Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4, 11 innings
Mantei’s comically erratic inning was an unlikely end to what began as a duel between aces Jason Schmidt and Curt Schilling. Arizona held the Giants scoreless for six innings until Mantei walked three batters in the 11th, sending the Diamondbacks to their 10th loss in 11 games at Pacific Bell Park.
Even Grissom, the free-swinging outfielder with 523 at-bats and just 17 walks all season, wasn’t tempted to stop Mantei from beating himself—not after a little advice from Barry Bonds.
“The guy in the on-deck circle told me to take two strikes,” Grissom said. “(Mantei) is tough. I’ve faced him over the years, and you have to make him throw strikes.”
While the Giants are sitting on a comfortable division lead, Arizona can’t afford such lapses—particularly after Luis Gonzalez’s clutch hitting gave the Diamondbacks a chance to steal a game in San Francisco following Friday night’s 8-1 win.
“It was one of those games that was going to hinge on a mistake, whether it was a mental error or, in this case, a base on balls,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “We just couldn’t come up big when we needed it.”
Edgardo Alfonzo led off the 11th with a single off Mantei (5-4), who had issued just 11 walks all season before his two appearances this week.
Mantei, who left the mound so quickly that he almost ran into Grissom, also walked three batters while blowing a save at Kansas City on Thursday.
“The last two outings have been terrible,” the Diamondbacks’ closer said. “I just can’t find the strike zone. I need to figure something out. I didn’t have control of anything today.”
It was the Giants’ 22nd victory this season in their final at-bat. They improved to a major league-best 26-9 in one-run games while maintaining their 12-game NL West lead by beating the Diamondbacks for the 22nd time in their last 29 meetings.
“One-run games and tight situations—I’m kind of too old for that,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. “All year long, it’s been like that. … Grissom is the last guy you’d think is going to walk. How many walks do you think he’s got all year? I don’t think he’s got 20.”
Scott Eyre (2-1) got two outs for the victory.
The game concluded more than two hours after a matchup of marquee starters ended. Schmidt outpitched Schilling until Arizona tied it on Gonzalez’s two-run double in the seventh.
Schilling, winless in his last four starts, gave up six hits and four walks while striking out eight in six innings.
Schmidt got seven strikeouts while allowing six hits and three walks. But he was denied a chance for his fourth victory over the Diamondbacks this season when Gonzalez capped Arizona’s two-out rally with a drive into the right-center gap.
“It was disappointing not to get the win, because there aren’t many times you’ll get a lead on Schilling,” Schmidt said.
Bonds got three more walks from the Diamondbacks. Two were intentional, including a free pass with none on in the eighth.
Grissom drove home Eric Young and Snow with a third-inning double, and San Francisco went up 4-1 in the fourth on RBI singles by Young and Snow.
Mondesi hit Schmidt’s first pitch of the sixth for his third homer with the Diamondbacks, but Schmidt seemed headed for his 10th victory since the All-Star break until Finley beat out a squib in front of the plate in the seventh.
After pinch-hitter Felix Jose walked, Gonzalez lined Schmidt’s 115th pitch into the gap. The Giants had a chance to get pinch-runner Junior Spivey at the plate, but Young’s relay throw was terribly weak, bouncing off the mound as Spivey slid home with the tying run.
The Diamondbacks rallied in the ninth when Finley ripped a one-out double down the right-field line. He advanced to third on Benito Santiago’s passedball, but Spivey and Mondesi couldn’t get him home.
Arizona 3B Craig Counsell went 0-for-4, extending his slump to 3-for-41. … In the second inning, Bonds hit a foul ball that smashed into the back of a television hanging above the press box. Improbably, the TV kept working just fine. … The Giants had their 43rd sellout in 69 home games this season. … The Giants already have clinched their second straight season series victory over the Diamondbacks. … In the 11th, Arizona used Elmer Dessens—Sunday’s starting pitcher—as a pinch-hitter. Dessens struck out onthree failed sacrifice attempts.