Giants ease past Jays for series win

Giants ease past Blue Jays

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's almost as if a switch was flipped.

A few days ago, the Giants were swimming in one- and two-run losses and shutout innings, 21 scoreless innings to be precise, but the tables have turned. Now, the Giants are starting to resemble the clutch-hitting, power lineup that manager Bruce Bochy always said they were.

The San Francisco bats continued to find the ball on Tuesday, as the Giants held off the Blue Jays by one run for the second night in a row. It was selfless offense and phenomenal defense that gave the Giants a 3-2 victory over Toronto and their first series win since May 23.

"It seemed like everything we did, we were losing by one or two runs," Ryan Klesko said.

But for the past two nights, the Giants have been hanging on by inches -- literally on Tuesday.

Randy Winn came up with a game-saving catch in the ninth, pulling back a deep fly about to sail over the wall in left-center. It was Toronto's Aaron Hill that Winn denied.

"It's a matter of inches," Lowry said.

If this sounds familiar that's because it is. On Monday, it was Hill who launched the potential game-winning hit to center in the ninth, but Dave Roberts sacrificed his body to the wall and made the spectacular catch. Hill was truly robbed on both occasions.

Winn was scratched from the lineup a half-hour before the game with a strained rib cage. He came in for Bonds in the seventh, and it's hard to imagine that anyone other than Winn would have made that same catch.

"The way Randy was lining up, it looked like he had a chance. I knew it was pretty high," closer Brad Hennessey said. "He's got that basketball background, and he jumped, and I think it's the second time he's helped me out in that situation."

The Giants are 27-0 this season when they lead after the eighth, lately thanks to the outfield effort.

Hennessey earned his first save since he was appointed as closer after Armando Benitez's departure in a June 1 trade to the Marlins.

It was Hennessey's third save of the season, but he didn't do it alone. The bullpen held on to the one-run lead for three innings. Jack Taschner and Kevin Correia each contributed a perfect frame. Taschner has retired the last 15 batters he's faced.

"You get guys out there, and you need stoppers, and that's what those guys did," starting pitcher Noah Lowry said. "They came out and did a good job, and they did it with authority."

Lowry didn't do too shabby, himself. He wasn't pleased with the home run he gave up in the third, but he threw a masterful game. The left-hander located his pitches well all night, holding the Blue Jays to two runs on four hits in six innings, and it was just enough.

"Those are the ones you want to win -- the tight ones," Klesko said.

It was Klesko's birthday, but he was the one giving the presents. Klesko provided two RBIs in his first two at-bats, scored the go-ahead run in the third and launched a double to left in the seventh.

The rest of the Giants' bats were cracking, too.

Barry Bonds found his swing on Monday night, blasting a 438-foot homer, and he continued to use it on Tuesday. Bonds didn't hit a home run, but he did line two balls off the right-field wall. Bonds went 2-for-2 with a double and two walks.

Outfielder Nate Schierholtz made his first Major League start and proved how valuable he can be for an offense. In his first two at-bats, Schierholtz moved leadoff man Roberts in scoring position.

Schierholtz will be back in right field on Wednesday and during the Boston series while Bonds is DH. It is still uncertain if Winn will be out there with him or if his strained right rib cage will keep him out of the lineup.

Becky Regan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.