San Francisco, CA – Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt each had two RBI during a four-run sixth inning that lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics, a result that ended a six-game win streak for their Bay Area rivals.
Sandoval finished 2-for-4 and delivered a go-ahead two-run single during the big inning, while Barry Zito (4-3) worked around a season-high six walks to limit the A's to one run on three hits over six frames to halt a six-start winless drought.
The Giants had dropped the first three meetings of the four-game home-and-home Bay Bridge Series and dealt the resurgent Athletics only their second loss in their last 13 outings.
"Ideally you want to win a few more games in a four-game series, but it's going to help our momentum as we go into St. Louis (on Friday) and play a tough team," Belt remarked.
A.J. Griffin (5-4) spun five shutout innings for Oakland, but faltered in the sixth and was charged with four runs allowed over 5 2/3 frames.
Coco Crisp accounted for three of Oakland's five hits, including an RBI single.
Griffin was virtually untouchable over the game's opening five innings, retiring 10-of-11 San Francisco hitters out of the gate before yielding his first hit of the afternoon, a Sandoval single with one out in the fourth.
It all fell apart for the young right-hander in the sixth, however.
With the Giants trailing 1-0, Brett Pill stroked a leadoff single pinch- hitting for Zito and Brandon Crawford laced a double two batters later to put two men in scoring position. Sandoval then brought both home and sent his team in front with a base hit up the middle.
Griffin exited after giving up a two-out single to Hunter Pence, with Belt greeting reliever Hideki Okajima with a double into the gap in left-center that extended the lead to 4-1.
"To be doing so well like that and then let them put together hits like that is pretty frustrating," Griffin said afterward. "They capitalized on their opportunities and that's how it goes sometimes."
The A's got a run back in the seventh, when pinch-hitter John Jaso drew a leadoff walk against Ramon Ramirez and later scored on Yoenis Cespedes' single off George Kontos, but failed to get a runner past first against Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo over the final two innings.
San Francisco tacked on some insurance in its half of the seventh. Nick Noonan reached on a bunt single, advanced a base on a Gregor Blanco hit, then came around on Oakland shortstop Adam Rosales' throwing error on a potential inning-ending double-play grounder.
While Griffin was cruising at the outset, Zito labored through the early innings. The veteran pitched his way in and out of trouble in the first, stranding Crisp, who doubled, at third and Jed Lowrie, who walked, at second by recording three straight outs.
A costly walk to Griffin with two outs in the second kept that inning alive, and Crisp made Zito pay with a slap single to left that plated Derek Norris for a 1-0 edge.
Zito issued two more free passes in the third, but was again able to elude damage, then settled down by yielding just one hit over his last three innings of work.
The Giants improved to 7-0 at home when Zito starts this season. Including Game 1 of last year's World Series, the club has won 14 consecutive times when he has taken the mound at AT&T Park, with the last loss occurring on Aug. 2 against the New York Mets ... Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was held out of the game due to flu-like symptoms ... Cespedes' RBI single extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games, while Lowrie is batting .367 (11- for-30) during an eight-game tear after going 1-for-4 on Thursday ... The Athletics have now lost in 12 of their last 14 visits to AT&T Park.