Archive for Sunday, May 2, 2004

Pierzynski packs punch for Giants

Catcher silences critics, powers San Francisco to 6-3 victory over Florida

May 2, 2004


— A.J. Pierzynski has been booed by the Giants faithful and ripped by three pitchers he works with every day.

On Saturday, the embattled catcher made a big statement with his bat that he's serious about his job with San Francisco -- despite what others say.

Pierzynski hit a tiebreaking, two-run single and also had a triple among his three hits in San Francisco's 6-3 victory over the Florida Marlins.

Pierzynski was criticized anonymously by several teammates in recent days for his work ethic, and the criticism showed up in a newspaper Friday. It appears to have motivated the fiery player, who pumped his fist when he stepped on first base following his seventh-inning single.

"I've been taking a lot the last couple of days," said Pierzynski, who also threw out speedy Florida baserunner Juan Pierre trying to steal second.

"If it turns things around, then, hey, I'm a scapegoat. ... I went out there with the same attitude I always go out there with. What's done is done. I don't have a time machine to change things."

Jason Schmidt (2-2) struck out nine in seven innings and earned his second win this week. Matt Herges recorded four outs for his ninth save in 10 chances.

The Giants added two runs in the eighth on Marquis Grissom's double that right fielder Damion Easley chased down but couldn't keep in his glove.

Schmidt earned his first win of the season in the Giants' 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

The right-hander won 17 games last season and led the National League in ERA, but the Giants have struggled to score runs for him.

Padres 3, Mets 1

San Diego -- Brian Giles hit a two-run homer to lead San Diego past New York. Giles also hit a two-run homer Friday to start the Padres' rally from a five-run deficit. San Diego has won six straight and 10 of 12, including four consecutive come-from-behind wins. New York played the game under protest after Padres reliever Akinori Otsuka threw one pitch in the eighth inning. The Mets contended that Otsuka, who has an unusual delivery, balks with each pitch.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 2

St. Louis -- Matt Clement worked eight strong innings, and Aramis Ramirez hit a three-run home run, giving Chicago a victory over St. Louis. The Cubs won for only the sixth time in their last 32 games at Busch Stadium over a five-season span. A sellout crowd of 49,505, the largest of the season, attended a game that was played in constant rain and temperatures in the high 40's.

Rockies 3-7, Braves 2-11

Denver -- Johnny Estrada and Jesse Garcia each hit two-run singles in Atlanta's six-run eighth inning, and the Braves split a doubleheader with an 11-7 victory over Colorado. Trailing 7-5, the Braves loaded the bases, and Estrada hit a two-run single with two outs off Vladimir Nunez.

Nunez (3-1) won the first game. The Rockies won the opener, 3-2, on Mark Sweeney's sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.

Pirates 8, Brewers 7, 10 innings

Milwaukee -- Craig Wilson hit an RBI double in the 10th inning to lead Pittsburgh over Milwaukee.

D'backs 6, Phillies 4

Philadelphia -- Pinch-hitter Carlos Baerga hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth inning, leading Arizona over Philadelphia. Danny Bautista went 0-for-3 with two sacrifice flies, ending his 21-game hitting streak. Randy Johnson (3-2) allowed three runs -- one earned -- and four hits in five innings to win his second straight start.

Astros 10, Reds 4

Houston -- Jeff Kent drove in four runs, and Houston had 16 hits in a rout of Cincinnati. Richard Hidalgo went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, and Wade Miller allowed three runs on two hits over six innings in the Astros' third straight win. Miller (3-2) struck out seven and walked six in improving to 7-1 against the Reds.

Dodgers 5, Expos 4

Los Angeles -- Adrian Beltre hit a pair of solo homers off Livan Hernandez and singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth, giving Los Angeles a victory over Montreal. Rookie Jason Grabowski, in a 2-for-20 slump, led off the eighth with a pinch-hit double to right-center against reliever Luis Ayala (0-5). Dave Roberts bunted him to third, and Beltre drove him in.

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