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Giants Hand A's Rare Home Loss


Barry Bonds beat out a bunt single to get himself going again. Then, it was back to his old slugging self.

Bonds, who began the day in an 0-16 skid and was dropped from third to fifth in the batting order for the first time in three years, hit a three-run double in a six-run eighth inning as San Francisco rallied past Oakland 7-2 Saturday.

The Giants snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided being swept in a three-game interleague series for the first time.

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  • San Francisco manager Dusty Baker decided to try the hot-hitting J.T. Snow in the third spot and moved the struggling Bonds two spots down.

    "I guess today he was just trying to hide me, as bad as I've been doing," said Bonds, who bunted for a single when he caught Oakland in an exaggerated infield shift, ending an 0-17 slump.

    "I still got up in a situation with the bases loaded and I think I concentrate more with men in scoring position," said Bonds, limited to 37 games this season because of elbow and groin problems. "The ball I hit was something up. I don't know what it was. You know, I haven't had too many hits lately."

    Oakland lost Billy Taylor during the Giants' rally when Bill Mueller's line drive struck the A's closer near his forehead.

    The impact knocked Taylor down and he lay on the mound for several moments before getting up on his own. He left the game with a small laceration and some swelling above his right eye.

    "Everything is fine," Taylor said afterward. "I'll be sore and I'll probably have a black eye, but there's no dizziness."

    Taylor said he managed to get his glove up at the last instant, deflecting the ball slightly.

    "If I didn't get it up, it could have been bad," Taylor said. "I just lay there trying to collect my thoughts and make sure everything was all right."

    Mueller said he was relieved Taylor wasn't seriously hurt.

    "I'm just glad it worked out that he's able to come back tomorrow," he said.

    Kirk Rueter (8-4) pitched seven strong innings, weathering Jason Giambi's third hmer in as many days to pick up the victory. Rueter allowed two runs and six hits while striking out four and walking one.

    Oakland starter Tim Hudson took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, but walked F.P. Santangelo. Hudson was relieved by Buddy Groom (2-2), who gave up a single to Snow. Tim Worrell then came on and walked Jeff Kent to load the bases and A's manager Art Howe called on Taylor to face Bonds, who then delivered the key blow.

    "We were hoping to get Kent and mess around with Bonds, not pitch to him," Howe said. "But with the bases loaded we had no choice. We were caught between a rock and a hard place."

    Bonds grounded out in his first at-bat, but ended his hitless string in the fourth with a bunt single in face of the A's infield shift.

    "I'll do that all day if it's there," Bonds said. "But I could go back into a slump tomorrow. It's baseball. It happens to everybody."

    Ellis Burks followed with a single and Mueller then hit the liner back up the middle that felled Taylor, who blew his fifth save.

    Doug Jones replaced Taylor and San Francisco added a run on catcher Ramon Hernandez's throwing error and Brent Mayne's RBI double.

    Rich Aurilia singled to lead off the third, and after Mayne struck out, Marvin Benard doubled off the center field wall to score him and give the Giants an early lead.

    Matt Stairs and Ramon Hernandez added successive two-out doubles for Oakland's second run.

    Notes:

  • The game drew a crowd of 51,263, a new Oakland Coliseum baseball record. It surpassed the 50,916 for a July 3 fireworks game against Anaheim.
  • Hudson pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He struck out six and walked four.
  • Dusty Baker managed his 999th game for the Giants and Sunday at Texas will join Roger Craig (1,152) as the only San Francisco managers to reach the 1,000-game mark.
  • The Giants are 6-3 in series finales when they are facing a three-game sweep. They also evened the regular-season series with the A's at 7-7.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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