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Arizona remains a game back in wild-card race

8/30/2003

PHOENIX (AP) -- Junior Spivey and Shea Hillenbrand turned singles
hitters against San Francisco's Kirk Rueter -- and it worked.

Both drove in two runs as the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the
Giants 5-4 Friday night.

Eleven of Arizona's 13 hits were singles -- many going up the
middle as Rueter worked the outside of the plate. The Diamondbacks,
3-10 against San Francisco this season, scored all their runs with
two outs.

"He's been tough, especially in the past when we tried to do
too much with him," Spivey said. "He just pretty much abused me
in the past. I had a game plan tonight, and I kind of stuck with
it."

Danny Bautista had an RBI single for Arizona, which remained a
game behind NL wild-card leaders Florida and Philadelphia.

Miguel Batista (9-7) worked six innings to become the first
Diamondbacks pitcher with nine victories.

"He had good stuff today," catcher Robby Hammock said. "He
was throwing the ball real hard and getting batters to chase a
split."

Oscar Villarreal and Jose Valverde pitched one perfect inning apiece
for the Diamondbacks before Matt Mantei got three outs in the ninth
for his 21st save in 22 chances.

Andres Galarraga hit a 456-foot homer with one out in the ninth,
ending Mantei's consecutive scoreless-innings streak at 21.

"Like Koppy (bullpen mate Mike Koplove) said, those
wall-scrapers really bother you," Mantei joked. "But if you're
going to give it up, that's the way to give it up. That's
impressive."

The Giants have won seven of their last 10, but they now have
back-to-back losses for the first time since losing their sixth
straight game Aug. 18.

Rueter (7-5) fell to 0-4 in his last nine starts, two since he
came off the disabled list Aug. 23 after straining his left
shoulder. He gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks before
he was yanked after facing two batters in the fifth.

He walked Alex Cintron and threw 11 pitches to Luis Gonzalez,
who fouled off five on a full count before lining a single to right
field.

Matt Herges, who relieved Rueter, got two outs on outfield flies
before Spivey drove a pitch back up the middle as Cintron scored
from second.

"I couldn't get a release point where I could get movement on
my ball, so it was at kind of different angles tonight. I left some
balls up," Rueter said.

Batista gave up three runs on six hits, including RBI doubles by
Benito Santiago, Galarraga and Jeffrey Hammonds, and two walks to
earn his second straight victory after a six-start winless stretch
(0-3).

San Francisco scored three times in the first three innings
before Batista settled into a rhythm that saw him retire 11 of his
last 13 batters.

"I was glad to see him leave," Giants manager Felipe Alou
said. "He had a real good splitter. He had everything -- cutter,
his fastball was sinking good."

Batista had a perfect first inning, then ran into trouble in the
second when he walked two and gave up the doubles by Santiago and
Galarraga. Hammonds made it 3-1 in the third with his double.

But the Diamondbacks got back with Batista's help when the
pitcher led off a three-run third with a single up the middle.

"That was big for us, to get on base and score a run," manager
Bob Brenly said. "Getting offensive production from a spot that
you don't anticipate getting it from."

Matt Kata doubled over Marquis Grissom's head in center field,
but Batista had to hold up to see if the ball was caught and only
reached third. Two outs later, Rueter walked Raul Mondesi to load
the bases, and Hillenbrand poked a two-run single into short right
field.

Spivey then gave Arizona a 4-3 lead with a single and had
another RBI single in the fifth.

Game notes
Alou all but confirmed before the game that Barry Bonds, on
bereavement leave since Sunday, will be back in uniform for
Saturday's game. He said Bonds was traveling to Phoenix. ... The Giants are 3-3 without Bonds in the lineup. ...
The start was Rueter's 221st for the Giants, moving him out of a
tie with Jim Barr for fourth place on the career list. ... Mondesi
has reached base in 20 of 32 plate appearances since moving into
the cleanup slot seven games ago, going 10-for-23, with nine walks
and getting hit by a pitch. ... The Giants are 4-12 on the road
since the All-Star break.