In the 1st inning, rookie Juan Perez ran a screaming Paul Goldschmidt liner down in right-center, crashing into the wall but holding on for the out. It was his first major-league play, and it was spectacular. Chad Gaudin had dispatched the first two hitters but the slugging Arizona first baseman hit what looked like an easy double and possible triple. The 26-year old débutant, though, seized his moment and set the tone for the game. From that point on it was great pitching and defense and the 2013 Giants, looking a lot more like defending champs, won a series on the road since sweeping these same Diamondbacks at the end of April. Chad "I'm the Man" Gaudin was impressive again, throwing hard, throwing strikes, keeping the ball down and snapping off some nasty sliders to boot. The two runs he did give up were on a bloop and a balk, and other than that inning he was in command. The lineup rapped out 12 hits including a double (Hunter Pence), triple (Gregor Blanco), and two homers (Marco Scutaro and Brandon Belt). The bullpen faced ten batters to get the last nine outs, striking out three (Jeremy Affeldt two and Sergio Romo one) and walking none.
The Giants take the series from the front-runners and cut the lead to 1-1/2 games. It was almost a sweep. Matt Cain had the best start of the weekend but the team could not pull out the win. I like it when they score lots of runs. That way late-game homers don't hurt so much. But I like it best when they win, and when they bunch together good starts and quality innings they usually find a way to do just that. Madison Bumgarner wasn't pretty last night, but he was tough and kept the ball in the yard and the game close. Chad Gaudin was even tougher today, and I'd be surprised if we don't see him again on Saturday in Atlanta. The team has another off-day tomorrow, then a three-game set in Pittsburgh. The website says it will be Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, and back to Cain. That means Bumgarner for Friday and then Gaudin's spot. Their next off-day won't be until the 27th.