Rewind: Giants vs. Dbacks, Game #2

The Giants were way overdue with their bats lately. In the second game against Arizona, the offense came to life in full force, led by power and timely hitting. History was made again, but not by the one named Bonds. San Francisco evened up the series with an erupting performance.

The Giants turned to their rookie sensation, Matt Cain, to be their stopper. Since coming back into the rotation, Cain has been 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA. He looked to continue his stellar performance against Claudio Vargas, a pitcher who has done well against the Giants in his career.

Steve Finley got things started off quickly for the Giants, and at the same time he set his own record. Finley smashed a solo round tripper to right field to put the Giants ahead, and also to put himself in good company. He became the sixth player to join the 300-300 club after Reggie Sanders reached the milestone earlier this season.

Arizona got that run back and then some in the second. Luis Gonzalez drew a walk from Cain, and then Shawn Green blasted a two-run shot to center field to put the Dbacks ahead.

The Dbacks added onto their lead when Craig Counsell singled and stole second in the third inning. With one out, Giants' killer Chad Tracy smacked a double off the center field wall to drive in Counsell. Tracy advanced to third on a groundout by Gonzalez, but Conner Jackson singled to right to allow Tracy to score the Dbacks' fourth run of the game.

Unlike their past few games, the Giants' offense woke up for today's match. Omar Vizquel led things off with a single in the fourth inning, and with one out, Barry Bonds was walked by Vargas. Moises Alou, who's hit the ball hard since coming off the DL but has nothing to show for it, smashed a hard grounder to third that deflected off Tracy into left field to enable Vizquel to score. With Pedro Feliz batting, Vargas sent a wild pitch to the backstop which allowed Bonds and Alou to advance bases. Feliz drilled an opposite field triple to bring home two more runs to tie the game at four. Todd Greene was intentionally walked and Cain grounded out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Giants went ahead. Vizquel had another hit, this time a double, and scored on a long single by Bonds. They were threatening in the sixth when Mark Sweeney and Feliz had back-to-back singles to chase Vargas from the game, but Brandon Medders came in to reliever Vargas to strike Greene out and got pinch hitter Randy Winn to ground into a double play to end the inning and potential threat.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jonathan Sanchez replaced Cain and turned in another spectacular inning with a 1-2-3 outing on two groundouts and one strikeout.

The Giants got another insurance run in the seventh as Steve Finley led off with a single and advanced to second on another Tracy error, this time on the throw. After attempting to bunt Finley over, Vizquel doubled down the right field line to score Finley. Bonds was intentionally walked after Ray Durham grounded out to move Vizquel over to third, and Alou hit a fly ball that was deep enough to allow Vizquel to score the Giants' seventh run.

Sanchez continued to pitch in the seventh, but walked Andy Green to lead off the inning, and after one pitch that was way inside to Counsell, Felipe Alou pulled Sanchez. Alou made a double switch and put Travis Ishikawa into the game to play at first with Steve Kline pitching. Counsell hit a line drive that was just off the tip of Vizquel's glove for a single, but Eric Byrnes flied out and Tracy grounded into a double play to end the inning. Kline went on to pitch in the eighth and allowed a single to Gonzalez, but Jackson grounded into a double play and Green struck out to end the inning.

The Giants came back for more in the ninth against Jose Valverde. Finley, Vizquel and Durham led things off with back-to-back-to-back singles, and Durham's single knocked in Finley. Up came Bonds, who missed a homerun by just inches in the fifth, crushed one to right field to break the game wide open. With #717, the Giants now led 11-4 going into the bottom of the ninth after Alou popped out, pinch hitter Jason Ellison grounded out and Feliz struck out.

For the Dbacks' half of the ninth, the Giants sent out Armando Benitez to pitch. Johnny Estrada flied out and Orlando Hudson popped out for the first two outs, but John DaVanon drew a walk. Counsell singled to continue the inning, but Byrnes was out on a foul tip to end the game.

Game Notes: With the two walks in today's game, Bonds has 53 walks for the season... With the Dback's loss and a Dodgers' loss against the Padres, the close NL West remains that way as LA and Arizona are still tied for first with the Giants and Padres close behind them... Matt Morris will start the rubber match for the Giants in hopes of continuing his solid pitching from his last game.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Steve Finley joined the 300-300 club today with a first inning shot to put the Giants on the board with a lead, which was crucial after many days of frustrating offense. He added two more singles and scored three runs. Omar Vizquel also scored four runs with four hits including a double. Barry Bonds smashed #717, and the bullpen was very solid today in trying to pick Matt Cain up.



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