Gaylord Perry, recently turned 40 years old, became a 20-game winner for the fifth time in his career Thursday night when he combined with Rollie Fingers to pitch the San Diego Padres to a 5-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

It was the 266th career victory for the Padre right-hander and it made him the odds-on favorite to win the National LeagueCy Young Award.

"This goes to show you that baseball can still be exciting," said Perry. "Everyone was excited for me tonight. It's a great feeling to see this much excitement in San Diego. Winning 20 is more exciting this time because I'm 40. It shows I can still do the job. It also shows those of us over 40 can still do it.

Perry, who has posted a 1.22 earned-run average over his last six games, lowered his season ERA to 2.80 by blanking the Giants for seven innings. Rollie Fingers pitched the final two innings but lost the shutout in the ninth. The victory gave Perry a triumph over every team in the NL this season and, over the last two years (he pitched for Texas last season), he has beaten every team in the major leagues.

"We hoped we could get 15 wins out of him said Padre Maager Roger Craig, "but as he kept going on in the middle of the year I thought 20 would be a possibility."

Gene Richards gave Perry all the suppor he needed with four hits. Richards, who boosted his batting average to .301, figured in two Padre runs, including one in the seventh inning when San Diego scored four times. Jerry Turners two-run single highlighted the inning [WORDS ILLEGIBLE]

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"This goes to show you that baseball can still be exciting," said Perry. "Everyone was excited for me tonight. It's a great feeling to see this much excitement in San Diego. Winning 20 is more exciting this time because I'm 40. It shows I can still do the job. It also shows those of us over 40 can still do it."

Perry, who has posted a 1.22 earned-run average over his last six games, lowered his season ERA to 2.80 by blanking the Giants for seven innings. Rollie Fingers pitched the final two innings but lost the shutout in the ninth. The victory gave Perry a triumph over every team in the NL this season and, over the last two years (he pitched for Texas last season), he has beaten every team in the major leagues.

"We hoped we could get 15 wins out of him," said Padre Manager Roger Craig, "but as he kept going on in the middle of the year I thought 20 would be a possibility."

Gene Richards gave Perry all the support he needed with four hits. Richards, who boosted his batting average to 301, figured in two Padre runs, including one in the seventh inning when San Diego scored four times. Jerry Turner's two-run single highlighted the inning.