Padres win ninth in 12 games

ATLANTA (AP) -- Brian Lawrence knew little or nothing about most

of the batters in the Atlanta Braves' makeshift lineup.

He did just fine anyway.

Khalil Greene led off the game with a home run and Jay Payton

also connected in the first inning, sending Lawrence and the San

Diego Padres over the Braves 7-3 Thursday.

The Padres scored three quick runs off Mike Hampton (0-3) and

won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Hurt by injuries, the Braves were sloppy in the field early, but

later turned a triple play.

"When you have a team that is hurting like them, you feel like

you should definitely win two of three," Lawrence said after the

Padres accomplished the feat. "It does make it a little more

comfortable out there."

Lawrence (4-2) pitched seven solid innings in his longest outing

of the season, topping the six innings he lasted against San

Francisco on April 10. He allowed only five hits, including a

two-run homer to pinch-hitter Julio Franco in the seventh.

"He kept the ball down and got his groundballs," San Diego

manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looked like he found himself out


Of course, the lineup Lawrence faced was far from formidable.

J.D. Drew, Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal all missed the game with

injuries, and left fielder Chipper Jones still is on the disabled

list with a partially torn hamstring.

That left Atlanta manager Bobby Cox with few options.

Regular third baseman Mark DeRosa moved to shortstop to replace

Furcal, and Jesse Garcia took over for Giles at second. Center

fielder Andruw Jones, who had more experience in the majors than

the other fielders combined, was flanked by reserves Dewayne Wise

and Damon Hollins.

Jones struck out three times and finished 0-for-11 in the


"It's unbelievable," Atlanta catcher Johnny Estrada said.

"They could go 0-for-4, but just having the presence of them in

our lineup makes everyone else better.

"The guys who've stepped in their place have been battling. But

we just put ourselves in a hole early and I think some guys start


The Padres had no such trouble. Greene led off the game with his

first homer of the season, and Mark Loretta walked. He advanced to

third on a single by Brian Giles, then scored when Phil Nevin

grounded into a double play.

Payton followed with another home run to give San Diego a 3-0


"It's crazy," Hampton said. "I thought the pitches I made

were pretty decent. The first home run, I thought it might drop in.

And then the second one, I didn't think it had a shot, either.

"I guess that's baseball."

The Braves helped their deficit grow by botching two double

plays. In the third, DeRosa, who made four errors in a game earlier

in the week, couldn't get the ball out of his glove after forcing

Nevin at second and eventually threw late to first, allowing

Loretta to score.

Garcia had problems in the sixth. He threw wildly to first when

trying to complete a double play on a grounder by Ramon Vazquez,

and Brian Buchanan came home to make it 5-0.

Atlanta turned an around-the-horn triple play on a grounder by

pinch-hitter Kerry Robinson in the eighth, drawing a mock cheer

from the crowd of 26,137.

"We thought Robinson was a good guy to stay out of a double

play. Well, we did that," Bochy quipped.

Meanwhile, Hampton's up-and-down season continued. In his

previous start, he gave up only two runs in five innings to

Colorado, but got tagged for six earned runs in 6 1-3 innings


"He was trying to work both sides of the plate, but we were

able to put his good pitches in play and then take advantage of his

mistakes," Giles said.

The Padres went ahead 7-0 in the seventh on a run-scoring single

by Giles, who later scored on a double by Payton.

Jones scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 7-3.Game notes
The Braves turned their previous triple play Aug. 10, 2003,

against St. Louis, when Furcal had an unassisted triple play. ...

Franco's homer was the first as a pinch-hitter in his 20-year

career. ... Loretta finished 3-for-4 with a walk and reached on an

error. Giles also had three hits.