Giants 4, Diamondbacks 1

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Perhaps teams think Barry Bonds’ bad back will prevent him from hitting home runs. The Arizona Diamondbacks found out that’s not the case—though they disputed the one he did hit.

Bonds hit his first homer in nearly a month and Jason Schmidt won his fifth straight decision, leading the San Francisco Giants over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 Tuesday night.

Edgardo Alfonzo also homered and singled twice for the Giants, who opened a six-game homestand against division rivals Arizona and Colorado by winning their season-high fourth straight game.

Bonds connected for his 11th home run this year and the 669th of his career, hitting a 2-1 pitch from Casey Fossum (0-2) to the wall in center field, where a fan stuck his glove out trying to catch the ball.

Center fielder Steve Finley immediately complained it was interference.

“That wasn’t over the fence. A fan reached down, the ball hit his glove and it dropped,” Finley said. “It’s a real tough call for an ump. He told me that he thought the ball was over the fence. What can you say? They should have something up there to keep the fans from reaching over and affecting the game. It’s a problem with all these new fan-friendly parks.”

Arizona manager Bob Brenly agreed, saying: “There was no question the fan interfered with that play. There’s no doubt in my mind. It wasn’t a homer.”

The 39-year-old Bonds, who had not homered since April 29 against Florida, is third on the career home run list behind Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). Bonds has played in three straight games after missing two because of back spasms.

“I’m OK,” Bonds said after the game, then added, “I’m done interviewing” as he left the clubhouse.

Bonds has already drawn 59 walks—30 intentional—in 36 games, and recently complained of being bored and tired.

But the Diamondbacks pitched to him. The six-time NL MVP singled in the first and flied out in the fourth. When he came up in the seventh with runners on first and second, Brenly sent in left-hander Randy Choate to face the slugger and Bonds grounded out to third.

“He’s on his way back,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “The fact that he struggled, maybe people will pitch to him now for a few games.”

Schmidt (5-2) retired 12 straight following Alex Cintron’s one-out single in the first. Cintron stole second, and the Diamondbacks didn’t get past first base again until Scott Hairston’s triple leading off the eighth.

Hairston scored on Brent Mayne’s RBI groundout.

Schmidt, coming off a one-hitter last week at Chicago, went 3-0 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts against the Diamondbacks last season and dominated them again.

The right-hander, a 17-game winner with an NL-leading 2.34 ERA last season, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one before giving way to Jason Christiansen after Cintron’s bloop single to start the ninth. Christiansen faced one batter, then Matt Herges finished for his 13th save in 15 chances.

Schmidt wanted to finish the game, but since he was pitching on six days’ rest, Alou opted to take him out because he didn’t want Schmidt’s regular routine to be compromised. Schmidt was supposed to pitch Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the Expos in Puerto Rico, but the game was rained out.

“I prefer to go every five days,” he said. “I feel a little rusty when I have extra rest. … We’re on a good streak right now. We’re starting to score some runs. I didn’t try to trick anybody. Tonight they made it easy on me.”

Alfonzo, who batted .174 (4-for-23) in five road games last week, connected for his second home run in the first, a two-run shot.

Alou had to be creative with his infield after first baseman J.T. Snow and second baseman Ray Durham went on the disabled list before the game.

Neifi Perez moved from shortstop to second, Deivi Cruz started at shortstop,Pedro Feliz played first and Alfonzo was at third.


Arizona’s Luis Gonzalez was ejected in the ninth for arguing a called third strike. He got in the face of plate umpire Doug Eddings before being held back by Brenly. “No controversy here, that’s not my style,” Gonzalez said. “He felt that it was a strike and I didn’t. It was a mild disagreement. I was a little frustrated up there.” … The Giants’ four-game winning streak is their longest since winning four straight last Sept. 14-17. … Alfonzo has hit safely in 17 of 19 games. … The Giants have won 18 of the last 23 meetings against Arizona since Sept. 6, 2002. … Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with twostrikeouts.

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