Homer-happy Giants top D-Backs
SF gets six long balls, including two from Feliz, one for Schmidt
PHOENIX -- Thunderstorms are frequent in the summer here, with dazzling light shows and electricity dancing in the air, but the booms emanating from Chase Field on Monday night were strictly man-made.By Giants, no less. What a way to start a road trip for struggling San Francisco, as the club socked six homers -- including a surprising solo shot by winning pitcher Jason Schmidt (9-7) and a pair of blasts by Pedro Feliz -- in an 8-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. For the Giants, it was their second straight victory and third win in the last five games, a huge turnaround following a dreadful nine-game losing streak that put them in the National League West basement. But maybe now they can see light peeking through the cellar door as they prepare for nine more games on this perilous journey through the division. "We can even do better than that," said Feliz of the balls rocketing into the stands. The third sacker awakened his slumbering offense -- .147 over his last 14 games -- with his two homers that highlighted San Francisco's 12-hit attack, the second consecutive dozen-hit contest. "Today was a good night for us and we looked much better in there," he said. "It was fun and everybody was happy because we were winning. It's good to see everybody that way. I don't know why we hit well here -- maybe we're lucky." The barrage of homers helped Schmidt overcome an early three-run deficit and snapped a seven-game road losing streak for the Giants, buoying the spirits in the clubhouse on a fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, 100 degree-plus day in the Valley of the Sun. "Definitely a good time to get hot?" Feliz was asked. "It's hot here in Arizona," he quipped. "We win the last game at home and win here, I think it'll give us more energy. It's different when you're winning than when you lose, so we've just got to keep it going." Speaking of winning, Schmidt's amazing streak against the Diamondbacks just keeps rolling along like a desert tumbleweed, no barbed-wire fence in sight to stop it. The right-hander is 11-0 with a 2.61 ERA over his last 15 starts vs. Arizona dating back to May 21, 2003, although he's had his statistical troubles this season, often due to lack of run support, the veteran receiving the second-lowest support among NL hurlers at 3.94 runs per game. So what does Schmidt do Monday? Slam his first homer of the season to start the seventh inning. It was, in the end, a good game for Schmidt, even if he hit three batters, a rarity for the 33-year-old pitcher. "My last six ABs, I was wondering if I'd ever make contact with the ball again," said Schmidt. "I was swinging and the ball would disappear every time. [On the homer] the ball just hit my bat, no doubt about it. Every time I get a hit it's lucky, but I'll definitely take it. On the hit batters, an unusual event. "It sure was," said Schmidt, who plunked leadoff batter Eric Byrnes in the first, then Conor Jackson in the fifth and seven frames. "I don't know what was going on there. Everything kept sailing on me -- sailing, sailing, sailing. I threw a curveball to the last guy and must have tried to throw the greatest curveball of my life -- went against everything I've been taught -- and it flipped off the top of my hand." Still, the Force is always with Schmidt at Chase Field. Always has been, even though he admits every game here is a struggle. Monday's was at the start, with the D-Backs getting two RBIs hit by Chad Tracy and a Luis Gonzalez run-producing double to give the hosts a 3-1 lead that they held through four innings. The Giants narrowed the gap to 3-2 when Feliz hit his first homer off Arizona starter Enrique Gonzalez in the fifth, then broke it open with a four-run sixth, featuring Moises Alou's mammoth, 418-foot, two-run homer plus Ray Durham's blast and another blow by Feliz off losing pitcher Jeff Bajenaru (0-1). "They give me a battle every time," said Schmidt of the Diamondbacks. "The biggest factor for me is we swing the bats really well here. We've had some horrendous games here and come back and tied it and win despite what I've done."
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.