Giants sweep A's with lift from Duffy, Posey
SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Duffy homered and drove in three runs and Buster Posey went 4-for-4 to back Tim Hudson's abbreviated performance Sunday as the Giants completed a three-game Interleague series sweep of the Oakland A's with a 4-3 triumph.
The Giants have won five consecutive games and 11 of their last 12 to trim their deficit behind first-place Los Angeles in the National League West to one game. San Francisco also lengthened its home winning streak to six games while recording its first three-game sweep of the A's at AT&T Park since May 20-22, 2011.
Fourth-inning RBI singles by Brett Lawrie and Billy Butler allowed the A's to cut the difference to a single run. But four relievers combined to blank Oakland for the final five innings to preserve the decision for Hudson, who worked five innings. This gave Hudson the distinction of recording a victory over every team during his Major League career, which began in 1999 with Oakland.
"With a little bit of luck, I could have given up maybe one run and maybe gone six or seven innings," said Hudson, who yielded three runs and seven hits. "At the same time, with a little bit more luck their way, I could have gone three-plus and given up four or five."
Posey praised the Giants' relievers.
"Guys have done a nice job of pitching in different situations -- getting an out or two there, maybe going an inning or more," he said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Send me an Angel: Somebody had to get on base to enable Duffy to drive in those runs. That was Angel Pagan, who drew a first-inning walk and singled in the second inning. Pagan is surging offensively, batting .321 (17-for-53) and scoring 10 runs in his last 12 games.
The Giants' trio of first-inning runs, compliments largely of Pagan, Duffy and Posey, matched a season high for that inning. They last reached this number May 15 at Cincinnati.
Digging his own Grave: Kendall Graveman lasted just 1 1/3 innings (the shortest start of his career), yielding four earned runs on seven hits before he left the game. The right-handed Graveman has now given up at least four runs in each of his last three starts, following a streak where he didn't allow four runs or more for nine straight games.
"I've just got to get outs," Graveman said. "That's why I'm out there, that's my job, to get our team deep in ballgames. I've got to be better at that." More >
What a relief: The A's bullpen, which has struggled most of the season, tossed 6 2/3 shutout innings to keep Oakland in the game. Dan Otero, Evan Scribner, Drew Pomeranz and Eric O'Flaherty all did their job, each pitching an inning or more and allowing five hits in total. Scribner made a crafty behind-the-back snag in the fourth inning that helped keep the Giants from tacking on any more runs.
"The bullpen did a great job," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "[The Giants] were swinging the bats great, got seven hits and a couple walks in an inning and a third, and then to come in and shut them down like that was terrific. We just couldn't get that one last run."
Costly miscommunication: Jake Smolinski was caught stealing third with one out and the A's down a run in the ninth inning on a sequence he and Melvin called "miscommunication." Though Smolinski has decent speed, the A's already had runners at first and second and did not intend for him to take off in the manner he did. Marcus Semien struck out in the next at-bat, and the A's lost their fourth straight.
Said Posey, who threw out Smolinski, "It caught me off guard a litttle bit, but obviously, for me, the runner's right there in front of me, so once he breaks, it becomes instinctual for me."
"It's very disappointing," Smolinski said. "We had a chance to tie it up, and unfortunately we couldn't get it done."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The A's have now lost 16 of their last 19 games against the Giants at AT&T Park.
Ike Davis hit a ball to deep center field with two outs in the fourth inning, Ben Zobrist at first and the A's trailing, 4-1. Zobrist would have scored relatively easily, but instead the ball took one hop, ricocheted off the brick wall above the 421 marker in right-center and bounced into the stands for a ground-rule double. The play was reviewed to determine if a fan reached over to grab the ball (which would have allowed Zobrist to score) but was confirmed as called before Lawrie and Butler brought home a run each with singles to slice the deficit to 4-3.
A's: Ace Sonny Gray takes the mound in the first of a two-game set against the Dodgers on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Gray (10-4, 2.30 ERA) is 7-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 11 starts on the road and has never faced the Dodgers.
Giants: The Giants will complete their season series against the Milwaukee Brewers in a set that begins Monday night at 7:15 PT at AT&T Park. San Francisco swept the Brewers in a May 25-27 series at Milwaukee, outscoring the Brewers 17-8 in three games.
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