Bonds leads Giants into playoffs

Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO -- With yet another big splash by Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants surged into the playoffs.

Bonds' 613th career homer landed in the waters of McCovey Cove as the Giants clinched the wild card, beating the Houston Astros 5-2 Saturday for their seventh straight victory.

Though San Francisco lost the NL West title to Arizona by virtue of the Diamondbacks' 17-8 win over Colorado, Bonds and his teammates are headed to the postseason for the second time in Pacific Bell Park's three seasons.

With their victory, the Giants (94-66) eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers (92-69).

Diamondbacks 17, Rockies 8

PHOENIX -- Matt Williams and Steve Finley each homered twice as the World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks clinched the NL West, defeating the Colorado Rockies.

The 17 runs tied a club record that had been reached three previous times, the last at St. Louis on April 17, 2001.

The Diamondbacks won their second straight division title, and third in four years. They celebrated the title with handshakes and hugs on the field.

Arizona will face NL Central champion St. Louis in the first round of the playoffs starting Tuesday. It has not yet been decided where the series will begin.

Arizona leads St. Louis by one game for home-field advantage with one game to play. The Cardinals hold the tiebreaker in case the teams end up even.

Dodgers 14, Padres 2

LOS ANGELES -- Despite four more hits by Brian Jordan and a win over San Diego, the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from postseason contention Saturday.

Assured of their best record since 1991, the Dodgers were knocked out when San Francisco beat Houston 5-2 to clinch the NL wild-card berth.

The Dodgers (92-69) haven't made the playoffs in six years and haven't won a postseason game since the 1988 World Series.

Los Angeles won its fourth in a row. The Padres have lost seven straight and nine of 10.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 1

ST. LOUIS -- Chuck Finley earned his 200th career victory and kept the St. Louis Cardinals in the hunt for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

St. Louis will play Arizona in the opening round. The Cardinals trail the Diamondbacks by one game in the race for home field -- St. Louis holds the tiebreaker if the teams end up even.

Manager Tony La Russa is giving Andy Benes, who threw seven shutout innings against Arizona on Tuesday, the start instead of Jamey Wright in the regular-season finale on Sunday to give the Cardinals a better shot.

Cubs 5, Pirates 4

CHICAGO -- Bobby Hill singled in the winning run, capping a two-run, ninth-inning rally that led the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

With Chicago trailing 4-3, Angel Echevarria led off the bottom of the ninth with a pinch-single off Ron Villone, moved to second on a bunt and scored when Todd Hundley hit a hard single that went off Pokey Reese's glove at second.

Phillies 9, Marlins 3

MIAMI -- Placido Polanco and Bobby Abreu hit consecutive doubles in a five-run third inning and Doug Glanville added a two-run homer.

Philadelphia (80-80) can finish over .500 with a victory in Sunday's season finale, which would give the Phillies back-to-back winning records since 1982-83.

Expos 6, Reds 0

MONTREAL -- Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and remained one homer shy of a 40-40 seasom when his drive landed directly on top of the right-field wall before bouncing back on the field for a run-scoring single.

At 82-79, the Expos ensured their first winning season in six years.

Sun Woo Kim (1-0) allowed six hits in 8 1-3 innings to beat Brian Moehler (2-4), who gave up five runs -- four earned -- and five hits in 4 2-3 innings.

Braves 5, Mets 2

NEW YORK -- Chipper Jones reached 100 RBIs for the seventh straight season, John Smoltz got his 55th save to move within two of Bobby Thigpen's major league record and Vinny Castilla hit a two-run homer.

Trey Hodges (2-0) pitched 3 2-3 scoreless innings for the win in relief of Tom Glavine, who tuned up for the playoff by pitching two innings. Atlanta opens at home Wednesday against San Francisco.

Al Leiter (13-13) allowed five runs and nine hits in four innings, setting a career high for loss as the Mets dropped their sixth straight.

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