Bonds returns to lineup and wins game
Barry Bonds eased all the concerns about his health with one sweet swing.
The slugger, hospitalized overnight for exhaustion, hit a two-run, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 2-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.
On Sunday, Bonds was scratched from the lineup minutes before the first pitch and stayed overnight in the hospital to have his vital signs monitored after showing signs of being drained as a result of his father's recent death.
''I just had problems with my heart and chest,'' said Bonds, 39. ''I couldn't get around it. It was just safer for me to go there than to try to play.''
He said he felt fine throughout Monday's game, and didn't have his vital signs monitored. Bonds left Saturday night's game in the eighth inning after homering off Randy Johnson earlier in the contest because his heartbeat rose to more than twice its normal rate and he had trouble breathing.
Bobby Bonds died Aug. 23 at age 57 after being ill for nearly a year with lung cancer and a brain tumor.
Manager Felipe Alou penciled his star slugger into the cleanup spot Monday before speaking to him.
''He's a guy who calls his own shots,'' Alou said before the game. ''He's a guy with 600 home runs -- 660 now -- and he probably wants to play and continue his quest for the record.''
Bonds was hitless in three at-bats against Curt Schilling, but lined a 1-0 pitch off Mike Myers just to the left of the mound and into the outfield, driving in two runs.
''Don't leave it up to me,'' Bonds said. ''I don't like to play overtime.''
Sidney Ponson (3-3) worked eight innings for the victory and Tim Worrell pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.
Oscar Villarreal (7-6) walked Eric Young and allowed singles to J.T. Snow and Marquis Grissom without getting an out before Myers came in.
Schilling gave up five hits and struck out 10 in eight innings -- his ninth game in double-digits this year and 86th of his career.
''He pitched as good as he can possibly pitch,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said, disgusted with another poor offensive showing. ''If it sounds familiar, it's because I've said it about a million times in the last month -- he pitched well enough to win.''
Cubs 7, Cardinals 0
Mark Prior scattered five hits over eight innings for his sixth straight win as Chicago beat St. Louis in the rain-delayed opener of a five-game series between the NL Central rivals.
Prior (14-5), 6-0 since coming off the disabled list Aug. 5, also hit an RBI single in the Cubs' six-run fifth-inning outburst against Woody Williams (14-7). Prior struck out eight in a game delayed 4 hours, 17 minutes at Wrigley Field.
The loss moved St. Louis into a first-place tie in the NL Central with Houston, which beat Los Angeles on Monday night. The third-place Cubs are 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals and Astros.
Marlins 5, Expos 2
At Miami, Ivan Rodriguez capped a seventh-inning comeback with a go-ahead single, and Florida took sole possession of the lead in the NL wild-card race, completing their first four-game series sweep since May 1996.
Florida moved a game ahead of Philadelphia, and has won 11 of their last 12 against NL East teams.
Astros 10, Dodgers 1
Jeff Kent hit a grand slam and had six RBIs as Houston moved into a tie for the NL Central lead with a victory at Los Angeles.
Kent went 3-for-5, including his 10th career slam, and Brad Ausmus also homered and drove in two runs. Craig Biggio and Geoff Blum each had three hits in an 18-hit attack for the Astros, who are tied with St. Louis for the division lead.
Wade Miller (12-11) won for the fourth time in five decisions.
Mets 3, Braves 2
At New York, Timo Perez hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the seventh off Trey Hodges (3-3) as the last-place Mets beat NL East-leading Atlanta for just the sixth time in 17 meetings.
Dan Wheeler (1-2) got his first major league win since beating Texas for Tampa Bay on May 23, 2001. David Weathers got five outs for his sixth save, ending New York's three-game losing streak.
Red Sox 13, Phillies 9
Trot Nixon capped a six-run ninth with a grand slam as Boston rallied to win at Philadelphia.
Nixon went 3-for-4 with a career-high six RBIs for the Red Sox, who moved within one game of idle Seattle for the AL wild card. Byung-Hyun Kim (6-4) pitched the final 1 2-3 innings for the win in the makeup from a June 20 game that was rained out.
The Phillies, who fell a half-game behind Florida in the NL wild-card standings, took a 9-7 lead in the eighth, but the Red Sox rallied against Jose Mesa (5-7).