San Francisco at Chicago

Scoreboard
San Francisco (85-66) «000000010151
Chi. Cubs (68-82)000000000020

Posey's blast beats Cubs; Giants cling to division lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Buster Posey was just as thrilled behind the plate as he was rounding the bases.

Matt Cain and three relievers combined on a two-hitter, Posey homered and the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants beat Carlos Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs 1-0 on Tuesday.

Cain and Zambrano each pitched six scoreless innings, but the Giants did just enough to prevail. Leading San Diego by a half-game and Colorado by 1½ when the night began, San Francisco finally broke through with one out in the eighth when Posey drove a 3-1 pitch from Andrew Cashner (2-6) to center field, pumping his fist as he rounded the bases.

Postseason Chase

He now has 15 home runs, the most by a Giants rookie since Chris Brown hit 16 in 1985. His 62 RBI are the most by a San Francisco rookie since Chili Davis' in 76 in 1982. Throw in a .324 average, and it's easy to see Posey winning NL Rookie of the Year.

"Catching a shutout is probably as big a thrill as anything," said Posey, who also threw out Starlin Castro trying to steal second in the first inning.

"You can't get better than that," manager Bruce Bochy said.

He could have just as easily been talking about the pitching.

In a game that was delayed for more than an hour by rain at the start, Cain and Zambrano sailed along before being lifted for pinch-hitters.

The only hits the Cubs got were a single up the middle by Kosuke Fukudome in the second and a check-swing single to single to shortstop by Blake DeWitt in the sixth.

Zambrano gave up only three and struck out eight, although he did walk five while throwing 116 pitches.

Both were backed by some solid defense, too, but in the end, the Giants snapped Chicago's six-game win streak.

"The Cubs pay me to win and the fans want me to win and I only have nine wins," said Zambrano, who's 6-0 in his past nine starts in a strong finish to a year in which the former ace bounced between the rotation and bullpen and get suspended for a dugout blowup. "For me it's a disappointing season, but the most important thing is I have my confidence back and I will be back next year with the same attitude and with the same passion for the game and ready to do some damage."

Ramon Ramirez (1-3) worked a perfect seventh for San Francisco, and Sergio Romo retired the side in the eighth. Brian Wilson pitched a perfect ninth for his major league-leading 44th save in 48 chances, leaving him four shy of Rod Beck's single-season club record.

The game was the Cubs' first since part of a broken bat punctured Tyler Colvin's chest, and there were several scares in this one.

There was a loud groan in the third when San Francisco's Cody Ross lost his bat as he struck out swinging. It went flying down the third-base line and landed near umpire Brian Runge, who saw it coming and didn't have to move.

On the game's final pitch, fans behind the third-base dugout scattered when part of Marlon Byrd's sawed-off bat went flying into the stands on a groundout to third.

Colvin remains in stable condition in a Miami hospital after a scary injury Sunday in a 13-3 victory against the Marlins, when he was struck by a sliver of Welington Castillo's broken bat while on third. Castillo doubled on the play and Colvin scored.

That came at a time when the Cubs are winding down a miserable season with some of their best ball in recent memory. They're on their longest winning streak since a seven-game run in August 2008, and were coming off an 8-1 trip that ranks as the most successful of nine or more games in the franchise's history.

But the Giants started what could be a difficult road swing on a good note, with a weekend series against a Rockies team that has wiped out most of an 11-game deficit up next.

"This is exciting," Cain said. "We're all having a lot of fun."

Notes

  • Giants CF Andres Torres, recovering from an appendectomy, has started taking light swings, and manager Bruce Bochy hopes to have him back for the weekend series at Colorado.
  • The Cubs placed Colvin and C Geovany Soto, who had right shoulder surgery Monday, on the 15-day disabled list. They also activated P Esmailin Caridad from the 60-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A and designated P Mitch Atkins for assignment.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Matt Cain allows two hits in six innings to help the Giants shut out the Cubs.  (AP)
Matt Cain allows two hits in six innings to help the Giants shut out the Cubs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

C. Zambrano
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 5
K 8
San Francisco

M. Cain
IP 6.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 2
 

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San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Cody Ross, CF3010120 .259
Freddy Sanchez, 2B2000111 .287
Aubrey Huff, 1B3000102 .288
Buster Posey, C4111014 .324
Pat Burrell, LF3000110 .248
    Nate Schierholtz, RF0000000 .249
Jose Guillen, RF4000021 .265
    Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
Pablo Sandoval, 3B3010110 .264
Juan Uribe, SS4020001 .248
Matt Cain, P1000013 .098
   a- Travis Ishikawa, PH1000000 .263
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
    Eugenio Velez, LF1000000 .176
Totals2915159  
a-grounded out for Cain in the 7th
Batting
HR - Buster Posey (15, Cashner)
SH - Matt Cain (10)
RBI - Buster Posey (62)
CS - Cody Ross (2, 2nd base by Cashner/Hill)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Sandoval-F. Sanchez-Huff
E - Pablo Sandoval (12, Throwing)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Cain 6200120 3.00
Ramon Ramirez (W,1-3) 1000010 3.09
Sergio Romo (H,17) 1000010 2.30
Brian Wilson (S,44) 1000000 1.84
HBP - Castro (by Matt Cain)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Cain 82-49, Ramon Ramirez 11-8, Sergio Romo 14-9, Brian Wilson 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Cain 7-8, Sergio Romo 1-1, Brian Wilson 2-1
Batters Faced - Matt Cain 21, Ramon Ramirez 3, Sergio Romo 3, Brian Wilson 3
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Blake DeWitt, 2B4010000 .257
Starlin Castro, SS2000110 .305
Marlon Byrd, CF4000001 .294
Aramis Ramirez, 3B3000011 .241
Xavier Nady, 1B3000001 .264
Kosuke Fukudome, RF3010010 .272
Alfonso Soriano, LF3000001 .254
Koyie Hill, C3000010 .220
Carlos Zambrano, P1000000 .255
   a- Sam Fuld, PH1000000 .200
    Andrew Cashner, P0000000 .000
   b- Bobby Scales, PH1000000 .200
    Scott Maine, P0000000 .000
Totals2802014  
a-flied out for Zambrano in the 6th
b-flied out for Cashner in the 8th
Batting
CS - Starlin Castro (7, 2nd base by Cain/Posey)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Nady-Castro
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Carlos Zambrano 6300580 3.56
Andrew Cashner (L,2-6) 2211011 5.22
Scott Maine 1000000 3.00
HBP - F. Sanchez (by Carlos Zambrano)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 116-60, Andrew Cashner 27-20, Scott Maine 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 5-4, Andrew Cashner 2-2, Scott Maine 1-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 26, Andrew Cashner 7, Scott Maine 3
Game Information
Attendance - 36364
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Brian Runge