Tucker sparks offense with move to top of lineup

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Felipe Alou frequently speaks of "stopping
the bleeding." Perhaps the San Francisco Giants have bandaged
their troubles for a day.

Edgardo Alfonzo hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning and
pinch-hitter Pedro Feliz added a key two-run double, helping San
Francisco snap a six-game home losing streak with a 9-7 victory
over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday.

"It's nice to win," said Alou, the team's third-year manager.
"You get a break here or there, that's how you break out."

Rookie Lance Niekro matched his career high with three RBI and
Michael Tucker doubled twice with an RBI in a rare leadoff
appearance for San Francisco, which couldn't hold a 4-0 lead for
starter Noah Lowry.

Scott Munter (1-0) earned his first major league victory -- and
the slumping Giants won for just the second time in 13 games. Tyler
Walker got four outs for his ninth save in 10 chances, retiring
Angel Berroa on a grounder with the bases loaded to end it.

"There's nothing better than high-fiving in the dugout and
scoring runs," Walker said. "Everything's positive. There has
been so much negative talk lately."

Ruben Gotay had a tying, two-run double in the Royals' four-run
sixth, their first RBI by a pinch-hitter this season. Kansas City
added two runs in the eighth off LaTroy Hawkins.

The Royals, 6-3 under new manager Buddy Bell, missed a chance
for their first road sweep since July 11-13, 2003, at Texas. They
have never swept a road series in interleague play.

As soon as the Royals tied it, the Giants' bats came alive
against Leo Nunez (1-1). Ray Durham doubled to start the bottom of
the sixth, then Alfonzo singled him home for a 5-4 lead. Feliz, who
went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts a day earlier, hit his two-run
double three batters later, and Niekro singled in two runs.

"We pushed it a little, but then they came right back and it
sucked the air out of us," Bell said.

Lowry, who ended a five-game losing streak on May 22 against
Oakland, matched his season high with seven strikeouts through five
innings and allowed just one Kansas City baserunner past second.

The Royals loaded the bases in the fifth on singles by John Buck
and Joe McEwing and a two-out walk to Berroa, but Lowry got David
DeJesus to ground out.

Lowry, in his first full major league season, received a warm
ovation when he gave way to Munter in the sixth. The left-hander
allowed three runs and six hits, struck out seven and walked two in
5 1-3 innings. He spent time between starts working with pitching
coach Dave Righetti to tweak his delivery.

"I felt good today," Lowry said. "It's just a matter of
repeating it."

Jose Lima's struggles continued. His winless stretch reached 15
regular-season games and the right-hander hasn't won since Sept. 14
against San Diego while with Los Angeles.

Lima, who pitched a shutout for the Dodgers in the NL division
series last fall against the Cardinals, gave up three earned runs
and six hits in five innings. He didn't walk a batter.

"It was one of my best starts," he said. "I'm trying to stay
away from big innings, but a blooper here and a blooper there and
it happens. It's been my story this year. I'm waiting for a little
break to get over the hump. I'm begging for a win."

Alou, looking to get some offensive production, shuffled the
lineup and moved Tucker into the leadoff spot for just the fourth
time. He responded with a double down the right-field line in the

Niekro made the most of a rare chance to start against a
right-handed pitcher.

"I don't put too much pressure on myself, but I know I've got
to produce when I'm out there," he said.

Omar Vizquel returned to the lineup after missing two games
after having a wisdom tooth extracted Monday. He hit an RBI double
in the fifth.

The Giants scored only one run in each of their previous three
games and hit just .177 during that span.

Game notes
Before the game, Barry Bonds blasted former White Sox
slugger Ron Kittle, whose recently released book quotes the San
Francisco star as saying "I don't sign for white people" before a
game at Wrigley Field 12 years ago. ... Vizquel moved past Dave
Concepcion into sole possession of sixth place on the career list
for games at shortstop with 2,179. Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio
holds the record at 2,581. Vizquel faces his former team for the
first time Friday when the Cleveland Indians come to town. ...
Rookie 3B Mark Teahen had a career-high three hits for the Royals.
... Giants OF Jason Ellison was caught stealing for the first time
in his career in the seventh. He had been 10-for-10.