|June 28, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||R||H||E|
LP K. Foulke (4-1) 2/3IP 3H 1R 1ER 0BB 1SO 0HR 2.61 ERA
Two great arms are sent to the mound, but no one would have figured how much Barry Zito and Kirk Rueter would struggle in today's game.
Rueter looked shakened up in the top of the first as he gave up back-to-back singles to Eric Byrnes and Frank Menechino. An error by Marquis Grissom enabled Byrnes to move to third base on Menechino's hit. Miguel Tejada singled over the reach of Ray Durham to score Byrnes and Eurbiel Durazo followed with a walk. The bases were loaded as Eric Chavez singled to score Menechino. Adam Piatt drove a stake into the heart of Rueter by driving a ball into death valley to clear the bases and to give Oakland an early 5-0 lead.
The Giants could not get anything done against Zito, and there was no more scoring on either ends until the fourth as Rueter gathered himself and Zito continued his dominance.
But the A's weren't done, a 5-0 lead is not enough. Piatt continued his career game with a single through the hole between third and second. Terrance Long singled to shallow center, but on Zito's attempt at a bunt sacrifice, Rueter pounced on the ball and threw the lead runner out at third. Byrnes singled to right field where Jose Cruz, Jr. could not handle the ball on a bad hop. On the error, Long scored, padding the lead for Oakland, 6-0.
Things didn't look well for the Giants, being down six runs and not being able to find an answer for Zito. Barry Bonds took this opportunity to carry his team on his shoulders.
He drove an inspirational roundtripper that landed just fair into right field, his 635th career shot. The Giants' offense sparked to life, chipping away at Oakland's lead little by little as Pedro Feliz and Andres Galarraga followed Bond's jack with back-to-back singles. Cruz was at the plate and came through offensively for the second game in a row with a single to collect an RBI.
Felipe Alou has decided to sit Edgardo Alfonzo for a few games because of Alfonzo's extensive time of offensive slump, but Alfonzo was called upon to pinch hit for Rueter with the bases loaded. Of all the guys on the team, Alfonzo got the hit he very much needed, a base hit to score Galarraga and to cut the A's lead in half. Durham singled for the seventh consecutive hit for the Giants in the inning to score Cruz. Perez followed with a ground out and Yorvit Torrealba scored on the fielder's choice. Grissom blooped one into right field, scoring Alfonzo and tying the game at six.
With Rueter out of the game, Joe Nathan relieved in the fifth. After retiring the first two hitters he faced, he hit Ron Hernandez, but came back to strikeout Chavez. He gave up a lead off homerun in the sixth to Piatt to break the tie, which gave the A's a 7-6 lead. Nathan gathered himself up again and got out of a jam with runners on first and second and a full count on Tejada. Tejada fouled out to end the inning.
In the seventh, the Giants turned to their bullpen to give them a chance of winning the ballgame. Scott Eyre did just that by striking out the side in the seventh, and retired the next three batters in the eighth, striking out two more.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Giants were losing time of trying to come back in the game. Benito Santiago was called upon to pinch hit, and pinch hit he did, driving a single through the hole in left field. Durham bunted Santiago to second base and Perez followed that with a single up the middle to score Santiago, tying the game and we were starting all over again in San Francisco. The Giants were mounting another threat with runners on first and second and two outs, but Feliz grounded out to end the inning.
Tim Worrell was summoned in the ninth inning to pitch and with help from highlight-worthy defensive plays by Durham and Cruz, there were quickly two outs. Grissom lost a fly ball hit by Tejada in the sun, but Durazo flied out to Cruz to end the inning and possible threat.
In the bottom of that inning, the Giants had runners on first and second with no outs, but could not capitalize on this opportunity and sent the game into extra innings.
Felix Rodriguez relieved in the tenth inning and pitched out of a bases loaded jam to give the Giants a chance in the bottom of the inning. This time, the Giants finally cashed in.
Following back-to-back singles, Keith Foulke hit Bonds on the right wrist with a pitch to load the bases. This season's A's killer was at the plate. Feliz jumped on the first pitch he saw and singled it into right field, capping the Giants' win from behind.
Game Notes: The Giants won despite some offensive woes, leaving runners on first and second with less than two outs in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth.
SFDugout.com's Players of the Game: Pedro Feliz played the role of A's Killer again in this game, and Neifi Perez collected some hits of his own and made some spectacular defensive stops, giving the Giants insurance at shortstop while Rich Aurilia is out with injury. Barry Bonds provided inspiration by starting off the big fourth inning for the Giants, is there anything this guy CAN'T do? Also, tipped hats to Scott Eyre, who came out with brilliance from the bullpen. Great defense once again by the Giants (Jose Cruz, Ray Durham), despite our friend Mr. Sunshine being in the way for some parts of the game.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is the Giant Prophet for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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