<
>

Schmidt wins fifth straight; Bonds homers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Perhaps teams think Barry Bonds' bad back
will prevent him from hitting home runs. The Arizona Diamondbacks
found out that's not the case -- though they disputed the one he did
hit.

Bonds hit his first homer in nearly a month and Jason Schmidt
won his fifth straight decision, leading the San Francisco Giants
over the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 Tuesday night.

Edgardo Alfonzo also homered and singled twice for the Giants,
who opened a six-game homestand against division rivals Arizona and
Colorado by winning their season-high fourth straight game.

Bonds connected for his 11th home run this year and the 669th of
his career, hitting a 2-1 pitch from Casey Fossum (0-2) to the wall
in center field, where a fan stuck his glove out trying to catch
the ball.

Center fielder Steve Finley immediately complained it was
interference.

"That wasn't over the fence. A fan reached down, the ball hit
his glove and it dropped," Finley said. "It's a real tough call
for an ump. He told me that he thought the ball was over the fence.
What can you say? They should have something up there to keep the
fans from reaching over and affecting the game. It's a problem with
all these new fan-friendly parks."

Arizona manager Bob Brenly agreed, saying: "There was no
question the fan interfered with that play. There's no doubt in my
mind. It wasn't a homer."

The 39-year-old Bonds, who had not homered since April 29
against Florida, is third on the career home run list behind Hank
Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). Bonds has played in three straight
games after missing two because of back spasms.

"I'm OK," Bonds said after the game, then added, "I'm done
interviewing" as he left the clubhouse.

Bonds has already drawn 59 walks -- 30 intentional -- in 36 games,
and recently complained of being bored and tired.

But the Diamondbacks pitched to him. The six-time NL MVP singled
in the first and flied out in the fourth. When he came up in the
seventh with runners on first and second, Brenly sent in
left-hander Randy Choate to face the slugger and Bonds grounded out
to third.

"He's on his way back," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "The
fact that he struggled, maybe people will pitch to him now for a
few games."

Schmidt (5-2) retired 12 straight following Alex Cintron's
one-out single in the first. Cintron stole second, and the
Diamondbacks didn't get past first base again until Scott
Hairston's triple leading off the eighth.

Hairston scored on Brent Mayne's RBI groundout.

Schmidt, coming off a one-hitter last week at Chicago, went 3-0
with a 2.20 ERA in five starts against the Diamondbacks last season
and dominated them again.

The right-hander, a 17-game winner with an NL-leading 2.34 ERA
last season, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked one
before giving way to Jason Christiansen after Cintron's bloop
single to start the ninth. Christiansen faced one batter, then Matt
Herges finished for his 13th save in 15 chances.

Schmidt wanted to finish the game, but since he was pitching on
six days' rest, Alou opted to take him out because he didn't want
Schmidt's regular routine to be compromised. Schmidt was supposed
to pitch Sunday in the finale of a three-game series against the
Expos in Puerto Rico, but the game was rained out.

"I prefer to go every five days," he said. "I feel a little
rusty when I have extra rest. ... We're on a good streak right now.
We're starting to score some runs. I didn't try to trick anybody.
Tonight they made it easy on me."

Alfonzo, who batted .174 (4-for-23) in five road games last
week, connected for his second home run in the first, a two-run
shot.

Alou had to be creative with his infield after first baseman
J.T. Snow and second baseman Ray Durham went on the disabled list
before the game.

Neifi Perez moved from shortstop to second, Deivi Cruz started
at shortstop, Pedro Feliz played first and Alfonzo was at third.

Game notes
Arizona's Luis Gonzalez was ejected in the ninth for
arguing a called third strike. He got in the face of plate umpire
Doug Eddings before being held back by Brenly. "No controversy
here, that's not my style," Gonzalez said. "He felt that it was a
strike and I didn't. It was a mild disagreement. I was a little
frustrated up there." ... The Giants' four-game winning streak is
their longest since winning four straight last Sept. 14-17. ...
Alfonzo has hit safely in 17 of 19 games. ... The Giants have won
18 of the last 23 meetings against Arizona since Sept. 6, 2002. ...
Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.