Schierholtz hit lifts Giants to 1-0 win over Reds
August 20, 2009
CINCINNATI – Nate Schierholtz has started just a third of San Francisco’s games this season. Against the injury-riddled Cincinnati Reds, part-time is enough.
Schierholtz’s eighth inning double drove in Edgar Renteria with the game’s only run as the San Francisco Giants squeezed out a 1-0 win over the punchless Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night.
Renteria singled to right with one out in the eighth inning. Schierholtz followed with a line drive to left field that Wladimir Balentien tried to grab with a diving catch. He missed, and the ball rolled to the wall for Schierholtz’s second double of the game, allowing Renteria to score easily and give San Francisco its third consecutive win and fourth in its last five games.
“I was trying to put the ball in play with two strikes,” Schierholtz said. “I thought it might have a chance to be caught. I watched it a little bit, then saw it got through.”
One run was all San Francisco needed against the National League’s worst-hitting team, which put just three runners on base while losing its fifth straight game and sixth in its last seven. The Reds, who had just one player from their opening day starting lineup in the lineup by the bottom of the first inning, went into the game last in the league in hitting and scoring.
First baseman Joey Votto left the game after the top of the first with blurred vision, leaving second baseman Brandon Phillips as the lone holdover from the Opening Day lineup. Five players who either opened the season with Triple-A Louisville or weren’t in the organization at all were playing after Votto left the game.
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“We’ve had a tough time scoring runs,” Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. “It’s tough without the guys you were going to depend on. Losing is old, whatever way you get there. That’s about it. We haven’t put up a lot of runs.”
Schierholtz’s hit snapped Arroyo’s streak of consecutive scoreless innings at 17. Arroyo (11-12), who pitched a two-hitter in Cincinnati’s 7-0 win over Washington last Thursday, allowed nine hits in eight innings.
Barry Zito and three relievers combined on a two-hitter. Zito gave up two hits over the first six innings. Relief pitcher Sergio Romo (4-2) struck out the side in the seventh inning and pitched a perfect 1 2-3 innings for the win. Jeremy Affeldt struck out Laynce Nix to end the eighth inning, and Brian Wilson pitched the ninth for his 30th save.
“Zito pitched great,” Schierholtz said. “Our bullpen pitched great. I think Zito’s ERA (4.26) is better than his record (8-11).”
The win allowed San Francisco to keep pace with Colorado in the National League wild-card race.
The Giants’ win was just their fifth in 19 one-run games on the road.
Zito had a no-hitter and had allowed just one baserunner – a Jonny Gomes walk with one out in the second inning – before Adam Rosales blooped a single behind first base into short right field with two outs in the fifth.
Drew Stubbs had a double for the Reds only other hit, leaving manager Dusty Baker without answers.
“Things are piling up,” he said. “Guys are doing the best they can.”
The Giants had at least one hit in each of the first four innings against Arroyo, but they got just one runner past second base and hit into two double plays.
San Francisco got runners to second and third with two outs in the seventh inning. With his best pinch-hitter already in the game – Schierholtz leads the Giants with 13 pinch hits – Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent Fred Lewis up to pinch-hit for Zito. Lewis popped out to second baseman Brandon Phillips, leaving Zito with a no-decision in which he allowed just two hits and had four strikeouts.
“When we got runners on second and third, we had to go for it,” Bochy said. “Lewis has been good coming off the bench. We had a hot pinch-hitter. The way our bullpen has pitched made the decision easier.”
Notes: The start of the game was delayed 40 minutes by rain. … The 1-0 score was the sixth in 547 games played at Great American Ball Park. … The Reds placed CF Willy Taveras on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps and called up OF Drew Stubbs, who started as Cincinnati’s leadoff hitter and in center field. Stubbs flied out to left field in his major league debut before doubling inthe sixth for his first major league hit.
