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Oakland at San Francisco

San Francisco «00000201x360

Giants 3, Athletics 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants had considered skipping Noah Lowry's next turn, then he threw a much-needed gem.

Lowry ended a six-start winless stretch with seven sharp innings and Moises Alou hit a two-run homer, leading San Francisco past the Oakland Athletics 3-1 on Sunday night.

The left-hander in his first full major-league season was so fed up with himself after his last lousy start that he forced himself to clear his mind and just pitch. He also worked both sides of the plate with his fastball, making his nasty changeup all the more effective.

"It was a big win for the team and a huge win for me," said Lowry, who received dozens of phone calls from friends offering advice on how to work out of the funk. "It's been long awaited. ... I try not to put extra pressure on myself and take the same approach every start. This past month has been a learning experience."

San Francisco won two of three in the season's first Bay Bridge Series, the first series the Giants have won since sweeping Pittsburgh on the road April 29-May 1. They had lost four series since then and split a four-game set at Houston.

Lowry (2-5) lost his previous five decisions and hadn't won since April 15 at Colorado. He calmly worked out of a fourth-inning jam, then retired eight of his final nine batters. The Giants also were helped by three double plays.

"Lowry, I guess, can pitch again," manager Felipe Alou said with a smile. "That was a big improvement from his last few starts. He threw strikes and made the pitches he wanted to make to get out of trouble."

After Mark Kotsay walked to start the eighth, Scott Munter relieved Lowry and got pinch-hitter Matt Watson to ground into a double play. Jason Kendall singled, then Jason Christiansen entered to face Eric Chavez, who fouled out.

Tyler Walker worked the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances and fifth since May 12. He received an insurance run when A's second baseman Keith Ginter committed two fielding errors in the eighth that allowed Jason Ellison to score.

Moises Alou, brought to the Giants in the offseason in large part because of his success with runners in scoring position, connected for his fifth homer in the sixth against Barry Zito (1-5).

This pitching matchup featured two frustrated left-handers desperate to return to their old form. Both looked great, but Zito made the one costly mistake to Alou. Then the defense failed him.

"I thought I pitched pretty well," Zito said. "I don't worry about the lack of support. I just focus on the process. I wish I had the changeup back to Alou. I did my demoralizing last year."

Zito made some mechanical changes between starts, focusing on standing up straight and not hunching over.

"It was his best game of the year," A's manager Ken Macha said. "He made two mistakes - changeups to Alou and the pitcher. We need to stop walking people and tighten our defense. That's been our problem. And power is something we're lacking."

Lowry allowed one run and seven hits, struck out four and walked two.

Zito, the 2002 AL Cy Young award winner, was trying to bounce back after allowing a career-high seven walks in Oakland's 7-5 loss to Boston last Tuesday.

He retired 10 of his first 12 batters, allowing Lance Niekro's first-inning double and a double to Lowry in the third. He got through four innings in 46 pitches -- a dramatic difference from his five-inning, 115-pitch performance five days earlier.

Bobby Kielty had two hits with an RBI double, and Kendall had three hits and scored a run for the A's after going 0-for-9 in the first two games of the series.

Oakland has lost four of five series, taking two of three games from the World Series champion Boston Red Sox earlier in the week.

Eric Byrnes struck out to start the fourth, then Lowry ran into trouble. Kendall and Chavez hit back-to-back singles, then Kielty doubled to left for a 1-0 lead. Erubiel Durazo lined out to third, then Ginter walked before Marco Scutaro grounded out to Lowry to end the threat.

Kielty has a nine-game hitting streak, the longest by the A's this year. Nine of his 17 RBI have either tied the game or put the A's ahead.

The teams play again June 24-26 in Oakland.


Giants 2B Ray Durham was a late scratch after he sprained his left middle finger during batting practice. He could play Tuesday against Los Angeles. "It's good. I'll be ready Tuesday," Durham said. ... Deivi Cruz started in place of Giants SS Omar Vizquel, who has a .154 (2-for-13) average against Zito. ... Barry Bonds' bobblehead doll was being sold on special for $12 rather than the regular price of $20. The slugger hasn't played all year following three operations on his right knee. ... The Giants sold out for the fifth time this year (42,452), and the three-game series drew 128,222 - establishing an attendance record for a three-game set at SBC Park. It surpassed the 127,759 fans for the Chicago Cubs series last Aug. 6-8.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game
San Francisco

N. Lowry
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 4
San Francisco

M. Alou
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

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Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF3010100 .285
Eric Byrnes, LF3010011 .263
   a- Matt Watson, PH-LF1000001 .222
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Jason Kendall, C4130001 .234
Eric Chavez, 3B4010012 .213
Bobby Kielty, RF4021000 .322
Erubiel Durazo, 1B4000003 .243
Keith Ginter, 2B3000110 .167
Marco Scutaro, SS3000003 .234
Barry Zito, P3000010 .000
    Charles Thomas, LF0000000 .103
a-grounded into a double play for Byrnes in the 8th
2B - Bobby Kielty (6, Lowry)
RBI - Bobby Kielty (17)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Scutaro-Ginter-Durazo, Ginter-Durazo
E - Keith Ginter 2 (3, dropped popup)
Oakland Athletics
Barry Zito (L,1-5) 7.1632241 5.17
Huston Street 0.2000000 1.88
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 108-73, Huston Street 3-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 11-7
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 30, Huston Street 1
San Francisco Giants
Jason Ellison, CF4100002 .313
Deivi Cruz, SS3110111 .324
    Tyler Walker, P0000000 .000
Lance Niekro, 1B4010021 .284
Moises Alou, RF4122002 .260
Pedro Feliz, LF3000001 .289
Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B2000100 .304
Brian Dallimore, 2B3000001 .000
Mike Matheny, C3010010 .248
Noah Lowry, P2010001 .286
    Scott Munter, P0000000 .000
    Jason Christiansen, P0000000 .000
   a- Michael Tucker, PH1000000 .212
    Omar Vizquel, SS0000000 .272
a-popped out for Christiansen in the 8th
2B - Lance Niekro (4, Zito), Noah Lowry (1, Zito)
HR - Moises Alou (5, Zito)
RBI - Moises Alou 2 (17)
2-OUT RBI - Moises Alou 2 (13)
PK - Deivi Cruz (1, Street)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Dallimore-Cruz-Niekro, Dallimore-Cruz-Niekro, Dallimore-Cruz-Niekro
San Francisco Giants
Noah Lowry (W,2-5) 7711240 5.75
Scott Munter (H,2) 0.2100000 1.93
Jason Christiansen (H,7) 0.1000000 5.02
Tyler Walker (S,6) 1000000 3.54
Pitches-Strikes - Noah Lowry 115-74, Scott Munter 9-6, Jason Christiansen 3-3, Tyler Walker 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Noah Lowry 8-7, Scott Munter 1-0, Tyler Walker 1-2
Batters Faced - Noah Lowry 28, Scott Munter 2, Jason Christiansen 1, Tyler Walker 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42452
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Jim Wolf, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Randy Marsh, Third Base - Larry Vanover