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Baseball

Feliz finds niche without Bonds

By wire services
Published June 8, 2004

DENVER - Pedro Feliz's struggles batting behind Barry Bonds earlier this series forced manager Felipe Alou to move him around in the order.

On a day Bonds sat out of the lineup, Feliz found his stroke.

Feliz homered twice and Yorvit Torrealba hit a three-run homer that staked San Francisco to a five-run lead in the first inning of the Giants' 10-5 win over the Rockies on Monday.

Pinch-hitter Damon Minor singled home the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning. The Giants won three of four and sent Colorado to its fifth series loss at Coors Field this season.

Feliz homered in the eighth and hit a two-run homer in the ninth for his 10th and 11th home runs. He had his third career multihomer game and second this season.

"I made an adjustment," said Feliz, who went 0-for-5 and stranded eight runners hitting behind Bonds in Saturday's 11-2 loss. "I was trying to do too much. I was more patient the last few at-bats. I feel very good."

It was Denver's hottest June 7 ever - breaking a 130-year-old record. The temperature at first pitch was 93 degrees. It quickly climbed to 98.

That was one of the reasons Bonds didn't start for the Giants, though he did draw an intentional walk as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. He played the first three games of the series in leftfield, including Sunday's day game that followed a night game, something he rarely did last season.

The six-time MVP has 674 homers and 16 this season heading into interleague play. The Giants conclude their seasonlong 14-game road trip with three games each at Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

"The toughest part is over. I'm not talking team-wise, I'm talking four-game series," Alou said, referring also to a four-game set at Arizona that kicked off the trip.

"It's very tough to play four games in the same place. Nobody likes four-game sets."

Alou was happy to hear Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella plans to pitch to Bonds - unless it's "a game-winning situation in the late innings," Piniella said.

Bonds will be the designated hitter in the upcoming games, but there's a chance he will return to San Francisco later this week for a day to attend the funeral of the mother of one of his closest childhood friends. He said after the game he didn't know what his schedule will be, but he was headed out on the team charter to Florida.

Jim Brower pitched the sixth as four relievers combined for four hitless innings. San Francisco beat the Rockies for the sixth time in seven games this season.

"It was a tough series in Arizona," Brower said of the Giants' three losses. "The hitters came up huge today. We struggled as a bullpen until today."

CARDINALS 4, CUBS 3: Scott Rolen made up for the absence of Albert Pujols with a three-run homer, and Chris Carpenter had another solid outing to lead visiting St. Louis. Carpenter tied his career best with his sixth straight win, giving up three runs and nine hits in 81/3 innings with six strikeouts and no walks. Reggie Sanders also homered for the Cardinals, who have won 10 of their past 12 games.

[Last modified June 8, 2004, 01:20:08]


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