Thursday, April 24, 2003

NL: Giants have all the luck

The Associated Press

The way they won it - a misplayed throw on a seemingly routine play - wasn't special. The San Francisco Giants' comeback was.

Dominated by Pirates starter Jeff D'Amico for seven shutout innings, the Giants tied it on Jose Cruz Jr.'s three-run homer that was misplayed by an outfielder who had just entered the game.

They went on to win 4-3 in the 13th Wednesday night when a two-out throw on a force play deflected off second baseman Pokey Reese's glove for a run-scoring error.

It was that kind of night for the Giants. Cruz's homer was misjudged by a leaping Rob Mackowiak in left field, and it bounced off the top of the wall and into the seats.

"Some balls went our way tonight," said Tim Worrell, who pitched two of the San Francisco bullpen's seven scoreless innings. "That ball off a glove, that ball that just missed him (Mackowiak) and hit the top of the wall. You need breaks like that once a while."

The Giants haven't needed much help while starting 16-4, their best record since 1945. They did this time to prevent their first three-game losing streak of the season.

"We gave ourselves a chance to tie the game up, and that's all you can ask for," Cruz said.

Well, that another break in the 13th.

J.T. Snow was hit by a pitch from Julian Tavarez (0-1) with one out, and Benito Santiago reached on an infield single. After Marvin Benard flied out, Pedro Feliz grounded to third, but Aramis Ramirez's throw glanced off Reese's glove.

"I thought the throw was a little high and hard," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.

Reese wouldn't make any excuses, saying, "It hit my glove, and if it hits my glove, I should catch it."

Jim Brower (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the victory.

Barry Bonds sat out a second straight game with a stiff neck.

Braves 4, Cardinals 2

ATLANTA - Greg Maddux allowed three hits in seven shutout innings, and Atlanta got its eighth win in nine games.

Maddux (2-3) had lost his first three starts of the season for the first time in his career.

Marcus Giles and Gary Sheffield hit back-to-back homers off Matt Morris (2-3) in the first inning, and also drove in runs in the eighth against Jeff Fassero that extended the lead to 4-0.

Jim Edmonds hit a two-run homer off Darren Holmes in the ninth before John Smoltz got three outs for his NL-leading eighth save - his 24th in a row dating to last season.

Diamondbacks 6, Expos 2

MONTREAL - Luis Gonzalez hit his sixth homer of the season and drove in two runs.

After drawing 36,879 for their Olympic Stadium opener- the Expos' biggest home crowd in two years - just 6,380 fans turned out for the second game of a six-game homestand.

Elmer Dessens (2-2) allowed two runs - one earned - and five hits in six innings, and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Livan Hernandez (1-1) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.

Mets 4, Astros 2

NEW YORK - Al Leiter (3-0) beat Houston for the first time since Sept. 15, 1998, allowing two runs and seven hits in six innings.

Before the game, New York announced center fielder Roger Cedeno was being benched and replaced by a platoon of Timo Perez and Tsuyoshi Shinjo.

New York also brought up Raul Gonzalez from the minor leagues, and he homered off Roy Oswalt (2-2) in his first at-bat.

Armando Benitez, who has struggled for much of the season, got his sixth save in 10 chances. He allowed Orlando Merced's one-out double, then retired Craig Biggio on a groundout and struck out Jose Vizcaino.

Padres 2, Cubs 0

CHICAGO - Adam Eaton (1-1) struck out a career-high 12, allowing five hits in seven innings, and San Diego stopped a six-game losing streak. Matt Herges pitched two hitless innings for a save in his first opportunity of the year.

Kerry Wood (3-1) scattered five hits in seven innings and struck out 11, but hit three batters and walked three. Ramon Vazquez hit an RBI double and Sean Burroughs hit a run-scoring single.

It was the first shutout of the year against the Cubs, who had won eight of their previous 10 games.

Phillies 6, Rockies 4

PHILADELPHIA - Brett Myers (1-2) struck out nine in six innings., allowing one run and three hits, all singles.

Ricky Ledee capped a five-run first with a two-run double off NL Rookie of the Year Jason Jennings (1-3), who allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings. He lost consecutive starts for the first time in his major league career, which spans 44 starts.

Jose Mesa pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save. The Rockies are 8-1 at home and 4-8 on the road.

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