San Francisco, CA – The Giants still need one win to clinch the National League West title. The final game of the season is tomorrow, without a win will put them on the road with various scenarios now that the Padres have pulled even with Atlanta in the NL Wild Card standings. But their fate will wait one more day as they lost 4-2 giving San Diego hope that their playoffs race is still alive. Barry Zito has struggled over the last ten games (9 starts) going 1-7 with 6.50 ERA. He needs just one more victory to reach a double digit win plateau for his 10th consecutive season, that didn’t come today. Zito shocked the sold out ball park in the first inning by issuing a pair of runs for the Padres after walking back-to-back batters Yorvit Torrealba and Scott Hairston. In two separate situations he loaded the bases putting batters in position to score giving them a 2-0 lead. “Coming in the walks really put me in a bad situation,” said Zito. “You can’t look at it as six months of baseball coming down to one game.” San Francisco began their second consecutive game in trouble early, they trailed 4-0 after four innings. Zito was pulled after pitching to one batter in the fourth. Later in the inning Pablo Sandoval’s throwing error cost them another run, a wild throw to second base after he dived to catch Hairston’s grounder put the Padres up 3-0. “We’re going to continue to be aggressive,” Andres Torres said. “We still fell like we are in control.” Bottom of the seventh Juan Uribe recorded his career-high 24th home run and scored the Giants first run. Again they rallied late with little time to make the most of it, Pat Burrell doubled followed by two singles from Uribe and Sandoval. With the bases loaded Jose Guillen was at bat but grounded into a double play to end the game. “Maybe we were putting too much pressure on ourselves early on and not chipping away,” said Cody Ross. “It seems like we’re waiting until the last couple of innings to try and get something going.” “You can’t do that with these guys, they have a really good pitching staff and when they score we have to answer.” Notes – San Francisco Giants outfielder Andres Torres was elected winner of the 2010 “Willie Mac” Award. The “Willie McCovey Award” is an annual honor bestowed upon the most inspirational player on the team, as voted upon by Giants players, coaches and the training staff. The award was established in 1980, in honor of former legend and Hall-of-Famer Willie McCovey. Torres received a plague before today’s game by the great McCovey himself. In his second season with the Giants, he had a breakout 2010 season setting career-highs in nearly every offensive category. Batting .270 with 84 runs, 43 2Bs, 8 3Bs, 16 HRs, 62 RBI while going for 25-to-32 in stolen base attempts in 136 games. Torres at the age of 32 is the first outfielder to win the award since Marquis Grisson in 2003. Written by: Malaika Bobino
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