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San Francisco at Houston

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San Francisco «20140003010121
Houston010000000131

No Bonds, no problem; Giants batter Astros one more time

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The San Francisco Giants completed their first three-game series sweep of the season with Barry Bonds on the bench.

The slugger received some much-needed rest, and watched Ray Durham hit a three-run homer and single in a run for a season-high four RBI and Matt Morris win for the first time in seven starts in a 10-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

Pedro Feliz, who has played every inning this season for the Giants, hit a two-run homer and a run-scoring single to give him 10 RBI in the series.

Mark Sweeney doubled and drove in three runs and a Giants offense that had been so stagnant at times is suddenly clicking. San Francisco outscored Houston 34-5 at hitter friendly Minute Maid Park, jumping to big leads each day on the way to matching its longest winning streak of the season.

"Sometimes you play well in some ballparks," Jose Vizcaino said. "We play well here. Too bad we only come once a year."

Manager Felipe Alou's take: "Maybe they like Minute Maid oranges."

Bonds remained the buzz of the ballpark a day after being plunked by Astros reliever Russ Springer -- and he wasn't even in the starting lineup.

Springer? He was out of the state.

Major League Baseball on Wednesday had already begun reviewing Bonds' at-bat leading off the fifth inning Tuesday night against Springer, in which the pitcher's first offering sailed behind Bonds' back to draw a warning from plate umpire Joe West.

The next four pitches all came inside, including one that caromed off Bonds' bat handle on the third delivery for strike one. On the fifth pitch, Springer hit Bonds in the right shoulder as he turned to protect himself.

After being ejected, Springer left to a standing ovation -- something that deeply disturbed Alou.

"It bothered me a lot, because a lot of children were watching," Alou said. "Find another way to express your feelings, whatever they are -- not in front of millions of people."

Bonds, meanwhile, barely reacted to being hit, calmly taking first base without a word or a glance toward the right-hander. Springer took off immediately after the game to be with his wife when she underwent surgery Wednesday morning in Louisiana.

Bonds didn't address it with the media after the game or again beforehand Wednesday, when he entertained himself by playing cards with trainer Greg Oliver -- perhaps a brief distraction from the pressure surrounding his pursuit of Babe Ruth.

After the game, he sat in the office of visiting clubhouse manager Steve Perry staring at a collection of about 300 bobblehead dolls and doing a TV segment for his show "Bonds on Bonds" before being driven away on a cart.

The chase resumes Friday at Oakland, and Bonds should be fresh following an off day.

The seven-time NL MVP was stalled at 713 homers, one shy of tying Ruth for second place on the career list behind home run king Hank Aaron's 755. Bonds is homerless in eight games and 26 at-bats since a 450-foot shot to right at Philadelphia on May 7.

Bonds had played eight straight days, his longest stretch in the starting lineup without a break since playing 10 consecutive days from June 18-27, 2004, though he was available to pinch hit in the finale of a three-game series with Houston. Alou expects Bonds to play designated hitter in all three games against the A's.

"Hopefully this kind of gets us going," Sweeney said. "The good thing, too, is Barry gets two days to relax and then he gets to DH."

Astros manager Phil Garner said he didn't expect the Giants to retaliate and reiterated that he believes Springer did not intentionally hit Bonds.

Morris (3-4) certainly couldn't afford to get in trouble.

The right-hander, in his first season with San Francisco, received a fine last month along with pitching coach Dave Righetti for their actions during a game at Colorado a day after Jose Mesa plunked San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel.

Morris was fined for intentionally throwing at Matt Holliday in the first inning. The right-hander was ejected after throwing only eight pitches and plunking two of the five batters he faced.

This time, Morris pitched eight strong innings after losing his previous four decisions and also added a pair of singles. He allowed one run and three hits, struck out four and walked three in a 118-pitch performance.

"The situation last night is what it is," Morris said. "Right now, we're trying to get this team back on track and our priority was to win the game. It's something you're not going to forget, but sometimes that works better ... rather than sticking up for guys or getting into the beanball game."

Astros pitching coach Jim Hickey made a visit to the mound in the first inning for the third straight night after Houston's starters fell behind in a hurry.

The way this series went for the defending NL champions, thousands of fans had to be hoping for a return from Roger Clemens -- not to mention the Astros finding some offense.

Fernando Nieve (1-2) was knocked out of the game after 3 2/3 innings.

