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Byrnes, Diamondbacks finish up road campaign strong

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants want to affect the playoff races even if both clubs won't be taking part in the postseason.

And neither wants to finish last in the NL West.

Eric Byrnes hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs and the Diamondbacks ended their 2006 road campaign with a 6-3 victory over the Giants on Wednesday.

"These days are always fun," Byrnes said. "These games are important for us. If we can't be a factor in the postseason, we might as well be a factor during the season."

Claudio Vargas (12-10) struck out six in 6 2/3 strong innings to end a three-start winless stretch, beating the Giants for the first time in three tries this season.

"That's the best I started all year," Vargas said. "Staying on one roll, that makes it easy."

Orlando Hudson, who returned to Arizona's lineup for the first time since leaving the team before Sunday's game to tend to family matters, scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the sixth. Byrnes also drove in the tying run that inning.

The Diamondbacks added two runs in the ninth on Alberto Callaspo's sacrifice fly and Scott Hairston's RBI double. Jose Valverde pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.

Eliezer Alfonzo hit a two-run homer for the Giants that tied it at 2 in the second after Byrnes connected for his 25th homer in the first.

Moises Alou, who hit the winning home run Tuesday night in San Francisco's 4-2 victory, had a leadoff double in the fourth and later stole home on a double steal to give the Giants a 3-2 lead before Arizona rallied in the sixth.

"It was fun," he said. "A good throw probably would have gotten me at the plate. I'm glad it worked out for us."

The Diamondbacks now return home to finish the season with four games against the San Diego Padres starting Thursday -- and the atmosphere is expected to be emotional as Luis Gonzalez plays his final home games in Phoenix.

Manager Bob Melvin gave Gonzalez a day off Wednesday heading into the weekend. The popular left fielder was told earlier this month by the team that it would not bring him back next season. He's played for Arizona in eight seasons of the club's nine-year existence.

Gonzalez delivered the winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series as Arizona stunned the New York Yankees. Gonzalez, hitless in four at-bats Tuesday night, is batting .271 with 15 home runs and 73 RBI this year.

"The treatment from the fans will be the most important thing," Melvin said. "He has always been there for his teammates. Those are big games for the Padres. We can't lose sight of that, and we won't."

Fans chanted "Barry! Barry!" in the seventh but Mark Sweeney and then Todd Linden emerged from the dugout to pinch-hit instead of slugger Barry Bonds, who sat out a second straight game to nurse his tender left elbow. Bonds planned to play in some capacity during a weekend series with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, and is scheduled to have surgery to clean out his elbow after the season.

Jonathan Sanchez (3-1), coming off three straight no-decisions, allowed five hits and four runs in six innings, struck out two and walked one to end his rookie season on a strong note.

"I went up there with my mind on throwing strikes and hitting my spots, and that's what I did," said Sanchez, who hopes to be in the 2007 rotation.

Giants manager Felipe Alou rested several regulars Wednesday but expected to use a typical lineup to play the Dodgers starting Friday.

Notes

  • Alfonzo homered for the first time since Aug. 30 at Atlanta, a span of 58 at-bats. "I don't remember the last one," he said.
  • Arizona went 37-44 on the road this year.
  • The D'Backs, who already had lost the season series with San Francisco for a fifth straight year, finished 8-11 against the Giants.
  • D'Backs 3B Chad Tracy, nursing mild tendinitis in his left knee, had the day off.
  • Alou's steal of home was the 33rd for the Giants since the team moved West to San Francisco in 1958. The 40-year-old Alou is the oldest major league player to do it since Paul Molitor in 1998 when he was 41 years, 270 days. "It feels special to still be around at age 40," Alou said. "Making nice plays in the field and stealing home plate."
  • The Giants drew 34,503 fans to go over the 3 million mark for the seventh straight year -- every season the team's waterfront ballpark has been open.
 
