ANOTHER homerun for Bonds

Saturday, September 1st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Barry Bonds' 57th homer did little to spoil John Thomson's best outing since shoulder surgery two years ago.

Thomson allowed two runs on seven hits in 7 1-3 innings, his longest outing since 1998, as the Colorado Rockies defeated the slumping San Francisco Giants 5-2 Friday night.

``It was just a mistake pitch that he capitalized on,'' Thomson said. ``He's got 551 homers _ he's capitalized on other people's mistakes, too.''

Bonds' eighth-inning homer, a towering two-run shot that splashed into the cove behind right field, came too late to save the Giants from yet another defeat.

The loss dropped the Giants 4 games behind Arizona, which split a doubleheader at San Diego, in the NL West. San Francisco is 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the wild card race.

Bonds' homer came in the Giants' 135th game as he aims at Mark McGwire's 1998 record of 70 homers in a season. Sammy Sosa is the quickest to 57 homers, doing it in 133 games in 1999.

Bonds' homer came on an 0-and-2 pitch, only the second time this season he has homered on such a count.

Until the homer by Bonds, Thomson was in command.

``He pitched great. He made a mistake to Bonds, but he's not the only one who's done that this year,'' Rockies manager Buddy Bell said. ``That was really one of the few bad pitches he made all night. And if you make a bad pitch to him, you pay for it.''

Thomson has bounced between the Rockies and the minors this season while continuing to recover from the 1999 postseason shoulder surgery that kept him out of the majors all last season. His first victory in more than two years came two weeks ago against Florida.

Until the Bonds homer, Thomson had not allowed a runner past second base. He also made two excellent fielding plays, including a diving catch of a bunt by Calvin Murray in the third that he turned into a double play.

Jay Powell pitched the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances.

The Rockies scored five runs on two hits and three walks in the first. Alex Ochoa had a bases-loaded walk, Juan Uribe doubled in two runs and Gary Bennett had a sacrifice fly for Colorado, which has won six of eight _ all on the road.

Russ Ortiz (14-8) allowed five runs on four hits and four walks in seven innings for San Francisco, which has lost six of eight.

``That first inning was a little rough. I thought at first we could get out of it without a run,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ``Russ was trying to stay aggressive and he just got out of sync. We didn't have a lot of offense, anyway.''

Thomson won for the first time against San Francisco. He was 0-4 with a 4.94 ERA in nine previous games against the Giants.

It was just the third win for Colorado in 13 games at Pacific Bell Park, the Giants' stadium that opened last season.

Notes: Bonds left the clubhouse after the game without speaking to reporters. ... The Giants outhit the Rockies 9-5. ... 3B Jeff Cirillo was scratched from the Rockies' starting lineup due to tightness in his lower back. Greg Norton took his place. ... Colorado is 5-5 on a four-city trip that ends Monday in San Francisco. ... The Giants had won nine of 12 home games. ... Ortiz entered the game with a 5-1 record, including his only shutout, against the Rockies. He had been 13-2 in his previous 20 appearances at Pac Bell Park. ... The last time Thomson went more than 7 1-3 innings was when he went eight innings against Montreal on Aug. 11, 1998.