Games are never played on paper, but a good team is expected to beat up on a bad team, and that’s exactly what the Giants did to the Houston Astros.
After a disappointing 1-5 road trip, the Giants got back on track by sweeping the lowly Astros to start the second half of the season.
Buster Posey went 3-for-4 with two RBIs as the Giants edged the Astros 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in the finale of the three-game series.
“They’re all going to be important and we struggled on the last road trip so it was big to come here and get back home and win these games and it’s a big road trip coming up,” Posey said.
Matt Cain (10-3) was far from perfect, but he did manage to pitch 6 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and one earned run, while walking one and striking out five. Cain won his first game since June 18 at Anaheim. That was his first start after pitching his perfect game against Houston on June 13.
“I felt pretty good,” Cain said. “I might not have been ahead of them or the best location today but that’s how it goes, you’re going to have to battle through some of those days.”
Coupled with the Dodgers’ loss, the Giants lead the National League West by 1½ games.
Bud Norris (5-7) worked six innings, allowed five hits and three runs, walked six and had six strikeouts. Marwin Gonzalez had two hits and a run. The Astros have dropped 13 of 14 games and maintain the worst record in the majors with a mark of 33-56. Houston is the only team that has not won 10 road games.
Javier Lopez started the ninth inning for the Giants and struck out Brian Bogusevic. Manager Bruce Bochy then made a pitching change for Santiago Casilla, who had blown four of his last six save opportunities. Fans voiced their displeasure twice by booing the manager when he made the move and booed again when Casilla was announced to the fans. To his credit, Casilla had an uneventful outing. He struck out Chris Johnson and Gonzalez grounded to second to end the game.
“Casilla’s been so good for us all year,” Posey said. “We got the utmost confidence in him and he’s got as good of stuff as anybody on the team.”
NOTES: Outfielder Melky Cabrera was a late scratch and is on paternity leave for the birth of his third child. Nate Schierholtz, who has become primarily a pinch hitter and late-inning defensive replacement, got the start in right field. ... Emmanuel Burriss started at second base. ... Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie who was injured in Saturday night’s game, was diagnosed with a sprained right ankle and has some nerve damage. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list. ... The Giants head to Atlanta and Philadelphia for a six-game road trip. The Astros continue their 10-game West Coast trip at San Diego and Arizona.