Another Nail Biter for the Giants

Thursday, Sep 16, 2010  |  Updated 9:43 AM PDT
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2010 San Francisco Giants

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 When

Matt Cain

and

Chad Billingsley

were locked in a scoreless duel in the seventh inning, it was just another typical game for the San Francisco Giants.

Mike Fontenot then delivered the key hit with a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning that sent the Giants to a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

The Giants have allowed just four runs in their past five games, but have won only three of those because of a pair of 1-0 losses. They also won a 1-0 game in that span.

Then they had this tight duel that featured strong outings from both starters.

"That's kind of our way," manager Bruce Bochy said. "The slogan: Giants baseball, torture. Or whatever it is. It's the way we do things. It's good for these guys because you can't lose your concentration or focus out there when you're in games like this."

The Giants won for the 10th time in 14 games to move within a half-game of first-place San Diego in the NL West. San Francisco is also a half-game behind Atlanta in the wild-card race.

The Giants blew plenty of scoring chances before finally breaking through against Billingsley (11-10) in the seventh to end a streak of 29 2-3 innings without an earned run against the right-hander.

Travis Ishikawa started it with a one-out double as a pinch hitter for Cain, who had thrown seven scoreless innings. The hit snapped a 13 at-bat hitless streak and was Ishikawa's first hit since Aug. 18.

Pinch-runner Emmanuel Burriss moved to third on a wild pitch, but it looked as if the Giants might waste another scoring opportunity against Billingsley when Eugenio Velez hit a comebacker for the second out. That's when Fontenot delivered with his soft single to center field.

"That couldn't have played out any better than to have Ishi come in to get that double and for us to be able to get him in," Cain said. "He really did a great job."

San Francisco added an insurance run in the eighth when Aubrey Huff doubled and scored on Pablo Sandoval's grounder.

Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian Wilson allowed a two-out homer to Andre Ethier in the ninth before getting his 43rd save in 47 chances.

Cain (12-10) gave up three hits, walked none and didn't allow a runner to get past first base. He beat the Dodgers for the second time in three starts after going winless in his first 14 games against Los Angeles.

The teams picked up where they left off from the opener of the series when Clayton Kershaw beat the Giants 1-0 on an unearned run that scored on an error by shortstop Juan Uribe. The Dodgers won despite getting only one hit against Barry Zito and the bullpen. The Giants became the first team in 39 years to lose two games in one season when allowing one or fewer hits, having lost the same way to San Diego on April 20.

The Giants threatened against Billingsley, but were unable to break through until the seventh. They loaded the bases in the first inning before Sandoval struck out to end it. Fontenot hit a drive to the warning track in left field with two on to end the fifth and Billingsley struck out Sandoval and got Cody Ross to fly out to center with two on in the sixth.

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