The matchup of struggling offenses came down to shaky defense and a balk in the seventh inning to give San Franciso a 1-0 win over visiting Cleveland.
The Giants who put together the improbable seventh inning rally with two batters reaching on errors by second baseman Cord Phelps a walk and a balk by Tribe relief pitcher Tony Sipp to spell the difference in handing the Indians their ninth shutout loss of the year.
Matt Cain (7-4) pitched into the eighth, allowing four hits and a walk with six strike outs for the win. Javier Lopez entered after Cain allowed a pinch hit single by Travis Hafner to begin the eighth but escaped a one-out situation with runners on second and third to keep the Giants ahead 1-0.
The Indians seemingly caught a break earlier in the seventh when Nate Schierholtz opened with a double but was tagged out when he fell down on the way to third.
Miguel Tejada then reached on an error by Phelps to start the rally for the game’s only run. Cleveland starter Justin Masterson (5-6) who has now lost six consecutive decisions after beginning the season 5-0, got Chris Stewart on a pop out for the second out of the inning. Cain then reached on another Phelps error.
Tony Sipp replaced Masterson and walked Andres Torres to load the bases before he balked home Tejada with Emmanuel Burris at the plate. Sipp got Burriss on a fly ball but the damage was done in a mostly inoffensive game winning rally.
Masterson, who has not won since April 26, allowed four hits and an unearned run with two walks and five strike outs.
The Indians missed a great chance to either tie the game or grab the lead in the eighth when Hafner led off with a single off Cain. Lopez replaced Cain and allowed a single to Michael Brantley that advanced pinch runner Adam Everett to third.
Phelps, whose two errors set up San Francisco’s only run, sacrificed the runners to second and third with a bunt. But Asdrubal Cabrera bounced a grounder to third that erased Everett, who tried to score on the play on a fielder’s choice. The Giants elected to intentionally walk Carlos Santana to load the bases with two out for Grady Sizemore who grounded out to first unassisted to end the inning.
It was the second time Sizemore came to bat with a runner on third and two out. Brantley led off the sixth with a double and moved to third on a Phelps ground out. Cabrera grounded out to leave Brantley at third and Sizemore popped out to keep the game scoreless.
Cleveland also opened the game with back-to-back singles in the first by Brantley and Phelps but Cabrera and Santana both struck out and Sizemore ended the inning by grounding out.
Brian Wilson retired the side in order in the ninth for his 23rd save and give the Giants the first two games of the 3-game series at AT&T Park that has now seen 36th consecutuve sellouts this season. Including the end of the 2010 regular season and 2010 post season games, the string is 46 straight sellouts.