SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Heath Bell made the ninth inning a little more interesting than the San Diego Padres would prefer for the second straight game, and even he had to take a moment on the mound to chuckle at the coincidence.
``Apparently I wanted to face the same guys,' Bell said.
As long the result is the same, the Padres have no problem with all the drama.
Bell rallied to get the final two outs to keep pace for the major league lead with 26 saves, and the Padres held on to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 again Tuesday night.
Cameron Maybin had three hits and three RBIs, and Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs to power the Padres past the NL West-leading Giants by the same score two days in a row.
``Every game is different, but this is nothing new to Padres-Giants games,' said San Diego manager Bud Black, whose team was eliminated from playoff contention at AT&T Park on the final day last season.
Maybin's triple highlighted a three-run sixth inning off Matt Cain (7-5), who lost for the first time in more than a month. San Diego has won seven of nine.
Tim Stauffer (5-5) allowed three runs in six innings for his third straight victory. He allowed three hits and walked one.
The Padres again used a formula that the defending World Series champions have replicated so many times: strong starting pitching, timely hitting and a bullpen with a flair for the dramatic that doesn't budge.
Miguel Tejada and pinch-hitter Pat Burrell started the ninth with singles. Chris Stewart's sacrifice bunt moved them to third and second.
Then San Diego's All-Star closer struck out Andres Torres and got Brandon Crawford to fly out to right field. The Padres improved to 33-0 this season when leading after eight innings.
``I actually thought I was better today,' Bell said, smiling. ``I'll take it.'
San Diego again quieted a fast San Francisco start with its own dose of powerful pitching.
Torres scored from first on a hard-hit single by Crawford that second baseman Orlando Hudson couldn't corral in the first inning, backpedaling into right field and losing the ball trying to toss it back to the infield. Aaron Rowand's two-out single later in the inning gave San Francisco a 2-0 lead.
The Padres answered back in the second when Ryan Ludwick singled and Hudson followed with a double. Ludwick scored on a groundout by Rizzo and Hudson scored on a fielding error by Crawford at short, tying the score 2-all.
Cain helped his own cause with a single up the middle in the fourth that drove in Tejada to put San Francisco ahead 3-2. Tejada was hit by a pitch and would've easily been caught stealing if not for shortstop Jason Bartlett mishandling the throw, allowing Tejada to move to third and Cain a chance for his third RBI of the season.
Cain, who hadn't lost since May 29 at Milwaukee, seemed to be in complete control. After a two-out walk to Hudson in the sixth, he started to unravel.
Maybin smacked a ball into the left-center gap for a two-run triple, and Rizzo followed with an RBI single to give San Diego a 5-3 lead. Backed by a strong bullpen, that was more than enough for the Padres.
``It kind of came down to that one pitch and I didn't make that pitch,' Cain said. ``It cost us the game.'
About the only hiccup before the ninth came when Torres drew a 16-pitch walk off Chad Qualls in the seventh. He stole second uncontested, move to third on a groundout and was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch.
Qualls pumped his fist and slammed the ball to the ground afterward.
``That cannot happen,' Torres said. ``I was going to go but then I stopped. But if I had gone right away, I could have made it. I thought I had a shot.'
NOTES: Tejada was at second base for the first time in his 15-year major league career, moving over from short to start in place of the injured Emmanuel Burriss (sore right knee). Burriss grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. ... Three fans sitting near the Padres dugout were hit by a wayward bat from Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval in the first inning. One woman was struck in the head and taken to a hospital as a precaution, a Giants spokesman said. Two men received treatment in the eyebrow and shin and stayed at the game. ... Another fan interrupted the game for about 2 minutes in the eighth inning, running onto the field and taking his shirt off. The man gave himself up without incident. ... Sandoval extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 straight games with a single in the third.
Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: http://www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP
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