SAN FRANCISCO — In the early innings Sunday, the people who run AT&T Park unofficially kicked off scoreboard-watching season.
When the score from New York — Mets 3, Dodgers 2 — flashed across the scoreboard, many in attendance stood and cheered. A couple hours later, the Giants capped off a 4-3 win over the A’s that gave them a series sweep and got them within a game of the first-place Dodgers for the first time since June 29.
The win pushed the Giants to 6-1 in the second half. They’ve won 11 of 12 overall.
Early on, this one looked like it would be an absolute blowout. The Giants sent nine men to the plate in the first inning, scoring three runs — two on Matt Duffy’s ninth homer. A’s starter Kendall Graveman was done one out into the second inning, and the Giants got another run on three singles.
The A’s bullpen kept the game in check, however, and the road team slowly crept back into the game against Tim Hudson, who started his career across the bridge. Hudson gave up a run in the second and two more in the fourth on a series of two-out hits. The Giants bullpen warmed up that inning, but Hudson made it into the fifth. The bullpen warmed up that inning, too, and Hudson was done after five innings and just 82 pitches.
Starting pitching report: Hudson became the 15th pitcher to defeat all 30 current MLB teams. Former “Big Three” running mate Barry Zito also accomplished the feat.
Bullpen report: George Kontos lost his inherited runners streak on Friday and said simply that he would get to work on starting a new one. Kontos entered with a runner on second and one out in the sixth, and he stranded the runner.
At the plate: Duffy has nine homers through the Giants’ 98 games this season. His high for one season in the minors? Nine.
In the field: Gregor Blanco might lose his regular gig as soon as Monday, with Nori Aoki set to return. He got off to a nice start Sunday, though, robbing leadoff hitter Billy Burns with a sliding catch in the first.
Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 42,034 human beings. They got cowboy hats.
Up next: The Brewers come to AT&T Park, with Kyle Lohse, Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers taking the ball. Chris Heston, Matt Cain and Jake Peavy start for the Giants.