PHOENIX (AP) -- Any team that beats Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling on consecutive days must be on a roll, even if San Francisco manager Dusty Baker won't admit it.
The D-Backs' Curt Schilling walked four batters for the first time in 88 starts.
"Not yet,'' Baker said, "but we're on our way.'' Kirk Rueter and three relievers combined on a five-hitter
Saturday as the Giants won their seventh in a row, 5-0 over
Schilling and the slumping Arizona Diamondbacks. "The name of the game is pitching,'' Baker said. "If anybody
knows that, it's the Diamondbacks. We took a page out of their
book, I guess.'' Schilling and Randy Johnson lost on consecutive days for the
first time ever. They lost consecutive games on Aug. 23 and 25 of
2000, but there was an off day in between. Schilling lost to
Milwaukee, then two days later Johnson lost to the New York Mets. "These guys are great pitchers, but you have to believe you can
win and beat them, too,'' said David Bell, who hit one of two home
runs off Schilling. "It's something we should be really happy
with, but at the same time it's just two games.'' Schilling (21-5), who lost to an NL West team for the first time
this season, allowed three runs on four hits and struck out nine in
seven innings. His four walks, one intentional, were his most in 88
starts. "Anytime Schil walks four guys in a month, it catches you by
surprise,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said, "but I don't think it
was anything Curt did wrong. I just think it was a real good
approach by the Giants hitters.'' Schilling was a more self-critical. "I didn't make pitches is the bottom line,'' he said. "I just
didn't execute today.'' The Diamondbacks lost their season-worst fourth in a row, two to
Los Angeles and two to San Francisco, the teams chasing them in the
NL West. "Over the last four days, we've either been outhit or
outpitched or both,'' Schilling said. "We're just not playing
well, but if we're going to be the team we believe we are, then
we're going to have to figure out a way.'' Kenny Lofton and Rich Aurilia also homered for the Giants, who
are a game back of Los Angeles in the wild-card race. San Francisco matched its longest winning streak of the season
and is seven games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West. The
Giants are 6-0 with one to go on this road trip. "We have a chance for that perfect road trip I always talk
about,'' Baker said. Schilling had won 12 in a row against division opponents since
he last lost to the Giants on July 26 of last year. Schilling is
20-2 against the NL West over the past two seasons.
Schilling allowed two runs in the first inning, then held San
Francisco hitless until Bell's leadoff home run made it 3-0 in the
Rueter (12-7) allowed four hits, struck out seven, walked one
and hit a batter in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Jay Witasick threw 1
2/3 hitless innings in his first appearance at Bank One Ballpark
since he had an awful outing for New York in the Yankees' 15-2 loss
in Game 6 of the World Series. Scott Eyre and Robb Nen blanked
Arizona the final two innings Saturday. Lofton began the game with his fifth leadoff homer of the
season, second with the Giants. Schilling walked Rich Aurilia, then
Jeff Kent doubled to put runners at second and third. Aurilia
scored on Barry Bonds' groundout to make it 2-0. San Francisco went ahead 4-0 with a run in the eighth on
consecutive singles by Bonds, Benito Santiago and J.T. Snow off
reliever Eddie Oropesa. Aurilia tacked on a run with a solo homer
off Mike Koplove in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks didn't get a runner to second base until the
sixth inning. Rueter hit Quinton McCracken with a pitch, then Luis
Gonzalez singled to put runners at first and second with one out
and Witasick relieved Rueter.
The last time Schilling and Johnson lost in a series was
Aug. 21 and 23 of last year at Pittsburgh. There was a game between
those outings. ... Schilling's last loss was Aug. 1 at Montreal.
... The Diamondbacks last lost four in a row Aug. 31-Sept. 4 last
season. ... Schilling's single in the third hit was his career-high
15th hit of the season. He had 14 with Philadelphia in 1997. ...
The Giants lead the season series with Arizona 8-6. ... Schilling
has walked seven in his last two starts after walking 20 in his
first 28 outings.