Even without Bonds, Giants hit 4 homers in 9-3 rout of Braves

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ATLANTA (AP)—Barry Bonds got the night off. The San Francisco Giants did just fine without the home run king.

The Giants homered in each of the first four innings off Atlanta’s Chuck James, whose only solace Thursday was not having to face Bonds.

“Good thing he wasn’t in the lineup,” James said after matching his shortest start of the season in the Braves’ 9-3 loss to the Giants. “That wouldn’t have made my day any better.”

It was bad enough. James lasted only 3 2-3 innings and gave up four homers in a game for the first time in his career. San Francisco scored in every inning until the eighth.

“We went into power mode with the speed team out there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “That was without question one of our best-played games.”

San Francisco jumped ahead quickly on Bengie Molina’s three-run homer in the first. He batted cleanup in place of Bonds, who got the night off after hitting his 759th career homer on Wednesday.

Daniel Ortmeier led off the second with his fourth homer, Randy Winn hit a solo shot in the third and light-hitting Kevin Frandsen finished off James (9-9) with a two-out homer in the fourth, giving the Giants a 6-2 lead.

“He had nothing,” Braves manager Bobby Cox moaned.

San Francisco drove two other pitches to the warning track against James, who still managed to equal his season high by giving up six earned runs.

“The ball just wasn’t coming out of my hand very good,” he said. “There’s just no life on my fastball. Unfortunately, I’m not hitting my spots, either. That’s a bad mix.”

Tim Lincecum (7-3) added another win to his strong rookie season. He went five innings, giving up five hits and three earned runs before coming out after throwing 89 pitches.

Pat Misch, just back from the minors, followed with three perfect innings before Brian Wilson worked the ninth. Rajai Davis ended the game by leaping against the wall to rob Andruw Jones of a two-run homer.

It was the sort of catch that Jones has made so many times.

“I’m sure he’s taken a lot from other players,” Davis said. “I had a great time making it.”

Misch was recalled from Triple-A Fresno after Randy Messenger broke a bone in his non-pitching hand during batting practice the previous day.

“I could go forever,” Misch said. “I feel good. It’s no fun if you’re sitting on the bench.”

The Braves drove several balls to the warning track on another blistering night in Hot ‘Lanta, but managed only six hits.

“We had balls hit hard,” Jones said. “It just was not meant for us to win this game.”

Again, Philadelphia leapfrogged the Braves for second place in the NL East, going a half-game ahead with a 4-2 win at Washington. The two teams have swapped places seven times in the last 10 days.

Atlanta remained 3 1/2 games behind the first-place New York Mets, who lost 10-7 at Pittsburgh.

The last-place Giants won for only the second time in nine games.

Atlanta bounced back after Molina’s homer, putting up two runs in the bottom half of the first. But James and the Braves’ bullpen couldn’t shut down the Giants, who stretched out their lead with single runs in every inning from the second through the seventh.

“If we could have held them close, I’m sure we would have done a good job of coming back,” Cox said. “We just couldn’t keep it close.”

Molina had four RBIs in all, adding a sacrifice fly in the seventh. The deep fly ball was the other offensive weapon of choice for the Giants, who also got sac flies from Winn and pinch-hitter Ryan Klesko.

San Francisco made the most of its 10 hits, leaving only three runners on base.

Lincecum surrendered two hits and a walk in the first. The Braves pushed across runs on a wild pitch and Mark Teixeira’s force-out, but they didn’t do much after that.

Yunel Escobar accounted for the Braves’ only other run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth.

Notes

San Francisco had four homers in a game for the first time since July 27 and only the third time this season. … The umpires has an easy night after ejecting Klesko and both managers the previous game. No one came close to getting tossed in this one. … Braves C Brian McCann extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a double in the fourth. … Frandsen was mired in a 2-for-27 slump before his second homer of the season. … Braves 3B Chipper Jones stretched his hitting streak to 10 games, the 23rd double-digit run of his career.

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