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Tomko pitches into eighth

PHOENIX (AP) -- Even without Barry Bonds, the San Francisco
Giants were too much for struggling Arizona.

Brett Tomko pitched into the eighth inning, and the Giants made
up for the slugger's absence with baserunning and timely hitting to
beat the Diamondbacks 6-1 on Monday night -- their 25th win in the
last 34 games of the rivalry.

"If he can't go, you've got to try and find a way to get it
done," J.T. Snow said about Bonds. "You can only what you can do
with the nine guys out there."

Bonds sat out the game after having a root canal Monday morning,
but the Giants won for the sixth time in eight games to stay 2½
games behind NL West leader Los Angeles.

"If we're going to stay alive for a playoff spot, we have to
answer the bell every day," manager Felipe Alou said. "We've won
a couple of games without him, but we don't want to get used to not
having him there."

Tomko (5-5) allowed a solo homer in the fourth to Luis Gonzalez,
who announced before the game that he will have season-ending elbow
surgery next month.

Danny Bautista hit a leadoff double in the sixth and Tomko
walked Gonzalez, but the rally died when Shea Hillenbrand hit a
smash to the mound that Tomko caught off his shoetops and fired to
second to double up Bautista.

He left in the eighth after allowing Steve Finley's third single
-- Arizona's ninth hit -- and Bautista drove Marquis Grissom to the
warning track on a fly ball. Scott Eyre struck out Gonzalez, and
Felix Rodriguez ended the inning by striking out Shea Hillenbrand.
He pitched the ninth, benefiting from Marquis Grissom's diving
catch of Carlos Baerga's drive to right-center field for the final
out.

"That's probably the first ball I've squared up in a while,"
Gonzalez said of the 421-foot drive onto the concourse between
decks, his 16th homer and second in July. It broke a 1-for-23
slump.

"I've worked on just standing a little bit more erect at the
plate and getting my back foot where it was."

Tomko walked two and had two strikeouts, but lasted 7 1-3
innings -- his third trip past the seventh while going 4-1 in five
starts. He credited the chemistry he has developed with catcher
A.J. Pierzynski.

"The first day back against (Los Angeles), A.J. caught the
game," Tomko said. "I don't even think anything was said, to be
honest. It was working, and then we did L.A. again five days later,
and it's just become a trend. He's done a great job."

Ray Durham had a two-run single in the four-run second inning.
He also led off the seventh with a walk from reliever Randy Choate,
stole second and scored on Snow's two-out single that got past a
diving Scott Hairston at second.

Edgardo Alfonzo had an RBI triple and scored two runs, Neifi
Perez hit a run-scoring double and Pierzynski drove in a run -- all
off Steve Sparks.

Sparks (3-6) dropped to 1-5 in 13 starts after giving up five
runs on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter in six innings.

The Giants went down in order in the first but solved the
knuckleballer in the second, when they scored four times.

Snow, who replaced Bonds in the cleanup spot, started with a
single, followed by Alfonzo's triple and a single by Pierzynski.
After Sparks hit Dustan Mohr with a pitch and Tomko sacrificed the
runners along, Durham hit a liner off Chad Tracy's glove at third
to make it 4-0.

"I think that's just the way it is with a knuckleball
pitcher," said Snow, 1-for-3 against Sparks. "The thing is
dancing up there, and you try to hit it. Sometimes you hit it
square, and then other times he'll shut you down."

Sparks finally got Snow to ground out with the bases loaded in
the second, then retired 10 straight.

The streak ended with Alfonzo's leadoff single in the sixth, and
Perez made it 5-1 with his double into the gap.

The Diamondbacks, who set a franchise record by losing 11
straight from June 18-29, have lost their last eight under new
manager Al Pedrique.

"We ended up with 10 hits," Pedrique said. "Twice we got
doubled up with a couple line drives in the infield. Again, the
same stuff."

Game notes
The Giants are 25-9 against Arizona since Sept. 6, 2002.
... Arizona SS Alex Cintron committed his third error in two games,
booting a grounder by Grissom in the second. ... Gonzalez reached
into the seats to catch Grissom's foul ball in the fifth, drawing
applause.