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Bonds, Kent Team Up to Beat Braves

June 09, 1997|From Associated Press

Barry Bonds grounded out sharply in his first at-bat and felt so good about his swing he was convinced he was about to break out of his slump. He was right to trust his instincts.

Bonds homered in his next two at-bats, and Jeff Kent homered and hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning as the San Francisco Giants rallied past the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, Sunday at San Francisco.

John Smoltz (6-5), last year's National League Cy Young Award winner, was tagged for five runs and eight hits, including three homers, in seven-plus innings.

"After the first at-bat, I felt really good," said Bonds, who drilled a comebacker that Smoltz managed to stop. "I just said, 'He got lucky on that pitch.'

"But I felt really good at the plate. I just felt locked in. I felt like I could have done anything. I could have hit it to left field, right field, it didn't make any difference. When you have those kind of days, you have to take advantage of them."

Bonds and the Giants did just that, ending Atlanta's four-game winning streak. The Braves were trying for their first three-game sweep in San Francisco since May 30-June 1, 1994.

With Bonds and Kent keeping the Giants close, Stan Javier, Darryl Hamilton and Jose Vizcaino hit successive singles to load the bases in the eighth inning. Kent then delivered a two-run single to left field that broke a 3-3 tie and chased Smoltz.

"I just took a two-strike approach," said Kent. "I choked up on the bat a little bit, widened my stance and let the ball come to me and I was able to get a decent piece of a slider."

Rod Beck worked the ninth inning for his 19th save, retiring Ryan Klesko, Kenny Lofton and Michael Tucker in order.

Colorado 7-1, Forida 2-9--Alex Fernandez pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10 Colorado batters, and Moises Alou had four runs batted in to lead the Marlins to a rain-shortened victory at Denver and a split of a doubleheader.

Threatening weather plagued the three-game series for the third day in a row. The first game was delayed 54 minutes because of rain and a tornado warning at the end of the fifth inning. The second game was delayed because of rain for 1 hour 17 minutes after seven innings before it was called.

Fernandez, who gave up only one hit in the first five innings, gave up two singles in the sixth. But Walt Weiss was erased when Eric Young lined into a double play to first baseman Jeff Conine.

Fernandez (6-6) lost his shutout in the seventh when Vinny Castilla hit a one-out double off the right-field wall and scored on Jeff Reed's single. Fernandez gave up only five hits.

The Marlins built a 6-0 lead after three innings off Jamey Wright (4-3), who was making his first start since going on the disabled list May 15 because of an inflamed collarbone.

In the opener, John Burke (2-1) blanked the Marlins for six innings and Andres Galarraga drove in three runs. The Rockies took a 7-0 lead after four innings off Al Leiter (5-4), who threw a no-hitter against them on May 11, 1996.

Burke limited the Marlins to four hits through the first six innings. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, retiring Bobby Bonilla on a groundout, then departed in the seventh after a two-run homer by Charles Johnson.

Montreal 5, Chicago 4--Mike Lansing's one-out double capped a two-run rally in the ninth inning that gave the Expos the victory at Chicago.

The Expos, who have won three in a row, trailed, 4-3, when rookie Ryan McGuire hit an infield single off Terry Adams (0-3). One out later, F.P. Santangelo hit a run-scoring double and Lansing followed with a double--his third hit--just inside the third-base bag.

Anthony Teleford (2-0) pitched two perfect innings of relief.

Pedro Martinez struck out 13 and gave up a season-high four runs in 6 2/3 innings. Ryne Sandberg's two-run single in the seventh inning off Martinez helped the Cubs take a 4-1 lead.

Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2--The Phillies earned a rare road victory the way they usually do, with Curt Schilling pitching. Ruben Amaro's run-scoring single finished off a three-run seventh inning in the victory at Pittsburgh.

Schilling (8-5) shook off Mark Johnson's second home run in six weeks, a two-run drive in the second inning, and gave up five hits in eight innings. He struck out 11 and improved to 6-1 with a 2.21 earned-run average in seven road starts.

The Phillies are 10-22 away from Veterans Stadium, meaning Schilling has accounted for 60% of their road victories. He has both of the Phillies' victories in Pittsburgh, including a 10-2 complete-game decision April 21.

Cincinnati at New York--A steady, unrelenting rain prompted postponement of a game between the Mets and the Reds. The game will be made up today, originally an off-day for both teams.




Player: Barry Bonds

Team: San Francisco

Performance: 2 for 4, 2 RBIs, 2 homers

Team's Result: Win


Player: Tony Gwynn

Team: San Diego

Performance: Single in 6th extends hitting streak to 18

Team's Result: Loss


Player: Jeff Kent

Team: San Francisco

Performance: 2 for 4, 3 RBIs, 2-run single in eighth

Team's Result: Win


Player: Curt Schilling

Team: Philadelphia

Performance: 8 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs, 11 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win


Player: Darryl Kile

Team: Houston

Performance: 9 innings, 5 hits, no runs

Team's Result: Win


Player: John Burke

Team: Colorado

Performance: 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 runs at Coors Field

Team's Result: Win

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