Giants 4, Pirates 0

Ryan Vogelsong has felt so good lately that it reminds him of

his successful run over the previous two seasons. He just wants to

keep building on that feeling.

Vogelsong threw eight sharp innings for his first victory in

three months, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh

Pirates 4-0 on Sunday.

”I thought I was settling in over my last four innings against

the Red Sox and I just stayed with what’s working,” said

Vogelsong, who pitched seven solid innings in a no-decision against

Boston on Tuesday. ”I didn’t throw the ball well before I got hurt

and wasn’t finding anything comfortable. The goal is to finish

strong and I feel like I’m on the way to that.”

Pablo Sandoval had two RBIs as the Giants won their second

straight to split the series with the Pirates. Buster Posey and

Joaquin Arias each drove in a run.

”It was exciting to drive in those runs,” Sandoval said. ”The

team needs wins. I lost 20 pounds and I’m moving around better

too.”

Vogelsong (3-4) allowed two hits, struck out five and walked one

in his first win since May 20 against Washington. He had been

sidelined by a broken pinkie finger on his right hand.

The right-hander used his longest outing of the season to lower

his ERA to 2.55 in four starts since coming off the disabled list

on Aug. 9.

”That’s one of the best pitched games we’ve had,” Giants

manager Bruce Bochy said. ”It was fun to watch. He put on a show

on the art of pitching. He was comfortable throwing any pitch at

any time.”

A.J. Burnett (6-9) pitched 7 1-3 innings for Pittsburgh, giving

up four runs and eight hits. He fell to 2-3 in 10 starts since

returning from the DL.

Sandy Rosario finished the three-hitter for San Francisco’s 11th

shutout. The Pirates, who are tied with St. Louis for the NL

Central lead, have been shut out nine times this season.

Vogelsong, who recorded his first decision since coming off the

disabled list, faced just two over the minimum, retiring eight of

the final nine batters he faced.

”It just seemed whatever we were looking for, something else

came out of his hand,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ”We

just didn’t square him up a whole lot throughout the game. We just

had a couple of opportunities. We weren’t able to adjust or

complicate things for him.”

Burnett was nearly as good until running into trouble late. He

retired six straight after Posey’s RBI single and then retired six

straight again before Posey’s single in the eighth.

The Giants scored their first run in the third. After two outs,

Gregor Blanco walked and Brandon Crawford singled ahead of Posey’s

single.

The Pirates had two runners reach as far as second against

Vogelsong, and just once with less than two outs.

A double play started by Posey in the sixth prevented another

runner from moving up. After Jordy Mercer was hit by a pitch, the

reigning MVP pounced out of the box to grab Burnett’s bunt and

start a double play.

”You anticipate a bunt there and I felt like it was close

enough that I had a shot,” Posey said. ”At that point it’s all or

nothing. There can’t be any hesitation.”

Vogelsong said the play changed the inning.

”You’re just hoping to get the one out at second,” he said.

”Getting two outs was a big play.”

Posey also threw out a runner trying to steal.

The Giants put the game away with three more runs in the

eighth.

Posey and Hunter Pence singled around an infield groundout and

Sandoval drilled a triple into the deepest part of the ballpark.

Arias added an RBI double against Tony Watson.

NOTES: Giants RHP Matt Cain will join LHP Jeremy Affeldt in

Arizona to continue rehabbing. Cain is expected to begin throwing

again this week while Affeldt will throw a bullpen session on

Monday. … LHP Barry Zito (4-9, 5.63 ERA) will start for the

Giants on Monday night at Colorado. He’s 0-3 with an 11.20 ERA in

his last four starts. … LHP Jeff Locke (9-4, 3.01 ERA) gets the

start for the Pirates when they begin a series against Milwaukee on

Tuesday night. He’s 1-2 in seven starts since the All-Star break.

… Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen has hit safely in 10 of his last 11

games against the Giants. … Posey collected RBIs in back-to-back

games for the first time since July 19-20. … The Pirates are

5-0-2 in series of at least four games. … The Giants finished

11-23 against the NL Central, the second-worst record of any NL

team against that division.