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Victorino leads Phillies past Padres

The Philadelphia Phillies have gone from inexplicably losing four straight home games to the Houston Astros to taking two close road victories against the San Diego Padres, who have the NL's best record.

Shane Victorino had two of the Phillies' three hits at Petco Park, including a go-ahead triple off Jon Garland in the seventh inning, and the Phillies beat the Padres, 3-1, Saturday.

"It's baseball," Victorino said. "We're not going to look at it any differently. It's about winning. It's that time to start grinding away. We definitely came off a frustrating four games at home to come to a place like this and play the No. 1 team in the league. It says a lot about us. We've got to find ourselves and keep plugging along."

The Phillies, 13-2 against NL West teams, protected their wild-card lead, which was a half-game over San Francisco before the game. San Diego, which has lost three straight for only the second time this season, led the Giants by six.

Brad Lidge pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances. On Friday night, Lidge balked in the tying run with two outs in the ninth to blow the save, but the Phillies won 3-2 in 12 innings.

Joe Blanton (6-6) held the Padres to one run and six hits in six innings, with three strikeouts and one walk. He got only his fourth decision (3-1) in his last 12 starts. Blanton and three relievers retired the final 11 Padres batters.

Besides his triple, Victorino hit an RBI single in the fifth. Jayson Werth scored on both of Victorino's hits. Victorino, the centerfielder, also threw out Nick Hundley at the plate to end the Padres' fifth.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said he briefly thought about sitting the switch-hitting Victorino, who was hitting only .220 from the left side. But he noticed he was 4 for 11 lifetime against Garland (13-9).

"I'm not saying this is the answer to me going out and finding my lefthanded swing, but I want to try to perfect it as much as I can," Victorino said. "I've got to give credit to Charlie for keep running me out there." - AP

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