Giants beat Mets with big first inning

June 3, 2008 8:44:49 AM PDT
For Bengie Molina, getting 1,000 hits means what 3,000 does to many others. Molina had three hits and reached the 1,000 mark, Brian Horwitz hit the first home run of his career with a two-run shot in the Giants' six-run first and Ray Durham also drove in three runs to help San Francisco beat the sluggish New York Mets 10-2 on Monday night.

"It means a lot to me," an emotional Molina said. "It's like most of the guys hitting 3,000. I know and understand I'm not a superstar. I'm not a Hall of Famer. But to get to 1,000 hits for a guy who wasn't supposed to sign and signed for $1,000 - $750 after taxes - for a guy who wasn't supposed to make in the minor leagues, for being the slowest guy in the world, to get 1,000 hits is really an honor for me. ... No scout in Puerto Rico gave me a chance to be a pro."

Molina singled in his first two at-bats to reach 1,000 and drove in a run in the first inning, when the Giants' six runs matched San Francisco's most in an inning this year.

Both Molina and Horwitz had special souvenir balls in their lockers. Horwitz had to trade a signed bat to get his home run ball back.

"I just put my head down and ran," Horwitz said. "I know this isn't a home run park and I don't have as much power as everybody. ... It's an out-of-body experience. I'm really enjoying it."

Randy Winn also homered with a leadoff drive in the first, when Aaron Rowand doubled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. Durham hit a two-run double in the initial inning as the Giants knocked New York starter Oliver Perez out after he got only one out, staking Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez to a comfortable cushion.

"It's been a while," manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's a great thing when you can get six in the first. We got some pitches to hit and took advantage of it."

Sanchez gave himself two more runs on his double off the right-field wall in the sixth, the second double of his career and his fourth hit overall. Horwitz added a seventh-inning sacrifice fly and Durham drew a bases-loaded walk that inning.

The Mets, who had won five of six, sure played like they were tired. After a night game Sunday back home at Shea Stadium, the team arrived in the Bay Area behind schedule, landing around 4:30 a.m. and getting settled into the team hotel an hour later.

The Mets will hope for a better showing Tuesday, when they welcome the return of Pedro Martinez to the mound in for his second start of 2008 after leaving his initial outing April 1 with a hamstring injury.

"You see it. This was my worst outing of my career," Perez said. "It's one of those days you want to forget."

Winn led off for the eighth time this year and hit a 3-2 pitch for his fifth homer - the first leadoff shot by a Giant this season, the 14th in Winn's career and ninth while with San Francisco.

Sanchez (4-3) struck out eight in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the second time this season. He allowed two runs, six hits and walked three.

"When we scored six, I was comfortable. I had no pressure," Sanchez said.

He has been working to use his breaking pitches more to get out of tough situations, which the left-hander did when he escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first. He allowed David Wright's two-out single before consecutive walks to Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church, but he got Fernando Tatis on a called third strike.

New York's Jose Reyes had an RBI double in the second to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. It was also the 33rd straight game he reached base.

Luis Castillo added a run-scoring single for the Mets.

Perez (4-4) was done after only 36 pitches for the shortest start of his career and gave way to Claudio Vargas, who happens to be the last starter San Francisco chased in the first inning - on Aug. 24 last year at Milwaukee. Perez had gone 1 2-3 innings three times.

"I always say that sometimes momentum is as good as your next-day pitcher and that's a classic example of it," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "Oliver had a horrible night. He didn't throw the ball well and couldn't get out of the inning."

His was the shortest outing by a Mets' starter since Tom Glavine lasted one-third of an inning on the final day of the 2007 season against Florida, when New York lost at home to the Marlins to miss the playoffs and lose the NL East title.