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Home Runs Lift Padres Past Expos


After tying David Cone and Pedro Martinez for most wins in the majors this season, Andy Ashby wanted to talk about his team's hitting.

Backed by homers from Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti and Greg Myers, Ashby got his 15th victory as the San Diego Padres beat the Montreal Expos 4-1 Sunday.

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  • "Without these guys behind me doing what they do on the field, the numbers wouldn't be what they are," Ashby said.

    Ashby (15-6) won for his 10th in his last 12 decisions, holding the Expos to one run on six hits in eight innings. He struck out five and walked one.

    "It's nice to go out there and know you have these guys behind you ... but it's something you don't harp on," Ashby said. "It's stay on an even keel, get ready in five days and go out and try to help your ballclub win."

    It was Ashby's first win in six career decisions against Montreal.

    "He keeps getting better every year and this year he's come into his own," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said.

    Caminiti and Myers hit solo homers in the sixth for NL West-leading San Diego.

    Caminiti hit his 20th homer on Javier Vazquez's (3-10) first pitch of the inning to tie the game 1-1. After Wally Joyner flied out to the warning track in center, Myers hit his third homer of the season down the right-field line.

    Trevor Hoffman pitched a perfect ninth for his 36th save.

    Gwynn put the Padres ahead 4-1 with his 11th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh.

    "In my last at-bat, he (Vazquez) threw me a couple of fastballs and I was really late on it," Gwynn said. "I finally said, `Forget it, I'm just going to look for he heater. He's been pumpin' it so let me see if he'll throw another one.' He did and he threw it inside and I really put a good swing on it and it went out of the ballpark."

    Montreal's Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI single. He is hitting .412 (40-for-97) with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in 25 games since the All-Star break.

    Guerrero singled off ashby with two out in the first to drive home his brother Wilton from second.

    "It feels good seeing my brother score," Guerrero said. "I know my brother is a player and I will go out and give 100 percent. I hope this team will give him the opportunity to keep on doing it."

    Wilton, acquired from Los Angeles on Friday in the seven-player trade that sent Carlos Perez and Mark Grudzielanek to the Dodgers, beat out a grounder to shortstop Chris Gomez for a one-out infield single in his first at-bat with the Expos.

    Guerrero advanced to second on Derrick May's hit-and-run grounder to second baseman Quilvio Veras and came home on Vladimir's sharply hit grounder past Ashby into center.

    Vazquez went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, including three homers. He has lost four straight decisions.

    Notes:

  • Brian Boehringer (5-1) will start Monday afternoon in Joey Hamilton's place. Hamilton is in San Diego with his wife Angie , who is due to give birth to their first child at any moment.
  • Gwynn went 1-for-4 to snap a streak of five straight multiple-hit games. Gwynn, who is one shy of 2,900 career hits, had seven consecutive multi-hit games in July 1995.
  • San Diego slugger Greg Vaughn , who has been limited to four hits in his last 36 at-bats (.111), was given a rest by manager Bruce Bochy.
  • Wilton Guerrero wore uniform No. 4. "It's my favorite number," Guerrero said. "I used it in the minors and in the Dominican (Republic)." The number wasn't available to him with the Dodgers, who had retired it in honor of Hall-of-Famer Duke Snider .
  • May made a nice sliding catch on Tony Gwynn's sinking liner to left.

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