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Houston at San Francisco

Houston (21-25)000100000151
San Francisco (24-22) «20100033x9110

Giants 9, Astros 1

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Bengie Molina signed with San Francisco last winter, he told himself he might have a slim chance to triple if he found exactly the right spot in the Giants' pitcher-friendly park.

He accomplished that and more Wednesday night.

Molina hit a two-run triple to the deep corner in right-center and singled in two runs to help Barry Zito bounce back from an awful outing against his old team last week at Oakland, and the Giants won their fourth in a row with a 9-1 victory over the Houston Astros to complete a three-game sweep.

Molina keeps producing clutch hits, even though he insists he's still trying to adjust to all the new pitchers in the National League.

"He's been huge, big hit after big hit," said Ray Durham, who batted right before the catcher. "When I don't get the job done, I have total confidence. He comes in and I can count on him to pick me up."

Durham added an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, Randy Winn hit a two-run double and Ryan Klesko singled twice for San Francisco.

Molina, who already has a five-RBI game in his first season with the Giants, hit his fourth career triple and first since Aug. 17 last year against Tampa Bay while with Toronto. Molina was surprised to hear manager Bruce Bochy, a former catcher, only hit two triples in his nine-year career.

"Really? That's very nice to hear," Molina said. "Something I was thinking about once I signed here was if I hit it in that corner, it might be my only chance."

Barry Bonds got a break to rest. The 42-year-old slugger is set to resume his chase of Hank Aaron's home run record Friday night against the Colorado Rockies following the team's off day Thursday, still needing 10 to match Aaron's career mark of 755.

Morgan Ensberg hit his 100th career home run with a shot to left leading off the fourth for the second hit off Zito, who allowed a two-out single in the third to pitcher Matt Albers.

"It's nice to hit a ball squarely," Ensberg said. "My first at-bat against him, the curveball, I flat out missed it."

Zito (4-5) allowed one run and four hits over seven innings in his first career start against the Astros, who lost their fourth in a row and sixth in seven -- a stretch that started with a loss to the Giants at Minute Maid Park on May 17.

Zito got through the first on 11 pitches and the second on 14, efficiently working ahead in the count from the start of his seven-inning outing. He struck out two and walked two, lowering his ERA from 5.13 to 4.70.

The $126 million left-hander bounced back from the debacle of a return he made to Oakland on Friday night, when he allowed seven runs and six hits in four innings for his shortest outing of the year -- a 15-3 loss to his former team.

Molina met with Zito for 20 about minutes in the dugout during Sunday's game at the Coliseum, and talked to the pitcher about being more aggressive.

"You have to learn your lessons, what was the reason what happened happened, and take that into your next outing," Zito said. "You have to have a short-term memory. ... I had to be more aggressive in the strike zone and let them beat me instead of beating myself."

Zito also hit an opposite-field single to left with two outs in the second after working the count full against Albers (1-4), who dug himself a quick hole.

The right-hander issued back-to-back walks to Winn and Fred Lewis in the first, then Molina lined a two-run single to left two outs later.

Bochy is having a hard time taking Klesko out of the lineup, so he played in Bonds' place. Klesko singled in the third and again with two outs in the seventh -- and probably will play again Friday. He had three hits Tuesday after homering for the first time this year Monday and has gone 19-for-54 (.352) over his past 19 games with 13 starts.

Klesko, playing left field for the first time since Oct. 2, 2005, had a close call on defense in the fourth when he nearly mistimed Carlos Lee's line drive to the warning track but stumbled and recovered to make a diving catch -- and Zito let out a visible sigh of relief moments later.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Houston center fielder Hunter Pence made a great catch to steal a hit from Rich Aurilia. Pence ran backward, turned at the last second and crashed hard into the wall with his right shoulder to make the play.

Astros manager Phil Garner hopes his team will break out soon.

"We're close," he said. "We're trying to stay upbeat about it. We're doing everything we can to keep a good approach and take good at-bats."


Astros RHP Brad Lidge flew back to Houston to have his right knee examined after experiencing irritation. ... Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, sporting a black Giants jacket, attended the game as a guest of the team and sat in the owner's box with Peter Magowan next to the San Francisco dugout. She received a warm greeting from Hall of Famer Willie Mays before the top of the sixth and he signed some balls for her. She was booed and cheered when making her exit after the seventh. ... Russ Ortiz, who began the year as the Giants' No. 5 starter, pitched a scoreless ninth in his first outing since coming off the DL on Monday with an irritated nerve in his elbow.

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

B. Molina
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
San Francisco

B. Zito
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 2
K 2

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Houston Astros
Craig Biggio, 2B3000101 .237
Morgan Ensberg, 3B4111011 .216
Mark Loretta, 1B4010000 .329
Carlos Lee, LF4000001 .307
Hunter Pence, CF3020100 .341
Jason Lane, RF3000002 .176
    Rick White, P0000000 .000
    Brian Moehler, P0000000 .250
   a- Mike Lamb, PH1000001 .323
Adam Everett, SS3000001 .192
Humberto Quintero, C3000001 .216
Matt Albers, P2010010 .222
    Orlando Palmeiro, RF1000000 .133
a-lined out for Moehler in the 9th
HR - Morgan Ensberg (3, Zito)
RBI - Morgan Ensberg (12)
Team LOB - 5
E - Morgan Ensberg (7, Throwing)
Houston Astros
Matt Albers (L,1-4) 6.1444540 6.35
Rick White 0.2322000 2.91
Brian Moehler 1433000 7.80
WP - Matt Albers (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Albers 102-58, Rick White 11-7, Brian Moehler 30-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Albers 6-9, Rick White 1-1, Brian Moehler 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Albers 28, Rick White 5, Brian Moehler 7
San Francisco Giants
Randy Winn, CF3322201 .323
Fred Lewis, RF3200203 .306
Ryan Klesko, LF4120012 .315
    Brad Hennessey, P0000000 .000
   a- Kevin Frandsen, PH-SS1011000 .314
Ray Durham, 2B4112014 .255
Bengie Molina, C4024001 .308
Pedro Feliz, 3B3000113 .257
Rich Aurilia, 1B4000001 .236
Omar Vizquel, SS4110001 .235
    Russ Ortiz, P0000000 .182
Barry Zito, P2010010 .105
   b- Mark Sweeney, PH1000000 .182
    Daniel Ortmeier, LF1110000 .391
a-singled for Hennessey in the 8th
b-flied out for Zito in the 7th
2B - Randy Winn (14, Moehler), Omar Vizquel (8, Moehler)
3B - Bengie Molina (1, White)
SF - Ray Durham (6)
RBI - Randy Winn 2 (17), Kevin Frandsen (6), Ray Durham 2 (28), Bengie Molina 4 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Kevin Frandsen (3), Ray Durham (12), Bengie Molina 4 (20)
SB - Fred Lewis (2, 3rd base off Albers/Quintero)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Feliz-Durham-Aurilia
San Francisco Giants
Barry Zito (W,4-5) 7411221 4.70
Brad Hennessey 1000000 2.37
Russ Ortiz 1100000 6.23
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 104-71, Brad Hennessey 15-8, Russ Ortiz 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 8-10, Brad Hennessey 3-0, Russ Ortiz 1-2
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 26, Brad Hennessey 3, Russ Ortiz 4
Game Information
Attendance - 35521
Game Time - 2:32
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Jeff Nelson, Third Base - Jim Wolf