The Associated Press
Jake Peavy made himself right at home on that pitcher-perfect mound at Dodger Stadium.
Peavy earned his NL-leading 17th victory and the San Diego Padres boosted their position in a pair of playoff races, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-4 Tuesday night.
The All-Star ace has won all five starts against the Dodgers this year, including three in Los Angeles. Pitchers have always liked throwing off that mound - some feel it's higher than most, with just the right slope and a comfy landing spot.
``No way I can come in here and let the Dodgers win this first game,'' Peavy said. ``If I do that, then the team morale really gets down and we can easily roll over. You want to lead by example and I was just hoping to be good for the boys tonight and fortunately I was.''
Brian Giles, Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Geoff Blum homered as the Padres increased their wild-card lead to 2 1/2 games over Philadelphia, which lost to Colorado 8-2. San Diego is 3 1/2 games ahead of the Dodgers and Rockies.
The Padres also closed within 2 1/2 games of Arizona in the West. The Diamondbacks lost 2-1 to San Francisco.
``Pitching at Dodger Stadium is never easy. Those guys don't quit coming,'' Peavy said. ``I can't say enough about the offense. The boys swung the bats.''
In other NL games, it was: Milwaukee 6, Pittsburgh 1; Houston 5, Chicago 4 in 11 innings; Atlanta 13, New York 5; Cincinnati 7, St. Louis 2; and Florida 13, Washington 8.
The Padres lost their previous two series, to Arizona and Colorado. Peavy (17-6) got them off to a fast start in this three-game set.
Peavy gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings.
``It just comes down to executing pitches,'' he said. ``This late in the season, you've definitely got to pick and choose your spots and save your bullets. When your team is up four, six runs, you pitch differently than you do when it's a 0-0 game or a 1-0 game.''
Esteban Loaiza (1-1) was not sharp on seven days' rest, walking three of the first four hitters. He allowed six runs and six hits in 3 1-3 innings.
``It was a struggle for our starter right out of the gate,'' Dodgers manager Grady Little said. ``He was making what we thought were good pitches that were called balls and it took him right out of his style of pitching,'' Little said. ``He's a pitcher who, if he doesn't get the calls on the pitches he was making, he's got a big problem. That's what happened out there. When they put those runs up there, they put them up there quick.''
Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1
At San Francisco, Dan Ortmeier tripled in the eighth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pedro Feliz, ending Arizona's six-game winning streak.
Chris Young homered for the Diamondbacks.
Tyler Walker (2-0) got two outs in the eighth. Brian Wilson earned his third save, inducing Justin Upton to ground into a game-ending double play.
Recently signed Bon Wickman (3-4) took the loss.
Brewers 6, Pirates 1
Prince Fielder hit his league-leading 44th home run, Yovani Gallardo pitched six scoreless innings and visiting Milwaukee moved one game ahead of Chicago in the NL Central.
Corey Hart also connected for the Brewers, who lead the majors with 203 home runs.
Gallardo (8-4) gave up six singles and struck out seven. Bryan Bullington (0-2) lost in his second career start.
Astros 5, Cubs 4, 11 innings
At Houston, the Cubs let an early three-run lead slip away and missed out on several late scoring chances.
Luke Scott hit an RBI triple off Ryan Dempster (2-6) with one out in the 11th to win it. The Astros ended a five-game losing streak.
Chicago put two runners on with one out in both the eighth and ninth innings and failed to score. The Cubs loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th, but Jacque Jones flied out against Brad Lidge (4-2).
Braves 13, Mets 5
At New York, Mark Teixeira hit a three-run homer and Atlanta made it a rough return for Mets starter Orlando Hernandez.
Hernandez (9-5) left in the fourth inning as the Braves batted around for a 9-0 lead. He was hit hard in his previous start, and later had a cortisone shot in his sore right foot. Pete Moylan (5-3) won in relief.
The teams held a pregame moment of silence to mark the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Mets wore hats from eight New York City departments that sustained losses that day.
Rockies 8, Phillies 2
At Philadelphia, Franklin Morales pitched five shutout innings for his first major league victory.
Matt Holliday homered twice and Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki also connected for Colorado. Morales (1-2) gave up three hits in his fifth major league start.
Jimmy Rollins hit his 27th home run for the Phillies. Adam Eaton (9-9) fell to 2-5 with a 7.20 ERA in 14 starts since June 11.M
Reds 7, Cardinals 2
Adam Dunn hit a grand slam and a solo homer off Mark Mulder as host Cincinnati sent St. Louis to its fifth straight loss.
Cardinals right fielder Rick Ankiel let a fly drop for a double, then had another ball glance off the heel of his glove for a two-run error. He also went 0-for-4 is hitless in his last 17 at-bats.
David Eckstein and Ryan Ludwick hit solo homers off Matt Belisle (8-8). Mulder (0-2) lasted four innings.
Marlins 13, Nationals 8
Hanley Ramirez homered twice and host Florida piled up a season-high 21 hits to end a three-game losing streak.
Mike Jacobs and Cody Ross hit consecutive homers for the Marlins. Jacobs homered for the third straight game and drove in five runs.
Justin Maxwell got his first big league hit - a pinch-hit grand slam for Washington. He had been 0-for-2 in the majors.
Matt Lindstrom (3-4) won in relief and Chris Schroder (2-2) lost.

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