Bonds hits No. 720, but Nomar lifts Dodgers past Giants

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Nomar Garciaparra's late-inning heroics stole
the show again -- this time from Barry Bonds.

Garciaparra's tie-breaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning
trumped Bonds' 720th career home run and lifted the Los Angeles
Dodgers to a 9-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday

"When I hit it, I knew it was gone," said Garciaparra, who
fouled off two fastballs before connecting. "I was able to get one
where I got the barrel on it. I was just battling, trying to keep
the inning alive because the guys behind me are swinging the bat

Garciaparra, who is going to his sixth All-Star Game and first
as a National Leaguer, drove an 0-2 splitter from Jeremy Accardo
(1-3) into the bullpen in left with one out in the eighth. It was
his 11th homer of the season and it broke a 6-6 tie.

"It's my fault. It's all on me. I just didn't throw it where I
needed to," Accardo said. "I hung it. And if you hang a pitch
like that to a good hitter, he's going to beat you every time. ...
I can't put a finger on why it hung. I tried to throw it in the

Cesar Izturis capped the decisive rally with an RBI single, his
third hit. Danys Baez (5-4) pitched a hitless eighth for the
victory. Takashi Saito got three outs for his seventh save in as
many chances, just hours after the Dodgers announced that former
All-Star closer Eric Gagne would undergo season-ending back surgery
on Saturday.

Bonds gave the Giants a 5-4 lead in the third with a three-run
shot, his first home run in 26 at-bats since June 24. The
seven-time NL MVP, who is 35 home runs behind all-time leader Hank
Aaron, added an RBI single in the ninth.

"We know that Barry's going to drive in runs," manager Felipe
Alou said. "He had a number of hittable pitches in a couple of the
games in Arizona that he just missed and popped up, but we knew he
was going to get back his stroke. I could tell by the way he took
BP today. He even hit a ball over the roof and into the parking

The Dodgers took a 6-5 lead in the sixth against Giants starter
Matt Morris when Russell Martin, who led off with a double, scored
on a throwing error by right fielder Moises Alou after he caught a
fly ball by Matt Kemp with Martin on third.

The Giants tied it in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Ray
Durham, who hit his 11th home run in the second.

Dodgers rookie Chad Billingsley allowed five runs -- four earned
-- and six hits over 5 1/3 innings and remained winless in five
major league starts. The 21-year-old right-hander, a first-round
draft pick by the Dodgers in 2003, was the organization's minor
league pitcher of the year last season and was promoted from
Triple-A on June 14.

Bonds, who hit his first major league home run eight weeks
before Billingsley's second birthday, drove his 12th homer of the
season an estimated 449 feet into the pavilion seats in
right-center with two outs in the third.

Billingsley is the 426th pitcher to give up a home run to the
13-time All-Star. Bonds, who turns 42 on July 24, has hit 63 home
runs against the Dodgers, 28 in Los Angeles. He had one hit in 19
at-bats against the Dodgers this season before the home run.

"We didn't expect to go the whole year without seeing one, and
he gave us a glimpse of what he's been doing all these years,"
Dodgers manager Grady Little said.

Los Angeles tied it at 5 in the fifth inning on an RBI single by
rookie Andre Ethier.

Dodgers second baseman Jeff Kent sat out his fourth straight
game because of a strained muscle in his left side. Center fielder
Kenny Lofton, another former Giant, left the game with tightness in
his right hamstring after running out a sacrifice bunt in the first
inning. Their replacements, Ramon Martinez and Kemp, both drove in
runs in the first two innings.

Garciaparra and J.D. Drew both extended their hitting streaks
during the Dodgers' three-run first. Garciaparra made it 19
straight with an RBI single, Drew followed with a double that gave
him 13 consecutive games with a hit. Martinez drove them in with a
two-out double that gave Los Angeles a 3-1 lead.

Kemp gave the Dodgers a 4-2 lead in the second with an RBI
groundout after Alou misplayed Martin's sinking liner into a
triple. The 40-year-old Alou was playing his second game after
missing 2 weeks because of a lower back strain.

Morris allowed six runs -- five earned -- and a season-high 10
hits over six innings.

Game notes
Gagne's surgery to repair a herniated disk in his lower
back will be performed by Dr. Robert Watkins at St. Vincent Medical
Center. ... Garciaparra's longest hitting streak in the big leagues
was 30 games, in 1997 with Boston. He is only the second player in
history to make an All-Star roster as a shortstop and a first
baseman. The other was Hall of Famer Ernie Banks. ... The only
players to represent the Dodgers and Giants in an All-Star Game are
Kent and C Tom Haller, who replaced Spec Richardson as Giants
general manager exactly 25 years ago Friday.