Giants 4, Tigers 0
DETROIT (AP)—Jason Schmidt found his All-Star stuff in the ballpark where the midsummer classic will be played next month.
Schmidt pitched eight strong innings, and Tyler Walker got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth with three straight strikeouts to lead the San Francisco Giants over the Detroit Tigers 4-0 on Friday night.
“The ace is back and the closer is here,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou declared.
Schmidt (4-3) gave up four hits over the first eight innings and didn’t allow a runner to reach third until Placido Polanco, Dmitri Young and Rondell White singled in the ninth. Walker came on and struck out Ivan Rodriguez, Craig Monroe and Chris Shelton for his 10th save in 11 opportunities.
“That was the nastiest I’ve ever seen him,” Schmidt said. “To come in and punch three out with the bases loaded, that’s what the greatest closers do in baseball. I had more fun watching that than being out there myself.”
Schmidt, who struck out five and walked one, earned his first win since May 24 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and just his second since April 10. The two-time All-Star had lost his previous two starts.
“I tried to not overthrow and to just stay calm,” he said after his longest outing of the season.
Mike Matheny drove in two runs with one of his three hits for San Francisco, which has three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from May 21-25.
“Momentum happens when you play good baseball,” Alou said.
Detroit was coming off a three-game sweep of NL-West leading San Diego.
“We got shut down completely,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said.
Nate Robertson (2-5) gave up four runs and eight hits—including four doubles—and a walk while matching a season high with five strikeouts over seven innings.
“On any other night, this could’ve been enough to win,” he said.
Robertson, who led Detroit with 12 victories last season, has won only one of his last seven starts.
Matheny’s two-out, two-run single gave the Giants all they needed in the second inning. Todd Linden doubled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on J.T. Snow’s groundout in the fourth. Matheny doubled in the fifth and scored on Michael Tucker’s sacrifice fly.
Though Schmidt isn’t throwing in the mid-90s like he used to, Trammell said he found a way to be very effective against the Tigers.
“He got ahead of the hitters, spotted the fastball away and had a nice tight slider,” Trammell said. “If you can spot the ball and locate, you don’t need much velocity. I’m sure he’d like to have it, but he didn’t need it.”
San Francisco RHP LaTroy Hawkins went on the 15-day DL Friday, retroactive to June 10, with nerve irritation in his right elbow. “I’m concerned,” Hawkins said after the game. “If your fingertips were tingling for the first time, you would be concerned, too.” The Giants don’t think it’s serious, but they’re not sure Hawkins will return as soon as he’s eligible to play. … Walker went 2-9 as a starter at Triple-A Toledo in Detroit’s organization two years ago. … Tigers and baseball officials had a news conference Friday to tout the All-Star FanFest, a five-day celebration of all things baseball that leads up to the All-Star game on July 12 at Detroit. … The Giants made their first trip to Comerica Park. … Polanco has four multihit games in the seven with the Tigers since they acquired him on June 8.