|August 5, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP K. Wells (5-5) 7IP 6H 3R 3ER 3BB 2K 0HR 3.63 ERA
S T. Worrell (24) 1IP 1H 0R 0ER 2BB 0K 0HR 2.10 ERA
The Giants didn't get much offense on the night, managing only six hits against the Pirates, but it proved to be enough to win as the San Francisco pitching staff recorded its eighth shutout of the season.
The Giants, facing Pittsburgh right-hander Kip Wells, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a two-out single off the bat of JT Snow. Snow, who played in his first game in over a week, sported a .306 season average with runners in scoring position entering the at-bat and continued his success hitting in the clutch.
The Giants had an opportunity for more in the inning, loading the bases for Edgardo Alfonzo, who has been hot since the All-Star break. However, they settled for just the one run as Alfonzo lofted a 2-0 pitch to Pittsburgh center fielder Tike Redman to end the threat.
The Giants scored twice more in the bottom of the fourth inning. Benito Santiago led off with a single and, after advancing to second base on a passed ball, was moved over to third when Neifi Perez grounded out to second. Cody Ransom, just up from the minor leagues to replace injured shortstop Rich Aurilia, walked with one down and then reached second on a sacrifice bunt. With two down, slumping right fielder Jose Cruz, Jr. came up with the Giants' second two-out RBI hit of the game. Cruz, 2-13 in his career against Wells going into the at-bat, lined a hanging 1-0 breaking ball to right field to plate two runs and put the Giants up 3-0.
Meanwhile, ace right-hander Jason Schmidt, in pursuit of his twelfth win of the season, was stifling the Pittsburgh lineup. He shut out the Pirates for seven strong innings, giving up just four hits and striking out three while walking none.
Schmidt got into minor trouble in the top of the second, surrendering a leadoff double to former Giant Reggie Sanders, but the Pirates failed to get him home as Schmidt retired the next three hitters in order to get out of the inning unscathed. They did not get another runner past first base until the sixth, when Randall Simon doubled with one out, but Schmidt set down Jose Hernandez and the pesky Jack Wilson to strand Simon at second.
Schmidt was followed by fellow ex-Pirate Jason Christiansen, who threw almost 30 pitches to retire the side in the eighth. With one down, Christiansen gave up a long double to pinch-hitter Humberto Cota, but he struck out the next two batters to keep the shutout in tact.
The Pirates rallied in the ninth against closer Tim Worrell, sandwiching a single between two walks and loading the bases with one down. Wilson stepped in the batter's box representing the go-ahead run at the plate. After getting ahead 1-0 on a pitch outside from Worrell, he grounded the second pitch of the at-bat right at the second baseman Perez, who turned it into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and secure the Giants' 70th victory of the year.
SFDugout's Players of the Game: Jose Cruz and the pitching staff. Cruz has been in a slump as of late, as well as a season-long slump with men in scoring position, but he came through bigtime with a pivotal two-run single in the fourth. Schmidt pitched like his All-Star self, dominating the opposition once again. Christiansen continues to make huge contributions out of the bullpen since coming back from Tommy John surgery in early June, and Worrell made it scary in the ninth but picked up his 24th save of the season filling in for injured closer Robb Nen.
Stephanie Moy is a diehard Giants fan, born and raised in San Francisco. She loves hearing feedback - good, bad, or otherwise - so if you're so obliged, contact her at email@example.com
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