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Giants scare up another victory

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- The San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs battled through another one-run thriller on Saturday, this time with two scares at the end.

Giants' third baseman Pablo Sandoval tumbled face down into the stands after catching Luis Valbuena's foul ball for a ninth inning out.

Cubs' pinch hitter Steve Clevenger sustained a left oblique injury on a swing as he struck out to end the game and was prone in pain at the plate before behind helped off.

A heavily-iced Sandoval banged up a shin but said he felt fine. Clevenger, however, was set for a post-game MRI to determine how seriously he was hurt.

"They have been hard-fought games," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "We had to come to win the first one and, of course, the second one they made a great comeback.

" ... We're not clicking offense, but our pitching is doing a good job."

Marco Scutaro went 3-for-4 and collected a game-winning RBI to lead the Giants to their fifth win in six games and set up a chance to win the four-game series on Sunday.

Scutaro, the Giants' second baseman, drove home starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner with a single in the seventh for a 3-0 lead.

Bumgarner (3-0) pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings until giving up a two-out pinch hit homer to Dioner Navarro before departing.

Navarro's home run was his second in two days.

Bumgarner said he felt like he pitched well, with the exception of that final pitch.

"It was up, which is sometimes a tough pitch to handle, but he put a good swing on it." Bumgarner said. "(But) I felt good. For the most part, all the pitches felt pretty good today

" ... (And) I felt like we did a good job defensively, really good. We made some plays and got ourselves out of trouble."

Bochy used three pitchers, including a short stint for left-hander Jeremy Affeldt.

"Madison was good, he was really good," Bochy said. "He did a great job and (reliever Santiago) Casilla, what a great job to bail us out. It wasn't our best game, to be honest, between base running and a couple of mistakes there. But our pitching picked us up."

Cubs' right-hander Jeff Samardzija pitched solid six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out five, before leaving for reliever Michael Bowden, the second of four Cubs pitchers.

"(Samardzija) will probably tell you he wasn't as sharp as his first two outings ... the life on the fastball wasn't quite what it has been," Cubs' manager Dale Sveum said.

"But he made some pitches when he had to and got of some jams.

Samardzija allowed only one ball out of the park on a day when the win was blowing out to right field.

"I fell behind some hitters that I didn't need to; fastball command was just OK, splitter was OK at best," Samardzija said. "But you play a team like that and you've got to get ahead on the count."

Chicago loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Casilla got Welington Castillo to hit into an inning-ending double play.

Casilla earned the save, his first of the season.

Giants' outfielder Andres Torres doubled to lead off the fifth and scored the game's first run on Gregor Blanco's single to right. Blanco was tagged out to end the inning while trying to stretch the single into a double.

Scutaro singled to center to open the sixth inning, reached second on a wild pitch and came home when Pablo Sandoval also singled to center off Samardzija.

Scutaro picked up his RBI in the seventh with a single that scored Bumgarner, who had reached base on a sacrifice bunt.

Navarro's two-run home run came with Alberto Gonzalez aboard. It was the 110th and last pitch for Bumgarner.

"I just keep myself mentally ready, taking swings in the clubhouse and just go out there and swing," Navarro said. "I've been watching (Bumgarner) pitch the whole game and went out there to look for a fast one and got it and was fortunate enough not to miss it."

Cub leadoff batters reached base in three of the first four innings and they had runners on second and third with none out and the bases loaded with two out in the second.

But Chicago failed to score as Samardzija grounded out to short.

"We had a chance to take the lead a couple times before they scored, which obviously changed the game around," Sveum said. "We didn't put the ball in play a couple times when guys where in scoring position and that's the difference in the game, besides the mistakes we made on defense."

The Giants had a runner in scoring position in the third after Blanco reached on an error and advanced to second on Scutaro's single to center. But Sandoval grounded to third to end the inning.

Sandoval, who wandered through the Giants' locker room with an arm and leg heavily wrapped after falling over a three-foot wall, said he felt find and could play on Sunday.

"I didn't even think about the wall," he said. "I was just trying to catch the ball."

NOTES: The Cubs placed right-handed closer Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, one day after he blew a late lead before the Cubs rallied in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory. Fujikawa has a strain in his right forearm. He was replaced by Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa, where he had no decisions and a 3.86 ERA. ... The Cubs played errorless baseball for the second straight day but still have a 10 errors for the season, second only to the Angels' 11. ... The Giants have posted the second-best record in baseball since last Aug. 1, going 46-25. Only the Athletics are better (47-23, .671). ... Giants' infielder Brett Pill, on rehab assignment with Triple-A Fresno, has a double, two home runs and four RBIs in six games. He's recovering from right knee surgery. ... Bumgarner might be only 23 and the second-youngest player on the roster, but he's already has made 90 appearances, including 87 starts, through Saturday, ... The four-game series, the Giants' only scheduled trip to Chicago this season, concludes with a 1:20 p.m. game Sunday at Wrigley Field. The Cubs are at AT&T Park for a three-game series late in July.
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