Series: Game 3 of 4

San Francisco leads 2-1 (as of 9/7)

Game 1: Thursday, September 5
Arizona 8Final
San Francisco 5
Game 2: Friday, September 6
Arizona 0Final
San Francisco 1
Game 3: Saturday, September 7
Arizona 3Final
San Francisco 4
Game 4: Sunday, September 8
Arizona 1Final
San Francisco 3

Diamondbacks 3

(87-55, 41-30 away)

Giants 4

(80-61, 41-29 home)

    4:05 PM ET, September 7, 2002

    AT&T Park, San Francisco, California 

    123456789 R H E
    ARI 012000000 3 - -
    SF 100020001 4 - -

    W: F. Rodriguez (7-6)

    L: B. Kim (8-3)

    Giants edge D-backs in ninth once again

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- At 37, Benito Santiago still feels fit enough to catch 18 innings, and he still craves being in the batter's box in a close game.

    Benito Santiago

    Benito Santiago connects for a single in the ninth inning that drove in the winning run for the Giants.

    Thanks to his timely hitting, there were no extra innings necessary Saturday. Santiago hit a game-winning single and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second consecutive game, 4-3.

    ''I always love situations like that,'' said Santiago, who also drove in two other runs. ''Since I started playing in this league I've liked those opportunities.''

    San Francisco won for the 10th time in 13 games and moved to two games of the Dodgers in the National League wild-card race after Los Angeles lost 6-1 to Houston. The Giants are 6 games behind Arizona in the NL West.

    Jeff Kent led off the ninth with a single against Byung-Hyun Kim (8-3) and advanced to second on Barry Bonds' groundout.

    Santiago followed with a single to right field and Kent scored without a play. Santiago threw his arms in the air as he approached first base.

    ''We have to work hard for all of them,'' Giants manager Dusty Baker said. ''This year's been a grind.''

    The Giants beat the Diamondbacks 1-0 Friday night on Reggie Sanders' game-ending single.

    ''Once again it comes down to the last guy,'' Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly said. ''We were hoping for a little bit more today. They're a tough ballclub. They really ride the emotions of their fans, they almost feed off of them. Once that gets going, they seem to slow down the game and disrupt the pace. They respond very well to that.

    ''They will haunt you, and they did tonight.''

    Felix Rodriguez (7-6) pitched the ninth for the victory, getting help from a spectacular catch by Sanders in right field.

    Sanders ran into the wall as he caught a fair ball hit by Tony Womack against the foul pole to end the ninth. Sanders ran back to the dugout to a standing ovation.

    ''If you're fearful of the wall, you're not going to be able to catch it,'' Sanders said.

    The Giants blew a big opportunity in the eighth. David Bell doubled to the corner deep in left field with one out to move Sanders to third. Pinch-hitter Bill Mueller then walked to load the bases for leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton.

    Benito Santiago
    San Francisco Giants
    110 14 64 49 2 .276

    Matt Mantei retired Lofton on a popup and Mike Fetters got Rich Aurilia to ground out to third to end the threat.

    San Francisco scored twice in the fifth to erase a 3-1 deficit.

    Bonds came up with the bases loaded and one out. After a flyout and a walk in his first two plate appearances, Bonds hit a high single that dropped between three Arizona players: left fielder Luis Gonzalez, shortstop Womack and third baseman Matt Williams. Williams had a play on the ball, but lost it in the sun and the others had already backed off because they thought Williams had it.

    ''Any day game here is tough,'' Williams said. ''I turned around and I tried to chase it down. After I turned around I looked up again and I couldn't find it, no matter how hard I looked for it.''

    Bonds' hit scored Lofton, then Santiago followed with a sacrifice fly that brought home Aurilia for the tying run.

    In the Diamondbacks' two-run third inning, Gonzalez singled off Giants starter Ryan Jensen to drive in a run and Felix Jose hit a sacrifice fly.

    Jensen allowed three runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

    Arizona starter Rick Helling, who allowed seven runs in 3 2/3 innings of a 19-1 defeat against Los Angeles in his previous start, gave up three runs and six hits in five innings against the Giants.

    Bonds gave Helling a scare in the fourth, pounding a pitch high over the right-field bleachers and into McCovey Cove, but it was a few feet to the right of the foul pole. A fan outside the park jumped into the water to retrieve the ball, probably thinking it was a home run. Bonds ended up walking that time.

    Game notes

    In his career, Helling has held Bonds to an 3-for-16 effort, with two home runs and the single Saturday. ... Brenly shook up his lineup Saturday in part to see Jose in a prominent spot in the order. The switch-hitting Jose batted in the No. 4 hole, and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and singled in just his second start since joining the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Jose, 37, was acquired by Triple-A Tucson from the Mexican League champion Mexico City Reds. Before Friday, he hadn't started a game in the majors since July 20, 2000, with the Yankees. ... Six San Francisco relievers combined to allow only one hit.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press