(Sports Network) – Assured of going to the All-Star break in first place in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants have been riding the incredible bat of Pablo Sandoval in their recent success. He’ll take a 20-game hitting streak into tonight’s finale of a three-game series against the New York Mets.
Sandoval’s streak is currently the second-longest in the majors behind Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun (22 games). It’s the longest by a Giant since Buster Posey hit safely in 21 straight last season. Jack Clark holds the San Francisco era record for longest hit streak with 26 games from June 30-July 25, 1978. The franchise record is 33 games, held by George Davis in 1893.
Last night, Sandoval came through by going 2-for-4 with an RBI in San Francisco’s 3-1 win. The Giants scored twice in the first inning and it held up for Tim Lincecum and the bullpen. Lincecum (7-7) lasted six innings and gave up one run on four hits and four walks to win for just the second time in eight starts. Santiago Casilla, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo combined to keep New York silent over the final three frames.
“When you dig yourself a hole in the first inning, you can get frustrated and it can turn into a snowball effect. But they scored those two [runs] and let me relax,” Lincecum said.
Chris Capuano (8-8) yielded a pair of runs on four hits and four walks in a six-inning start to take the loss.
“[Capuano] gave us a chance to win, that’s all you can ask,” Mets third baseman Daniel Murphy said. “He threw the ball well.”
Matt Cain gets the ball in the final game before the All-Star break. The right-hander took the loss on Tuesday as San Diego beat the Giants, 5-3. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits in seven frames. It marked the first time since September 22, 2009 at Arizona that Cain was on the losing end of a decision when receiving three or more runs of support. The Giants have gone 24-4 since that game when scoring at least three runs to support Cain.
This will be Cain’s ninth career start vs. the Mets. He’s 4-3 with a 4.03 ERA against them and has pitched well against New York over the last three outings, going 2-0 with 2.21 ERA.
Countering for the Mets will be Mike Pelfrey, who is 2-1 with a 2.04 ERA in five career games vs. the Giants. Pelfrey stifled the Giants by allowing one earned run over 7 2/3 innings of a 5-2 win at Citi Field on May 2. The righty threw six shutout innings in his most recent start, in a win Tuesday against the Dodgers.
San Francisco took two of three at New York in early May.