Bonds steals the show as Giants beat LA

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

SAN FRANCISCO - In one thrilling trip around the bases, Barry Bonds blended history with victory - and he did it without hitting the ball.

Bonds stole his 500th base moments before scoring the winning run in the 11th inning of the San Francisco Giants' 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night.

Everything happened quickly after Bonds drew a walk in a tense showdown with Dodgers closer Eric Gagne. After watching Gagne's slow delivery, Bonds stole second without a throw - but until the sellout crowd's cheers swelled to a roar, Bonds didn't realize he had just founded the 500-500 club.

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''Gagne's one of the best closers you'll ever see,'' said Bonds, who uprooted the base and tipped his hat. ''I thought about (stealing second) because you never know if you're going to get another chance against him. When I got to second base, my only thought was that we had a chance to win.''

After Andres Galarraga struck out, Benito Santiago singled to left and Bonds sprinted home ahead of the throw. Just like that, the Giants reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NL West.

Bonds, who also hit his 500th homer against the Dodgers on April 18, 2001, became the first player with 500 homers and 500 stolen bases. No other player even has 400 apiece.

''Now is not the time to talk about 500-500,'' Bonds said. ''I'm exhausted.''

All the drama in the latest meeting between the California archrivals occurred in the late innings. Los Angeles tied it with two unearned runs in the ninth against Giants closer Tim Worrell, but Bonds manufactured a run that recalled the younger, speedier days of the active home run king.

Bonds was hitless in his first four at-bats before becoming the 36th player to steal 500 bases. Bonds even got a visit from his cancer-stricken father, Bobby, in the clubhouse before the game.

Gagne (1-2), the Dodgers' hard-throwing closer, got a 98-mph fastball past Bonds, but he didn't get the call on a 3-2 pitch that angered the Dodgers' bench.

With first base open following Bonds' steal, the Dodgers curiously decided to pitch to Santiago, who singled to left. Bonds sprinted home to wrap up the Giants' fourth straight home victory.

Diamondbacks 7, Astros 6

Luis Gonzalez broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run triple, Quinton McCracken added a bases-loaded triple, and Arizona held off Houston in the ninth for its season-high sixth straight victory.

After the Astros rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth to cut it to 7-6, Brady Raggio retired Richard Hidalgo on a grounder with two on for his first career save.

Expos 3, Pirates 0

Rookie Claudio Vargas allowed three hits in eight innings and Edwards Guzman hit his first homer in nearly two years, leading Montreal past visiting Pittsburgh.

Making his 11th start since he was recalled from Triple-A Edmonton on April 24, Vargas (4-3) allowed two singles and a double.

Rockies 5, Padres 1

At San Diego, Colorado's Shawn Chacon became the NL's first 11-game winner with his second win in five days against the Padres.

Chacon (11-3) held San Diego to four hits in seven innings to win his third straight start and seventh of eight. He tied his season high with eight strikeouts and walked one.