Los Angeles at San Francisco

L.A. Dodgers
W: B. Zito (5-11) L: R. Nolasco (13-11) S: S. Romo (37)
HR: LAD - None   SF - P. Sandoval (14)

Zito defeats Dodgers in probable Giants farewell

CBSSports.com wire reports

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito begged and pleaded to stay in the game, wanting this moment to last a little bit longer, and manager Bruce Bochy almost obliged the pitcher.

Bochy stuck with his plan to pull Zito, who still won in what likely was his final hurrah for San Francisco, and Pablo Sandoval backed him with a two-run homer as the Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 on Wednesday night.

"I just let him know, 'This is my game, I'm going to go out there and shut them down, I feel good,' " Zito said. "I was frustrated."

Zito's up-and-down tenure on this side of San Francisco Bay is likely through after seven years, following seven with the Oakland Athletics on the other side of the water.

Tony Abreu hit a bases-loaded triple to stake Zito to a quick 3-0 lead in the second, then added an RBI double in the sixth as last year's World Series champions put themselves in position for a rare home series victory if they can win Thursday night's rubber game with the NL West champion Dodgers.

Zito departed with little fanfare and nary one last standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 41,377 because he was replaced between innings. Fans cheered him after the game, and Zito stuck around to sign autographs.

"Definitely there's not a lot of closure in sports," he said.

He outpitched Ricky Nolasco (13-11), whose late-September struggles have the Dodgers a bit concerned with the playoffs looming.

The right-hander is 0-2 over his last three outings since getting victories in four consecutive starts and seven straight decisions.

"Ricky's shown us he can throw the ball really well and he can make good pitches," manager Don Mattingly said. "I don't think Ricky has done anything that's going to change our mind."

Zito (5-11), making his first start since Sept. 2 at San Diego, snapped a 13-start winless stretch and eight-game losing streak -- including his previous four starts -- since beating Oakland on May 30.

The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner across the bay with the Athletics, Zito signed a $126 million, seven-year contract before the 2007 season.

"I still remember where I was when the contract was finalized and I knew it was going to be a heck of a ride, on the field and off, and it's certainly been that for me," said Zito, who lost both of his parents in recent years.

Left off the roster for all three postseason rounds during the club's run to the 2010 World Series title, Zito bounced back to win Game 5 of the NLCS last fall in St. Louis while facing elimination, then Game 1 of a surprising World Series sweep of Detroit.

Zito took a comebacker to the left thigh in the fifth but stayed in to finish the inning and be in line for the win. But that was it, and catcher Buster Posey offered him a handshake in the dugout.

The Giants aren't expected to pick up his $18 million option for 2014, but rather pay him a $7 million buyout. Zito hasn't been told anything formally, but he is prepared to move on and, he hopes, continue pitching in 2014.

Zito allowed four hits and one earned run in five innings, with a strikeout and no walks. The 35-year-old pitcher lowered his ERA while with the Giants by a point to 4.62, finishing with a seven-year record of 63-80 while facing harsh criticism for most of his largely disappointing stint.

"I was little worried there for a while, I didn't think I was ever going to be able to show my face in San Francisco again," Zito said. "I was like, 'Oh, man, they have such great spots here and restaurants, I'd love to enjoy them later in my career, later in life, but I didn't think I'd be able to.' I think now I'll come back and at least have people have smiles on their faces."

Bochy let Zito know Tuesday he would get one final start in front of the home fans.

"It's been a joy to be with Barry," Bochy said. "I couldn't be happier for him right now to win tonight."

Zito surrendered back-to-back singles then Matt Kemp's RBI double in the fourth to prompt a mound visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti, then got through the inning still holding a lead.

Kemp pulled the Dodgers within two runs with an RBI single in the eighth. Then Sergio Romo finished for his 37th save in 42 opportunities leaving a runner at second.

The Giants' six runs were as many as they had total over their previous 49 innings -- and Nolasco matched the six he had given up in five career starts at AT&T Park before Wednesday.

Following Posey's leadoff double in the second, Nolasco plunked Hunter Pence in the left leg a day after Matt Cain hit Yasiel Puig with a pitch during Tuesday's 2-1 Dodgers victory.

Pablo Sandoval singled to load the bases and Abreu tripled two batters later. Sandoval hit his 14th home run in the fourth.


