The San Francisco Giants (50-41) opened up a five game homestand with a 5-2 win against cross-town rivals, the Oakland Athletics (57-34) Wednesday night, rebounding from their two losses in Oakland Monday and Tuesday.
Matt Cain (2-7, 4.18 ERA) gave the struggling Giants the quality start they were looking for and earned his first win since May 15th, snapping his personal four game losing streak. Cain went six strong innings giving up two earned runs (one a home run to A’s first baseman, Stephen Vogt, in the 4th) on five hits, two walks, and four strikeouts.
Cain was impressed with his team’s performance tonight and is looking forward to getting a second win and splitting the series against the MLB’s top performing team.
“It’s always going to be pretty rowdy when we play against Oakland, especially with the way those guys have been playing and being on a hot streak. It’s always going to be exciting when we go there and they come here,” said Cain, “We just have to worry about tomorrow and splitting it with these guys.”
Once again, the Giants sit tied for first place in the NL West with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Something that seems to be a bit unexpected considering the Giants’ struggles as of late but Manager, Bruce Bochy, doesn’t seem to mind.
“If you look at how things have gone, you’d think it’s amazing but it’s from the good work we did earlier this season,” said Bochy. “We’ve got to get on track, this is just one game and its good to win a ballgame against this very good club.”
Tonight, the Giants looked like the team fans remember from a few months ago and Bochy was pleased with their performance.
“Our pitching did a terrific job and we scratched and clawed to get some runs there,” said Bochy, “They’re fighting and that’s all I can ask for. It’ll be a fight the rest of the way through.”
Scratch and claw they did as they broke the A’s six game winning streak and caused trouble for their starting pitcher, Jason Hammel (0-1, 3.60 ERA), who was making his debut.
Right fielder, Hunter Pence, silenced jeering Oakland fans in the fourth inning with hitting his 12th home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch from Hammel. Pence’s home run was the first to land in the Giants’ new center field garden and was estimated at 420 feet.
The A’s pitchers collectively gave up five runs tonight after only giving up five total in the previous six games. It’s safe to say, the A’s weren’t in good form tonight as both their offense and defense struggled to make ends meet.
For the Giants, it’ll definitely be a fight to the finish. But relief, and what should be good news for everyone, may be on its way in the form of Marco Scutaro and Angel Pagan. Scutaro has been rehabbing in Triple A Fresno and could possibly be activated as early as this Friday. Pagan is currently in Arizona and will start a rehab assignment in the next few days. The Giants are looking to have him back after the All Star Break.
Tomorrow, the Giants look to even up the series in an afternoon match up sending right handed pitcher, Tim Hudson (7-5, 2.53 ERA), against A’s lefty, Scott Kazmir (10-3, 2.53 ERA).