SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Schmidt labored for yet another
The San Francisco ace struck out 12 for his career-high eighth
straight victory, a 4-3 Giants' win over the Toronto Blue Jays on
Schmidt couldn't quite believe his latest impressive line,
figuring he'd surely had more hits than Ks. He said he was "all
messed up" in the stretch and struggled with American League
hitters he doesn't know.
"I felt really good starting out, the best I've felt all year,
but I slowly ran out of gas," he said. "I just haven't felt quite
as strong. It'll come back."
Schmidt (8-2) struck out the side in the first on 14 pitches,
then got three more strikeouts in the fourth. The right-hander, who
made his first All-Star game last year and led the league with a
2.34 ERA, finished one strikeout shy of matching his career high,
which he's done four times.
The Giants and Blue Jays met for the first time in San
Francisco. The clubs played a three-game series in Toronto from
June 10-12, 2002, and the Giants took two of three.
Schmidt, pitching on an extra day of rest, worked ahead in the
count for much of the night to win for the seventh time in his last
nine starts -- he's had just two no-decisions since starting the
year with two losses. He allowed two runs on seven hits and walked
two in 6 2-3 innings.
"He was 0-2 and after that every start has been exceptional,"
manager Felipe Alou said.
Schmidt received a lively ovation for his 123-pitch effort when
he walked off the mound after giving way to Jason Christiansen in
Christiansen immediately gave up a two-run homer to pinch-hitter
Chris Gomez that made it 4-3. Gomez's shot into the left-field
seats was his second homer of the year and the first of his career
as a pinch-hitter.
Frank Catalanotto's single chased Christiansen, whose
replacement, Tyler Walker, put the go-ahead run on first when
Alexis Rios singled. But Walker then got Gregg Zaun to fly out to
center to end the inning.
Matt Herges got four outs for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Barry Bonds went 0-for-2. He walked on five pitches in the
second and fourth innings, flied out to left in the sixth and lined
out in the eighth.
Miguel Batista (4-5) remained winless on the road this season,
and Toronto dropped its eighth in 11 away from home. Batista has
lost six of his last seven decisions -- all starts -- to the Giants.
He allowed four runs on five hits, walked six and struck out one in
Catalanotto and Frank Menechino each had two hits for Toronto.
Both teams received warnings in the fourth when Batista threw a
low inside pitch to Michael Tucker. That came after Schmidt nearly
hit Menechino with a high pitch.
"That was ridiculous," Batista said of the warning. "I threw
an 85 mph changeup in the dirt and I get a warning. Schmidt throws
a 97 mph fastball at a guy's head and nothing's said. It's getting
ridiculous. It was stupid. I'm not trying to hit a guy with a
changeup in the ankle. If I wanted to hit a guy I would hit him in
the head. And I don't think Schmidt was intentionally throwing at
Alou was equally as surprised.
The Blue Jays took a 1-0 lead in the second on Eric Hinske's RBI
triple. San Francisco's Pedro Feliz tripled in the fourth to score
Tucker, then Feliz scored on A.J. Pierzynski's fielder's choice for
a 2-1 lead.
The Giants welcomed back second baseman and leadoff hitter Ray
Durham, activated before the game from the disabled list after
recovering from a left hamstring strain. Durham finished 0-for-3
with a walk.
Pierzynski, hitting behind Bonds, grounded into a double play in
the second to tie Feliz for the team lead with 12 double plays. The
Giants hit into two double plays, increasing their majors-leading
total to 70.
In the sixth, Pierzynski made an interesting slide into home --
crossing the plate on his left knee on Edgardo Alfonzo's double.
Alfonzo came around to score in more traditional fashion on an RBI
single by Neifi Perez.
"I didn't know if I should slide or what I should do,"
Pierzynski said. "It ended up being a big run."
Rios replaced Vernon Wells in center field in the fourth. Wells
left with tightness in his right calf and was listed as day to
Giants CF Marquis Grissom was held out of the lineup as a
precaution with a sore left hamstring, but was expected to play
Wednesday. ... Schmidt finished in double digits in strikeouts for
the 17th time in his career. ... Six of the Blue Jays' 13 games in
June have been decided by two or fewer runs. ... The pinch-hit
homer by Gomez was the first by a Blue Jays batter since Jose Cruz
Jr. on Sept. 15, 2002, vs. Tampa Bay.