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NL ROUNDUP

Giants Have a Wild Time With the Rockies

September 09, 2004|From Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants split two games against the Colorado Rockies, the fourth-place team in the National League West, and still made up ground in the NL wild-card race.

"It's hard to believe that we split and are in the lead," Manager Felipe Alou said after the Giants' 5-3 victory over the Rockies on Wednesday night at Denver. "The wild card, you never win it and you never lose it until the season is over, and there are many contenders and pretenders. It's a mess."

San Francisco lost, 8-7, to Colorado on Tuesday night on a two-run homer by Jeromy Burnitz in the eighth inning. The Giants returned the favor this time, scoring four runs in the eighth to rally for their fourth victory in five games.

Edgardo Alfonzo homered and had two runs batted in, Marquis Grissom had three doubles and the Giants had 16 hits to tie Houston atop the National League wild-card standings, half a game ahead of Chicago.

The Giants close out the regular season with 15 of their final 21 games against teams in the NL West, a potentially difficult scenario.

"That's fine. Let us fight it out. Let us fight it out in the division. I like it," said Barry Bonds, who failed to hit a homer in his last game this season at Coors Field and heads to Arizona two homers short of becoming the third player to reach 700.

Montreal 6, Chicago 0 -- Scott Downs (3-5) outpitched Greg Maddux (13-9) with a five-hit shutout -- the first of his career -- at Chicago.

Downs struck out four and walked one in his first complete game. He came up through the Chicago organization and pitched briefly for the Cubs in 2000 before being traded that year to Montreal for Rondell White.

San Diego 10, St. Louis 5 -- Backed by home runs by Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko, David Wells (10-7) held the Cardinals to two runs and three hits in seven innings at San Diego.

The Padres are two games behind Houston and San Francisco in the NL wild-card race.

Florida 3, New York 0 -- Josh Beckett gave up four hits and struck out nine in eight innings at Miami, Paul Lo Duca hit a two-run home run and the Marlins matched a franchise record with their ninth consecutive victory.

The Mets have lost 11 in a row, including six since last week to Florida, and haven't had a lead in 58 innings.

New York is on its longest losing streak since dropping 12 in a row from Aug. 10 to 23, 2002.

Philadelphia 5-4, Atlanta 3-1 -- Six pitchers combined on a three-hitter, and the Phillies completed a doubleheader sweep at Atlanta.

Jim Thome hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the eighth inning of the first game to reach 40 home runs for the fourth consecutive season.

Thome hit a 3-and-2 pitch from Tom Martin into the right-field seats. He hit 47 home runs last year, his first with the Phillies.

The Braves were swept in a doubleheader for the first time at Turner Field and the first time at home since Aug. 7, 1990.

Milwaukee at Pittsburgh, canceled -- The game was called because of daylong rain and will not be rescheduled.

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