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Alou's bat, Schmidt's arm help Giants snap nine-game skid

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants still had some of the problems that plagued them through their lengthy losing streak.

On Wednesday, though, they did enough things right to return to the win column. Getting Moises Alou back in a groove played a big part, too.

Alou homered, hit a two-run double and singled in a run, Jason Schmidt struck out 10, and the San Francisco Giants ended their longest losing streak in 10 years with an 8-6 victory over the Washington Nationals.

"It's been frustrating to go through a streak like this," said Alou, who didn't even play a full game as he continues to nurse a tender left hamstring. "I don't remember being in a streak like that in a long time and it feels great to win the game. I don't care how it ended, we just wanted to win the game. ... It was big, especially with the off day tomorrow. We can enjoy our day off."

Shea Hillenbrand hit his first home run as a member of the Giants, and 13th overall, a solo shot in the seventh. He was acquired in a trade from Toronto on July 21.

Alou's four RBI moved him and his manager and father, Felipe, past Gus and Buddy Bell and into third place on the all-time list for combined RBI by a father and son with 2,051. Moises Alou had his first four-hit game of the season, hitting his 12th home run to start the seventh.

The Giants ended a nine-game losing streak after calling a brief team meeting following Tuesday night's 4-1 loss -- which they also did before going on their season-best five-game winning streak that preceded this skid, the team's longest since dropping 10 in a row from June 21-30, 1996.

Schmidt (8-7) won for only the second time in 10 starts since he matched a franchise record with a 16-strikeout game June 6 against Florida. He struck out 10 or more for the fourth time this year and beat the Nationals organization for the first time since a win against the Montreal Expos on Aug. 25, 2002.

"It's been hard the last week-and-a-half," Schmidt said. "Hopefully we'll get some momentum and get some games back."

Alfonso Soriano homered twice to drive in three runs, his fourth multihomer game this season and 15th of his career. He led off the game with a shot to the arcade in right-center -- his seventh leadoff homer and 30th of his career, and the second for him against the Giants. He hit a two-run homer off Steve Kline in the seventh.

But the Nationals, who conclude their nine-game road trip with a weekend series at San Diego, generated little else against Schmidt.

Schmidt allowed four hits and one run in six innings and walked three as the Giants ended a five-game losing streak to Washington.

"There's not much to say," Nationals manager Frank Robinson said. "The pitching was not good and we didn't do very much with Mr. Schmidt."

Brad Hennessey started the ninth but gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to Nick Johnson that chased the right-hander. Closer Armando Benitez entered to loud boos from every direction because he blew his previous three save chances after converting seven straight.

Benitez walked Austin Kearns, then Felipe Alou went to Mike Stanton to get the final out for his first save. Alou said he told Benitez he would be replaced if a runner got aboard.

"We cannot ostracize Benitez here," Alou said. "It is very obvious that we need him right."

Tony Armas (7-7) lost for the fourth time in five starts and was done after his fourth-inning wild pitch allowed Randy Winn to score from third for a 4-1 San Francisco lead.

Alou followed with a double to center against Saul Rivera, then Ray Durham walked to bring up Hillenbrand, who struck out swinging as the Giants batted around in the inning.

Armas failed to go four innings for the second straight start. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, struck out one and walked one.

Barry Bonds missed his second straight game with swelling in his right knee, though manager Felipe Alou was optimistic the slugger would be back in the lineup Friday for the opener of a weekend series against Colorado following the team's day off.

"I feel all right," the 42-year-old Bonds said while making his way to the trainer's room to ice his knee, which underwent three operations last year and limited him to 14 games in 2005.

The Giants announced after the game that catcher Mike Matheny would not play again this season because of a concussion that has sidelined him since May 31.

Notes

  • Armas is 1-4 in five career starts against the Giants, and he earned that lone victory in his last outing against San Francisco -- way back on May 12, 2002.
  • Pedro Feliz returned to the Giants' lineup at 3B after getting his first day off of the season Tuesday. He had played every inning until then.
  • Stanton last got a save on Sept. 24, 2003, while pitching for the Mets.
  • Stanton made 202 appearances between saves.
  • Rivera, a rookie, had his first career at-bat and struck out in the fifth.
 
