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Nevin's third homer on season gives Padres win

4/16/2002

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Phil Nevin walked into the clubhouse and was
showered with beer by his cheering San Diego Padres teammates.

It was a rare celebration for so early in the season, but the
Padres had a good reason to be giddy Monday night.

Nevin's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth inning -- his
fourth straight hit -- gave the Padres a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants and their sixth victory in seven games.

"It shocked me," Nevin said of his locker room reception. "It
tastes good, though."

San Francisco's Jeff Kent tied it at 3 with his second homer of
the game in the eighth, and Barry Bonds, playing with a sore
hamstring, robbed D'Angelo Jimenez of a home run in the bottom of
the inning.

Nevin ended it, though, by driving a 2-2 pitch from Jason
Christiansen (0-1) over the fence in left, his third home run of
the season. Nevin also hit a two-run single in the sixth and
finished 4-for-5.

Nevin said he'd never hit a walkoff homer before.

"Probably because I've always been trying to go up and hit a
home run," he said. "I definitely wasn't trying to. I got a good
pitch I can handle. I wasn't sure if it was going to go or not. It
had a lot of topspin. Thank God it did or I would have been
standing on first base."

Christiansen said he tried to throw a sinker and it cut back
over the plate.

"You can't leave a ball over the middle of the plate on him,"
Christiansen said. "He is going to do what he did with it -- just
deposit it."

Alan Embree (2-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.

The Padres, who started the season 1-5, are above .500 for the
first time since Sept. 2.

"This team has come together quicker than most because of what
we went through this spring," Nevin said, referring to the death
of outfielder Mike Darr in an auto accident early on the first day
of spring training.

"I hate to keep dwelling on something like that, but this is a
pretty close group already."

Coincidentally, Darr hit San Diego's last game-winning homer, a
10th-inning shot at home on Sept. 22 for a 4-3 win over the Giants.

San Francisco starter Ryan Jensen, who entered the game with 13
2-3 scoreless innings this season, had to leave after spraining his
ankle in the first inning.

Bonds, who left Sunday's game against Milwaukee with a slightly
strained right hamstring, got back to the fence on Jimenez's fly
ball, timed his jump and got his glove over the 8-foot, 2-inch
fence to make the catch.

"The leg only bothers me when I'm stealing bases," Bonds said.
"It should feel better tomorrow."

Trailing 2-0, five straight Padres reached base with two outs in
the sixth. Left-hander Aaron Fultz retired the first two batters,
then walked pinch-hitter Ron Gant and Jimenez. Kotsay's double to
right chased Fultz, and Tim Worrell came on and allowed Nevin's
single between third and shortstop.

Bonds missed a home run by about 15 feet, hitting a foul ball
into the second deck in right field, and finished 1-for-3 with an
intentional walk.

Kent and pinch-hitter Shawon Dunston did go deep against Padres
starter Bobby Jones, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead.

Kent homered to left on an 83 mph fastball leading off the
second. Dunston hit an opposite-field shot to right leading off the
fifth. It was Dunston's first of the year and the ninth pinch-hit
homer of his 18-year career.

Jones, who's given up four homers in two starts, allowed two
runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked
one.

Jensen left after a bizarre sequence with two outs in the first.
Ray Lankford fouled a ball down the first-base line and Jensen
broke off the mound, but rolled his ankle and collapsed in pain.

After being treated for about 2½ minutes, Jensen got up and was
being helped off the field when he stopped and talked with manager
Dusty Baker, then headed back to the mound. Jensen threw one warmup
pitch, then left.

Jay Witasick, a former Padres pitcher, came on and struck out
Lankford. The Padres loaded the bases with none out in the fourth
but failed to score.

Game notes
Bonds was penciled into the lineup 2½ hours before game
time, but the Giants trainer still had him run through drills an
hour before the first pitch to make sure he was OK. ... San Diego
RHP Brian Lawrence and Montreal catcher Michael Barrett were named
the NL co-players of the week. Lawrence went 2-0 and pitched 16
scoreless innings in his last two starts, including a four-hitter
in an 8-0 win over Arizona on April 8, his first shutout. He threw
seven more scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over Los Angeles on
Sunday.