Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer prepares to pitch against the San Francisco Giants during the third inning of a baseball game, before a delay was called because of rain.
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DETROIT — Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford homered in a five-run first inning, Miguel Tejada had a grand slam in a five-run third after a long rain delay and the San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 15-3 Sunday morning.
The game was delayed by a thunderstorm in the third inning for 2 hours, 36 minutes, and it ended after midnight.
Barry Zito (2-1) pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and a walk. He pitched on short rest and stayed in the game despite the long delay, going about 3 hours between pitches in the second and third innings. Zito won Tuesday at Arizona in his first start after being on the disabled list with a sprained right foot.
The NL-West leading Giants have won nine of their last 11 games.
Max Scherzer (9-4) allowed nine runs — six earned — on six hits and three walks over two-plus innings.
The Tigers, losers of four of five, have given up at least 14 runs three times during the slump.
They hope only a game was lost.
Catcher Victor Martinez left in the third inning with a bruised right shoulder and is day to day. Martinez was replaced by emergency catcher Don Kelly, who was used as an emergency pitcher earlier in the week.
Scherzer started the game by striking out Aaron Rowand, then struggled.
Emmanuel Burriss followed with a single and Sandoval smacked the first pitch he saw into the left-field seats, extending his career-high hitting streak to 13 games. Second baseman Ryan Raburn didn’t help Scherzer out, making a fielding error on Aubrey Huff’s grounder on what should’ve been the second out of the inning. Nate Schierholtz hit a two-out infield single, then Crawford hit the next pitch over the right-field fence.
The long delay didn’t slow down San Francisco, which surpassed its previous season high of 13 runs
After Brayan Villarreal walked Crawford, who was batting when rain stopped the game, Tejada hit the next pitch to left for his 12th career grand slam to put the Giants ahead 10-0.
Huff hit a two-run single in the fifth, giving the Giants a 12-run lead. Eli Whiteside hit a two-run double in a three-run sixth, padding the lead to 15-0.
The Giants made plays in the field, too, turning three double plays in the first four innings with Tejada starting two of them with slick stops in the hole.
Detroit’s Jhonny Peralta and Brennan Boesch hit back-to-back homers in the seventh off Guillermo Mota, making it 15-2 and giving the sparse crowd something to cheer about. Mota earned his first career save because he pitched the final three innings.
Raburn hit an RBI single in the ninth.
NOTES: Giants IF Mike Fontenot, out since May 26 with a strained left groin, might not return from the DL until after the All-Star break. Fontenot began a second rehab stint on Thursday with Triple-A Fresno. ... Kelly has played every position in his career. ... Giants IF Freddy Sanchez, on the DL with a dislocated right shoulder, is optimistic he’ll be healthy enough to return by August. ... Scherzer, who won his first six decisions and had a sub-3 ERA in May, has given up at least five earned runs in four of his last eight starts. ...San Francisco’s relievers didn’t leave the bullpen for more than 30 minutes after the rain delay. ... The game-time temperature was 97 and it dipped into the 70s by the final out. ... The Tigers sold 38,983 tickets to the game and more than half of the fans didn’t wait out the delay.
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