By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA – The Giants did what they do best at home and that’s win. They avoided a sweep in the Bay Bridge Series by beating the Oakland A’s 5-2. This is the first loss for San Francisco in this series since 2008.
“It’s disappointing and frustrating to be doing so well and let them put together hits like that, consecutive hits like that, it’s pretty frustrating,” said A’s pitcher A.J Griffin. “[Barry] Zito did a good job of executing his pitches. He’s a good pitcher, he did a great job keeping his team in the ball game. It didn’t look like he had his best stuff, but despite the walks, he did a good job getting out of innings.”
Despite a rocky start and season-high six walks, Zito threw 6.0 innings, allowing just one run on three hits and five strikeouts. The Giants ended their stretch of six consecutive games without a quality start. Barry gave San Francisco some momentum to rally a comeback in the sixth.
Both Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt drove in two runs apiece during a four-run rally. Sandoval’s two-run single gave the Giants a 2-1 lead and the offense didn’t stop there. Hunter Pence followed with a single up the middle and that was the end of Griffin’s time on the mound.
“There were some missed opportunities,” Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin said. “That one inning got away from us.”
Hideki Okajima faced Belt who doubled on a line drive to left center field scoring both Pablo and Pence. The A’s cut the lead in half in the seventh when Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI single that followed a leadoff walk and single to start the inning. But the miscues that San Francisco displayed the night before fell upon Oakland.
Adam Rosales throwing error to first baseman Nate Freiman gave the Giants an unearned run to extend their lead 5-2. The bullpen and defense came alive to stifle the A’s offense for the remainder of the game. San Francisco ended Oakland’s six-game winning streak and first sweep of the Interleague season series.
“It was nice to get up there, see the ball well and score a few runs,” said Brandon. “It was definitely something we needed. Ideally, we wanted to win a few more games in a four-game series. But it’ll hopefully build more momentum as we head to St. Louis. They’re a tough team, we’ve got to be ready and come with our “A” game and hopefully get a win.”
It was a must win for the Giants, they entered today’s game tied with the Colorado Rockies for second place in the National League West and remain 2.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. They’ve gone 7-0 in starts behind Zito at AT&T Park this season.
“I thought it was critical and important that we find a way to win this game,” San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy said. “There’s pride involved and the last thing you want to do is get swept in this Bay series and we haven’t played very well. We needed something to get us going, get the confidence going and maybe some swagger too.”
A’s center fielder Coco Crisp was the only batter successful in getting hits off Barry. He went 3-for 5 with a double, RBI single, single and a stolen base (his 11th of the season). Zito was able to pull a rabbit out of a hat with the way he pitched today. The defense backed him with huge outs while runners were in scoring position.
“Amazing, really,” said Bochy. “He was quite the Houdini today. I don’t know how he did it. It was sheer determination.”
“It was a tough day,” Barry said. “I was just missing off the plate on a lot of my pitches. I had way too many walks, but I was able to pitch out stuff when I had to, and things worked out for me when we scored some runs.”
Notes – Giants center fielder Angel Pagan was still sore from a cortisone shot for his ailing hamstring. He hasn’t played since his game winning inside-the-park home run against Colorado.
“They gave me a shot two days ago and it’s made the hamstring even more sore but that’s expected,” said Pagan. I’ll have a better understanding as to what’s going to happen tomorrow or the next day. Hopefully, I’ll be apart of the lineup very soon, I’m going crazy right now.”
“He’s not allowed to do a lot right now,” Bochy said. “Tomorrow he’ll do some running and take BP, and we’ll see where he’s at.”