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Kent Proves to Be Big Hit

June 28, 2002|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Kent doesn't think his new spot in the lineup made much of a difference.

Kent, batting third for the first time this season, drove in six runs and led the San Francisco Giants over the San Diego Padres, 11-6, Thursday.

Kent was hitting in Barry Bonds' usual place, but believes his success had more to do with finding the right pitches to hit.

"I don't want to be arrogant," Kent said. "I'm just trying to make good on opportunities."

Giant Manager Dusty Baker tweaked his lineup, moving Kent from cleanup to the spot ahead of Bonds. Baker said he flip-flopped them to take pressure off Kent with Bonds walking so often--and because Reggie Sanders was hitting well in the fifth slot.

The lineup shift came two days after Bonds and Kent got into a scuffle in the dugout in San Diego.

Kent went three for five, getting key hits as the Giants overcame an early 5-0 deficit.

With the game tied, the bases loaded and two out in the sixth inning, Kent doubled to the right-field wall off Jason Middlebrook (1-3) to make it 8-5.

Kent also had a two-run single in the third and an RBI double in the eighth.

"Barry's done a lot of damage against us, but Kent has killed us too," Padre Manager Bruce Bochy said. "We seem to have trouble with Kent whether he's batting third or fourth."

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