Giants 4, Mariners 2

When Ryan Vogelsong takes the mound, one of his goals is to try

and match what teammate Matt Cain did before him in San Francisco’s

rotation.

Good luck trying to match a perfect game.

”I told him before the game that I’m trying to keep up with him

and he’s making it tough. He’s not making it easy,” Vogelsong

said.

Helped by homers from Buster Posey and National League hitting

leader Melky Cabrera, Vogelsong won his sixth straight decision on

Friday night, and the Giants opened a three-game interleague series

with a 4-2 win over the slumping Seattle Mariners.

Posey led off the second inning with a solo home run into the

second deck of the left field seats, and Cabrera added a two-run

shot in the eighth inning that proved to be more important than it

first appeared. The Giants have now clubbed eight homers in their

last four games, although this is unlikely to be a continued run of

slugging from a team not known for its power hitting.

Posey turned on a hanging offspeed pitch 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 chase it

down.

”I think they just seem to come in bunches. It’s just the way

that it goes,” Posey said.

Few will ever match what Cain did with his 14 strikeouts in

throwing the 22nd perfect game in baseball history on Wednesday

against Houston. But to a lesser extent, Vogelsong was awfully good

on Friday night even when he didn’t have his best stuff.

Vogelsong took a shutout into the seventh inning and allowed

just two hits before surrendering a pair of singles to Dustin

Ackley and Miguel Olivo to begin the eighth. Before that, Vogelsong

had retired 11 straight and given up just a pair of doubles to

Jesus Montero and Olivo earlier in the game.

More importantly, the last eight times Vogelsong has gone to the

mound, the Giants have come away with victories. Vogelsong is now

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.

His last loss came on May 3 against Miami.

”What you like about him is he keeps his composure out there,

even with the walks, he continues to grind it out and make

pitches,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

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 Olvio 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.

”I said to these guys last year I didn’t want to be the weak

link in the rotation,” Vogelsong said. ”I’m just trying to go out

there and feed off of them.”

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.

”He kept us in it. We’re struggling on offense here right now,

but he deserved to be out there late,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge

said of Vargas. ”He was doing a good job controlling the

game.”

Notes: Giants’ RHP Tim Lincecum, who grew up in the Seattle

suburbs and was a star in college at Washington, will take the

Safeco Field mound for the first time on Saturday night trying to

stop a personal five-game losing streak. Lincecum has not won since

April 28. … Seattle dropped Ackley to seventh in the batting

order for the first time this season. Wedge said he wanted to

balance the top of his order and not be so left-handed hitting

heavy. … Giants’ 1B Brandon Belt saw his consecutive games with a

homer streak end at three.