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Ginter collects career-high five RBI

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Not many 5-foot-10 second basemen are in a
major league lineup because of their power stroke. Then again, not
many teams need big hits more than the power-starved Oakland
Athletics.

Keith Ginter hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and had
a career-high five RBI in Oakland's 8-4 victory over the San
Francisco Giants on Friday night.

Ginter drove in five runs with just one official at-bat in the
opener of the Bay Bridge interleague series. The backup infielder,
who entered batting .171 in his first season with the A's, also
drew a walk and drove in two runs with early sacrifice flies.

Oakland's 25 homers this season are the fewest in the majors,
along with its lows in slugging percentage and extra-base hits. So
Ginter, who hit 19 homers for Milwaukee last season, is getting
regular playing time from manager Ken Macha despite his miserable
average.

"It's something we've struggled with all season long," Ginter
said. "I was in situations tonight where all I needed to do was
get the ball in the outfield, and I was able to do it. I feel like
my time is coming. I know the numbers aren't there, but I feel like
I can stay in the lineup and make some contributions."

Along with Wednesday's 13-6 victory over Boston, the A's have
their highest-scoring back-to-back games this season. Bobby Kielty
matched his career high with four hits and scored three runs as the
A's got their third victory in four games following an eight-game
skid.

"We overcame some things," Macha said. "Some big walks, us
falling behind, a major baserunning mistake [by Scott Hatteberg].
... But we're starting to knock in some runs, and it's a
significant thing for our club to succeed."

Eric Chavez had a tiebreaking single during Oakland's five-run
seventh, when four San Francisco pitchers couldn't stop the A's.
Oakland's rally began against starter Kirk Rueter (2-3) and
finished against Jim Brower, who allowed Ginter's third homer of
the season.

"It's a big homestand, but they're all important for us now,"
Rueter said. "I was in trouble early, and I kept battling.
Unfortunately, they got five runs in the seventh."

Keiichi Yabu (4-0) allowed two hits and two walks in two innings
of relief.

Moises Alou hit a two-run homer for the Giants, who lost for the
fourth time in five games. They allowed four unearned runs in the
opener of a nine-game homestand, with their mistakes and poor
relief pitching eliciting groans from the sellout crowd.

The Bay Area's ballclubs had split the first 44 games of their
rivalry since interleague play began in 1997. With both teams
struggling below .500, there was little anticipation of the matchup
-- but SBC Park still was practically filled, with only a few
stretches of empty seats in the highest reaches of the stadium.

A's rookie Joe Blanton couldn't hold a two-run lead in his
latest failure to record his first major league victory after eight
starts this season. Blanton, who is 0-4, allowed a runner in each
frame of his 4 2/3 innings, and his lapses in control included a
pitch that flew over catcher Jason Kendall and hit the backstop.

But he kept San Francisco off the scoreboard until the fifth,
when Alou hit just his fourth homer of the season, a two-out shot
to center.

Rueter also struggled for the Giants, allowing eight hits and
four walks, including Marco Scutaro's bases-loaded walk in the
second. He left after Eric Byrnes' one-out single in the seventh,
but relievers Scott Munter, Jason Christiansen and Brower struggled
to quell Oakland's rally.

Before the game, San Francisco transferred Barry Bonds to the
60-day disabled list, but the slugger seemed upbeat and thankful to
be healthy after fighting off a dangerous bacterial infection in
recent weeks. Bonds' quest to catch Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth on
baseball's career homers list has been derailed by three surgeries
on his right knee since Jan. 31.

But Bonds misses baseball, and he spent time chatting with
teammates and signing autographs for kids before the game.

"I want to finish what I started here," Bonds said. "I have a
contract, and I have an obligation to the team, the city and the
fans here. I'm being an optimist. I'm looking at the positives of
this, and I'm going to do the best I can now that this infection is
gone."

Game notes
The A's put closer Octavio Dotel on the 15-day DL before
the game. Rookie Huston Street, widely considered Oakland's closer
of the future, will take over the role in Dotel's absence while
resting his strained right elbow. Street pitched the ninth. ... The
Giants recalled INF Brian Dallimore from Triple-A Fresno. Dallimore
hit .279 in 20 games as a 30-year-old rookie last season.