Kirt Ojala's first pitch of the fourth inning over the left-field scoreboard.

    The blast placed Vaughn alongside Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (47 each) and Ken Griffey Jr. (42) in the 40-homer club. Twelve players finished with 40 homers last season, down from a record 17 in 1996.

    Vaughn, who tied the team record set by Ken Caminiti two years ago, also broke a homerless streak of 40 at-bats, dating to an Aug. 4 homer against Philadelphia.

    "It's been a while," Vaughn said. "I'm just trying to keep it as simple as possible. You can do too much thinking up there and chase pitches. I hope tomorrow I can just see the ball and take a swing.

    Veras, who reached base five times, broke a tie in the eighth after Florida rallied from a 5-0 deficit. He reached on a two-out walk from Antonio Alfonseca (2-6), went to third on Steve Finley's single to right and scored when Redmond mishandled Alfonseca's hanging slider to Vaughn.

    "That's just the way we've been doing it all season," said Veras, who went 3-for-3 with two walks. "Sometimes we get a big hit, sometimes we steal a base. I just got my job done."

    Another passed ball by Redmond allowed Ed Giovanola to score in the ninth, this time on Matt Mantei's high fastball.

    "I take total responsibility," said Redmond, who entered the game with one passed ball all season. "I should catch any of those balls. I feel like I cost us the game. It was completely my fault."

    Dan Miceli (9-4) pitched two-thirds of an inning and Trevor Hoffman got four outs for his 40th save in 41 chances.

    San Diego's Andy Ashby, who beat Atlanta's Greg Maddux in his previous start, gave up three runs, two earned, and nine hits in six innings. He was bidding to become the NL's first 17-game winner.

    Ojala gave up five runs -- four earned -- eight hits and five walks in four innings.

    San Diego built its first-inning lead on Vaughn's RBI double, Wally Joyner's two-run single and Ruben Rivera's RBI single.

    Ashby, who stranded seven runners in the first three innings, let the Marlins close to 5-3 in the fifth on RBI doubles by Cliff Floyd and Derrek Lee and a run-scoring single by Dave Berg.

    Florida tied it in the seventh on consecutive doubles by Floyd and Kevin Orie and a run-scoring wild pitch by Miceli.

    "It was muggy out there," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looked like the pitchers were having trouble gripping balls. They had problems on both sides."

    Notes

  • Vaughn's career high is 41 homers, set in 1996, when he split the season between Milwaukee and San Diego.
  • The Padres are 69-0 when leading after eight innings and have won 158 in a row in that situation.
  • Mantei was hurt trying to cover home on the second passed ball, lying in pain for several minutes. Marlins officials said he would be placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained right ankle, and his right knee would undergo an MRI.
  • Marlins shortstop Edgar Renteria was held out of the starting lineup to rest a bruised right knee. He struck out as a pinch hitter.
  • An examination on Craig Counsell's broken jaw showed it is not healing fast enough to allow him to return before the end of Florida's season. Counsell has been out since Aug. 3, when he was hit by a pitch from Houston's C.J. Nitkowski.
  • Caminiti left in the second because of soreness in his right lower back. He is day-to-day.

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