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Durham's grand slam powers Giants past Rangers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Noah Lowry has struggled at times in this,
his second full season in the majors, so the success he enjoyed two
years ago seems like that much more of a feat.

He began his career 7-0, the second-longest winning streak by a
Giants starter to open his career behind Hooks Wiltse's 12-0 record
to start the 1904 campaign.

After a stint on the disabled list earlier this season, Lowry
hopes he is back on track. He received all the run support he
needed on Ray Durham's grand slam, winning for only the second time
in nine starts in the San Francisco Giants' 5-1 victory over the
Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.

"Wins are tough to come by," Lowry said. "Early on, they
didn't know what I brought to the table. You have to make
adjustments. ... I've been through a rough streak. It feels good to
get a win. Hopefully I can build off it."

San Francisco topped the Rangers for the second straight night
to secure its second series win in three interleague sets since
being swept in Seattle from June 16-18.

Durham, batting fifth behind slugger Barry Bonds, connected for
his fourth career grand slam in the third with a shot into the
tunnel in left field to give the Giants a 5-0 lead -- his eighth
home run of the year and second in four games. It was Durham's
first grand slam since Sept. 20, 2000 at Detroit while with the
Chicago White Sox -- and first batting from the right side of the
plate.

"It's been that long?" Durham said, chuckling. "Wow, that's a
long time. That's a long drought. I'm glad it came tonight."

So was Lowry.

Lowry (3-5), a former 18th-round draft pick by Texas who opted
instead to go to college, pitched into the eighth for his third
victory since returning from the disabled list on May 8. He had
missed a month with a strained muscle in his right side.

The left-hander has had his share of hard luck, going winless in
his previous three outings and struggling to receive enough
offense.

"It was a great performance," manager Felipe Alou said. "He
made a comeback that is very important for the team."

Lowry allowed four straight baserunners to start the eighth, and
gave up Michael Young's two-out RBI single before giving way to
Steve Kline.

Lowry allowed one run and six hits, struck out four and walked
two in 7 2/3 innings. Pitching on six days' rest, he turned to his
fastball to get him back on track. It was his changeup on which
he'd been giving up crucial home runs -- seven in 10 outings before
Wednesday's start.

"It's a lesson learned," he said. "Too bad it took so long."

This game was calm considering that less than 24 hours earlier
the Giants won 5-3 in a wild meeting that featured four Texas
ejections -- manager Buck Showalter, Young, Mark Teixeira and Mark
DeRosa. Teixeira thought he had a bases-clearing, go-ahead double
down the right-field line in the ninth inning but it was ruled foul
after appearing to hit the line.

Randy Winn had a double, single and scored a run for the Giants
on Wednesday after getting four hits, including a three-run homer
Tuesday night.

The Giants got three straight base hits from the top three in
their order to start the third, including Pedro Feliz's RBI single
to score Winn from second. The first five San Francisco hitters
reached base in the five-run inning before Todd Greene grounded
out.

"The game came down to one swing by Ray Durham," DeRosa said.
"We weren't able to get back into it."

Bonds had his stretch of 11 straight plate appearances reaching
base end when he grounded out to end the first inning. Bonds walked
to load the bases in the third and drew another free pass -- his
67th this year -- in the fifth. He popped out foul to the catcher in
the seventh.

John Rheinecker (3-2) lasted only four innings for the Rangers
in his seventh career start after beating the San Diego Padres in
his previous outing on June 22. He allowed six hits and five runs,
struck out one and walked three.

"I had better stuff than I showed tonight," Rheinecker said.

When Lowry plunked Rheinecker leading off the third, it marked
the first time a Rangers pitcher has reached base this season.

Game notes
Starting with last Friday's game against the A's, Bonds has
walked 10 times. ... Lowry faced Texas for the first time. ...
Rheinecker had been 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA when facing an opponent for
the first time. ... The Giants scratched RF Moises Alou from the
starting lineup and placed him on the disabled list with strained
lower back -- his second DL stint of 2006. Alou, who had been
expected to return Tuesday night, missed his ninth straight game.
The Giants also recalled 1B Lance Niekro from Triple-A Fresno.
Niekro had been on a rehab assignment and hit two home runs earlier
in the day for the Grizzlies in a game at Sacramento, then made his
way south to San Francisco. ... Giants SS Omar Vizquel returned to
the lineup after missing Tuesday's game with a sore back.