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A little bit of offense is enough


A little bit of offense is enough
The Giants might be on to something here. If they're not going to score runs in bunches, they simply have to make sure their opponent doesn't score at all.

The Giants got a solid start from Jonathan Sanchez, gutsy relief pitching and a late home run from an unexpected source to snap a six-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory over Arizona on Friday night on the shores of McCovey Cove.

"That is a huge lift," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Sometimes when you get into a streak like we were in, that is what it takes: the guy on the mound to pitch a great ballgame."

Fresh off a winless trip to Southern California, during which the Giants were worst in the majors with a .208 batting average and 2.3 runs scored a game, they responded with only two runs Friday. They took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, when Bengie Molina singled in Pablo Sandoval from second base.

It was the Giants' second lead in the last seven games, having led for a half-inning Wednesday in Los Angeles. Outfielder Andres Torres, a defensive replacement in the eighth, hit his first home run in six years, and only his second in 260 career at-bats, off left-handed reliever Scott Schoeneweis for a 2-0 lead.

"That was the fastest home-run trot I have ever seen," Bochy said. "It looked like he was legging out an inside-the-parker."

For at least one game, that was enough for the Giants' pitching staff, which got the club's first night-game win of the season and relieved the acid in the stomachs of 34,898 fans in grabbing a desperation victory. Sanchez went 62/3 innings, allowing only two hits and striking out four. He retired 12 in a row at one point.

"It was pure domination," closer Brian Wilson said.

Arizona starter Dan Haren, who has gotten only one run of support in dropping to 0-3, heatedly threw his helmet across the dugout when Tony Clark pinch-hit for him with two runners on and two outs in the seventh. Bochy countered by relieving Sanchez with Jeremy Affeldt.

Clark, who was 1-for-7 with four strikeouts against Affeldt, hit a sinking liner to right field, where Randy Winn made a sliding catch to halt the Diamondbacks' scoring threat.

Arizona's Felipe Lopez led off the eighth inning with a single through the right side against reliever Bob Howry, but Augie Ojeda, who replaced Stephen Drew who left in the fourth inning with hamstring tightness, couldn't sacrifice Lopez to second. So Lopez stole second with one out and advanced to third on Molina's throwing error.

After Howry struck out Conor Jackson, Wilson put the fire out by getting Mark Reynolds to strike out after falling behind 3-0.

Just to make things interesting, Wilson - pitching in his first save situation of the season - walked Chris Young to start the ninth inning, and quickly got behind Eric Byrnes 3-0 before inducing a double-play grounder. Wilson's unique crossed-arms celebration followed a game-clinching strikeout of Justin Upton.

"We've got a bullpen that we believe in," Sanchez said. "One- or two-run games are exciting, but we know they're going to do the job."

The Giants had only six hits, including two of the extra-base variety - a double by Sandoval and Torres' homer. Fred Lewis had two singles, a walk and a stolen base, and has reached base seven consecutive times since a four-strikeout game Wednesday in Los Angeles.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 18, 2009

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