With a six-game road trip around the corner, the San Francisco Giants try to close out a three-game interleague set with the Baltimore Orioles on a positive note Sunday.
San Francisco, which has not won back-to-back outings since the start of August, won for the second time in the last three games on Saturday with a narrow 3-2 decision in the middle game of this rare set between teams from opposite coasts and differing leagues.
The Giants, now 31-30 at home and 14 games out of first in the National League West standings, scored all of their runs in the sixth inning when Marco Scutaro singled to score Andres Torres and Hunter Pence delivered a double to plate Scutaro and Brandon Belt.
Chad Gaudin made the start for the hosts, lasting five innings before heading to the bench. Gaudin allowed just one run on two hits and three walks, striking out six, before making way for eventual winner, Guillermo Moscoso. Fellow reliever Sergio Romo picked up his 28th save as well.
"Pitching -- what a great job they did," said manager Bruce Bochy. "It started with Chad. He logged some pitches there, but he competed so well out there to keep them to one run. Guillermo had two solid innings. We needed it. He came through for us."
Often lost in the mix of an American League East that boasts the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, the Orioles are still only 5 1/2 games behind the former for the top spot in the division, despite having a three-game win streak come to an end.
Baltimore, which will take on another rare NL opponent in the Arizona Diamondbacks this coming week before returning home, saw Nick Markakis log three of his team's eight hits, while Chris Davis let fly with his major league-leading 42nd home run of the campaign, estimated at more than 460 feet.
"I know their record doesn't say it, but they're a good team," Davis said of the Giants. "Any time you come in here, you're going to have a battle on your hands. That's the reason they've won the World Series the last few years. They know how to win."
Wei-Yin Chen was saddled with the loss as he permitted all three San Francisco runs. Chen allowed five hits and walked one, while striking out just two, in six innings of work for the visitors.
Up next in the rotation for the Orioles is former Houston hurler Bud Norris this afternoon. The right-hander is seeking his third win in as many outings after permitting just one run on five hits and a pair of walks, while striking out five, through six innings on Tuesday versus San Diego on the road.
Five days prior to the win over the Padres, Norris also lasted six innings against his former mates, giving up two runs on four hits -- two home runs -- and fanning eight over six innings as well.
Norris, who was drafted by the Astros in 2006, has a career mark of 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA in four games against the Giants.
Countering for San Francisco will be Matt Cain this time around. The right- hander has won just two times since the middle of June, yet during that time he has allowed more than three runs only once, keeping the Giants in contention almost every time he takes the mound.
Cain last pitched on Tuesday when he lasted seven innings against Milwaukee at home, giving up two runs on four hits, while striking out six in what turned into a 3-1 loss for the club.
A member of the Giants since 2005, Cain is going up against Baltimore for the first time in his career today.
With the defeat on Saturday, Baltimore is now 134-162 all-time in interleague play, while the Giants moved one game over .500 in that department with a 134-133 slate.