Herges blows fifth save for Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Cody Ransom was called up earlier this
month after dominating Triple-A pitchers with timely hits, even
pounding four homers in four days during one May stretch.

He produced the biggest hit of his career Monday night.

Ransom singled up the middle with two outs in the ninth to drive
in the winning run, leading the San Francisco Giants to a 3-2 win
over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After Dustan Mohr's two-out single, pinch-hitter Damon Minor
fell behind 0-2 to Guillermo Mota (3-2) before drawing a walk on
full-count. Ray Durham also walked to load the bases for Ransom,
who got just his fifth RBI of the season.

Ransom, who was on the opening day roster before going to Fresno
on April 23, batted .309 (42-for-136) with 10 home runs and 21 RBI
in 36 games at Triple-A.

"My confidence is definitely a little bit higher. I'm just
getting a chance to play," the 28-year-old Ransom said. "It was a
lot of fun. It's great to get a hit and help the team out. I was
just going up to the plate trying to get a pitch to hit."

Matt Herges (4-2) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win, but blew
his fifth save in the top of the ninth.

Jayson Werth singled to left to score pinch-runner Dave Roberts
from third to tie it at 2. That spoiled what would've been the
first time Giants starter Kirk Rueter won back-to-back starts this

The Giants, who have won 12 of their last 13 at home, gained
ground in the NL West race with the victory. San Francisco moved
within a half-game of first-place Los Angeles by winning the opener
of this four-game rivalry series that both clubs consider important
since most expect a tight NL West race until the end.

The Giants led from Day 1 last year and wound up winning 100

"It's June, but it is good," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.
"A half-game is better than 2½ any time of the year."

Both teams were coming off weekend series wins against the AL
East powers -- San Francisco beat Boston two out of three and Los
Angeles took two of three from the New York Yankees.

The Dodgers won five of six meetings against the Giants in
April, including a three-game sweep in San Francisco from April
16-18 -- all one-run games.

They seem to be set on playing close ones again.

"This is the way I expect these games to be all the time,"
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "We're always playing them in
close games, so there's no reason to expect anything different. ...

"It's not like Mota to have control problems. If we'd gotten
out of that inning, we'd have been in good shape because Herges was
out of the game, but it didn't happen."

Rueter, who pitched seven strong innings to beat Toronto last
week, allowed one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out
one and walked three.

Odalis Perez avoided losing for the first time since May 21 at
Atlanta, where he allowed one earned run and four hits in seven
innings of a 2-0 defeat. The lefty, who had won his last two
decisions, gave up two runs on seven hits in 7 2/3 innings. He
struck out three and walked two.

Perez scored on Milton Bradley's RBI single in the fifth to give
Los Angeles a 1-0 lead, but the Giants answered in the bottom half.

Barry Bonds hit a leadoff double and tied the game on Edgardo
Alfonzo's single.

Alfonzo, Alou's ideal choice to bat behind Bonds all season, is
hitting .400 (10-for-25) with two homers and 11 RBI during the
10-game homestand.

Marquis Grissom's RBI fielder's choice in the sixth scored
Durham to give San Francisco a 2-1 lead when Durham beat out a
throw home by third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Bonds got a cramp in his right hamstring while running out a
groundball in the sixth, then spent the next inning in left field
stretching his legs. He stayed in the game until being lifted for a
pinch-runner after his eighth-inning intentional walk.

Bonds finished 1-for-3 and is expected to be available Tuesday.

After the walk, a fan threw an orange rubber chicken onto the
field in the home-plate dirt. Bonds didn't see it happen and
strolled to first, then got sent back for one more ball because of
the interference.

The chickens, nicknamed "Walk'er," are a new promotion and
fund-raiser aimed at protesting all the intentional walks to the
six-time NL MVP. They began being sold for $10 Monday night.

Game notes
Perez is 2-5 in 12 career outings against the Giants. ...
The Giants sold out for the fourth straight game, drawing 41,453.
... Ransom got his first career stolen base in the eighth. ... A.J.
Pierzynski had his seventh multihit game this month. He's batting
.349 (22-of-63) in June.