The game started out somewhat badly for Giants starter Noah Lowry, who walked two consecutive batters in the first with one out. However, he was able to get out of the inning without giving up a single run.
His teammates made sure he wouldnt have to worry about the score too much in the second. Moises Alou and Ray Durham hit consecutive singles to start off the inning and Lance Niekro hit a three-run bomb to left to put the Giants up 3-0. They wouldnt need any more runs after those, but they kept going at it. Todd Linden doubled and Torrealba walked, bringing up Noah Lowry up in a perfect sac bunt situation. Lowry did sacrifice, but a throwing error by Shawn Estes gave the Giants a bases-loaded, no-out situation instead of second and third with one out. Jason Ellison and Omar Vizquel both got out but drove runs in during the process. Ellison grounded out to score Linden, and Vizquel hit a sac fly to drive in Torrealba. The Giants had a 5-0 lead after the damage was done.
A one-out walk to Durham followed by a double by Niekro gave the Giants runners at second and third. Linden walked and that was it for ex-Giants pitcher Estes. Yorvit Torrealba grounded out to second, scoring Durham and moving Niekro and Linden up on the basepaths. Lowry took full advantage of the situation, driving in both runners with a two-run double, adding more padding to his already strong lead.
The Giants added a last blow in the fifth, with a Durham solo shot, making the score 9-0. But in the bottom of the inning, Sean Green had a pinch hit homer to finally put the Diamondbacks on the board.
Neither team scored until the eighth, when Luis Gonzalez powered a solo shot to right to give the Diamondbacks their second and final run of the evening.
Noah Lowry pitched six strong innings, giving up only one run, and Tomko allowed Alou to rest his bullpen by pitching the final three innings of the game.]
SF Dugout.com Player of the Game: No doubt the honor goes to Lance Niekro! He went 2-4 with a double and a three-run homer. He played a role in four of the Giants nine runs. A honorable mention must go to Ray Durham, who scored three times with a 2-3 night. He and Niekro were clearly the center of an excellent offensive night for the Giants. Their efforts made up for a combined 0-13 by Ellison, Vizquel, and Feliz.
Game Notes: The Giants are nine game behind first-place San Diego who lost tonight and only 3.5 games behind their hated rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moises Alou hit .390 in the month of June.
Lance Niekro hit his first home run since June 19. He broke out of a slump where he had gone 3-20 (.150) from June 21 to June 29.
Jesse Radin writes for SFDugout.com and has been a Giants follower since 1996. The Blind Observer is Jesse's column covering all things baseball, though mainly about the Giants. Questions or comments can be sent to email@example.com
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