Giants 7, Dodgers 1
LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Dodgers didn’t get batters out ahead of Barry Bonds, and he made them pay.
Bonds hit a three-run homer for his 1,300th career extra-base hit, Brett Tomko came within two outs of his first major league shutout and the San Francisco Giants defeated Los Angeles 7-1 Wednesday night.
“It just seems like he comes up every inning,” Dodgers left fielder Dave Roberts said about Bonds.
It wasn’t a one-man show.
A.J. Pierzynski went 4-for-4 to tie his career high and had a two-run double, helping the first-place Giants increase their lead over San Diego in the NL West to 2 1/2 games. The Dodgers dropped 3 1/2 games back.
“I’m getting closer to where I thought I should’ve been at the beginning,” said Pierzynski, in his first NL season after being traded from Minnesota. “I got some good pitches to hit.”
“He’s having trouble throwing his split-finger for strikes and that’s the key,” Dodgers catcher Paul Lo Duca said. “When you’re getting behind guys and having to throw fastballs, you’re going to get hurt. Barry made him pay, and so did Gripp. His arm strength is getting better and better, but mechanically, there’s something that’s just not right.”
Asked if he’s worried about being demoted to the bullpen, Nomo said, “I don’t really think about that. I personally don’t think my fastball has lost speed, but they’ve been hitting my fastball so it’s easy to say that.”
Bonds hit the first pitch he saw from Nomo into the left-field pavilion in the third inning, giving San Francisco a 4-0 lead. Durham singled and J.T. Snow walked to set up Bonds, who homered for the 20th time after being hit by a pitch his first time up.
“He told me before the at-bat he was going to go the other way,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. “Then he told me he didn’t hit it good enough.”
The Dodgers pitched to Bonds one night after walking him four times, including twice intentionally, in a 2-1 victory. He was 1-for-3 and scored two runs. He didn’t talk to reporters after the game.
“When you don’t get the guys in front of him (Bonds), and the guys behind him get base hits, there were just too many people in their lineup that were doing damage for that at-bat to have any significance whatsoever,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said of Bonds’ homer.
Tomko (3-4), in his second start since coming off the disabled list, allowed one run and seven hits, struck out six and walked two in 8 1-3 innings.
“Wins are better than shutouts,” he said.
He gave up three singles in the ninth, including Milton Bradley’s run-scoring hit up the middle on Tomko’s 118th—and final—pitch.
“I’m just proud of Tomko,” Pierzynski said. “The way he’s pitched since coming off the DL is spectacular. I can get all the looks in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if he doesn’t do that. I wanted him to finish the game, but it’s hard to shut out a big league team.”
Tomko held the Dodgers to one run on three hits in six innings of a 9-3 win last Thursday.
“It’s tough to do that in back-to-back starts,” he said. “If it works the first time, why not have the same approach this time?”
The right-hander was out nearly two weeks with right elbow inflammation.
“I’d been struggling trying to find it, throwing a lot,” Tomko said. “Just figuring it out was a big thing. I feel good, I’m throwing hard. This is how it was early in my career.”
Durham led off the game with his 29th career leadoff homer. Grissom hit his 12th homer in the fifth, triggering a three-run inning that extended San Francisco’s lead to 7-0. Pierzynski greeted Wilson Alvarez with his third hit of the game, a two-run double, after Deivi Cruz chased Nomo with a two-out single.
Before the game, Tracy said he had no alternatives other than keeping Nomo in the starting rotation. Afterward, when asked about Nomo’s status, Tracy said curtly, “We won’t talk about that tonight.”
Nomo (3-10) gave up seven runs on seven hits in 4 2-3 innings in his 100th career loss, and third straight to the Giants. The right-hander, who struck out five and walked two, was booed as he left the field.
He’s 0-9 in his last 10 starts since winning 9-4 at Colorado on April 21.
Bonds’ 26th homer at Dodger Stadium is the most by an opponent. … Bonds has 17 seasons with at least 20 homers, three short of Hank Aaron’s record. … Bonds has homered off Nomo four times in his career. … Nomo also got his 100th career victory against the Giants on April 21, 2003, at Dodger Stadium. … Dodgers 1B Shawn Green dropped to the sixth spot in the lineup for the first time since July 20, 2001, against Colorado. He was 0-for-4 and didn’t hit a ball out of the infield. … The Dodgers’ streak of consecutive crowds ofmore than 50,000 ended at seven. The game attracted 41,081.