07/06/2003 8:30 PM ET
Giants, Snow storm back for win
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
SAN DIEGO -- A rolling stone gathers no moss. Sunday's starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants gathered little momentum.
Manager Felipe Alou had hoped left-hander Damian Moss might correct some control problems when he was held out of his last start. It didn't happen. Moss, who has now walked 57 batters, added six more and a hit batter to the list against the Padres at Qualcomm Stadium in what turned out to be a 3-2 Giants victory.
Alou, though, said he saw some good things from Moss, declaring the Australian left-hander back in the rotation, at least for the time being.
"He still got wild a few times, but he threw the ball harder," Alou said. "His fastball was harder and he had a better changeup than the last few outings. We shut him down for 10 days and he hadn't pitched one inning in all of those days. It was a two-way problem. We wanted him to work and then we didn't use him.
"But he was fine. To me, he's back. That's the way I look at it."
The Giants (53-34) won it in the ninth, fashioning a single run off a pair of Padres relievers. The Giants had three singles in the inning, the first two off loser Luther Hackman (2-2). The decisive blow was an RBI single by J.T. Snow, coming off left-hander Mike Matthews. Snow was the only batter he faced and the lefty-swinging Snow took advantage of the situation.
Yorvit Torrealba and pinch-hitter Neifi Perez singled off Hackman with one out, putting runners on first and second.
"He [Matthews] threw me two fastballs and I was pretty much sitting on a slider. I didn't think he'd throw me three fastballs," Snow said. "I just tried to tell myself to take the ball back up the middle. I hit it and we won the game. End of story."
Felix Rodriguez (5-0) faced only two batters in the eighth inning and earned the win for the Giants. Tim Worrell retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth for his 20th save.
The Giants continued their mastery over the Padres, having won seven of the nine games between the two teams this season. The Giants are 5-1 against the Padres in San Diego, including two wins in this just-concluded three-game series. They finished 5-2 on a seven-game road trip and now go home for two games against the Cardinals at Pacific Bell Park on Monday night and Tuesday afternoon.
The Giants then play two at Colorado and three at Arizona before the July 14 All-Star break.
"When you look at the past few weeks we've played some pretty good teams with some pretty good pitching," said shortstop Rich Aurilia, who hit his eighth homer of the season leading off the sixth inning against Padres starter Brian Lawrence, tying the score 2-2 at the time. "It's pretty good to come out of it the way we have."
Moss, though, couldn't make it out of the fifth inning, but he averted disaster because the Padres couldn't generate more than two runs from three Moss-created bases-loaded situations. They left seven baserunners during the first five innings, including jammed sacks in the fifth when Jim Brower came on to bail out Moss and get the last out.
Moss, who walked in one run before he left in the fifth, said he felt rusty Sunday. He hadn't pitched since June 25. Moss started a 7-6 loss to the Dodgers at San Francisco when he allowed five runs and eight hits in two innings.
"It was 10 days off and I was working on stuff," Moss said. "I look at today as a step in the right direction. This is going to take some time. You get into these situations where you start throwing wrong and you get into bad habits. It's easy to get into bad habits and it's tough to break them."
It was Brower who took Moss' last start July 1 at St. Louis and pitched six innings of five-hit, one-run ball in a Giants win. Alou was expecting a lot out of Moss, who was obtained from Atlanta last December in a trade for Russ Ortiz.
But Moss remains 7-6 with an ERA that declined marginally in the game to 4.87.
"It's still one of those things where it's a work in progress," Moss said. "There were a lot of positive things I can take out of today and work to get better at."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.