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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Moises Alou is a triple short of the cycle as the Giants snap their longest skid in 10 years.  (AP)
Moises Alou is a triple short of the cycle as the Giants snap their longest skid in 10 years. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Alou
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 1
RBI 4
Washington

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Washington Nationals
Alfonso Soriano, LF5333020
Felipe Lopez, SS5130020
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B4011101
Nick Johnson, 1B5122003
Austin Kearns, RF3000221
Ryan Church, CF4010022
   a- Alex Escobar, PH1000011
Marlon Anderson, 2B3110112
Brian Schneider, C4000003
Tony J. Armas, P1000001
    Saul Rivera, P1000010
    Roy Corcoran, P0000000
   b- Luis Matos, PH1000000
    Ryan Wagner, P0000000
    Travis Hughes, P0000000
   c- Bernie Castro, PH1000000
Totals38611641114 
a-struck out for Church in the 9th
b-grounded out for Corcoran in the 7th
c-grounded out for Hughes in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ryan Zimmerman (, Hennessey)
HR - Alfonso Soriano 2 (, Schmidt, Kline), Nick Johnson (, Hennessey)
RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (), Ryan Zimmerman (), Nick Johnson 2 ()
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 2 (), Nick Johnson 2 ()
SB - Ryan Zimmerman (, 2nd base off Schmidt/Alfonzo)
CS - Felipe Lopez (, 2nd base by Schmidt/Alfonzo)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Alfonso Soriano 1
DP - F. Lopez-Anderson-N. Johnson
Washington Nationals
Tony J. Armas (L,-) 3.2866110
Saul Rivera 1.1100120
Roy Corcoran 1100000
Ryan Wagner 1222012
Travis Hughes 1100000
IBB - Durham by Saul Rivera
HBP - Winn (by Tony J. Armas)
WP - Tony J. Armas ()
Pitches-Strikes - Tony J. Armas 72-46, Saul Rivera 23-15, Roy Corcoran 10-7, Ryan Wagner 15-12, Travis Hughes 6-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tony J. Armas 3-7, Ryan Wagner 1-1, Travis Hughes 1-1
Batters Faced - Tony J. Armas 21, Saul Rivera 6, Roy Corcoran 3, Ryan Wagner 5, Travis Hughes 3
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, RF4210001
Omar Vizquel, SS5121001
Steve Finley, CF3210101
Moises Alou, LF4144000
    Todd Linden, LF0000000
Ray Durham, 2B3021100
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4111016
Pedro Feliz, 3B4110000
Eliezer Alfonzo, C4000010
Jason Schmidt, P3000021
    Steve Kline, P0000000
    Brad Hennessey, P1010000
    Armando Benitez, P0000000
    Mike Stanton, P0000000
Totals3581372410 
Batting
2B - Omar Vizquel (, Armas), Steve Finley (, Armas), Moises Alou (, Rivera)
HR - Moises Alou (, Wagner), Shea Hillenbrand (, Wagner)
RBI - Omar Vizquel (), Moises Alou 4 (), Ray Durham (), Shea Hillenbrand ()
2-OUT RBI - Omar Vizquel (), Moises Alou 3 (), Ray Durham ()
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Shea Hillenbrand (, )
San Francisco Giants
Jason Schmidt (W,-) 64113101
Steve Kline 0.2322001
Brad Hennessey (H,) 2433001
Armando Benitez0000100
Mike Stanton (S,) 0.1000010
WP - Jason Schmidt (), Brad Hennessey ()
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Schmidt 116-74, Steve Kline 17-10, Brad Hennessey 34-25, Armando Benitez 6-2, Mike Stanton 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Schmidt 4-3, Steve Kline 1-1, Brad Hennessey 6-1
Batters Faced - Jason Schmidt 24, Steve Kline 5, Brad Hennessey 11, Armando Benitez 1, Mike Stanton 1
Game Information
Attendance - 38283
Game Time - 3:01
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Rob Drake, First Base - Derryl Cousins, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Tim Timmons