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Molina, Giants back on winning track


Molina, Giants back on winning track
DENVER There were shouts of joy, high fives and smiles all around in the Giants' postgame clubhouse Thursday.

But the Giants' good vibes weren't the result of Manny Ramirez's 50-game suspension and the impact it could have on the National League West race.

No, the Giants were simply happy to follow up a wretched game with a good one.

Bengie Molina hit two home runs and Matt Cain held the Colorado Rockies to one hit in six scoreless innings as the Giants won 8-3 at Coors Field.

It was the second time on this road trip that the Giants bounced back strong from a night loss to win in the daylight.

"It says we're ready to turn a corner, I think," said Molina, who drove in four runs and has 27 RBI in 27 games. "We just have to find a way to play like this every day. It won't be easy. It won't happen overnight. But you'll see. If we play this way, we'll be all right."

The Giants were less enthusiastic about Ramirez violating Baseball's anti-doping policy, even though his suspension certainly enhances their chances in the NL West and might prevent the Los Angeles Dodgers from running away with the division.

Instead, most players were saddened that another of Baseball's brightest stars had become sullied by the sport's never-ending steroids era.

"It's a very, very sad day for Baseball," Molina said. "I won't judge Manny. I'm sure he's pretty bummed. It's a sad day, and not just for Baseball, but for the man. Manny is a good guy."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Ramirez's suspension doesn't change his opinion that the Dodgers are the team to beat in the division. What confounded Bochy was how anyone could violate Baseball's anti-drug policy after all the drug education and warnings players receive.

"I don't get it," Bochy said. "These players know they're getting tested. ... But I'm not surprised. ... It's disappointing any time these players are getting caught. It's not good for the game and not good for the kids who look up to these players."

The Giants had reason to be giddy over Ramirez's suspension, especially after all the abuse the front office took from talk-show yakkers when the club didn't sign him this winter.

And what if they had? Considering their BALCO-stained past, it would've been a catastrophe of the first order.

"I haven't even thought about that," Bochy said. "I don't want to think about that."

From a more practical standpoint, the Dodgers are 19-6 against division opponents and took a 13-0 home record into their game against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. They have won seven of eight series against NL West teams the only exception being when they dropped two of three in San Francisco on April 27-29.

The Giants were swept in Los Angeles last month and know the importance of a better showing this weekend, Ramirez or no Ramirez.

They'll enter on a high note. On Thursday, the Giants hammered Jason Marquis, a pitcher who entered with a 4-1 record and 1.71 ERA in seven career starts against them.

Molina figured prominently in both afternoon victories on this road trip. Two days after his three-run homer gave Tim Lincecum an early lead against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, Molina hit a solo shot off Marquis in the second inning and added a two-run blast in the third. In his third at-bat, Molina hit a fly ball to the warning track.

Molina entered the game hitless in 12 at-bats against Marquis.

Cain was effectively wild, walking three batters in the first inning but keeping the Rockies off the board by getting Todd Helton to ground into a double play.

Helton's leadoff single in the fourth was the only hit Cain allowed. It marked the ninth start in his major-league career when he held an opposing team to one hit.

Contact Andrew Baggarly at abaggarly@mercurynews.com.Giants 8,Rockies 3TODAY: Giants (Barry Zito 0-2) at Dodgers (Chad Billingsley 5-0), 7:10 p.m. TV: Chs. 11, 31. Radio: 680-AM


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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