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Ward drives in three, including game-winner

5/15/2004

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Daryle Ward is becoming a bit philosophical
as his at-bats get better.

Ward tied the game with a two-run homer, then singled in the
go-ahead run in the eighth inning to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates
past the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Friday night.

Ward was reassigned to the minors in spring training and
initially said he wouldn't report, but later changed his mind. He
was called up last week when Pittsburgh placed Raul Mondesi on the
restricted list.

On Thursday at Coors Field, Ward hit his first homer since 2002.

"It's like being born again, and that's a good thing," he
said. "Getting sent down was a wake-up call for me. ... Hopefully,
I'm proving some people right."

Pittsburgh, which played a doubleheader at Colorado on Thursday,
improved to 4-10 in San Francisco since its new ballpark opened in
2000.

Ward connected for his second homer in two days in the seventh
following a triple to right by Jack Wilson. In the eighth, Ward
lined a single to left off Felix Rodriguez (1-3), scoring Abraham
Nunez.

"That's what I've been asked to do: Pick up my game and my
energy," Ward said.

Rob Mackowiak homered for the Pirates leading off the ninth.

Brian Boehringer (1-1) pitched the seventh for the win, and Jose
Mesa worked the ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances.

Deivi Cruz and Marquis Grissom each drove in a run for San
Francisco, which played without Barry Bonds after the slugger was
removed from the lineup because of back spasms.

Bonds, who missed nearly a week with back spasms during spring
training, hurt his back during batting practice.

"We worked on it for a while but it didn't make any
difference," trainer Stan Conte said. "He left for home in the
first inning. I hope it will go away as quick as it did in spring
training. I think it's going to be more than a day or two."

The Giants were looking for their 1,000th victory against the
Pirates since 1900.

San Francisco starter Dustin Hermanson pitched 6 2-3 strong
innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh.

"I made one mistake tonight -- left a changeup up -- otherwise I
felt great. My mechanics were great," Hermanson said. "I'm just
not getting away with many mistakes these days."

After allowing a leadoff single to Jason Kendall in the first,
Hermanson retired his next 14 batters, including five straight on
groundouts during one stretch.

Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong hasn't won since beating the
Phillies in his first outing of the year April 8. He's lost his
last three decisions, but manager Lloyd McClendon is encouraged by
the right-hander's progress.

"He's gotten progressively better the last four outings," said
McClendon, who watched the game on TV while serving a one-game
suspension. "Tonight was pretty good. He finished strong."

McClendon was suspended for "inappropriate conduct" during the
10th inning of Sunday's game against Los Angeles, according to Bob
Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline.

McClendon, suspended for the first time in his career, was
ejected by plate umpire Larry Young for arguing balls and strikes
after Bobby Hill appeared to check his swing on a pitch in the
dirt.

After this three-game series, Pittsburgh comes back to the Bay
Area in a month for three interleague games at Oakland.

The Giants hit into two more double plays, giving them a major
league-worst 45.

"We had our shots," manager Felipe Alou said. "We're going to
start the runners on first and second base with no outs. That's a
cardinal sin in baseball. The guy can hit a line into a triple
play. That would cut down on our double plays, a triple play."

Game notes
Bonds was replaced in LF by Mohr. ... Hermanson has allowed
three or fewer runs in nine of 11 starts for the Giants, including
eight outings in which he gave up two or fewer. ... Edgardo Alfonzo
is 4-for-10 during the homestand. He started the season 7-for-43
(.163). ... The Pirates are 11-4 when they don't allow a home run.
... Hermanson has seven wins against the Pirates, his most against
any team. ... Ward went 123 at-bats without a homer before
connecting Thursday.