Giants 3, Dodgers 2, 11 innings
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Barry Bonds won a showdown with Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, stole his 500th base and scored the winning run in an extra-inning game between first-place teams—all in a span of about four minutes.
No wonder the San Francisco Giants’ superstar slugger couldn’t wait to get home and relax.
Bonds became the founding member of baseball’s 500-500 club moments before scoring on Benito Santiago’s single—and his resourcefulness gave the Giants a 3-2 win over Los Angeles on Monday night, putting them back in sole possession of the NL West’s top spot.
“Now is not the time to talk about 500-500,” Bonds said, who became the first player ever with 500 stolen bases and 500 homers. “I’m exhausted.”
All the drama in the latest meeting between the California archrivals occurred in the late innings. Los Angeles tied it with two unearned runs in the ninth against Giants closer Tim Worrell, but Bonds manufactured a run that recalled the younger, speedier days of the active home run king.
“In that last at-bat, he was dominant without hitting a home run,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “I hope people don’t judge Barry only by the home runs he hits. He’s a supreme player.”
Bonds led off the 11th with a walk in a tremendous matchup against Gagne (1-2), the Dodgers’ hard-throwing closer. Bonds swung and missed at a 98 mph fastball before getting the call on a 3-2 pitch that angered the Dodgers’ bench.
“We weren’t trying to give him a leadoff walk. We were trying to get him out,” manager Jim Tracy said. “He can beat you in a lot of ways, and that’s what he did.”
On the second pitch to Andres Galarraga, Bonds stole second without a throw against Gagne’s slow delivery to the plate. After a brief delay while Bonds uprooted the base and waved to the crowd, Galarraga struck out.
Santiago then singled to left, and Bonds sprinted home to wrap up the Giants’ fourth straight home victory.
“You always want to test yourself against the best, and he’s one of the best that’s ever played,” Gagne said. “After he walked … I didn’t give (catcher Paul Lo Duca) a chance to throw him out. He did a good job of recognizing that. That’s the kind of player he is.”
Felix Rodriguez (3-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
The Dodgers made a stirring ninth-inning comeback, but the night belonged to Bonds, who became the 36th player to steal 500 bases. No other player ever recorded 400 homers and 400 steals before Bonds, who got a visit from his cancer-stricken father, Bobby, in the clubhouse before the game.
“Gagne’s one of the best closers you’ll ever see,” Bonds said. “I thought about (stealing second) because you never know if you’re going to get another chance against him. When I got to second base, my only thought was that we had a chance to win.”
Kirk Rueter pitched six scoreless innings, Galarraga homered and Marquis Grissom had a run-scoring single for San Francisco (45-30), which has led the division since opening day. The Giants edged back ahead of Los Angeles (44-31) in the first of three games.
The Giants have won seven of their last eight against the Dodgers at Pacific Bell Park. Los Angeles lost for just the third time in 13 games.
The teams played another tight game following last week’s series, in which Los Angeles held the Giants to five total runs while winning two of three at Dodger Stadium. The second-largest regular-season crowd in Pac Bell’s history booed the Dodgers with its usual vigor in the Giants’ first home game since June 8.
Everything was going smoothly for the Giants until the ninth. After Scott Eyre pitched two perfect innings in relief of Rueter, Worrell blew his fourth save of the season.
The Dodgers had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth when Larry Barnes hit a textbook double-play grounder. But second baseman Ray Durham threw wide of second base, allowing pinch-runner Jason Romano to score and sending Adrian Beltre to third.
Izturis extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a fifth-inning single. He has exactly 11 hits in the streak. … Galarraga’s homer was the 392nd of his career. … The Giants got their 11th sellout of the season with 42,474 fans. … Bobby Bonds, undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, had anoperation last year to remove a cancerous tumor from his kidney.