The A’s, who totaled 21 runs and 31 hits in their previous two games, were shut out 6-0 by the Giants on Friday night in the series opener.
San Francisco rookie Jerome Williams was stellar, allowing just one runner to reach second base and needing just 96 pitches to pitch the shutout. In the final three innings, 28 of Williams’ 31 pitches were strikes, and he didn’t throw a ball in the ninth.
“He came here as an emergency guy,” Giants manager Felipe Alou said. “He’s not an emergency any more. … Ever since he got here, we’ve been talking about his ability to throw strikes. He put it right where Benito (Santiago) gave him the target. You don’t see too many young guys controlling the fastball like he does.”
San Francisco got a homer from Barry Bonds to even the series at two games apiece. It was the first homer in a week for the defending NL batting champion and MVP, who went 1-for-8 in San Francisco’s series against Los Angeles earlier in the week.
Bonds is 0-for-2 with a walk in his career against Zito. The Athletics’ ace has had two straight strong outings, but nothing to show for it. The left-hander allowed just two earned runs over his last 12 innings in two starts against Texas. He didn’t earn a decision in either game.
Oakland is 2-3 in its seven-game road trip. After finishing the series against San Francisco, the Athletics will return home for a 13-game homestand before the All-Star break.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 2nd place, 6 GB, AL West. Giants - 1st place, NL West.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Zito (7-5, 2.84 ERA). Zito is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA against San Francisco in his career.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Rueter (7-2, 3.55 ERA). Rueter pitched six shutout innings in his last start on Monday, a 3-2 victory over Los Angeles. The left-hander is winless in his last three starts. He is 5-3 with a 3.76 ERA in nine career games against Oakland.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .322 avg., 47 runs and 7 SBs.; Chavez, 16 HRs; Tejada, 53 RBIs. Giants - Ray Durham, .311 avg.; Bonds, 21 HRs, 45 RBIs and 53 runs; Bonds and Marquis Grissom, 7 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Athletics - 8-8. Giants - 9-7.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - OF Jermaine Dye will miss the entire Bay Bridge Series after getting a cortisone shot in his troublesome right knee. Dye missed last Sunday’s game against San Francisco and the final three games of the series in Texas earlier this week with the injury. … SS Tejada is 4-for-18 in his career against Rueter. … The Athletics have failed to give Zito any run support, scoring more than three runs just four times in his last 12 starts. Giants - Manager Felipe Alou benched 3B Edgardo Alfonzo for Friday night’s game. Alfonzo, who is an 0-for-18 slump, is hitting just .216 with five homer and 27 RBIs in the first season of a four-year, $26 million contract. … LHP Damian Moss will miss his next turn in the rotation to do extra bullpen work. Moss (7-6) has struggled since starting the season 5-0, and he was raked by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. … The Giants will play 12 of their next 14 games on the road after the series with Oakland.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 17-22 on the road; Giants - 24-14 at home.
INJURIES: Athletics - LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL. Giants - INF J.T. Snow (groin), 15-day DL; OF Marvin Benard (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Kurt Ainsworth (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 15-day DL.