YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Dodgers Get Barry'd

Baseball: Bonds' homer in first stands up in 2-1 victory, cutting L.A. lead to one game.


SAN FRANCISCO — Back and forth across the country they have gone, chasing each other in the standings, watching each other on the scoreboard, inspired by the ghosts of their glorious meetings of the past and excited by the possibilities of the future.

And all the while, the hype was building for the showdown, the anticipation rivaling that of a title match between two great heavyweights.

The Dodgers and the Giants. No more had to be said.

When they finally met Wednesday on a cold, wet, windy, foggy night--what else?--at 3Com Park, the decision came early and swiftly, a towering, first-inning home run into the second deck in right field by Barry Bonds giving the Giants a 2-1 victory.

If this had been a heavyweight fight, it would have been scored a first-round knockout.

It wasn't exactly Bobby Thomson hitting the shot heard 'round the world, the home run that ended the 1951 Dodgers' season.

But it was certainly the shot heard around 3Com Park, the home run that ended the Dodgers' surge that had pushed them into a two-game lead in the National League West and revived the Giants, who went into this game having lost a season-high four consecutive games.

With a one-game lead, the Dodgers' magic number is still 10 with 10 games to play.

After Bonds smashed the home run, giving him 34 along with 90 runs batted in, he did a little pirouette at home plate, raising the decibel level even higher among the sellout crowd of 50,921, the largest at 3Com in three years.

Who said they don't like baseball in San Francisco?

The noise was the type normally heard in this city when quarterback Steve Young of their beloved 49ers hooks up with Jerry Rice on a touchdown pass.

But the arrival of the hated Dodgers can bring out the best, and worst, of the San Francisco sporting public.

And out they came Wednesday night, dressed in black and orange, armed with their signs, chanting "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"

"If you didn't like baseball before, you certainly had to like it tonight," said Giant Manager Dusty Baker, who used to wear Dodger blue himself. "I wish I could still play in games like this. Everybody was excited. All the electricity was here.

"This was a great ballgame. We needed it and we got it. We are halfway home on our mission."

That mission will continue today when the teams play an afternoon game, their last meeting unless there is a tie at the end of the regular season a week from Sunday.

Bonds' blast, after a walk to Darryl Hamilton, came off Dodger starter and loser Chan Ho Park (13-8).

Park, who was the Dodgers' most consistent starter from mid-July to mid-August, when he won eight of nine decisions, has struggled of late. In his last three outings, he had two no-decisions and a loss. In his last two starts, he had lasted a total of 8 2/3 innings.

Take away the pitch to Bonds, however, and Park had an excellent outing, giving up two hits and two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts and a walk.

But Giant starter Kirk Rueter (13-6) pitched better.

For 4 1/3 innings, he pitched no-hit ball. Then, Raul Mondesi smashed his 27th homer into the left-field seats in the fifth inning, his first home run in 21 games. But it was only a solo shot.

In the eighth, Baker went to reliever Roberto Hernandez, who gave up only a walk to Eric Young in that inning, getting Mike Piazza with two outs.

In the ninth, Baker thought about going to closer Rod Beck, who has blown seven saves, then thought better of it.

"He [Hernandez] had only thrown 15 pitches in the eighth," Baker said.

When Hernandez got the nod again in the ninth, he didn't plan on seeing Baker at the mound.

"I went to finish," Hernandez said. "If I go back out there, I'm going to finish."

And finish he did, striking out Eric Karros and Mondesi on called third strikes and retiring Todd Zeile on a grounder to short for his third save since coming over from the White Sox in a trade.

It was only one game. Baker's mission is not yet accomplished.

But if the Dodgers had swept this two-game series, it might well have been mission impossible.

* * RANDY HARVEY: Even in defeat, Chan Ho Park showed he can respond to pressure situations. C2


THE WEST / Stretch Drive



TEAM W L GB DODGERS 84 68 -- GIANTS 83 69 1



Giants: 2

Dodgers: 1

Winning Pitcher: Kirk Rueter (13-6)

Losing Pitcher: Chan Ho Park (13-8)

Save: Roberto Hernandez (3)







Time: 12:30 p.m.

TV Channel 5

Radio: KABC (790)

Dodgers' Tom Candiotti (10-6, 3.29 ERA) vs. Giants' Terry Mulholland (6-13, 4.15)




Home (5)

Sept. 19-21 vs. Colorado

Sept. 23-24 vs. San Diego

Away (5)

Today vs. Giants

Sept. 25-28 vs. Colorado



Home (4)

Today vs. Dodgers

Sept. 26-28 vs. San Diego

Away (6)

Sept. 19-22 vs. San Diego

Sept. 23-24 vs. Colorado



* Giants: 125

* Dodgers: 28

* Rockies: 23

* Padres: 7

* Biggest Dodger Deficit: 8 games on July 1

* Biggest Giant Deficit: 2 1/2 games on Sept. 1



Dodgers lead series, 6-5

June 4: Dodgers, 5-1

June 5: Giants, 5-4

June 19: Giants, 5-2

June 20: Dodgers, 11-7

June 21: Dodgers, 11-0

June 22: Giants, 4-2

July 10: Dodgers, 11-0

July 11: Dodgers, 6-2

July 12: Giants, 8-5

July 13: Dodgers, 9-3

Sept. 17 Giants, 2-1

Los Angeles Times Articles