Zito, Posey drive Giants to sweep in blowout victory

Giants extend winning streak to 16 in games started by lefty

Zito, Posey drive Giants to sweep in blowout victory

SAN FRANCISCO -- No Pablo, no comebacks. No problem. The Giants had Barry Zito on the mound.

Zito looked like an ace again, and with slugger Pablo Sandoval resting, the Giants' other bats exploded for a five-run second inning en route to a 10-0 win Wednesday and a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

A day after coming back twice from four-run deficits, the Giants (6-3) chased Rockies starter Jeff Francis (1-1, 5.87 ERA) in the second, and nearly everyone in the lineup contributed for their first series sweep this season.

After tossing a seven-inning shutout in his season debut, Zito (2-0, 0.00 ERA) tossed another Wednesday, spreading seven hits and one walk with four strikeouts. He even contributed offensively: along with his sac bunt during the second-inning onslaught, he singled and scored in the fifth, and singled to left in the sixth before chants of "Barry! Barry!" in his first career multihit game (2-for-3 with three runs).

"You can't have more confidence than what Barry has right now," manager Bruce Bochy said.

It was the 16th consecutive game, including last postseason, in which San Francisco won with Zito starting.

The way the Giants were swinging, though, they didn't even need him to be so sharp. San Francisco banged out 16 hits, including six extra-base hits, and six different players tallied at least a hit and an RBI.

"Today the boys came out swinging it," Zito said.

The victory was the ninth in a row against the Rockies (5-4) and the second consecutive sweep.

Angel Pagan led off the game with a single, and two batters later Buster Posey brought him in from first on a deep triple to right-center, making it 1-0. With two outs, Joaquin Arias -- starting at third base to give Sandoval a break -- singled to left to score Posey.

In the second inning, Brandon Crawford led off by doubling to the warning track in right-center. Zito laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, moved Crawford to third and beat the throw to reach first safely. Pagan walked, Marco Scutaro drove in Crawford on a sac fly and Posey plated Zito from third on a ground-rule double to right-center. Hunter Pence then hit a grounder to third baseman Chris Nelson, who gloved it diving left, but his throw -- meant to start a rundown -- to catcher Wilin Rosario was off target and allowed Pagan to score on the throwing error for a 5-0 Giants lead.

Francis intentionally walked Arias, Brandon Belt popped out, and Andres Torres looped a two-RBI single to right, making it 7-0 and ending Francis' day. Francis, who entered with a career 5.72 ERA in 61 1/3 innings at AT&T Park, allowed seven hits, seven runs and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. It was the shortest outing of Francis' career.

"You miss a pitch, and they whack it," Francis said. "And then you make a pitch. They whack it, too."

Posey led the offense, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs. He was a home run away from hitting for the cycle, but flew out to center in the seventh.

"I was aware of [the cycle]," Posey said. "I really wanted to concentrate today on letting the ball travel. Making sure I get good pitches to swing at. I had been a little out in front, swinging at borderline pitches. When I feel right, I'm even taking pitches. The goal today was to see the ball a long time."

Andres Torres (3-for-5, three RBIs), starting at left field, notched his first multihit game this year. Marco Scutaro made progress out of his slow start by going 2-for-3, including a double, with one RBI to raise his average to .235.

And as much as there was to celebrate with the Giants offensively, it was really Zito's day. Though he allowed a runner in scoring position in the third through sixth innings, he was in control and calmly worked out of trouble. When he allowed a leadoff single in the seventh, the defense backed him up with a double play, and Zito struck out the final batter.

"Today was better than the last couple [of outings]," Zito said. "The last three innings probably felt the best for me."

The fans basking in a beautiful San Francisco day felt just as good, giving him a standing ovation.

"He's hitting his spots, mixing them up," Bochy said. "It's a thing of beauty when you have a guy who's not just reaching back and throwing 95 [mph]."

Willie Bans is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.