Guzman, McDonald make immediate impacts

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 7, 2000

The Associated Press

The Arizona Diamondbacks found a carpenter who can pitch, and the St.

Friday, July 07, 2000

Email newsletter signup

The Arizona Diamondbacks found a carpenter who can pitch, and the St. Louis Cardinals might have found another Big Mac.

Geraldo Guzman scattered four hits for eight innings in his major league debut, leading the Diamondbacks to a 2-1 victory Thursday night and a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

St. Louis’ Keith McDonald became the second player in major league history to homer in his first two at-bats when he connected in the second inning against Cincinnati’s Osvaldo Fernandez in a 12-6 loss.

Guzman (1-0), who left baseball in 1990, worked seven years as a carpenter in the Dominican Republic before resuming his playing career.

”From where he came from, I don’t think he felt this as pressure,” Arizona manager Buck Showalter said.

Guzman certainly didn’t appear awestruck – he struck out three and walked one.

”There was no reason to fear any type of situation – it was just a baseball game,” Guzman said through an interpreter. ”I was only trying to do what I know to do, keep the ball down and throw inside and outside.”

Guzman, 27, was released by Montreal in 1990, signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks last Nov. 12, started the season in Double-A and worked his way to his first major league game.

”I didn’t think I was ever going to be back in baseball,” Guzman said. ”I didn’t ever imagine something like this could happen.”

McDonald, 27, joined Bob Nieman of the St. Louis Browns as the only players to go deep in their first two at-bats. Nieman did it on Sept. 14, 1951, at Boston against the Red Sox, but McDonald homered over a span of two games.

Diamondbacks 2, Astros 1

Diamondbacks center fielder Steve Finley made a wall-crashing catch with two outs and a runner on second to help preserve the lead for Guzman in the eighth. Finley fell on the warning track, remained there for several minutes, but walked off the field.

Finley and Damian Miller drove in both of visiting Arizona’s runs on sacrifices off Chris Holt (3-10), who lost his fourth straight decision.

The Astros lost for the 11th time in 13 games.

Expos 4, Braves 2

Vladimir Guerrero went 3-for-5, including a three-run homer, and Jose Vidro also had three hits as Montreal beat Atlanta.

Atlanta, which has lost six of its last 10, saw its lead in the NL East over the idle New York Mets drop to 1 1/2 games.

Giants 6, Rockies 5

Jeff Kent’s tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth gave the Giants a four-game sweep of Colorado, which has lost 12 straight in San Francisco and have never won at Pacific Bell Park.

Kent doubled off the left-field wall against Stan Belinda, giving Giants manager Dusty Baker his 600th career win and giving San Francisco its sixth straight victory.

Dodgers 9, Padres 3

All-Star Kevin Brown (8-2) matched his career high with 12 strikeouts and allowed only four hits in eight innings at San Diego.

Brown retired 16 of 17 from the last out of the first inning through the sixth, including striking out the side in the fourth and fifth.

Adrian Beltre, Shawn Green and Todd Hundley homered for the Dodgers, who went deep eight times in winning two of three against the Padres.

Brewers 4, Phillies 2

Jose Hernandez and Tyler Houston each hit solo homers as Milwaukee snapped Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak.

Jeff D’Amico (4-4) gave up eight hits and two walks, but struck out three to help the Brewers snap their three-game losing streak and avoid being swept.

Paul Byrd (2-7) took the loss for the visiting Phillies.