The Giants, got off to a slow start against Webb, too, as Ray Durham grounded out. Michael Tucker walked, but it amounted to nothing, despite Tucker stealing third. J.T. Snow failed to advance the runner when he struck out swinging, and, naturally, interim manager Al Pedrique four-fingered Bonds. A wild pitch to Alfonzo, batting fifth in the order, advanced Tucker and Bonds to third and second, respectively, but Alfonzo struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the top of the second, Tomko was again working out of the stretch, due to a Chad Tracy single to right. This time, the Giants went 6-3 in turning the double-play ball hit by Scott Hairston to Cruz. Tim Olson then struck out looking for another low-stress inning.
The bottom of the second started out with a dud—or two. A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to second, and Marquis Grissom popped out to second. Cruz, however, grabbed a rare walk—just his ninth on the season—to bring Tomko to the plate. Tomko battled with Webb, and he managed a single which moved Cruz to second. Durham could not capitalize and grounded out to first.
The third was Tomko's first 1-2-3 inning of the night. Webb's inning was by no means as easy as Tomko's, but he remained unscored upon, as Tucker was called out on strikes, Snow doubled, Bonds added another intentional base-on-balls to his record, and Edgardo Alfonzo lined into a double-play.
The fourth inning saw the D'backs add another hit to their line score, but that was all they would add. It was Finley's turn to pop out in foul territory. Cintron followed with a single, and Gonzalez grounded into a fielder's choice, with the out at second, but Tracy flied out to center to end the presented threat. In Giants half of the inning, Pierzynski, Grissom, and Cruz were retired in order.
Tomko made short work of the Diamondbacks again the fifth inning. Hairston popped out to left, Olson hit a line-drive single to center, but Juan Brito flied out to right, and the pitcher Webb grounded out to Alfonzo at third. The Giants were successful in their half because Webb could not make short work of Tomko. Instead, doubled to left to lead-off. Durham advanced Tomko to third with a well-executed bunt down the first-base line, and it looked like all might be lost when Tucker struck out swinging. That would not be the Giants fate, though, because Snow capitalized with 2-run jack that whizzed over the head of Gonzalez and the wall in left field. Bonds saw some good pitches this time around and singled, but the Giants would get no more runs in this inning, which Alfonzo ended with a swinging K.
The sixth was quiet—Tomko's second 1-2-3 inning on the night. The Giants did not score either, despite having runners on the corners with two outs.
The seventh was another inning of 1-2-3 shutout baseball—Tomko's last for the night. The Giants offense helped him out by scoring another run. This one started with a single by Tucker. Snow grounded out, and Tucker moved to second. Bonds again got a free 90 feet and another salute from the chicken wall and a stadium full of orange "Walker"s. LHP Randy Choate replaced Webb to face Pierzynski, but Pierzynski beat him and Tucker scored from second on a sacrifice fly to center. The D'backs finally got out of the inning after a double-switch—RHP Brian Bruney for Choate and Roberto Alomar for Hairston at second; Bruney struck out Grissom swinging.
In the eighth inning, Tim Olson doubled, and he scored on a single by Brito to Tucker in right, squelching Tomko's latest attempt at a shutout. (He has yet to throw one such game.) Tomko pitched through his frustration, and induced two flyouts, an easy one to Alfonzo in foul ground and another to Tucker in right which included said fielder crashing into the wall. Alou took Tomko out of the game in favor of left-handed specialist Scott Eyre for the last out of the inning, Steve Finley, another fly to Alfonzo in foul territory. The Giants made no noise in the bottom of the eighth, shut down by Bruney.
The Giants prevailed, and Matt Herges earned his 22nd save. Along with Herges coming into the game, Cody Ransom replaced Cruz at short for defensive purposes. Cintron hit a big fly to Grissom for the first out of the inning, which set the pace. With that milestone out of the way, Herges faced the remainder of the heart of the order. Gonzalez grounded out to Snow at first, and in a close play by second base, Durham originally called for an infield fly by Chad Tracy, but it ended up being Ransom who caught it to end the game.
SFDugout Player of the Game: Brett Tomko is my pick for the player of the game. Not only did he pitch a great game coming out of an abysmal start in his last outing, but he worked it with the bat, too. In his first at-bat, he not only battled with Webb to raise the pitch count, but he also got a hit, albeit a single. In his next appearance, he doubled and scored on Snow's homerun. His smart play and confidence in all his pitches worked well against the baby ‘backs, and he was rewarded with his fourth win of the year, a standing ovation, the thrill of lowering his ERA and the surprise of raising his batting AVG. Not too shabby for just a day's work.
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 email@example.com.
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