SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres can finally exhale. Their 10-game losing streak is over.
Nick Hundley homered and drove in two runs, Tim Stauffer filled in for ailing ace Mat Latos and the NL West leaders beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Monday night for their first win since Aug. 25."You would never have thought that winning one game would be so important," said Mike Adams, who won in relief. "That's the biggest win that we've had maybe all year. I'm kind of lost for words on it. The past 10 days, nothing went our way. We couldn't catch a break. To come out tonight and get that win out of the way, hopefully that changes the tide a little bit and we'll get on a little roll now."The Padres kept their one-game division lead over the San Francisco Giants, who won 2-0 in 11 innings at Arizona.
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The losing streak was San Diego's longest since a franchise-record 13-game slide in May 1994. The free-fall trimmed 5 1/2 games from the Padres' lead and dropped them from having the best record in the NL to the third-best.Scott Podsednik homered off Luke Gregerson with one out in the seventh, his first with the Dodgers and sixth overall, to pull Los Angeles to 3-2. The Dodgers had runners on first and second with two outs before Adams struck out Andre Ethier. San Diego got some breathing room in the bottom of the inning when Aaron Cunningham hit a leadoff double and scored on David Eckstein's sacrifice fly.With Stauffer going only four innings in an emergency start, Adams (3-1) got the win by allowing just a walk in 1 2/3 innings while striking out three."We all know the situation. We know we're better players than what we've shown the last week and a half," Stauffer said.Heath Bell pitched a perfect ninth for his 38th save in 41 chances.Latos was scratched due to stomach flu. The 22-year-old right-hander lobbied manager Bud Black to let him pitch, but the skipper was concerned that Latos was dehydrated and weakened by the illness. Latos said he's feeling better and that'll he'll start Tuesday night.Stauffer found out about four hours before game time that he was starting. He faced three batters in Sunday's loss to Colorado. The right-hander held Los Angeles to one run and four hits in four innings. He struck out one and walked one."That was exactly what we needed," said Black, who noted that some of Stauffer's fastballs hit 95 mph. He threw 62 pitches."I did the exact same thing I've done all year warming up as a reliever," Stauffer said. "I went over the scouting report, warmed up for less than 10 minutes, saved some throws out there and just carried it over to the game like it was the sixth inning or something."His only other start this season was also an emergency, May 9 at Houston when Kevin Correia left the team after the death of his younger brother. Stauffer allowed six hits in five innings that day and left with a 3-0 lead. The Padres lost 4-3 in 11 innings.On Aug. 21, 2006, Stauffer was hastily summoned from Triple-A Portland to fill in for ailing Chan Ho Park. Stauffer didn't know he was starting that night until he arrived at Petco Park, then went out and retired the first 10 Dodgers en route to a 4-2 victory.Hundley hit Vicente Padilla's first pitch of the third inning into the seats in right-center for a 1-0 lead. It was his seventh.The Dodgers tied it in the fourth when James Loney doubled to right with one out and scored on Ethier's single to center.The Padres jumped ahead 3-1 in the fourth when Will Venable's bases-loaded fielder's choice brought in Adrian Gonzalez, and Hundley's infield single scored Miguel Tejada.
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"We would have liked to take advantage of the fact they had lost 10 in a row," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. "But we couldn't get a lead. I think that was important to start with, if we could get a lead and maybe we could build on something and get them back on their heels. But we just couldn't get a lead."Padilla (6-5) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, struck out five and walked one. It was his first start since coming off the disabled list with a bulging disk in his neck. His last start had been Aug. 15.
Adams snared Matt Kemp's grounder behind his back after slipping on his backside in the eighth, then threw him out at first. ... Correia had been scheduled to start Tuesday. If Latos pitches Tuesday, Black said he will stick with rookie Cory Luebke on Wednesday and push Correia back to later in the week. ... The Padres purchased the contract of INF-OF Mike Baxter from Triple-A Portland. He made his big league debut in the fourth, popping up to second while pinch-hitting for Stauffer. ... The Padres designated LHP Steve Garrison for assignment.