Wells Gets Revenge Against Padres

Friday, September 14th 2007, 7:54 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ David Wells knew he could still pitch effectively, even after a horrific stretch that led to his release by the San Diego Padres.

Maybe the 44-year-old left-hander just needed a little time off.

Wells showed his former team what he could do, outpitching Greg Maddux in a matchup of 40-something veterans as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat San Diego 6-3 on Thursday night to move within 1 1/2 games of the Padres in the NL wild-card race.

Wells (8-8) allowed four hits and three runs in six innings with one walk and three strikeouts. He also had two hits off Maddux for the first multihit game of his 21-year career.

``They gave up on me, I didn't give up on myself,'' said Wells, who went 0-3 with a 14.33 ERA in his last four starts for the Padres before being designated for assignment on Aug. 9 and released four days later.

``I threw poorly. I can't blame them,'' Wells said. ``It's nice to go out there against them and pitch solid. I know what I'm doing out there, it's just a matter of going out there and doing it.''

Wells was 5-8 with a 5.54 ERA for the Padres. He's 3-0 with a 3.75 ERA in four starts since joining the Dodgers on Aug. 24.

Wells said he's certain he would have turned it around had the Padres kept him.

``You battle through it,'' he said. ``It's like a hitter going 0-for-30. You can't give up. I've never been that kind of person. I knew eventually I was going to come out of it.''

The Padres had only two baserunners in the first five innings against Wells, who earned his 238th career victory. He tired in the sixth, but the Dodgers had the game well in hand.

``I pitched well enough,'' Wells said. ``I believe in our bullpen.''

Scott Proctor, Jonathan Broxton and Takashi Saito each pitched a perfect inning, with Saito striking out two in the ninth for his 38th save in 41 chances.

The Dodgers won the final two games of their three-game series against the Padres thanks mainly to the excellent pitching of Wells and Chad Billingsley and James Loney's timely hitting.

In other NL action Thursday night, Philadelphia beat Colorado 12-4, Chicago topped Houston 6-2, and Cincinnati downed St. Louis 5-4.

The Phillies also trail San Diego by 1 1/2 games in the wild-card race, and the Rockies are 2 1/2 back. The second-place Padres trail NL West-leading Arizona by four games and Los Angeles is 5 1/2 behind. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks begin a three-game series Friday night.

Maddux (12-10) entered having allowed three runs or fewer in 11 straight starts, but that streak ended decisively as the Dodgers scored six runs on 10 hits in Maddux's 3 1-3 innings _ his shortest stint of the season.

The 41-year-old right-hander, a winner of 345 games to rank ninth on baseball's career list, did extend his streak of not walking a batter to nine starts and 57 2-3 innings. The loss snapped a personal five-game winning streak.

``They hit a few balls pretty good and a few balls that found some holes,'' Maddux said. ``When you combine it, it looks bad. But you kind of let it go and tip your hat. They were better tonight.''

The last player older than Wells to have his first career multihit game was Hall of Fame pitcher Satchel Paige, who was 45 when he did it in 1952, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

``I'll keep a little clipping. I'll clip it out,'' Wells said with a smile, referring to the box score.

The Dodgers scored once in the first, three times in the third and twice in the fourth to chase Maddux.

Josh Bard singled to start the San Diego sixth and pinch-hitter Morgan Ensberg followed with his 12th homer. Mike Cameron hit his 20th homer two outs later to complete the scoring.

Phillies 12, Rockies 4

Chase Utley hit a two-run homer and host Philadelphia's much-maligned bullpen allowed one run over the final eight innings.

Geoff Geary (2-2) pitched three scoreless innings after starter J.D. Durbin lasted just one-plus inning, then five other relievers allowed one run over the final five innings.

Rockies starter Jeff Francis (15-8) couldn't make it out of the fourth. Utley, the NL's leading hitter with a .338 average, ripped his 19th homer to give the Phillies a 6-3 lead.

Cubs 6, Astros 2

Steve Trachsel earned his first win with the Cubs in eight years, and visiting Chicago hit four home runs to regain the NL Central lead.

Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Daryle Ward and Cliff Floyd homered for Chicago, which moved a half-game ahead of idle Milwaukee in the division race.

Trachsel (1-2) gave up two solo homers and seven hits in five innings for his first win since the Cubs acquired him from Baltimore on Aug. 31.

Carlos Lee and Mark Loretta homered for the Astros. Woody Williams (8-15) gave up four homers for the first time this season and lost his fourth straight start.

Reds 5, Cardinals 4

Joey Votto hit a two-run double and David Ross had a two-run homer as host Cincinnati kept the Cardinals winless on their seven-game road trip.

The defending World Series champions had closed within a game of first place in the NL Central before hitting the road. They are five games behind first-place Chicago and 4 1/2 behind Milwaukee in the division.

Votto doubled in the fifth off Kip Wells (6-17) _ his third hit of the game _ and Ross followed with his first homer since July 23.

Aaron Harang (15-4) gave up three hits and three sacrifice flies _ two by Albert Pujols _ in seven innings. David Weathers gave up an RBI single in the ninth before becoming the ninth Cincinnati closer to record 30 saves.