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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Giants capture some of last year’s magic after getting rings

San Francisco closer Brian Wilson, left, reacts after being presented with his 2010 World Series championship ring as Giants owner Bill Neukom, center, and president Larry Baer, right, look on before Saturday's dramatic 3-2 walk-off win over the St. Louis Cardinals. AP photo

By
April 9, 2011 |

SAN FRANCISCO — Miguel Tejada galloped around first base like his old Oakland self of a decade ago, thrilled to produce his first game-winning hit for the World Series champion Giants.

Tejada hit a two-run double that glanced off the glove of center fielder Colby Rasmus with two outs in the ninth inning and San Francisco rallied late for the second straight day, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on Saturday night a few hours after receiving its World Series rings.

And, after this dramatic finish, manager Bruce Bochy considered letting his new shortstop sport the ring for a little while.

“I’m really happy right now,” said the 36-year-old Tejada, due to get the day off Sunday. “I’m going to enjoy the moment. I just need to be aggressive. I’m an aggressive hitter.”

The Giants celebrated this one as though they had just won the championship all over again, with ace Tim Lincecum among those who sprinted out of the dugout to hug Tejada. Tejada skipped in jubilation after his 15th career game-ending hit.

It came against Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin (0-1), who blew his third save in four chances and second in two days. St. Louis lost 5-4 in 12 innings on Friday.

“When you win games like this early it has a little bit of a carryover,” Pat Burrell said. “We had the right guy up at the right time. He’s a pro. He’s been doing this so long. You want him up in a situation like that.”

Ramon Ramirez (1-0) pitched the ninth for the win and San Francisco secured its first series victory of the season.

Franklin allowed Buster Posey’s one-out single and then a walk to Burrell. Aaron Rowand flied out to bring up Tejada, who fouled off pitches down each base line before coming through with the big hit off a fastball.

“I’m just having a rough time right now. I’m doing everything I think I can,” Franklin said. “I threw some pitches in and some pitches out and I tried to throw the fastball in and it wasn’t where I wanted it.”

Rasmus ran down Tejada’s high drive at the edge of the warning track in left-center, but tried to catch it by his hip and the ball deflected off his glove to the ground. Both runners scored easily.

“It definitely ruined my evening,” Rasmus said. “I felt like I got a real good jump on it.”

The finish spoiled a solid start by St. Louis lefty Jaime Garcia, who outdueled Matt Cain and struck out a career-best nine batters for the second straight outing this year.

Rasmus hit a go-ahead homer leading off the seventh. Cain had gone 32 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run dating back to last year before Skip Schumaker scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.

Mark DeRosa drove in San Francisco’s first run with a single in the fifth while making a rare start.

Tejada, the 2002 AL MVP across the bay with Oakland, then gave the sellout crowd of 41,742 even more to cheer about as fans continue to celebrate the city’s first title since the club came West in 1958.

Garcia threw his first career complete game against San Francisco last Aug. 22, a three-hit shutout in a 9-0 victory at Busch Stadium — and appeared headed for another impressive win.

Garcia held the Giants scoreless over 14 innings dating to last year before allowing DeRosa’s single.

He gave up four hits and one run and walked one in six innings Saturday.

Giants center fielder Andres Torres left in the top of the fourth with a mild left Achilles’ strain. X-rays were negative and he is scheduled to be evaluated again Sunday.

Torres was hurt after charging in to field Lance Berkman’s line drive for the first out, then stayed in as Rasmus popped up to shortstop. But Torres began hobbling in pain and athletic trainer Dave Groeschner hustled out to check on him followed by manager Bruce Bochy.

Rowand moved from right to center to replace Torres, and Nate Schierholtz entered to play right. Schierholtz tripled and had a pair of singles.

Cain carried a streak of 27 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run into his second outing of the year after he tossed six shutout innings last Saturday against the Dodgers.

The right-hander and longest-tenured member of the Giants didn’t allow an earned run in 21 1/3 innings during last fall’s improbable postseason run.

“Incredible postseason run he had. It is fitting to have him out there,” Bochy said. “What an unsung hero he is with the way he pitched.”

Six of the first eight games for the Giants (4-4) have been decided by two or fewer runs.

Members of the other Bay Area championship teams each threw out a ceremonial first pitch: Steve Young of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, Al Attles of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Jim Otto of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders and Reggie Jackson representing the Oakland Athletics. Lincecum ran out to greet Jackson with a handshake.

The Giants wore commemorative uniforms and caps with gold lettering instead of the standard orange or black.

On Sunday, Posey — San Francisco’s NL Rookie of the Year catcher — will be presented with his award in yet another pregame ceremony.

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