Bucs haunted by Bonds
Former Pirates slugger belts two homers in series opener
PITTSBURGH -- The San Francisco Giants got two home runs and four RBIs from Barry Bonds and sent the Pirates reeling to their fourth loss in a row with an 8-5 victory in front of 22,117 fans on Friday night at PNC Park.
The Pirates had been receiving some outstanding starting pitching of late, but that came to an end as lefty Zach Duke lasted only two innings and gave up seven runs on seven hits. Duke absorbed the loss and fell to 1-1 on the season. The two innings matched the shortest stint of his career. Twice before he has lasted only two frames.
"It was just a tough night tonight for Zach," Pirates manager Jim Tracy explained. "He just could not get himself on track. The game didn't start very good. The leadoff walk and then an 0-2 base hit and then as the inning unfolded -- there was a chance to get ourselves out of that with some damage, but minimal damage not a five spot. The game just got away from us in the first couple of innings."
Giants right-hander Russ Ortiz logged his first win since August 2005. Ortiz pitched 8 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits. He evened his record at 1-1.
"I think seven runs helped Ortiz a lot," Tracy stated. "I think the fact that we spotted him seven runs in the first two innings and allowed him to relax and not feel like he had to be completely fine with each and every pitch that he threw. To his credit I think his cutter tonight was effective."
The Giants jumped on Duke for a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Barry Bonds delivered an RBI single. Ray Durham came through with an RBI double. Third baseman Pedro Feliz stroked an RBI double. Ortiz completed the Giants' uprising with a two-run double down the left-field line.
Duke shouldered the responsibility for the lackluster outing.
"I stunk tonight," Duke said. "I was bad, there's not a lot that was positive. Basically, I'm going to put this one out of my mind and move on to the next one. It was pretty much everything, obviously the fastball command wasn't there. Neither was the offspeed stuff."
The Pirates came right back in the bottom of the first inning against Ortiz. Freddy Sanchez collected a sacrifice fly to right, knocking in Jack Wilson. Jason Bay smacked an RBI double driving in Adam LaRoche and cutting the Giants' lead to 5-2.
In the second inning, Duke became the 436th different pitcher to surrender a home run to Bonds, who lined a two-run shot into the right-field stands. It was home run No. 3 three for Bonds on the season. The Bonds shot staked the Giants to a 7-2 lead. Bonds connected off Bucs right-hander Shawn Chacon for a solo shot in the fourth inning, upping the Giants lead to 8-2. It was the 70th career multi-homer game for Bonds. He is second only to Babe Ruth in that category. It was also career home run No. 737 for Bonds.
Tracy wasn't surprised by Bonds outburst.
"I've seen that before. I've seen that before more than once," Tracy said.
The Pirates tagged Ortiz for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Chris Duffy hit a three-run home run, his first home run of the season.
The lone bright spot for the Pirates was the bullpen, which gave up only one run in seven innings of work.
"Shawn Chacon was terrific," Tracy opined. "As was Damaso Marte, Juan Perez got out the ninth inning with a zero. That's not easy to do with four walks, but somehow he did it. But when you consider the fact that the bullpen pitched seven innings and gave up one run -- that's an admirable performance."
George Von Benko is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.