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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Giants have spring in their step



Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

San Francisco's Barry Zito scattered three hits over six innings to help the Giants beat Houston, 3-0, last night.

BOB LEVEY | Associated Press

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HOUSTON San Francisco's great spring has led to a solid start.

Barry Zito pitched three-hit ball over six innings and four relievers finished up the Giants' 3-0 victory over the Houston Astros last night.

The Giants followed their major league-best 23 spring wins by taking their first series of the season.

Zito (1-0) struck out five before he was replaced by Waldis Joaquin. Joaquin, Dan Runzler, Sergio Romo and closer Brian Wilson combined for one hit in the last three innings. Wilson earned his second save.

"He got in a good groove there and he stayed in it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Zito. "He had a good tempo going and when he has that kind of rhythm going that's usually when he has his good command."

Wilson believes this early success has something to do with how they played in spring training.

"I think so," he said. "We had 20-something wins in spring in the Cactus League, it wasn't by accident."

Giants newcomer Aubrey Huff had two hits and drove in a run in a game that was scoreless until the sixth.

It was the second tough offensive night for a Houston team playing without star Lance Berkman. The loss followed Monday's 5-2 season-opening defeat, where the Astros were shut out for eight innings.

"Give Zito credit for how he pitched, but he threw some pitches we could have hit," Houston's Hunter Pence said. "This is not the way we should be playing. We just have to start scoring runs and start hitting. Hitting is contagious and once the first guy hits, we all will."

Zito was pleased with his first outing.

"You want to start out on the right foot and let the team know that I'm going to carry my end of the load here as one of the five guys," he said. "It's big to come out and win a series in the second day and we can go out and get that sweep (today)."

Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez (0-1) did better than he did this spring when he posted a 12.10 ERA, but took the loss after allowing seven hits and three runs in six innings. He struck out four and walked four.

Neither team scored until Huff's RBI single that came after consecutive walks in the sixth inning. San Francisco scored again when Pablo Sandoval narrowly evaded a tag from catcher Humberto Quintero after Pence caught a long fly ball and threw home. The third run of the inning came on an RBI single to right field by Juan Uribe. Rodriguez walked Andres Torres before striking out Zito to end the inning.

BREWERS 7, ROCKIES 5

Randy Wolf gave up four runs and nine hits after signing a $29.75 million, three-year contract in the offseason, and Casey McGehee and Rickie Weeks hit homers to lead host Milwaukee over Colorado. Trevor Hoffman earned his 592nd career save.

PADRES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 3

Chris Young, who underwent shoulder surgery and missed the second half of last season, allowed one hit in six innings and Everth Cabrera drove in four runs with a triple and a double to lead visiting San Diego over Arizona.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

YANKEES 6, RED SOX 4

Hideki Okajima walked Nick Johnson to score the tiebreaking run after a costly error by shortstop Marco Scutaro loaded the bases in the top of the eighth, and Robinson Cano homered in the ninth as New York beat Boston.

RAYS 4, ORIOLES 3

Carl Crawford drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift Tampa Bay to a season-opening victory Baltimore, which got homers from Adam Jones, Luke Scott and Matt Wieters.

TWINS 5, ANGELS 3

Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and J.J. Hardy hit their first home runs of the season and Nick Blackburn allowed three runs and eight hits over 6 2/3 innings to lead visiting Minnesota past Los Angeles.

ATHLETICS 2, MARINERS 1

Mark Ellis hit a two-out single off Kamehameha Schools alum Kanekoa Texeira to score pinch-runner Eric Patterson from second in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift Oakland over Seattle.

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