SAN FRANCISCO — Bengie Molina went 4 for 4 with four RBI to help Barry Zito and the San Francisco Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-3 on Monday night.
Pablo Sandoval had three hits and scored twice for San Francisco, which is tied with Philadelphia for the best start in the majors at 6-1. Aubrey Huff went 2 for 2 and scored three runs.
Zito (2-0) pitched six-plus innings in his 100th career start with the Giants, yielding three runs and five hits. The left-hander has won his first two starts for the first time since 2003, when he finished 14-12.
Akinori Iwamura and Andy LaRoche had two hits apiece for the Pirates, who have lost six straight at AT&T Park. Iwamura had two RBI and LaRoche scored twice.
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The Giants finished with 12 hits and received plenty of help from Pittsburgh’s pitchers, who walked six and hit three batters, but it was Zito’s pitching that stood out the most.
Zito worked out of a two-out, two-on jam in the first, gave up a run in the second and another in the fifth, but kept the Pirates in check most of the night. He received a standing ovation when he departed after the first two batters reached in the seventh.
It was a stark contrast to how Zito was treated by Giants fans the previous three seasons, when he was booed unmercifully at times after signing a $126 million, seven-year contract.
Sergio Romo, Dan Runzler and Guillermo Mota completed the seven-hitter for the Giants, who have won five of their last seven games against the Pirates after going 5-14 against Pittsburgh from 2006-08.
Fill-in starter Brian Burres (0-1) allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings for the Pirates.