Orlando Palmeiro hit an RBI single in the second for Houston. Garner used Palmeiro in right field in place of struggling Jason Lane in a move to try to generate more offense, but the Astros lost for the 10th time in 13 games.

It's the first time since July 1962 -- the inaugural year of the franchise -- that the Astros have allowed double-digit runs in three consecutive games.

"This is about as bad a series as I can recall," Garner said. "We didn't pitch it, we didn't hit it, we didn't catch it. That about sums it up. I can't recall being beat this badly three games in a row."

Notes

  • In the three games, San Francisco scored nine total runs in the first inning. The Giants scored 10 or more runs in three straight games for the first time since Aug. 3-6, 2002, two games at Pittsburgh and a home contest with the Cubs.
  • All three Houston starters in the series failed to make it through the fourth inning. Reliever Trever Miller struck out the side in the fifth, one of few bright spots for Houston pitchers.
  • Morris has 68 career hits, three this year all against the Astros.
  • Feliz hit his ninth homer of the year.
  • The Giants batted around in each game.
 
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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No hits for Steve Finley, but he breaks his bat on a first-inning pitch from Fernando Nieve. (Getty Images)
No hits for Steve Finley, but he breaks his bat on a first-inning pitch from Fernando Nieve. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Morris
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
San Francisco

R. Durham
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
 
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, RF5210122 .293
    Steve Kline, P0000000 .000
    Scott Munter, P0000000 .000
Omar Vizquel, SS3310212 .293
Ray Durham, 2B4234112 .227
Steve Finley, CF5100015 .294
Mark Sweeney, LF4023110 .244
    Jason Ellison, PR-LF0100000 .267
Pedro Feliz, 3B5123013 .282
Mike Matheny, C4000102 .258
Jose Vizcaino, 1B5010013 .180
Matt Morris, P3020010 .167
   a- Daniel Ortmeier, PH-RF1000000 .286
Totals391012106919 
a-grounded out for Morris in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ray Durham (2, Borkowski), Mark Sweeney (6, Borkowski)
HR - Ray Durham (3, Nieve), Pedro Feliz (9, Borkowski)
SH - Matt Morris (2)
RBI - Ray Durham 4 (13), Mark Sweeney 3 (13), Pedro Feliz 3 (32)
2-OUT RBI - Ray Durham 3 (4), Mark Sweeney (4), Pedro Feliz 3 (8)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Steve Finley 1
DP - Vizquel-Durham-Vizcaino, Durham-Vizquel-Vizcaino
E - Pedro Feliz (4, misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
Matt Morris (W,3-4) 8311340 5.43
Steve Kline 0.1000200 3.65
Scott Munter 0.2000000 5.63
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Morris 118-76, Steve Kline 14-5, Scott Munter 3-2
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Morris 9-10, Scott Munter 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Morris 29, Steve Kline 3, Scott Munter 1
Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B3000101 .286
    Brad Lidge, P0000000 .000
Willy Taveras, CF3010001 .276
Mike Lamb, 1B3000112 .372
Morgan Ensberg, 3B3000102 .276
Preston Wilson, LF3000112 .253
Brad Ausmus, C4110011 .336
Orlando Palmeiro, RF3011000 .188
Adam Everett, SS3000000 .231
Fernando Nieve, P1000010 .111
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   a- Joe McEwing, PH1000000 .000
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- Eric Bruntlett, PH-2B0000100 .296
Totals27131549 
a-flied out for Miller in the 5th
b-walked for Borkowski in the 8th
Batting
2B - Willy Taveras (4, Morris), Brad Ausmus (8, Morris)
SH - Willy Taveras (5)
RBI - Orlando Palmeiro (1)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Craig Biggio (2, misplayed grounder)
Houston Astros
Fernando Nieve (L,1-2) 3.2776621 5.94
Trever Miller 1.1200030 7.71
Dave Borkowski 3333041 4.40
Brad Lidge 1000000 5.49
IBB - Matheny by Fernando Nieve
Pitches-Strikes - Fernando Nieve 87-41, Trever Miller 25-19, Dave Borkowski 41-28, Brad Lidge 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Fernando Nieve 9-1, Trever Miller 1-0, Dave Borkowski 2-3, Brad Lidge 1-2
Batters Faced - Fernando Nieve 25, Trever Miller 6, Dave Borkowski 12, Brad Lidge 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36327
Game Time - 2:35
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Joe West