Peavy and the San Diego Padres took full advantage of a seven-run fourth inning in taking the opener of a three game set at AT&T Park by a 10-4 margin.
Things initially started out well for the Giants. Starting pitcher Jamey Wright (2-2) started the ballgame by cruising through the first three innings, allowing only two two-out singles without consequence. But in the top of the fourth, Wright's movement on his pitches betrayed him, as he hit Brian Giles to lead off the inning, then issued a walk to second baseman Mark Bellhorn. But after getting young first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to strike out for the first out, Wright walked shortstop Khalil Green to load the bases. A double play would have gotten the Giants out of the inning unscathed, but so would have a rainout. Neither occurred, and the onslaught commenced.
Vinny Castilla, a longtime Giants nemesis, brought in the first Padres run with a single to right. Catcher Rob Bowen followed suit with a single to tie the game 2-2. Then Peavy hit a weak grounder to third that Pedro Feliz bobbled for an error and another run. With the bases still loaded, leadoff man Dave Roberts doubled to left center to plate two more runs. Mike Cameron followed with the second out of the inning, but his sacrifice fly tacked on another run. And just for good measure, Giles, who led off the inning, singled to score Roberts and gave the Padres a 7-2 advantage.
That the Padres had to score two runs indicates that the Giants actually led the ballgame at one point, and they did – for half an inning. Wright helped his own cause by singling with one out in the bottom of the third inning off of Peavy (2-3), and Randy Winn's walk put two runners on for NL batting leader Omar Vizquel. Vizquel's single to center scored Wright and moved Winn over to third, and Winn scored when Peavy threw a wild pitch for a 2-0 Giants lead.
It should be noted here that the third inning did not end without further incident, as Peavy ended up hitting Barry Bonds with a pitch with two outs. That Wright subsequently plunked Giles to lead off the top of the fourth is open to speculation, but one can only wonder what could have been had that inning started out differently.
The Giants loaded the bases and rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth against former Giant Alan Embree, but it was really a case of too little, too late by then. The best thing about the game? Well, two – 1) Bonds came out of the game early, which leads to speculation that he will play in Tuesday's day game, and 2) the Giants will not see Peavy again for a while.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Hard to believe that in a lopsided 10-4 loss that defense is to be praised, but Vizquel continues to amaze fans and defy father time with his acrobatics as well as his timely hitting. Vizquel drove in the Giants' first run, stole a base, and absolutely robbed Bowen with an Air Jordan-like catch in the third inning. Props also to another defensive stalwart, Mike Matheny, who banged out three hits in a losing effort.
Don Shin eats, breathes, thinks, and bleeds in Orange and Black. Pac Bell Park officially opened on his 25th birthday (the one year he decided to move out of the Bay Area!!!). For the 2000 playoff drive, he dyed his hair orange while studying in Korea. He watched Game 6 of the '02 World Series at a restaurant in LA, and couldn't finish his meal afterwards. Feel free to write him at firstname.lastname@example.org to commiserate, cheer, and complain.
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