SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Ray Durham went to the plate intending to
put down a sacrifice bunt. Instead, he put the ball into the seats.
Oakland's bullpen allowed four runs in three innings in relief of Dan Haren. The 'pen has allowed 31 earned runs in 31 1/3 innings pitched in games started by Haren, for an ERA of 8.90 -- the worst bullpen support for any major league pitcher who has started at least five games this season.
Just another crazy ninth inning in the Bay Bridge Series -- and
another come-from-behind win for the San Francisco Giants.Durham hit a game-winning three-run homer onto the arcade atop
the right-field wall, and the Giants overcame a five-run deficit
for an 8-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.Barry Bonds hit his 719th homer and an RBI double while reaching
base five times, but Durham's unlikely homer capped the Giants'
rally against A's closer Huston Street (1-3), who blew his fifth
save.Durham rolled his eyes skyward in thought when asked whether he
remembered ending a game with a homer. He couldn't come up with
one: It was the veteran second baseman's first walk-off shot in the
majors."It was huge for me," Durham said. "They walked Barry twice.
My job is to protect him, to come through like I did. When I hit
it, I thought it was off the wall, and it kind of kept going up. It
was an overwhelming feeling."Mark Sweeney led off the ninth with a single, and Bonds drew his
third walk of the day. Two pitches earlier, Durham failed to get
down a bunt to move Bonds and Mark Sweeney into scoring position.So he took out his frustrations on a hanging slider from Street,
who was left with his own frustration when Durham's high fly
creeped into the elevated stands in right."That situation is a tricky situation," Street said. "I was
trying to go after Barry, but I was just missing. ... I just didn't
do what I'd been doing, which is going after people."Tim Worrell (3-2) pitched the ninth for San Francisco.For the second straight day, superiority in the San Francisco
Bay's mellow baseball rivalry was decided by a ninth-inning rally.
Oakland scored two runs Friday night in a 4-3 victory, but the
Giants replied with their 16th come-from-behind win this season."This is something that we've got to build on," said Sweeney,
who scored two runs. "We're all waiting for this team to click in.
Hopefully this will be the game to do it. It's got to snowball in
the right direction."Dan Johnson and Mark Kotsay drove in two runs apiece for the
A's, who lost for just the third time in 15 games. Oakland led 7-2
in the sixth inning after a pair of three-run rallies -- but after
Bonds' impressive game and Durham's fortuitous shot, manager Ken
Macha could only applaud both clubs."We got one from them, they got one from us," Macha said. "We
got the ball to Street. The guy's not infallible. He's been
tremendous the last three weeks. He hung a slider, so that
happens."Bonds hadn't homered since June 16 in Seattle, going 18 at-bats
between shots. He was hitless in his previous three games, part of
a 1-for-9 slump to start the Giants' homestand.And Bonds originally wasn't in the Giants' starting lineup after
stealing his first base in nearly two years during Friday night's
game -- but after manager Felipe Alou said Bonds "demanded" to
play, the slugger hit a two-run shot to right-center off Dan Haren.Bonds' RBI double in the seventh pulled San Francisco within
7-5, but the A's bullpen appeared to be in control as Oakland
chased its 17th victory in June. Kiko Calero pitched out of a jam
in the seventh, and Street rescued Calero with two runners on in
the eighth."A 7-2 (comeback), that was big," Alou said. "The way we were
swinging the bats, that was almost impossible. But we knew Haren
didn't throw that well today, and some other things happened. ...
I've got to say, Street didn't throw today or (Friday) night as
well as we've seen him throw."Johnson's two-RBI double highlighted a three-run rally in the
third inning against Jamey Wright, who yielded eight hits, seven
runs and four walks to remain winless in six starts. The A's even
hit reliever Jonathan Sanchez, the Giants' Puerto Rican rookie who
didn't give up a base hit in his previous eight major league
outings.But Todd Greene's two-run single in the sixth chased Haren, who
allowed six hits -- just three in the first five innings -- and five
walks.Giants closer Armando Benitez wasn't available after blowing his
fourth save of the season Friday night, giving up two runs in the
ninth. Alou said Benitez had tenderness in his right elbow, and
could be headed to the disabled list -- but the manager planned to
wait before making a decision on Benitez, who has been booed at
home despite fairly solid statistics.
A's LF Nick Swisher made an exceptional catch in the fourth
inning, reaching into the stands down the left-field line to snag
Greene's foul while running into a waist-high wall. ... Giants OF
Moises Alou missed his sixth straight game with a strained joint in
his lower back, but his father is optimistic Alou will return by
Tuesday at the latest. ... Haren was the 425th pitcher to allow a
homer to Bonds, extending the slugger's major league record.