SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Marcus Giles had stripped down in order to
ice his lower back when teammate Mike Hessman ran into the
clubhouse and told the Braves' No. 3 hitter Atlanta was about to
Giles rushed to get dressed, then hustled back outside just in
time to pull on his elbow pad and shin guard and head to the
on-deck circle in the ninth. He got plunked in the ribs.
"I was up here stark naked," said Giles, who headed inside
after striking out to start the ninth because Jesse Garcia was set
to replace him at second base for the final half-inning. "Talk
about getting caught with your pants down, literally."
The Braves snapped a four-game losing streak in San Francisco --
and they did it in part by keeping Barry Bonds without a hit or a
home run again.
Bonds went 0-for-2 with two walks a night after walking three
times, two intentionally, in the Giants' 3-2 win. He already has 32
walks on the year and says it is "boring" him.
Giants second baseman Ray Durham was removed from the game with
a left knee injury after hitting into a double play in the seventh.
With crutches in hand, Durham left the ballpark on a motorized cart
wearing a large brace. He needed assistance getting into a car.
"It could be serious. We'll find out," manager Felipe Alou
said. "I don't have a lot of details."
Jaret Wright (2-1) pitched 6 2-3 strong innings in his first
start against the Giants. He faced San Francisco five times in
relief last season with San Diego and Atlanta.
Wright, knocked out of his previous outing after just 1 2-3
innings at Cincinnati last Thursday, received plenty of run support
and kept the Giants' slumping lineup out of sync.
The Braves added seven runs in the ninth against three pitchers,
getting four singles and run-scoring doubles by pinch-hitter
Garcia, Estrada and Rafael Furcal. Estrada finished with three RBI
and the Braves pounded out 18 hits, one off their season high.
"We got a lot of hitting in tonight and great pitching,"
Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
The right-handed Wright allowed two runs, eight hits, struck out
two and walked three. John Smoltz pitched the ninth.
Because of injuries, this is the first time Wright has had two
wins since 2002.
"It's a lot more fun for me now to be playing," he said.
"Hopefully I can pitch like this and play for a lot more years."
Wright certainly outpitched Kirk Rueter (0-3), who failed to
beat the Braves for the sixth straight time.
The Giants' top three starters of Jason Schmidt, Rueter and
Brett Tomko have just one win between them after Schmidt earned his
victory Monday. Rueter allowed five runs on two hits, struck out
two and walked one in his fifth start of the year.
Tomko, who starts the series finale Wednesday night, is 0-1.
Rueter, the Giants' opening day starter the past two seasons,
hung his head in the dugout for some time after giving way to Wayne
Franklin in the fourth. Alou was hoping to get six innings from
Rueter, who is 0-4 in his last six outings against Atlanta.
"I make a bad pitch, they hit it hard. I make a good pitch,
they're finding holes," he said. "I have to keep battling and
work my way through it."
Drew, who had just one hit in seven previous at-bats (.143)
against Rueter, connected for his third homer of the season on a
2-1 pitch to lead off the second. The Braves loaded the bases after
Drew's homer but failed to score as Rueter worked himself out of
Drew singled in a run the following inning, then Estrada hit his
second homer of the season two batters later, a two-run shot that
stayed just inside the left-field foul pole.
Neifi Perez went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored for the
defending NL West champion Giants, who have lost 10 of 13.
Bonds walked on four pitches in the first and on five leading
off the eighth. In the third, he fouled off the first pitch, then
took a ball, then fouled off another pitch before flying out to
He took two called strikes to start his fifth-inning at-bat,
then popped out to the catcher Estrada. Bonds, who has 667 homers,
dropped his average to .478.
He hasn't homered since he had his streak of consecutive games
with a home run snapped at seven last Wednesday, one short of tying
the major league mark.
The Giants grounded into three double plays to increase
their majors-leading total to 31. ... Giants CF Marquis Grissom
returned to the lineup after missing three games with tendinitis in
his left foot. He made several nice plays in the field, hit a
third-inning single and added an RBI groundout. ... Rueter is just
3-8 in 18 outings against Atlanta.
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