SAN DIEGO, SEPT. 10 -- Glenn Davis became the first Houston Astros player in 14 years to hit three home runs in a game when he connected in his first three plate appearances tonight against the San Diego Padres. The Padres won, 8-7.

Pinch hitter Rob Nelson, in his first at-bat for San Diego since being acquired from the Oakland Athletics, singled with one out in the ninth inning to drive in Garry Templeton with the winning run. Houston dropped into a second-place tie with the Cincinnati Reds in the National League West, five games behind San Francisco.

Davis homered in the second and fourth innings off starter Mark Grant and in the sixth against Mark Davis.

Davis hit his third homer with a runner on to cap a three-run sixth inning that put the Astros ahead, 6-4. He is the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Lee May on June 21, 1973. Jim Wynn also did it on June 15, 1967. Davis, who had five RBI, has 25 homers this season.

Davis hit a bases-empty homer in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth.

In his final at-bat, in the eighth, he grounded out to second. "At the last minute, the bottom just dropped out of that pitch," Davis said. "I don't know what it was, but it was sure a nasty pitch. The thought {of hitting four home runs in a game} does cross your mind, but I approached it the same way I approached it the other time. What's going to happen will happen. I just wanted to get a good pitch."

Trailing by 7-6, the Astros tied the game in the ninth. With one out, Gerald Young grounded to second baseman Randy Ready, who bobbled the ball. Bill Doran singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch by Lance McCullers. Jose Cruz was walked intentionally to load the bases and Rich Gossage relieved. Alan Ashby hit a sacrifice fly.