Santiago breaks game open with homer in eighth


ATLANTA (AP) -- Benito Santiago credits the warm weather with his
production at the plate.

Santiago and Jose Cruz Jr. each hit three-run homers and drove
in four runs apiece as the San Francisco Giants won their sixth
straight game, beating the Atlanta Braves 9-2 Friday night.

The win also gave the Giants a 4-0 record on their road trip,
coming off a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins.

"I love the hot weather. I grew up in it. I wish we had 15 more
games here," said Santiago, who was born in Puerto Rico. He went
2-for-3 and raised his average to .304.

"Right now I'm going good," said Santiago, who had a go-ahead
homer on Tuesday night, added two RBI in a win Wednesday and was
given the day off Thursday.

The Giants pulled away from a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning on
Santiago's three-run homer to win a matchup of the teams with the
NL's two best records. It was the first time the clubs have met
since San Francisco beat the Braves in the first round of last
year's playoffs.

Andruw Jones, who set a Braves' franchise record Thursday with
an RBI in his ninth straight game, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Santiago's homer made it 6-2 in the eighth. He connected off
rookie left-hander Jung Keun Bong after a walk to Rich Aurilia and
single by Barry Bonds.

He described his homer as "beautiful."

"I had swung too hard on the previous pitch, so I just told
myself to just settle down and get a good pitch to hit," said

Bonds went 2-for-5, stole a base and scored twice.

"You have good days and bad days. Today was a good day. Now
we'll rest and go again tomorrow," he said.

Cruz was 0-for-3 before homering in the ninth. Jim Brower
singled and Aurilia walked before Cruz hit his eighth home run off
Jim Dawley.

Brower picked up his second save with three scoreless innings.

Santiago had a sacrifice fly in a two-run sixth, with the other
run coming on a sacrifice fly by Cruz.

Santiago singled and scored on a single by Marquis Grissom in
the first inning off Greg Maddux.

Maddux (3-4) gave up five hits and three runs in seven innings.

"I pitched good enough to lose, I guess," said Maddux.
"Sometimes you have to win 2-1. It was a better game than the
boxscore will show. It was close for the most part."

Rookie Jesse Foppert (2-2) made his fourth major league start,
giving up two runs and five hits in six innings, his best effort
since losing 1-0 to the Philadelphia Phillies and Kevin Millwood's
no-hitter on April 27.

"I knew I had to throw a good game to beat Maddux," he said.
"He's a great pitcher and it's kind of hard not to get caught up
in that."

Both Atlanta runs came on solo homers. Chipper Jones hit one in
the second and Marcus Giles homered in the sixth.

Game notes
Bonds has eight homers against Maddux in 119 at-bats, tied
with John Smoltz and Terry Mulholland for his most against any
pitcher. Bonds went 1-for-3 against Maddux, a single. ... The crowd
of 32,040 was the second largest of the season at Turner Field. The
biggest was on opening day when 40,244 showed up in a 10-2 loss to