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Bonds doubles twice in Giants' victory

8/25/2002

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Earlier in the week, Barry Bonds called
Vladimir Guerrero the game's best young hitter. When Bonds is
feeling good, however, there's little doubt who's the best old
hitter.

Bonds doubled twice -- missing his 603rd homer by a few inches --
and scored two runs, and Jason Schmidt got his second victory on
San Francisco's homestand as the Giants beat the Montreal Expos 8-4
Sunday.

Benito Santiago drove in three runs and J.T. Snow drove in two
as the Giants avoided a series sweep by scoring more than three
runs for the first time since Aug. 13. The Giants credited their
resurgence to the return of their regular starting lineup, which
hasn't been together much this summer because of injuries.

"When we've got Barry out there healthy with everybody else,
when we have our 'A' lineup in there, that's what we're capable of
doing,'' said Rich Aurilia, who had an RBI single. "We're in a
playoff race here. It's not time to panic, but it's time to have
our best guys in there every day and trying to win every game.''

The 38-year-old Bonds sat out Saturday's game to get treatment
on an assortment of injuries, but he led the offensive attack by
reaching base five times. Despite torn hamstrings that have
bothered him all summer, he ran the bases aggressively against the
Expos.

"My back was out of line, and it was messing up my knees,''
Bonds said of his brief absence from the lineup. "We got it
back.''

Guerrero, who leads the NL with 165 hits, was a one-man show for
Montreal. He went 3-for-3 and stole two bases to finish a 7-for-10
series, but he was stranded four times.

"He's one of the best players I've seen in this league for a
long time,'' San Francisco manager Dusty Baker said. "He plays
hard. He's an all-effort guy.''

While Schmidt won for the fourth time in five decisions, Javier
Vazquez (8-11) lost his fifth straight start, allowing eight hits
and six runs over 5 1-3 lackluster innings.

Montreal made four errors and two key misplays on fly balls on a
windy day at Pacific Bell Park. Guerrero dropped a fly at the
warning track in the fifth, and three Expos couldn't catch a pop
fly in the sixth; in both instances, the Giants' next hitter drove
in a run.

Expos manager Frank Robinson was pleased to win the series, but
he was dismayed by his team's defense. Montreal tied its season
high for errors, set May 21 against Atlanta.

"They were routine plays,'' Robinson said. "We don't seem to
make errors on difficult plays. We make them on routine plays, and
that's about execution.''

Kenny Lofton hit a run-scoring triple and David Bell had an RBI
double to end San Francisco's offensive slump, which has hurt its
chances of staying with Arizona and Los Angeles in the playoff
chase. The Giants got a hit from every spot in the order on Sunday.

San Francisco got another strong start from Schmidt (9-6), who
followed up his 13-strikeout performance on Tuesday night by
allowing six hits and two runs in seven innings.

Schmidt, who claims he has no interest in being San Francisco's
No. 1 starter even when his work has earned him the title, struck
out seven.

"He was doing a nice job of mixing up his pitches and keeping
us off balance,'' Montreal's Michael Barrett said. "He didn't give
us the openings that their staff did earlier in the series.''

In the third, Bonds' long blast to left-center bounced off the
top of the outfield fence and back onto the field for a double.
Bonds doubled again in his next at-bat, and when he came up with
runners on first and second in the sixth, Montreal walked him
intentionally. Santiago then hit a sacrifice fly.

"Barry just had a day,'' Robinson said. "He probably gave that
spark and that lift to the rest of the team. They didn't have it
earlier in the series.''

Schmidt didn't get into any trouble until Montreal made a
two-out rally in the fifth. Schmidt walked Vazquez, and Aurilia
couldn't catch Brad Wilkerson's fly to short right field.

Jose Vidro and Guerrero followed with consecutive RBI singles
that cut San Francisco's lead to 3-2.

Pinch-hitter Wil Cordero hit a two-run homer in the Expos
ninth.

Game notes
The Expos dropped to 0-11 in Sunday games on the road this
season. Montreal is 9-1 at home on Sundays. "Nothing surprises me
on Sunday,'' Robinson said. ... Vazquez hit Bell on the head with
an errant 1-2 curveball in the fourth inning. Bell was fine. ...
San Francisco's next 24 games are against NL West rivals. ... The
Expos (65-65) haven't been at .500 this late in the season since
Sept. 17, 1997.