The Giants clinched the season series with a 10-8 lead, doing so in back-to-back years for the first time since 2002-03. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro, last season's NLCS MVP, will have surgery Friday to repair a tendon problem in his left pinkie and have a pin inserted to help him heal. Shut down for the season Tuesday, Scutaro batted .297 with two home runs and 31 RBI in 127 games. "I tried to do whatever I can to help the team win games," he said.

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Barry Zito holds down the Dodgers and improves his career stats with the Giants to 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA.  (USATSI)
Barry Zito holds down the Dodgers and improves his career stats with the Giants to 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
San Francisco

T. Abreu
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Yasiel Puig, RF4110001 .325
Carl Crawford, LF4220001 .283
Matt Kemp, CF4132000 .277
Michael Young, 1B4000002 .282
A.J. Ellis, C3001003 .237
Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B3000001 .211
   a-Dee Gordon, PH1000000 .236
Skip Schumaker, 2B4000002 .268
Nick Punto, SS3010010 .255
   b-Adrian Gonzalez, PH1010000 .294
Ricky Nolasco, P1000010 .120
   Brandon League, P0000000 .000
   c-Scott Van Slyke, PH1000010 .242
   J.P. Howell, P0000000 .000
   Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
   d-Hanley Ramirez, PH1000001 .346
a-fouled out for Hairston in the 9th
b-doubled for Punto in the 9th
c-struck out for League in the 7th
d-grounded out for Marmol in the 9th
2B - Carl Crawford (30, Casilla), Matt Kemp (15, Zito), Adrian Gonzalez (32, Romo)
SF - A.J. Ellis (6)
SH - Ricky Nolasco (8)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (33), A.J. Ellis (49)
Team LOB - 5
Los Angeles (N.L.) Dodgers
Ricky Nolasco (L,13-11) 5.2866171 3.72
Brandon League 0.1000000 5.40
J.P. Howell 1000030 2.05
Carlos Marmol 1000220 4.50
HBP - Pence (by Ricky Nolasco)
Pitches-Strikes - Ricky Nolasco 95-62, Brandon League 1-1, J.P. Howell 16-9, Carlos Marmol 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ricky Nolasco 3-6, Brandon League 1-0
Batters Faced - Ricky Nolasco 26, Brandon League 1, J.P. Howell 3, Carlos Marmol 5
San Francisco Giants
Angel Pagan, CF4010010 .278
Gregor Blanco, LF4000021 .264
Brandon Belt, 1B4010020 .286
Buster Posey, C3220102 .297
Hunter Pence, RF2200112 .283
Pablo Sandoval, 3B3222011 .276
   Santiago Casilla, P0000000 .000
   a-Brett Pill, PH0000100 .222
   Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
Brandon Crawford, SS4000026 .251
Tony Abreu, 2B4024022 .250
Barry Zito, P1000000 .147
   b-Roger Kieschnick, PH1000010 .205
   George Kontos, P0000000 .000
   c-Johnny Monell, PH1000001 .143
   Jean Machi, P0000000 .000
   Nick Noonan, 3B0000000 .216
a-walked for Casilla in the 8th
b-struck out for Zito in the 5th
c-grounded out for Kontos in the 6th
2B - Buster Posey (34, Nolasco), Tony Abreu (11, Nolasco)
3B - Tony Abreu (2, Nolasco)
HR - Pablo Sandoval (14, Nolasco)
RBI - Pablo Sandoval 2 (77), Tony Abreu 4 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Tony Abreu (5)
CS - Tony Abreu (2, )
Team LOB - 5
DP - Abreu-Crawford-Belt
E - Tony Abreu (3, Missed catch of throw), Brandon Crawford (15, Misplayed grounder)
San Francisco Giants
Barry Zito (W,5-11) 5421010 5.75
George Kontos (H,5) 1110000 4.58
Jean Machi (H,11) 1000020 2.47
Santiago Casilla (H,22) 1211000 2.25
Sergio Romo (S,37) 1100000 2.62
Pitches-Strikes - Barry Zito 77-48, George Kontos 11-8, Jean Machi 14-10, Santiago Casilla 13-9, Sergio Romo 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Barry Zito 9-6, George Kontos 2-1, Jean Machi 1-0, Santiago Casilla 2-1, Sergio Romo 2-1
Batters Faced - Barry Zito 20, George Kontos 4, Jean Machi 3, Santiago Casilla 5, Sergio Romo 4
Game Information
Attendance - 41377
Game Time - 3:04
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Marty Foster