SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Henry Blanco hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning to bail out starter Mark Prior, and the Chicago Cubs beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 Saturday.

Jeromy Burnitz had a two-run single and Derrek Lee hit a pair of doubles and drove in a run as the Cubs bounced back with their bats a day after managing just two hits against 20-year-old Matt Cain.

Prior (11-5) had his problems early, but recovered to pitch well in the middle innings – he didn’t allow a hit after the third – and then received the run support he needed. He has won four of his last five decisions.

Batting in the eighth spot in the order, Blanco connected off Giants starter Brad Hennessey (4-7) for a drive over the left-field wall, just inside the foul pole. It was just his second homer since July 29.

Blanco’s homer gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead, then Lee doubled in a run in the seventh that chased Hennessey. Ryan Dempster worked the ninth to convert his 12th straight save and 26th in 28 chances overall.

J.T. Snow hit an RBI double, Pedro Feliz added a sacrifice fly and Randy Winn doubled for the Giants, who announced during the game that Barry Bonds will be activated Monday.

Bonds took a day off from baseball activity after five straight days of on-field workouts, and likely will resume his chase of Hank Aaron’s home run record when the team opens a three-game series against first-place San Diego on Monday night.

The seven-time NL MVP, recovering from three operations on his right knee since Jan. 31, was scheduled to speak to Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels’ team orthopedist, on Saturday afternoon before San Francisco decided when to activate him from the disabled list to play for the first time this year.

The Cubs tied the game in the fifth on three straight two-out hits. Jerry Hairston singled, Lee doubled and Burnitz’s single scored two.

Prior, making his first start against San Francisco since 2003, needed 36 pitches to get through the first and fell behind 2-0 before finding his groove.

After Moises Alou started the third with a single, Prior retired 13 of the final 16 batters he faced and didn’t allow another hit. He allowed five hits and two runs in 6 2-3 innings, struck out seven and walked three.

Hennessey’s winless stretch reached eight starts, and he is 0-4 since a 3-0 win at Milwaukee on July 28. The right-hander was tagged for five runs and nine hits, and he gave way to Jack Taschner in the seventh.

Neifi Perez took over at shortstop for Chicago in the second after starter Ronny Cedeno was hit in the hand by a pitch in the top half of the inning.

Notes: Blanco also connected at Pittsburgh on Sept. 3. … Hennessey had faced the Cubs only one other time – losing in his major league debut when Greg Maddux won his 300th game on Aug. 7, 2004. … San Francisco C Mike Matheny got a day off and Yamid Haad caught in his place. … Winn has hit safely in 27 of his first 36 games with the Giants since coming to the club in a trade with Seattle on July 30 – and he has 15 multihit games during that span. … The game drew 42,013 for the Giants’ 21st sellout this season. … Jose Macias stopped an 0-for-14 slump with his eighth-inning single.

AP-ES-09-10-05 1914EDT


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