Bonds finishes 2-for-3 with RBI in return

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- An improbable victory only 12 hours before
gave the San Francisco Giants a good feeling when they arrived at
the ballpark. Seeing Barry Bonds' name on the lineup card made them
feel even better.

Damian Moss shut out Pittsburgh on five hits over seven-plus
innings and the Giants, helped by Bonds' return, beat the Pirates
3-1 Thursday.

Felix Rodriguez and Tim Worrell finished, with Worrell giving up
an RBI double to pinch-hitter Matt Stairs with two outs in the
ninth. Worrell then retired Abraham Nunez on a groundout for his
seventh save in eight chances.

Bonds, who sat out two games with a stiff neck, singled his
first two times up and drove in the first run in a three-run third
inning against Kris Benson (2-3).

No doubt manager Felipe Alou welcomed Bonds back, especially
with team RBI leader J.T. Snow out with a bruised right forearm.
Snow was hit by a Julian Tavarez pitch in the 13th inning of the
Giants' 4-3 victory Wednesday night, but stayed in and scored the
decisive run.

The Giants' 17-4 start is their best since moving to San
Francisco and the franchise's best after 21 games since the 1938
New York Giants were 18-3.

"I felt today we were going to win," Alou said. "For some
reason, the first night here (Tuesday) I didn't have that winning
feeling. Maybe it was the jet lag. But with Barry back, you could
tell there was a different feeling in both dugouts."

Andres Galarraga replaced Snow at first base and finished off
the three-run third with the last of four consecutive singles off
Benson. Ray Durham walked with one out and, after Neifi Perez flied
out, Edgardo Alfonzo, Bonds, Jose Cruz Jr. and Galarraga singled to
make it 3-0.

"The guys who play when the starters are out are doing a great
job, and you don't always see that with a lot of clubs," Snow
said. "You don't see guys contribute like our guys do."

Cruz hit the tying three-run homer in the eighth Wednesday and
had four RBI in the final two games of the series. The Giants are
14-0-4 in their last 18 series since dropping two of three to the
Expos last Aug. 23-25.

Moss (4-0) made certain they would win this series -- the Giants
are 29-12 against Pittsburgh since 1998 -- with his dominating
effort. He has pitched 14 shutout innings in two career starts
against Pittsburgh, seven in a 6-0 Braves' victory on Sept. 4. Moss
was traded to the Giants during the offseason, then shook off a
poor spring training.

"It's always important to get out of the gate strong," Moss
said. "We're on a good roll and you always want to keep the
momentum going."

The Pirates, losing for the eighth time in 11 games, threatened
twice against the left-hander. Reggie Sanders singled and stole
second with one out in the fourth and Craig Wilson walked, but Moss
struck out Adam Hyzdu and got Rob Mackowiak on a fly ball.

Nunez and Jack Wilson singled to start the eighth to bring on
Rodriguez, who got all three batters he faced.

Moss joined the Pirates' Jeff Suppan, who beat the Giants 5-2
Tuesday, as the first two NL starters to go 4-0. Moss struck out
three and walked three.

"He only throws in the mid-80s, but he just baits you with
those slow curve balls and changeups," Jack Wilson said. "You
think you're going to get hits off him, and you end up hitting a
lot of weak ground balls. He's a frustrating guy to hit against."

For Benson, one bad inning again ruined an otherwise good
outing. All four runs he allowed in a 7-2 loss Friday to the Cubs
came in the first inning. He has lost three straight starts.

The Pirates are 3-6 on a season-long 12-game home stand and have
lost their last five series, all by dropping two of three.

"We expected to play better than this, but we're still only 21
games into the season and we'll play better," Jack Wilson said.

Game notes
Snow may play again as early as Friday, despite a forearm injury the
team's trainers initially feared would send him to the disabled
list. ...
The Giants have won 25 of their last 29 regular
season-games. ... Bonds played in his 2,457th game, moving into
50th place. ... The Giants are 10-2 on the road, their best away
start since they had the same record in 1966. ... The Giants have
won their last nine series against Pittsburgh. ... Bonds is
8-for-14 with a homer against Benson. After he hit a long foul fly
ball into the Allegheny River beyond the right-field stands in the
fifth, a fan swam to retrieve it. ... Benson is 1-5 against the
Giants. ... Alou reluctantly used Worrell again, even though he
threw 41 pitches Wednesday in two shutout innings.