San Francisco takes 10th game in 13 tries to stay in wild card race

Giants top Diamondbacks again

Posted: Sunday, September 08, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO -- Benito Santiago hit a game-winning single and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the ninth inning for the second straight game, 4-3 Saturday.

The Giants won for the 10th time in 13 games and moved within two games of the Dodgers in the NL wild-card race after Los Angeles lost 6-1 to Houston. San Francisco is 6 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West.

Jeff Kent led off the ninth with a single against Byung-Hyun Kim (8-3) and advanced to second on Barry Bonds' groundout.

Santiago, who drive in three runs, followed with a single to right field and Kent scored without a play. Santiago threw his arms in the air as he approached first base.

Astros 6, Dodgers 1

LOS ANGELES -- Mark Loretta went 4-for-5 and Jeff Bagwell homered as Houston beat Los Angeles.

Gregg Zaun had a pair of RBI singles, helping the Astros inch within 7 1/2 games of the Dodgers in the NL wild-card race. The Dodgers remained 4 1/2 games behind Arizona in the NL West.

Mets 5, Phillies 4

PHILADELPHIA -- Tyler Walker (1-0) got his first career victory and closer Armando Benitez barely hung on as New York won its fifth straight game.

The Mets took a 5-3 lead into the ninth, but Benitez began the inning by walking Tomas Perez and Jeremy Giambi. After a sacrifice bunt, Bobby Abreu walked to load the bases.

Benitez then walked Pat Burrell on four pitches, forcing home a run. But Benitez escaped by striking out Travis Lee and retiring Mike Lieberthal on a comebacker for his 31st save in 35 chances.

Rockies 5, Padres 3

DENVER -- Jay Payton's two-run double keyed a four-run rally against four relievers in the eighth inning and Colorado beat San Diego.

The Rockies won their third in a row and sent San Diego to its third straight loss.

Trailing 2-1, Juan Pierre drew a leadoff walk from Brandon Villafuerte to open the eighth inning. Pierre scored the tying run on Larry Walker's double off Mike Holtz (2-2).

Braves 4, Expos 0

ATLANTA -- Andruw Jones hit a pair of two-run homers before being beaned, and Greg Maddux helped the Braves pitch their third straight shutout.

The Braves lowered their magic number for clinching the NL East title to two. Montreal has lost nine of 13.

Pirates 4, Marlins 1

PITTSBURGH -- Josh Fogg (12-11) pitched six scoreless innings, Brian Giles and Aramis Ramirez homered and Mike Williams got his 40th save as Pittsburgh beat Florida.

Ramirez, waiting until the final month of the season to begin hitting the way he did last season, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs against rookie Nate Robertson (0-1).

Brewers 9, Reds 6

MILWAUKEE -- Richie Sexson doubled three times and drove in five runs to lead Milwaukee past Cincinnati.

The Brewers pounded Shawn Estes (5-12) for five runs and six hits in 1 2-3 innings. Estes pitched a one-hit shutout against Milwaukee on April 26, when he was with the New York Mets.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 5

ST. LOUIS -- Pinch-hitter Ivan Cruz hit a game-winning RBI single off Antonio Alfonseca (2-4) with two outs in the 13th inning as St. Louis won its fourth straight game.

The Cardinals moved a season-best 19 games above .500 and retained a 5 1/2-game lead over Houston in the NL Central. Scott Rolen had a three-run homer in the first inning.

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