for this game

Alou hits game-winning homer to cap Giants' late rally

Sep 27, 2006 - 4:54 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Moises Alou's big swing proved to be the difference.

Alou belted the game-winning home run against Brandon Lyon in the ninth inning as the San Francisco Giants rallied to post a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

With the game knotted at 2-2 in the ninth, Todd Linden was hit by a pitch from reliever Randy Choate (0-1), who was replaced by Lyon. Alou lifted the second pitch he saw from the righthander into the left field seats, capping the dramatic comeback.

"It takes a lot of mental work to get pumped up for a game like tonight," Alou said. "The dugout's dead, the stands are dead. You try to pump the guys up a little bit. It seems like everybody's waiting for the (Los Angeles) Dodgers to get excited. We can't wait for the weekend."

The Giants end the season with a three-game series against the Dodgers, beginning Friday.

"I was just trying to miss the bat, obviously, there," Lyon said. "It was pretty much a changeup right down the middle. I was trying to go changeup down and away, but it got too much plate and he did what he did with it."

Mike Stanton (7-6) survived a single in the ninth to earn the win for the Giants, who were eliminated from playoff contention Monday.

Facing a 2-1 deficit in the eighth, San Francisco made the most of two miscues by Arizona.

Pedro Feliz reached on third baseman Chad Tracy's fielding error to start the frame. Pinch runner Fred Lewis moved to second on fellow rookie Eliezer Alfonzo's sacrifice and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb.

Pinch hitter Mark Sweeney then hit a grounder to rookie second baseman Alberto Callaspo, whose throw home bounced past the glove of Chris Snyder, allowing Lewis to slide in safely for a 2-2 tie.

San Francisco starter Matt Morris threw eight innings, yielding two runs and seven hits. He struck out five and did not issue a walk.

"He's (Morris) going to go home in a better frame of mind," San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. "He came into my office in Milwaukee the other day and he was very preoccupied, talking about letting the team down. Hey, we are all letting the team down. I'm glad that he pitched well. That's something to build on next year for him."

"It's good to end on this note," Morris said. "I wish my whole season was like this where I had control. You learn from it and I will definitely sit down and re-evaluate the season ... and try to come back stronger. I wanted to go out with no regrets in this game."

Despite getting the no-decision, Morris appreciated the energy Moises Alou brought to the park - even before his decisive homer.

"It's nice," Morris said. "Walk-off homers are dramatic. Mo, he was in the game from the moment he walked in the clubhouse and it paid off in the end."

One of the National League's leading candidates for the Cy Young Award, Webb struck out six in eight effective frames. The righthander was reached for two runs - one earned - and three hits and did not walk a batter.

"I'm obviously upset we didn't win the game," Webb said. "I felt pretty good out there. I made some pretty good pitches. The guys are obviously going to lay it on the line for me. I don't know if it makes them play harder or not but they've been doing a great job behind me."

"Believe me, everybody knows what's at stake there," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He threw the ball beautifully, as well as he has all year. We weren't flawless behind him and didn't give him much support."

A seventh-inning comebacker by Moises Alou off Webb's ribs played into the decision to go to the bullpen for the ninth.

"You can't run him back out there after that," Melvin said. "He's not going to pitch 10 and once he goes out there if he gives up a run, he's going to have to stay out there. He did his job. I wasn't going to put him in a position to take a loss."

The Giants took a 1-0 lead in the third on Randy Winn's RBI groundout before rookie Carlos Quentin gave the Diamondbacks the edge with a two-run homer to left against Webb in the fifth.

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