Giants 5, Padres 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Pedro Feliz believes there might just be some luck in left field lately.
Feliz hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning for the second game-ending shot in two days by the San Francisco Giants, who defeated the San Diego Padres 5-2 Friday night for their ninth straight win.
Feliz started in left in place of slugger Barry Bonds, who missed the game to be with his father, Bobby, as he underwent open-heart surgery.
Bonds hit a game-winning homer Thursday and also made a run-saving throw to the plate on his 39th birthday.
Feliz was officially playing first base when he got the hit. He moved from left to first in the ninth to replace the injured J.T. Snow, but that good karma he mentioned seemed to carry over.
“Everybody likes to do that,” Feliz said. “One person can do it one day and then someone else the next. When I see my name in the lineup I feel much better and more comfortable. I hope I can do it every time (Bonds) misses a day, do what he’s supposed to do. It’s not easy to go through what he’s going through.”
Feliz came up with runners on second and third and one out and was mobbed at home plate by his teammates after hitting his 10th homer of the season. He drove a 3-2 pitch from Jay Witasick (2-2) just inside the left-field foul pole.
“Every time you play left field you hit a home run,” said teammate Yorvit Torrealba, who took over in left when Feliz went to first. “I’m going to play left.”
The Giants’ winning streak is their longest since winning nine in a row from July 25-Aug. 3, 2001. The reigning NL champions finished the 2002 season by winning eight straight.
San Francisco has won 14 of 17 to remain undefeated on its 11-game homestand to start the second half.
Felix Rodriguez (6-0) pitched one inning for the victory, and he was happy the Giants could win on a day they didn’t have their best player.
“It’s tough. We miss him, no doubt,” Rodriguez said. “I know he’ll be happy when he sees that.”
The Padres tied the game 2-all with an unearned run in the eighth. With two outs and pinch-hitter Brian Buchanan on third, Mark Loretta hit a high popup along the first-base line. Second baseman Ray Durham, Snow and right fielder Jose Cruz Jr. all converged, but Durham couldn’t control the ball and it bounced off his glove for an error that allowed Buchanan to score.
Snow ran back awkwardly on the play and reaggravated the left groin he strained last month, which put him on the DL. Trainer Stan Conte said the injury doesn’t appear to be as serious this time, but Snow did not expect to play Saturday.
Alfonzo returned to the lineup after sitting out three games with a sore right middle finger, which he hurt fielding a grounder Monday against Arizona.
He extended his hitting streak to 11 games and is hitting .365 (15-for-41) during the stretch. After hitting .236 in the first half, Alfonzo is batting .411 so far in the second half.
Rueter was activated before the game from the 15-day disabled list. He left his start July 8 against St. Louis in the second inning with inflammation in his shoulder
The left-hander is winless in seven starts since June 6 against Detroit. He allowed two hits and one run, striking out three and walking two. Rueter had not gone more than four innings in his previous three starts.
After Alfonzo’s double, Padres starter Adam Eaton retired 13 straight San Francisco batters before giving way to Witasick. Eaton kept his three-game winning streak intact with the no-decision. He has a 1.33 ERA in his last five outings.
“He threw a good game, but our offense is just not providing much rightnow,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. “Rueter’s always been tough on us.”
3B Alfonzo made an error in the sixth when the ball took a bad hop and got past him. It was his second error in five games since the All-Star break. His ninth error ties him with SS Rich Aurilia for most on the team. … Torrealba started at C for the Giants and moved to LF in the top of the ninth, his first career game in a position other than catcher. On his first chance, he kept the ball in front of him on a single by Sean Burroughs. … One young girl in the stands wore a gray Giants jersey with “BAKER” written on the back. She altered it, though, crossing out the name of the team’s former manager and writing in “ALOU” for new manager Felipe Alou. … Pacific Bell Park sold outfor the 20th straight game.