It’s been a struggle for most of his career in a San Francisco Giants uniform, but Barry Zito looked like the Cy Young winner from 2002 in a dominating pitching performance.
Zito pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out five, while Joaquin Arias and Melky Cabrera provided the run support with RBI singles as the Giants blanked the Chicago Cubs, 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Zito (5-2) continues to be one of the most consistent pitchers in the Giants rotation, winning three of his last four decisions and pitching at least seven innings in four of his 11 starts.
Travis Wood was the tough-luck loser. pitching seven innings, allowing only a run on three hits with seven strikeouts.
Leading 1-0 in the eighth, Gregor Blanco walked with one out. Ryan Theriot flied out, but Cabrera, one of the hottest hitters and leading the Majors in batting average and hits, delivered a single to left to score Blanco from first base.
Zito went out for the ninth inning but was lifted after giving up a one out walk to Darwin Barney. Starlin Castro struck out and Alfonso Soriano grounded out against Sergio Romo who got the save.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Wood retired the first 10 batters he faced. He was working on a no-hitter when he gave up a one-out double to left field by Angel Pagan. After Hector Sanchez struck out, Arias came through with a single to right scoring Pagan on a play at the plate, but the ball bounced and got away from catcher Koyie Hill.
Zito pitched out of a jam in the fifth inning. With one out he gave up two hard-hit singles up the middle to Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson. He managed to escape without damage when Hill struck out swinging and Stewart was thrown out on the play trying to steal third for the inning-ending double play.
The Giants threatened but failed to score in the bottom of the seventh. Buster Posey led off the inning with a double to left center but was stranded. Wood intentionally walked Arias to face Brandon Crawford, who flied out to shallow center to end the frame.
NOTES: Pagan has a 27-game home hit streak, which is a franchise record, breaking a tie he held with “Turkey” Mike Donlan, who had a hit in 26 consecutive home games for the New York Giants from Aug. 28,1905-May 5,1906. ... The RBI single by Joaquin Arias ended an 0-for-18 slump at the plate with a runner in scoring position. ... 13 of the next 19 games for the Giants are against teams with losing records. ... The Giants have not hit a home run at home in their last 12 games, longest streak since AT&T Park opened in 2000. It ties the record of 12 straight games without a home run since May 18-June 18, 1980. ... The Cubs have lost 15 of their last 18 games.