09/17/10 2:56 AM ET
Overpowering Giants claim first place in West
Three homers, Sanchez's 12 strikeouts down Dodgers
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
"They're on a roll right now," Torre sdaid. "They're hot at the right time of year. Posey has made a huge difference. They're playing with a lot of confidence."Sanchez (11-8) looked supremely self-assured. He recorded at least one strikeout per inning and retired each of Los Angeles' starting position players on strikes except Ryan Theriot. "Anything I threw today was going to be good," said Sanchez, who shook off the effects of being grazed on the outer edge of his pinkie by a fourth-inning Lilly pitch. Sanchez walked none, which might have been more impressive than his dozen strikeouts. By contrast, he walked a career-high seven in his previous start last Friday against San Diego. The last Giants left-hander to strike out at least 12 batters and walk none was Atlee Hammaker, who did so on June 26, 1983, against San Diego. "That shows you he's pounding the strike zone and throwing any pitch at any time," Bochy said of Sanchez. "He's pitching with a lot of confidence and going after the hitters. He throws hard and he has his secondary pitches working. With that kind of stuff, when you're locating, you're going to be tough." Sanchez improved to 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA in his last six starts. That mirrors the overall effectiveness of the Giants' pitchers, who trimmed their Major League-low September ERA to 1.58. The Giants' hitting completed their dominance. Having scored nine runs in their previous five games, they exceeded that total by rapping 15 hits, including eight for extra bases. Part-time shortstop Edgar Renteria galvanized the offense and earned another start Friday with a 4-for-5 effort. Recovered from his sore neck, Guillen garnished his slugging by going 3-for-3. The outcome enabled the Giants to capture the season series from the Dodgers, 10-8, for the first time since 2005. But as Bochy said, "Right now, the only thing that's important for us is to win ballgames. We're not into season series."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.