SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Armando Benitez danced in his corner of the
clubhouse as the music blared. The San Francisco Giants rallied to
win late, a rarity for this team during a disappointing season, and
things were momentarily good again.
They hope the victory is something to build on and that San
Francisco can at least make things interesting down the stretch.
"Right now, we're behind seven games," Benitez said. "We have
a good chance to get it done. The young guys are showing what they
Plagued by hamstring trouble and knee problems during his two
seasons with the Giants, Durham finally feels like himself.
"When the legs are healthy, I can do the things I want to do,"
he said. "Right now, my legs are strong."
Jack Taschner (1-0) pitched one inning for his first major
league win and Benitez finished for his fourth save since returning
from a serious hamstring injury and eighth overall.
"Any time you put Matheny in, that's good managing," Giants
skipper Felipe Alou said.
Benitez pumped his fist in celebration after Matheny's big play.
"A great throw, a perfect throw," said Benitez, who missed
more than three months with the injury. "When I saw the out, I
said 'Thank you!"
Colorado had won four of the last five against its NL West
rival. San Francisco leads the season series 8-6 with four meetings
to go, including three at Coors Field from Sept. 23-25.
Helton hit a solo homer into the right-field arcade leading off
the fourth, his 15th of the season. He also singled in the first
and sixth innings and gave Cook a quick lead when he scored on Matt
Holliday's RBI triple in the first. Gonzalez connected for a solo
shot to center with one out in the sixth, his eighth homer of the
The bullpen blew it for Cook, who appeared to be headed toward a
career-best four-start winning streak -- which would have been the
longest by a Colorado pitcher this year.
"That's how we've been winning -- good defense and the bullpen
doing a job," Helton said. "It didn't happen tonight."
Cook was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list July 30 after
recovering from two surgeries last year to relieve blood clots in
his lungs. The right-hander lost in his first outing back, but is
unbeaten in six starts since. He allowed one run and seven hits,
struck out three and didn't walk a batter for the first time this
year -- he had two walks Aug. 5 at Arizona and just one in each of
his other outings.
Randy Winn hit an RBI double in the seventh and Durham, who had
three hits, scored on a second-inning double play, but Brad
Hennessey saw his winless stretch reach six outings despite
matching his career high with seven strikeouts in seven innings. He
had no-decisions in his other two starts against the Rockies this
Angel Chavez made his major league debut and went 0-for-4 for
the Giants, arriving only about an hour before first pitch after
being called up from Triple-A Fresno. He started in place of
shortstop Omar Vizquel, who had a tension headache and was
Chavez, 24, played in the big leagues for the first time a night
after 20-year-old top pitching prospect Matt Cain worked five
strong innings in his much-hyped debut.
Helton had an impressive 14-pitch at-bat against Cain on Monday
night in which he fouled off eight straight 3-2 pitches before
flying out. Helton came into Tuesday's game batting .176 (6-for-34)
against the Giants this season.
The homer was his second against San Francisco this year.
Benitez earned his 252nd career save to tie Giants pitching
coach Dave Righetti for 23rd all-time. ... Barry Bonds has begun
taking light batting practice, a positive sign the slugger could
soon be ready to resume other baseball activity as he recovers from
three operations on his right knee. Giants general manager Brian
Sabean spoke Tuesday to renowned Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis
Yocum, who has been working with Bonds in Los Angeles along with
physical therapist Clive Brewster. Sabean expected to know more
about Bonds' status Wednesday. ... Injured Rockies OF Larry Bigbie,
sidelined with a strained Achilles' tendon, will begin a rehab
assignment Wednesday for Triple-A Colorado Springs at Salt Lake.
... The Giants made two trades before the game, sending INF Deivi
Cruz to Washington and reliever Jason Christiansen to the Los
Angeles Angels for three minor leaguers.