ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The "eight dwarfs" gave the San Francisco
Giants reason to have high expectations.
Barry Bonds' supporting cast gave the Giants a leg up in their
National League Division Series, recording three two-run doubles
and backing a strong outing by Russ Ortiz in an 8-5 Game One
triumph over the favored Atlanta Braves.
J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia and Benito Santiago drove in six runs
with three swings for the Giants, who used a patient approach
against Tom Glavine and seized home-field advantage from the
NL's top seed by winning their ninth straight game.
Wild card winners for the first time, the Giants will go for a
sweep of the first two games at Turner Field on Thursday night.
Another win would allow them to take the series Saturday in San
"A lot of people talk about coming here and going 1-1 and going
back to San Francisco," Snow said. "We don't want to go .500.
We want to win both of them."
Snow is one of the "eight dwarfs." Giants right fielder Reggie
Sanders came up with the nickname for everyone else in the
lineup other than Bonds, who has ascended to the very upper
echelon of players in the history of the game with back-to-back
Bonds' postseason struggles continued by going 1-for-4 with a
walk, but his supporting cast totaled 11 hits. The 5-9 hitters
went 8-for-22 with five RBI and five runs scored.
"It's actually Barry Bonds and eight dwarfs," Sanders said.
"That's the way it's been sounding. We as a team don't really
worry about the media and how people portray us as a team. It's
important for us not to get caught up in all of those forces."
The Giants wrapped up the NL wild card by winning their last
eight games. They entered the postseason looking for their
first playoff series win in three appearances capturing the 1989
NL Championship Series.
"It's huge," Snow said. "We've only won one playoff game the
previous two times we were in the playoffs. It feels good to
The Braves won 101 games during the regular season but needed
only one to lose home-field advantage in the best-of-five
series. They have earned 11 straight division titles but just
one World Series championship in that span.
"I don't think it makes a difference with our tam because we
play as well at home as on the road," said Gary Sheffield, who
hit a solo homer but also grounded into a game-ending double
play. "Sometimes you just have to give the other team credit."
The credit goes to San Francisco's unsung players.
Snow, a .246 batter, opened the scoring in the second inning
with a two-run double, following consecutive singles by Sanders
and Santiago. Sanders hit .250 and Santiago .278 during the
David Bell had a .261 average in 2002, but he followed Snow with
an RBI single to make it 3-0.
Glavine singled home two runs in the bottom of the second, but
he gave up three runs on four consecutive two-out hits in the
fourth, capped by Aurilia's two-run double. Aurilia, who bats
before Jeff Kent and Bonds, hit .257 during the regular season.
"That was the difference in the game," Glavine said. "What you
try to do is try to eliminate Barry and have someone else beat
you, and unfortunately, somebody else beat me."
Santiago added a two-out, two-run double off Chris Hammond - who
had a 0.95 ERA during the regular season - in the sixth for an
8-2 cushion. Batting behind Bonds in the fifth slot, Santiago
"I have a lot of pressure, but everybody has a lot of pressure,
regardless of hitting behind Barry," said Santiago, who is
9-for-27 lifetime in the postseason.
Bonds has felt the pressure of a .197 career average in the
playoffs. He grounded out, singled and flied out against
Glavine, was walked intentionally ahead of Santiago's double and
was robbed of a homer by center fielder Andruw Jones in the
The only four-time Most Valuable Player in major league history
and the favorite to win the award this season, Bonds holds
single-season records for home runs, walks, intentional walks,
on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
"Too much focus is put on Barry and what he is going to do,"
Aurilia said. "It was nice to see the guys in the bottom half
come up with big hits."
Bonds' only flaw might be his contentious attitude. He refused
to speak to the media after the game.
Glavine (0-1) matched a career playoff high by allowing 10 hits
and fell to 12-14 in the postseason. Falling behind all day, he
surrendered six runs while walking two and striking out three
in six innings.
"I felt real good. I felt like I threw the ball well," said
Glavine, a two-time Cy Young Award winner. "Sometimes things
don't go the way you want them to. I really don't have much of
an explanation, other than that."
Known for painting the corners of the plate, Glavine threw
first-pitch balls to 12 of 27 batters and was behind in the
count to 15 of them. The only other time he gave up 10 hits in
31 postseason outings was in Game Six of the 1997 NLCS against
"You just basically know what he's going to throw," Snow said.
"You hope he's throwing the ball over the plate."
Ortiz (1-0) picked up his first win in two postseason
appearances, allowing two runs and five hits while walking four
and striking out three.
The Braves fought back with three runs in the eighth against Tim
Worrell, cutting their deficit to 8-5. Sheffield hit a one-out
homer and Lopez added a two-run shot, two pitches after
Santiago misplayed a two-out foul popup into an error.
"It has happened to me before," the Giants' catcher said. "I
remember, it was against the New York Mets. Right after I
missed that fly, they hit a home run, and when this happened, I
was thinking, 'Oh, please. Don't let that happen again.'"
Robb Nen preserved the three-run lead with a scoreless ninth.
Sheffield, Nen's teammate on the 1997 World Series champion
Florida Marlins, represented the tying run at the plate when he
bounced into a routine double play.
"I'm pretty relieved," said Aurilia, San Francisco's shortstop.
"It just seemed that is was in slow motion. You don't expect
Sheffield to hit a ball like that. You expect him to hit a
The Braves must rely on Kevin Millwood to get even in the
series, instead of four-time Cy Young winner Greg Maddux, who
was scratched from Thursday's start because of a blister. He
will go Saturday.
"It's one loss, but we have a long way to go," Sheffield said.
"Hopefully, we can come back tomorrow. It's not a deep hole."