Burks Shakes Off Ailments to Lift Giants to Another Win

From Associated Press

Scratched from Friday night's lineup because of a pounding headache and a swollen throat, San Francisco outfielder Ellis Burks nonetheless wanted to play Saturday against Atlanta.

After convincing the trainers he was OK, Burks hit two homers and drove in four runs as the Giants beat the Braves, 12-3, at San Francisco. It was the Giants' sixth straight win.

"I woke up this morning not feeling as strong as I usually do--but good enough to play," he said. "And I'm glad I did."

With the Braves leading, 3-2, in the sixth, Barry Bonds was hit by a pitch, went to third on Jeff Kent's single and scored when J.T. Snow's popup to left was lost in the sun by B.J. Surhoff for a single.

Burks drove in Kent and Snow with a shot off Andy Ashby (9-9) that sailed over the left-field fence.

Burks added a solo homer, his 16th, in a five-run eighth. Rich Aurilia and Bobby Estalella followed with singles, Armando Rios hit a two-run double, Marvin Benard had an RBI triple and Felipe Crespo had a sacrifice fly.

Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said the ball that Surhoff lost in the sun was his team's undoing.

"I was walking out there the first day we got here, and I knew it could be trouble," Cox said about the outfield at the Giants' new ballpark.

Arizona 11, Chicago 3--Arizona tied a franchise record with eight runs in the third inning at Phoenix as the Diamondbacks cruised to their sixth victory in a row.

Sammy Sosa hit his major league-leading 41st home run, and third in two nights, for the Cubs.

The Diamondbacks, on their second-longest winning streak of the season, had a club-record eight hits in the third, including a two-run homer by Steve Finley and two-run double by Luis Gonzalez.

Colorado 10, Florida 3--Todd Helton drove in three runs while going one for four at Denver and the Rockies got another strong outing from Julian Tavarez.

Helton's average dropped two points to .397. He had an RBI groundout, a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single.

Tavarez (8-2), promoted to the starting rotation three weeks ago, is 3-0 in five starts. He gave up two runs--one earned--and six hits in six innings.

St. Louis 6, Philadelphia 3--Edgar Renteria hit a three-run homer to lead the Cardinals at St. Louis.

Pat Hentgen (12-9) gave up one run and four hits in five innings. He also worked around five walks.

Cincinnati 7, Pittsburgh 1--A bases-loaded triple by Dante Bichette and a pair of RBIs by Sean Casey helped the Reds break a four-game losing streak at Cincinnati.

Bichette tripled in the eighth off Josias Manzanillo after pinch-hitter Alex Ochoa reached on an error, Brian Hunter walked and Ken Griffey Jr. was walked intentionally to load the bases.

San Diego 4, Montreal 3--Desi Relaford's single off Julio Santana scored Ruben Rivera in the bottom of the 11th to give the Padres the win at San Diego.

Houston 10, Milwaukee 8--Jeff Bagwell hit two homers, making him the first Astro to reach 300 in a career, and drove in five runs at Houston.

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Wild-Card Race

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Team W L GB New York 73 50 -- Arizona 69 53 3 DODGERS 62 59 10 Florida 61 61 11

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