SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jeff Fassero and Tyler Walker have adapted in a hurry to their new pitching roles for San Francisco.
Both had a big hand -- make that arm -- in a much-needed win Saturday night.Fassero pitched six strong innings in his third start after beginning the year in the bullpen and Walker earned the save as the fill-in closer to lead the Giants over the Oakland Athletics
3-2.Walker, a San Francisco native and lifelong Giants fan, had to force himself to calm down on the mound."I grew up remembering that '89 World Series," he said. "Playing the A's got my blood popping and my adrenaline flowing, but I didn't want to be too amped."Ray Durham singled, doubled and hit a sacrifice fly to extend his club-best hitting streak to 12 games, helping the Giants to just their second victory in seven games. J.T. Snow broke out of a 1-for-21 slump by getting three hits and driving in a run for San Francisco, which lost the opener of the Bay Bridge Series on Friday night 8-4.Dan Haren's hard luck continued as his winless stretch reached six starts with his fifth straight lost decision. The right-hander (1-6), who came to the A's from the Cardinals in the December trade that sent Mark Mulder to St. Louis, hasn't won since April 18 at Texas.The game drew 43,069, the largest regular-season crowd in ballpark history, on the day the Giants honored Hall of Famer Juan Marichal and unveiled a nine-foot bronze statue of the pitcher.The Giants wore "Gigantes" uniforms -- Giants in Spanish -- instead of their regular home jerseys, the first time in the club's 123-year history the team had played in such threads. The uniforms were to be auctioned off afterward."Thanks to Juan Marichal's magic night we were able to get a big win," said San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel, a Venezuelan who grew up hearing about Marichal's many feats. "It inspired me. It was a great moment and I got a chance to meet him personally."Fassero (1-1), a non-roster invitee to spring training forced into the rotation with all the injuries to San Francisco's staff, faced the minimum in the first, third and sixth innings. After allowing Scott Hatteberg's RBI single in the fourth, Fassero retired seven of his final eight batters.He allowed two runs and five hits, struck out four and walked one in his first win since last Aug. 13 with Colorado.Fassero's run in the rotation will be short-lived. He could be back in the bullpen as soon as Tuesday, when the Giants are expected to activate ace Jason Schmidt from the disabled list."I'm happy with the way I've thrown," said Fassero, also moved into the rotation by Giants manager Felipe Alou while Alou was skipper of the Expos. "When I was with Felipe in Montreal, I was a little leery about becoming a starter, but now that's what I prefer to do. But I can live with going back to the bullpen, too."For the gutsy Walker, this should be his job for a while. He got five outs for his fifth save in six chances and is looking like a reliable replacement for Armando Benitez, who isn't expected to return this year after undergoing surgery to repair two torn hamstring tendons.It was Walker's fourth save since May 12."I don't think he's going about it any differently," catcher Mike Matheny said. "He's just coming in and making pitches."Mark Ellis hit an RBI double in the second for the A's, who had won back-to-back games for the first time since April 30-May 1. Oakland didn't strike out Friday, the second time in five games the A's went without a strikeout. Six batters struck out Saturday.Durham hit a fourth-inning double to right-center to extend the longest streak by a Giants player this year.Haren ended an 0-for-29 slump with a double in the fifth. It was just his third career hit, and all have been doubles. But the A's were 0-for-10 with two walks from the top three hitters in the order.The A's got a hit from a pitcher for the first time since June 4, 2003, by Tim Hudson.The Giants staked Fassero to a 3-0 lead in the first. Jason Ellison drew a leadoff walk and stole second and then Vizquel hit a bunt single. Ellison scored on Snow's single and Moises Alou hit
an RBI double to score Vizquel. Durham followed with a sacrifice fly."The leadoff walk is never good. Then a guy trying to sacrifice gets a hit. It started off badly," Haren said. "It's very frustrating."
The sculpture of Marichal, the hard-throwing right-hander with his signature high-kicking delivery, joined similar larger than life-size art pieces of Willie Mays and Willie McCovey. "It is with immense pride and tremendous pressure that I stand before you," said Marichal, surrounded by family, dozens of friends and former teammates and Dominican Republic president Leonel Fernandez. ... During the game, the Lefty O'Doul bridge just outside the stadium was raised in honor of Marichal's high leg kick. ... Scott Eyre made his 202nd appearance with the Giants, the second most by a lefty reliever in franchise history. ... The Giants stole three bases in three attempts to improve their NL-best success rate to 81.5 percent (22-for-27).