SAN DIEGO (AP) - Claudio Vargas combined with three relievers on a five-hitter and helped himself with a two-run double to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday.
The Diamondbacks popped back above .500 and regained sole possession of second place in the moribund NL West. The Diamondbacks and Padres entered the day tied for second in the division and a game behind Cincinnati in the NL wild-card race.
The defending division champion Padres lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
The inconsistent Padres, who beat the Diamondbacks 8-2 on Friday night, managed only three hits and one run off Vargas (10-8) in seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two in his third straight strong start.
Brandon Lyon allowed one hit in the eighth and Jorge Julio walked the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth before making way for rookie Tony Pena. Pena gave up an RBI single to Geoff Blum and walked pinch-hitter Mike Piazza before striking out Mark Bellhorn for his first career save.
Vargas came in with only three hits this year, but two were doubles. He hit another one with two outs in the fifth to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead.
Padres rookie Mike Thompson (3-4), making an emergency start for Clay Hensley, had faced just one batter over the minimum until center fielder Mike Cameron misplayed Orlando Hudson's fly ball into a double with one out in the fifth. After Stephen Drew struck out, catcher Chris Snyder was intentionally walked to get to Vargas. The pitcher promptly doubled into the gap in left-center.
The Diamondbacks scored two more runs in the sixth, although it could have been more.