Ryan Vogelsong needed a game like this. The 36-year-old righty has battled an up-and-down year. An injury to his pitching hand put him on the shelf for close to three months.
But Vogelsong, who has a team option for 2014, was in the spotlight on Sunday afternoon. He tossed eight innings of shutout baseball while allowing a mere two hits to go along with five strikeouts and one walk.
Entering Sunday, Vogelsong had a 3.78 ERA in three starts since being activated from the DL, but those three starts saw him struggle to locate his off-speed pitches. Sunday, he had his entire arsenal intact. He fell behind half of the batters he faced, but a good curveball and changeup combination was more than enough to overcome hitters’ counts.
The Giants aided Vogelsong with a nifty double play in the sixth. After Vogelsong hit Jordy Mercer with a pitch in a 1-2 count, Buster Posey fielded A.J. Burnett’s bunt, fired to second and Brandon Crawford gunned it back to first, completing to the double play.
Posey, who plated the Giants’ first run of the game with an RBI single in the third, also flashed his arm in the fifth when he fired a ball down to second base to catch Andrew Lambo trying to steal.
Burnett, like Vogelsong, cruised through most of the game, except the eighth inning.
Starting with Posey’s single, the Giants scored three runs, highlighted by Pablo Sandoval’s two-run triple off Burnett’s final pitch of the afternoon. Joaquin Arias’ RBI double down the left field line capped San Francisco’s scoring.
Despite needing just 98 pitches to get through eight full innings, the Giants used Sandy Rosario to finish the game.