Hernandez snaps his own four-game skid

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It must have been the other Livan Hernandez who had those four straight losses, because a completely different pitcher showed up for the Giants.

Hernandez gave up just four hits in this third career shutout Friday night as San Francisco beat the Colorado Rockies 9-0.

"Tonight it was me. It's Livan. It's No. 61 of San Francisco,'' he said.

Hernandez (7-10), who snapped a four-game losing streak, matched
his season-high with eight strikeouts. He also added an RBI double
in the eighth inning.

"He was throwing his fastball better, using it better,'' Giants
manager Dusty Baker said. "He was attacking batters.''

And just who was pitching for those losses?

"The second Livan,'' Hernandez said.

Rookie Damon Minor hit a two-run home run and Tsuyoshi Shinjo
drove in three runs as San Francisco won its fourth straight. The
Giants moved to within 2½ games of first-place Los Angeles in the
NL West, and two games behind Arizona in second.

It was Hernandez's 21st complete game. His last two shutouts
came in 2000, when he threw back-to-back scoreless games on Aug. 18
against Atlanta and Aug. 23 against Florida.

He credited a trip to Miami over the All-Star break for the

"I saw my mom, I saw my dog, I went out,'' he said. "And I got away from baseball.''

Mike Hampton (5-10) was 12-1 with a 3.29 lifetime ERA against the Giants going into the game. His only loss against them was in San Francisco last July 18.

Hampton allowed five runs -- three earned -- on eight hits over
seven innings.

"Livan was outstanding,'' Hampton said. "He hit his spots. You
have to tip your hat to guys who have nights like that.''

Minor homered off Hampton in the second inning, scoring Reggie
Sanders, who singled.

Minor has nine home runs this season, tying him for the lead
among NL rookies with Montreal's Brad Wilkerson.

The Giants scored three more runs in the seventh.

After Sanders walked, Benito Santiago nearly homered off Hampton
-- but Juan Pierre made a leaping catch at the wall in center.

Minor also walked before Shinjo singled up the middle, scoring
Sanders. Minor scored on Hernandez's infield grounder, which was
dropped at the plate by catcher Gary Bennett.

An out later, Shinjo scored on Rich Aurilia's single to left, and Hernandez was thrown out at the plate.

The Giants added four more runs in the eighth. Santiago hit a sacrifice fly and Shinjo added a two-run triple before Hernandez's RBI double. He received a standing ovation.

Hernandez was coming off a dismal start against the Rockies last
Wednesday, when he allowed seven runs on eight hits in 1 2/3
innings in a 14-4 loss.

Hopefully, all that's over, Baker said.

"It starts at one,'' he said. "Every bad streak starts at one,
and every good streak starts with one.''

Game notes
Barry Bonds and Santiago were back in the Giants' lineup Friday night after getting a day off to recuperate from their All-Star appearances. ... RHP John Thomson, set to start Saturday for the Rockies, has not walked a batter in eight starts. He has walked just 20 batters -- three intentionally -- overall. ... Last July 12, in the first game after the All-Star break, Bonds hit his
40th home run. It came off Paul Abbott of the Mariners in a 4-3 San Francisco loss. ... Larry Walker went 0-for-4 to snap a 10-game hitting streak.