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Jackson's three-run blast lifts Diamondbacks over Giants

Sep 26, 2006 - 5:10 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Hot-hitting rookie Conor Jackson put an end to the San Francisco Giants' postseason hopes.

Jackson belted a three-run homer to cap a four-run fourth inning and Edgar Gonzalez pitched seven effective innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks posted a 7-1 victory over the Giants.

With its fifth straight loss and eighth in 10 games, San Francisco (75-81) was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

"Even when we were tied or a couple games out of the wild card lead, I've been saying it here for six weeks, 'The wild card is a mirage,'" San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "I don't trust that. The division (lead) has always been far from us.

"I know the effort the guys put out there was their maximum effort to keep it close."

Jackson is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with seven RBI in his last seven games. He is batting .311 (65-for-209) with eight homers and 34 RBI since the All-Star break.

After singles by Luis Gonzalez and Chad Tracy in the fourth, the 24-year-old Jackson smacked his 14th homer off Jason Schmidt (11-9) to snap a 1-1 tie.

"He's got filthy stuff," Jackson said. "He's probably one of the best righties in the NL and to get on him early like that is big because he can shut you down in a hurry."

Schmidt has been successful against the Diamondbacks, owning a 15-6 lifetime record with 11 consecutive victories and a 2.93 ERA in his last 16 starts against Arizona.

"They hit the pitches - that's about all I can say," Schmidt said. "Conor Jackson, I threw a ball up and in to him, exact pitch Fonzie (Eliezer Alfonzo) and I talked about when he came out and he turned on it and burned me.

"Not something you see him do too often. It's been like that all year. A three-run homer sunk me. The other guy pitched a great game too."

"It was nice to finally get a win off him," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said of Schmidt. "He's pitched so well against us. At some point and time it starts getting in your head a little bit. Conor Jackson's home run got us in front and in a position to win. It's nice to finally beat him."

Gonzalez (3-3) allowed one run - a homer to Ray Durham - and five hits while striking out three and walking three. Randy Choate pitched the eighth and Jose Valverde tossed the ninth for the Diamondbacks.

"I made one mistake and that was down in the dirt, but it was in the middle of the plate," Gonzalez said. "I just want to keep working like I have been. I want to keep pitching well."

"Edgar has pitched well almost every time he's gone out there," Melvin said. "You can see his confidence growing and growing out there. His stock is raising. We always knew he had great stuff. He had a little bit of trouble at the big league level at times, but with more confidence and great stuff can lead to great results."

Arizona's Eric Byrnes hit his 24th blast in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1.

Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI and collected his first major league hit to lead off the fifth inning.

"It feels great," Montero said. "It feels even better that I got it off Jason Schmidt. He's such a great pitcher."

Schmidt allowed four runs and eight hits in seven innings. Durham's homer was his 26th, tying him with Barry Bonds for the team lead.






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