Padres beat Maddux, Trade Winds

The San Diego Padres handily whipped the Chicago Cubs 7-1 on Saturday. Brian Giles went 2-for-4 with a triple and homer, Sammy Sosa got hit in the head with a baseball and Greg Maddux was on the mound for five of the seven runs, making it a solid day all around for Friar baseball.

The funniest moment of the game came with two outs in the second inning. Brian Giles roped a ball towards Sammy Sosa in left and Sosa dove towards the ball and missed it. The ball wound up hitting him in the head and bouncing all the way to the wall as Giles slid safely into third. In the fifth, Giles hit a two run homer to put the Padres up 5-0.

The rally started with Khalil Greene knocking in a run. Sean Burroughs singled in Greene after Jake Peavy did his part to sacrifice and Mark Loretta followed with an RBI double to put the Padres up 3-0. The Padres sent eight men to the plate to end the night for Greg Maddux.

Peavy was solid on the mound. When he got in trouble, he simply struck out the side.

"Those situations are good to go through, especially late in the spring," Peavy said. "Just being able to pull out all the stops and get it done is big. There were a lot of positives to come out of tonight. I've been a little bit behind schedule."

In six innings of work, Peavy allowed just four hits and struck out seven. Trevor Hoffman and Jason Szuminski added scoreless innings and Joey Hamilton allowed the only run against.

Notes: Jay Payton's hammy is said to be only at 70% and it has the club worried. It could force the team to go with an extra outfielder to start the season, which would cut into the pitching depth. The top candidate to replace Payton could be Henri Stanley, an outfielder taken from the Astros farm system.

"We don't know yet," GM Kevin Towers said of how many outfielders he will carry. "A lot depends on the health of Payton. If he's healthy and played in some games and we're comfortable with his health, then we'll make a decision. Do we want to carry the extra pitcher or the extra player? If we have concerns, maybe we'll carry the extra player, but we've still got (time) to make that decision.

"The problem is a lot of our relievers are throwing the ball well. We've got some tough decisions at the back end of our pen right now."

Trade Winds: The Cardinals, Padres, Tigers, and White Sox reportedly have shown interest in former Red Sox right-hander Aaron Sele, whose $8.5 million price tag is making prospective buyers hesitate. St. Louis reportedly has been the hot on the heels of the Sele and is the favorite to land him.

There is also interest from the Padres in Kris Benson should he be put on the block and the Friars recently sent scouts to watch him pitch.

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