Giants 1, Cubs 0

By Chris Rewers on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hero: Carlos Zambrano labored through six shutout innings, throwing 116 pitches. Zambrano - who is 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA in nine starts since rejoining the starting rotation on Aug. 9 - allowed three hits, struck out eight, and walked five.

Goat: Marlon Byrd (0-for-4) rolled into a 5-4-3 double play to extinguish the Cubs' best scoring opportunity in the sixth inning.

Key Play: Buster Posey hit a one-out home run into the center-field basket off Andrew Cashner (2-6) in the eighth inning to account for the game's only run.

Comments: The first-place Giants (85-66) snapped a Cubs (68-82) season-high six-game winning streak and maintained a half-game lead over the second-place Padres in the NL West.

The Cubs managed just two hits - both singles off San Francisco starter Matt Cain - by Kosuke Fukudome in the second inning and Blake DeWitt (on a checked swing) in the sixth.

Starlin Castro went 0-for-2 with a walk and a hit by pitch to drop his average to .304. The rookie shortstop has just four hits in his last 30 at-bats (.133). He did not commit an error Tuesday after commiting one in five of his previous six starts. Castro, who has 27 errors in 113 games at shortstop, made a fabulous diving stop on a Freddy Sanchez smash and back-handed throw to second baseman DeWitt for a forceout in the fifth inning.

The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 10 minutes by rain and there were far fewer than the announced crowd of 36,364 in the house. Many Cubs fans who did attend left long before Byrd grounded out to third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the game's final out. The crowd that remained was dominated by Giants fans.

Next: The Cubs will try to even the series Wednesday (WCIU, 7:05 p.m.) when they send Randy Wells (7-13, 4.46 ERA) against San Francisco left-hander Jonathan Sanchez (11-8, 3.21).

Wells was strong in his last start, limiting St. Louis to one run over eight innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked none.

In his last six starts, Sanchez is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA. He has worked seven or more innings in four of those outings, and struck out a career-high 12 and walked none last time out, against Los Angeles.

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