Cubs 4, Giants 2

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Dusty Baker’s return to San Francisco was a success, thanks to Moises Alou’s big night against his father’s team.

Alou homered and drove in two runs as the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 Tuesday night in a game rich in family ties and old friendships.

Kerry Wood struck out eight over six strong innings for the Cubs, who won in their new manager’s emotional homecoming. Baker spent the past 10 seasons with the Giants, winning 840 games and leading them to the World Series last fall before leaving in a dispute with owner Peter Magowan.

The change, though contentious at the time, seems to be working out for everybody. So far this season, Baker has led the surprising Cubs to first place—and new manager Felipe Alou is a big hit with the NL West-leading Giants.

Both managers are under plenty of pressure in the three-day series. Baker is back in his longtime home, facing cheers and a few boos, while the elder Alou is facing his talented son for the first time in San Francisco.

“I’ll be glad when this series is over, really,” Baker said. “Not only here, but at home, too. The phone is ringing off the hook, and I spend 30 minutes on tickets. There were a few hecklers. You can’t control how people feel about you. You just accept it.”

Moises Alou, hitless in his previous nine at-bats, had an RBI single in the fifth and a solo homer in the eighth to hurt the team now managed by his father.

“That’s how it usually happens,” Baker said. “I’m sure his dad will have something to say to him. He’s not rooting against him, but he doesn’t want him to hurt them.”

“Sooner or later, he was going to start hitting,” Felipe Alou said with a shrug.

Actually, Moises got a few words of advice from his father before the game.

“It’s not like I haven’t played against my dad before,” he said. “Not everyone has a chance to play against your dad in the major leagues. My dad, being the philosopher that he is, said that I’m hitting a lot of fly balls. I started hitting down on the ball.”

Ray Durham hit a leadoff homer for the Giants, who returned home from a nine-game road trip. They’ve lost three straight for the first time this season—but at 18-7, San Francisco is off to its best start in 30 years.

Baker claimed to be quite comfortable in his first game in the visitors’ dugout at Pacific Bell Park—and he also received his NL championship ring from San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean and assistant GM Ned Colletti in his office.

The Giants honored Baker with a brief video tribute before the game, and he tipped his cap in every direction to a standing ovation from the crowd.

At least one patron wasn’t impressed, however.

“I thought it could have been better,” said Johnnie B. Baker Sr., the manager’s 78-year-old father. “I don’t know what they did for him or what they said to him. It seemed a little meager to me, but that’s a father talking. They have to keep it low-key, I understand that.”

Ramon Martinez also had a run-scoring single as the Cubs won for just the second time in six games. Wood and the bullpen limited the Giants to Durham’s homer and Jose Cruz Jr.’s bases-loaded walk in the fourth.

Wood (4-1) was a bit erratic—walking four, allowing seven hits and twice hitting Barry Bonds with breaking balls in the dirt—but he stayed out of big trouble to win for the fourth time in six starts.

Joe Borowski worked a hitless ninth for his fourth save in four chances. The Giants stranded a season-high 16 runners.

Kirk Rueter (2-1) allowed eight hits and three runs over six innings, but he was constantly in trouble, retiring the side in order just once. As his pitch count rose, he allowed former teammate Martinez’s go-ahead RBI single in the sixth.

“I still felt pretty good out there,” Rueter said. “I think I can handle it. At 115-120 (pitches), I think that would be fine. … I think everybody knows how I pitch. I’ve been doing it for eight or nine years. I don’t think Dusty would be able to tell them anything they didn’t already know.”

Bonds, hitting in the No. 3 slot for the first time this season, was hit on the left ankle in the third inning. Bonds took three steps toward the mound and grimaced, but nothing came of the words he exchanged with Wood.

“It’s a breaking ball,” Wood said. “There’s absolutely zero purpose on that pitch. I hit him in the knee a couple of years ago, and he said I hit himin the same place.”


After the game, San Francisco optioned LHP Jeff Urban back to Triple-A Fresno and activated RHP Jason Schmidt, who will pitch Wednesday night. Schmidt had been on the bereavement list since his mother’s death last week. … Though Bonds reached base four times, he limped for most of the night after getting hit. … Giants SS Rich Aurilia left in the fifth inning with an eye irritation caused by his contact lens. A few minutes earlier, Aurilia struck out on threepitches with two runners in scoring position.

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