Cleveland at San Francisco

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Cleveland (40-35)000000000052
San Francisco (43-34) «00000010x140

Balk the difference as Giants nip Indians

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Even for a team that regularly wins close games, the San Francisco Giants couldn't remember an inning like they had Saturday.

Two errors. A slip on the bases. And a balk that happened so fast some didn't even see it.

Tony Sipp balked home the only run with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, giving the Giants a 1-0 win over the error-prone Cleveland Indians on Saturday for their fourth straight victory.

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"We've had some weird ways to win," said Giants bearded closer Brian Wilson, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. "That one's definitely up there."

Sipp slightly flinched his left arm before even throwing a pitch to Emmanuel Burriss, allowing Miguel Tejada to score from third and gift-wrapping San Francisco's major league-leading 17th one-run victory at home. There also were two errors in the inning by second baseman Cord Phelps that spoiled a strong start by Justin Masterson (5-6).

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he completely missed the play in live action. Burriss knew immediately, stepping out of the batters box and signaling repeatedly. The Indians knew it and did not protest home plate umpire Bob Davidson's call.

"It was just a mental lapse," Sipp said. "Went up for the set, didn't see the sign that I had in mind. I was supposed to stay set until I actually got a sign that I liked but I started moving too early and paused. Put my hand up a little bit and was going to try to keep going with my hands and just step off, but by that time they had already caught it."

The Indians didn't do much else all day.

Matt Cain (7-4) pitched seven-plus innings of four-hit ball in another strong outing for San Francisco's right-hander. He struck out six and walked one to keep the offensively challenged Giants close.

"Those are the ones that are tough to lose," Cain said, "but great to win."

A day that began with bad news for the Indians ended even worse.

Cleveland right fielder Shin-Soo Choo said he will likely have surgery on his broken left thumb after it was hit a night earlier by a pitch from Jonathan Sanchez. Suddenly, the Indians, who began the day with a one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central, are losing their grip.

By no fault of Masterson, everything started to unravel in a wild seventh.

Even the Giants almost blew it.

Nate Schierholtz hit a ball into the left-center field gap to start the inning, hustling around second to try for a triple only to slip halfway between the bases. He was tagged out easily in a rundown.

Then Tejada reached on a throwing error by Phelps that pulled first baseman Jack Hannahan off the bag. Two batters later, Cain hit a chopper up the middle that Phelps couldn't corral for his second error.

Sipp entered and walked Andres Torres on eight pitches to load the bases. Before he even threw another pitch, Sipp flinched his left arm ever-so slightly on the rubber and was called for a balk to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

"It's not frustrating," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "You shouldn't put yourself in that spot. We put ourselves in that spot by making the two errors and the walk."

Making things even worse for the Indians, they squandered an opportunity to answer back with a baserunning gaff.

Pinch-runner Adam Everett was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on a groundball with one out in the eighth. Michael Brantley, standing on second, didn't advance to third -- and he might've scored on a passed ball later in the inning on a pitch by Javier Lopez.

For most of the day, Cain was untouchable.

After allowing leadoff singles to Brantley and Phelps in the first, Cain retired 14 straight batters with a dominating fastball that had pinpoint control. The streak ended with an inside pitch that hit Austin Kearns with two outs in the fifth, about the only time either starting pitcher lost his rhythm.

Masterson exited after 5 2/3 innings, allowing the one unearned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked two, but his team gave him little support.

The closest Cleveland came to getting a run off Cain came in the sixth, when Brantley doubled leading off. Cain induced two quick groundouts, walked Carlos Santana and then got Grady Sizemore to pop out to first.

Notes

  • Indians 1B Matt LaPorta (sprained right ankle) will join the team in Cincinnati on Friday and take batting practice.
  • The Giants placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps. LHP Barry Zito, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt, was activated.
  • The announced crowd of 42,130 was San Francisco 36th consecutive sellout to start the season.
 
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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Miguel Tejada (foreground) jogs for home on a seventh-inning balk by Cleveland's Tony Sipp for the only score of the game. (Getty Images)
Miguel Tejada (foreground) jogs for home on a seventh-inning balk by Cleveland's Tony Sipp for the only score of the game. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

M. Cain
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
Cleveland

M. Brantley
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Cleveland Indians
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Michael Brantley, LF4030000 .280
Cord Phelps, 2B3010001 .216
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS4000023 .290
Carlos Santana, C2000222 .231
Grady Sizemore, CF4000007 .224
Orlando Cabrera, 3B4000000 .239
Jack Hannahan, 1B4000010 .214
Austin Kearns, RF2000000 .194
   a- Travis Buck, PH1000000 .225
Justin Masterson, P2000011 .000
    Tony Sipp, P0000000 .000
   b- Travis Hafner, PH1010000 .341
    Adam Everett, PR0000000 .228
    Vinnie Pestano, P0000000 .000
Totals3105026  
a-flied out for Kearns in the 9th
b-singled for Sipp in the 8th
Batting
2B - Michael Brantley (13, Cain)
SH - Cord Phelps (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Grady Sizemore 1
E - Cord Phelps 2 (4, Throwing)
Cleveland Indians
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Justin Masterson (L,5-6) 6.2410250 2.98
Tony Sipp 0.1000100 1.97
Vinnie Pestano 1000010 1.29
IBB - Stewart by Justin Masterson
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Masterson 111-70, Tony Sipp 11-7, Vinnie Pestano 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Masterson 11-5, Vinnie Pestano 1-1
Batters Faced - Justin Masterson 27, Tony Sipp 2, Vinnie Pestano 3
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF3000110 .240
Emmanuel Burriss, 2B4000002 .235
Pablo Sandoval, 3B4010010 .281
Aubrey Huff, 1B4010000 .244
Cody Ross, LF3000112 .261
Nate Schierholtz, RF3020000 .256
Miguel Tejada, SS3100012 .224
Chris Stewart, C2000101 .156
Matt Cain, P3000023 .091
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
Totals2914036  
Batting
2B - Nate Schierholtz 2 (12, Masterson, Masterson)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
PB - Chris Stewart (1)
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Cain (W,7-4) 7400160 3.22
Javier Lopez (H,13) 1100100 2.45
Brian Wilson (S,23) 1000000 2.50
IBB - Santana by Javier Lopez
HBP - Kearns (by Matt Cain)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Cain 104-72, Javier Lopez 11-6, Brian Wilson 9-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Cain 9-6, Javier Lopez 3-0, Brian Wilson 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Cain 27, Javier Lopez 5, Brian Wilson 3
Game Information
Attendance - 42130
Game Time - 2:23
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Jerry Layne