Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 7/20/13
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Chad Gaudin struck out eight in seven scoreless innings to build on his impressive monthlong stretch, All-Star Buster Posey hit an RBI double and the Giants beat the first-place Diamondbacks 2-0 on Friday night. Hunter Pence added a run-scoring single as defending World Series champion San Francisco started a key series to open the second half by pulling within 5 12 games of Arizona in the NL West race. Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy (3-7) was denied career win No. 50 yet again in his eighth try. In his past four starts, Gaudin (4-1) has a 0.77 ERA, having allowed two earned runs in 23 13 innings. He has an 11-inning scoreless streak overall. Gaudin is unbeaten in seven starts since joining the rotation in early June to replace the injured Ryan Vogelsong. His only loss came in relief during an extra-inning loss at home on April 24 against the Diamondbacks. Gaudin also got some defensive help from Giants rookie Kensuke Tanaka. The converted infielder made a sliding catch near the foul line in left field, reaching back over his head after overrunning the play to rob Paul Goldschmidt leading off the fourth. Gaudin tipped his cap to the outfielder. The Giants are determined to put some steady play together -- and Gaudin's stellar outing was a start. The club began a key stretch with 10 games at home in AT&T Park, including Tuesday's doubleheader with the Reds in which Cincinnati is the home team in the opener to make up a July 4 rainout in Ohio. Gaudin allowed three hits and didn't walk a batter for the second time in his seven starts. Sergio Romo, the Giants' fifth reliever, finished the five-hitter for his 22nd save and San Francisco's 10th shutout. Arizona was blanked for just the second time after losing 3-0 to Atlanta on June 28. Santiago Casilla escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Romo has a 29-game scoreless streak against the D-backs spanning 21 23 innings and dating to Sept. 6, 2010. Kennedy lost his third straight, extending what's now an eight-start winless streak since beating the Cubs on June 1 in Chicago. He even shaved his beard during the All-Star break to try to get on track. The right-hander said he had a professional barber give him the trim Monday, his first in 26 months since his daughter, Nora, was born in late April 2011. "I needed a change," he said. But the Diamondbacks still lost their sixth straight second-half opener. NOTES: D-backs RHP Brandon McCarthy is scheduled to pitch a rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Reno and likely one more after that before being re-evaluated. He collapsed at a Phoenix restaurant last month with a seizure related to the head injury he sustained while pitching last September. ... Giants CF Angel Pagan has begun baseball activities and agility work in Arizona as he tries to work back before season's end from left hamstring surgery. ... Giants Hall of Fame broadcaster Lon Simmons celebrated his 90th birthday and threw out the ceremonial first pitch to a standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 41,924. "It always has surprised me," Simmons said of the support.
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