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Giants take different route to win


Giants take different route to win
SAN FRANCISCO The way things were going for the Giants on Tuesday, recording two outs at home plate on the same throw wouldn't have been the most unexpected development of the night.

Among the Giants' rare accomplishments during their 8-3 victory over the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park:

Matt Cain (2-0) didn't walk a batter for just the sixth time in 107 career starts, underscoring a workmanlike six-inning stint that saw him leave the game with something rarely seen the past two years a four-run lead.

Free-agent shortstop Edgar Renteria shook out of a season-long slump, going 3-for-4 and tying a career high with five RBI. With his fourth-inning grand slam, Renteria on one swing accounted for as many runs as the Giants had scored in their three previous games combined and quadrupled his own RBI total for the season.

Nate Schierholtz played for the first time in seven games and lined a double to left as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.

It all added up to the Giants beating Padres ace Jake Peavy (2-2), who had never surrendered a grand slam in 120 career starts.

"I've been feeling much better," said Renteria, who also contributed with several defensive plays. "I've been more patient."

At least for one night, the Giants' patience in their recently reshuffled lineup paid off after the squad had scored two or fewer runs in six of the previous seven games. The biggest bang came from a guy who last week was dropped from the No. 2 spot in the order to eighth because he wasn't hitting his weight.

Renteria, who is listed at 200 pounds, was the Giants' biggest free-agent acquisition last winter but raised eyebrows by opening the season in a 4-for-29 (.138) funk.

None of that mattered after Renteria blasted a first-pitch slider from Peavy into the left-field stands, turning a 2-1 Giants deficit into a 5-2 lead.

"He's definitely a winner," Cain said of Renteria. "Having him as a leader up the middle is huge for all of us."

Renteria had begun to show signs of coming around before his first homer in a Giants uniform. He had gone 5-for-12 since moving into the No. 8 spot, including a single in the third inning. Renteria came around to score the Giants' first to run to tie the score at 1-1.

That tie was broken in a strange fourth inning that left players on both teams and many in the crowd at AT&T Park running for the replay monitors.

Cain allowed successive singles to Adrian Gonzalez and Chase Headley, and then Kevin Kouzmanoff lined a drive toward right field. Gonzalez and Headley had to wait to see if the ball would be caught, and when the ball hit off the brick facade, both runners took off.

Headley, however, caught up to Gonzalez just as the Padres first baseman was rounding the third base bag. The duo raced toward home about two strides apart.

That's when it got interesting, because Giants first baseman Travis Ishikawa's relay throw to catcher Bengie Molina beat the Padres convoy to the plate.

Gonzalez made a nice slide to get around Molina's tag, swiping the edge of the plate with his left toe. Then, as Molina was rolling on his back, Headley leaped over the Giants catcher.

Molina swiped Headley's foot mid-hurdle. But adding to the confusion, Gonzalez, apparently not sure if he had touched the plate or not, lunged for home again and was tagged by Molina.

After a few seconds of suspense, Gonzalez was ruled safe and Headley out. Molina and manager Bruce Bochy argued briefly but after the game said the umpire crew made the correct call.

Contact Laurence Miedema at lsmiedema@mercurynews.com Giants 8,Padres 3today: Padres (Chris Young 2-0) at Giants (Barry Zito 0-2), 12:45 p.m.TV: CSNBA. Radio: 680-AM More Baseball, Page 5


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 22, 2009

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