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D-Backs have lost nine straight

PHOENIX (AP) -- Jerome Williams outpitched Randy Johnson again
and the San Francisco Giants extended the Arizona Diamondbacks'
downward spiral.

Williams allowed four hits over seven-plus innings to help the
Giants beat Arizona 3-1 Tuesday night, sending the Diamondbacks to
their club-record sixth straight home loss and ninth overall.

"I tell everybody that I never think about who I'm pitching
against and don't care who I'm pitching against," said Williams,
3-0 against Johnson. "I just want to go out then and play and
that's what I do."

Barry Bonds returned to the lineup and was 1-for-4 with a double
and an RBI for the Giants, who won for the seventh time in nine
games to remain 2½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL
West. Bonds missed Monday's series opener following root canal
surgery.

Williams (9-6) allowed one unearned run, walked four and struck
out two for his fifth win in seven decisions. His only failure, he
said, was not getting a hit against Johnson.

"I thought I had it tonight," said Williams, who lined out to
second and struck out twice. "Maybe I'll get him next time if he's
still here."

Johnson (10-8) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits
over seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

"I kinda got in a groove as the game progressed," Johnson
said. "I obviously would like to have some of those pitches back I
made early in the game, but as the game progressed I made some
pitches and got out of some big innings."

The Diamondbacks are winless since the All-Star break and 2-14
under manager Al Pedrique. Arizona has lost 27 of 32 overall since
mid-June.

"I feel like we had the right guys in the right situations and
again we fell short executing and getting the big hits," Pedrique
said.

Matt Herges loaded the bases in the ninth, allowing a leadoff
double by Alex Cintron and a single to Chad Tracy. Juan Brito
bunted them over before Quinton McCracken got a four-pitch walk.

Jason Christiansen relieved and got Roberto Alomar to ground
into a double play to end it, earning his first save of the season
with just three pitches.

While Giants manager Felipe Alou wouldn't say Herges' second
straight rough outing would cost him his job as the team's closer,
he said the Giants will use a "closer by necessity."

"There are some adjustments being made here in how we use the
bullpen," Alou said. "Some guys who are used to pitching in the
sixth, seventh or eighth innings are pitching in the ninth. We'll
probably expand our handling of the bullpen. We have to do that."

Herges has converted a career-high 22 of 29 save opportunities,
but has allowed six of seven batters to reach base in his last two
appearances.

"It doesn't matter what I think," Herges said. "He's the boss
and he makes the decisions. If he thinks it's the right thing to
do, it's the right thing. I've been through worse. I've been
through much worse. I think it's pretty awesome he keeps giving me
the ball."

San Francisco wasted little time taking the lead against
Johnson. Neifi Perez hit a one-out single in the first, went to
third on a double by Pedro Feliz and scored on Bonds' grounder to
second.

The Giants added two more runs in the second when Marquis
Grissom led off with a single and Dustan Mohr walked. Yorvit
Torrealba followed with a single and Grissom came home when the
ball got past left fielder Luis Gonzalez for an error, his sixth.
Mohr made it 3-0 when he scored on Ray Durham's sacrifice fly.

Johnson allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits over
seven innings with a walk and six strikeouts.

Alomar led off the eighth with a bunt single and Williams was
pulled in favor of Scott Eyre. He took second on Torrealba's passed
ball and scored on a one-out single to right by Danny Bautista.

Eyre got Gonzalez to ground the ball back to the mound but threw
the ball into center field trying to force Bautista at second,
allowing Bautista to move to third.

Jim Brower relieved Eyre and threw three consecutive balls to
Shea Hillenbrand before forcing an inning-ending double play.

Game notes
Williams is 4-2 in seven career starts against the
Diamondbacks. ... Gonzalez's six errors are his most since
committing eight with the Houston Astros in 1993. Gonzalez had only
seven errors the past three seasons combined. ... Bonds has reached
safely in 80 of 82 games this season. ... Cintron is 7-for-19
lifetime against Williams. ... Alomar scored his 1,500th career
run.<