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Diamondbacks gain ground on Giants

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Rick Helling freely admits he doesn't quite
have the same stuff as fellow Arizona starters Curt Schilling or
Randy Johnson.

"I'm not overpowering. I just can't blow fastballs by them,''
Helling said. "I have to rely on my location.''

He was clearly able to put the ball were he wanted it on
Thursday when the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0.
Helling allowed four hits over eight innings.

"Today was one of those days I had control,'' he said.

Luis Gonzalez homered in the fourth inning, and that was enough
to give the Diamondbacks a split of the four-game series between NL
West rivals.

Byung-Hyun Kim pitched the ninth for his 13th save, and got big
help from his defense.

Pinch-hitter Tom Goodwin drew a leadoff walk from Kim and stole
second. David Bell followed with a grounder to third baseman Craig
Counsell, who got the out at first base. Goodwin tried to advance
to third on the play, and was caught on Mark Grace's throw back to
shortstop Tony Womack.

Barry Bonds was then intentionally walked with two outs and none
on, and Jeff Kent struck out looking to end it.

Helling (5-5) allowed just four hits over eight innings as the
Diamondbacks moved 2½ games ahead of the Giants.

"He knew this was a big game for us to split the series and get
out of town,'' manager Bob Brenley said. "He made his pitches.''

Gonzalez's home run came with one out in the fourth off Kirk
Rueter (6-3). It sailed over the wall in right field and splashed
into the inlet of San Francisco Bay named for the Giants' Hall of
Famer.

It was Gonzalez's second splash hit into the cove. He also
homered over the right-field wall on Sept. 23, 2000. Overall, there
have been just four such homers by opposing players at Pacific Bell
Park. Todd Hundley and Grace have the other two.

Gonzalez's homer also snapped a season-high five-game homerless
streak for the Diamondbacks.

"This was exciting,'' Gonzalez said. "This was a nail-biter
right until the end.''

Apart from the home run, Rueter had a strong outing, allowing
one run on five hits over eight innings. He struck out four.

The closest the Giants could get was in the sixth, when Ramon
Martinez singled, moved up on Rueter's sacrifice bunt and took
third on Shawon Dunston's grounder. But Bell grounded out to end
the inning.

"When you win 1-0 it's a great ballagme,'' Giants manager Dusty
Baker said. "When you lose 1-0 then that's what happened.''

Helling had allowed an NL-leading 15 homers in his first 10
starts, so it was expected to be a promising day for Bonds.

But Bonds went 0-for-3 against Helling, and remained one homer
away from matching Frank Robinson in fourth place on the career
list with 586.

Bonds has not homered since Monday, when he hit a solo shot off
Arizona's Brian Anderson in a 7-3 San Francisco win.

Bonds, who set the single-season record last season with 73 home
runs, has 18 this season to match Chicago's Sammy Sosa for the
major-league lead.

Game notes
Giants OF Tsuyoshi Shinjo had a contusion on his left
forearm where he was hit by Curt Schilling's pitch Wednesday night,
and was not in Thursday's starting lineup. ... Diamondbacks C
Damian Miller, who left Wednesday's game with a hip flexor, was not
in the lineup but was listed as day-to-day. ... Rueter has lasted
more than seven innings in eight of his 11 starts. ... It was the
Giants' third scoreless game this year.