Rewind: Astros vs Giants, Game #2

With the full moon shining through the San Francisco fog and the howling winds resurrected from the days of Candlestick Park, the Giants looked for lucky thirteen in the win column against the Houston Astros.

April 15, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Houston 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 10 4
San Francisco 1 5 0 0 1 0 0 1 x 8 9 0

WP K Ainsworth (3-0) 5.0IP 7H 4R 4ER 1BB 4K 2HR 3.79 ERA
LP J. Robertson (1-2) 4IP 5H 6R 3ER 4BB 4K 0HR 7.04 ERA
S F. Rodriguez (1) 1 2/3IP 0H 0R 0ER 1BB 1K 0HR 3.86 ERA

Although known primarily for their offensive productivity, the Astros only managed four runs against the San Francisco staff. The low scoring combined with mediocre pitching and sloppy defense made Houston look like a sub-.500 club. They committed four errors in the game and surrendered eight runs - four unearned - to the Giant offense.

The Giants scored first, putting up a run in the first frame. Marquis Grissom led off the game with a booming double to center, going to third on a single by the slumping Edgardo Alfonzo. After Rich Aurilia struck out with runners at the corners, Barry Bonds was intentionally walked to load the bases. With one down, Jose Cruz, Jr. beat out Jeff Kent's relay to first on a would-be double-play ball, and Grissom came in to score.

The lead didn't last long. On the first pitch of the top of the second, Orlando Merced clobbered a pitch from San Francisco starter Kurt Ainsworth (3-0) over the left field wall to tie the score at one.

The tie didn't last long either, as the Giants scored five runs, two earned, in their half of the second. Neifi Perez walked to lead it off and was doubled in by Marquis Grissom after Ainsworth struck out looking. Aurilia doubled with two down, leaving first base open for Barry Bonds, who drew his second intentional walk in as many trips to the plate. With runners on first and second, Cruz hit a ball to shallow right field that was fumbled and dropped by Orlando Merced. Aurilia scored, with Bonds moving to third and Cruz safe at second base. With Benito Santiago at the plate, Houston starter Jeriome Robertson wild-pitched Bonds home. Catcher Gregg Zaun then picked up the ball and threw it to no one, committing the second Astro error of the inning and allowing Cruz to score from second.

Neither team scored again until the fifth inning. In the top half of the fifth, Julio Lugo doubled, bringing up pinch-hitter Raul Chavez. In his first at-bat of the young season, Chavez sent a hanging 1-1 pitch into the bleachers in left and brought the Astros within three runs of the Giants. Three batters later, Lance Berkman doubled in Craig Biggio from first, closing the gap to two runs. In the bottom of the fifth, the Giants got one back on an RBI infield single from the surging J.T. Snow, bringing the score to 7-4.

San Francisco capped off the scoring with an unearned run against Billy Wagner in the eighth. As the wind blew out hard in right field, Brian Hunter simply missed catching a ball weakly off the bat of Edgardo Alfonzo as it fell right in front of him.

The Giants again got good work out of the bullpen. Joe Nathan came on in the sixth and pitched an inning and two thirds of shutout relief. Scott Eyre inherited two runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh and struck out Lance Berkman looking to end the threat. Felix Rodriguez entered the game in the eighth with men on first and second and didn't allow either runner to score. He pitched the last inning and two thirds to earn his first save of the 2003 season.

SFDugout.com's Player of the Game: It could go to the Astro defense, which was horrible and fueled the Giant offense. It could also go to the wind, which, in part, caused the abominable defense. However, instead it goes to Marquis Grissom, whose bat had been increasingly quiet during the first 13 games of the year. He came up with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI in the game, in addition to his usual solid defense in center field.


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