SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Noah Lowry already realized he had found a
nice groove, then Barry Bonds splashed a home run into McCovey Cove
to give the lefty a lead.
Bonds hit his 725th career home run on Monday night, moving the
San Francisco slugger within 30 of tying home run king Hank Aaron's
record of 755 and leading the Giants to a 5-0 win over Arizona.Lowry pitched a two-hitter for his first complete game of the
year and third of his career for the Giants, who moved out of last
place or a tie for last in the NL West for the first time since
July 31. He walked one, struck out six and recorded his first
shutout since Aug. 3, 2004, against Cincinnati."Any time Barry hits a home run it's part of history and
everybody likes to see that," Lowry said. "It takes a little
pressure off the pitcher to have a lead."Bonds, who flied out to right ending the first, sent the first
pitch he saw from Livan Hernandez into the water beyond the
right-field wall with two outs in the fourth for his 17th home run
this season. The solo shot gave the Giants a 1-0 lead and helped
Lowry (6-7) end a five-start winless stretch for his first victory
since July 20 against San Diego.It was the first splash hit of the season for the 42-year-old
Bonds -- and the first by any Giants player. There have been 41
splash hits in the ballpark's 7-year history and 33 of those are by
Bonds, who last did it on Sept. 18, 2005, against the Dodgers.Bonds' previous homer was off Chan Ho Park on Wednesday at San
Diego. The seven-time NL MVP, perhaps in his final season with San
Francisco, passed Babe Ruth and moved into second place on the
all-time homers list behind Aaron on May 28.Three of Bonds' four career hits against his former teammate,
Hernandez, have been home runs. He walked in the sixth to chants of
"Barry! Barry!" and drew an intentional free pass in the seventh
-- his 97th walk of the season and 36th intentional.Lowry beat the Diamondbacks for the fourth straight time as the
Giants took the opener after losing two of three to the first-place
Los Angeles Dodgers in a weekend series."Great managing tonight, whew!" manager Felipe Alou joked.
"We are out of last place by half a game. I've started checking
the standings."The left-hander retired the first 10 Arizona batters before
Orlando Hudson singled to center in the fourth, then Luis Gonzalez
grounded into an inning-ending double play to start a stretch of
eight straight outs.Lowry had faced the minimum number of batters until Hudson
singled to right in the seventh and Gonzalez followed with a walk.
After Conor Jackson fouled out to the catcher, Lowry plunked Carlos
Quentin to load the bases before Chad Tracy lined out to center to
end the threat."I was able to throw strikes where I wanted and I knew if I
kept my pitch count down I'd be able to go deep into the game,"
said Lowry, who finished with 114 pitches.Hernandez (10-10) was trying to win back-to-back starts since
coming to the D'Backs in an Aug. 7 trade with the Washington
Nationals. He beat the Giants in consecutive outings on Aug. 1 and
6 while with Washington. Hernandez gave up eight hits and one
earned run in seven innings, struck out seven and walked two.He gave up a two-out single to Mark Sweeney in the first and
didn't allow another baserunner until Bonds connected. The Giants
added two unearned runs in the seventh, when the Diamondbacks
committed two errors."Bonds takes him deep," Arizona skipper Bob Melvin said.
"Other than that, when you make more errors than you get hits,
you're going to have a difficult time winning the game. ... Lowry
was about as good as I've seen him."Randy Winn drove in a run on a fielder's choice and advanced to
second on a throwing error by Hudson, then scored on Omar Vizquel's
RBI single moments later. Sweeney then singled to bring up Bonds
with runners on the corners.Winn drove in his second run of the game in the eighth with a
single and the Giants scored again on another error.
Lowry is 9-0 with a 2.42 ERA lifetime in August. ...
Arizona won the last two meetings in the season series with San
Francisco from Aug. 7-9 in Phoenix. ... Lowry is 5-1 in seven
career starts against Arizona. ... Hall of Famer and former 49ers
quarterback Steve Young attended the game.