Giants 3, Marlins 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Even after another stirring home victory, there wasn’t much joy in the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse.
The teams and fans at Pacific Bell Park observed a moment of silence before the game for Bobby Bonds, the former San Francisco star who died of cancer earlier in the day. His son, Barry, will be away from the Giants indefinitely— and the slugger’s teammates also had heavy hearts.
“As soon as we got here and we knew that Barry Bonds’ father died, it was sad,” said Perez, who had two doubles. “But we’re professionals. We have to play the game, and we’re glad we won the game for him.”
Jeffrey Hammonds homered for the Giants, who also rested regulars Rich Aurilia, Benito Santiago and Marquis Grissom. But after a strong start from Dustin Hermanson and outstanding relief by Jim Brower (8-4), San Francisco got its sixth straight home victory—and its 21st in the last 24 games for the NL West leaders.
The Giants have maintained prime position for a playoff spot all summer despite an overwhelming series of injuries and other sadness. Earlier in the season, ace Jason Schmidt’s mother died of a brain tumor.
“There’s not many players whose dad or mom dies while they’re still active. We’ve had it two times this year,” manager Felipe Alou said. “When that happens, it makes all the other guys think, too. … It was really quiet. We were trying to get it going, but the first few innings were quiet.”
The Giants improved their record in one-run games to a major league-best 22-8.
The Marlins lost their fifth straight, but didn’t lose any ground in the NL wild card race, thanks to the Phillies’ loss to St. Louis. Florida is 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia.
Josh Beckett (6-7) struck out six during seven strong innings for Florida, but manager Jack McKeon replaced him with Ugueth Urbina after Torrealba got a leadoff single and Beckett had a 3-1 count on pinch-hitter Aurilia.
Urbina got two outs, but Torrealba stole second base against Urbina’s ponderous delivery—and then Perez lined a double to right-center, easily scoring the catcher. Perez also made several strong defensive plays in a rare start since Aurilia’s return from the disabled list.
“(Beckett) had pitched a good game, but I had to have a strike,” McKeon said of his decision. “I went with our experienced guy, and he got it. … Of course, then the little guy hit one probably further than he’d hit one all season.”
Tim Worrell pitched the ninth for his 27th save in 33 chances.
Juan Encarnacion homered in the fourth for the Marlins, who had two six-game losing streaks before their impressive move into the wild-card race under McKeon.
“You’re going to go through stretches like this,” said Juan Pierre, who went 1-for-4 with a double. “We’ve just got to hold ourselves accountable. It’s not just the Phillies we’ve got to (watch). It’s four or five teams. We can’t let it slide any further.”
Hermanson allowed six hits and one earned run over 5 1-3 innings for the Giants. Hermanson, dropped by St. Louis earlier in the year, has been a capable stopgap starter in San Francisco’s injury-plagued rotation, with a 2.35 ERA in four starts.
Jim Brower relieved Hermanson with two runners on in the sixth and immediately got an inning-ending double-play grounder by Cabrera.
Hammonds hit his second homer with the Giants in the third inning, and Young followed with a single that scored Yorvit Torrealba.
Bobby Bonds played the first seven of his 14 major league seasons with the Giants, joining his son as the only major leaguers with five seasons of 30 homers and 30 stolen bases. His health began to fail last year, but he was at Pac Bell regularly—including last Wednesday night, when the Giants rallied to beat the Atlanta Braves.
Giants rookie Todd Linden doubled for his first major league hit in theseventh when Cabrera lost his fly ball in the left-field sun.
The Giants are 16-2 in one-run games at Pac Bell. … Encarnacion ended an 11-game homerless streak. Earlier in the summer, he went 31 days between homers. … The Giants showed photographs and video clips of Bobby Bonds on the scoreboard at several points during the game. … Hermanson tipped his cap to astanding ovation when he left in the sixth.