Darren Lewis made sure he savored his game-winning hit Tuesday. It might have been his final one of the season.
“After tomorrow we don’t know what will happen. We could be out until next spring training. That’s the worst case,” said Lewis, whose two-out, two-run, bases-loaded single in the ninth off Randy Myers lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
The Giants and the Cubs meet again Wednesday but are off Thursday, the day before the players association’s strike deadline.
“It’s a little strange. As a player you set goals for what you want to do. There might be nothing to reach for if it’s over tomorrow. It’s strange in that sense,” Lewis said.
The Giants entered the day four games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.
“I’m trying not to think about it. I’m just glad we pulled this one out,” Giants manager Dusty Baker said.
“If there is a strike we could possibly go to 1 1/2. That’s not that much room to make up if we do go out.”
Myers relieved in the ninth after starter Steve Trachsel allowed only five hits and one run over eight innings.
Todd Benzinger singled with one out for his third hit. After John Patterson flied to right, Myers (1-5) walked pinch-hitters Darryl Strawberry and Steve Scarsone to load the bases.
Lewis, who had struck out looking with the bases loaded in the seventh, singled to center, scoring pinch-runners Mike Benjamin and Bill Swift.
“I’m not thinking about anything that’s going on, I’m thinking about what is happening in the game,” said Myers, the Cubs’ union representative.
“You just can’t walk two people and give up two hits with a one-run lead in the ninth,” Cubs manager Tom Trebelhorn said. “He just didn’t pitch well.”
Lewis felt he’d been called out on a wide pitch in the seventh, so he welcomed another chance.
“I was really mad because I felt I wasn’t given a chance. I just tried to stay calm and not get caught up in the situation. The next situation I knew I had to be aggressive,” he said.
Dave Burba (3-6) pitched two innings of hitless relief for the victory. The Cubs loaded the bases in the ninth off Rod Beck, but he retired Steve Buechele on a fielder’s choice for his 27th save.
The big play came when Barry Bonds was able to cut off Glenallen Hill’s double to left and keep Sammy Sosa at third. Baker then decided to intentionally walk pinch-hitter Rick Wilkins before Buechele rolled out.
The Cubs, who had only five hits, scored in the first on Mark Grace’s two-out double and Sosa’s triple.
They made it 2-0 in the fourth off Bud Black when Grace and Sosa singled, with Grace reaching third on a fly ball. Sosa broke for second and was caught in a rundown, but was able to stay away from a tag long enough for Grace to score from third.
San Francisco threatened in the seventh after loading the bases on one-out singles by Benzinger and Patterson, and a two-out walk to pinch-hitter Mark Leonard. But Trachsel struck out Lewis on three pitches.
Matt Williams, who leads the majors with 42 homers, flied out three times and grounded to second.