|June 4, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP J. Rincon (1-2) 2/3IP 1H 1R 1ER 3BB 1K 0HR 2.55 ERA
Right-handed pitcher Kurt Ainsworth was put on the DL Tuesday afternoon with a right shoulder strain. This brought up Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies pitcher Jerome Williams to take his spot. Williams made his MLB debut on April 26, unfortunately it wasn't his best start. In that game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the rookie went four innings, giving up five runs on five hits and four walks – losing the game and gaining an 11.25 ERA.
This time wasn't going to be the same.
The Minnesota Twins continued to do what they've been doing this entire series – hitting doubles and bringing in the runs. Jacque Jones led off the game hitting a double into right and scored off of another double hit by centerfielder, Torii Hunter. They'd hit a couple more doubles in the third, coming off the bats of Hunter and Cristian Guzman. They'd score three runs, and were the only three runs they'd have in the game.
Williams delivered an awesome game, throwing in 6.2 innings giving up five hits, 3 runs (all earned), 3 walks and 5 strikeouts, bringing his ERA down to 6.75. He silenced the Twin bats keeping them down to three. Now all that he needed was some run support.
The Giants finally got on the board in the fourth inning. Ray Durham started off the inning by drawing a walk. With one out, Barry Bonds approached the plate and launched a triple into deep left center right over the head of Hunter, scoring Durham. It was now 3-1.
With two outs in the top of the 7th, Williams seemed to have tweaked his left ankle. So naturally, manager Felipe Alou didn't want to take a chance and brought in southpaw, Scott Eyre, to finish the inning. The bullpen did a great job of keeping the Twins at three runs. However one reliever's appearance became one of the highlights of the game.
Left-hander, Jason Christiansen made his first outing tonight since April 17, 2002. Christiansen underwent reconstructive ligament surgery on his elbow and after much rehabilitation, was activated Tuesday. He made three pitches in the top of the 8th - one that was a strike and on the third pitch, Doug Mientkiewicz flied out to left. Christiansen returned to the dugout with a smile and was greeted with high fives from his teammates.
The Giants managed to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th. Jose Cruz Jr, who has received a well-deserved couple days off, singled into right and Marquis Grissom followed with a two-bagger, scoring Cruz. Durham got on base with a single to right, moving Grissom over to third. So with no outs and two on, Rich Aurilia stepped up to the plate. It was a rematch of last night's face-off, Aurilia vs. LaTroy Hawkins. This time, Aurilia won the battle with a ground rule double into center, scoring Grissom, thus making it a tied game. Unfortunately, the Giants couldn't take advantage of the opportunity they had with the bases loaded and would not score any more runs in the inning to take the lead.
Closer, Tim Worrell, came out in the 9th to hold the Twins at three, and that is what he did. He struck out two and got Matt LeCroy, who was pinch-hitting for second baseman Luis Rivas, to fly out to left. The Giants now had one more shot to win the game and prevent extra innings.
Juan Rincon came out to pitch for the Twins in the bottom of the ninth. Pedro Feliz came into pinch hit, but grounded out to short. Cruz drew a walk and reached second base off a wild pitch. This was a sign of Rincon not having control of his pitches. With two outs, Rincon intentionally walked Durham thinking they'd have a better chance at getting Aurilia out. They were wrong. Aurilia drew a walk, loading the bases up for Bonds. On the first pitch, Bonds hit single in the hole between the second and first basemen, driving in the winning run.
SFDugout.com's Players of the Game: Jerome Williams. He was strong throughout the game- getting into trouble, but successfully getting out of it. He was finally comfortable on the mound, looking like he belonged out on the major league field. And boy, he sure does belong out there. I hold up a huge "Welcome Back" sign in honor of Jason Christiansen. Sure it was three pitches, but it was just great to see him back on the mound throwing well. And of course, Barry Bonds, who drove in two of the runs, one of which was the winning run
Michelle Benedicto is the owner and publisher of SFDugout.com. Any questions or comments concerning the site maybe be directed to her at DoublePlayTandem@aol.com.