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Schmidt records second shutout of the season

5/22/2003

PHOENIX (AP) -- Jason Schmidt gave the beleaguered San Francisco
bullpen the night off and sent the Giants out of Arizona with a
masterpiece.

Schmidt threw a four-hitter in his second shutout of the season
and Marquis Grissom homered twice as the Giants beat the sputtering
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-0 on Wednesday night.

"That's the best stuff we've seen in a couple of years around
here," Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "He had no-hitter stuff
tonight. He was still throwing 98 in the ninth inning. I thought we
banged him around pretty good getting four hits."

Barry Bonds doubled in three runs in the fifth inning.

Neifi Perez had a pair of leadoff doubles as the Giants took two
of three in their first series of the season against the two-time
defending NL West champions, who fell to 2-4 so far in a 10-game
homestand.

San Francisco had lost eight of 10 before winning the final two
games in Arizona. Manager Felipe Alou was quick to put the series
in perspective.

"We've still got 16 to play against them," he said.

Schmidt (4-1) earned the fourth shutout and 10th complete game
of his major league career. He struck out eight -- all in the last
five innings -- and walked none.

"That's a rare thing these days to throw a complete game, but
that is what you focus for," Schmidt said. "Most of the time you
fall short, but tonight it worked out for the best."

In a game that lasted just 2 hours, 29 minutes, he threw 119
pitches, 82 of them strikes.

"We didn't need but one run," Grissom said.

Schmidt, who threw a three-hit shutout against the Chicago Cubs
on April 30, retired 11 in a row, six by strikeout, before giving
up a pair of singles in the eighth.

"That was very impressive," Arizona's Mark Grace said. "That
was electric. We're a good fastball hitting team, but that was a
great fastball we were hitting tonight."

As they had in the first two games of the series, San Francisco
took an early lead, but this time there was no Arizona rally.

Perez led off the third with a double, then was thrown out at
third by Arizona starter Miguel Batista on Schmidt's sacrifice bunt
attempt. Grissom followed with a 427-foot shot to left-center to
make it 2-0.

Bonds' double in the fifth cleared the bases when the ball got
past center fielder Steve Finley. Initially it was ruled a two-run
single with an error, but was changed to a three-run double a short
time later.

Perez led off the fifth with a double, then Batista walked
Grissom and Rich Aurilia to load the bases for Bonds.

Grissom's leadoff homer off reliever Scott Service in the
seventh put San Francisco up 6-0.

Batista (3-3) allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings. He
walked two and struck out none.

"I didn't pitch good. That's the only reason that we lost,"
Batista said. "Forget that Schmidt threw a great game. I could
have done the same thing, hold the game to 0-0 until somebody
scored for us."

The Giants led 6-0 after seven Tuesday night but barely escaped
with a 6-5 victory.

San Francisco led 3-1 after 6½ in the series opener, but lost
4-3 when closer Tim Worrell walked in the winning run with two outs
in the ninth.

There was little danger of collapse Wednesday though, because
Alou didn't need to go to what has been a shaky relief corps. Now
the relievers will get another day off Thursday before beginning
play in Coors Field.

By winning just one of three, the Diamondbacks fell 8½ games
behind first-place San Francisco.

"The way we played, that's as many games as we should have
won," Brenly said. "We were probably lucky to win one game."

Game notes
Batista's start was in doubt because Arizona is expecting
to hear any day the results of the appeal of his 10-game suspension
for his part in a bench-clearing incident against St. Louis on
April 20. ... Arizona's Luis Gonzalez was 0-for-4 and is in a
1-for-17 slump. ... Grissom had the seventh multihomer game of his
career.

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