Giants squash Hamels, Phils

August 2, 2009 4:48:03 PM PDT
Freddy Sanchez had two hits and two RBIs in his first game with San Francisco, Barry Zito made his third straight strong start and the Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 on Sunday. Sanchez, who was acquired from Pittsburgh two days before the trade deadline last week, singled in his first at-bat then added a two-run double in the sixth when San Francisco scored three times to break the game open.

Aaron Rowand and Eugenio Velez added two hits apiece for the Giants, who won three of four against the defending World Series champs.

Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, who still own the second-best record in the National League despite going 6-5 over their last 11 games.

The Giants traded one of their best pitching prospects in the minors to get Sanchez from the Pirates, but a sore knee kept the three-time All-Star on the bench until Sunday.

He made an error while trying to field a ball bare-handed, which allowed Philadelphia to score an unearned run off Zito in the fourth. But Sanchez, who won the 2006 NL batting title, made up for it with his double to right-center that scored Zito and Velez.

Sanchez then scored when Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard fielded Pablo Sandoval's infield single and flipped it over the head of pitcher Cole Hamels, who was covering first.

Hamels (7-6) gave up all seven runs and lost for the first time since July 1. It was his first loss in five career starts against San Francisco.

Zito (7-10) went six innings, giving up three runs with five strikeouts. He didn't walk a batter for the fifth time this season. Four San Francisco relievers combined to finish the game, with Bob Howry working a perfect ninth.

Rollins hit his 11th homer of the season in the fourth but Philadelphia's offense continued to come up short. The Phillies led 3-1 when Carlos Ruiz singled in Eric Bruntlett in the fifth before the Giants took control with three runs in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth.

Randy Winn had an RBI single and Velez drove in two more with a bases loaded single in the sixth for San Francisco, which remains tied with Colorado for the NL wild card lead.

The Giants finished 6-1 on their homestand and have won eight of their last 11.

Rowand wasn't expected to be in San Francisco's lineup after getting hit in the left elbow by a pitch on Saturday. The Giants' center fielder had X-rays taken which were negative and he was back on the field, though he wore a protective brace on his left arm.

Notes: Ryan Garko hit in the cleanup spot for San Francisco while normal No. 4 hitter Bengie Molina rested. Molina pinch hit in the sixth but manager Bruce Bochy said he expects Garko to bat there whenever Molina doesn't play. ... The game was sold out for the second straight day and the 11th time this season at AT&T Park.

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