Two players who have combined for more than 1,000 career homers helped the San Francisco Giants end a scoring slump.
Barry Bonds and Steve Finley will try to lead San Francisco (33-32) to back-to-back wins for only the second time this month when the Giants wrap up a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Thursday.
Bonds hit his 717th career homers tied a season-high with four RBIs in the Giants’ 11-4 win on Tuesday. San Francisco went 2-5 in its last seven games, averaging just 2.3 runs in those games before Wednesday’s outburst.
Bonds’ homer, a 368-foot line drive to right field in the ninth inning, was his first since June 5, a span of 10 at-bats. He missed five games with an abdominal strain in his left side going hitless in three at-bats in his return Thursday.
“I’ve been playing pepper with that wall all year,” Bonds said.
Finley led off the game with a milestone homer. A former Diamondback, Finley became the sixth player in major league history with 300 homers and 300 steals joining Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson, Willie Mays and Reggie Sanders—who reached the mark earlier this week.
“It means I’ve had a good, long consistent career,” said Finley, who has 300 homers and 316 steals in his 18-year career. “It’s something I can be proud about whenever I’m done playing. There’s not too many guys who have done that.”
The Giants haven’t won consecutive game since taking three in a row from June 4-6.
Matt Morris (3-7, 5.13 ERA) looks to avoid losing his fourth straight decision when he pitches for San Francisco in the finale. After winning his first two starts of the season, Morris is 1-7 with a 5.68 ERA in his last 11 outings.
He allowed three runs and eight hits while striking out a season-high eight batters in eight innings in a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh on Friday.
“I’ve lost 1-0 games before, so every pitch is meaningful,” said Morris, who has received just four runs in support in his last three starts. “I need to be better, especially after getting the lead. I can’t just give it back up.”
Morris had one of his worst outings of the season against the Diamondbacks on April 18. He allowed seven runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings in a 7-4 loss, and is 3-2 with a 3.54 ERA in seven career games against Arizona.
After Wednesday’s loss, the Diamondbacks have dropped eight of their last nine games, but remain tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West.
The Diamondbacks will look to Miguel Batista (6-3, 4.69) to move them back into sole possession of first. The right-hander tied a season-high by allowing seven runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 10-6 loss to the New York Mets on Friday, snapping his three-game winning streak.
“It’s OK,” said Batista, who also gave up a season-high three home runs. “I missed my location a few times, but it’s not like I hung a bunch of pitches out there.”
Batista also struggled in his only start against San Francisco this season, giving up six runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings in a 10-9 loss on April 28.
He is 4-7 with a 4.58 ERA in 23 career games against the Giants, and is just 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA in seven outings against them since the start of the 2003 season.