Shinjo Throws Off Expos
Tsuyoshi Shinjo’s sensational throw was the talk of the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse.
Shinjo threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the eighth inning after Jeff Kent’s run-scoring double gave the Giants the lead in the top half of the inning, and San Francisco defeated the Montreal Expos, 3-2, Saturday night before the largest Olympic Stadium crowd since opening day.
“That’s one of the best plays of the year so far,” said catcher Benito Santiago, who caught the center fielder’s one-hop throw from right and tagged out Troy O’Leary to protect the Giants’ one-run lead.
With 29,778 on hand for a discount tickets and hot dogs promotion, San Francisco overcame a 2-1 deficit on Rich Aurilia’s run-scoring single against Britt Reames (0-1) and Kent’s double.
O’Leary singled with one out in the bottom half and tried to score on Fernando Tatis’ double off the right-field wall. The ball bounced away from Marvin Benard, but Shinjo, backing up Benard, retrieved the ball.
“I didn’t say anything to Marvin. He told me, ‘Home! Home! Home!’” Shinjo said.
From deep right field, Shinjo threw a one-hopper to Santiago, who tagged out O’Leary as he slid short of the plate.
“My mouth was just open,” Benard said. “You expect a guy to throw the ball, but to the cutoff man. You don’t expect him to just launch it all the way like that, so you’ve just got to sit there and say, ‘Where’d it go?’”
Shinjo’s play drew praise from Expo Manager--and Hall of Fame outfielder--Frank Robinson.
“That’s exactly what you’re supposed to do,” Robinson said. “He did it, though, that’s the thing. A lot of outfielders will stand and be spectators in that situation, but he did what you practice doing. The center fielder is supposed to break as soon as the ball is hit and he did that tonight and made an outstanding throw.”
San Francisco won its 10th in 12 games. Robb Nen pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
The Expos’ biggest crowd since 34,351 attended their season-opening 7-6 victory over Florida didn’t get to see Barry Bonds play. Bonds was rested for the second of San Francisco’s three games on the stadium’s artificial surface.
Atlanta 6, San Diego 1--Slumping Javy Lopez hit a grand slam and a double at Atlanta to drive in a career-high five runs.
Right-hander Jason Marquis (2-2), activated from the disabled list before the game, hit a home run.
Marquis (2-2) sat out nearly a month because of a sore pitching shoulder. He labored through five innings, walking three and throwing 101 pitches. He gave up one run and three hits.
Lopez ended a three-for-36 slump in helping the Braves win their third in a row.
Pittsburgh 4, Houston 2--Josh Fogg (5-1) gave up four hits in seven innings at Pittsburgh.
Fogg withstood Lance Berkman’s 14th homer and a game-long steady rain. He struck out and walked none.
Houston has lost a season-high five in a row and has been held to four runs in its last three games.
New York 4, Colorado 3--Joe McEwing hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning against Mike Hampton at New York and the Mets ended a six-game losing streak.
Hampton (1-5)--booed much of the afternoon--couldn’t hold a 3-1 lead. He is 6-16 since last year’s All-Star break.
Cincinnati 8, St. Louis 1--Juan Encarnacion hit a two-run single and Corky Miller had a two-run double in the Reds’ four-run third inning against Darryl Kile (1-3) at Cincinnati.
Miller later hit a home run and finished with three runs batted in.
Milwaukee at Chicago--The game was postponed because of rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sept. 2.