MILWAUKEE – Khalil Greene hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning and the San Diego Padres crept back above .500 with a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night.

Joe Randa hit his career-high 37th double with one out in the eighth. After Xavier Nady grounded out, Greene hit a foul ball that fell into the stands, three rows beyond the reach of Brewers first baseman Lyle Overbay. On the next pitch, and an 0-2 count, reliever Kane Davis (1-1) left a fastball over the middle of the plate, and Greene hit his 11th homer of the season.

It was the third straight win for the Padres (67-66), who are above .500 for the first time since Aug. 12. They remain in first place in the NL West – 51/2 games in front of Los Angeles – and have gained two games in the standings since last being above .500.

Rudy Saenz (6-1) earned the win with one inning of relief. Padres starter Adam Eaton hasn’t won in his last three starts after winning eight in a row. He gave up three runs and three hits in six innings.

The Brewers made it a one-run game when Wes Helms reached on an error by shortstop Greene and J.J. Hardy hit a two-run homer off Trevor Hoffman in the ninth. The closer still earned his 35th save in 37 opportunities.

Rick Helling was trying to get his first win since joining Milwaukee’s starting rotation last week. He allowed two earned runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.

In the fourth, Eaton walked Rickie Weeks and Overbay singled to put runners at the corners with one out. Carlos Lee’s sacrifice fly scored Weeks, and Geoff Jenkins followed with his 18th homer, a two-run shot that gave the Brewers a 3-2 lead.

After Helling retired the first six Padres, he ran into trouble in the third. San Diego stole three bases in the inning – two by Miguel Olivo and one by Dave Roberts, who leads the team with 21. Helling walked Mark Loretta to load the bases with two outs, and Brian Giles’ grounder deflected off Overbay’s glove at first base to make it 1-0.

The Padres got another run the next inning by stringing together three consecutive singles – the third by Olivo that scored Nady from second to give the Padres a 2-0 lead. But the threat ended abruptly because Olivo got caught in a rundown trying to stretch his single and Eaton then struck out to end the inning.

Ben Johnson hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Padres.

Notes: Brewers C Damian Miller missed the game with a stomach virus likely from food poisoning. Manager Ned Yost said Miller was “as white as a ghost.” Chad Moeller took his place and went 0-for-3. … The Brewers recalled P Wes Obermueller from Triple-A Nashville. Obermueller is replacing staff ace Ben Sheets in the rotation after Sheets tore a muscle in his back last week. … Greene, who has played in the last three games after being on the DL since Aug. 15 with a broken left big toe, said he’s still not 100 percent. “At this point, it feels OK. It doesn’t feel great, but it doesn’t feel terrible either,” he said.

AP-ES-09-01-05 2301EDT

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