NATIONAL LEAGUE ROUNDUP : Giants Move Half-Game Closer

From Associated Press

The San Francisco Giants are getting it together, and so are Barry Bonds and Darren Lewis.

The Giants moved within 2 1/2 games of the Atlanta Braves in the National League West on Monday night as Lewis hit a three-run double in the sixth and Bonds got three hits in a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros at Houston.

“These guys did well for me,” Bonds said. “They put me in situations I’ve been looking forward to (men on base). Any time I get those opportunities, we’ve got a good chance.”

Atlanta was idle and starts a three-game series at Montreal tonight. The Giants have won four in a row after losing eight in a row.


“We’ve got four--now we need to go for five,” Giant Manager Dusty Baker said. “We can’t think about that. We’ve just got to win.”

Bonds, who finally had a big game in September, doubled to start the sixth against Greg Swindell (10-13), who lost his fourth consecutive decision. Swindell’s intentional walk to Kirt Manwaring and third baseman Ken Caminiti’s throwing error loaded the bases.

Lewis then hit a liner past Caminiti into the left-field corner and all three runners scored.

“We really went through a tough period, but I think we’re through ours,” Lewis said. “Everybody is relaxed and confident and swinging the bat well. I think it was good for us to get out of town and get away from our families and the media.”


Bonds, who scored two runs and drove in two, added to the Giants’ lead with a two-run double in the seventh.

Philadelphia 7, Florida 1--Curt Schilling pitched a seven-hitter and struck out a career-high 11 at Philadelphia as the Phillies moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the idle Montreal Expos in the NL East.

John Kruk hit a home run and drove in three runs for the Phillies.

Schilling (15-6) walked two in winning his seventh consecutive decision. He also has six no-decisions since his last loss, July 11 against the Giants.


It was Schilling’s seventh complete game.

The Phillies jumped on Florida starter Charlie Hough (9-16) for two runs in the first inning on Jim Eisenreich’s bases-loaded single.

Chicago 6, St. Louis 5--Randy Myers set an NL record at Chicago with his 48th save.

It was also a big night for Todd Zeile, who reached the 100-RBI mark for St. Louis with a three-run homer that gave him 102 RBIs.


Mike Morgan (10-13) pitched six innings, giving up four runs on five hits for the victory. Myers worked the ninth inning, giving up a run.

Myers broke the record of 47 saves set by Lee Smith for St. Louis in 1991. Bobby Thigpen holds the major league record of 57 saves for the Chicago White Sox in 1990.

Pittsburgh 6, New York 2--The Mets reached 100 losses for the first time since 1967 as Jeff King and Lloyd McClendon each drove in two runs for the Pirates at Pittsburgh.

Paul Wagner (7-7) was coming off a 1-0 victory over the Marlins at Miami last week, a game shortened to six innings because of rain. He gave up nine hits, walked one and struck out a career-high seven in 8 2/3 innings, beating the Mets for the second time this season.


San Diego 11, Colorado 7--Phil Plantier had three hits and drove in five runs to lead the Rockies at Denver. Plantier, acquired from the Boston Red Sox before the season, has 32 homers and 94 RBIs.

Frank Seminara (3-2) pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief, giving up one run and three hits. Padre starter Doug Brocail lasted only into the fourth inning, giving up four runs and three hits, including a pinch grand slam to Jay Gainer in the fourth.