Rewind: Giants vs Dbacks, Game #2

On a warm evening in Phoenix, Arizona, the Giants look to end their slumping streak. Losing eight of their last ten games, the Giants came into tonight's game with nothing to lose and everything to gain.

May 20, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 1 0 1 0 3 0 1 0 0 6 10 1
Arizona 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 5 11 2

WP K. Rueter (5-1) 7 1/3IP 8H 3R 3ER 1BB 1K 0HR 3.08 ERA
LP E. Dessens (3-4) 4 1/3IP 8H 5R 4ER 2BB 1K 1HR 4.74 ERA

The Giants veteran left hander, Kirk Rueter, has a 1.38 ERA in his last six starts against the Diamondbacks. He was sent to the mound to face righty, Elmer Dessens, in hopes of stopping the three game losing streak from the Giants.

Barry Bonds started the game with style by driving his 625th career smack into the stands with two outs, giving the Giants an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, the Diamondbacks were threatening to respond, leading off the inning with back to back singles, but on Junior Spivey's single into right field, Jose Cruz, Jr. collected his tenth assist by throwing Spivey out at second base. Spivey tested Cruz by trying to stretch his single to a double. With Alex Cintron on third base, Luis Gonzalez hit a line drive over the head of Rueter, but Rich Aurilia was right there to make a shoe top catch and threw Cintron out at third for the inning ending double play. Cintron was heading for home in thoughts of Aurilia trapping the ball.

In the top of the third, Rueter showed his offensive ability by hitting a single off his counterpart. Marquis Grissom followed with a single of his own, and Aurilia hit a hard grounder to former Giant, Matt Williams, at third base. Williams' throw to second in an attempt to start a double play drew second baseman, Spivey, off the bag and by the time Spivey got himself together to throw to first, Aurilia settled in safely, loading the bases for the Giants with Bonds coming up. Dessens walked Bonds to force Rueter in giving the Giants a 2-0 lead with only one out and Benito Santiago at the plate. The Giants could not capitalize on this opportunity and had to settled for just one run when Santiago was not able to deliver by grounding into an inning ending double play.

The Giants had another opportunity to rally in the top of the fifth inning. Grissom continued his hot night with another single and Aurilia drilled another ground ball to Williams, only this time, he sent Williams the fat end of his bat as a bonus, which almost smacked into Williams' head. The flying bat may have distracted Williams because the grounder popped out of Williams' glove, and was fielded by shortstop Cintron, but the throw to first was too late. Dessens walked Bonds for a second time tonight after giving up the first inning homerun. The bases were loaded again for the Giants, and this time, Santiago delivered. Santiago hit a double into left field, scoring Grissom and Aurilia, giving the Giants a 4-0 lead. With Bonds on third and Santiago on second, Edgardo Alfonzo hit a deep sacrifice fly to enable Bonds to tag third and to score, extending the Giants lead to five. This ended the night for Dessens, and he was relieved by a young pitcher who was just sent up from the minors, Eddie Oropesa. J.T. Snow flied out to end the inning.

Andrew Good entered the game only to give up a roundtripper to the first batter he faced. Aurilia waved good-bye to his 5th jack of the year, giving Rueter and the Giants a comfortable 6-0 lead.

Things were looking easy for the Giants as they came up with spectacular defensive plays and clutch hits. With Rueter continuing his dominance over Arizona, the Giants finally looked like they found the white light at the end of the tunnel. The Diamondbacks, though, were not about to go down without a fight.

In the bottom of the eighth, Rueter loaded the bases for the Diamondbacks by giving up a double to Mark Grace, a single to Chad Moeller, and issuing his first walk of the night to Carlos Baerga. Joe Nathan came out of the bullpen as the new set-up man in relief. Cintron hit a blooper to center field, which bounced by Grissom, allowing Moeller and Grace to score, making the score 6-2. With men on second and third, one out, and the double play ball eliminated, Nathan gave up a 3-run homerun to Spivey, shrinking the Giants lead to one. Lefty Chad Zerbe relieved Nathan to face left hander Gonzalez. With Gonzalez retired on a ground ball, Jim Brower came into the game to relieve Zerbe with right hander Williams coming up. Williams managed a broken bat single and Felipe Alou made another pitching change as left hander Steve Finley got ready in the batter's box. Lefty Scott Eyre was summoned as the fourth pitching change of the inning for the Giants and retired Finley to finally end the inning, leaving the Giants a narrow lead at one going into the ninth inning.

The Giants had an opportunity to cushion their lead in the top of the ninth when Aurilia was walked and Santiago reached on an error by Williams. With Aurilia on third and Santiago on first, Alfonzo hit a line drive straight to Williams who made the catch to end the inning, stranding the runners.

After a long game last night, Tim Worrell was called to close out the game for the Giants. By throwing only seven pitches, as opposed to the thirty-five last night, Worrell retired the first three batters he faced and gathered his thirteenth save for the season.

SFDugout.com Player(s) of the Game: Rich Aurilia not only played excellent defense to stop the DBacks from scoring opportunities, but he also drove a roundtripper that proved to be the winning run. Awesome defense was played by Jose Cruz, Jr. as well, who picked up his tenth assist by contributing in ending a threatening inning from the DBacks. Kirk Rueter became a stopper again for the Giants by getting them back into the win column. Where would the Giants be without Woody? Props to Tim Worrell for coming into the game exhausted after yesterday's weary outing and not only saving the game for the Giants, but also saving face for the bullpen. Timmy showed no signs of being tired as he easily ended the game and gave the Giants a chance to win the series in Phoenix.

Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps and other articles for SFDugout.com. Sara can be reached at shoot_hoops33@hotmail.com


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