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Giants making due with Nen on shelf

4/5/2003

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- With closer Robb Nen on the disabled list, the
San Francisco Giants have turned to their setup men to finish
games.

So far, the results couldn't be better.

Tim Worrell struck out Richie Sexson with the tying run at
second base and Scott Eyre followed by getting John Vander Wal for
the save as unbeaten San Francisco won its fifth straight, holding
off the winless Brewers 6-5 Saturday.

"With Robb being out, the rest of us have to pick up the
slack,'' said Eyre, who picked up his first save since 2001 with
Toronto.

Worrell already has three saves, but struggled Saturday. The
Brewers scored a run on Keith Ginter's single in the ninth, and had
runners on first and second with one out.

Sexson, the Brewers' best hitter, came to the plate with a
homer, double and sacrifice fly. He fought Worrell for eight
pitches before striking out swinging on a changeup down the middle.

"Whatever it was, the bottom fell out,'' Sexson said.

Worrell had thrown several fastballs just off the plate, many
fouled off by Sexson, before getting him out.

"That changeup wasn't that perfect,'' Worrell said. "It didn't
have to be the best changeup of my life. It just had to be on the
plate.''

Worrell had thrown 25 pitches, so manager Felipe Alou went to
the left-handed Eyre to face the left-handed Vander Wal. Vander Wal
fouled out to catcher Benito Santiago to end the game.

Nen has a strained right shoulder and is eligible to come off
the disabled list April 14. In his absence, the bullpen has given
up only two earned runs in 16 innings.

"They're stepping up,'' Alou said.

Santiago had three hits, including his third homer, and drove in
two runs.

The Giants won their first six games last year on their way to
the NL pennant. Milwaukee is 0-5 for the first time since 1984,
when it finished last in the AL East.

"We've battled every single game that we've played this year,''
Sexson said. "We've come back and tied it or taken a lead.

"We feel like we've battled and played as hard as we can,'' he
said. "That's all you can ask.''

Kurt Ainsworth (1-0) recorded his second major league victory,
pitching six innings.

Ainsworth outpitched Ben Sheets (0-1) in a matchup of fellow No.
1 draft choices in 1999 and teammates on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team
that won the gold medal. Ainsworth's only other big league win came
last April 12 when he beat Sheets and the Brewers.

The Giants took the lead for good in the third inning when Jose Cruz Jr. singled and scored on Barry Bonds' double for a 3-2 edge.

After Edgardo Alfonzo walked, Santiago's single scored Bonds.
One out later, Marquis Grissom's RBI single made it 5-2.

Ainsworth gave up three runs and six hits. He struggled in the
first, giving up consecutive solo home runs to Eric Young and
Sexson, but had little trouble otherwise.

After the Giants took the 5-2 lead in the third, Sexson hit a
sacrifice fly. Santiago hit a solo homer in the eighth for a 6-3
lead.

Wes Helms' single scored Sexson in the eighth to bring Milwaukee
within 6-4.

San Francisco took a 2-0 lead in the first on RBI singles by
Alfonzo and Santiago, scoring Neifi Perez and Bonds.

Game notes
Alou is the first Giants manager to start his career 5-0
with the franchise. ... Milwaukee's starting pitchers are 0-3 with
a 6.99 ERA this season. ... The Giants have beaten the Brewers five
consecutive times dating to last season. ... Giants SS Rich Aurilia
was given the day off. Perez started in his place. ... Sunday is
the two-year anniversary of the first regular-season game at Miller
Park, when President Bush threw out the first ball in Milwaukee's
5-4 victory over Cincinnati. ... Sanchez had three hits, but was
picked off first in the first inning just before Young hit his
second homer of the year.