Sports

Vizquel lifts Giants past fading Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- Missing two injured outfielders, the San Diego Padres lost their fourth consecutive game Monday night -- and sole possession of the wild-card lead.

Omar Vizquel drove in a season-high four runs to help Barry Zito end a six-start winless stretch, and the San Francisco Giants beat the reeling Padres 9-4 on Monday night.

Zito singled in a run on the way to his first career win in seven outings against the Padres, trying to make the playoffs for a third consecutive year after winning the NL West the past two seasons.

San Diego fell into a tie with Philadelphia atop the NL wild-card standings, with Colorado a game back. The Padres are three behind NL West leader Arizona, which has a magic number of four to clinch the division crown.

When Vizquel reached on a bunt single in the seventh, it marked the first runs ever scored by San Francisco against Cla Meredith. The right-handed reliever had gone 17ª scoreless innings over 16 outings.

Tyler Walker escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the ninth.

Vizquel, an 11-time Gold Glove shortstop, is trying to convince the Giants to re-sign him for 2008. He had his first four-RBI game since May 16, 2006, as the Giants won their third in a row.

Ryan Klesko chopped an RBI single into shallow left to put the Giants ahead 3-2 in the third, when the Giants scored five runs against Chris Young (9-8). Klesko later scored on a wild pitch before Vizquel singled to right.

Young is 0-5 in 10 starts since a win against the Phillies on July 19. Young's seven runs and seven earned runs allowed both matched his career high. He hadn't given up seven runs July 14 last year against Atlanta.

And he didn't even have to deal with home run king Barry Bonds.

The 43-year-old slugger missed his ninth game in a row while nursing a sprained big right toe, though manager Bruce Bochy was still hopeful Bonds would play at least one final time to say goodbye to his hometown fans in the city where he's spent 15 of the 22 years in his career.

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