Dessens pitches well in start

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- When Alex Cintron stopped trying to hit
homers, the ball began to jump off his bat again.

The Arizona Diamondbacks hope more of their youngsters will have
similar revelations soon.

Cintron homered from both sides of the plate and the
Diamondbacks snapped a nine-game road losing streak with an 8-4
victory over the slumping San Francisco Giants on Thursday night.

Cintron hit 13 home runs last season, but had just one this
season, going 283 at-bats without a homer. Though he was mired in a
.195 slump over his last 25 games, his confidence grew in recent
batting-practice sessions when Arizona's revamped coaching staff
urged him to concentrate on contact, not his home run drought.

He broke out with a solo shot batting left-handed in the fourth
and a three-run drive batting right-handed in the seventh. It was
the first multihomer game of his career -- and the first time an
Arizona player homered from both sides of the plate in one game.

"(Teammate) Carlos (Baerga) told me, 'Welcome to the club.' He
did it one time, and it's pretty nice," Cintron said. "I feel
more confident every time I go to the park. I've got to get my
swing together, and I've got three months to do it."

Chad Tracy also connected for the last-place Diamondbacks, who
opened a four-game series in San Francisco with just their second
win in seven games under interim manager Al Pedrique.

The former third base coach replaced fired Bob Brenly because
the Arizona front office believed its young players would respond
to Pedrique, who managed many of them -- including Cintron -- at
Triple-A Tucson the previous two seasons.

"It was good to see a game like that from Alex," Pedrique
said. "He's been working real hard to get out of a slump. You
could tell even from looking at his face that he was happy. ... He
kept both feet on the ground instead of getting too aggressive,
coming out of his shoes."

Quinton McCracken, Shea Hillenbrand and reliever Andrew Good
also drove in runs as Arizona ended its road skid one loss shy of
the franchise record.

"It's been a little tough in this clubhouse, and any win is
good," said reliever Randy Choate, who struck out pinch-hitter
Yorvit Torrealba to rescue Arizona from a bases-loaded jam in the
eighth. "To beat the guys that are at the top of your division is
even better."

A.J. Pierzynski matched his career high with four hits --
improving to 8-for-8 in his career against Arizona starter Elmer
Dessens -- and Edgardo Alfonzo hit a two-run homer for the Giants,
who lost for the fifth time in six games. San Francisco is 3-7
since taking a 2½-game lead in the NL West on June 28.

"It's disappointing we couldn't hold them down and give
ourselves a chance," Pierzynski said. "It's frustrating. It's
hard to go out there and fall behind. The frustrating thing is we
kept having chances and couldn't capitalize on them."

In their fourth straight win over San Francisco, the
Diamondbacks chipped away at Dustin Hermanson (3-3), scoring one
run in five consecutive innings. Cintron later added his three-run
homer against Wayne Franklin.

"I did everything I could tonight," Hermanson said. "I just
didn't have the sharpness on my pitches. They put together a bunch
of small innings, and that can beat you, too."

Dessens allowed six hits and two runs on a strict pitch count,
leaving after four innings in his first start for Arizona since May
11. Dessens had been in the bullpen since racking up a 7.56 ERA in
seven straight starts to begin the season.

Good (1-2) allowed five hits and two runs in 3 1-3 innings, and
he contributed a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Barry Bonds went 3-for-5 with a double, scoring two runs.
Dessens struck him out looking to end the first inning.

Hermanson allowed nine hits and five runs in his first loss in
exactly two months. He was 2-0 with a 3.71 ERA in his previous 10
starts since May 8, but he allowed a baserunner in each of his six
innings against Arizona.

Game notes
Pedrique said Arizona C Juan Brito was fine after getting
hit in the elbow with a pitch while batting in the ninth. ... For
the 18th straight time, Choate retired the first batter he faced.
... Pierzynski has eight four-hit games in his career.