Miscues lead Diamondbacks past GiantsSep 27, 2006 - 11:07 PM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- In a battle of miscues, the Arizona Diamondbacks came out on top.
Claudio Vargas pitched 6 2/3 solid innings and the Diamondbacks took advantage of a wild pitch to post a 6-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Vargas (12-10) allowed three runs, four hits and two walks while striking out six to collect just his second victory in his last seven starts. However, it was the fifth time during that stretch that the righthander yielded three runs or less.
"The best thing is, I started all year, stayed in one role and that makes it easy,"said Vargas, who made 30 starts and one relief appearance. "All the things we do are mental. If I have one job, I feel better. I appreciate all the confidence these guys have shown me."
"He's had a nice year for us," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "Coming in, if you're a four or five guy (in the rotation), and you've put together what he's put together this year, you're going to take that anytime."
Three relievers finished a combined five-hitter, with Jose Valverde working the ninth for his 17th save.
Eric Byrnes hit a two-run home run in the first inning to give Arizona an early lead. The blast was his 25th of the season and came after Conor Jackson reached on an error by shortstop Kevin Frandsen.
"I'm really having fun," Byrnes said. "I've gotten the chance to play a lot. That's the only thing I've ever really asked for and Arizona has been good as far as giving me the opportunity to play on a daily basis. I've never really had that opportunity in my career."
Arizona trailed, 3-2, in the sixth before loading the bases on three straight hits. Byrnes beat out a potential double play grounder as Chris Young scored the tying run and Jonathan Sanchez uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Orlando Hudson to score and give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 lead.
"I was throwing strikes and I got a little tired in the sixth," Sanchez said. "It was just a wild pitch. I was supposed to throw inside and it was just a wild pitch."
Sanchez (3-1) yielded four runs - two earned - and five hits in six innings, walking one and fanning two. It was the rookie lefthander's first loss in four career starts.
"When you handle a young guy like that in the minor leagues, the organization makes sure that everything is just perfect," Giants manager Felipe Alou said. "But at the big-league level, it can't be that way. You have to go through stuff like that. I'll say he got out of the year in a good way."
Alberto Callaspo had a sacrifice fly and Scott Hairston added an RBI double in the ninth, giving Valverde a cushion.
Eliezer Alfonzo tied the game at 2-2 with his 12th homer following a one-out walk to Pedro Feliz. The Giants took the lead in the fourth when Moises Alou stole home on the front end of a double steal with Ray Durham.
"I think a good throw would've gotten me at the plate, but I'm glad (the steal) worked out for us," Alou said. "I feel special to be around at age 40 and playing well and making nice plays in the field and stealing home plate, getting hit after hit."
Giants slugger Barry Bonds, who complained of elbow pain after Tuesday night's game, did not play.
Although both teams will finish 2006 with losing records, they could have a huge say in who reaches the postseason in the National League.
On Thursday, the Diamondbacks begin a four-game home series with the San Diego Padres, who lead the National League West by two games over Los Angeles.
"Obviously there's a lot to it, so we're going to have to be at our best," Melvin said. "We're going to do everything we can to try to win games. We'll try to showcase kids, but we're kind of in a mode where we're playing kids anyway, so we'll get a nice mix and go in there and try to win as many games as we can in that series."
On Friday, the Giants open a three-game home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which trails San Diego by two games and holds a one-game lead over Philadelphia in the NL wild card race.
"Obviously there's an X besides our name on the standings chart, so we're not going anywhere. But we can affect the race," Giants center fielder Steve Finley said. "Our goal is not to make sure the Dodgers don't go to the playoffs; our goal is to go out there and give them everything we've got and let the chips fall where they may. We're not going to lay down."
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