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Padres beat Arizona to keep NL West lead

Mike Cameron hit a two-run triple for the Padres, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1, last night in San Diego, to keep their slim lead atop the NL West.

The Padres remained one-half game in front of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Cameron tripled into the gap in left-center with no outs in the second to bring in Mike Piazza, who hit a leadoff single, and Russell Branyan, who walked. Geoff Blum followed with a sacrifice fly. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his NL-best 41st save in 46 chances.

The Padres loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against reliever Luis Vizcaino and failed to score. Rob Bowen struck out before pinch-hitter Todd Walker lined out to first baseman Conor Jackson, who doubled up Adrian Gonzalez.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 2 -- Olmedo Saenz hit a two-run homer and host Los Angeles scored the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk, avoiding what would have been a crushing three-game sweep by former manager Jim Tracy's club.

The victory gave the Dodgers a half-game lead over idle Philadelphia in the NL wild-card race and kept them a half-game behind the West Division-leading San Diego Padres.

Rookie Chad Billingsley allowed two runs and six hits over five innings. In his previous start last Saturday, he lasted only one inning and gave up three runs in an 11-2 loss to the Padres.

Mariners 9, White Sox 0 -- Host Chicago wasted an opportunity to gain ground in its increasingly futile bid for the AL wild-card berth.

The defending World Series champions lost for the sixth time in seven games, with Jake Woods allowing five hits in seven innings, Raul Ibanez driving in three runs, and Adrian Beltre hitting a ninth-inning grand slam for Seattle.

Orioles 4, Tigers 3 -- Melvin Mora doubled in two runs in the eighth inning, capping a comeback that carried Baltimore past visiting Detroit.

Marlins 5, Mets 2 -- Miguel Olivo and Hanley Ramirez each drove in two runs for visiting Florida during a four-run fifth inning against Pedro Martínez, and Florida's Anibal Sanchez worked seven strong innings to win for the fifth time in six decisions.

Athletics 7, Indians 4 -- Righthander Rich Harden struck out seven in an impressive return from the disabled list and Jason Kendall hit a pair of two-run singles as the host Oakland beat Cleveland.

Brewers 9, Giants 4 -- San Francisco stumbled again in the NL wild-card race with a loss to host Milwaukee, which got three RBIs from David Bell. Moises Alou homered twice for the Giants, who lost for the fifth time in six games.

Astros 6, Cardinals 5 -- Lance Berkman hit a pair of two-run homers off Chris Carpenter as host Houston beat St. Louis.

Braves 6, Rockies 3 -- John Smoltz scattered nine hits over seven innings and Andruw Jones hit a three-run homer for visiting Atlanta.

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