Durham Gives Giants Rare Sweep in L.A.

Friday, April 27th 2007, 7:36 am
By: News On 6

It was the situation Barry Bonds thrives on: runners at the corners, none out in the eighth inning of a tied game against the rival Dodgers. It didn't turn out the way he would have scripted it, though Bonds won't complain. After the slugger grounded into a double play that failed to score the runner from third, Ray Durham doubled home the go-ahead run and the San Francisco Giants defeated Los Angeles 5-4 on Thursday night for their season-high eighth straight victory.

``That's big,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. ``When you get off to a rough start, the important thing is to handle it. We're on a good roll right now with contributions from everybody.''

The Dodgers dropped their fourth in a row, got swept for the first time this year and lost their first series at home this season.

``If you dwell on this series and it messes you up for the next series, it's a snowball effect,'' Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre said. ``Good teams and individual players know how to nip it in the bud.''

Kevin Correia (1-1) got the victory, allowing one hit in 1 1-3 innings with one strikeout. Armando Benitez pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

The win moved the Giants into first place in the tough NL West, percentage points ahead of the Dodgers and a game ahead of the Padres, who lost in 7-4 in Arizona.

Joe Beimel (1-1) took the loss, giving up two runs and three hits in 1 2-3 innings.

Beimel got out of a jam after putting runners on first and third in the eighth when Bonds hit a double-play grounder to third baseman Wilson Betemit that failed to score Omar Vizquel from third. But Durham followed with a double to center field, scoring Vizquel. Bengie Molina's RBI single off Jonathan Broxton made it 5-3.

Bonds went 1-for-3 with an intentional walk for the Giants, who have won eight straight for the first time since taking 10 in a row in May 2004.

Durham went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Molina went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

Andre Ethier cut the Giants' lead to 5-4 with a two-out homer on a 3-2 pitch from Brad Hennessey in the eighth.

In other NL games, it was: Pittsburgh 5, Houston 3; St. Louis 7, Cincinnati 5; Washington 4, Philadelphia 2; and Arizona 7, San Diego 4.

The Dodgers scored three runs over the first two innings on Nomar Garciaparra's RBI single, Ethier's RBI double and Rafael Furcal's RBI single _ all to left field off Russ Ortiz.

Dave Roberts put the Giants on the board in the third with an RBI single off Brad Penny.

San Francisco tied the game at 3 in the sixth on RBI singles by Durham and Molina. Durham's single went off the glove of leaping second baseman Jeff Kent.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4

Tony Clark has his second two-homer game of the season, Livan Hernandez pitched seven solid innings and Arizona won in front of its smallest home crowd in franchise history.

With Game 3 of the Phoenix Suns' opening round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers on television, only 16,792 showed up at Chase Field.

Clark broke a 3-3 tie with shot into the pool area in right-center leading off the fourth. He drove in two more with a towering homer to right in the sixth. Both home runs came off San Diego starter Chris Young (2-2), who gave up six runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Hernandez (2-1) gave up a three-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez in the first, then blanked the Padres for the next six innings.

Pirates 5, Astros 3

Jason Bay's two-run single in the sixth inning off Wandy Rodriguez gave host Pittsburgh its second three-game sweep of Houston this season.

Barely 12 hours after the Astros left 18 runners on base during a 16-inning loss, they stranded 13 and played sloppily in the field with two errors during the Pirates' go-ahead sixth inning against Rodriguez (0-3).

Houston pushed across two runs in the ninth but John Grabow got Adam Everett to ground into a forceout at second with the bases loaded to end the game. It was Grabow's first save since 2004.

Jonah Bayliss (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to help the Pirates improve to 6-0 against the Astros this season after going 3-13 against them last season.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5

Skip Schumaker had a career-best three hits and two RBIs to help host St. Louis rally for the win.

Adam Kennedy's second double of the game snapped a sixth-inning tie for the Cardinals, who won consecutive home games for the first time this season and improved to 3-7 at Busch Stadium.

Kyle Lohse (1-1) allowed five runs and 11 hits in six innings for Cincinnati, which has lost seven of its last 10. Brandon Phillips and David Ross homered.

Russ Springer (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning to get the win and Jason Isringhausen got three outs for his sixth save.

Nationals 4, Phillies 2

Shawn Hill gave up two runs and four hits in eight-plus innings and visiting Washington snapped Philadelphia's five-game winning streak.

Dmitri Young homered for the Nationals and Chad Cordero got three outs for his second save. Hill (2-2), who hasn't allowed more than two runs in any of his five starts this season, struck out three.

Aaron Rowand hit a solo shot for the Phillies to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14 games. Cole Hamels (2-1) allowed four runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings.