Quilvio Veras drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning Tuesday night as the San Diego Padres rallied after blowing a five-run lead to defeat the New York Mets, 9-8, at San Diego.
Trevor Hoffman pitched the ninth for his 45th save, breaking the club record set by Mark Davis in 1989 en route to winning the NL Cy Young award. San Diego reduced its magic number to nine for winning its second NL West title in three seasons.
The Mets, meanwhile, fell one game behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL wild-card race.
San Diego's Greg Vaughn hit his 46th and 47th homers, going three for five with three runs batted in. Tony Gwynn went three for three with two RBIs in his return from the disabled list.
Atlanta 6, Houston 4--Javy Lopez kept up a torrid pace at Atlanta by homering in his fourth consecutive game.
Lopez's three-run homer highlighted a four-run fourth inning. After Houston rallied to tie the score at 4-4, Ozzie Guillen drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the sixth.
Lopez has punctuated the best season of his career with a McGwire-like power surge, homering 10 times in 26 games. During that stretch, he homered in three consecutive games twice before putting together the current four-game streak.
Lopez, whose previous career high was 23 homers, has 32 this season--the most by a Brave catcher since 1966, when Joe Torre hit 36. But only 31 of Torre's homers came while he was behind the plate. Earl Williams had 33 homers in 1971, but only 19 while catching.
Arizona 4, Pittsburgh 3--Omar Daal struck out a franchise-record 12 batters in eight innings and the Diamondbacks scored all of their runs in the first two innings at Pittsburgh.
The Diamondbacks won their fourth in a row to match the longest winning streak in their brief history.
Daal (7-9), coming off a frustrating August that saw him go 1-4 despite giving up only nine earned runs in five starts, allowed six hits before Greg Olson finished up for his 24th save.
Mike Lansing drove in two runs for the Rockies, who put the game away with a four-run eighth inning, following a one-hour, 12-minute rain delay. They added three more in the ninth.