Yankees 3, Athletics 2
OAKLAND – Manager Joe Girardi likes the New York Yankees’ sense of urgency every time they take the field these days, even in the games they’re supposed to win.
Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer, Alfredo Aceves earned his majors-leading eighth win as a reliever and New York wrapped up a stretch of 33 games in 34 days with a 3-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
“We know we’re going to lose a few games,” Teixeira said. “We just can’t let one turn into two or three in a row. We’ve done a better job of that lately. … I think we all know the opportunity we have and we don’t want to let an opportunity slip away to win games, gain ground and get to the promised land.”
Teixeira sent the first pitch from A’s rookie Brett Anderson (7-9) into the elevated left-field bleachers in the fourth following Johnny Damon’s leadoff single. Teixeira also had an RBI groundout in the first to put the Yankees ahead early on the way to their 14th win in 17 games.
Chad Gaudin pitched 4 1-3 scoreless innings against his former club in his first start for the Yankees, allowing one hit, striking out five and walking five. He was on a pitch count of 90 and finished at exactly that. Gaudin loaded the bases in the fifth on a walk to Mark Ellis, then Aceves (8-1) relieved and got Kurt Suzuki to ground into a 1-2-3 double play that forced out Cliff Pennington at home.
Aceves allowed Jack Cust’s solo homer with two outs in the sixth and an RBI single to Mark Ellis in the seventh. Mariano Rivera finished for his 36th save in 37 opportunities and 32nd in a row.
The A’s squandered another chance in the eighth. With Landon Powell and Cust aboard, Tommy Everidge grounded into a double play and Pennington flied out.
“I think we got a little over anxious at times,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “When we had scoring opportunities, I think we had a little over-effort almost. We chased a couple of pitches that we don’t normally do.”
Cust’s 17th homer snapped a career-high 23-game streak without an RBI for Cust, who last had one July 23 also against the Yankees. Cust also had a 26-game, 80 at-bat homerless streak since connecting July 20 against Minnesota.
After this grueling stretch, the Yankees had to travel cross country after the game before Thursday’s off day. On Friday, first-place New York opens a key AL East series with the archrival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Yankees, who swept a four-game home series with the Red Sox, have lost seven straight at Fenway and all six this year.
Girardi was happy to get out of the Bay Area with another series victory after losing the opener Monday.
“I think it’s important because we talk about winning series and this was three tough games,” he said. “And there weren’t a lot of runs scored.”
Alex Rodriguez played despite still being sore after getting hit in the left elbow by a pitch for the second time in a week. He’s also playing through back pain.
A-Rod was plunked by Oakland starter Vin Mazzaro in the first inning of Tuesday night’s 7-2 win over the Athletics, but was in the lineup at third base and batting cleanup for the series finale.
Rodriguez was also hit by Toronto’s Shawn Camp in the 11th inning of a 4-3, 11-inning win in New York on Aug. 12. He sat out Friday and Saturday at Seattle.
A-Rod is 3 for 15 with no home runs and one RBI in five games so far during the team’s 10-game road trip.
Gaudin, acquired by the Yankees from San Diego on Aug. 6, spent parts of three seasons with the A’s before being traded to the Cubs on July 8 last year in the six-player deal that also sent Rich Harden to Chicago.
Anderson, who had won his last two decisions, struck out six and walked one in seven solid innings.
The Yankees captured the season series 7-2 – winning five of six in New York this year – and have now done so in two straight seasons. New York earned its most wins against the A’s in a season since also going 7-2 in the series in 2005.
NOTES: Derek Jeter has hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, batting .409 over that span. He also stole his 21st base. … Yankees pitcher Ian Kennedy likely will pitch next month in the instructional league, his first game action since surgery May 12 to remove an aneurysm from beneath his right biceps. … The A’s will hand out Jason Giambi bobblehead dolls Friday against Detroit, despite the fact he was released Aug. 7. Giambi had returned to the A’s for a second stint this season following seven seasons with the Yankees.