Giants score all they need before delay in Detroit

San Francisco builds early lead, then finishes Tigers off in series opener

Giants score all they need before delay in Detroit

DETROIT -- Toward the end of Friday night's rain delay that lasted two hours and 42 minutes, Bruce Bochy stood in full uniform at the top of the Comerica Park dugout steps, ready to go.

One way or another, the Giants manager was going to make sure his club got the series-opening win over the Tigers. With San Francisco ahead 6-0 at the delay, it's possible he wasn't going to leave the ballpark until he got it. At a little before 1 a.m. ET, Tim Lincecum got Nick Castellanos to fly out to right for the final out of the first game between San Francisco and Detroit since the 2012 World Series, which the Giants swept. The long wait paid off handsomely in the 8-2 win.

Bochy admitted after the game that he was anxious to get the game in. For a while, that looked unlikely. But Bochy was the first one on the field when what looked to be just a narrow window turned into ample time to finish nine innings.

"It was well worth it," Bochy said of the extended wait. "The last thing we wanted to do was start this thing over.

"With a nice lead going into the fourth inning, that's the last thing you want to see, is it get called and have to play it again."

The game was similar to a July 2, 2011, contest between the same teams. Barry Zito started that game and returned to the mound following a delay of roughly the same length -- during which the Giants also held a 6-0 lead. Friday night, it was Jake Peavy's turn to bookend the delay.

"To have a lead, to have a game plan set in stone," Peavy said, "I didn't want that to go for naught."

Peavy went nearly three hours in between pitches thrown, getting Ian Kinsler to fly out to right field to end the third inning just before the skies opened up. He then returned to pitch the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Bochy said Peavy, who made his eighth start since being acquired from Boston, left him no choice about who would take the mound once the rain subsided.

"He was so adamant that he was good to go," Bochy said. "I think it would've crushed him not to go back out there. You just trust Jake."

Added rookie infielder Joe Panik, who had two hits and drove in a run: "He's a competitor. It fires me up. It fires the guys up. It definitely gives the guys a little extra juice."

In his six innings, which spanned almost five hours, Peavy didn't allow an earned run. Detroit pushed across two unearned runs in the fifth with Peavy on the mound, thanks to an error by Gregor Blanco that ended a stretch of 306 games without one for the left fielder -- previously the longest active streak by a Major League outfielder.

San Francisco jumped on Detroit starter Rick Porcello from the top of the first, and Porcello didn't help his cause. His throwing error on a pickoff attempt allowed Angel Pagan to reach second after he led off the game with a single. Pagan, who exited the game after the delay with a tight back, scored on a single by Pablo Sandoval.

"It was a combination of some good pitches that got hit and some bad pitches that got hit, and they capitalized on all of them," Porcello said.

Blanco led off the second for the Giants with a stand-up triple into the right-center-field gap. Three Giants singles allowed them to stretch the lead to 4-0. San Francisco tacked on two more in the third before a severe thunderstorm rolled through Detroit, prompting the lengthy delay.

Later, Sandoval further dimmed the Tigers' comeback hopes with a sixth-inning solo shot against the team he took deep three times in Game 1 of that 2012 Fall Classic.

Peavy, who has allowed just one earned run in his last three outings, handed the ball off to the bullpen to record the final nine outs of the win that allowed the Giants to hang onto the National League's top Wild Card spot by three games over Milwaukee.

"It's fun coming to the ballpark and having something to play for," Peavy said. "I've been energized. To be thrust into the pennant race, I couldn't be more excited to be here."

Friday night, when he accepted his body's challenge to return to the mound, that excitement showed.

Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.