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San Francisco Giants' Barry Zito wipes his face after walking the bases loaded in the first inning of a Major League Baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Sunday, August 12, 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The Pirates won, 5-0. (D. Ross Cameron/The Oakland Tribune)
PITTSBURGH -- Barry Bonds received a warm ovation from the scattered fans at PNC Park, and the Pirates saluted him with a video tribute between games of Monday's doubleheader.

But it was another Pirate-turned-Giant who had the highlight of the night -- and maybe the year.

Center fielder Rajai Davis wowed his current teammates and his former ones, making a spectacular, diving catch on the warning track in the deepest portion of left-center field. The Giants looked dead while losing the first game 3-1 and appeared headed for a similar fate, but Davis' catch sparked them to a 10-3 victory in the nightcap.

"They like to award the guys who reach over the wall, but that ought to be top-10 for the year," said Ryan Klesko, whose tiebreaking grand slam in the sixth inning was almost rendered a footnote.

Davis also stole two bases, doubled to start the winning rally in the sixth and legged out another double in the seventh on a blooper that fell over the shortstop's head.

In other words, he gave the Giants everything they have lacked in this moribund season. And he did it while playing all 18 innings in the middle of a grueling travel schedule.

"I don't know how much time he's got in the big leagues, but he proved he deserves some more at-bats," Klesko said.

Klesko added with a sly grin, "Dave Roberts' knee better start feeling better."

In a perfect world, every young player the Giants audition -- and there figure to be several over the next five weeks -- would seize the chance like Davis has done since the Giants acquired him in the July 31 deal that sent Matt Morris to Pittsburgh.

"That guy, he's playing inspiring baseball," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's what you want to see from young kids. He has an opportunity and he's taking advantage."

Bonds enjoyed his day in the sun. Fans have booed him and showered him with fake money ever since 1993, when he left Pittsburgh to sign with the Giants. But the fans mostly cheered him when he jogged to left field in the first inning of Game 1. Bonds, who hit 176 of his record-breaking 758 home runs as a Pirate, waved his hat to acknowledge the sparse crowd. After the video montage, he made a curtain call and bowed to the crowd.

But it's not like Bonds will wear a Pirates cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, if his link to the steroid era doesn't prevent him from being inducted.

"My days here are gone," said Bonds, who reiterated he wants to retire after the 2008 season. "I'm a Giant. That's who I am. It'd be hard to take that (Giants) uniform off, very hard. I don't know yet. I got a lot of time to think about it through the winter time."

You have to think way back -- perhaps even to Bonds' godfather, Willie Mays -- to think of a better catch by a Giants center fielder than Davis' effort on Freddie Sanchez's deep drive in the fifth inning of Game 2.

Bochy called the catch "one of the best I've seen."

Davis said he has made two tougher catches in the minor leagues -- one at Triple-A and another in low-A ball. He thought he had a good chance off the bat because he was shaded a step toward left field.

"Then I realized I had to go pretty fast because it was tailing," Davis said. "I picked out a spot where I thought the ball was going to be, put my head down and ran and it was right there."

The Giants bullpen appeared in trouble in Game 1 when Matt Cain struggled through a 30-pitch first inning and gave up a two-run double to Jose Castillo. But Cain rebounded and retired 18 of the last 20 hitters he faced.

Noah Lowry followed with another seven-inning effort in Game 2, throwing 114 pitches to dispel concerns after he left his previous outing with left forearm stiffness.

The Giants only needed Randy Messenger for one inning and Steve Kline for two, which put them in decent shape for a "Johnny Wholestaff" game today in Atlanta. Bochy said the team would determine a starter on the postgame flight and he didn't rule out Scott Atchison, even though the right-hander warmed up once.

Contact Andrew Baggarly at abaggarly@mercurynews.com

GAME 1 PIRATES 3, GIANTS 1

GAME 2 GIANTS 10, PIRATES 3

  • TODAY: Giants (Scott Atchison 0-0) at Braves (John Smoltz 10-6), 4:35 p.m. TV: Chs. 2, 31. Radio: 680-AM