SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—The outfield flags whipped in the wind and it sure looked like a night when the ball might carry. Sure enough, seven home runs sailed over the fences.
Erick Aybar(notes) and Bobby Abreu(notes) hit back-to-back homers, John Lackey(notes) ended a four-start winless stretch and the Los Angeles Angels beat the San Francisco Giants 9-7 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
Aybar hit a two-run homer before Abreu connected in the Angels’ seven-run fourth. Robb Quinlan(notes) singled in two runs, Mike Napoli(notes) added an RBI double and Lackey even singled in a run for his first major league hit and RBI.
“I don’t think it’s a fluke,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We’ve been saying all along we felt we had more power potential on this team than we were showing. These last four games it’s showing up in a big way.”
San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval(notes) hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth to go with a solo shot an inning earlier, his first career multihomer game. Brian Fuentes(notes) entered and got pinch-hitter Rich Aurilia(notes) on a flyout for his 17th save in 20 chances.
The teams combined for 31 hits and the seven homers matched the most for the Giants’ 10-year-old waterfront ballpark. The Angels, who had lost four of five in San Francisco, improved to 6-1 in interleague play.
Lackey (2-2) struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings and won for the first time since May 18 against Seattle. He was coming off a 9-5 loss at Tampa Bay last Wednesday in which he was tagged for a season-high nine runs and 11 hits.
Lackey was happy to finally get a hit.
“These guys are worried about 0-for-10s and I’m 0-for-7 years,” he said. “I usually put the ball in play. I hit a lot of groundballs and haven’t found any holes. It happened. I’m not going to say I’m a good hitter or anything. I finally fouled off enough pitches and ran into one.”
Lackey was booed when he was announced before the game. He pitched Game 7 for the wild-card Angels when they beat the Giants in the 2002 World Series for the franchise’s first championship.
Angels center fielder Torii Hunter(notes) left after bruising his ribs when he crashed into the wall trying to catch a double by Bengie Molina(notes) in the fourth inning. X-rays on his right rib cage were normal.
He was to be re-evaluated Tuesday to determine when he could play again. He’s hoping for Friday against the Dodgers.
Before the injury, Hunter extended his hitting streak to nine games with a fourth-inning single. He hit three home runs Saturday against San Diego.
Pinch-hitter Andres Torres(notes) splashed a two-run homer into McCovey Cove in the seventh for San Francisco, the 48th time a Giant has reached the water. Two kayakers paddled to try to grab the souvenir ball. In all, there have been 66 splash-hit homers at AT&T Park.
It was the first pinch-hit homer of Torres’ career and the first by a Giant in 2009.
Barry Zito(notes) (3-7) was done after 3 2-3 innings for his shortest outing of the season as the Giants had their three-game winning streak snapped on the heels of their first home sweep of the Oakland Athletics since 2001. Zito, who had won his previous two starts, allowed a season-high seven runs and matched his most hits with 10.
“This is a game you flush down the toilet and keep going,” Zito said.
Scioscia recalled entering the Giants’ ballpark through the wrong gate during the World Series and being “pelted by stale sourdough” while riding a golf cart around the warning track to the other side.
“It’s special,” he said. “It brings you back to that series. It was a terrific series.”
The Giants’ Molina won a ring with the Angels.
NOTES: Lackey was 0-for-26 lifetime before his hit. … Zito hasn’t beaten the Angels in four starts since May 1, 2006. He is 1-4 over his last eight against Los Angeles. … San Francisco INF Juan Uribe(notes) sat out his second straight game nursing an injured hamstring. … For the second straight year, the Giants hosted a steroids awareness clinic. Some 40 high school baseball players participated Monday, learning about the harmful effects of performance-enhancing drugs and also going through agility drills with San Francisco’s athletic training staff. … Home run king and ex-Giants slugger Barry Bonds(notes) hit 35 of the splash-hit homers at the ballpark.