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Steady pitching, 1 clutch hit


Steady pitching, 1 clutch hit
The Giants cheerfully will take Sunday's 1-0 win over Colorado and board a plane to Chicago.

What's not to be like, really? The Giants have won five straight series overall, and have won their first five home series. That home streak is the best to start a season in San Francisco history.

Rich Aurilia's RBI single to left-center with one out in the 10th inning delivered the win, and the Giants got stellar pitching from both starter Barry Zito and the bullpen.

The fact that the Giants could manage only one run in 10 innings, or that Zito still doesn't have a victory despite another superlative day on the mound, those are merely details. Even to Zito.

"Personal accolades are great, but all that matters is who wins," Zito said. "Getting a win isn't that important to me, otherwise I'd be pretty frustrated at this point."

Zito pitched well enough to get it - seven innings, two hits, a run of 15 retired hitters, three baserunners - but the Giants didn't hit well enough to get it for him.

Zito has his groove back. In his last three starts, he has given up three earned runs in 201/3 innings, a 1.33 ERA. Zito said he is making the pitches he wants, when and where he wants to make them.

"Everything was working today, fastball, changeup, curve. Everything was being thrown for strikes, so that was big," Zito said. "When you're throwing your off-speed stuff for strikes, you can get away with that fastball leaning over the plate."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said this outing was among Zito's best with the Giants .

"It's hard to throw better than he did and we needed it, too," said Bochy, whose team has gone 10-4 since a 2-7 start. "We are having a tough time getting some runs on the board, hitting with runners in scoring position. We know it, but pitching came through."

Zito left the game after seven. The Giants got shutout relief from Merkin Valdez, Brian Wilson and Brandon Medders. Medders 1-1 got the victory after working out a jam in the 10th, the Rockies putting runners on first and second with one out before Medders struck out Dexter Fowler and got Ryan Spilborghs to pop up to second.

Aurilia's single in the 10th with two strikes against Rockies reliever Manny Corpas was the third game-winning hit of his career. He came off the bench to play first base in the top of the 10th and came to the plate with one out and Steve Holm at second after drawing a leadoff walk.

"We've won two series at home, and you've got to be happy about that regardless of how it got done," Aurilia said.

The Giants had good opportunities to score in both the sixth and the seventh, and came up empty as Zito paced in the dugout.

Fred Lewis led off the sixth with a double, and with two outs, Pablo Sandoval reached on an intentional walk. Aaron Rowand walked to load the bases, only to have Travis Ishikawa ground meekly to the pitcher to end the inning.

The seventh also opened with a leadoff double by Emmanuel Burriss and Holm reached on a bunt, Burriss safe at third on a bad throw.

Randy Winn came off the bench to pinch-hit and struck out for the first out and was followed off the bench by Bengie Molina, who grounded into a double-play to end the inning and keep the Giants off the board.

"We had the right guys up there and we couldn't get a run in there, and that's frustrating," Bochy said. "But we got the hit we were looking for with Richie."

"Everything was working today, fastball, changeup, curve. Everything was being thrown for strikes, so that was big."

Barry Zito, Giants pitcher


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 4, 2009

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