Giants edge A's, stay alive in NL West race

Giants edge A's, stay alive in NL West race

OAKLAND -- Just as they are doing in the National League West race, the Giants held on Sunday for a 5-4 Interleague victory over the Oakland A's that preserved the defending World Series champions' flickering hopes of reaching the postseason.

Sacrifice flies by Trevor Brown, Angel Pagan and Mac Williamson helped the Giants build a 5-0 lead through three innings. Billy Burns' two-run, fifth-inning double prompted a rally that wiped out all but one run of the Giants' lead.

But a quintet of relievers -- anchored by Santiago Casilla, who recorded his 37th save -- blanked the A's to seal the decision for the Giants, who begin a four-game home series against the West-leading Dodgers on Monday. San Francisco trails Los Angeles by six games with seven to play.

Casilla shuts the door

"You have to keep fighting," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Jarrett Parker, the rookie who amassed three home runs and seven RBIs on Saturday, singled twice, drew a walk and scored in four plate appearances.

"He had an off-day, I guess," Bochy jokingly suggested.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bottoms up: If Giants starter Chris Heston could change anything about his outing, it probably would be the two-out walk he issued in the fifth inning to Marcus Semien, Oakland's ninth-place hitter. That prolonged the inning for Burns' two-run hit, a bloop to shallow center field that shortstop Brandon Crawford briefly had in his glove but dropped.

Heston still secured his 12th victory in his 10th try. He improved to 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA in five career Interleague starts.

• Is Burns #AwardWorthy? Vote now for Best Rookie

Not enough: The A's made things interesting in the bottom of the sixth but could never pull even with their cross-bay rivals. Max Muncy belted an RBI triple off the wall in left field that Parker couldn't handle before Stephen Vogt lofted a soft RBI single to right field to make the score 5-4. But Oakland couldn't capitalize on the momentum as the next three batters were retired in order.

Vogt's RBI single

"Anytime you lose to those guys in a tough year, you don't want that to happen," Vogt said. "Especially when it's in our home park." More >

Rare event: Anytime the Giants win in Oakland, it's significant. They captured two of three games at O.co Coliseum, representing the second time in six tries that they won a road series against the A's. They're 4-12 at the Coliseum since 2010.

Valencia dinged: A's third baseman Danny Valencia exited the contest after being hit by a pitch from Heston in the left elbow in the bottom of the fourth inning. Valencia initially stayed in the game as a runner but was replaced by Muncy at the hot corner to start the fifth. Manager Bob Melvin said Valencia was day to day following the game.

"We'll see what tomorrow brings," Valencia said.

Valencia gets hit by pitch

WHAT'S NEXT
Giants: Jake Peavy, who'll start Monday's 7:15 p.m. PT series opener against the Dodgers, can be counted on for a sincere effort. What the Giants would really like is for Peavy to reach into the past to recapture the success he enjoyed against Los Angeles. He's 14-3 with a 2.42 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers.

A's: Southpaw Felix Doubront is set to take the mound Monday (7:05 p.m. PT) in Anaheim as Oakland begins its final road trip of the season. Doubront (3-3, 5.53) was rocked for seven runs on eight hits and two walks across 4 2/3 innings against the Rangers in his last start Wednesday.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.