Arizona at San Francisco

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Giants benefit from Bonds on bench as Winn has pair of web gems

CBS wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- Left field was the center of attention again in a San Francisco Giants game -- only this time Barry Bonds wasn't around.

Randy Winn, playing for the resting Bonds, made two outstanding catches and robbed Eric Byrnes of a home run to end the top of the ninth inning. Moises Alou then led off the bottom half with a homer to left, giving the Giants a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

"I think it was a great shift in the momentum," Winn said. "We had been a little flat. They were pitching well. We were scraping for everything we had to get. The crowd got into the game after I made the catches and then it was just a different feeling in the dugout. Then Moises goes out. That was unbelievable."

Alou gave the Giants their second win this season in seven games that Bonds has not started. Bonds, expected back in the lineup Sunday, has 711 homers, three shy of tying Babe Ruth for second place on the career list.

While the Giants always prefer to have Bonds in the lineup, it was Winn's athleticism in left field that made this win possible. Earlier in the ninth, he made a sliding catch in left-center to rob Shawn Green of a hit.

Winn topped that effort on the next batter. He leaped high above the wall to rob Byrnes of a potential go-ahead homer, getting a rare defensive curtain call and hearty congratulations from his teammates.

"It's probably the best robbing play I've ever seen," Giants starter Brad Hennessey said. "It was awesome. He timed it perfectly. Those basketball skills came into play there."

Winn said he can't jump nearly as high as he could when he teamed with Steve Nash on Santa Clara's basketball team more than a decade ago, when he said he could easily outjump the future NBA MVP.

"When you don't play, when you don't run and you don't jump, you kind of lose that," Winn said. "At one point I could dunk a basketball. I don't know if I could do it anymore."

Byrnes said he thought he had homered until he saw who was in left field.

"I thought it was going out," he said. "But Randy is a great athlete. He is the last guy I'd want playing out there."

Before the fans had a chance to settle down following Winn's sterling defense, Alou drove a 2-0 pitch from Luis Vizcaino (0-2) into the left-field seats for his seventh homer of the season and sixth career game-ending shot.

"After he made a play like that, you want to win the game no matter how," Alou said. "It was even better we won it right away. It was a great feeling. It made it a lot more special because of the catch he made."

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 mental lapse 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.

"I just hit it and stared at the ball," Frandsen said. "I just froze. It's hard getting cheered all last night to getting booed off the field today."

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, moved to second on a groundout and 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 (0-3, 6.91 ERA).

"Cruz threw great, but five innings was all you can expect," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "I wanted to get a fresh arm in there."

The Diamondbacks took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on consecutive RBI singles by Green and Byrnes, but Hennessey avoided further damage when he got Cruz to hit into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

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.


  • Alou's last game-ending home run was May 19, 2004, for the Cubs against Jim Brower and the Giants.
  • 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.
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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The Giants' Randy Winn leaps to rob a homer from the bat of Eric Byrnes in the ninth inning.  (Getty Images)
The Giants' Randy Winn leaps to rob a homer from the bat of Eric Byrnes in the ninth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Alou
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

C. Tracy
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, SS4000000.333
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000000.247
Chad Tracy, 3B4030010.312
Luis E. Gonzalez, LF2100201.253
Conor Jackson, 1B3110102.273
Shawn Green, RF4011001.266
Eric Byrnes, CF4011001.236
Chris Snyder, C3010000.300
Juan Cruz, RP2000003.000
Greg Aquino, RP0000000.000
a-Andy Green, PH-2B1000000.200
a-Flied out for G Aquino in the 7th.
2B - C Tracy (8)
RBI - S Green (3); E Byrnes (4)
CS - C Tracy (1)
E - J Cruz (1)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Juan Cruz 5.02110302.65
Greg Aquino 1.00000006.10
Brandon Lyon 1.02110001.69
Luis Vizcaino (L,0-2) 1.02110012.25
San Francisco Giants
Omar Vizquel, SS4120000.390
Kevin Frandsen, 2B3000002.429
Randy Winn, LF4011002.295
Moises Alou, RF4111003.366
Steve Finley, CF3110002.261
Todd Greene, C3000001.353
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000021.213
Lance Niekro, 1B3011010.232
Brad Hennessey, SP2000000.375
Mark Sweeney, PH-1B1000001.282
2B - O Vizquel (5)
HR - M Alou (7)
RBI - R Winn (10); M Alou (24); L Niekro (10)
San Francisco Giants
Brad Hennessey 6.06223102.79
Jeff Fassero 1.00000006.35
Steve Kline 1.01000004.00
Armando Benitez (W,1-0) 1.00000000.00