Vogelsong shines as Giants shut out Mariners
SEATTLE -- Veteran right-hander Ryan Vogelsong threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings on Thursday night as the Giants closed out their Interleague series against the Mariners with a 7-0 win at Safeco Field.
Vogelsong (5-5, 4.36 ERA) allowed just three hits to snap a personal three-game losing streak as the Giants improved their National League-best road record to 19-14 and their overall mark to 36-32. San Francisco also recorded its Major League-high 11th shutout.
"It's a credit to the whole staff," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "The bullpen plays a big part in the shutouts."
Mariners rookie southpaw Mike Montgomery (1-2, 2.73) gave up four runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings. But Seattle struggled again offensively. The Mariners have scored just 18 runs while going 2-9 over their last 11 home games and are 30-37 after splitting the past four games with the Giants.
"He's been a very pleasant surprise," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said after Montgomery filled in well again for the injured James Paxton. "He's had four starts that I would consider very quality starts. Certainly gave us an opportunity to win the ballgame tonight, we just didn't get any hits."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bad time for a drop: Montgomery appeared to have escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the second when he got Joaquin Arias to roll an easy grounder to second base. Dustin Ackley, making his first start at that position since 2013 with Robinson Cano sidelined by a sore back, flipped to shortstop Brad Miller for the force at second. But Miller dropped the ball on the transfer before he could get off a relay throw to first for what would have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, a run scored from third and the Giants added two more RBI hits to make it 3-0.
"Obviously it was a good pitch, the pitch we needed. And it was a perfect feed," Miller said. "I just bobbled it." More >
Vogel-strong: Vogelsong ended his personal June swoon with one of his best outings of the season. Considered vulnerable to a demotion to the bullpen when Jake Peavy or Matt Cain rejoins the starting rotation, the right-hander, who was 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA in his previous three starts, permitted just two Mariners to reach scoring position.
"Hopefully I'll get on a nice little run and we'll see what happens," said Vogelsong, who preceded his recent slump by posting a 4-0 mark with a 1.14 ERA in five May starts.
In search of Boomstick: Seattle's Nelson Cruz got the only hit off Vogelsong in the first six innings when he singled in the first, snapping an 0-for-16 streak. But the Mariners have been missing the big boom of late as their new slugger has now gone 19 games and 71 at-bats without a home run, dating back to May 28. Cruz hit 18 homers in 179 at-bats over his first 46 games for Seattle.
Duffy delivers: Freshly elevated to batting in the No. 5 spot, Matt Duffy lined a two-run triple to widen the Giants' lead to 5-0 and highlight their four-run outburst in the eighth inning. Before Thursday, Duffy batted seventh or eighth in 31 of 44 starts. He prompted Bochy to assign him a more prominent place in the order by hitting .389 (7-for-18) in the previous six games to lift his average to .294. Duffy ranks third on the team with 31 RBIs despite having the seventh-most at-bats. More >
"He looked like Bill Mazeroski, didn't he? He did a nice job, he really did. Front end of that double play, he did a nice job, nice feed. In the middle, he made a nice play. He did OK." -- McClendon, on Ackley filling in at second base for the first time since 2013
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman had the longest active streak of games played in the Majors come to an end at 234 on Thursday when he sat out against the Red Sox with a sprained wrist. Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager had the second-longest active "Ironman" streak in the Majors at 192 games, but he also was sidelined after being hit with food poisoning. More >
Giants: Having completed its four-game, home-and-home Interleague series against Seattle, San Francisco resumes National League West competition with a 7:10 p.m. PT confrontation Friday against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers. That will begin a stretch of nine consecutive games against division clubs. Giants rookie Chris Heston (6-5, 3.76) will start the series opener.
Mariners: Left-hander Roenis Elias (3-4, 3.67) will face the Astros for the second straight time when Seattle opens a three-game set with the American League West leaders on Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Elias gave up eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits with four walks in 3 1/3 innings in a 13-0 loss in Houston on Sunday, but has allowed three or fewer runs in 18 of 20 starts since last year's All-Star break.
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