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Bonds finishes season with 45 homers

9/28/2003

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Felipe Alou remembers the words of the
skeptics who questioned whether he had the stamina at 68 to manage
a full season.

"They don't know me," Alou said Sunday after the San Francisco
Giants finished with 100 wins for the first time in 10 years.

Barry Bonds had two hits and drove in a run while preparing for
the playoffs, and Pedro Feliz homered and tripled in the 12-3
victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Feliz connected for a two-run homer in the eighth off of
Guillermo Mota after his sixth-inning triple. The No. 4 hole in the
Giants' lineup hit for the cycle in order -- with a single and
double by Bonds and Feliz's triple and homer.

Bonds struck out in the fourth and didn't hit a home run,
leaving him at 658 and two shy of tying his godfather, Willie Mays,
for third on the career list. He was replaced by Todd Linden in
left field in the fifth.

The slugger's quest to pass Mays will have to wait until 2004,
as playoff statistics are separate from season stats. His first
chance next year will be at Houston.

"He's going to catch him next year in April sometime," Alou
said. "He's going to continue to catch up with people until
there's no one else to be caught."

After Atlanta won 5-2 at Philadelphia, the Braves secured
home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Alou played all of
his regulars except center fielder Marquis Grissom and catcher
Benito Santiago -- ages 36 and 38, respectively -- in hopes of still
getting the home field, but it was mostly backups who finished
after the Giants built a big lead and the Braves were done.

San Francisco decided being rested is more important than
home-field advantage, announcing Saturday that the team wouldn't
travel to New York on Monday for a possible makeup game against the
Mets caused when the game was postponed because of the blackout
last month. The game would have been necessary only if the Giants
(100-61) finished a half-game behind the Braves (101-61), which
they did.

The Giants, who won at least 100 games for the seventh time in
franchise history, open the best-of-five NL division series against
the wild-card Florida Marlins on Tuesday at Pacific Bell Park.

"The Giants obviously were far and away the best team in our
division, and with the tandem of (Jason) Schmidt and (Sidney)
Ponson, and Barry in the middle of the lineup, they have as good a
chance as anyone of representing the National League in the World
Series," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said.

Kevin Correia (3-1), a 22-year-old right-hander making his
seventh major league start, pitched 5 2-3 innings for the win. He
allowed three runs on nine hits, striking out four and walking
three to win his second straight decision.

San Francisco sent 11 to the plate in a five-run first inning
against Wilson Alvarez (6-2), getting a two-out single by Bonds
followed by Edgardo Alfonzo's two-run homer and back-to-back
singles by Jeffrey Hammonds and Jose Cruz Jr. Alvarez plunked
Yorvit Torrealba to load the bases for Correia, who singled in a
run. Ray Durham then walked in his second at-bat of the inning to
bring in another run before J.T. Snow flied out.

Dodgers second baseman Alex Cora tried to throw out Rich Aurilia
at third in the second on a double by Bonds, but the ball sailed
into the stands on a wild throw and Aurilia and Bonds both scored
to make it 7-2.

Lance Niekro, the son of former major league pitcher Joe Niekro,
hit a two-run double in the sixth for San Francisco. It was the
first major league hit and RBI for the rookie infielder who made
his major league debut Sept. 5.

The Giants won the season series 13-6 over the Dodgers,
including 8-2 at Pac Bell Park.

Alvarez was done after two innings to end his streak of wins in
six straight decisions. He last lost July 8 at San Diego. He
allowed eight hits and seven runs, five earned, struck out one and
walked two.

Game notes
Snow stole his first base since 2000 in the fourth. ...
Giants reliever Noah Lowry got his first major league hit with a
single in the sixth. Lowry and Niekro packed up their lockers and
were headed for the Arizona Fall League. ... San Francisco and
Florida will hold workouts Monday afternoon leading up to Tuesday's
Game 1. The Giants won the season series with the Marlins 5-1. ...
Pac Bell sold out 52 times in 81 home dates, drawing 3,264,628 to
lead the NL in total attendance for the third straight year. ...
Dodgers reliever Paul Quantrill made his career-high 89th
appearance. That's the most in the NL this season, and second-most
on the Dodgers' franchise list. Mike Marshall pitched in 106 games
for L.A. in 1974.