Giants 7, Pirates 5

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Two months ago, Jeffrey Hammonds was out of baseball wondering when he’d get another chance.

Hammonds got that opportunity with San Francisco and on Thursday hit his first homer for the Giants, a two-run shot that broke a seventh-inning tie for a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“I was at home sitting on the couch wondering if I’d ever hit another one,” Hammonds said. “It’s a blessing I’m here.”

San Francisco won two of three from the Pirates at Pacific Bell Park and have taken 10 straight series against them since May 1999.

“It’s disappointing because we came back,” said Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon. “We had many opportunities. We didn’t cash in.”

It was 5-all when Jose Cruz Jr. drew a leadoff walk in the Giants seventh from Brian Boehringer (5-3). Hammonds tried to sacrifice but fouled it off before homering into the left-field stands on a 3-2 pitch.

“He’s a quality player who knows what needs to be done,” said Cruz. “We have guys here who have been successful in the major leagues. There’s no lack of confidence.”

Hammonds started the year with Milwaukee and hit .158 with a home run and three RBIs in 10 games. He was released by the Brewers on June 4, signed a minor league deal with San Francisco on July 2 and was promoted to the majors at the end of the month.

“This is where everybody wants to play,” said Hammonds, a Stanford grad. “I was dreaming about this two months ago. The Bay Area has always been good to me and I’ve always wanted to come back here.”

Hammonds was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded during a four-run third. J.T. Snow also drove in three runs for the NL West leaders.

“It seems like good teams have a different guy coming through every day,” Snow said. “We have some proven players here who knows what it takes.”

Scott Eyre (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to pick up the victory. Tim Worrell worked the ninth for his 25th save in 29 opportunities.

“(Hammonds) got his hands through that ball like no one I’ve seen in a while,” said Eyre, “except for maybe (Barry) Bonds and he’s a different story.”

Giants starter Jerome Williams allowed five runs—three earned—and six hits and matched his season high with five walks in only 5 1-3 innings.

Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong, who made his major league debut with the Giants in 2000, lasted 2 2-3 innings. He allowed four runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.

“It seems like I have one bad inning every time and I don’t know how to stop it,” said Vogelsong. “I always seem to be one pitch away from getting out of it.”

Salomon Torres was supposed to start for the Pirates, but was scratched Wednesday after straining his right hamstring while shagging fly balls in the outfield.

Snow hit a two-run single as the Giants opened a 4-0 lead in the third.

The Pirates got two of those runs back in the fourth on Jack Wilson’s homer. Wilson has extra-base hits in each of his last two games after getting one in his previous 19.

Snow’s two-out single in the fifth scored Cruz to make it 5-2.

The Pirates tied the game with three runs in the sixth, taking advantage ofreliever Matt Herges’ throwing error on a comebacker.

Notes

The Giants improved to 18-4 against the Pirates in their last 22 games in San Francisco. … Williams has allowed a home run in each of his last three starts after not allowing one in his first 10. … Vogelsong is 0-6 in 22 career games. … The Pirates’ pitching staff had not allowed a home run in 43 innings before Hammonds connected. … The Giants have committed the fewest errors (56, with St. Louis) in the NL. … The Giants recorded their 25thconsecutive sellout with a crowd of 42,334.

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