Arizona got on the board first Wednesday, when Johnny Estrada had an RBI groundout off Giants' starter Jason Schmidt, scoring Orlando Hudson. The Giants, however, immediately struck back with a big bottom half of the inning. Barry Bonds singled home Randy Winn to tie the game 1-1, and Ray Durham followed that up with a three-run jack to make it 4-1. Durham has at times carried the Giants' offense this year, and it looks like he's not going to slow down anytime soon.
After a few scoreless frames, Schmidt got into some trouble in the fourth inning. Stephen Drew doubled home Chad Tracy to bring the Diamondbacks to within two runs. Chris Young followed with a two-run home run to even the game at four apiece. The homer was Young's first of his career. In the bottom of the fifth, Juan Cruz relieved Arizona starter Enrique Gonzalez, who surrendered four runs in just four innings of work. Cruz walked two batters in the fifth, but got out of the jam unscathed.
Schmidt started off the top of the sixth with back-to-back strikeouts, but things started going downhill from there. A single, a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Eric Byrnes. On an 0-2 pitch, Byrnes swung at a pitch roughly eye-level but was able to poke it out to center field to plate two Arizona baserunners. The Diamondbacks had a 6-4 lead now, but Schmidt would get out of the inning without any further damage done. Schmidt allowed six runs over six innings, not one of his finer outings of the year.
Steve Kline entered the game and threw a scoreless seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, the Giants started to rally. With two on and two out, Pedro Feliz doubled off Diamondbacks' reliever Brandon Lyon to deep center to tie the game at 6-6. Eliezer Alfonzo then tripled to deep right center to give the Giants a 7-6 lead. Aflonzo has now delivered the go-ahead hit in both of the Giants' last two games.
After Vinnie Chulk blanked Arizona in the eighth, Armando Benitez was summoned for ninth inning duty once again. Benitez, who was unsurprisingly booed yet again when he took the mound, pitched a perfect 1-2-3 inning to end it. He actually reached 98 MPH on the radar gun, which is by far the best fastball he's shown this year. A much-needed save for the beleaguered Benitez, and a much-needed win for the Giants, who simply will not die easily this year.
SFDugout's Player of the Game: Ray Durham. Not only did he hit a three-run homer in Wednesday's victory, but in doing so, Durham has now matched his career high in homers with 20 and set a new career high in RBI with 77. It's safe to say Durham is having himself a career year.
Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for any complaints, questions or preferably, compliments.
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