San Diego Padres right fielder Aaron Cunningham dives and catches a fly ball by Los Angeles Dodgers' Matt Kemp during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Miguel Tejada hit his 300th career home run and the San Diego Padres defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Wednesday night to reclaim first place from San Francisco in the topsy-turvy NL West race.
The Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs 2-0, giving the Padres a half-game lead as they returned to the top of the standings for the first time since last Saturday. It was the third time the division lead changed hands since the Padres lost at St. Louis to fall out of first on Sept. 16.
Tim Stauffer (5-4) allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out five and walked two. The right-hander made his fourth start since being recalled from the bullpen.
Heath Bell pitched the ninth for his career-high 43rd save in 46 chances. After Bell walked Matt Kemp, the Dodgers had the potential tying run at the plate, but Jay Gibbons and Casey Blake struck out to end the game.
Ted Lilly (8-12) gave up three runs and eight hits, struck out eight and walked one to lose for the fourth time in his last five starts. The left-hander fell to 5-4 in 10 starts for the Dodgers, who acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline.
The Padres scored three runs in the third. They tied the game 1-1 on shortstop Rafael Furcal's throwing error that allowed Chase Headley to score. James Loney, who had trouble handling the short hop, made a bad throw to the plate that allowed David Eckstein to advance to second base. He scored on Tejada's eighth homer of the season, making it 3-1.
San Diego improved to 10-7 against the Dodgers heading into their final matchup on Thursday. The Padres have won nine of the last 11 against their rivals and six straight.
The Dodgers led 1-0 in the second on a fielder's choice groundout by A.J. Ellis that scored Kemp, who doubled to lead off.
That was the extent of their scoring one night after getting shut out 6-0 in the series opener and officially being eliminated from playoff contention.
Los Angeles dropped six games under .500 for the first time since April 29.
Notes: Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda, who serves as special adviser to owner Frank McCourt, turned 83. "Sweet" Lou Johnson, whose Game 7 home run helped the Dodgers win the 1965 World Series against Minnesota, turned 76. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre said Lilly, RHP Hiroki Kuroda and LHP Clayton Kershaw would be the starters at Colorado in the three-game series that begins Monday. ... RHP Cesar Carrillo was claimed off outright waivers by Houston after being designated for assignment by the Padres last Saturday. ... Bell is one save from tying Mark Davis' 44 saves in 1989 as the most by a Padres reliever other than franchise career leader Trevor Hoffman.