7/5/01 vs the Los Angeles Dodgers
Giants get a win, Baker a milestone
S.F. rallies to prevent a Dodgers sweep and give their manager 700th win
GIANTS 3, DODGERS 2
TODAY: Brewers (Allen Leverault 3-3) at Giants (Mark Gardner 4-5),
7:35 p.m. TV: FSN. Radio: 680-AM
By Joe Roderick
CONTRA COSTA TIMES STAFF WRITER
LOS ANGELES -- After a three-game sweep at Pacific Bell Park last week,
manager Dusty Baker expected to win his 700th game as a manager sometime
during a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
What he didn't realize is that it would come down to the 11th hour in Game
4 of the series. And it almost didn't happen at all, but thanks to a late rally, the
Giants went home with a 3-2 victory on Thursday night and avoided their first
four-game sweep at Dodger Stadium since June 1995.
Baker ranks thrid on the franchise list, 123 victories behind Bill Terry.
"I didn't think it would come down to the last day," said Baker, who spent
most of his playing carreer with the Dodgers. "It feels great to do it here."
It was much more than a run-of-the-mill victory in early July. The Giants had
lost the first three games of the series and were facing their toughest
assignment in L.A., right-hander CHan Ho Park, who was named Wednesday to
the All-Star Game.
"We didn't play badly in this series," said shortstop Rich Aurilia, who hit a
game-winning single in the ninth. "All of the games were pretty close. It was nice
to get out of here with a win against their top pitcher. We battled the whole
series. We never laid down. It's nice to know no one has thrown in the towel."
The Giants were down to their final six outs and looking at the bleak
prospect of a four-game bulge between themselves and the second-place
Dodgers in the National League West.
They scored the tying run in the eighth, and the go-ahead run in the ninth
with two out and pinch hitter Reic Davis, a .203 hitter at the plate, against
reliever Al Reyes. Davis slapped a single to left, and the Giants then received a
rare break in the series when second baseman Mark Grudzielanek bobbled
Calvin Murry's grounder and failed to throw him out at first for a costly error.
Aurilia lined a single just over the glove of shortstop Alex Cora, scoring the
It wasn't exactly a dull bottom of the ninth. Closer Robb Nen allowed a
leadoff single to pinch hitter Dave Hansen, and the tying run was at second
when Nen retired dangerous Gary Sheffield on a gound out to third to end the
game. Sheffield hit the game-winning homer off Felix Rodriguez just 24 hous
Nen recorded his NL-leading 26th save, and No. 252 averall, tying his
pitching coach, Dave Righetti, for 18th on the all-time list.
"A lot of guys are going to go by me," Righetti said. "This guy will get 300-
something. He's trmendous."
Nene also survived without a runner sealing a base, thanks to a glide-
step move he's slowly been working into his reprtoire.
"I've done it throughout the year," Nen said. "I should have done it
Russ Ortiz pitched a terrific game, allowing only three hits and two runs in
eight innings, and did not walk a batter for the first ti me this season. It was only
the second time in Ortiz's career that he has not allowed a walk during his start.
The other instance was also against the Dodgers, on Sept. 19, 1998, at
Candlestick Park during an 18-4 win.
The Giants went home a little happier after the victory, enjoying the airline
peanuts and munchies on the short trip for Southern California. Barry bonds might
have been more thrilled than anybody to hop on the plane.
The Dodgers have given Bonds the most trouble of any team this season,
limiting him to a .122 average (6-for-49) with two ho mer and four RBI. He's also
gone a season-high 10 games without a homer, going 4-for-31 during that
"I've seen Barry go through this every year," baker said. "He goes two of three
week before he gets his power stroke back."
After a single in the first, Bonds was hit above the right elbow by a Park pitch
in the third inning. Bonds did not seem particularly annoyed by the move, but
umpire Tim Welke, for some reason, blocked Bonds' path to Park. Bonds seemed
to have no inclination to charge Park.
Rich Aurilia extends to his full
height to receive a throw at