Giants 2, Cubs 0

Barry Zito pointed his finger at the cheering crowd as he walked

off the mound to a standing ovation. Once the target of boos in San

Francisco, Zito is hearing nothing but cheers this year from the

home crowd.

Zito pitched 8 1-3 scoreless innings for his 150th career win

and Joaquin Arias snapped an 18 at-bat hitless stretch with an RBI

single that led the Giants to a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs

on Sunday.

”It feels good to have that support,” Zito said. ”The fans

here are obviously coming out in droves and supporting us through

thick and thin. It really fires us up. That’s why we love to play

at home so much.”

Angel Pagan scored the game’s first run after doubling to set a

Giants record by extending his home hitting streak to 27 games. San

Francisco went on to its 12th win in 17 games and moved a

season-high six games over .500.

Travis Wood (0-2) was the tough-luck loser for the Cubs,

allowing just one run and three hits in seven innings as Chicago

fell for the 15th time in 18 games. The Cubs have also lost 10

straight road games for their longest skid away from Wrigley Field

since dropping 10 in a row in September 2000.

”It’s a broken record,” manager Dale Sveum said. ”I don’t

know what to say to come up with something different to make it …

Just frustrating. I mean, golly. We hit a few balls good. Other

than that it wasn’t a lot of good at-bats going on.”

Zito (5-2) was rarely threatened by the struggling Cubs,

allowing just four hits and two walks before leaving to a standing

ovation after a one-walk to Darwin Barney in the ninth. Sergio Romo

finished for his second save.

The Cubs got only one runner as far as second base against Zito

when Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson hit one-out singles in the fifth.

But Zito escaped that jam with a strikeout-double play with Stewart

easily being thrown out at third by Hector Sanchez.

”I tried to establish all my pitches early,” Zito said. ”As a

hitter, when you know a guy is throwing two, three, four pitches

for strikes, it makes the at-bats difficult. So that was important

to me.”

After struggling for most of his first five seasons of a $126

million, seven-year contract with the Giants, Zito has been

extremely dependable so far this season starting with a shutout his

first start at Colorado. He has won four of his past five starts

and has lowered his ERA to 2.98 to help make up for the slow start

by two-time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum.

Zito got a standing ovation when he walked off the mound after

the eighth inning and then a big cheer when he batted to lead off

the bottom of the inning. The fans booed manager Bruce Bochy’s

decision to replace Zito with Romo after 96 pitches.

”Your heart is telling you give him a shot but your brain is

telling you the right thing to do is to go get him,” Bochy


The Giants were held hitless until Pagan drove a ball over left

fielder Alfonso Soriano’s head for a one-out double in the fifth.

That hit broke the Giants’ home hitting streak record of 26 games

set by Mike Donlin in 1905-06, the Giants said in citing the Elias

Sports Bureau. Wood then struck out Sanchez before Arias followed

with a single to shallow right for his first hit since last


Third-base coach Tim Flannery aggressively waved Pagan home and

he slid in safely ahead of Johnson’s one-hop throw that catcher

Koyie Hill could not handle to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

”It was pretty textbook, to be honest with you,” Hill said.

”I don’t know that I would have done anything different. I went to

cover up the ball with my bare hand like you’re taught to do and

the ball just popped out of the end. Just one of those things.

Priority number one is to catch the ball, and it didn’t


The Giants added a run in the eighth when Gregor Blanco scored

from first on Cabrera’s hit-and-run single to left. Soriano threw

to second on the play and Blanco never stopped running to


NOTES: Sanchez stayed in the game despite fouling successive

pitches off his left leg in the seventh inning. … The Giants have

a major league-low six homers in 28 home games, including none in

the past 12 games. That’s tied for the second longest drought since

the team moved to San Francisco, behind only a 15-gamer in

September 1980. The Giants are 8-4 during the homerless stretch at

home. … The Cubs fell to 2-11 this season against lefty starters.

… The Giants go for the four-game sweep Monday when Ryan

Vogelsong (3-2) takes on Jeff Samardzija (5-3).