SAN DIEGO (AP) -A week's worth of wins against two of the NL's cellar dwellers has put the San Diego Padres right back in contention for a third straight West title.
Dodgers castoff Brett Tomko pitched six solid innings, rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff delivered two more hits and the Padres won their season-high seventh in a row, 6-3 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
The Padres pulled within a half-game of first-place Arizona, which was idle. The Padres also padded their wild-card lead to three games over Philadelphia, which played a night game at Washington.
Tomko (4-11) won his second straight start with the Padres, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 40th save in 45 chances.
With Matt Morris (9-11) lasting only four innings, the Pirates - who entered the game tied for last in the NL Central with Houston - lost their sixth straight game.
The Padres limped home a week ago from a 3-6 trip through Arizona, Colorado and Los Angeles that dropped them four games behind the D-Backs. Three wins over the last-place San Francisco Giants and then the four-game sweep of the Pirates put the Padres right back in the chase.
Rockies 9, Dodgers 4
DENVER (AP) - Matt Holliday homered again and Troy Tulowitzki also connected as Colorado completed a four-game sweep of Los Angeles.
The Rockies won their fifth in a row and remained 4 1/2 games behind San Diego in the NL wild-card race. Colorado starts a three-game series at San Diego on Friday night.
Holliday's three-run shot was his fourth homer in the last three games, and 11th homer in 12 games. He increased his career bests to 36 home runs and 131 RBIs.
Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4) gave up three runs in 6 1-3 innings for Colorado.
Derek Lowe (12-13) allowed six runs and eight hits in three-plus innings for the Dodgers, who lost their fifth in a row. Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer and Andy LaRoche hit his first major league home run.
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