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SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Diego Padres returned to the place where last seasons collapse was completed. This time, they found a way to avoid another meltdown. Will Venable hit his second home run of the season and the Padres pounced on Tim Lincecum in a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday, getting a small dose of satisfaction against the defending World Series champions. The Giants eliminated the Padres from playoff contention on the final day of the 2010 season at AT&T Park. It was the culmination of a horrible finish that included a 10-game losing streak stretching into September. "It had that same feel, tight game where theyre never out of it," Venable said. "As good and consistent as our bullpen is, they always get it done against them. It always seems like they get a couple guys on base and make it interesting." San Diego built enough of a cushion to withstand the late push. Chase Headley, Orlando Hudson and Ryan Ludwick each had an RBI off Lincecum (6-7) to chase the Giants ace after five innings. Nick Hundley added an RBI single in the eighth and Venables solo shot came in the ninth. Clayton Richard (5-9) struck out two and gave up two hits and three walks in five innings. After two separate four-game losing streaks this season, the lefty has won three straight. Heath Bell allowed a run in the ninth and put the potential tying runs in scoring position with one out. Then he got Andres Torres to fly out and Aaron Rowand to ground out for his 25th save. "It just seems like we play these heart-stoppers all the time," Padres manager Bud Black said. The rally came too late for the Giants. About the lone bright spot before the ninth was Pablo Sandoval, who hit a two-run homer into McCovey Cove and finished a triple shy of the cycle. He also extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games and has an extra-base hit in nine straight. The Padres wasted little time against Lincecum on a day he was hardly at his dominating best. They put a runner on base in all five innings against the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner. And the aggressive, free-swinging approach worked from the opening pitch. Venable and Jason Bartlett singled to start the first. Venable scored on Headleys sacrifice fly to centre, and Hudson drove in Bartlett with a single later in the inning to give San Diego a 2-0 lead. After Bartlett doubled to open the fifth, Ludwick hit an RBI single to put San Diego ahead 3-0. That was enough to get Giants manager Bruce Bochy to dig into his bullpen early. Lincecum allowed three runs on seven hits and has only one win in his last seven starts. He struck out four and walked two in his shortest outing since going four innings on June 11, and hes never had a losing record this late in the season. "I didnt feel like I had a good rhythm or energy," Lincecum said. "But thats the excuse I seem to give every time. I fell behind hitters and every pitch seemed difficult instead of cruising. I didnt have it from the start. You have to grind through it. I didnt grind hard enough. I wasnt hitting my spots. "It was a pretty bad outing all the way around." Richard was in complete control against the offensively challenged Giants. He induced double plays in the second and fifth, and the only time San Francisco reached second base against Richard came on Sandovals two-out double in the first. Richard left after throwing just 76 pitches through five innings because of shoulder stiffness, which isnt expected to affect his next start. He struck out two and gave up two hits and three walks, and perhaps the Padres shouldve stuck with him longer. Sandoval smacked a 2-1 pitch from Ernesto Frieri over the right-field wall for the first splash shot of the season, trimming San Diegos lead to 3-2 and sending kayakers scurrying into the chilly waters for the ball. The home run was the 56th by a Giants player into McCovey Cove, with 35 belonging to home run king Barry Bonds. NOTES: Headley was ejected in the ninth after he struck out swinging, leaving his bat at home plate and muttering a few words to umpire Tim Timmons. ... Giants OF Cody Ross was replaced by a pinch-runner in the sixth inning because of a mild left hamstring strain. He is day to day. ... Padres reliever Joe Thatcher threw about 25 pitches off the mound for the first time since left shoulder surgery two months ago. ... Padres RHP Aaron Harang (bruised right foot) was scheduled to begin his rehab stint Monday night at Class-A Lake Elsinore. [url=http://www.wholesalenfljerseysplay.com/]cheap nfl jerseys[/url] . Joe Johnson had 18 points, Brook Lopez scored 17 and .Shaun Livingston had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Nets. The Nets rested Paul Pierce, Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko in their third preseason game. 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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Champions Tour players put on long-sleeved pullovers and tried to figure out which way the wind was swirling from hole to hole. They left Shoal Creek with little separation at the top. Jay Haas, Mark Calcavecchia, Olin Browne and Chien Soon Lu shared the first-round lead at 3-under 69 on Thursday in the Regions Tradition, the first of the 50-and-over tours five majors. Nine others were within two strokes of the lead. With windy, unseasonably cool conditions, it was the highest score for first-round leaders at the Tradition since three players tied at 3-under in 1990 at Desert Mountain Club in Arizona. The course absorbed more than an inch of rain heading into Thursday and the players were allowed to lift, clean and place their golf balls. The Tradition hasnt been so tightly bunched in the top spot after the first round since a seven-way tie in 2008 and the average score was about two strokes higher than last years first round. "The winds were very tricky," the 60-year-old Haas said. "I kind of had a handle on it, I thought, on the front nine. And then by the time we got to about 13, 14, 15, I had no idea which way the wind was blowing. "With all the trees and the valley and everything, you get a lot of swirling winds and you just have to be extra careful and think it out and then hit the shot that youre planning to hit, which I did most of the time." Calcavecchia birdied three of the final nine holes and came within a whisker of a fourth and the solo lead on No. 18. "When it was about 10 feet short, I didnt think it could miss," he said. "It was just dead centre the whole way and the last couple of feet, it was still in the middle of the hole and it just dribbled just a shade to the right and singed the right lip. "That would have been nice to walk that one in to end the day. Those are the ones that make the rest of the day go by a little bit better, dinner taste a little better." Haas capped a run of three straight birdies with a 50-foot putt on the 12th hole to move to 5 under.dddddddddddd. He finished with six birdies and had bogeys on three holes, including two of the next four after the long putt. The sun actually shone much of the day but the wind and wet course did make for some challenges. "There was no roll in the fairways," Calcavecchia said. "We had to play lift and place. The ball was just caked with mud every time you picked it up in the fairway. The wind was very tricky." Lu did manage to birdie the final hole and two of the last three to grab a share of the lead The native of Taiwan has two second-places in the Tradition, 2010 in Oregon and 2012 at Shoal Creek. Calcavecchias history at the scenic course has been up and down, though he says its his favourite stop on the Champions Tour. He lost a six-shot lead in 2011, including a pair of weekend double bogeys on No. 12. This time he avoided a bogey on his most troublesome hole but tweaked a rib on a shot from the fairway bunker. "The 12th hole is not my favourite out here, Ill tell you that right now," Calcavecchia said. Brownes only win on the 50-and-over circuit came in the 2011 U.S. Senior Open Championship. He missed five months of last season with a stress fracture in his back, playing only 14 events. Browne, who tied for second at the ACE Group Classic in February, had a bogey-free round with his final birdie on No. 17. "It was blustery and it was difficult to gauge, but my caddie and I did a decent job," Browne said. Steve Elkington, Willie Wood and Corey Pavin were one stroke off the lead at 70 and six players were two shots back. DIVOTS: Defending champion David Frost had a 72. ... Tom Lehman, the 2011 and 2012 winner, opened with a 73. ... Fred Couples shot 74. ... Bart Bryant withdrew after a death in the family while Craig Stadler and D.A. Weibring dropped out because of back problems. Stadler played nine holes before withdrawing. Rick Fehr replaced Bryant, and Doug Garwood filled Weibrings spot. ' ' '