San Francisco Giants End First Half with a Bang as Sandoval Extends Hit Streak

Michael ManbertContributor IIJuly 11, 2011

DENVER, CO - APRIL 19:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The San Francisco Giants ended the first half of the 2011 regular season with a 4-2 victory over the Mets Sunday evening.

In doing so, they go into the All-Star break with an NL West lead for the first time since 2003, a year after then 17-year-old Matt Cain—who earned his eighth victory on the year for San Francisco—was drafted by the Giants in the first round.

Cain absolutely shut down a Mets lineup that is generally considered quite dangerous, and he made it look easy as he threw six scoreless innings during which he only allowed five hits.

A resurgent Pablo Sandoval put the Giants on the board and in the lead in the third inning with an RBI double, and he was subsequently driven in by a Nate Schierholtz single.

Speaking of resurgence, Schierholtz was 4-for-4 on the night, and raised his average to .293 after having seen it drop below .250 just one month ago.

An eventful seventh inning saw back-to-back RBI singles by Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand and saw the Giants take a 4-0 lead that they would never surrender.

Brian Wilson would enter the game with a three-run lead in the ninth. Having struggled as of late, Wilson surrendered yet another run before earning his 26th save on the year.

The Giants see their record improve to 52-40 on the season, and with yet another Arizona Diamondbacks loss, head into the All-Star break with a three-game division lead.

Michael Manbert is a reporter for