Zito pitches Giants to best record in majors

OK, OK, so it’s only a 2-0 record. But it’s the only 2-0 record in the majors, and the Giants own it.

Barry Zito threw six shutout innings, limiting the Astros to three hits and one walk. He struck out five.

It’s the kind of season-opening start the Giants have been waiting four years for from Zito.

The Giants got their first shutout of the season, as Zito got help from four relievers. If not for Brandon Medders’ struggles on Monday, the Giants might have had back-to-back shutouts.

And they needed a good pitching performance, because the offense struggled to put together rallies.

But the Giants got enough in the sixth inning, set up by back-to-back walks by Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandoval. Aubrey Huff singled Renteria home. Mark DeRosa beat out a potential double-play ball, with Sandoval taking third. Bengie Molina got Sandoval home on a sacrifice fly, with DeRosa taking second. Then DeRosa scored on Juan Uribe’s single.

That’s the Giants’ offense. It’s not one guy. The Giants need to score runs as a team.

But it wasn’t all good news for the G-men.

The pessismist might point out these facts:

The Giants killed several rallies by hitting into three double plays.

Aaron Rowand went 0 for 5 with a strikeout, making him 0 for 10 for the season.

They had eight scoreless frames.

But in the end of the day, they are 2-0, both wins coming on the road, with Matt Cain set to go to the hill on Wednesday for the sweep.

And no one is going to complain about that.

Oh, and the Giants’ magic number to clinch the NL West? 160.


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