Giants' Goal Is to Clinch Title at Home

From Associated Press

Jeff Kent and the San Francisco Giants are ready to go home and wrap up the National League West title.

Kent hit a solo homer and a triple to lead the Giants to a 5-1 victory Sunday at San Diego, reducing their magic number to six.

"We're excited to be able to win it at home," Kent said. "It's fun to be able to play in the month of September for the division."

San Francisco returns to Pacific Bell Park with a 9 1/2-game lead with 14 games to play. The Giants begin a seven-game homestand today, including four games against second-place Arizona starting on Thursday.

"You'd like to clinch at home," Giant Manager Dusty Baker said. "But you don't care where you clinch as long as you clinch."

Mark Gardner (11-6) pitched a solid seven innings as he won his fourth consecutive decision, helping the Giants win for the 15th time in 18 games.

Gardner, who missed his previous scheduled start because of fatigue, allowed one run on four hits.

"We rested some guys today and got out of here taking two of three," Gardner said.

With a trip to the playoffs pretty much secure, the Giants rested Barry Bonds, Bill Mueller, J.T. Snow and Rich Aurilia.

Kent tripled leading off the second, Ellis Burks walked, Armando Rios singled in a run and Ramon Martinez hit a sacrifice fly.

Kent hit his 33rd homer leading off the fourth, giving him 474 RBIs in four seasons, one more than Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for the most RBIs in a four-year period by a second baseman.

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