Rewind: Cubs at Giants, Game 1

Jason Schmidt continued his outstanding pitching and Lance Niekro busted out of his season long slump as the Giants won their second game in a row.

On a night when the fans packed AT&T Park hoping to witness another momentous Barry Bonds blast, it was right-hander Jason Schmidt who stole the show.

Schmidt (3-2) tossed his second consecutive complete game and Lance Niekro homered and drove in three runs, as the Giants sent the Cubs to their eighth straight loss with a 6-1 victory Tuesday night.

The Giants wasted little time jumping on Cubs left-hander Rich Hill (0-2) in the bottom of the first inning. Randy Winn led off the inning with a double to left. After Omar Vizquel moved Winn over to third with a sacrifice bunt, Lance Niekro drove him in with a line drive single to left giving the Giants a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs answered right back in the top of the second as Michael Barrett drilled a solo homer off of Schmidt  deep into the left-field bleachers, tying the score at one.

Following the homer to Barrett, Schmidt completely shut down the anemic Cubs offense the rest of the way retiring the next 15 batters he faced. He scattered five hits and struck out six batters to win his third straight decision.

“That was nice for a change," Schmidt said of the added excitement throughout the stadium. "I think one of the great things playing here, any time Barry is going for a certain milestone, it creates a playoff atmosphere, a little extra. The team feeds off that."

In the bottom of the fourth with two outs,  Steve Finley scorched a double off of the brick wall in right and Mike Matheny promptly knocked him in with an RBI single to center to put the Giants in front 2-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, with the crowd in a frenzy with runners at first and second, Bonds stepped to the plate and hammered a 3-2 fastball from Hill deep to center for what appeared to be the historic blast that everybody had come to see. However, Cubs center-fielder Juan Pierre made a spectacular leaping catch up against the center-field wall to rob Bonds of his 714th career home run as the crowd groaned in disbelief.

"I know I ruined about 40,000 people's nights tonight," Pierre said

Bonds finished 1-for-4  and remains one homer shy of tying Babe Ruth.

San Francisco  added another run in the sixth when Finley smoked his sixth triple of the season to right, Matheny lined a base hit off the pitcher, bringing him home to make the score 3-1.

The Giants busted the game wide open with three more runs in the seventh. Winn led off the inning with a solo homer to left.  Following a Vizquel walk, Niekro launched a two-run homer to right.

San Francisco will look to continue its winning ways tonight when Matt Cain (1-4) goes up against Carlos Zambrano (0-2) @ 7:05pm.


Game Notes: Schmidt who won his sixth straight decision over the Cubs, became the first Giants pitcher to throw back- to- back complete games since he did it in 2003...Moises Alou had an MRI on his injured left ankle and is on target to return in four to six weeks...Second baseman Kevin Frandsen missed the game due to a minor rib cage injury.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Jason Schmidt was outstanding on the night and appears to have regained the title of staff ace with his third stellar outing in a row...Much maligned first baseman Lance Niekro busted out of his season long slump in a big way, with a homer and three RBI’s.

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