ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jeff Samardzija had a dominant performance on a night that was much more than just a ballgame.
Samardzija threw a four-hitter and the San Francisco Giants won their sixth consecutive game Friday by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 on Pride Night, before the biggest regular-season crowd at Tropicana Field in a decade.
The announced attendance of 40,135 was the first regular-season turnout over 40,000 at the Rays’ ballpark since opening day in 2006 against Baltimore (40,199). Tampa Bay entered averaging 16,037 in home attendance this season, second-lowest in the majors.
The Rays dedicated this year’s event to the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando. The team on Tuesday made all available tickets $5, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the Pulse Victims Fund.
“It’s just a tragedy what happened, and to see how people came together, united, and poured out their hearts for what happened in Orlando really made it a special night,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco had two RBIs apiece and Brandon Belt homered for the NL West-leading Giants, a season-high 16 games over .500.
Chris Archer (4-9) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings for the Rays.
“I’m glad we were able to have that great of a crowd and the proceeds go to such a great cause,” Archer said.
Samardzija (8-4), who was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in his previous three starts, retired 22 of 23 before Brad Miller homered with two outs in the ninth.
“Obviously you want the complete-game shutout, but a complete game isn’t so bad either,” Samardzija said.
Samardzija struck out four during a 115-pitch outing.
“The guy had our number,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Major League Baseball vice president of social responsibility and inclusion Billy Bean threw the ceremonial first pitch.
“I think today will be just a great moment if baseball can make everybody smile, enjoy a great baseball game, feel a little closer to one another,” Bean said. “It’s not specific to one person or another, or race or gender or color or sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s about people feeling connected and supportive.”
The Rays wore “We are Orlando” T-shirts during batting practice and the hats of their one-time Double-A team, the Orlando Rays, in the game.
Crawford drove in two with a double in the first before Blanco made it 4-0 on a two-run single in the fourth. Belt hit a solo drive in the seventh.
Giants: Belt, hit by a pitch on the right foot Tuesday, returned after sitting out one game.
Rays: 3B Evan Longoria (left forearm soreness) said he is not at 100 percent but started after missing one game. . RHP Brad Boxberger (left oblique) will start playing catch Monday.
Giants: Closer Santiago Casilla has been placed on the paternity list as his wife prepares to give birth to their baby girl and will miss the three-game series at Tampa Bay. LHP Steven Okert was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.
Rays: 3B Joshua Lowe, the Rays’ 2016 first-round draft pick from Pope High School in Georgia, signed and will begin his pro career with the rookie-level Gulf Coast League Rays. . RHP Steve Geltz was recalled from Triple-A Durham. RHP Ryan Garton was optioned to the International League club Thursday.
Giants: RHP Albert Suarez (2-1) is the expected starter Saturday in place of RHP Jake Peavy (stiff neck), who is now scheduled to start Sunday.
Rays: Matt Moore (3-4) will start Saturday’s game.