Bonds still hit it into the left-field stands for his 602nd
homer -- but Ohka didn't let one great swing by a great home run
hitter get him down.
Ohka threw 7 2/3 strong innings and drove home the go-ahead run
with a squeeze bunt Friday night as the Montreal Expos beat the San
Francisco Giants 7-2.
Ohka (11-6) won his third straight decision, allowing six hits
and three walks as the Expos snapped San Francisco's four-game
winning streak. The Japanese right-hander, whose every move is
being recorded by a documentary crew from his native country, has a
1.73 earned-run average in his last five starts.
"In the first couple of innings, I didn't feel good,'' Ohka
said through an interpreter. "I managed to settle down and throw
more strikes. ... It was a good pitch in a good location. (Bonds)
is just good.''
Jose Vidro had a run-scoring triple in the eighth, and Troy
O'Leary followed with a two-run double as Montreal broke open a
pitchers' duel between Ohka and Russ Ortiz (8-10), who allowed four
hits and five walks in 7 2/3 innings.
Michael Barrett hit a two-run homer as the Expos scored five
runs in the final two innings, but they owed the victory to Ohka.
"He's been the most consistent pitcher on our staff all year
long,'' Montreal manager Frank Robinson said. "He's been superb.
With a little luck, he'd have four or five more wins. He believes
in himself a little bit more out there on the mound right now.''
The game's start was delayed 29 minutes to accommodate a pregame
ceremony honoring Bonds' 600th homer, hit two weeks earlier. Hank
Aaron, Willie Mays and Robinson joined Bonds on the field in a
gathering of four of baseball's five top home run hitters.
After going hitless in three at-bats, Bonds warmed to the
occasion in the eighth by hitting his 35th homer of the season to
the opposite field. The solo shot entered the stands directly over
the large design on the outfield wall honoring Bonds' 600th homer.
"There's times when you're going to pitch to Barry, and there's
times you're not,'' Robinson said. "He's a terrific offensive
machine. You're not going to get macho out there and let him beat
you, if you can help it.''
On a night when home runs were honored, the Expos got the lead
with small ball. In the fifth, Fernando Tatis doubled Orlando
Cabrera to third, and Michael Barrett hit a sacrifice fly.
Ohka failed on two bunt attempts, but his two-strike try dropped
in front of home plate as Tatis slid home. Ohka got his second RBI
of the season.
"I was glad they gave me the sign, because it's much easier
than getting a hit,'' Ohka said.
Vidro drove home Brad Wilkerson with an insurance run on his
triple off the right-field wall. The hit chased Ortiz, who threw
124 pitches and lost for the fourth time in six starts.
Barrett homered in the ninth against reliever Jay Witasick. Joey
Eischen pitched 1 1/3 innings for his first save.
The Giants swept the reeling New York Mets earlier this week,
but they couldn't generate any offense against Ohka for the second
time this season. Ohka held San Francisco to one run in seven
innings in May.
"We just need to take the opportunities to score more,'' Giants
manager Dusty Baker said. "You don't think about needing to score
runs until you start to lose ... (but) we've won four out of five.
I'll take that any time.''
Vladimir Guerrero went 1-for-3 with a first-inning triple. He
walked and scored on O'Leary's double in the eighth.
The Giants gave Bonds a Lexus SUV to honor his 600th. Mays
rode in the car when it was driven onto the field. ... The Giants
lost two of three at Olympic Stadium in May in the clubs' only
previous meetings this season. ... Expos 1B Andres Galarraga got a
warm ovation when he entered the game in the seventh. Galarraga was
acquired by San Francisco near the 2001 trading deadline, and he
sparked a prolonged late-season rally before the Giants fell two
games short of the playoffs. Galarraga signed with Montreal in the
offseason. ... The Giants sold out Pacific Bell Park for the 43rd
time in 63 home games this season.