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Aurilia leads Giants back to winning ways

8/5/2001

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Rich Aurilia is swinging a powerful bat
these days, yet even the Giants' All-Star shortstop is impressed by
Livan Hernandez's prowess at the plate.

Aurilia went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and five RBIs, and
Hernandez got three hits while pitching 6 2/3 innings as the San
Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 Sunday for
their 10th victory in 11 games.

Barry Bonds had a two-run double for the Giants, who had their
nine-game winning streak snapped Saturday. Behind a career day from
Aurilia, San Francisco returned to form for its major
league-leading 38th home win.

Aurilia drove in the big runs, but Hernandez provided the spark.
The former World Series MVP went 3-for-3 and scored two runs,
giving him eight hits in his last nine at-bats and boosting his
average to .286.

"Livan can have all the accolades today," Aurilia said. "It's
nice to know we've got a guy at the bottom of the order who can get
on base and put a charge in the ball."

Hernandez doubled in the third inning -- collapsing into second
base with a comical slide -- to start a three-run rally, then
singled in the fourth and sixth innings. Despite his remarkable
run, Hernandez doesn't think he'll be able to claim a Silver
Slugger award this season.

"No, Mike Hampton already has six homers," said Hernandez, who
has 16 hits this season. "All I want to do is pass 21 (hits, his
total from 2000). Every year, I want to pass what I did the year
before, and I also want to pitch better."

Aurilia matched his career best with his 23rd homer of the
season in the fourth inning. He added a two-run double in the
eighth, matching his career highs for hits and RBIs in a game as
the Giants rolled.

"I'm just glad people in here are laughing and smiling again,"
Aurilia said. "We're enjoying playing the game again, and you can
see the results on the field."

Hernandez (10-11) shook off a poor first inning to win for the
fourth time in five starts. He yielded eight hits, four runs and
three walks while striking out three.

Bonds' double in the fourth capped five straight hits in a
two-out rally against Robert Person (9-6), who won his previous
four decisions. Person allowed nine hits and six runs in 3 2/3
innings -- his shortest start of the season.

The Phillies finished a turbulent road trip 4-6. Philadelphia
lost four times on the trip on game-ending homers by the
opposition.

"It's been a very emotional road trip. I've never seen anything
like it," Person said. "To lose those games like that takes a lot
out of you. We're just glad to finally be heading home."

Giants catcher Benito Santiago was ejected in the fourth inning
after a strange dispute with home plate umpire Andy Fletcher.
Santiago, apparently unhappy with the balls and strikes, refused to
take a new ball from the umpire.

Fletcher repeatedly offered the ball to Santiago, who ignored
the umpire and remained in his crouch. Fletcher then spiked the
ball in front of Santiago and ejected the catcher, bringing manager
Dusty Baker from the dugout for a heated argument.

Santiago didn't learn until after the game that Fletcher has a
broken bone in his throwing hand.

"I just didn't want to throw it back," Santiago said. "I
didn't know his hand was broken until after. If that happens, he's
got to find a way to do it. It's not my job to do it for him.

"I think he overreacted. He created everything."

The Giants appeared to take motivation from the ejection,
scoring three runs and chasing Person in the bottom of the inning.
Marvin Benard's RBI single was followed by Bonds' bases-loaded
double down the right-field line.

Bonds went 2-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts a day after
hitting his major league-leading 47th homer.

Travis Lee had a two-run double in the first inning for the
Phillies, who have won just once in their last 14 games in San
Francisco. Philadelphia added two more in the seventh on Marlon
Anderson's run-scoring triple and Scott Rolen's sacrifice fly.

"It's not what you'd call a great road trip," Philadelphia
manager Larry Bowa said. "We just have to go home and play hard.
... I don't worry about this loss. It's the way we lost some other
games on this trip that makes you scratch your head."

Game notes
The loss dropped Philadelphia three games behind Atlanta in
the NL East. ... OF John Vander Wal, acquired by San Francisco on
Monday, got his first hit with his new team, singling in the second
inning. ... Giants LHP Jason Christiansen, acquired from St. Louis
on Tuesday, retired two hitters. He has given up just one hit and
one walk in three scoreless appearances since the trade.