Not Brett Tomko. He likes the muggy weather, and he likes
pitching against the Marlins.
Tomko threw a four-hitter for his first career shutout Thursday
night to help San Francisco to a 5-0 victory.Wrapping up their first visit to South Florida since being
eliminated in the playoffs last October, the Giants took the finale
of the three-game series.Tomko, acquired last offseason, improved to 5-0 in seven career
starts against the Marlins with a 2.65 ERA."I've always done well against them," he said. "I like it
when it's sticky and nasty out there. I like the heat."On an 87-degree night, Tomko (7-6) threw 120 pitches for his
first complete game this season and the eighth of his career."Too bad we didn't have him in the playoffs last year,"
manager Felipe Alou said.San Francisco remained one game behind NL wild-card leader
Chicago and four games behind NL West leader Los Angeles.The defending World Series champion Marlins fell seven back and
show no sign of mounting another late-season surge."We're in an almost must-win situation from here on out,"
center fielder Juan Pierre said. "If you don't win, there's no way
you can make up ground."Tomko gave the crowd of 29,638 little to cheer about, and the
Marlins were blanked for the fourth time in their past 23 games.
They managed just four singles and never reached third base.Tomko struck out four, walked one, reached the mid-90s on the
radar gun and closed out the victory with mostly fastballs in the
ninth. The shutout came in his 179th career start."That was the hardest I've ever seen him throw," Pierre said.
"He came right at us and said, `Here it is,' and we didn't hit
it."Ray Durham pulled a changeup for a two-run homer to give Tomko
all the runs he needed.Barry Bonds failed to hit the ball out of the infield and went
0-for-4 with a walk, dropping his batting average to .362, still
best in the National League. Since hitting a homer off Brad Penny
in April, Bonds is 0-for-10 against the Marlins with 15 walks.Josh Beckett (5-8) lasted just 5 1-3 innings and departed
trailing 4-0.Beckett retired the first eight batters, then walked Tomko.
Durham followed with his 14th home run to put the Giants ahead 2-0.Pedro Feliz doubled to start the fourth and scored on a single
by A.J. Pierzynski. Following a two-out walk, Deivi Cruz hit an RBI
single to make the score 4-0."Two long innings," Beckett said. "It's tough to come back
from that."Cruz singled home a run in the eighth off Billy Koch.The Marlins retired Bonds on one pitch in the second when third
baseman Mike Lowell made a running catch as he started down the
steps of the Giants' dugout. Bonds struck out for only the 26th
time to end the seventh."We did a better job of pitching him than we did all season,"
manager Jack McKeon said. "We pitched him tight."The Giants conclude their trip this weekend against NL East
leader Atlanta. San Francisco's rotation is scheduled to get a
boost Saturday with the return of ace Jason Schmidt, sidelined
since Aug. 17 by a strained groin.
San Francisco won the season series 5-2. ... J.T. Snow was
0-for-9 against Beckett before he singled in the fifth. ... Bonds
finished 2-for-12 this season against Florida with 16 walks in
seven games. ... Pierzynski twice sent bats sailing into the stands
when he swung and missed, and he blamed the humidity. "My gloves
were soaking wet," he said.