San Francisco Giants' Aubrey Huff, with head down, is mobbed by his teammates after hitting a game-ending single off Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Brian Fuentes during the 10th inning of their baseball game in San Francisco, Friday, May 20, 2011. San Francisco won the game 2-1. From left are the Giants' Cody Ross, Sergio Romo, Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff, Eli Whiteside and Mike Fontenot. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
With three of his starting pitchers on the disabled list, Oakland's Bob Geren spoke with his team early Friday about the need for the offense to step up.
Apparently, the message didn't sink in.
The Athletics repeatedly failed at the plate with runners in scoring position, and it proved costly when Aubrey Huff hit a game-ending single in the bottom of the 10th inning, giving the San Francisco Giants a 2-1 victory Friday night.
"When you play 2-1, it's usually a matter of taking advantage of opportunities or making some great plays, and they made some super plays on us and took a run or two away," Geren said. "Every play in a game like that is magnified. You have to take advantage of every opportunity you can, especially in a pretty good pitcher's park."
The A's scored only one run, coming on pitcher Trevor Cahill's double play with the bases loaded in the fifth. They got some help - an error by Huff, the Giants' first baseman - but couldn't get anything else going despite getting the leadoff batter on base six times.
That dropped Oakland's record to 5-6 in extra-inning games this season and 7-10 in games decided by one run or fewer. San Francisco is a majors' best 13-3 in one-run games.
"I feel like we've gone extra innings almost every other game," Cahill said. "It's tough. The other team, if they lost, they could kick themselves in the butt with scoring opportunities, too. They did a good job all night long just manufacturing runs."
Huff's line drive to right-center off Brian Fuentes (1-5) scored Emmanuel Burriss from second, sealing the NL West-leading Giants' third straight win. Oakland lost for the third consecutive game.
Burriss led off the inning with a single and Andres Torres' sacrifice bunt moved him to second. Oakland intentionally walked Freddy Sanchez, setting the stage for San Francisco's sixth walk-off victory this season.
Javier Lopez (2-0) pitched a perfect 10th for the win.
Runs were at a premium in the latest edition of the Bay Area series.
Torres drew a leadoff walk in the first inning, stole second and then went to third after catcher Kurt Suzuki tossed the ball into center field for an error. Sanchez grounded out to second to score Torres, giving San Francisco a 1-0 lead before some fans had even settled into their seats.
Oakland tried to answer with a hit-and-run play in the second, with Josh Willingham attempting to go from first to third on a single by Mark Ellis. Giants right fielder Nate Schierholtz picked up the ball and zipped a throw to third that was scooped out of the dirt by Miguel Tejada to tag Willingham out.
Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong matched Oakland ace Cahill, who yielded just one hit, for six innings before the two stingy bullpens pitched scoreless ball into extra innings.
"I felt all right," Cahill said. "The first inning, a leadoff walk is unacceptable. I tried to make some pitches and I couldn't throw a strike. That was kind of the difference in the game."
The A's loaded the bases in the fourth after Huff's throw from first pulled shortstop Mike Fontenot off the bag at second. Vogelsong got Cahill to ground into a double play, scoring Ellis from third to even the score at 1-all. Coco Crisp then grounded out to second.
Vogelsong left after six innings, allowing only the one unearned run and four hits. The Giants have won all five starts he has made this season.
The A's caught a huge break in the seventh when Ellis took third base on a blown call by plate umpire John Tumpane. Replays showed Cliff Pennington foul tipped the pitch from reliever Ramon Ramirez, but Tumpane ruled he swung through it and allowed Ellis to move up.
Giants catcher Buster Posey was livid, screaming at Tumpane in protest until manager Bruce Bochy came out to argue the call. But it never cost San Francisco - Pennington popped out and second baseman Sanchez made a diving snag to throw out pinch-hitter Conor Jackson.
Cahill gave up only Posey's double in the fourth and struck out five in six innings. He has allowed one run or fewer in eight of his 10 starts this season.
Notes: Ellis notched his 1,000th career hit with a single in the second. ... A moment of silence was held before the game for Minnesota Twins slugger and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, who died Tuesday at 74 after battling esophageal cancer. ... Giants INF Mark DeRosa said he has a partial tear of a tendon in his left wrist and is scheduled to see a doctor next week. ... The Athletics will likely call up LHP Trevor Outman and RHP Guillermo Moscoso on Monday to fill the void at the back of the rotation after Brandon McCarthy and Tyson Ross were put on the disabled list. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval is on schedule to return from right wrist surgery in two or three weeks, Bochy said. Sandoval will go on a minor league rehab assignment before he comes back.