SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Instead of heading into San Francisco's busy nightlife to celebrate their division title, the Giants stayed home.
Champagne corks popped late Thursday night in a downstairs restaurant at Pacific Bell Park. Hours earlier, the Giants christened their beautiful new ballpark with an 8-7 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks that clinched San Francisco's second NL West championship in four years.
"It was a sweet celebration tonight," manager Dusty Baker said. "We took a big step toward where we want to be. We're going to let this soak in a little bit, and then we'll concentrate on what happens in October."
San Francisco's fans also celebrated in style. The Giants' 77th sellout crowd of the season furiously waved towels and let loose with deafening cheers as Calvin Murray squeezed Jay Bell's long fly ball to center for the final out.
Catcher Bobby Estalella grabbed closer Robb Nen in a hug, and the Giants spilled out of the dugout to form a pile near the first-base line. Fireworks and water cannons exploded in right field.
"This was unbelievable. I don't think you ever could imagine a feeling like this," shortstop Rich Aurilia said. "We want these people to remember we've got more to finish. We have two more of these to celebrate."
After starting the season slowly and being forced to run the division race from behind, the Giants have picked up speed. San Francisco (92-60) has won 18 of 22 to earn the best record in the majors and the best home record at 54-23. Their victory put them a season-best 32 games over .500.
"The whole thing was just magic," Baker said. "Maybe it was 2000. Maybe it was San Francisco. This ballpark has been good to us. It didn't start out that way."
Fifteen minutes after leaving the field, the Giants returned. Led by Ellis Burks and Barry Bonds, they took a slow tour, spraying the crowd with champagne and throwing T-shirts to their fans while Tony Bennett's "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" played.
"We came back out in appreciation for the fans, who came out for us," Bonds said. "They've been great all season long, and we're just glad we could give this to them."
Burks hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs for San Francisco, which twice overcame two-run deficits to eliminate the Diamondbacks, their last rival for the division title.
It was also a bit of revenge for the Giants, who were forced to watch Arizona's clinching celebration last season at 3Com Park. Arizona has lost six straight, dropping to 6-13 in September to put manager Buck Showalter's job in jeopardy.
The Diamondbacks fell six games behind the Mets for the wild card playoff berth.
"They played as well as any team can in baseball," Showalter said. "They're able to dial it up when they need it. They were able to put it together in this great park, which is a key factor. Playing here, it's hard to beat them."
San Francisco will open the playoffs Oct. 2 or 3 against a team to be determined. The Giants haven't won a World Series title since 1954, when they played in New York's Polo Grounds.
Doug Henry (4-4) pitched two hitless innings for the victory. Nen pitched the ninth for his 39th save, though the Giants' seemingly invincible closer allowed a run for the first time since July 13.
Pinch-hitter Tony Womack led off the ninth with a single, and Danny Bautista hit a two-out RBI double off the wall in right.
"It was an ugly night for me, but a great one for the team," Nen said.
With the score 6-6, J.T. Snow led off the eighth with a double against Mike Morgan (5-4) and Burks reached first with an infield single.
One out later, pinch-hitter Davis' fly to deep center scored Snow and touched off a celebration in the stands. Burks then scored on Felipe Crespo's infield single against Dan Plesac to make it 8-6.
Burks and Doug Mirabelli had RBI singles that tied it at 6 in the sixth. Earlier, Burks' two-run homer erased a 4-2 deficit.
Damian Miller hit a two-run double and Bautista a two-run triple for the Diamondbacks, who were shut out in their previous two games but scored six runs against Giants starter Kirk Rueter.
Arizona starter Todd Stottlemyre allowed four runs, including Burks' homer in the fourth, and left after the fourth. He strained his right hamstring on a pitch to Snow, and though he finished the inning, Greg Swindell came in to start the fifth.
"It was a great atmosphere to pitch in," Stottlemyre said as the Giants celebrated. "I wanted to do my thing to keep them from what they're doing right now."
Notes: Nen has converted 26 straight save chances and hadn't allowed a run in his previous 27 appearances, a span of 26 1-3 innings. ... Arizona's Alex Cabrera hit a homer in the fourth that landed on top of the right-field wall, about 10 feet shy of landing in McCovey Cove. A Giants fan threw the ball back on the field. ... Burks received the Giants' Willie Mac award as San Francisco's most inspirational player. Hall of Famer Willie McCovey presented the award. ... Jeff Kent's double in the first scored Bonds from first base and gave Kent 125 RBIs, three shy of his career high, set in 1998.
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