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Kent hits career-high 34th homer in Giants' rout

9/14/2002

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants left no doubt as they
routed the San Diego Padres to regain the NL wild-card lead.

Barry Bonds went 4-for-4, Jeff Kent hit his career-best 34th
homer and pitcher Russ Ortiz had three hits and scored three runs
as the Giants beat the Padres 10-3 Friday night.

The Giants, who had lost two straight, moved one game ahead of
the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost at Colorado.

"It's big,'' said shortstop Rich Aurilia, who tied his career
high for hits by going 4-for-5. "You just try to keep the momentum
going. The two losses we've had, the last game against L.A. and
last night, we played pretty good baseball, we just didn't score
enough runs.

"Now you just try to build on the lead. You try to get a few
more games on them before you go in there.''

The Giants begin a four-game series at Los Angeles on Monday,
the last time the teams meet this year.

Bonds, who at 38 is trying to become the oldest first-time
batting champion, reached base in all 10 plate appearances in the
two-game series, and has reached 12 straight times overall.

He went 4-for-4 with a walk to raise his major league-leading
average to .372, and drove in three runs. Bonds walked a
career-high five times in Thursday night's 3-2, 10-inning loss.

Bonds also reached in his last two plate appearances of a 7-3
loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday in San Francisco. He and John
Olerud share the NL record for consecutive times reaching base, at
15, both accomplished in 1998.

"He could go down, arguably, as the greatest player of all
time,'' Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "He doesn't strike out.
That's what's amazing. He has a tremendous eye, discipline at the
plate.''

Ortiz (12-10) held the Padres to three runs and seven hits over
7 2/3 innings to win his fourth straight start. He struck out four
and walked three.

"That was fun,'' said Ortiz, who improved to 7-3 lifetime
against the Padres, including 5-0 in San Diego.

Kent's 250th career homer, with Bonds aboard on a leadoff walk,
gave the Giants a 4-2 lead with none out in the sixth. Kent's
previous career high for homers was 33, set during his MVP season
of 2000.

Bonds and Kent walked back to the dugout together after the
homer, with Bonds' arm on Kent's shoulder. It was a vastly
different scene than on June 25 in San Diego, when the two got into
a shoving match in the dugout.

Bonds hit a two-run single in the third off Brian Lawrence
(12-11) and added an RBI single off rookie Mike Bynum to complete
the scoring in San Francisco's six-run sixth. Ortiz and David Bell
had RBI doubles, and Aurilia an RBI single in the inning.

"That was ugly,'' Bochy said. "The big inning killed us there.
Brian threw a lot of pitches and it might have caught up with him
there.''

Ortiz fell behind 2-0 on Ryan Klesko's sacrifice fly in the
first inning and Brian Buchanan's RBI double in the second.
Buchanan homered leading off the seventh, his fourth.

Lawrence lost for the fifth time in six starts, allowing five
runs and eight hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked
one.

Game notes
This had been scheduled as a four-game series in San Diego,
but the teams were forced to swap dates due to football games in
San Diego on Saturday night and Sunday. The teams will play in San
Francisco on Saturday and Sunday.