San Francisco (73-48) at Washington (63-60)

Clear Currently: Montreal, QC
Temp: 12° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 17, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

When the San Francisco Giants acquired Sidney Ponson from the Baltimore Orioles at the trade deadline, they were looking to upgrade their starting rotation.

Ponson will again try to prove it was the right move when he takes the mound for the third game of the Giants’ four-game series with the Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium.

The 26-year-old right-hander is winless in two starts since the trade and has allowed seven earned runs over 14 innings.

He labored during his most recent start Tuesday. Through 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 loss to the New York Mets, he allowed five runs and eight hits.

“I go out there and do my best, but the way I pitched tonight was the worst I’ve pitched in a while,” Ponson said. “We hate losing. That’s my character— to go out and win. And I will win for this team.”

The Giants will likely need a strong start from Ponson, as they will be without Barry Bonds for the third straight game. Bonds is back in the Bay Area with his father, Bobby, who is ill with lung cancer. The five-time MVP is expected to rejoin the Giants on Tuesday.

As Bonds tends to his father, the Giants will try to avoid losing their fifth straight.

“We’re a little tired—we looked tired,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “We miss Barry, but even when Barry was here we still weren’t scoring that many runs. He was hitting home runs and doing his thing but we weren’t getting a whole lot from the rest of the guys.”

Montreal has won three straight, including a 4-1 win on Saturday. Vladimir Guerrero went 2-for-3, including a two-run double in the fourth inning, as Montreal improved to 5-0 against the Giants this season.

“We’ve just been very fortunate against a good ballclub to get well-pitched ballgames against them,” Expos manager Frank Robinson said. “We’ve got some timely hitting and scored some runs. You’re always on your toes until the game’s over against that ballclub.

“They can break out of it at any time.”

STANDINGS: Giants - 1st place, NL West. Expos - 4th place, 17 1/2 GB, NL East.

GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Ponson (0-2, 4.50 ERA). In three career games against the Expos, Ponson is 1-2 with a 4.98 ERA.

EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (8-10, 4.66 ERA). Ohka has not earned a decision in either of his last two starts. On Tuesday, he went seven innings, allowing three runs and five hits in the Expos’ 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies. The 27-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 3.70 ERA in four career games against the Giants.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Giants - Bonds, .341 avg., 37 HRs, 77 RBIs and 88 runs; Marquis Grissom, 9 SBs. Expos - Jose Vidro, .322 avg.; Orlando Cabrera, 17 HRs, 67 RBIs, 79 runs and 20 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Expos, 5-0.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Giants - CF Grissom was sent for X-rays after he was struck on the left hand by a pitch Saturday. … LF Tony Torcato joined the Giants on Saturday. Called up from Triple-A Fresno while Bonds is on the bereavement list, he was stranded at New York’s JFK airport for 27 hours during the blackout. … 1B J.T. Snow returned to the lineup Saturday after missing two starts because of a recurring groin injury. He went 1-for-2 with a walk. Expos - 1B Wil Cordero is 6-for-7 (.857) in his career against RHP Ponson. … 2B Vidro is batting .364 (12-for-33) during a nine-game hitting streak. … RF Guerrero needs one homer to tie Andre Dawson for the all-time franchise lead with 225.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Giants - 32-30 on the road; Expos - 40-23 at home.

INJURIES: Giants - C Alberto Castillo (wrist), 15-day DL; SS Rich Aurilia (appendicitis), 15-day DL; 2B Ray Durham (leg), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Felix Rodriguez (abdominal muscle), 15-day DL; LHP Kirk Rueter (shoulder), 15-day DL. Expos - C Michael Barrett (hip and finger), 15-day DL; 3B Fernando Tatis (chest), 15-day DL; RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Scott Stewart (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (rotator cuff), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Ponson KC vs. T. Ohka Tor
17-12 Record 10-12
3.75 ERA 4.16
134 K 118
61 BB 45
1.26 WHIP 1.40