SAN FRANCISCO -- Even for a team that regularly wins close games, the San Francisco Giants couldn't remember an inning like they had Saturday.
Two errors. A slip on the bases. And a balk that happened so fast some didn't even see it.Tony Sipp balked home the only run with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, giving the Giants a 1-0 win over the error-prone Cleveland Indians on Saturday for their fourth straight victory."We've had some weird ways to win," said Giants bearded closer Brian Wilson, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. "That one's definitely up there."Sipp slightly flinched his left arm before even throwing a pitch to Emmanuel Burriss, allowing Miguel Tejada to score from third and gift-wrapping San Francisco's major league-leading 17th one-run victory at home. There also were two errors in the inning by second baseman Cord Phelps that spoiled a strong start by Justin Masterson (5-6).Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he completely missed the play in live action. Burriss knew immediately, stepping out of the batters box and signaling repeatedly. The Indians knew it and did not protest home plate umpire Bob Davidson's call."It was just a mental lapse," Sipp said. "Went up for the set, didn't see the sign that I had in mind. I was supposed to stay set until I actually got a sign that I liked but I started moving too early and paused. Put my hand up a little bit and was going to try to keep going with my hands and just step off, but by that time they had already caught it."The Indians didn't do much else all day.Matt Cain (7-4) pitched seven-plus innings of four-hit ball in another strong outing for San Francisco's right-hander. He struck out six and walked one to keep the offensively challenged Giants close."Those are the ones that are tough to lose," Cain said, "but great to win."A day that began with bad news for the Indians ended even worse.Cleveland right fielder Shin-Soo Choo said he will likely have surgery on his broken left thumb after it was hit a night earlier by a pitch from Jonathan Sanchez. Suddenly, the Indians, who began the day with a one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central, are losing their grip.By no fault of Masterson, everything started to unravel in a wild seventh.Even the Giants almost blew it.Nate Schierholtz hit a ball into the left-center field gap to start the inning, hustling around second to try for a triple only to slip halfway between the bases. He was tagged out easily in a rundown.Then Tejada reached on a throwing error by Phelps that pulled first baseman Jack Hannahan off the bag. Two batters later, Cain hit a chopper up the middle that Phelps couldn't corral for his second error.Sipp entered and walked Andres Torres on eight pitches to load the bases. Before he even threw another pitch, Sipp flinched his left arm ever-so slightly on the rubber and was called for a balk to give the Giants a 1-0 lead."It's not frustrating," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "You shouldn't put yourself in that spot. We put ourselves in that spot by making the two errors and the walk."Making things even worse for the Indians, they squandered an opportunity to answer back with a baserunning gaffe.Pinch-runner Adam Everett was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on a groundball with one out in the eighth. Michael Brantley, standing on second, didn't advance to third -- and he might've scored on a passed ball later in the inning on a pitch by Javier Lopez.For most of the day, Cain was untouchable.After allowing leadoff singles to Brantley and Phelps in the first, Cain retired 14 straight batters with a dominating fastball that had pinpoint control. The streak ended with an inside pitch that hit Austin Kearns with two outs in the fifth, about the only time either starting pitcher lost his rhythm.Masterson exited after 5 2/3 innings, allowing the one unearned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked two, but his team gave him little support.The closest Cleveland came to getting a run off Cain came in the sixth, when Brantley doubled leading off. Cain induced two quick groundouts, walked Carlos Santana and then got Grady Sizemore to pop out to first.
Indians 1B Matt LaPorta (sprained right ankle) will join the team in Cincinnati on Friday and take batting practice. ... The Giants placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps. LHP Barry Zito, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt, was activated. ... The announced crowd of 42,130 was San Francisco 36th consecutive sellout to start the season.
42,130 (100.5% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
60 degrees, partly cloudy
Home Plate - Bob Davidson, First Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Second Base - Brian Knight, Third Base - Jerry Layne
The only run in the Giants' win over the Indians Saturday came on a balk.
FROM ELIAS: The last time in which the only run of a game scored on a balk was May 10, 2006 - Tampa Bay at Seattle (Rays won 1-0 on a Jamie Moyer balk).
Strong slower stuff. On at-bats that ended with non-fastballs, Indians hitters were 1-9 (.111). On the season, hitters are at .213 against Cain's non-fastballs.