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OAK@SF: Vogelsong dominates over seven frames

SAN FRANCISCO -- Uncertain is whether Ryan Vogelsong, the batter, was actually hit in an important at-bat in the seventh inning. Certain is that Ryan Vogelsong, the starting pitcher, was terrific on the mound.

If it wasn't for both, the Giants' 4-0 win against the Oakland A's on Saturday at AT&T Park would have been less sure.

The no-question-about-it facts: To begin with, Vogelsong tossed a gem, a perfect game through 4 1/3 innings, and few flaws after that, allowing just one hit and one walk with five strikeouts in seven frames. Also true is San Francisco (21-19) waited a while before breaking the scoreless tie with four runs in the seventh inning to take the second contest of this Interleague series in front of a sellout crowd of 41,411.

Now, the postgame question:

Did Vogelsong really get hit in the chest by A's starter Tyson Ross when he attempted to bunt in the seventh, which led to his run, or did it hit his bat?

In their noncommittal responses, the Giants were firm.

"Something hit me --- I don't know if it was the ball or my bat," said Vogelsong, who pointed to his chest when he reached first base. "Something hit me in the chest. That's all I know."

In his answer, Ross was committed differently.

"It got away from me a little bit," Ross (2-4) said. "I saw it hit the bat, but the umpire saw it differently. That's how the situation played out. That was a big spot in the game. Unfortunately, he was awarded the base."

Regardless, what does show in the box score is that Oakland (20-21) moved not one runner into scoring position, and the Giants had nine, many before that seventh-inning outburst. Ross benefited from his defense and double plays that killed Giants' rallies, with one each in the third, fifth and sixth innings. The last two inning-enders stung in particular. Ross went six innings, giving up two runs, seven hits and four walks.

The crowd began to exhale when Emmanuel Burriss led off the seventh by stretching a grounder to third into a single. Then Vogelsong was ruled to have been hit by Ross' pitch. A's manager Bob Melvin contended that it hit Vogelsong's bat, to no avail. Righty Grant Balfour relieved Ross and walked Gregor Blanco to load the bases. Balfour struck out Brandon Crawford, then Melky Cabrera plated a run with a deep sacrifice fly to right-center field. Buster Posey blasted a run-scoring, ground-rule double, and Angel Pagan followed with a two-run single to center to make it 4-0.

Moments later, Melvin got in an argument with the home-plate umpire, James Hoye, and was ejected.

What cannot be forgotten: The Giants, who have struggled this season with runners in scoring position, had a rally that would not have started without Burriss' single.

"I'm grinding," Burriss said. "Obviously, I'm just trying to get on base and make things happen. ... Luckily, today it came through."

Meanwhile, Vogelsong, the pitcher, was sharp.

"My changeup was really good today, the whole game," said Vogelsong, who earned his first home win and lowered his ERA at AT&T Park to 1.33. "The fastball command was better than it has been. I had my curveball early and I kind of lost it. I kept throwing it, but it wasn't really what I wanted it to be. But it was good early, and I kind of put it in the back of my mind that I had it."

But did Vogelsong think that seventh-inning moment was the right call?

"I don't know," he said. "I haven't seen the replay yet. It had to have been hard to see. ... It's not an easy call."

Not nearly as easy as the calls Posey got to make.

Said the catcher: "That's the best I've seen him all year."

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