SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Bengie Molina knew he had hit two home runs, yet had to be reminded by bullpen catcher Bill Hayes that both were in the same inning.
Molina hit a disputed two-run homer in the fifth, then added a three-run drive later in the same inning. Each time, he thought he had a double off the wall.
Molina became the first Giants player to homer twice in an inning since Willie McCovey in 1977, and Rich Aurilia also hit a three-run homer in the nine-run fifth to lead San Francisco over the New York Mets 9-4 on Monday night.
“I don’t know what to say, man. I’ve never done this,” Molina said. “I’m not thinking anything right now, I’m so excited. … It’s awesome. Not bad company at all.”
Barry Zito (3-3) struck out five in six innings to win for the first time in three starts. He also had his second career hit in 44 career at-bats and scored his first major league run.
“The pitcher got a hit there and at the time it seemed like something very minimal, but then all hell just breaks loose,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
Barry Bonds returned to the lineup and went 0-for-2 after getting the day off in Sunday night’s 8-5 loss to Philadelphia. He hit his 744th career homer Saturday, moving within 11 of Hank Aaron’s record 755.
When Bonds scored in the fifth, it gave him sole possession of third place in runs with 2,175—moving him out of a tie with Aaron and Babe Ruth behind Rickey Henderson (2,295) and Ty Cobb (2,245).
With the Mets leading 1-0 and Ray Durham aboard on a leadoff walk in the fifth, Molina lined a shot off Oliver Perez (3-3) to deep left-center. The ball hit the top of the wall, just in front of a fan, and dropped onto the warning track by Moises Alou.
Randolph came out to argue, then the umpires huddled and ruled it a homer.
“He didn’t give me any information on it,” Randolph said. “I guess the ball hit the fence, but he didn’t give me an answer.”
Molina briefly held up at second base and raised his hands in question.
“Willie contended that maybe a fan reached over and touched the ball,” crew chief Bruce Froemming said. “The fan interference calls are murder in some of these parks. The fans gotcha out there with arms and they’re leaning over or whatever. And what he (Mark Wegner) saw and what we agreed with was the ball was above the fence when it hit the fan with his hands or whatever it did and that without the fan touching it the ball’s out.”
Following consecutive two-out errors by second baseman Damion Easley and right fielder Shawn Green, the latter on a dropped fly ball that allowed a run to score, Aurilia’s homer put the Giants ahead 6-1. In his second stint with San Francisco, Aurilia hit his first homer as a Giant since Sept. 26, 2003, against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Kaz Ishii.
“If we could have gotten out of the inning 3-1, I would have felt a lot better,” Easley said. “But there were a lot of could-haves, would-haves and should-haves tonight.”
Molina’s second homer came off Lino Urdaneta, matched his career high of five RBis and made him the first Giants player to homer twice in an inning since McCovey did it in the sixth at Cincinnati on June 27, 1977. The previous player in the majors to accomplish the feat was Tampa Bay’s Julio Lugo last July 22.
“That’s quite an inning for Bengie,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
It was Molina’s second career two-homer game and first since May 12, 2000, against Texas while with the Angels. He has three on the year.
San Francisco had its first nine-run inning since scoring nine in the fourth of a 10-7 win against Atlanta on April 28, 2004. The Mets gave up nine or more runs in an inning for the first time since an 18-10 loss at Atlanta on April 7, 2004.
Zito was happy to take part in the rally.
“They’re bound to fall,” said Zito, who has as many hits off Perez as Bonds—one. “The fact we put up a nine-spot, I don’t think anybody expected it.”
Bonds lined out to shallow right in the second, then struck out looking to end the fourth. Perez danced off the mound in delight then gleefully hopped over the first-base line on the way to the dugout. Bonds walked again in the seventh, his 30th of the year, then was replaced in left field by Kevin Frandsen in the top of the eighth.
Perez retired the first nine Giants before Randy Winn beat out an infield single to start the fourth. He lasted just 4 2-3 innings, allowing eight runs— two earned—and five hits.
Alou, who spent the past two seasons with the Giants, was back in the lineup for the first time since Thursday after recovering from soreness in his left knee. He went 0-for-4 with a walk.
Zito improved to 87-4 when receiving four or more runs of support. … Henderson retrieved a foul ball by Bengie Molina in the lower box of seats behind the plate in the bottom of the second. … Vizquel had his own animated rooting section in left field and the group held a long banner with each of the shortstop’s 11 Gold Gloves.