Emmanuel Burriss was walking into the batter’s box when he
locked eyes with Darren Ford standing on second, a small sign only
the two close friends could communicate without muttering a
”It was more so if I get a hit, you better score,” Burriss
said. ”It wasn’t so much I’m guaranteeing a hit.”
Burriss singled home Ford for the winning run in the bottom of
the 11th inning, and the San Francisco Giants completed a
three-game sweep of the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics with a
5-4 victory Sunday.
Burriss’ line drive off reliever Brian Fuentes (1-6) was hit
hard enough to make it a close play at the plate. The speedy Ford
slid in just ahead of right fielder Ryan Sweeney’s throw, sending
the Giants running out of the dugout to celebrate their fifth
straight victory and seventh walk-off win this season.
”I don’t know who else scores in the game except Darren,”
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Anybody else and it’s not even
San Francisco put the exclamation point on the latest edition of
the Bay Bridge Series.
Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz hit a tying, two-run homer in the
eighth off Grant Balfour over the right-field wall and just short
of splashing in McCovey Cove. The rally spoiled another stellar
outing by A’s starter Gio Gonzalez and sent Oakland tumbling to its
fifth straight loss and ninth overall at AT&T Park.
Sergio Romo (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings to help the
Giants win their 10th straight home game. San Francisco is 11-0 in
one-run games at its cozy waterfront ballpark this season.
”I feel like we’re saying this every night,” Bochy said about
the close wins. ”But to win this many consecutive games at home is
The Giants stifled their neighbors across the bay with solid
pitching in the first two games, with ace Tim Lincecum throwing a
three-hitter Saturday after Ryan Vogelsong allowed only one
unearned run Friday. When Oakland finally found a way to score in
the finale, it simply wasn’t enough.
It was that kind of weekend for the visitors.
Ford started things for the Giants in the 11th with a one-out,
pinch-hit single to right. He stole second on the first pitch,
dancing around second even while Oakland intentionally walked
”That’s what I want to do. I want to make them nervous and
uncomfortable,” Ford said.
Burriss singled to right and Ford went zipping around third,
sliding in just under the tag by catcher Kurt Suzuki, who dropped
the ball anyway.
”I didn’t think it was going to be that close,” Ford said.
The win was even sweeter for Ford and Burriss, who have spent
considerable time together at Triple-A Fresno, train together in
the offseason and consider each other family.
”That’s what we do a lot in Fresno,” Burriss said of the
late-game baserunning. ”It was great to do it on the big
The Giants followed the usual script from the start.
Freddy Sanchez doubled in the first down the left-field line,
and Andres Torres hustled from first to beat the relay throw at the
plate to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.
The Giants had a bit of a scare when Posey took a foul tip from
Gonzalez off his mask in the second, bringing Bochy and a team
trainer out of the dugout to check on the catcher. Posey said the
right side of his jaw was sore, but he stayed behind the plate.
Posey extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out
single in the third. He scored two batters later when Cody Ross
grounded to third baseman Andy LaRoche, whose high throw pulled
Daric Barton off first base and put San Francisco ahead 2-0.
Josh Willingham sparked Oakland with a solo shot to left off
Jonathan Sanchez in the sixth, his seventh home run of the season.
Sanchez left after six innings, allowing five hits and striking out
The A’s seemed prime to be the ones to finally be on the winning
end of a rally.
Coco Crisp had an RBI double and Barton followed with a
run-scoring single against Jeremy Affeldt in the seventh, giving
Oakland a 3-2 lead. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui drove in Mark Ellis
with a sacrifice fly off Ramon Ramirez in the eighth to make it
That appeared to be enough behind Oakland’s strong pitching
staff. Gonzalez left after 6 2-3 innings, striking out eight and
allowing two runs on eight hits.
Of course, nothing came easy for the A’s in San Francisco.
”It’s a game of little breaks and taking advantage of things,”
manager Bob Geren said. ”They got a game-changing hit and that was
NOTES: LHP Josh Outman will be called up from Triple-A
Sacramento to start for Oakland on Monday at the Los Angeles
Angels, Geren said. Oakland still has to decide who will start
Tuesday with regulars Brandon McCarthy (stress reaction in right
shoulder) and Tyson Ross (strained left side) on the disabled list.
… Oakland’s two-time All-Star closer, Andrew Bailey (strained
right forearm), is slated to make his second rehab appearance with
Sacramento on Monday. … Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays was in
the clubhouse before the game.