The Arizona Diamondbacks went into Los Angeles on Friday with a two game lead over the Dodgers in the National League West and a two game lead over the Giants. After taking two of three from the Dodgers to complete their last home stand, the Diamondbacks dropped the first two games in San Francisco, but bounced back to take the last two and salvage a split in the important series.
Curt Schilling improved his record to a sparkling 9-1 in the 14-3 Arizona win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 24.
Schilling gave up a first inning home run to the red-hot Shawn Green, but left after seven with a 14-1 lead. Junior Spivey had three hits for the Diamondbacks including a first inning homer. Craig Counsell, Luis Gonzalez, Damian Miller, Tony Womack and Schilling all had two hits for the winners.
Green hit two homers off Rick Helling in the 10-5 Dodgers victory in the second game of the series. It was a grand slam by Dave Roberts following a walk to pitcher Alan Ashby in the second that did the most damage. The Diamondbacks failure to capitalize on a golden opportunity in the first inning came back to haunt the team. Arizona had the bases loaded and no outs, but scored only a single run.
The Diamondbacks took a 10-9 decision over the Dodgers in the final game of the home stand. Both teams had pitching disappointments as Kevin Brown left after the first inning after giving up four runs to the Diamondbacks. Randy Johnson couldn’t hold that four run lead and left after five trailing 7-4. He gave up three home runs. The Diamondbacks came back to take a 9-7 lead, but B. K. Kim couldn’t hold that lead as the Dodgers tied the game and sent it into extra inning. Counsell had five hits to pace the Diamondbacks. Miller and Womack each had three hits. The hero, though, was David Dellucci, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter and wound up getting two hits including the game-winner.
The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 7-3 on Memorial Day in the opener of a four game series. Brian Anderson surrendered home runs to Reggie Sanders and Barry Bonds and the Diamondbacks were ineffective at the plate against Livan Hernandez.
Miguel Batista pitched the best game of the season by a Diamondback starter, but did not get the victory in Arizona’s 1-0 loss to the Giants in the second game of the season. Batista allowed only a two out single by Giants starter Jason Schmidt in the third inning.
That was the only base runner for the Giants except for a Barry Bonds walk until Batista was out of the game in the fateful tenth.
Relievers Mike Myers and Bret Prinz did not retire any of the three batters they faced and San Francisco won the game on a Benito Santiago single. Arizona missed a golden scoring opportunity in the seventh when they failed to score after loading the bases with only one out.
Curt Schilling became the first 10 game winner in the majors with a 7-3 victory over the Giants on Wednesday. He allowed only three hits on his way to the win. Counsell led the Diamondback attack with three hits. Mark Grace, Womack, Miller and Schilling all had two hits.
Rick Helling turned in the best game of his career with the Diamondbacks in a 1-0 win over the Giants in the series finale on Thursday. He scattered four hits over eight innings before turning the game over to B. K. Kim. Luis Gonzalez homered for the only run of the game.
A sparkling and rare double play in the bottom of the ninth saved the victory. Counsell took a ground ball, looked the runner back to second and threw to Grace for the first out of the inning. The speedy Giant runner broke with the throw, but shortstop Womack had anticipated the move and raced to cover third where he took Grace’s throw and applied the tag to complete the double play.
The Diamondbacks spent the weekend in Los Angeles in a three game set with the Dodgers, then returned to Bank One Ballpark for three games with the Houston Astros starting on Monday and ending tonight (June 5).
The team will take Thursday off and fly to Boston for a three game set with the Red Sox over the weekend.
The road trip will conclude with three games in Yankee Stadium in a World Series rematch with the New York Yankees on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
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