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Bonds gets RBI, but it's Alou who hits a milestone homer

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Moises Alou dresses across the clubhouse from a slugger in the 700 home run club.

That didn't change how Alou celebrated the 300th homer of his career on a day Barry Bonds came close to hitting his first of the year and No. 709.

"That's how amazing what he's done is -- 300 is a big number," Alou said, then joked that for his teammates, "when you have a guy with 700 on this team, it's not too exciting 300."

Bonds drove in his first run of the season with a seventh-inning single and also had two deep flyouts, while Alou homered for the third time in four games in the San Francisco Giants' 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros in the opener of a split doubleheader Thursday.

Randy Winn blooped a tiebreaking RBI single to left in the fifth, and Omar Vizquel had a sacrifice fly one batter later in San Francisco's first game in four days. Alou added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

When Alou returned to his locker after a short session on the trainer's table, his father -- manager Felipe Alou -- had left the day's lineup card and he also got the ball. His bat was waiting, already in a protective plastic sleeve.

Alou's wife and three sons were in the stands to see it, too, on their last day in town before returning to the Dominican Republic -- and he hit it on his mother's birthday.

The opener in the three-game series was rained out for consecutive days, with Thursday's night game serving as the make up for Tuesday's postponed contest. Wednesday's washed-out game will be made up May 8.

Matt Morris (2-0) pitched into the eighth and allowed four hits and struck out four, leaving after Chris Burke's two-run single. Tim Worrell worked the ninth for his third save in three chances.

Morris didn't allow a baserunner until Willy Taveras walked with one out in the fourth, then Mike Lamb followed with a single to right for Houston's first hit.

"I try to work fast when I'm throwing strikes and putting the ball over the plate to make them swing the bat and dictate that part of it," Morris said.

The right-hander, pitching on seven days' rest, looked sharp despite having both his first and second starts of the season pushed back because of rainouts, including last Tuesday in the team's season-opening series at San Diego.

Houston starter Brandon Backe left after only two innings because of a sprained right elbow that he injured while throwing a fastball to Lance Niekro. Backe was examined after the injury but finished the second. He will return to Houston to see team doctors when the Astros travel to Arizona.

Rookie right-hander Taylor Buchholz (0-1), who had been scheduled to make his first major league start Tuesday against the Giants, then replaced Backe to start the third.

For Bonds, this is the longest he has gone into a season when healthy without a homer since 1998, when he didn't hit one out until San Francisco's 13th game. He is 3-for-16 (.188) with one RBI, remaining stalled at 708 -- seven shy of passing Babe Ruth's 714 and 48 from breaking Hank Aaron's mark of 755.

In his first at-bat leading off the second, Bonds quickly took two balls, drawing boos and chants of "You chicken!"

After a strike, Bonds hit a towering fly ball to right that had fans on their feet, and with a little wind it might have gone over the arcade. Jason Lane had to nearly go against the wall to make the catch.

Moments later, Alou sent the first pitch he saw from Backe into the seats in left field for his third of the season. It marked the 112th time a player has hit 300 career homers. He received a hug from batboy son, Moises Jr., then a congratulatory handshake from his dad once back in the dugout.

"For us, the Alou family, it's a big number," said the 70-year-old Felipe Alou, who hit 206 homers in his 17-year big league career. "I'm glad it happened here for him and I saw it. It wasn't a cheapie."

Bonds came up to chants of "Barry! Barry!" in the fourth with Ray Durham aboard on a single and flied out to center with another deep shot within feet of the fence.

After popping out foul in the fifth with the defense shifted and runners on the corners, Bonds casually tossed his bat to the ground and flipped his helmet to the dirt.

He stepped into the batter's box with runners on the corners again in the seventh and lined a single to right that would have been a double if he decided to push his troublesome right knee.

Felipe Alou walked from left field to center early Thursday to gauge the condition of the water-logged grass -- determining it was playable enough to safely use Bonds. Neither Bonds nor Alou were in the starting lineup for the second game.

Notes

  • Giants LHP Noah Lowry, the No. 3 starter on the 15-day DL with a strained right side muscle, played light catch for the second straight day. He made 75 throws from 50 feet.
  • Moises Alou became the first Giants player to hit his 300th since Bonds in 1996.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Giants batboy Moises Alou Jr. is there to congratulate his dad on his 300th career home run.  (AP)
Giants batboy Moises Alou Jr. is there to congratulate his dad on his 300th career home run. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Morris
IP 7.2
H 4
ER 3
BB 2
K 4
Houston

C. Burke
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Houston Astros
Chris Burke, 2B4012001.250
Willy Taveras, CF3110100.281
Mike Lamb, 3B4010002.333
Lance Berkman, 1B3001010.321
Preston Wilson, LF4000011.258
Jason Lane, RF3110100.120
Eric Munson, C4000022.100
Adam Everett, SS3110000.207
Brandon Backe, SP1000000.000
Craig Biggio, PH-2B1010000.267
Morgan Ensberg, PH-3B1000012.391
Totals31363258
BATTING
RBI - C Burke 2 (3); L Berkman (11)
SF - L Berkman (2)
BASERUNNING
SB - A Everett (1)
Houston Astros
Brandon Backe 2.01111012.25
Taylor Buchholz (L,0-1) 3.04221203.38
Russ Springer 1.01000100.00
Mike D. Gallo 0.122200018.00
Chad Qualls 0.200000010.80
Dan Wheeler 1.01000000.00
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, LF3111101.250
Omar Vizquel, SS2001001.391
Ray Durham, 2B3120101.182
Barry Bonds, LF4011003.188
Moises Alou, RF3112001.348
Lance Niekro, 1B4000012.238
Pedro Feliz, 3B4120001.231
Mike Matheny, C3000002.100
Matt Morris, SP3110022.167
Mark Sweeney, PH-1B1010000.250
Totals305952314
BATTING
2B - M Sweeney (2)
HR - M Alou (3)
RBI - R Winn (4); O Vizquel (6); B Bonds (1); M Alou 2 (8)
SF - O Vizquel (1); M Alou (1)
S - O Vizquel (1)
BASERUNNING
SB - R Winn (1); R Durham (1)
San Francisco Giants
Matt Morris (W,2-0) 7.24332402.57
Scott Munter 0.01000000.00
Steve Kline 0.10000000.00
Tim Worrell (S,3) 1.01000102.25