OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Rich Aurilia rested his forehead against the side of his locker, a look of exhaustion in his eyes.
“I’m tired,” he said with a glint of playfulness. “Can’t you guys just make something up?”
He had good reason for being so tired. Aurilia homered and matched his career-high with five RBIs to help the San Francisco Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 11-1 on Sunday for their first series win in the Bay Area rivalry in two years.
“We know they’ve beaten us up the past couple of years,” Aurilia said. “We’re just trying to win games. It doesn’t matter who we play. Every time we play the A’s they throw a good pitcher at us; and the guys in the bullpen are good too. The key today was getting five two-out hits in a row that one inning. That’s something you want to build off.”
Jonathan Sanchez won his fifth straight road start. Ray Durham doubled twice and drove in a run and John Bowker had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Giants, who won their fourth in six games overall.
“It’s always nice getting those two-out hits,” Bowker said. “You need that to win games like this.”
Sanchez (8-4) gave up Cust’s home run in the second and not much else, allowing four hits over seven innings. After the homer, Sanchez retired 16 of the next 18 batters he faced. He walked one and struck out six.
“I’m more comfortable with getting on top of the ball in my delivery,” Sanchez said. “I’m getting ahead of guys and getting better with my command.”
Sergio Romo and Jack Taschner each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the four-hitter.
Blanton (4-11) lost for the fifth time in six starts. He gave up seven runs and eight hits in four-plus innings, walking one and striking out three. He’s given up 16 runs over his last 14 innings, and that includes a one-run, four-hit effort over seven innings in his last start.
“It’s kind of hard not to be frustrated,” Blanton said. “It was just another standard day for me. I felt well going out but the numbers looked like crap by the end of the day. It’s like it’s over before you know it. That’s how it’s been this season for me.”
Blanton set down the first 10 hitters he faced and then allowed nine of the final 11 batters to reach base.
“He was locating the ball the first three innings,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “But then it seemed like they got some balls over the plate and linked some hits together.”
“Key hits, that’s what it takes,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “It all starts on the mound and we just got things rolling.”
The A’s won seven straight and 10 of 11 from their rivals before the Giants won the last two games, taking a series from the A’s for the first time since May 19-21, 2006, also in Oakland.
Aurilia drove in five runs for the fifth time, and the first since June 7, 2006.
The Giants are a combined 25-9 in games started by Sanchez and RHP Tim Lincecum. … A’s RHP Brad Ziegler has yet to allow a run in his 13 innings, the longest streak by an Oakland pitcher at the start of his career since Jeff Jones went 13 1-3 innings in 1980. … Durham had two doubles in a game for the first time since Sept. 29, 2006. … Blanton has given up 14 runs in his last 14 innings against the Giants. … The Giants finished their third consecutive road trip with a winning record for the first time since 2003. … A’s 2B Mark Ellis is batting an AL-low .193 at home this season.