Zito gets 14th win for Giants; Cabrera out for playoffs

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants on Thursday closed their regular-season home schedule with a 7-3 win over Arizona, and they announced beforehand that suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera will not be a part of any postseason roster.
"We have decided to develop our roster from our current group of players," manager Bruce Bochy said. "They've done a terrific job during the critical part of the season."
Suspended on Aug. 15 for a positive testosterone test while leading the National League in hitting .346, Cabrera would have been eligible to start a minor-league rehab assignment on Saturday if the Giants had intentions of reinstating him.
"We have informed Melky's agent and they understand," Bochy said. "I just like the way this club has played down the stretch and moved on. So we're going to move forward without Melky."
The Giants capped the 10-game homestand with their eighth win and won for a 10th straight time when Barry Zito (14-8) starts. The veteran left-hander went six innings and allowed three runs on six hits as he continued to sew up a spot on the team's playoff roster, unlike 2010 when he was forced to watch the team win the World Series without a chance to participate.
It's the first time the Giants have won 10 or more straight starts by a single pitcher since they did it with Bill Swift from April-June, 1992.
"When you have fun, it means you're loose out there and you're enjoying baseball," said Zito, who credited a change in attitude as a big reason for his turnaround. "As long as I can stay focused on the process and enjoy it, all the other stuff kind of comes after that."
The Giants broke the game open early, scoring six times in the second inning as all nine batters came to the plate against Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (6-8), a well-regarded prospect in the Arizona organization.
Cleanup hitter Buster Posey started the hit parade with a single to center and scored when Hunter Pence struck a two-run homer to left on the next pitch. Pence established a career high with 98 RBIs thanks to his 22nd long ball.
Brandon Belt singled to right and came around on Hector Sanchez's ringing double into the left-field corner. Zito's soft single over the shortstop's head preceded a passed ball to allow Sanchez to scamper home from third. Zito scored when Marco Scutaro blasted a two-run homer to left with two outs. Scutaro extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games.
"I needed to minimize the damage," Corbin said. "I made a couple bad pitches -- the first pitch to Pence and the pitch to Scutaro was up."
"He just didn't make good pitches and they whopped him," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson added. "They hit him early in the count. We gave up six runs on 19 pitches, two home runs. He just left some pitches out over the plate."
The Diamondbacks rallied to score twice in the fourth as Zito struggled with his control after two were out. Pinch-hitter Chris Young dropped a single on a curveball into left field with the bases loaded to score Paul Goldschmidt and Cody Ransom. Ransom and Jake Elmore drew two-out walks.
Arizona tacked on a single run in the sixth when Ransom and Elmore hit back-to-back doubles to left.
Sanchez hit his second homer of the season and first at home in the eighth to cap the scoring.
"The Sanchez home run was kind of a killer," Gibson said.
Arizona finished 40-41 on the road, failing to post back-to-back winning road campaigns.
"We had an opportunity to beat these guys for the series; we know they're a good ballclub, we understand that," Gibson said. "This series is who we have been. Come in two games over .500 and go back at .500."
NOTES -- The Giants extended their sellout streak to 165 straight, and have attracted more than 3 million fans during 11 of their 13 seasons at AT&T Park. ... The Giants finished with a 48-33 record at home. ... Scutaro is batting .452 with four doubles and 14 RBIs during his hitting streak. ... The Diamondbacks open a season-ending six-game homestand on Friday when Ian Kennedy (14-11) is set to oppose Travis Wood (6-12) of the visiting Cubs. ... Ryan Vogelsong (13-9) is scheduled to face Andrew Werner (7-3) of the Padres as San Francisco begins a six-game road trip in San Diego on Friday.

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