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Winn, Alou Lift Giants Over Diamondbacks

April 29, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Randy Winn made two spectacular plays in left field in the top of the ninth inning, and Moises Alou homered leading off the bottom half to give the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

Winn, starting in left because Barry Bonds was given a day off, made a sliding catch in left-center to rob Shawn Green of a hit and then topped that effort on the next batter. Winn leaped high above the wall to rob Eric Byrnes of a potential go-ahead home run, getting a standing ovation from the crowd and hearty congratulations from his teammates as he ran off the field.

The 41-year-old Bonds most likely would not have been able to make those plays on his surgically repaired right knee. Bonds, expected back in the lineup Sunday, has 711 homers, three shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list.

Alou drove a 2-0 pitch from Luis Vizcaino (0-2) into the left-field seats for his seventh homer.

Armando Benitez (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win, but the credit for this one goes to Alou and Winn.

Their clutch play helped overcome a bonehead play by rookie Kevin Frandsen, who got three hits in his major league debut Friday. With a runner on first and none out in the eighth, Frandsen failed to run on an infield popup. Catcher Chris Snyder dropped the ball and got an easy 2-6-4 double play as a chagrined Frandsen returned to the dugout.

Arizona’s Juan Cruz was sharp in his first major league start in more than 2 1/2 years, but didn’t get a decision when the Giants rallied to tie the game in the seventh against Brandon Lyon, who had allowed only two hits in 9 2-3 innings coming into the game.

Steve Finley started it with a bunt single and moved to second on a groundout. Finley then scored on a two-out single by Lance Niekro.

Cruz, making his first start in the majors since Sept. 19, 2003, for the Cubs, allowed one run, two hits and no walks in five innings in place of struggling right-hander Russ Ortiz.

Ortiz, a former Giant, was 0-3 with a 6.91 ERA in four starts in his second season after signing a $33 million, four-year contract as a free agent. He has been demoted to the bullpen.

The Diamondbacks scored twice in the fourth with the help of consecutive one-out walks issued by Brad Hennessey. Green and Byrnes followed with consecutive RBI singles to give Arizona a 2-1 lead, but Hennessey avoided further damage when he got Cruz to hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

Hennessey has pitched well in three starts in place of injured Noah Lowry, posting a 2.79 ERA. But with Lowry expected to return from the disabled list after one more minor league rehab start and Jason Schmidt, Matt Morris and Matt Cain entrenched in the rotation, Hennessey is competing with Jamey Wright (2-1, 3.34 ERA) for the fifth starter’s role.

The Giants got their only run off Cruz in the third. Omar Vizquel doubled and scored when Winn lined a single that deflected off Cruz.

Notes: Hennessey allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. ... Arizona 1B Chad Tracy doubled in the first inning to snap an 0-for-16 skid. Tracy added two more singles. ... San Francisco honored former closer Robb Nen before the game with a plaque on the portwalk beyond right field commemorating his 300th career save in 2002.

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