Perhaps it is too soon to start hyping certain series as “the deciding series of the San Francisco Giants season.” It’s getting awfully close, though. The Giants don’t have much margin for error after barely staying afloat towards the latter stages of the first half.
San Francisco beat the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, however. Chad Gaudin pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out eight on just three hits and no walks to propel the Giants to a 2-0 victory.
Gaudin allowed just two bloop singles through the first three innings, neither of which resulted in any damage.
Meanwhile, the Giants did all of their damage in the first inning. Gregor Blanco walked to lead off the first inning, and he was plated on Buster Posey’s double that hit the top half of the left center field wall. Had catcher Miguel Montero corralled Didi Gregorius’ one-hop throw, Blanco likely would’ve been called out, but the ball skipped under Montero’s glove.
Hunter Pence’s ensuing two-out single capped the Giants’ two-run first inning. They had a chance to do more after Brandon Belt singled and Kensuke Tanaka reached on a walk, but Brandon Crawford popped out on the first pitched he saw from Ian Kennedy with runners on first and second.
After Adam Eaton’s third-inning single fell in, Gaudin yielded just one additional hit in his seven-inning masterpiece. He never really had to dodge trouble, in large part due to his ability to issue no free passes. He was also economic on his pitch count, but manager Bruce Bochy opted to pull the veteran after breezing through the seventh inning.
For a moment, Bochy’s decision to pull Gaudin was questionable. He called on Javier Lopez to retire Gerardo Parra, and he then called on Sandy Rosario, who surrendered a single to A.J. Pollack before being replaced with Jose Mijares.
Mijares dodged a bullet when Andres Torres barely caught Cody Ross’ drive to center field.
After Ross lined out, Eaton and Aaron Hill both reached, but Mijares induced a ground ball to Paul Goldschmidt to end the threat.
Jason Kubel and Montero both hit Sergio Romo hard in the ninth, but good defense enabled to Romo come away with his 22nd save of the season.