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Blanco's two-run triple helps Giants top Cubs


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A Giants split-squad put together a four-run fourth inning to help lift San Francisco to a 9-7 victory over the Cubs on Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium.

Gregor Blanco's two-run triple was the key hit in the Giants' fourth, with Blanco later scoring on Kensuke Tanaka's RBI groundout.

Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt opened the fourth inning by walking the bases loaded before Cubs catcher Dioner Navarro's two-run single. Chicago first baseman/catcher Steve Clevenger followed with a RBI single to put the Cubs ahead, 3-1, and knock out Affeldt.

"[Affeldt] looked good the first hitter, but he just got out of sync and got a little quick out there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Clevenger finished with two RBIs on the day.

Both of the game's starting pitchers twirled solid three-inning outings.

Cubs right-hander Carlos Vilanueva surrendered four hits -- one a solo home run to Pablo Sandoval -- and struck out two.

Villanueva came up in the Giants organization, and knew Sandoval. The Cubs right-hander wasn't surprised when Sandoval connected, even though the pitch was ankle-high.

"It was exactly where I wanted to throw it," Villanueva said, shrugging his shoulders.

Maybe he should've thrown it down the middle.

"Maybe he would've popped it up -- you never know," Villanueva said.

Giants righty Yusmeiro Petit -- filling in for Tim Lincecum (blister) -- allowed one hit and struck out one.

Sandoval's third-inning blast continued the Giants third baseman's hot hitting; Sandoval, who now heads to play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic, is hitting .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles and three RBIs in his first six Cactus League games.

Up next: The Giants host the D-backs at 12:05 p.m. PT on Sunday at Scottsdale Stadium, with left-hander Barry Zito making his second Cactus League start. San Francisco will face second-year Arizona pitcher Josh Collmenter.

Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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