Giants take series opener from M’s
SEATTLE – Buster Posey led off the second inning with a solo home run into the second deck of the left-field seats, National League hitting leader Melky Cabrera added a two-run shot in the eighth inning, and the San Francisco Giants opened a three-game interleague series with a 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
The loss was the sixth in a row for the Mariners.
Posey turned on a hanging breaking ball from Seattle starter Jason Vargas (7-6) for his eighth homer of the season, a 386-foot shot that landed in the first row of seats in the second deck above the Giants bullpen. Cabrera’s sixth homer of the season didn’t have the majestic arc of Posey’s, but cleared the fence in left-center field by about a foot as Franklin Gutierrez was unable to snag it.
Giants’ starter Ryan Vogelsong couldn’t match the perfection of teammate Matt Cain, but was dominant for seven innings. Vogelsong (6-2) won his sixth straight decision taking a shutout into the eighth inning. He has not lost since May 3 against Miami.
Vogelsong is 5-0 in his last seven road starts and only once in his last nine starts has he given up more than two earned runs. On Friday night, the only damage the slumping Mariners were able to get off Vogelsong until the eighth inning was a double by Jesus Montero in the second and a double by Miguel Olivo in the third.
Vogelsong struck out six and walked three. He left after giving up a pair of hits to Dustin Ackley and Olivo to start the eighth, snapping a streak of 11 straight batters retired. Reliever Javier Lopez was greeted by a single from pinch-hitter Casper Wells to load the bases. Ichiro Suzuki hit a grounder that bounced off Lopez’s glove and to shortstop Joaquin Arias, who got a force out at second base, but Ackley scored on the play.
Lopez was replaced by Sergio Romo, who got Franklin Gutierrez to ground out to Pablo Sandoval at third on a ball that probably should have been a double play and allowed Olivo to score. Romo then got Kyle Seager to ground out to end the rally.
Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth for his 18th save in 19 chances.
Prior to the eighth, the closest Seattle had to a rally came in the fourth inning when Vogelsong briefly lost control and started the inning with walks to Seager and Montero. But the rally was over just as quickly as it started. Michael Saunders hit a liner into right-center field that was tracked down by Gregor Blanco, and Justin Smoak followed by grounding into an inning-ending double play.
Joaquin Arias drove in San Francisco’s other run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth that scored Angel Pagan. But there were plenty of other chances for the Giants, who hammered Vargas for 10 hits. It was the most hits allowed this season by Vargas, who had allowed nine hits in his previous two starts.
Vargas has lost his last two starts.
Seattle dropped Ackley to seventh in the batting order for the first time this season. Manager Eric Wedge said he wanted to balance the top of his order and not be so left-handed hitting heavy.
M’s pick wins award
Florida catcher Mike Zunino has been chosen the winner of the Dick Howser Trophy as college baseball’s player of the year.
The two-time All-American was the No. 3 overall pick by the Mariners in the first-year player draft.
Zunino, from Cape Coral, Fla., is batting .322 with 19 home runs and 64 RBIs. The Gators play their College World Series opener against South Carolina today at 6 p.m. in Omaha, Neb.
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