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Padres Beat Angels Despite Fielder

Except for the garish 1978 uniforms, it was a normal night for the San Diego Padres - fall behind, then rally to win.

Kevin Brown rebounded from giving up a three-run homer to Cecil Fielder to win his sixth straight decision as the Padres beat the Anaheim Angels 6-3 Friday night in a matchup of West Division leaders.

"We've battled all year," Brown said. "No doubt that's one of the biggest pluses with this team, that if we get down early we don't give up. You know you're never out of the game."

Brown singled twice and drove in a run on Retro Night, when the Padres wore their old brown and yellow uniforms. They wore solid white pants because the throwback pants they'd ordered were too big.

"We had to have one of the uglier team unis tonight," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Their play was anything but ugly, as the NL West-leading Padres won for the 15th time in 18 games. Ken Caminiti went 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBIs his first three-hit game of the season and Greg Vaughn had two hits and two RBIs.

With Atlanta losing to Toronto, the Padres now have the NL's best record at 52-28, and they opened a 6 ½-game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

The AL West-leading Angels, wearing their tamer '78 uniforms, lost for just the fifth time in 26 games.

Brown (9-3) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out nine and walked three.

"I made a couple of bad pitches," Brown said. "I think I did a pretty good job overall."

Anaheim's Jason Dickson (8-5) took his first loss in eight decisions, allowing 10 hits and six runs in five innings. It was his first defeat since May 3, when the Chicago White Sox beat the Angels 12-1.

After Dan Miceli walked two Angels on eight straight pitches with one out in the eighth, Trevor Hoffman came on for his 24th save and 32nd straight dating to last year. Hoffman struck out three in 1 2-3 scoreless innings.

The Angels took a 3-0 lead on Fielder's 443-foot homer into the second deck with none out in the fourth inning.

"Sometimes he tries to muscle up on me inside and leaves the ball straight," Fielder said. "He got behind 2-and-0 and he gave me a chance to look for just a fastball."

But the Padres scored in each of the next three innings to jump ahead 6-3.

Caminiti hit his 11th homer leading off the fourth and Brown later added an RBI single. The Padres tied it 3-all in the fifth when Caminiti scored on Vaughn's two-out double that glanced off the glove of center fielder Jim Edmonds.

"I'm starting to feel better and my balance at the plate is better," said Caminiti, who spent most of May on the disabled list with a thigh injury. "It's about that time I start playing, I guess."

The Pdres took advantage of some sloppy play by the Angels to score three more in the sixth. With Chris Gomez aboard on a leadoff single, the tone for the inning was set when Brown's sacrifice bunt hugged the line and first baseman Fielder waited for it to roll foul. It didn't, allowing Brown to reach. Dickson walked Quilvio Veras to load the bases and was replaced by Mike Holtz, who allowed Steve Finley's sacrifice fly that made it 4-3 Padres.

"If it's the grounds crew, you just tip you hat to them," Dickson said of Brown's bunt.

"I thought it had a chance of dying nicely," Brown said.

After a walk to Tony Gwynn loaded the bases again, second baseman Justin Baughman booted Caminiti's grounder, allowing Brown to score. Vaughn hit a grounder to third baseman Dave Hollins, who froze trying to decide where to throw, allowing Ed Giovanola, who was pinch-running for Veras, to score. Hollins tagged Gwynn for the second out.

"In the month of June, we have not played like this one," Angels manager Terry Collins said.

Fielder's homer, on a 2-0 pitch, was his fifth career shot off Brown and the 18th to reach the second deck in stadium history.

Notes: To celebrate Retro Night, Gwynn bought a bunch of Afro wigs that he and some of the Padres wore during batting practice. ... Veras returned to the Dominican Republic Friday night after his brother was killed, the Padres said. Veras informed manager Bruce Bochy on Thursday but apparently wanted to play Friday. After drawing a walk in the sixth, he was replaced by Giovanola in order to catch a flight. ... Fielder's second-deck homer was the first by a Padres opponent in 1998. Caminiti and Vaughn both reached the second deck this year for the Padres. ... The first 10 strikeouts of the game seven by Brown, three by Dickson came on called strikes by umpire Angel Fernandez.

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

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