SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Mired in one of the worst slumps of his career,
snapped out of his funk in a big way.
Gonzalez hit a solo homer to tie the game in the sixth inning, then delivered a decisive three-run shot in the 10th as the
rallied for a 5-1 triumph over the
San Francisco Giants
in the rubber game of their three-game series.
's first series as visiting manager at Pacific Bell Park was a successful one as Chicago took advantage of a costly error by Giants third baseman
to score four times in the 10th.
"I should have caught that ball," Alfonzo said. "It was tough but I've caught tougher than that."
The Cubs finished their six-game road trip 3-3 and at 16-12 are six games better than they were at this point last year under
"There's no way to understate it," Baker said. "That was a big series for us. It was a great pitching performance for both sides. We played great baseball today. It's special to me."
Baker did try to put the focus back on the players.
"I don't like to have the attention focused on me," Baker added. "My team played their (tails) off today. It's the players who did the work. I know how hard it is to win here."
Gonzalez, had not homered since September 25 - a span of 122 at-bats - but recorded his fifth career multi-homer game. After opening the season with 15 hits in 28 at-bats, the 30-year-old shortstop was just 16-for-79 when he homered off Giants starter
in the sixth.
"Gonzalez was huge for us today," Baker said. "He came through for his first two home runs. I don't know (what he's been eating). I just hope he keeps doing it."
"I wasn't thinking about it too much," Gonzalez said of the slump. "I was helping my team in other ways. To go in and win a game like this against a team like this, against Dusty's old team is great."
followed Gonzalez's second blast with his sixth homer of the season and first in extra innings since August 3, 1997.
"To come in here and win two out of three is outstanding," Sosa said. "It was great for us to win one for
. We wanted to go out and win the series for him and feel great about it."
(1-0) tossed two hitless innings to notch the win.
"Cruz threw the ball great," Baker said. "Especially after the tough year he had last year. It was nice to see. We needed it."
The game did feature a near incident when San Francisco superstar
was hit by a pitch from Cubs starter
in the third. Bonds, who was hit twice by
in the series opener, walked toward the mound and had to be restrained by Chicago catcher
and eventually calmed by Baker.
"Barry didn't like getting hit," Baker added. "I understand that. We didn't try to hit him. We needed to pitch him inside. We're trying to pitch him tough."
"I wouldn't want to get hit either, but I'm not going to back down from anyone," Prior said. "All I was trying to do was back him off (the plate). In order for me to be effective, I have to throw the ball inside. He was crowding and I needed it. You've got to throw inside. It's not just Barry. They all stand on the plate. When you do that, sometimes you're going to get hit. It just happens."
admitted Bonds getting hit is a situation that now bears watching.
"I'm going to keep my eye on that, too," Alou said. "I'm the kind of man that I don't start any (garbage) like that. But if we have to respond to it we will respond to it real hard with a heavy hand. I'm not accusing anybody of hitting him, but now in lieu of what I'm seeing I got to be a little more alert than I have been. Let's put it that way."
Prior allowed a run and six hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out seven.
Moss surrendered a run and eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out five.