<
>

Dodgers top Giants but still lose NL West, get wild card

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Greg Maddux had little preference on the
Los Angeles Dodgers' playoff opponent.

"Yeah, go to New York," he said.

Maddux will start Game 2 against the Mets after the Dodgers
wound up as the NL wild-card team Sunday.

Los Angeles beat San Francisco 4-3 in what might've been Barry Bonds' last game for the Giants, and ended up even in the standings
with San Diego. The Padres held the tiebreaker based on
head-to-head record and earned the West crown.

"We're looking forward to getting this thing started," Los
Angeles manager Grady Little said. "What's taken place here
started last year. Everything has been positive."

The Dodgers went 5-13 against the Padres. San Diego will open
the postseason at home against St. Louis.

"We did everything we could do but beat San Diego," Dodgers
general manager Ned Colletti said. "I think the division is a lot
better than people give it credit for. Last year was an
aberration."

Ramon Martinez hit a tying, two-run double in the sixth inning
for the Dodgers. Jason Repko stole a base and scored the go-ahead
run in the seventh on Julio Lugo's single.

Bonds made good with his final swing against the archrival
Dodgers, hitting a double in the sixth and then calling it a day.
He wasted no time making his exit, packing every souvenir he could
-- including the nameplate from above his corner locker, which was
empty but for a few hangers.

Only baby powder, a spit cup and a water bottle remained on top
of his personal TV.

After his hit, Bonds raised his batting helmet in his left hand
and waved it to the noisy crowd and hugged Dodgers third baseman
Olmedo Saenz as he came off the field, lifted for pinch-runner Fred Lewis.

Bonds left to chants of "Barry! Barry!" and the cheers
continued through Shea Hillenbrand's at-bat before the slugger
emerged again from the dugout and waved, this time holding two bats
in his left hand.

No. 25, always loved in San Francisco despite the steroids
accusations and other personal problems, received a warm ovation
when he took his spot in left field. The 42-year-old slugger
finished 1-for-2 with a run scored to end his 14th season in the
Bay Area and 21st of his big league career.

"Hey, Barry, we'll see you next year!" one man hollered as
Bonds stood in the on-deck circle in the third.

Bonds' five-year, $90 million contract is up after the season,
but the Giants are likely to do everything they can to bring him
back.

Bonds has 734 career home runs, 21 from tying Hank Aaron's
all-time record of 755 -- and San Francisco hosts the All-Star game
in its waterfront ballpark next July. Bonds is a big reason the
team has drawn 3 million fans in all seven seasons of the stadium's
existence.

The seven-time NL MVP waved to the crowd when he walked to the
on-deck circle before leading off in the second. He backpedaled to
make a nice running catch on a liner by starting pitcher Eric Stults in the third.

Bonds tied his godfather, Willie Mays, for the all-time San
Francisco mark for runs scored with 1,480.

"It's been ridiculous what he's still capable of doing,"
rookie Giants pitcher Matt Cain said.

Chad Billingsley (7-4) replaced Stults and pitched the seventh
for the win. Joe Beimel finished for his second save.

Jason Schmidt struck out seven in six innings in likely his
final start for San Francisco after 5½ seasons with the Giants. He
is one of 11 potential free agents on the club, which is expected
to announce as soon as Monday that manager Felipe Alou won't return
for a fifth season as skipper.

"I really wanted it, but this was a typical finish the way the
season has gone," Schmidt said. "I have no idea what will happen.
I'll just have to wait and see. It's hard to say goodbye because we
don't know what the future brings. Everybody's unsettled."

Alou's son, right fielder Moises, is another who might be gone --
and he received loud cheers as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. He
singled to raise his average to .301.

Brad Hennessey (5-6) was the loser for the Giants, who missed
the playoffs for the third straight year.

Stults, a rookie left-hander, made his second major league start
and sixth appearance overall in place of Derek Lowe, who will be
the Dodgers' Game 1 playoff starter. Stults allowed three runs and
four hits in five innings, struck out one and walked two.

Little, who has guided this team back to the playoffs after an
awful 2005, rested many of his regulars. First baseman Nomar Garciaparra sat for the second straight day after tweaking his left
side on a swinging strikeout in the eighth inning Friday night.

James Loney hit a solo homer onto the walkway beyond the
right-field wall to give the Dodgers the lead in the second, then
the Giants went ahead in the bottom half on Pedro Feliz's two-run
double.

Game notes
Kenny Lofton stole his 32nd base in the eighth, No. 599 of
his career. ... Giants CF Randy Winn missed his second straight
game with a strained left calf. ... Before his double, Feliz was
1-for-17 on the homestand and hitless in his previous three games.
... Stults singled in the fifth for his third hit in five career
at-bats.