SAN DIEGO (AP) - A good effort by San Diego's Aaron Harang wasn't enough against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Joe Saunders.
Saunders took a five-hitter into the ninth inning, Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs and the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 5-1 Sunday to cut the magic number to five for their first NL West title since 2007.
Harang (13-7) allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. He has lost four of his last five starts despite a 3.19 ERA in that span.
``He pitched a game that was good enough to win,' San Diego manager Bud Black said. ``But we just couldn't get to Joe Saunders. His assortment of fastballs in, fastballs down and away. We just couldn't get enough balls squared against him.'
Both runs off Harang came on solo homers - by Miguel Montero and Goldschmidt. The home runs were decisive, as they have been in many of Harang's losses.
The right-hander is 8-1 in the 14 starts where he has not allowed a home run. In his other 13 starts, Harang has given up 20 homers and has a 5-6 record.
Cameron Maybin had a leadoff single in the third, stole second, took third on Montero's throwing error from behind the plate and scored on Jason Bartlett's groundout.
Montero's 17th homer tied the score leading off the fourth. Goldschmidt put the Diamondbacks ahead 2-1 with a leadoff homer in the sixth.
``I wish I could have gone back out there for the seventh,' Harang said. ``But Buddy had his reasons. I felt good but two balls they did a good job of hitting.'
Goldschmidt combined with Aaron Hill for RBI singles in the seventh against Brad Brach and added a sacrifice fly against Erik Hamren in the eighth.
Arizona maintained a five-game lead over second-place San Francisco with nine games remaining, stopping a three-game losing streak. The Diamondbacks open a nine-game homestand Monday against Pittsburgh, then host the Giants for a three-game series next weekend.
Saunders (12-12) limited last-place San Diego an unearned run and seven hits in 8 2-3 innings, improving to 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA against the Padres this season. After two-out singles by Blanks and Alberto Gonzalez in the ninth, J.J. Putz struck out pinch-hitter Nick Hundley for his 41st save in 45 chances.
San Francisco kept the pressure on the Diamondbacks with its eighth straight win, 12-5 at Colorado.
``It's been a couple of days, so it's a good feeling,' Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. ``Every victory at this point of the season is great. The Giants have been playing great and are on a big winning streak. We needed to match that and take care of our own business.'
NOTES: Arizona was 11-7 against San Diego, which is 23-43 against the NL West. ... San Diego LHP Corey Luebke (5-9, 3.27) will start the opener of a three-game series, the club's final road games, at Colorado against RHP Kevin Millwood (3-2, 3.68).
The Associated Press News Service
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