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Atlanta at San Francisco

Vizquel provides punch as Giants trample Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- With over 13 hours off between games, San Francisco Giants manager Felipe Alou didn't shy away from sending his old guys out there with little rest.

And the veterans showed they still have some life in those legs.

Omar Vizquel went 4-for-4 with five RBI and Moises Alou hit a two-run homer to help Jamey Wright beat the Atlanta Braves 12-6 Saturday in his San Francisco debut.

Barry Bonds reached base three times and made two running grabs in the outfield and Steve Finley had two hits and two runs as the Giants knocked Tim Hudson around for eight runs.

The starting outfield of Bonds (41 years old), Finley (41) and Alou (39) was the oldest ever -- average age 40 years, 309 days -- and the three combined to go 5-for-12 with three walks, four runs and three RBI.

"We were more looking to July when Mo turns 40 for the all-40 outfield," Finley said. "The three of us played for a long time and take good care of ourselves. It's not like we're putting three slouches out there. We can all cover the ground, we can put the bat on the ball and we know where to play. We all have good baseball instincts. You're not losing anything with us out there."

Throw in the 38-year-old Vizquel, who combined with 38-year-old second baseman Jose Vizcaino on three of San Francisco's four double plays and it was a good day all around for the aging Giants, who lost 14-6 Friday in a rain-delayed game that finished at 11:59 p.m. PDT.

"It's not overblown, it's the truth," said Felipe Alou, who turns 71 next month. "I have to hear about my age every day, especially when I first got here. That's one of the issues we have here. We have other issues. To add one more isn't going to bother anybody."

All nine starters were at least 30 years old, with third baseman Pedro Feliz the kid, less than three weeks from his 31st birthday. Wright (1-0) was the only other starter under 34.

"Those guys can swing the bats and they showed it today. I'm a groundball pitcher so I'm trying to not let them hit the ball out there to give those guys some rest," Wright said of his outfield. "Hopefully, they'll wear themselves out running the bases. Barry made some great plays out there today and Omar is as advertised at shortstop."

Bonds went 1-for-3 with two walks, remaining stuck on 708 career home runs. He is 2-for-10 with five walks and no RBI through the Giants' first five games this season, the longest he has gone into a season when healthy without a homer since 1998 when he didn't go deep until San Francisco's 13th game.

According to the new book Game of Shadows, Bonds began using steroids after that season, although he has denied ever using them.

Bonds remains seven home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth for second place all-time and is 48 away from breaking Hank Aaron's record of 755.

Bonds hit a broken-bat fly to center in the first, walked in the second, singled in the fourth, lined out to right field in the seventh and walked in the eighth.

Wright allowed four runs and five hits in seven-plus innings, leaving to a standing ovation. After spending six of his first 10 seasons in the thin air in Colorado, Wright was glad to move to the Giants' pitcher-friendly ballpark, where he is now 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA.

The Braves once again struggled with their pitching. They have won 14 straight division titles behind their stellar pitching staff but are off to a slow start in their first season since pitching coach Leo Mazzone left for Baltimore.

Atlanta has a 7.76 ERA through six games and its starters are even worse with a 11.57 mark. In Mazzone's 15 full seasons as pitching coach, the Braves never had an ERA higher than 4.10 and finished in the top three in the league 13 times.

Atlanta has split its first six games because the offense has generated 48 runs.

"Our pitching isn't where it should be and where it will be," manager Bobby Cox said. "And it's the same with the pitching we've faced. It's been a strange week."

Hudson (0-1) gave up six earned runs and eight hits in four innings for his second straight rough start. But his hitters weren't able to bail him out as they did on opening day in Los Angeles.

He gave up Alou's 299th career homer in the first and then five more runs in the second, with help from an error by third baseman Chipper Jones that allowed Feliz to reach leading off the inning.

Vizquel's three-run double made it 5-0. Finley then hit an RBI triple and later came around to score on Mark Sweeney's groundout. Vizquel added an RBI single in the third to make it 8-0 and another run-scoring single in a four-run eighth.

"It was tough day," Hudson said. "I didn't make my pitches and when I did they hit them. It's been a tough start for everybody but we have to put it behind us and turn it around."

Chipper Jones had three RBI for the Braves.

Notes

Finley tripled for the second straight game, giving him 114 for his career, which is the most of any active player -- 16 more than Kenny Lofton. ... Hudson failed to strike out a batter for just the second time in 214 career starts.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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