|June 12, 2003||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
LP B. Colon (6-6) 8 1/3IP 7H 7R 7ER 2BB 8SO 2HR 3.99 ERA
It's a battle of opposites at U.S. Cellular Field as lefty Kirk Rueter goes to the mound against righty Bartolo Colon. Rueter has had a great record against AL teams and on the road. It's finesse versus power as Woody looks to run his record to 8-1. Colon has been the White Sox's best starter, going 6-5.
The White Sox gave Rueter an early threat as Tony Graffanino singled to right field and Frank Thomas, who has had great success against left handed pitchers, hit his 14th season and 390th career jack into the stands. Magglio Ordonez doubled and stole third, but was stranded as Paul Konerko continued his struggle with a pop up to Jose Cruz, Jr., ending the threat for Rueter.
The Giants looked to keep it close in the top of the third when Pedro Feliz, playing at first base for the first time in his career because J.T. Snow and Andres Galarraga both caught the flu-like symptoms that was spreading around the Giants' clubhouse, jumped on the first pitch from Colon and had a stand up double. Edgardo Alfonzo grounded out to enable Feliz to move to third base, then Marvin Bernard grounded into another out, but Feliz scored on the play. Marquis Grissom beat out a throwing error by third baseman, Joe Crede, but was stranded when Neifi Perez flied out to end the inning.
The small gap between the two teams would not last for long. The Sox answered back in the bottom of the third as Rueter gave up walks to Thomas and Carlos Lee. Konerko singled, and with the bases loaded, Crede hit a ball through the hole between second and third base, scoring Thomas and Lee, and giving the Sox a comforting 1-4 lead.
The Giants didn't seem to be able to do anything against Colon as he retired every Giants player he faced, until the fifth inning, where Cruz hit his 10th jack into left field, a solo shot that closed the gap to 2-4.
After six innings, Joe Nathan relieved Rueter, who's chance at his eighth win was spoiled, and had a very satisfying two innings against the Sox, not giving up any more runs.
Colon was owning the Giants, including the three strikeouts on Barry Bonds swinging, and twice called on Ray Durham. The Sox looked like they had a good chance to win the game and the series, but they forgot that baseball has nine innings. The Giants didn't forget, and in the top of the ninth, the game turned all the way around in favor of the Giants.
To get the ninth inning started, Durham finally got a hit off Colon and singled into right center field. This brought up Bonds, who still had the three strikeouts of the day on his mind. Bonds smashed the first pitch he saw from Colon into the stands, a two-run roundtripper, and tied the game at four. Colon should have known better than to challenge Bonds after making Bonds swing to strikeout in his last three at-bats.
With the bases empty and still no outs, Benito Santiago singled and Cruz tried to bunt him over to second base, but was unsuccessful, getting Santiago out at second but Cruz was safe at first. Feliz followed with another single, which brought Alfonzo to the plate, where Colon was called for a balk that advanced the runners to second and third. To put the ground ball double play in order, Colon intentionally walked Alfonzo to load the bases. He received a nice ovation at U.S Cellular Field as left hander, Damaso Marte, came into the game for Colon to face the left handed hitting Bernard, who was on deck. Felipe Alou countered this call by sending up right hander Rich Aurilia to pinch hit. Aurilia was out of the starting line-up for the second day in a row because he has also been suffering from flu-like symptoms. Well, maybe Alou should have let all his players who had the flu virus play, because Richie smacked his second career grand slam into the left field bleachers. Both of Aurilia's grand slams were in interleague games.
A crazy fan in the stands may have helped his team lose the game by yelling at Aurilia while he was in the batter's box. Richie stepped out of the box, turned around, and winked at the fan after he heard him, then proceeded to smash a grand slam, giving the Giants a demanding lead, and eventually, the win. Didn't the fan learn anything from what the Tigers did just four days ago?
Tim Worrell came into the game to close out for Nathan and the Giants, giving up a lead off single, but then got a pop up out and a game ending 6-4-3 double play.
The Giants have not had a grand slam all season long coming into this series, but have now achieved back-to-back grand slamming days in Chicago. Since I'm in a great mood, I'll give Bartolo Colon a pat on the back for pitching a great game... but just a pat on the back, and nothing else.
SFDugout.com'S Player(s) of the Game: Barry Bonds showed that even the best players of the game can be overpowered by great pitchers, but he proved to us why he's still the greatest player in baseball today by not giving up and facing every challenge that was thrown at him (literally). Rich Aurilia, one of the victims of the flu bug, overlooked the sickness that was bothering him and delievered when he was asked to. It's one thing to jack a roundtripper, it's certainly another to jack one after striking out three times or to jack one while suffering from a flu virus. Ray Durham started the comeback rally for the Giants, and props to Pedro Feliz for doing a good job in his first time at first base. Joe Nathan and Tim Worrell provided good support from the bullpen, and the Giants' defense shone once again, proving to the White Sox why they are at top in the NL West and why they are one of the top three teams in the league.
Sara Kwan was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area. She currently writes game recaps, other articles, and is one of the Two Giant Prophets for SFDugout.com. Any comments or questions about the article, baseball, or the meaning of life can be sent to Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org