for this game

Salazar's late homer spurs Diamondbacks' comeback win

Sep 11, 2007 - 7:12 AM By Ryan McCrary Pa SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - Jeff Salazar couldn't start, but he could finish.

Salazar belted a two-out, three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, leading the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-3 comeback victory over the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

Trailing, 3-2, and having struggled all contest long to mount any considerable offense against the Giants' pitching staff, the Diamondbacks finally broke through in the ninth off San Francisco closer Brad Hennessey (3-5), when Stephen Drew led off the frame with a leadoff double to right-center.

Hennessey was able to retire pinch hitter Tony Clark and Miguel Montero, but walked Justin Upton to set the stage for Salazar, who hammered a 2-0 pitch into the right field stands for the go-ahead homer.

For Salazar, it was his second career home run - both pinch-hit homers against the Giants - with the last one coming on September 18, 2006, while he was still a member of the Colorado Rockies.

"Last year, both teams were out of contention, so it didn't matter," Salazar said. "I think it was the last run (in a 20-8 win). I was just looking for a good pitch the whole time. He missed up with a couple fastballs and he got in a situation with a couple guys on and he had to challenge me at some point. Luckily, it caught the barrel. As hard as it is to hit home runs here, I can't believe it got out."

Originally in the starting lineup, Salazar was a scratch because of a nagging ankle injury.

"I feel like I let (us) down not being able to start today, but it was something that had to be done," Salazar said. "Eighty or ninety percent of me is not as good as 100 percent of Justin (Upton) or Carlos (Quentin) or whoever else he wants to put out there."

It was the fourth blown save for Hennessey in 22 chances, after assuming the closer role with Armando Benitez' departure.

"Middle, middle, at the belt," Hennessey said. "I feel like I was pitching away from contact. (On the) next hitter, I should have been smarter. Sometimes, competing takes over, clouds your judgement and you get too aggressive."

The win helped Arizona (82-63) increase their division lead over the idle San Diego Padres (77-65) to 3 1/2 games in the NL West standings.

"That's the way we have to win," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "We've talked about it all year. We need contributions from everybody. That's how we play. The way it's gone as of late, as many close games as we've played as some of the games against the Cardinals (last series) will suggest we feel as long as we have outs left, we still have a chance."

It was another tough defeat for a veteran team accustomed to better fortune.

"At this point in the year, it's nobody's fault," Rich Aurilia said. "They came back to beat us. We have nothing to play for except to ruin someone else's season. This was a disappointing loss."

Arizona witnessed rookie Emilio Bonifacio's first two major league hits - both run-scoring hits in the fifth and the seventh - that helped chip away at a 3-0 Giants advantage after four innings.

"I couldn't stop smiling," Bonifacio said. "I got two RBI. That was a good feeling. I was so excited. I was just trying to play my game and get on base."

Jailen Peguero (1-0) recorded the last two outs of the eighth to get the win. Tony Pena set down the Giants in order in the ninth to post his second save in four chances.

The late rally spoiled a good night from Bengie Molina, who hit two solo homers. The home runs were his 18th and 19th of the season, matching the career high he set with the Toronto Blue Jays last season.

"Great game, that's why it's tough to lose because of what Bengie did," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "Quite a game he had. You know, we had it. Just got away from us there in the ninth, but we actually played well (and) did some good things. (We) just made a mistake there at the end.

With the defeat, San Francisco lost for just the second time this season when leading after eight innings. The Giants are 59-2 in such contests.








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

    BATTERIES: ARI - LIVAN HERNANDEZ, JUAN CRUZ (7TH), DOUG SLATEN (8TH), JAILEN
    PEGUERO (8TH), TONY PENA (9TH) AND MIGUEL MONTERO, CHRIS
    SNYDER (9TH)
    SFO - TIM LINCECUM, TYLER W

    Sep 11 1:03 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY JEFF SALAZAR (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 9TH OFF BRAD HENNESSEY SCORED STEPHEN DREW AND JUSTIN UPTON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 5, SAN FRANCISCO 3
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: E BONIFACIO (.400, 2-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 11 12:50 AM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 11 12:50 AM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 11 12:36 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EMILIO BONIFACIO SCORED MIGUEL MONTERO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E BONIFACIO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.237, 0-FOR-3)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 11 12:03 AM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY EMILIO BONIFACIO SCORED JUSTIN UPTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E BONIFACIO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1
    SAN FRANCISCO 3 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.237, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 10 11:22 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BENGIE MOLINA (19) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0, SAN FRANCISCO 3
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: O VIZQUEL (.241, 1-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 10 11:09 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KEVIN FRANDSEN SCORED OMAR VIZQUEL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K FRANDSEN ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0
    SAN FRANCISCO 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: T LINCECUM (.077, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 10 10:48 PM


  • NL
    AT SAN FRANCISCO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BENGIE MOLINA (18) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 2ND OFF LIVAN HERNANDEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 0, SAN FRANCISCO 1
    DUE UP FOR SAN FRANCISCO: O VIZQUEL (.239, 2 HR, 41 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. GiantsSep 10 10:45 PM