New York (12-7) at San Francisco (11-8)

Cloudy Currently: San Francisco, CA
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 10:15 pm EDT Tue Apr 25, 2006
Preview | Box Score | Recap

As long as Moises Alou keeps hitting well behind him, Barry Bonds might not be too upset if his own production doesn’t pick up soon.

The San Francisco Giants hope Alou backing Bonds in the lineup continues to be a winning combination as their series with the New York Mets continues on Tuesday.

The opener of this three-game set saw Alou follow two intentional walks to Bonds with a three-run homer and a two-run single as San Francisco (11-8) beat New York 6-2 on Monday.

After walking three times and going 0-for-1, Bonds is batting .222 and has homered only once through 16 games. Alou, meanwhile, is hitting .327 with five homers and 17 RBIs, and much of that production has come hitting in the No. 5 spot behind Bonds.

The Giants are 9-2 this season when both are in the starting lineup, compared to 2-6 when they aren’t.

Though his chase of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron on the all-time home run list is what most people focus on, Bonds is more concerned with his team’s success.

“I just want to win a championship,” Bonds said. “I’m playing to win a championship. That’s the only thing that keeps me going. … The only thing keeping me in the game of baseball right now is trying to win a championship for the team, trying to win a championship with a bunch of guys.”

Hampered by a sore right knee that required three operations last year, the 41-year-old Bonds said Monday catching Aaron’s home run record of 755 is a longshot. With 709 career homers, Bonds is five shy of Ruth for second place.

Bonds has hit .293 (12-for-41) with two homers and 13 walks against Steve Trachsel, who will start for New York on Tuesday.

Trachsel (1-1, 3.71 ERA) has pitched well early in his sixth season with the Mets (12-7), giving up seven runs in 17 innings. He did not get a decision Thursday at San Diego, surrendering two runs and six hits in six innings of a 7-2 victory.

His only victory in six starts last season came against the Giants on Aug. 26 in his return from back surgery. Trachsel allowed two hits over eight innings in a 1-0 win, then went on to go 0-4 in his final five outings.

The 35-year-old right-hander is 9-4 with a 2.57 ERA in 19 starts against the Giants.

His Mets have been struggling, losing five of seven games since a 10-2 start.

Center fielder Carlos Beltran has not started the last four games because of discomfort in his right hamstring, and is likely to only be used as a pinch hitter until the weekend.

“Carlos is getting better, but there’s no reason to risk anything here where it’s so cool, not when he’s come this far,” manager Willie Randolph said.

Randolph might not mind Beltran being out of the lineup Tuesday, considering he’s 1-for-10 with five strikeouts against Giants starter Jamey Wright (2-0, 2.91).

The right-hander was in line to win for the third time in as many outings after giving up two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings at Arizona on Thursday, but the bullpen blew a four-run lead before San Francisco won 9-7.

Wright is 1-2 with a 5.81 ERA in eight lifetime starts against the Mets, but has only faced them once since 2002. That appearance came last year as he was tagged for nine runs and 11 hits in four-plus innings of a 9-3 defeat on July 27.

The Giants are 14-4 at home against the Mets this decade.

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Starting Pitchers

S. Trachsel Bal vs. J. Wright Tex
15-8 Record 6-10
4.97 ERA 5.19
79 K 79
78 BB 64
1.60 WHIP 1.48