After managing just two runs in two starts against R.A. Dickey and his fluttering knuckleball the past three weeks, the Giants are glad they won't have to face that dancing pitch again anytime soon.
Dickey allowed two hits in 8¹⁄³ innings and sparked a four-run fifth with an RBI double that led the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-0 victory over the Giants on Wednesday.
"I hope we don't have to face another one," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We have a tough time with it. He just shut us down. He had a good one today. It was really moving. He was throwing strikes with it. I'm glad we don't play tomorrow, so we can wash this one away. For hitters, the knuckleball can throw their timing off and send them into a slump."
A loss to Dickey in Toronto on May 14 started a slump of five losses in six games for the Giants. They hope a day off today before beginning a nine-game road trip at first-place Arizona will help make sure this loss doesn't linger.
"The last time we faced him and then faced a regular pitcher, it seemed like the ball was coming at you at 150 miles per hour," outfielder Gregor Blanco said. "I think it's good to have the off day."
Mark DeRosa had a two-run single for Toronto and Adam Lind collected three hits for his eighth multihit performance in the past 12 games, helping the Blue Jays earn a split of the two-game series.
Barry Zito (4-4) was done in by the one big inning and lost at home for the first time since August. The defending World Series champion Giants have lost 11 of 18 games.
Dickey (5-7) bounced back from a pair of rough starts in which he allowed six runs each to Baltimore and Atlanta. He limited the Giants to just four baserunners.
"He was just about perfect today," manager John Gibbons said. "He had it all going on. He was in the strike zone. Everything was really dancing today. ... That's him at his best right there."
Dickey retired his first 11 batters before Pablo Sandoval lined a clean single to right field and didn't allow another baserunner until Hunter Pence walked to lead off the eighth in his best start since joining the Blue Jays in the offseason.
He was replaced after allowing a single to Blanco and walking Marco Scutaro with one out in the ninth inning.
"He has a lot of movement on it, which makes him so difficult," Blanco said.
NEXT GAMEGiants vs. Diamondbacks
WHEN: Friday, 6:40 p.m.
WHERE: Chase Field, Phoenix
TV: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area
RADIO: KNBR (680 AM)
STARTING PITCHERS: Matt Cain (4-3, 5.45 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.06 ERA)