Giants 4, Twins 3

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—The bases were loaded in the ninth and Barry Bonds stood in the batter’s box, one situation when the slugger would not be walked.

Bonds singled home the winning run with two outs in the ninth inning, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Bonds emphatically stomped on first base after his hit, which got the Giants back on track after they’d lost two straight following a five-game winning streak to start their season-long 12-game homestand.

“We really needed that,” Bonds said. “We needed to come back. I was just up there looking for a strike.”

Bonds has maintained an amazing focus while dealing with the deterioration of his 57-year-old father Bobby’s health. Bobby Bonds is battling lung cancer and pneumonia among other illnesses.

Bonds hit an RBI triple earlier in the game.

“It’s amazing he can come in and have so much on his mind and still perform, and perform at the level he’s performing at,” teammate Ray Durham said.

Juan Rincon (1-2) walked Jose Cruz Jr., Durham and Rich Aurilia in the ninth, loading the bases for Bonds. The Giants star drove the first pitch to right field to bring home Cruz, who entered the game in the eighth as a defensive replacement.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t believe Rincon should have even had to face Bonds—and neither did Rincon, who thought he got Aurilia on a 3-2 slider.

“I thought I made a good pitch,” Rincon said. “As soon as I threw it I thought it was in there. The umpire didn’t see the same thing I did.”

Added Gardenhire: “Barry Bonds I didn’t think should have been at the plate. That’s all I’m going to say about it. That’s a tough way to end it.”

Tim Worrell (2-2) worked the ninth for the win.

Torii Hunter doubled twice and drove in a run for Minnesota. Brad Radke pitched into the eighth but got in trouble in the eighth, allowing the Giants to tie the game.

Minnesota had done damage with doubles—but the Giants got some timely ones of their own.

The Twins hit six of them in a 6-4 win Tuesday, and got four more through the first three innings Wednesday against rookie Jerome Williams to take a 3-0 lead.

Hunter also had two doubles Tuesday.

The Giants scored twice in the eighth to tie it.

Cruz hit a leadoff single to break an 0-for-12 slump, Marquis Grissom doubled home Cruz and Durham singled. Aurilia doubled to score Grissom.

“I think that’s just what he needs,” Durham said of Cruz’s clutch bat. “He came in and was aggressive.”

Williams left the game with two outs in the seventh after Jacque Jones fouled a soft bouncer toward first. Williams stepped wrong while retrieving the ball from first baseman J.T. Snow and tweaked his left ankle.

Bonds hit a run-scoring triple in the fourth. The ball got past a diving Hunter in center field and rolled to the wall. Bonds homered Tuesday and has hit in seven straight games.

After Bonds’ hit, Radke retired six straight then gave up a double to Durham, who has an eight-game hitting streak.

Radke allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out two and walking one.

Williams, a 21-year-old right-hander, made only his second major league start, striking out six, walking three and allowing five hits in 6 2-3 innings.

He was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Tuesday to start in place of Kurt Ainsworth, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained shoulder.

Williams’ only other start was April 26, when he pitched three scoreless innings at Philadelphia before giving up five runs in the fourth in a 10-2 Giants’ loss.

“In my first start I was really nervous,” he said. “Tonight there was no nervousness. I had a lot of friends and my fiancee here and it was very exciting. I’m really confident. I showed it tonight. Hopefully this will help me stay here.”

After allowing a double to Cristian Guzman with one out in the third, then an RBI single to Corey Koskie and a double to Hunter, Williams settled down. He retired eight straight before allowing a leadoff walk to Hunter in the sixth.

The Twins had been 25-0 when leading after seven innings.

Notes

Hunter has hit safely in 14 of his 17 games. Four of his 12 doubles this season have come the past two games. … Radke is 11-22 in 41 career games in June. … Bonds is 10-for-27 with seven RBIs in his last eight games. … Giants LHP Jason Christiansen made his first major league outing since April 17, 2002, at San Diego. He was activated Tuesday after having reconstructive ligament surgery on his elbow last May 30. Christiansen got one out in the eighth, then received high-fives from his teammates as he walked into the dugout. “I know I only threw three pitches, but it was a big step for me,” hesaid.

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