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Renteria's 2-run double in final frame the difference

7/23/2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- As Dusty Baker saw it, Barry Bonds was his
best chance -- despite his injured hamstring.

Bonds made a surprise pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning,
but struck out as the St. Louis Cardinals held off the
injury-plagued San Francisco Giants 5-3 Monday night.

With two outs and a runner on, Bonds limped to the plate before
striking out on a 3-2 pitch from Jason Isringhausen to end the
game.

''That was my best shot -- my only shot to use him,'' Baker said.

Bonds is 0-for-11 for his career against Isringhausen with three
strikeouts.

''You never want to face Barry when they have a man on,''
Isringhausen said. ''But I knew he had a bad leg so I pitched him a
little harder.''

Bonds, who strained his right hamstring in Friday night's game
against the Los Angeles Dodgers, wasn't talking.

''No comments guys,'' he said. ''There's nothing to talk
about.''

St. Louis took the lead in the top half, breaking a 3-all tie.
Placido Polanco led off with a double off Tim Worrell (7-1), who
intentionally walked Jim Edmonds and walked Albert Pujols to load
the bases.

After Robb Nen relieved, Tino Martinez popped out to shortstop
for the first out before Edgar Renteria's double to the wall in
right scored Polanco and Edmonds.

Luther Hackman (3-3) struck out pinch-hitter Jeff Kent to end
the eighth for the win. Isringhausen earned his 23rd save.

Kent was scratched from the starting lineup with a mild strain
of his upper right leg. Bonds also didn't start and Reggie Sanders
left during the game with a tight hamstring.

The Giants trailed 3-1 in the eighth when Bell hit a two-run
homer off Steve Kline to tie it. Bell scored J.T Snow, who walked.

With one out in the fifth, Edmonds hit a two-run homer off
Giants' starter Livan Hernandez. The shot just barely cleared the
center-field wall -- and the outstretched arm of Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
Even Edmonds seemed surprised that it went out.

The Giants made it 2-1 in the bottom half. Tom Goodwin -- Bonds'
replacement in left -- reached on a fielder's choice, then went to
third on Ramon Martinez's double to left.

But Pujols bobbled the ball in left for an error, and Goodwin
scored.

Goodwin earned a standing ovation in the third inning when he
dove to catch Tino Martinez's hard liner to left with the bases
loaded.

Eli Marrero added an RBI grounder off Hernandez in the eighth
inning.

St. Louis starter Jason Simontacchi and Hernandez were making
their second straight start against each other. Neither earned a
decision in the 5-4 Giants' win at St. Louis last Wednesday.

Hernandez allowed three runs and 10 hits in 7 1/3 innings.
Simontacchi gave up one unearned run on seven hits over 5 2/3
innings.

Kent, who is batting .339 with 59 RBI, was a late scratch. Baker
said with Bonds' immediate future an uncertainly, he didn't want to
risk losing Kent, too. Ramon Martinez started at second base.

And the injury woes weren't over. Sanders left the game after
the fifth inning with tightness in his right hamstring, meaning the
Giants were without their usual middle lineup.

Kent, Bonds and Sanders were all day-to-day. But Baker had a
much more dire prediction for his team, which is also experiencing
a flu outbreak.

''We're hour-to-hour right now,'' he said.

Game notes
A fan at Pacific Bell Park posted a sign that simply read:
''57. We miss you,'' a tribute to late St. Louis pitcher Darryl
Kile. ... Simontacchi is from nearby Mountain View, Calif., and
lives in Santa Clara. ... Since Bonds and Kent switched places in
the batting order, with Kent batting third and Bonds batting
fourth, Kent has hit .456 in 21 games.