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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Eric Byrnes' three RBI help Arizona finish 37-44 on the road this season.  (AP)
Eric Byrnes' three RBI help Arizona finish 37-44 on the road this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

E. Alfonzo
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Arizona

E. Byrnes
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Chris Young, CF5110002 .246
Orlando Hudson, 2B4110000 .290
Conor Jackson, 1B4120000 .291
Eric Byrnes, LF4113001 .271
Johnny Estrada, C4000002 .303
Carlos Quentin, RF3100112 .248
Stephen Drew, SS4110000 .317
Damion Easley, 3B1000100 .231
   a- Alberto Callaspo, PH-3B0001000 .263
Claudio Vargas, P3000012 .098
    Doug Slaten, P0000000 .000
    Luis Vizcaino, P0000000 .000
   b- Chad Tracy, PH0000000 .277
   c- Scott Hairston, PH1011000 .429
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
Totals33675229 
a-hit a sacrifice fly for Easley in the 9th
b-announced for Vizcaino in the 9th
c-doubled for Tracy in the 9th
Batting
2B - Scott Hairston (2, Taschner)
HR - Eric Byrnes (25, Sanchez)
SF - Alberto Callaspo (1)
RBI - Eric Byrnes 3 (77), Alberto Callaspo (6), Scott Hairston (2)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Byrnes 2 (37), Scott Hairston (1)
SB - Eric Byrnes 2 (25, 2nd base off Sanchez/Alfonzo, 3rd base off Sanchez/Alfonzo)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Damion Easley (5, Misplayed grounder), Orlando Hudson (13, Throwing)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Claudio Vargas (W,12-10) 6.2433261 4.83
Doug Slaten (H,1) 0.1000000 0.00
Luis Vizcaino (H,24) 1000100 3.62
Jose Valverde (S,17) 1100000 6.04
IBB - Winn by Claudio Vargas
WP - Claudio Vargas (9)
Pitches-Strikes - Claudio Vargas 109-68, Doug Slaten 3-2, Luis Vizcaino 13-7, Jose Valverde 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Claudio Vargas 6-10, Doug Slaten 1-0, Luis Vizcaino 2-1, Jose Valverde 2-1
Batters Faced - Claudio Vargas 28, Doug Slaten 1, Luis Vizcaino 4, Jose Valverde 4
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF-LF4000101 .259
Fred Lewis, LF3000010 .455
   a- Mark Sweeney, PH0000000 .254
   b- Todd Linden, PH1000003 .271
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
    Jack Taschner, P0000000 .000
Shea Hillenbrand, 1B4000000 .277
Moises Alou, RF4110011 .303
Ray Durham, 2B3010100 .294
Pedro Feliz, 3B3100103 .247
Eliezer Alfonzo, C4112011 .263
Kevin Frandsen, SS4010011 .225
Jonathan Sanchez, P2000020 .000
    Kevin Correia, P0000000 .083
   c- Steve Finley, PH-CF2010000 .246
Totals343523610 
a-announced for Lewis in the 7th
b-grounded out for Sweeney in the 7th
c-doubled for Correia in the 7th
Batting
2B - Moises Alou (25, Vargas), Steve Finley (21, Vargas)
HR - Eliezer Alfonzo (12, Vargas)
RBI - Eliezer Alfonzo 2 (38)
SB - Moises Alou (2, off Vargas/Estrada), Ray Durham (7, 3rd base off Vargas/Estrada)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Alfonzo-Frandsen-Durham
E - Kevin Frandsen (3, Misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
Jonathan Sanchez (L,3-1) 6542121 4.95
Kevin Correia 1000000 3.59
Brian Wilson 1.2122100 5.59
Jack Taschner 0.1100000 8.53
HBP - Easley (by Kevin Correia)
WP - Jonathan Sanchez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 78-51, Kevin Correia 17-10, Brian Wilson 25-13, Jack Taschner 7-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 6-10, Brian Wilson 2-3
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 24, Kevin Correia 4, Brian Wilson 7, Jack Taschner 2
Game Information
Attendance - 34503
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Mark Carlson, Third Base - John Hirschbeck