DETROIT (AP) - Barry Zito pitched on short rest and endured a long delay in the middle of his start.
Zito pitched six scoreless innings and got plenty of support from Miguel Tejada's grand slam in the third after Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford both hit homers in the first inning, lifting the San Francisco Giants to a 15-3 win over the Detroit Tigers Sunday morning.
The game was delayed by a thunderstorm in the third inning for 2 hours, 36 minutes, and it ended after midnight.
That didn't end Zito's night.
``I sat in the training room and just kept my focus,' said Zito, who gave up five hits and two walks. ``I didn't think it was going to be as long as it was, but I wanted to pitch. I had agreed to go on three days rest to help the bullpen, and I wanted to keep that agreement.'
``I think the rain delay was tougher. The short rest wasn't a problem at all. I felt better than I have in a long time.'
Zito (2-1) went about 3 hours between pitches in the second and third innings. He won Tuesday at Arizona in his first start after being on the disabled list with a sprained right foot.
``I'm not trying to prove myself to anyone,' Zito said. ``I just want to do what I know I'm capable of doing.'
The NL-West leading Giants have won nine of their last 11 games and manager Bruce Bochy said he was nervous hard rain and lightning was going to postpone the game.
``We would have hated to lose this one to the rain because we haven't had too many starts like that,' Bochy said.
Max Scherzer (9-4) started the game by striking out Aaron Rowand, then struggled.
Emmanuel Burriss followed with a single and Sandoval smacked the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats, extending his career-high hitting streak to 13 games. Second baseman Ryan Raburn didn't help Scherzer out, making a fielding error on Aubrey Huff's grounder on what should've been the second out of the inning. Nate Schierholtz hit a two-out infield single, then Crawford hit the next pitch over the right-field fence.
``Scherzer's got a great arm, but the ball was carrying and we got his pitch count up in the first,' Bochy said.
The long delay didn't slow down San Francisco, which surpassed its previous season high of 13 runs
After Brayan Villarreal walked Crawford, who was batting when rain stopped the game, Tejada hit the next pitch to left for his 12th career grand slam to put the Giants ahead 10-0.
Huff hit a two-run single in the fifth, giving the Giants a 12-run lead. Eli Whiteside hit a two-run double in a three-run sixth, padding the lead to 15-0.
The Giants made plays in the field, too, turning three double plays in the first four innings with Tejada starting two of them with slick stops in the hole.
The Tigers, losers of four of five, have given up at least 14 runs three times during the slump.
``Three of our last five starting performances haven't been good,' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``Really not acceptable.'
Scherzer allowed nine runs - six earned - on six hits and three walks over two-plus innings.
The Tigers hope only a game was lost.
Catcher Victor Martinez left in the third inning with a bruised right shoulder, getting hit by a foul tip, and is day to day.
``I wasn't going to take a chance, I had to get him out of there,' Leyland said. ``He got smoked pretty good.'
Martinez was replaced by emergency catcher Don Kelly, who was used as an emergency pitcher earlier in the week and has now played every position in his career.
``There may be somebody more talented,' Leyland said, getting choked up. ``But for a 25th player, I wouldn't rather have anybody in baseball than Donny Kelly.'
Kelly said he hadn't been behind the plate before.
``I never caught in high school or college or anything,' he said. ``I caught a couple simulated innings in spring training this year, but that was the first time in a real game.'
Detroit's Jhonny Peralta and Brennan Boesch hit back-to-back homers in the seventh off Guillermo Mota, making it 15-2 and giving the sparse crowd something to cheer about. Mota earned his first career save because he pitched the final three innings.
Raburn hit an RBI single in the ninth.
NOTES: Giants INF Mike Fontenot, out since May 26 with a strained left groin, might not return from the DL until after the All-Star break. Fontenot began a second rehab stint on Thursday with Triple-A Fresno. ... Giants INF Freddy Sanchez, on the DL with a dislocated right shoulder, is optimistic he'll be healthy enough to return by August. ... Scherzer, who won his first six decisions and had a sub-3 ERA in May, has given up at least five earned runs in four of his last eight starts. ... San Francisco's relievers didn't leave the bullpen for more than 30 minutes after the rain delay. ... The game-time temperature was 97 and it dipped into the 70s by the final out. ... The Tigers sold 38,983 tickets to the game and more than half of the fans didn't wait out the delay.
The Associated Press News Service
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