San Francisco, CA – Barry Zito spun seven innings of shutout ball, and aided by an early offensive outburst, the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-0, in the opener of a three-game series.
Zito (6-5) scattered three hits and allowed three walks while fanning four. The 34-year-old had lost each of his previous three starts coming in, surrendering 17 runs in just 14 1/3 innings with opponents hitting .377 off him during the stretch.
"Tough guy to face when you're down early," Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said of Zito.
Pablo Sandoval registered three hits, three RBI and a pair of runs scored, for the Giants, who are just two games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, the closest they've been to first place since April 7.
"We made contact and good things happen when you do that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was good to get early runs."
Melky Cabrera added two hits, an RBI and two runs scored, while Angel Pagan tallied a pair of hits, two RBI and a run scored.
Nathan Eovaldi (0-4) allowed eight runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings for the Dodgers, who have dropped six of their last seven contests.
The Giants stormed out of the gate with four runs in the opening frame and added three more in the second.
After back-to-back one-out singles by Ryan Theriot and Cabrera, Pagan brought home Theriot after pulling a double that ricocheted off the first-base bag and over the head of James Loney.
Sandoval then ripped a double to right, which plated Cabrera and Pagan, and following Brandon Belt's groundout, Sandoval crossed the plate on Hector Sanchez's single to center for a 4-0 San Francisco advantage.
In the second, Zito walked and Gregor Blanco singled to start the inning. After Theriot grounded into a fielder's choice, consecutive RBI singles by Cabrera and Pagan preceded Sandoval's sacrifice fly to left, pushing the margin to 7-0.
San Francisco plated another in the fifth as Sanchez cracked an RBI double to deep center, making it an 8-0 game.
The Giants have won 11 of their last 16 games against the Dodgers in San Francisco...The Giants were 7-for-14 with runners in scoring position while Los Angeles was 0-for-8 and stranded nine.