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Giants feast on failures by D’backs

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – Bob Melvin could have used a few things last night against the San Francisco Giants:

A little more of Chad Tracy, fewer clowns and a whole lot less of the Giants.

In case you didn’t hear, Tracy collected a season high – tying four hits in Arizona’s 11-3 loss to the Giants, and Melvin, the Diamondbacks’ first-year manager, has this thing about clowns, who were at Bank One Ballpark to promote the circus coming to town.

Let’s just say wild wigs, whiteface and big red noses make Melvin a little uncomfortable.

But so did the Giants, who broke open a close game with seven runs in the ninth, and the Diamondbacks’ failure to capitalize on some key scoring chances midway through the game.

Arizona, which dropped 3 1/2 games behind the first-place San Diego Padres in the National League West, had runners at first and second in the fourth, but starting pitcher Brad Halsey (4-7) couldn’t lay down a bunt, and then Craig Counsell’s hit to the right side of the infield struck teammate Chris Snyder, ending the inning.

In the fifth, the Diamondbacks had the bases loaded with two outs on Jason Schmidt (6-3), but Luis Terrero, back from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Tucson, struck out after working the count full.

As for Tracy, the Diamondbacks’ first baseman, three of his four hits yesterday were doubles, tying a club record that has been achieved eight times.

After his 4-for-5 game, he is hitting .431 (28 for 65) in June.

The Giants took a 2-0 lead in the first off Halsey when Omar Vizquel singled, Lance Niekro doubled and Moises Alou drove them both in with a single to center.

Halsey quickly settled down after that, retiring the next eight batters he faced. And going into the fourth, he was pitching with the lead.

In the bottom of the third, Counsell hit a two-out solo home run to right field. His sixth homer extended his career high and ignited those behind him in the order.

Alex Cintron singled. Tracy singled. And Troy Glaus followed with a two-run double to the gap in left-center field to make it 3-2.

“We were kind of flat there for a while, and then Couns hits a home run, and we get a few more hits, and it looks like we’re in pretty good position,” Melvin said. “But then you’ve got to go back out there and hold, and we didn’t.”

The Giants turned the tables by loading the bases with no outs on Halsey in the fourth. They tied the score on Todd Linden’s ground-out double play and made it 4-3 on Mike Matheny’s RBI double.

After Arizona failed to counter despite putting five men on base in the fourth and fifth innings, the Giants padded their lead in the sixth, adding a run to make it 5-3.

Schmidt, meanwhile, was gaining steam, striking out five straight at one point . The Diamondbacks were still within reach, but San Francisco scored seven runs on six hits off three pitchers in the ninth to make it a rout.

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