Bonds got a standing ovation in his first home game since the death of his father, Bobby, on Aug. 23. An oversize replica of the circular “BB” black patches on the Giants’ sleeves has been placed on the right-field wall at Pacific Bell Park.
Bonds responded to the ovation with a double off the left-field wall in the second, earning another round of raucous cheers. He went 1-for-2 with two walks—and despite the Giants’ one-run lead, hundreds of fans headed for the exits after Javier Lopez struck out Bonds looking in the eighth.
Perhaps the fans knew they could count on the Giants for more of the flawless execution and timely hits they’ve been getting throughout a turmoil-filled, injury-plagued season.
“We haven’t made too many mistakes with a lead lately, and that’s a credit to everybody—not just the bullpen,” said reliever Matt Herges, who pitched out of a jam in the seventh for his first victory with the Giants. “Our hitters have been getting leads, and the pitching staff has been hanging on to them.”
Aurilia matched his career high for hits and drove in Bonds with an RBI single as the Giants won for the 22nd time in their last 26 home games. In its return from a 5-2 road trip, San Francisco improved to 40-17 against the rest of the NL West.
“Another solid outing by Kevin (Correia), another good defensive effort and two key hits,” Aurilia said. “That was about it. There’s not a lot more to say.”
Larry Walker hit his first homer in two weeks for the Rockies, who lost their ninth straight road game. It was Walker’s first homer at Pac Bell, and it was the brightest spot on another dismal night for the slumping team.
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was ejected from the dugout in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes with umpire Ted Barrett—particularly Herges’ called third strike against pinch-hitter Greg Norton with two runners on in the seventh.
“The umpire was more interested in who was coming in to pitch than listening to me talk about the location of certain pitches,” Hurdle said. “I think he couldn’t hear because the crowd was so loud.
“We didn’t hit for most of August. It’s an ongoing occurrence.”
Correia, the Giants’ rookie starter, and Colorado’s Jose Jimenez pitched six strong innings apiece—but the Rockies’ shaky bullpen failed again. Feliz, getting a rare start in place of Edgardo Alfonzo, led off the seventh with his 13th homer of the season off Adam Bernero (0-2).
“That’s the best one I’ve hit this season that felt like it was gone all the way,” Feliz said. “It’s exciting to do it that way. Anything we can do to take some of the work away from Barry and keep winning, that’s good for us.”
The Giants’ pitching staff has allowed three earned runs during the four-game winning streak.
In his third major league start, Correia didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings. Todd Helton, who scampered to first after striking out on a wild pitch, was the only baserunner.
Walker led off the fifth with his 13th homer of the season, but Correia allowed only three hits and struck out six.
Jimenez matched Correia’s performance, allowing five hits, four walks and a run when Bonds scored on Aurilia’s second-inning single.
“I made my pitches, but it’s hard to pitch well when you don’t have any runs,” Jimenez said. “I try not to worry about runs. I just worry about their hitters. We’re in a slump, but hopefully we’ll get some runs.”
Ray Durham made his first appearance for the Giants since Aug. 6, popping out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. Durham, San Francisco’s starting secondbaseman, has been slow to recover from a strained hamstring.
San Francisco improved the majors’ best home record to 47-19. … The two-game series concludes Wednesday. … Preston Wilson got the night off for Colorado. Hurdle wanted his star center fielder to have back-to-back days off for added rest. … The Giants already clinched the season series between the clubs for the fifth straight season, winning 10 of their first 17 meetings. … The Giants drew 39,419 fans, narrowly ending a streak of 34 consecutivesellouts at Pac Bell.