SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Damon Minor made one wise investment in his
eyesight when he underwent laser surgery last September.
He's beginning to reap the benefits.
Minor singled in Barry Bonds with one out in the 10th inning to
lead the San Francisco Giants to their first three-game sweep of
the season and sixth straight win, 5-4 over the discouraged Arizona
Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
Tyler Walker (4-0) pitched a perfect 10th with two strikeouts
for the win. Minor, called up Tuesday when first baseman J.T. Snow
went on the disabled list with a knee injury, singled through the
infield to right field off Jose Valverde (0-2) to score Bonds, who
was intentionally walked, for the winning run. Valverde gave up a
go-ahead double to Pedro Feliz on Wednesday night.
Minor went 2-for-3 with two walks -- getting his first hit in the
majors since Sept. 5, 2002, when he doubled in the fourth.
"It's a thrill to be back here," said the 30-year-old Minor,
who not only improved his vision but also lost more than 30 pounds
during his yearlong absence from the majors. "But it's only one
game. There are still four months yet."
The Diamondbacks tied it on Danny Bautista's solo home run off
closer Matt Herges with two outs in the ninth. Herges struck out
Matt Kata and Luis Gonzalez looking and appeared headed for his
third save in as many nights until Bautista hit an 0-1 pitch over
the wall in left-center for his seventh homer and second this week
in the ninth inning.
It was only the third blown save for the righty all year, and it
spoiled what would have been starter Dustin Hermanson's first win
in more than two months.
"As long as we're winning these games it doesn't matter who
gets it," Hermanson said.
Michael Tucker hit a two-run triple and added a sacrifice fly
for the Giants, who won without getting a home run from Bonds. The
six-time NL MVP homered the previous two nights, but settled for a
single and three intentional walks.
"I'm tired," was all Bonds could muster as he slowly left the
clubhouse. He has been battling back problems and went hard against
the left-field wall to catch a well-hit ball by Shea Hillenbrand in
A.J. Pierzynski hit a go-ahead double in the fourth to score
Minor, then Pierzynski came home on Tucker's sacrifice fly, but the
bullpen couldn't hold a two-run lead.
The Diamondbacks lost their fourth straight and seventh of eight
to fall 13 games under .500 -- their worst record since the club's
inaugural season in 1998, when Arizona finished 16 games under at
Hermanson allowed three runs on six hits, struck out one and
walked three in 5 2-3 innings. He hasn't won since beating
Milwaukee on April 13. The right-hander hasn't recorded a decision
since losing back-to-back outings April 20 and May 8.
Arizona added a run on Scott Eyre's bases-loaded passed ball in
the sixth that allowed Steve Finley to score. Eyre walked
pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga to load the bases again, then Chad Tracy
grounded out to end it.
The bullpen ran into trouble in the seventh, too. Jason
Christiansen gave up a single to Kata and walked Gonzalez before
Jim Brower relieved. Brower immediately allowed a single to
Bautista to load the bases. Steve Finley followed with a chopper
that second baseman Neifi Perez threw home to save a run.
Hillenbrand then hit into a double play to end the threat.
"Jim getting that double play was the turning point," Walker
The Diamondbacks' frustration is starting to show.
Manager Bob Brenly swapped Bautista and Hillenbrand in the
batting order to mix things up -- Bautista hit fourth and
Hillenbrand sixth. It was also an effort to get Gonzalez more
pitches to hit in the No. 3 hole. The three combined to go
Bonds drew his majors-leading 61st, 62nd and 63rd walks this
year -- in just 38 games.
Brenly found out that whether you walk Bonds or pitch to him,
the slugger makes opponents pay.
"There's no upside," Brenly said. "He doesn't swing at bad
pitches. He waits for something he can mash. I said coming in we
wouldn't pitch to him if he could tie the game or give them the
lead and we stuck to that. Bottom line, we had some chances. We
don't throw strikes, we don't come up with the big knock.
"It's like Groundhog Day. I get tired of talking about it. We
made mistakes and we missed opportunities. I'd like to win some of
these once in a while."
The Giants grounded into three double plays, giving them a
majors-leading 52. ... Bautista also homered in the ninth Monday at
Florida. ... Arizona's Steve Sparks, a 38-year-old knuckleballer,
has lost his last three decisions. ... Bonds has 33 intentional
walks and is well on pace to break his own major league record of
68 he set in 2002.