San Francisco 3, NY Mets 0
When: 10:15 PM ET, Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
Doug Eddings, 1B -
Andy Fletcher, 2B -
Jordan Baker, 3B -
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said his ballclub, mired in a seven-game losing streak, needed a lift Tuesday night.
Inspirational leader Hunter Pence was able to answer the call.
Pence returned from the disabled list with a splash, contributing two RBIs and a highlight-reel defensive play to help the Giants end their skid with a 3-0 victory over the New York Mets.
Right-hander Matt Cain, in just his second start following a lengthy DL stint of his own, shut out the Mets on two hits over six innings and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter as the Giants avenged a 3-0 loss to New York a night earlier.
"It's been a real grind. It's been a tough week," Bochy said of a losing streak that began with a winless trip to Miami and Washington. "They needed this. I really thought this was a very, very important game for them."
Left fielder Gregor Blanco had three hits and All-Star second baseman Joe Panik chipped in with two singles and two runs, helping the Giants rough up Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon while ending New York's modest two-game winning streak.
"He plays the game the right way," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Pence. "He's not the prettiest looking player. But I'll tell you what: He's one of the most effective guys in the league."
After having missed the Giants' last 30 games because of tendinitis in his left wrist, Pence was thrust immediately into right field and the heart of the batting order after being reinstated from the DL only an hour or so before the game.
He drove in the Giants' first run with a fielder's choice grounder in the third inning and knocked in their third with a two-out, RBI single to right field in the fifth, giving him 15 RBIs in the 19 games he's played this season.
The 2014 All-Star also missed the first 36 games of the campaign with a broken left arm suffered in spring training.
"You can't always control results," Pence said of his mind-set entering the game, "but I was prepared."
His biggest crowd-pleasing moment occurred in the field following Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson's inning-opening triple in the sixth.
Shortstop Ruben Tejada then lifted a flyball toward the Mets' bullpen down the right-field line. Pence raced over, made a sliding catch, quickly got back on his feet and gunned down Granderson trying to score.
"It was one of the best plays I've seen," Bochy said.
"It was kinda a miracle," Pence admitted. "All the stars had to align.
"There was nothing to lose. There were no other runners on base. Just throw a prayer up there. (Catcher Andrew) Susac made a ridiculous catch-and-tag. That was the special part of the play."
One out later, Cain (1-1) was done, having thrown 95 pitches in six innings. He walked two and struck out seven.
The win was his first in almost exactly a year, his previous victory having come July 9 of last season against the Oakland Athletics.
"It's been a long time. It's been a long road," Cain noted. "It's definitely been a lot of work."
After right-hander George Kontos pitched a scoreless seventh inning, the Mets were able to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the eighth after righty Hunter Strickland gave up a double to catcher Kevin Plawecki and a two-out walk to Tejada.
Left-hander Josh Osich relieved Strickland at that point and needed just one pitch to get third baseman Daniel Murphy to ground out, ending the threat.
Giants closer Santiago Casilla overcame an inning-opening walk in the ninth to complete the club's major league-leading 13th shutout and earn his 21st save.
Colon (9-7) surrendered all three Giants runs -- just two of which were earned -- in six innings, giving up 10 hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
"We had four extra-base hits and couldn't push anything across," Collins said. "All we had to do was get something here or there and I think it would have been an interesting finish."
All four of the Mets' hits went for extra bases. Plawecki had two of them, a pair of doubles.
The Mets' sloppiness in the field finally cost them in the third inning, when their second error of the game helped the Giants score twice to go up 2-0.
Blanco and Panik led off the inning with singles. Colon then induced two grounders to third base and a fly to left field, yet the Giants turned the three batted balls into two runs.
Third baseman Murphy booted the first of the two grounders hit his way, loading the bases. He then fielded the second one cleanly, but opted to throw to second base for a force out while Blanco raced home with the game's first run.
Pence got the RBI on that grounder.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford followed with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Panik with an unearned run.
Pence's RBI single made it 3-0 in the fifth.
NOTES: The Giants are 13-5 in games in which RF Hunter Pence has started this season. ... When Pence was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, the Giants optioned OF Ryan Lollis to Triple-A Sacramento. ... Immediately following the completion of his 80-day, PED-related suspension, Mets RHP Jenrry Mejia was reinstated from the suspended list. He did not get into Tuesday's game. ... RHP Logan Verrett, who recorded his first career save Sunday in Los Angeles, was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas to create a spot on the 25-man active roster for Mejia, and RHP Buddy Carlyle (back spasms) was transferred from the 15- to the 60-day DL so that Mejia could be added to the 40-man roster. ... Mets OF/1B Michael Cuddyer, who had two hits in Monday's win, was held out Tuesday because of a sore left knee.
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