MILWAUKEE (AP) -- It's beginning to look like the San Francisco Giants' stretch run will wind up a success.
Kenny Lofton and Rich Aurilia hit consecutive seventh-inning
homers and the Giants kept up their strong play Saturday night with
a 3-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. San Francisco (89-66) maintained a two-game lead over
Los Angeles (87-68), which defeated San Diego 5-3. The Giants, who
trail NL West-leading Arizona by 5½ games with seven to play, have
won 11 of their last 16 games and 23 of their last 33. Jason Schmidt (12-8) allowed three hits in seven innings, struck
out eight and walked three. Tim Worrell pitched a hitless eighth,
and Robb Nen finished with a perfect ninth for his 40th save in 48
chances. "Robbie looked exceptionally sharp and Tim Worrell continues to
excel,'' San Francisco manager Dusty Baker said. "It's not easy
coming into a 3-1 ballgame in this park, especially the way the
ball's flying out.'' Worrell, tied for the NL lead in relief victories with eight,
walked pinch-hitter Lenny Harris leading off the eighth, then
retired Eric Young on a flyout, and struck out Keith Ginter and
Jeffrey Hammonds. Nen fanned Richie Sexson and Matt Stairs, then retired Jim
Rushford on a weak bouncer. "They've been outstanding,'' Schmidt said. "It's a big reason
for our success. Especially when we come out of a game early, they
come out and slam the door nine times out of 10.'' A night after setting a franchise record for losses, the Brewers
became the third 100-game loser in the major leagues this season.
Milwaukee (54-100) joined Tampa Bay (53-101) and Detroit (54-100). "There's nothing good about it,'' Brewers manager Jerry Royster
said. "All major league teams want to avoid it. It's a number you
don't want.'' Ben Diggins (0-3) gave up three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3
innings. "I know it's been a long year for this whole team,'' Ginter
said. "Even though I just joined, I feel those losses, too.'' San Francisco stranded eight runners in the first six innings
against Ben Diggins. Hammonds threw out Jeff Kent at third base
from center field in the first inning and Stairs threw out J.T.
Snow at home from left field in the fourth. Barry Bonds hit an RBI single in the first, but Milwaukee tied
it in the fourth when Ginter, acquired from Houston on Sept. 6, hit
his first homer in two years. Lofton hit his third homer of the season on a 3-2 pitch in the
seventh, and Aurilia connected on a 2-0 pitch for his 15th homer.
It was the seventh time this season the Giants homered
consecutively. Milwaukee put runners on first and second with one out in the
seventh, but Bill Hall flied out and Paul Bako struck out.
Ginter had not homered since Sept. 30, 2000, when he
connected for Houston against Milwaukee. ... Bonds was walked
twice, extending his major league season record to 190. ...
Milwaukee's Jose Hernandez, one strikeout shy of tying Bobby Bonds'
major league record of 189, did not play for the second straight
game. ... The Brewers had been one of only five teams never to have
lost 100 games. The others are Anaheim, Houston, Arizona and