Rewind: Giants vs. Padres, Game #2

Alfonzo hits his ninth homer of the season

San Francisco starter Kirk Rueter entered Wednesday night's game against the San Diego Padres riding a winless streak of better than three months. Rueter took four losses during that stretch and saw his ERA rise by over a run and a half. However, as he sought to solidify his status as the third starter on the Giants' potential postseason roster, he returned to form against San Diego with his eighth win of the season.

September 10, 2003 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
San Francisco 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 7 10 0
San Diego 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 1

WP K. Rueter (8-5) 6 1/3IP 5H 1R 1ER 0BB 0SO 1HR 4.75 ERA
LP B. Lawrence (8-15) 6IP 9H 5R 5ER 1BB 3SO 2HR 4.37 ERA

Rueter was staked to a generous lead before throwing a single pitch, as the Giants batted around and scored four times in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Ray Durham sparked flashbacks of his first at-bat in a San Francisco uniform, homering off of San Diego starter Brian Lawrence to re-enact his Opening Day feat. Three batters later, with nobody on base, Barry Bonds smoked a double into the left field gap and then scored on Edgardo Alfonzo's two-out single. Benito Santiago followed Alfonzo's base hit with a single to right, putting runners at the corners for Marquis Grissom. Grissom, a career .100 hitter against Lawrence, drove a 2-2 pitch on the outside corner to the opposite field and over the head of right fielder Xavier Nady for a two-out, two-run double.

The Giants threatened again in the third, putting men at first and third with one out, but Marquis Grissom lined into a double play to get Lawrence out of the inning unscored upon. They did not push another run across the board until the sixth, when Jose Cruz, Jr. connected for his 18th home run of the season, a two-out solo shot over the wall in right field.

Rueter cruised through six, showing signs of the pinpoint control he'd lacked in his more recent starts. He pitched beautifully as he allowed four hits but ultimately faced only two batters over the minimum, inducing two double plays to help his cause. The Padres finally got on the board in the seventh as Phil Nevin drove Rueter's 94th pitch of the night deep to center field for a solo home run, chasing Rueter from the game.

The Giants erased the damage in the eighth against reliever Joe Roa, as Alfonzo hit his second two-run home run in as many games against the Padres to make the score 7-1. Joe Nathan, Jason Christiansen, and rehabbing starter Dustin Hermanson closed it out for San Francisco with 2 2/3 of hitless baseball, securing a sorely needed victory for Rueter and ensuring a series win for the Giants.

SFDugout's Player of the Game: Kirk Rueter. He rebounded from a stretch of unimpressive starts, giving up only one run over 6 1/3 innings to improve his ERA from 4.99 to 4.82. He surrendered just five hits without walking a batter, throwing 57 of his 94 pitches for strikes and never allowing more than one baserunner in an inning.



Stephanie Moy is a diehard Giants fan, born and raised in San Francisco. She loves hearing feedback - good, bad, or otherwise - so if you're so obliged, contact her at a_hole_in_the_bucket@hotmail.com

The views expressed in the columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site's publisher, writers, or other staff members. The content on this site may not be redistributed without the expressed consent of SFDugout.com.

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