Giants 7, Rockies 6
DENVER (AP)—He drew a key walk instead of hitting a big homer, played a supporting role instead of winning the game by himself. Either way, there’s no denying that Barry Bonds makes a difference for the San Francisco Giants.
Bonds had his streak of four straight games with a homer stopped Friday night, but he drew a base on balls in San Francisco’s rally from four runs down in the eighth inning for a 7-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
“I guess he has been very important,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “It’s important to have him walk. We usually have big innings when they walk Barry.”
The Giants (72-81) improved to 7-1 with Bonds in the starting lineup and remained five games behind the first-place San Diego Padres in the NL West. San Diego cut its magic number to five with a 5-3 victory at Arizona on Friday night.
Bonds finished with two singles, a walk and an RBI. The unintentional four-pitch walk came off Mike DeJean (5-4) with the Giants trailing by four and two men on.
Moises Alou followed with a two-run double to make it 6-4. Ray Durham, hitless in his previous 23 at-bats, followed that with a two-run single to tie it at 6 and, after Durham advanced on a wild pitch, pinch-hitter J.T. Snow singled in the go-ahead run to complete the five-run inning.
It was Snow’s first appearance since Sept. 12. He had missed time with a strained hamstring.
“J.T. Snow got a clutch hit to win the game. Our bullpen did a great job,” Bonds said in answering the only question he fielded after the game.
While Bonds wasn’t hitting home runs—he stayed stuck on 707, seven behind Babe Ruth for second on the all-time list—he got to watch two fly over his head.
Matt Holliday and Danny Ardoin hit homers to left field off Matt Kinney, who was making his first start of the season, to help Colorado to a 6-0 lead after three innings. Both shots were hit well out and Bonds simply stood and watched, with no reason to run to the fence.
Bonds homered twice in Washington earlier this week to extend his streak to four straight games with a homer.
He took Thursday off, then came to Coors Field, a home run hitter’s haven, where he has gone deep 24 times, the most of any visiting player. Facing Rockies starter Jeff Francis, Bonds hit a high pop out to the infield in the second, then two singles to right, the first of which scored Pedro Feliz to pull the Giants within 6-2 in the fourth.
“Jeff went right after Barry tonight,” said Ardoin, the catcher. “Any time you keep Barry in the ballpark you’ve done a pretty good job. Any club that’s facing him would be satisfied with a couple of singles going after the guy.”
Bonds’ arrival in Denver was greeted with some boos, although there were even more catcalls when DeJean threw the four straight balls to the slugger in the eighth.
“The plan was to keep the ball down and move it around,” DeJean said. “The guy can hit. He has awesome power and is a great hitter. You try to make pitches on him and don’t show him too many pitches in the same spot, in the same speed.”
Francis threw six innings and allowed two runs and six hits with three strikeouts. His effort, however, was ruined by a Colorado bullpen that blew its 25th save of the season.
Todd Helton had three singles and two RBIs for the Rockies, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.
The game drew 35,265, nearly double what the Rockies averaged in their four-game series against the Padres, which ended Thursday.
Holliday’s homer was his third of the homestand, coming three nights after his two-homer, eight-RBI night in a 20-1 win over the Padres. … San Francisco improved to 35-29 against the NL West. … Alou went with Walker in the save situation over Armando Benitez because Benitez was complaining of tightness in his leg on the flight from Washington to Denver. Alou said Benitez, who has 14 saves since coming off the DL on Aug. 15, would likely be available Saturday.