Diamondbacks 7, Giants 4
Tony Gwynn: Bonds’ troubles are just beginning
PHOENIX (AP)—Luis Gonzalez got his wish.
Gonzalez became the 21st player with 300 home runs and 500 doubles on Tuesday night, hitting an RBI double off the wall in the sixth inning of Arizona’s 7-4 win over the San Francisco Giants.
The game was stopped while second base was replaced after the landmark hit and the Chase Field crowd rose to cheer Gonzalez. Teammates stood on the top step of the dugout and applauded.
“I wanted to do it so bad here at home,” said Gonzalez, who has been an Arizona icon since his bloop single drove in the winning run in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.
Gonzalez, a 16-year veteran, has 320 home runs. He joins a list led by Hank Aaron, who hit 755 homers and 624 doubles. The only other active player in the group is Barry Bonds, who hit his 567th double in the top of the inning. Bonds has 708 homers—and he barely missed No. 709.
“I’ve looked at the list a couple of times, and I’ve just marveled at some of the guys that are on that list,” Gonzalez said. “Just to have your name associated with that—you know, I was a small kid out of Tampa when I started playing minor league baseball. I always say I don’t have all the best skills, but I’m going to go out there and give you everything I’ve got.”
Bonds hit a 1-2 pitch from reliever Juan Cruz deep to straightaway center in the sixth. The ball hit a few feet below the 25-foot high yellow line atop the wall and bounced back onto the field as Bonds jogged into second with a double. He later scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.
But in the bottom half Gonzalez drove a Matt Morris pitch off the center-field wall to drive in Chad Tracy and tie the game. Tony Clark added a pinch-hit two-run single as Arizona scored five runs in the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.
“Not only does he get this double, it was a huge hit in the game,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “We just kind of rolled along after that.”
Several of the Giants also applauded Gonzalez after his big double, including Bonds and center fielder Steve Finley, who teamed with Gonzalez in Arizona.
“That’s great for him,” Finley said. “That’s a great milestone for him to get to, but I wish he would have got it in a loss to us.”
Gonzalez was moved by his peers’ show of respect.
“I love playing the game, I love the competitiveness, but when you earn the respect from your teammates and the peers across the field, I think that’s what means the most to me every time I put the uniform on and go out there and play,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he’s surprised that more active players aren’t on the 300-homer, 500-double list, but he has a theory about why it’s such an exclusive group.
“I think the art of the double has kind of been lost because of the home runs and the power,” Gonzalez said.
Morris (2-1) left after 5 2-3 innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs.
Brandon Lyon (1-0) tossed a shutout inning for Arizona to get the win.
For Arizona, the only blemish came when starter Russ Ortiz left with a cramp in his right calf with one out in the third inning. The club said Ortiz will be evaluated Wednesday.
Five relievers followed Ortiz, allowing four runs on five hits.
“It wasn’t an ideal situation, but the bullpen came up huge,” Melvin said.
The Diamondbacks plan to celebrate Gonzalez’ milestone with a ceremony on the field before Wednesday night’s game. … Along with his double, Bonds grounded into a double play and was walked twice. He’s drawn four walks in nine plate appearances in the first two games of the series.