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Lopez's home run downs Giants, Bonds

Aug 10, 2007 - 1:01 AM SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Barry Bonds did not start the game, but he still managed to provide the most exciting moment of the day.

Felipe Lopez hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning to lead the Washington Nationals to a 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

After becoming baseball's all-time home run leader on Tuesday and hitting No. 757 on Wednesday, Bonds came to plate as a pinch hitter representing the go-ahead run in the eighth inning.

"We just sent (pitching coach Randy St. Claire) out to the mound and just told (reliever Jon Rauch) to make sure that he hits it out to the opposite field," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "Don't try to be macho or try to trick him inside. Make him hit it to left field, and Jon did a good job."

In an otherwise trivial game between two struggling teams, Bonds' at-bat - a popout into foul territory - was the highlight of the day for the fans at AT&T Park.

With the Nationals holding a 3-1 lead, Rauch started the inning and immediately found himself in a bind after allowing back-to-back singles by Ray Durham and Pedro Feliz, putting runners on the corners.

Rauch rebounded to strike out Rajai Davis before getting Bonds out on a 1-0 pitch. The inning ended moments later when Feliz was picked off trying to advance to second base.

"(Bonds) comes up arguably right now the best hitter in the game, and I just tried to make quality pitches and make him beat me to the opposite field," Rauch said. "Luckily, he hit that ball up, and obviously, I'm pretty pumped at that point. It gives you a little more determination to get the next guys, but I knew it was huge."

Washington rookie John Hanrahan (2-0) notched his second win in as many starts after allowing one run, seven hits and four walks while striking out two in 5 1/3 innings.

"You've got to battle sometimes, and it's not always going to be easy," Hanrahan said. "I didn't have my great command today and my off-speed stuff wasn't locating very well, but I had some big plays behind me, and that really helped out a lot."

Perhaps the most impressive play behind Hanrahan was center fielder Nook Logan's diving catch to rob Omar Vizquel of a hit in the fifth.

Four relievers bridged the gap to closer Chad Cordero, who pitched around a two-out double in the ninth by Vizquel to secure his 25th save of the season.

"It's definitely one of the best bullpens in the league, I'd say," Hanrahan said. "I've seen these guys before on television, and the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-inning guys, as soon as you come out with the lead, I felt confident."

Lopez's eighth home run of the season in the fifth snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be all the support Washington's pitching staff needed.

"I was just looking for something to drive, like all the other at-bats," Lopez said. "I was looking fastball, but I think he threw a changeup, and I just stayed back and hit it."

With their biggest offensive threat regulated to pinch-hitting duties, the Giants' offense struggled. The team stranded 11 baserunners and squandered nearly every scoring opportunity it had, including a chance in the sixth.

With Davis on first and one out, Hanrahan was replaced by reliever Ray King. Pinch hitter Mark Sweeney greeted King with a single that moved Davis to third.

However, Saul Rivera took over and extinguished the threat by getting Kevin Frandsen to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.

In his second career start, Patrick Misch (0-2) was denied his first win after allowing three runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings.

"I got through the first couple of innings and then I kind of lost my mechanics a little bit, but I seemed to battle through it today the best I could, and Lopez hit a changeup that was up," Misch said. "I gave them the lead, and it was tough to give it up right there."

Davis had three hits and scored a run for the Giants, who fell to 6-15 when Bonds does not start.

In addition to being without Bonds, the Giants also lost Dave Roberts to an injury early on. The center fielder left the game in the second inning after injuring his right leg in a home-plate collision with Washington catcher Jesus Flores.

The Nationals were missing their strongest hitter as All-Star Dmitri Young sat out with a strained left hamstring, an injury he sustained Wednesday.






  • 10
    roots
    LAEASTFAN Added 5 roots

    Nationals vs. GiantsAug 9 10:52 PM


  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 3 10 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - JOEL HANRAHAN, RAY KING (6TH), SAUL RIVERA (6TH), LUIS AYALA
    (7TH), JON RAUCH (8TH), CHAD CORDERO (9TH) AND JESUS FLORES
    SFO - PATRICK MISCH, VINNIE CHULK (6T

    Aug 9 6:33 PM
  • 5
    roots
    fcbcbfez10 Added 5 roots

    Nationals vs. GiantsAug 9 5:10 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY FELIPE LOPEZ (8) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF PATRICK MISCH SCORED JOEL HANRAHAN.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3, SAN FRANCISCO 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: N LOGAN (.268, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. GiantsAug 9 4:51 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T BATISTA ON FIRST, A KEARNS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J FLORES (.231, 0-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. GiantsAug 9 4:32 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ SCORED RAJAI DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G RODRIGUEZ ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: P MISCH (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals vs. GiantsAug 9 4:07 PM