Young sizzles over seven as Padres cruise past D-Backs

PHOENIX (AP) -- Chris Young's road dominance was just what San
Diego needed to break a small losing skid.

The San Diego right-hander allowed three hits over seven innings
and Mike Piazza and Geoff Blum each homered to help the Padres beat
the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-3 Tuesday to snap a two-game losing

With the victory, the Diamondbacks took a half-game lead in the NL wild-card race over the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Young, who skipped his last start after straining his right
shoulder against Arizona on Aug. 20, gave up two runs -- one earned
-- to lower his NL-leading road ERA to 2.51. He struck out 11,
walked nine and hit a batter. The three hits were the only balls to
reach the outfield against him.

"Mechanically I felt good," Young said. "Everything was in
sync. I made my share of mistakes but it was one of those nights
where the mistakes were fouled off."

Young (10-5) is 6-0 in 12 road starts this season and 9-0 with
12 no-decisions over his last 21 starts away from home dating back
to June 25, 2005.

Padres manager Bruce Bochy was impressed after watching Young
throw 75 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

"We were looking for him to be a little rusty but clearly he
wasn't," Bochy said. "He was as sharp as he's been all year. He
had good stuff, good location and had all of his pitches working.
It was something we needed and he came through for us."

Josh Barfield and Russell Branyan added RBI singles for the
Padres, who had lost three of their last four.

Orlando Hudson hit his career-best 13th home run and had two of
the three hits off Young for Arizona, which lost for the ninth time
in 12 games.

Young retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, a run that
ended with Hudson's homer into the second row of the right-field
stands leading off the fourth to cut San Diego's lead to 2-1.

Conor Jackson had Arizona's other hit against the 6-foot-10
right-hander, a sharp single to left leading off the fifth inning.

"It's like Shaq out there," Jackson said. "He's a pretty tall
guy and he's got a weird arm angle. He's only throwing 88 or 90 but
it looks like about 95, 96."

Piazza made it 4-1 in the top of the fifth, following a single
by Todd Walker with a line drive over the right-field fence off
Enrique Gonzalez (3-6) for his 19th homer of the season.

The Diamondbacks pulled within 4-2 when Hudson singled, went to
third when the ball bounced off Brian Giles' glove into the
right-field corner and scored on Luis Gonzalez's hard chopper deep
to the second-base hole.

"That 90 mph fastball is a lot harder, coming from a big
downhill angle and with a big curveball and a good changeup,"
Hudson said. "He mixed it up tonight and keeping that fastball
chest-high makes it kinda hard to lay off of."

Blum gave San Diego a 7-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh with
a high drive that just cleared the right-field fence for his third

San Diego took a 1-0 lead in the second when Mike Cameron
reached on a fielder's choice and scored on Barfield's single to
left. Branyan made it 2-0 in the third when he singled to right to
score Giles, who had drawn a one-out walk.

Enrique Gonzalez lasted five innings, allowing four earned runs
on 10 hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

"He got through the first but he was behind a lot," Arizona
manager Bob Melvin said. "When you're behind a lot it ends up
catching up with you."

Game notes
Dave Roberts tripled in the eighth to set a career high and
move within two of Tony Gwynn's franchise record set in 1987. ...
Young's unbeaten streak on the road is the longest in the majors
since Greg Maddux was undefeated in 22 straight road starts in 1997
and 1998. ... Enrique Gonzalez is 0-4 with four no decisions in his
last eight starts. He's lasted five innings or less in seven of his
17 starts. ... The Ahwatukee Little League All-Stars, who reached
pool play in the Little League World Series, were honored before
the game.