Series: Game 1 of 4

Arizona leads 1-0 (as of 9/5)

Game 1: Thursday, September 5
Arizona 8Final
San Francisco 5
Game 2: Friday, September 6
Arizona 0Final
San Francisco 1
Game 3: Saturday, September 7
Arizona 3Final
San Francisco 4
Game 4: Sunday, September 8
Arizona 1Final
San Francisco 3

Diamondbacks 8

(87-53, 41-28 away)

Giants 5

(78-61, 39-29 home)

    10:15 PM ET, September 5, 2002

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 400000040 8 - -
    SF 000210011 5 - -

    W: C. Schilling (22-5)

    L: J. Schmidt (10-7)

    Schilling matches his career-best win total

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- When Curt Schilling faced down Barry Bonds, he didn't worry about the magnitude of a confrontation between the leading hitter and the winningest pitcher in the majors.

    Barry Bonds

    The Giants can only hope the Astros give Barry Bonds an opportunity to swing the bat in the next three games.

    Schilling looked at it as the type of challenge that keeps him working hard to master the game -- particularly when Bonds' 434-foot homer showed him how much he still can improve before the postseason.

    Schilling yielded Bonds' 608th career home run, but he pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for his 22nd victory as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 8-5 Thursday night.

    Though he has the best record in baseball, Schilling (22-5) feels he's struggled in the last several weeks. With resilience and a big early lead, however, he succeeded in his third attempt to match his career-best win total of last season.

    "This was as big of a start as I've had all season,'' Schilling said. "It's hard to give yourself confidence when you don't feel like you're doing things well ... (but) this entire season, I've had to go after (Bonds) with fastballs, because I feel like that's the way I can get him out.''

    Two innings after Bonds' two-run shot, he came to the plate again. Instead of pitching around Bonds, as manager Bob Brenly gently suggested to his veteran ace, Schilling went right after Bonds again -- eventually walking him, but not backing down from the challenge.

    "That wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but when you've got a great competitor on the mound, he wants to go after him,'' Brenly said. "That's one of those ballgames where the score doesn't indicate what a tight game it was.''

    Schilling also allowed a homer by Tsuyoshi Shinjo, but he struck out seven to boost his season total to 282, second in the majors behind teammate Randy Johnson.

    Tony Womack added a three-run triple in the eighth for the Diamondbacks, who boosted their NL West lead to 5½ games over idle Los Angeles and eight games over San Francisco.

    The Giants, who lost for the third time in four games, beat Schilling 5-0 in Phoenix last week, but they never recovered from Arizona's four-run first inning in the first meeting of a key four-game series at Pacific Bell Park.

    "The more anxious you are, the more mistakes you're going to make,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said. "We had a couple of opportunities, but you can't give Schilling a four-run lead like that.''

    The Diamondbacks' first eight hitters either reached base or drove in a run against Jason Schmidt (10-7), whose three-game winning streak was snapped. Junior Spivey and Damian Miller both had run-scoring doubles as Arizona spotted Schilling a four-run lead before he had thrown a pitch.

    Bonds hit his 41st homer of the season into deep right-center in the fourth. Shinjo added a solo shot in the fifth, but Schilling otherwise kept the Giants in check, beating them for the third time this season.

    Schilling got his 20th victory of last season -- his first career 20-win campaign -- at Pacific Bell Park, and he was sharp again at one of the NL's most pitcher-friendly venues.

    Schmidt didn't allow a runner past first base after the first inning, striking out six in six innings.

    "I try not to put any more emphasis on these games, but I've just been in a funk lately,'' Schmidt said. "I figure ways to get guys out, but I don't feel right.''

    The Diamondbacks, who had lost six of their previous eight, added four unearned runs in the eighth after Jeff Kent misplayed Quinton McCracken's low liner. One walk later, Womack cleared the bases when J.T. Snow barely missed a diving catch on Womack's bloop to short right field.

    "That was the shortest triple I've ever seen,'' Womack said. "No matter what lead you've got, you've got to keep pushing.''

    Benito Santiago left the game shortly after Schilling hit him on the hand with a pitch in the sixth inning. Afterward, the Giants said only that Santiago had a blister on one of his fingers.

    Arizona outfielder Steve Finley singled in the first inning, but left the game in the third with tightness in his left hamstring. McCracken replaced him.

    Felix Jose, who began his big-league career with Oakland in 1988, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. It was the first appearance in the majors since 2000 for Jose, who was signed by the Diamondbacks earlier this week out of the Mexican League.

    Game notes

    Shinjo hit his first homer since July 4 -- a drought of 88 at-bats. ... At 38, Bonds (.367) leads Larry Walker (.346) in his attempt to become the oldest first-time batting title winner. Al Oliver was 35 years, 11 months old when he won his first batting title with Montreal in 1982. ... Attendance was 37,945 -- well short of a sellout.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press