Jim Tracy joined an ever-growing list: managers who don't want to mess around with Barry Bonds.
With runners on first and second, two outs in the ninth inning and Los Angeles clinging to a one-run lead Tuesday night, Tracy ordered reliever Jeff Shaw to intentionally walk Bonds.
Waiting on deck was Jeff Kent — a just-elected All-Star, the reigning NL MVP and San Francisco's cleanup hitter.
How much time did it take Tracy to decide on the strategy?
"Not long," the Dodgers manager said.
And it worked. With the bases loaded, Kent popped out on Shaw's first pitch, and Los Angeles defeated the Giants 4-3 to extend its winning streak to eight.
"It's a double-edged sword. I just felt very strongly about the matchups. I was going to take my chances with Jeff Kent," Tracy said.
Bonds, leading the majors with 39 home runs, was 7-for-20 lifetime against Shaw. Kent is now 4-for-22 against the Los Angeles closer.
"They won, we lost," Bonds said. "Who cares how it looks?"
Paul Lo Duca homered twice for Los Angeles, and Marquis Grissom's RBI double capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning at Dodger Stadium.
CUBS 3, METS 0: Kerry Wood pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, Sammy Sosa hit his 27th home run and Chicago won at Shea Stadium for the first time since April 16, 1998.
The NL Central leaders lost six in a row at New York before Wood, Kyle Farnsworth and Tom Gordon combined on a five-hitter.
The Mets, the lowest-scoring team in the majors, were blanked for the eighth time this year.
BRAVES 14, PHILLIES 7:Chipper Jones went 4-for-4, homered twice and scored a team record-tying five runs to lead Atlanta over Philadelphia at Turner Field.
ASTROS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 5:Luis Gonzalez hit a grand slam and a solo home run, but Houston roughed up Curt Schilling to beat Arizona at Enron Field.
PADRES 6, ROCKIES 5:D'Angelo Jimenez lifted San Diego's fourth sacrifice fly of the night — tying the NL record — and the host Padres ended a five-game losing streak.
MARLINS 7, EXPOS 0: Canadian native Ryan Dempster remained unbeaten at Olympic Stadium, pitching a four-hitter for his second career shutout.
Dempster is 5-0 with a 2.30 ERA in six lifetime starts at Montreal.
PIRATES 3, REDS 2: Former Salt Lake Buzz pitcher Todd Ritchie kept up his impressive turnaround, pitching Pittsburgh past Cincinnati at Cinergy Field.
Ritchie started out the season 0-8 but has since put together the first five-game winning streak by a Pirates pitcher since Denny Neagle in 1995.
BREWERS 2, CARDINALS 0: Jamey Wright gave up three hits in eight innings, and Milwaukee won at Miller Park. St. Louis lost its sixth in a row.