Rewind: Diamondbacks at Giants, Game #1

It's do or die time in the NL West. The Giants know this, and their reptilian opponents this evening did also – including a pudgy old friend who opposed them on the bump. And the results? The positives from this game can give a team and a city some hope for a late stretch run.

It took him over two years, but Noah Lowry finally produced an encore performance of his masterpiece. Barry Bonds also accomplished a feat he hadn't done all season.

The young lefty hurled a masterful complete game 2-hitter and Bonds hit a towering home run in to McCovey Cove for the first "Splash Hit" this season, as the San Francisco Giants blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 at AT&T Park.

The win came at the hands of an old friend and a fellow soft-tosser, Diamondbacks starter Livan Hernandez. The big righthander pitched well enough to win, scattering eight hits and surrendering only one earned run – the Bonds homer in the fourth – in seven innings of work, striking out seven Giants. But Lowry's brilliance and poor Diamondbacks defense led to Arizona's demise.

Hernandez (10-10) had no one but himself to blame for the first of three pivotal Arizona errors in the game. Trailing 1-0 in the ballgame, Hernandez allowed a one-out single to Todd Greene, who led the Giants with three hits in the ballgame. Then with Lowry laying down a bunt, Hernandez fielded the ball and overthrew first base, putting runners at the corners. Then normally sure-handed Orlando Hudson turned a potential double-play ball by Randy Winn into only one out by mis-throwing the relay to first for another error, which allowed Greene to score from third. Omar Vizquel followed with a clutch two-out single to make it 3-0 Giants.

The Giants would strike again the following inning, again partially in thanks to another Diamondbacks miscue. Facing fireball reliever Juan Cruz, singles by Steven Finley and Greene followed by a sacrifice by Lowry put runners on second and third with two outs. Winn then hit a shot to third that Arizona third baseman Chad Tracy threw away for a two-run error that closed out the scoring at 5-0.

The rest was all Lowry. Displaying the best control of his fastball all season, Lowry (6-7) only allowed one base on balls while striking out six Diamondbacks – including a whiff of number three hitter Luis Gonzales to end the game. Lowry allowed just one Arizona baserunner to reach third base, and escaped that jam without incident by catching a Tracy liner to retire the side in the seventh.

A Bonds home run. A stellar outing by a Giants starting pitcher. Throw in free garlic fries, and you would have had the perfect game.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Duh. Gotta give it to the young shutout-throwing lefty. If the starters can keep up the magic like Lowry did tonight, the Giants just might play a bigger hand in deciding the NL playoff picture.

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 to commiserate, cheer, and complain.

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