The Giants and the Orioles both went scoreless in the first. For the Giants, Michael Tucker, again leading off, flied out, designated hitter Dustan Mohr was called out on strikes, Marquis Grissom singled, and Barry Bonds, today in left field, grounded out. The Orioles went down in order.
The game remained scoreless in the second, as the Giants could not capitalize on a bases loaded situation with only one out. Hermanson pitched a relatively low-stress inning, as both B.J. Surhoff and Luis Matos singled with two outs, before Larry Bigbie grounded out to end the inning.
The third started the longball trend, when Barry Bonds hit one to left with two outs to give the Giants the lead. The Orioles answered, when Brian Roberts singled with one out, Melvin Mora doubled to put Roberts on third, and Miguel Tejada hit a sacrifice grounder that scored Roberts to tie the game and moved Mora to third. Rafael Palmeiro then took Hermanson deep to make the score 3-to-1 Orioles. Catcher Javy Lopez followed with a single, but Surhoff popped up to end the inning.
In the fourth, it was Rodrigo Lopez's turn to have a 1-2-3 inning, as he retired A.J. Pierzynski on a groundout, and Pedro Feliz and Damon Minor both struck out, the former swinging and the latter looking. The O's used the fourth to pad their lead a little more with a one-out Larry Bigbie homer. The following batter, Jerry Hairston, Jr., was hit by a pitch, but it amounted to nothing, as Hermanson struck out the next two batters swinging.
The fifth was a nice, non-stressful, 1-2-3 inning for both starters.
In the top of the sixth, Lopez retired his eighth batter in a row, Marquis Grissom. That all changed, as Bonds was again the one who broke up the pitcher's rhythm. Bonds singled and moved up to second on a wild pitch with Edgardo Alfonzo at the plate. On the next pitch, Alfonzo hit his third homer of the year, a two-run blast, and the deficit was cut to one. RHP Rick Bauer replaced Lopez, but was rather ineffective, as Pierzynski and Feliz both followed with walks, rarities for both, and Pierzynski scored on a single by Minor, which tied the game. Neifi Perez hit a ground ball to Mora for the next out but beat out the relay throw to first to avoid the double play, and Feliz scored to give the Giants the lead. Tucker grounded out to end the inning, but Hermanson had another easy inning as the Orioles went down in order, and the Giants led 5-to-4 through six.
In the top of the seventh, the Giants sat down quietly. Mohr was called out on strikes, Grissom grounded out, and Bauer's replacement LHP John Parrish struck out Bonds on a foul tip. The bottom of the seventh saw RHP Jim Brower come in for Hermanson, and Brower racked up a strikeout and two groundouts to retire the side.
Parrish made short work of the Giants in the top of the eighth, with a groundout, a strikeout, and another groundout. Cody Ransom came into the game as a defensive substitute for Feliz, and Jim Brower got an easy out on a flyout by Tejada to start the inning. The rest of the inning was not so easy, though, as LHP Scott Eyre came in to face the left-handed Palmeiro, but Palmeiro beat him with a solo homer to center. Eyre only pitched 1/3 of an inning before being replaced by RHP Felix Rodriguez, who got the final out of the inning.
The Orioles made a double-switch in the top of the ninth, but their batting order did not change: Robert Machado came in for Javy Lopez, and LHP B.J. Ryan replaced Parrish. With these changes, they got Minor to strike out swinging. Neifi Perez flied out to left. Todd Linden replaced Tucker and walked, but Mohr was called out on strikes to bring up the bottom of the inning.
With Linden staying in the game to play right field, Bigbie singled. With Hairston, Jr. at the plate, Bigbie stole second, and a sac bunt moved him to third, and Hairston, Jr. was safe at first. With runners on the corners, Rodriguez intentionally walked the batter Roberts to load the bases. The Giants brought in ground-ball RHP Matt Herges, the closer, to get the Giants out of the inning with no outs, and he did just that. Mora flied out to right, and the Giants were in need of a double play. Everything fell into place when Tejada grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to get the Giants out of trouble and to end the inning.
Both sides were quiet in the tenth inning, and the game went into a deciding eleventh. A.J. Pierzynski started out the inning by giving the Giants the lead with is fourth homer of the year. Ransom and Minor both followed with strikeouts, but the Giants were not deterred. With two outs, Perez singled to center, and on a Todd Linden single to left, Perez went to third. Mohr followed with a walk to load the bases, and Deivi Cruz came in to pinch hit for Grissom. Cruz singled to score Perez and Linden and to send Mohr to second. With a three-run lead, the Giants sealed the game when Barry Bonds singled to score Dustan Mohr and move Cruz up. LHP Buddy Groom then entered the game to face Edgardo Alfonzo, and the top of the inning ended on a popup.
The Orioles made their last stand in the bottom of the eleventh. Dustan Mohr switched into center field for the Giants, replacing Grissom, and the Orioles indeed threatened to make the game interesting. Luis Matos led off with a double to left, and Bigbie walked. Hairston, Jr. grounded into a fielder's choice, and Bigbie was out at second but Matos advanced to third. Matos scored a little later on a sac fly to left by Roberts. With Mora at the plate, Hairston, Jr. stole second, but it didn't matter, because Mora struck out looking to end the ballgame.
Matt Herges earned his second win of the season to improve his record to 2-2, while the loss went to Jorge Julio, now 1-2.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Barry Bonds would be the easy choice, but in this case, I'm going to take A.J. Pierzynski as my guy. He drew a walk in the top of the sixth that helped the Giants rally to get back into the game, and his solo homer in the top of the eleventh started the rally that brought about the Giants win that moved them to one game over .500 and brought momentum into the second game of the double-header.
Amy Lew has been writing close to anything and everything for SFDugout.com since its inception. . A Giants fan since age eight (1994), she writes ‘Who's Hot and Who's Not,' does her fair share of special features, and serves an unofficial editor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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