LHP Noah Lowry pitched into the ninth inning to win his fourth straight start, and OF Moises Alou hit a three-run homer to lead San Francisco over visiting Philadelphia, 5-0, last night.
Lowry, utilizing his improved curveball, left after allowing OF Bobby Abreu's infield single with two outs in the ninth.
Appearing disappointed to be removed, he tipped his cap to the crowd, which booed Manager Felipe Alou's decision. RHP LaTroy Hawkins struck out OF Pat Burrell looking to end the game.
Moises Alou, the Giants' lone all-star this year, connected for his 14th homer of the season on the first pitch from RHP Jon Lieber in the third, a shot to left on a misty Bay Area night.
The Phillies entered play with a narrow lead in the NL wild-card race, but managed little offense against Lowry as they began a crucial 12-game, 14-day road trip, their longest of the season.
Lowry retired his first seven batters before C Mike Lieberthal lined a single to left. The Phillies loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs, but Lowry struck out 2B Chase Utley and got 3B David Bell to ground into an inning-ending double play.
[See box score, page E6.]
* BALDWIN IS BACK: The Orioles reacquired RHP James Baldwin, claiming him off waivers from the Rangers. Baldwin excelled in long relief for Baltimore before being designated for assignment July 18 while the Orioles were in negotiations to acquire RHP A.J. Burnett in a trade with Florida. The trade was never completed, and Texas claimed Baldwin off waivers.
Baldwin went 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA in eight games in Texas. He was designated for assignment Aug. 16.
For the Orioles, he posted a 1.61 ERA in 12 relief appearances.
To make room for Baldwin on the 40-man roster, Baltimore transferred OF Eli Marrero to the 60-day disabled list.
* BIGBIE OUT: Rockies OF Larry Bigbie was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained Achilles' tendon. Bigbie was traded to Colorado from the Orioles on July 29.
* DECISION ON DUKE: No Pirates starting pitcher has started his rookie season the way LHP Zach Duke has. The question now is what kind of finish he will have. Duke takes a 6-0 record and 1.87 ERA into his 10th career start, when he faces the Cardinals at PNC Park tonight.
Whether Duke will keep pitching past that start is a question the Pirates have not yet answered. The left-hander has pitched a career high 1652/3 innings while going a combined 18-3 with Pittsburgh and Class AAA Indianapolis.
Management doesn't want to risk an arm injury by pitching him more innings than he has pitched before.
"From a physical standpoint, he looks to be okay, but you can't deny that he's going into uncharted territory," Manager Lloyd McClendon said.
-- From News Services