SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Dusty Baker's return to San Francisco was a
success, thanks to Moises Alou's big night against his father's
Kerry Wood struck out eight over six strong innings for the
Cubs, who won in their new manager's emotional homecoming. Baker
spent the past 10 seasons with the Giants, winning 840 games and
leading them to the World Series last fall before leaving in a
dispute with owner Peter Magowan.
The change, though contentious at the time, seems to be working
out for everybody. So far this season, Baker has led the surprising
Cubs to first place -- and new manager Felipe Alou is a big hit with
the NL West-leading Giants.
Both managers are under plenty of pressure in the three-day
series. Baker is back in his longtime home, facing cheers and a few
boos, while the elder Alou is facing his talented son for the first
time in San Francisco.
"I'll be glad when this series is over, really,'' Baker said.
"Not only here, but at home, too. The phone is ringing off the
hook, and I spend 30 minutes on tickets. There were a few hecklers.
You can't control how people feel about you. You just accept it."
Moises Alou, hitless in his previous nine at-bats, had an RBI
single in the fifth and a solo homer in the eighth to hurt the team
now managed by his father.
"That's how it usually happens,"B aker said. "I'm sure his
dad will have something to say to him. He's not rooting against
him, but he doesn't want him to hurt them."
"Sooner or later, he was going to start hitting," Felipe Alou
said with a shrug.
Actually, Moises got a few words of advice from his father
before the game.
"It's not like I haven't played against my dad before," he
said. "Not everyone has a chance to play against your dad in the
major leagues. My dad, being the philosopher that he is, said that
I'm hitting a lot of fly balls. I started hitting down on the
Ray Durham hit a leadoff homer for the Giants, who returned home
from a nine-game road trip. They've lost three straight for the
first time this season -- but at 18-7, San Francisco is off to its
best start in 30 years.
Baker claimed to be quite comfortable in his first game in the
visitors' dugout at Pacific Bell Park -- and he also received his NL
championship ring from San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean
and assistant GM Ned Colletti in his office.
The Giants honored Baker with a brief video tribute before the
game, and he tipped his cap in every direction to a standing
ovation from the crowd.
At least one patron wasn't impressed, however.
"I thought it could have been better," said Johnnie B. Baker
Sr., the manager's 78-year-old father. "I don't know what they did
for him or what they said to him. It seemed a little meager to me,
but that's a father talking. They have to keep it low-key, I
Ramon Martinez also had a run-scoring single as the Cubs won for
just the second time in six games. Wood and the bullpen limited the
Giants to Durham's homer and Jose Cruz Jr.'s bases-loaded walk in
Wood (4-1) was a bit erratic -- walking four, allowing seven hits
and twice hitting Barry Bonds with breaking balls in the dirt -- but
he stayed out of big trouble to win for the fourth time in six
Joe Borowski worked a hitless ninth for his fourth save in four
chances. The Giants stranded a season-high 16 runners.
Kirk Rueter (2-1) allowed eight hits and three runs over six
innings, but he was constantly in trouble, retiring the side in
order just once. As his pitch count rose, he allowed former
teammate Martinez's go-ahead RBI single in the sixth.
"I still felt pretty good out there,'' Rueter said. "I think I
can handle it. At 115-120 (pitches), I think that would be fine.
... I think everybody knows how I pitch. I've been doing it for
eight or nine years. I don't think Dusty would be able to tell them
anything they didn't already know."
Bonds, hitting in the No. 3 slot for the first time this season,
was hit on the left ankle in the third inning. Bonds took three
steps toward the mound and grimaced, but nothing came of the words
he exchanged with Wood.
"It's a breaking ball," Wood said. "There's absolutely zero
purpose on that pitch. I hit him in the knee a couple of years ago,
and he said I hit him in the same place."
After the game, San Francisco optioned LHP Jeff Urban back
to Triple-A Fresno and activated RHP Jason Schmidt, who will pitch
Wednesday night. Schmidt had been on the bereavement list since his
mother's death last week. ... Though Bonds reached base four times,
he limped for most of the night after getting hit. ... Giants SS
Rich Aurilia left in the fifth inning with an eye irritation caused
by his contact lens. A few minutes earlier, Aurilia struck out on
three pitches with two runners in scoring position.