A's bullpen blows another one for Lidle


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Cory Lidle threw seven scoreless innings.
He matched Livan Hernandez pitch for pitch. He even kept Barry
Bonds in the ballpark.

When Jeff Tam became the latest reliever to ruin everything for
the Oakland Athletics, Lidle was too furious and too frustrated to

Armando Rios had an RBI triple in the eighth inning, and Benito
Santiago drove him home with a go-ahead single Saturday as the San
Francisco Giants rallied for a 2-1 victory, their fifth straight
overall and second straight over their Bay Area rivals.

Tam (0-2) needed four pitches to waste a brilliant performance
by Lidle, who allowed two hits and struck out six. After leaving
for a pinch-hitter in the eighth, Lidle wasn't even comfortable on
the bench before Oakland's bullpen blew its 14th save opportunity --
the most in the majors.

"Cory did his job," Oakland manager Art Howe said. "The guys
in the bullpen didn't do their job."

In remarkably rapid succession, Tam allowed a single to Rich
Aurilia, Rios' triple into the right-field gap and Santiago's
single to left. The Pacific Bell Park crowd, quieted by Lidle's
dominance, roared to life with the Giants' three straight hits.

"It was a decision (Oakland's coaches) made, and we
unfortunately lost the game," Tam said. "Sometimes you get them
out, and sometimes you don't. Cory did everything he could do. We
just didn't come through for him."

Lidle watched disconsolately as Oakland's bullpen blew a game he
left with the lead for the sixth time this season. Though he's been
one of the A's most consistent starters, Lidle has just one victory
in 12 starts to show for it.

Afterward, he dressed quickly and headed straight for the San
Francisco streets.

"Not today," he said to reporters.

The Giants admitted they were grateful when Howe pinch-hit for
Lidle with one out and nobody on base in the eighth, even though
Lidle had thrown just 85 pitches.

"Right now offensively, we're having a problem getting more
than one run a game," Howe said of his decision. "I'd do the same
thing every day of the week."

Pinch-hitter Mario Valdez struck out against Hernandez (5-9),
who appeared headed for another hard-luck loss until the Giants'

"We both pitched a great game, but I got a good break when we
scored the runs," said Hernandez, who's tied with San Diego's
Bobby Jones for the major league lead in losses.

Bonds, who hit two homers Friday night to give him 36 on the
season, went 0-for-2 with two flyouts and a seventh-inning walk. He
was held without a homer for just the second time in his last eight
home games.

Mike Magnante relieved Tam and ended the eighth, but Robb Nen
finished up for San Francisco in the ninth. He gave up a double to
Jason Giambi before posting his 19th save in 22 chances.

San Francisco's outburst made Hernandez an unlikely but worthy
winner in a compelling matchup of two starters who have had plenty
of hard luck this season.

Hernandez gave up a season-low four hits over a season-high
eight innings, allowing his only run on Terrence Long's
sixth-inning RBI double.

"They both had great games," San Francisco manager Dusty Baker
said. "Livan was masterful today. I thought to myself that we
weren't going to lose 1-0. It (scoring) was bound to happen sooner
or later."

Lidle allowed only one runner to reach second base. He took a
no-hitter into the fifth, when Rios' two-out grounder kicked off
the mound and then took another funny bounce before reaching
shortstop Miguel Tejada, who couldn't make the difficult play.

Hernandez was nearly as good, though he had to survive a tricky
second inning in which Oakland loaded the bases with one out. Ramon
Hernandez lined out, and Tejada was doubled off second base.

Oakland scored in the sixth when Johnny Damon drew a leadoff
walk. Two outs later, Long lined a double into the right-field
corner. The speedy Damon scored standing up as J.T. Snow's relay
throw flew past Santiago, but Hernandez alertly grabbed the ball
and threw to third to get Long.

Game notes
Tejada went 3-for-3. ... The sellout crowd at Pac Bell Park
was dominated by Giants fans. They shouted down the small pockets
of A's fans who started "Let's go, Oakland!" chants throughout
the game. ... San Francisco got its ninth victory in 12 games while
taking a 13-12 lead in the five-year interleague history of the Bay
Area teams. ... Actor Danny Glover, who lives in the Bay Area, went
to Baker's office afterward to congratulate him on the victory.