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YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Pence, Giants spoil Hammel’s Oakland A’s debut

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From page B1 | July 10, 2014 |

SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence homered and drove in two runs, Matt Cain tossed six strong innings and the San Francisco Giants spoiled Jason Hammel’s debut for Oakland with a 5-2 victory over the Athletics on Wednesday night.

Cain (2-7) allowed two runs and five hits for his first win since May 15 against the Miami Marlins. He struck out four and walked two to help the Giants snap Oakland’s six-game winning streak.

Hammel, acquired by the A’s along with fellow right-hander Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs last week for three top prospects, disjointed the thumb on his glove hand but stayed in the game. He left after giving up six hits and three runs — two earned — in five innings, striking out three and walking three.

Stephen Vogt homered and Jed Lowrie had an RBI single for Oakland’s only runs.

The A’s routed the Giants 5-0 and 6-1 in the first two games of the Bay Bridge Series in Oakland and looked every bit like the team with the best record in baseball while doing it.

Back in the comforts of glitzy AT&T Park, though, the Giants offense finally showed signs of life. San Francisco finished with 10 hits and took advantage of its scoring opportunities.

With one out in the second inning, Yoenis Cespedes bobbled Joe Panik’s single in left field. By the time the strong-armed Cespedes corralled the ball and threw home, Gregor Blanco already had crossed the plate.

Buster Posey’s RBI single gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the third. Vogt homered leading off the fourth for Oakland, sending a slider from Cain over the stands in right and onto the walkway outside the ballpark for his third long ball this season.

Pence homered in the fourth to put the Giants up 3-1. It was Pence’s 12th home run and first since June 21 at Arizona.

While the Giants finally got the bats going, Cain kept finding ways to minimize the A’s rallies.

The right-hander got Coco Crisp to ground out with two runners on in the fifth, after he misfired to second base on a potential double-play ball earlier in the inning. And after Lowrie’s two-out single sliced San Francisco’s lead to 3-2 in the sixth, Cain got Derek Norris to ground out to strand two baserunners.

Oakland got a brief scare in the fifth when Hammel’s left thumb somehow bent awkwardly in the middle of Blanco’s at-bat. An A’s trainer worked on the thumb for several minutes, then the pitcher got Blanco to ground out.

Pence hit an RBI single in the sixth before lefty Eric O’Flaherty’s wild pitch helped the Giants score another run to go ahead 5-2.

Oakland’s offense was kept quiet the rest of the way. Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla each pitched one perfect inning of relief.

Notes: Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro, who has been out all season with a strained lower back, is scheduled to play nine innings for Triple-A Fresno on Thursday before rejoining San Francisco on Friday or Saturday. … Vogt extended his hitting streak to a career-high nine games. … Left-hander Scott Kazmir (10-3, 2.53 ERA) starts for the A’s against Tim Hudson (7-5, 2.53 ERA) in Thursday’s series finale.

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