SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants won ugly to take
over the NL wild-card lead.
Pinch-hitter Ricky Ledee hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth
inning to lead the Giants to their fifth straight victory, 8-5 over
the Montreal Expos on Monday night in a game that featured 13
Jason Christiansen (3-2) got the final two outs in the eighth
for the win and Ledee managed just his third hit in 21 at-bats
since joining the Giants in a July 30 trade with the Philadelphia
"That was a long, exciting, but ugly game," Giants manager
Felipe Alou said of the 3-hour, 24-minute affair. "There were a
lot of conferences, a lot of timeouts. The clock was stopped so
many times tonight it was incredible. Thank goodness we won that
San Francisco holds a half-game edge over idle Chicago, and is
one game ahead of San Diego in the wild-card race. The Giants trail
the first-place Dodgers by 5½ games in the NL West.
"It was horrible. I let everyone down," Cordero said.
Ledee is starting to get comfortable at the plate again, thanks
to some extra work in the batting cage.
"We never felt out of the game," he said. "I got a pitch to
hit and was able to hit it. Lately, I've been feeling better."
J.T. Snow blooped a single to shallow left-center with two outs
in the eighth to extend his season-high hitting streak to 10 games,
matching Deivi Cruz and Edgardo Alfonzo for the club's longest of
Pedro Feliz had a sacrifice fly one batter later and A.J.
Pierzynski added an RBI single two batters after Feliz.
In the fifth, Barry Bonds walked, moved to second on a wild
pitch, then stole third before scoring the go-ahead run on a
fielding error by Expos shortstop Alex Gonzalez -- a tough play in
which he tried to backhand the ball and it got by him into the
Bonds went 0-for-2 with three walks, one intentional. Marquis
Grissom hit a two-run double for the Giants, who have their longest
winning streak since getting seven straight victories from June
"The fact we're in the wild-card race and still in the West
race, we're going to treat these games like it's Sept. 15,"
Christiansen said. "It's going to be trying."
Giants starter Kirk Rueter fell behind early and allowed four
earned runs on six hits in 5 1/3 shaky innings.
Dustin Hermanson pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as
Jim Brower allowed two singles to start the eighth, then Einar
Diaz moved the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Christiansen relieved
and gave up the sac fly to Chavez.
Gonzalez had three hits and two RBI for Montreal, which lost
its second straight following a six-game winning streak.
Expos starter John Patterson retired nine of the first 11
batters -- including seven straight -- before running into trouble in
Feliz singled to start the inning, Bonds struck out, then
Pierzynski doubled. Grissom followed with a two-run double before
Michael Tucker flied out to center.
Patterson then walked three straight, including Ray Durham with
the bases loaded to bring in Grissom for the tying run. Moments
later, Snow was hit by a pitch, scoring Deivi Cruz for a 4-3 lead.
That chased Patterson and Francis Beltram, recalled earlier in
the day, relieved and got Feliz to ground out before allowing Bonds
to score the next inning.
Rueter let the Expos back in it in the fifth on Brad Wilkerson's
double and Gonzalez's RBI single.
Patterson added a run-scoring single in the second, improving to
2-for-21 at the plate this year. He has just one win in 10 starts
since beating the New York Mets on April 10.
The 3 2/3 innings was Patterson's shortest outing of the year.
He tore the big toenail on his left foot in the fourth inning
and that threw him off.
"I lost (my concentration) for a second," he said. "It was
like I was speechless. I was so confident out there, and then it
just left me. It's been this way all year -- one inning haunts me
He'll have the toenail removed Tuesday, but isn't expected to
miss his next start.
Montreal manager Frank Robinson remained five wins shy of
reaching 900 career managerial victories. ... Bonds stole his sixth
base of the season in the fifth, giving him 506 career stolen
bases. ... The Expos turned a 5-2-6 double play in the fifth. ...
Giants RHP Jesse Foppert, out all season following elbow surgery,
will make a rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Fresno at Tacoma.
He'll throw 60-65 pitches. ... Giants reliever Scott Eyre pitched
in his 300th game.