SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Giants have their swagger back. They’re also piling up the wins at AT&T Park again, just as they did early in the season when they owned baseball’s best record for a while.
With a little more than two weeks left in the regular season, manager Bruce Bochy’s club is heating up at the right time.
Four pitchers combined on a two-hitter and Gregor Blanco had an RBI double as part of a four-run seventh inning that sent San Francisco to a 5-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
“We are playing much better as a team,” said Blanco, who had two hits. “The pitching’s been doing the job and (we’re getting) defense and timely hitting. That’s awesome and it’s fun to watch.”
Hunter Pence drew a leadoff walk from Arizona reliever Oliver Perez (3-4) to jump-start the Giants offense. Blanco missed a bunt attempt, then fell behind 1-2 and fouled off two consecutive pitches before lining a double past diving first baseman Mark Trumbo.
Diamondbacks right fielder Alfredo Marte fumbled the ball as it ricocheted off the wall near Arizona’s bullpen, allowing Pence to score without a throw. Pinch-hitter Matt Duffy doubled off Evan Marshall to drive in Blanco.
Jean Machi (7-1) retired the only batter he faced for the win, and the Giants remained 2 1-2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
“We did a lot of good things,” Bochy said. “Blanco couldn’t get a bunt down and we get a break there when he ends up knocking in a run.”
The late scoring surge extended San Francisco’s winning streak at home to a season-high eight games, its longest since winning nine consecutive home games from May 6-22, 2011.
It also broke up a stellar pitching duel.
Diamondbacks starter Josh Collmenter threw six scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked two and has allowed one run or fewer in each of his last four starts.
San Francisco right-hander Ryan Vogelsong gave up just two hits in 6 1-3 innings and, like Collmenter, ended up with a no-decision. Coming off his worst start of the season, Vogelsong struck out three and walked five.
Jeremy Affeldt pitched the eighth and Sergio Romo worked the ninth.
The Giants had only three hits — all singles — before breaking out against Arizona’s bullpen.
“They’re playing well and they got some breaks,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. “They keep playing hard, pushing the issue, and we didn’t respond.”
Brandon Crawford scored on a wild pitch and Angel Pagan added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Travis Ishikawa’s RBI single in the eighth made it 5-0.
Both teams missed scoring opportunities early.
Arizona left the bases loaded in the second, stranded a runner at third in the fourth and left two on in the seventh.
The Giants also struggled with runners in scoring position. San Francisco had men on base in four of the first six innings but came up empty each time.
San Francisco’s hard-luck starter didn’t get any run support while he was in the game and didn’t factor in the decision. Still, Bochy said Vogelsong’s pitching was a key reason the Giants won.
“It all goes back to Vogey,” Bochy said. “That wasn’t a very auspicious start the first two innings. He regroups and does a tremendous job for us.”
Diamondbacks: RHP Brad Ziegler wound up requiring microfracture surgery on his left knee Tuesday and will likely face a longer rehab than originally thought. Ziegler had planned to have an arthroscopic procedure, but doctors found more damage in the reliever’s knee.
Arizona RHP Randall Delgado (3-3) pitches Thursday afternoon, his second start since April 10. Giants RHP Jake Peavy (3-4) has made 30 career starts against the Diamondbacks but has faced them just once since 2009.