Bay Bridge Series: Top moments in history of SF Giants-Oakland A’s regular season rivalry

Marco Scutaro of the San Francisco Giants gets doused in Mumm's Champagne in the clubhouse after the Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. Scutaro knocked in the winning run in the tenth inning. (Karl Mondon/Staff)
Marco Scutaro of the San Francisco Giants gets doused in Mumm’s Champagne in the clubhouse after the Giants beat the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series on Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. Scutaro knocked in the winning run in the tenth inning. (Karl Mondon/Staff) 

May 20, 2006
A day after striking out to end the game, Bonds tied Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list with No. 714 in the second inning. But it was his ninth-inning intentional walk that set up Ray Durham’s tie-breaking RBI single in the Giants’ 4-2 comeback win. Durham was the hero against his former team again about a month later when he blasted a three-run walk-off home run off closer Huston Street in an 8-7 Giants win.

May 18, 2007
After signing a $126 million, seven-year deal with the Giants in the offseason, Barry Zito returned to the Coliseum. He was met with boos and, in a sign of things to come, barely made it through four innings in the A’s 15-3 win. The A’s beat Zito again about a month later and the lefty dropped his first four meetings against his old team. But he nearly evened things out in the end, beating the A’s in his final three starts against them, finally breaking through in 2010.

May 22, 2010
In one of the better pitchers duels in the Series, Matt Cain and Gio Gonzalez both went eight innings in Oakland without allowing an earned run. The A’s won 1-0 on an unearned run in the third inning. Cain’s luck never got much better against the A’s. He had a dominating 2.42 ERA in 12 career starts against the A’s, pitching three complete games (including a one-hit victory in 2006) but had a 4-5 record to show for it. The Coliseum was particularly unkind, where he went 1-2 despite a 1.83 ERA.

September 26, 2015
It was supposed to be turn-back-the-clock day at the Coliseum, with two of the A’s old “Big Three” — Zito and Tim Hudson — squaring off. But Hudson, for the Giants, didn’t get out of the second inning, and Zito, after taking the previous season off and spending most of 2015 in the minors, was gone in the third. The star was rookie Jarrett Parker, who became the first Giant to hit at least three homers with seven RBIs in a game since Willie Mays. For good measure, Parker hit a tie-breaking grand slam in the eighth for his third home run in the Giants’ 14-10 win.

Unlike last season, there is no chance the Giants and A’s will see each other in the playoffs.

And after this weekend’s Bay Bridge Series games at the Coliseum, there is no telling how many more times the teams will play each other for Bay Area bragging rights. The A’s lease at the Coliseum runs out after next season, and the team hasn’t backed down on its threat to move to Las Vegas if a new stadium deal isn’t reached for Howard Terminal.

Since interleague play arrived in 1997, the Bay Bridge Series has been one of MLB’s bigger success stories. It’s been competitive – the A’s hold a 71-65 advantage – and it’s been a hit with the fans. Five of the nine largest regular-season crowds in Coliseum history have been for Bay Bridge Series games, including the top two.

The Series is all even this season after the teams split their first two games at Oracle Park in April. Carlos Rodón won his third straight start in a Giants uniform to kick things off, an 8-2 Giants win. A day later, Chad Pinder made team history when he became the first A’s player to hit a leadoff home run that turned out to be the only run of the game. Paul Blackburn, a Heritage High grad who grew up a Giants fan, and five relievers made that hold up in the 21st shutout in the series.

As the 2022 series wraps up this weekend at the Coliseum, here’s a look at some of the memorable and notable moments in the history of the Bay Bridge Series. Not included in our list is the biggest Bay Bridge Series moment, the 1989 earthquake-interrupted World Series swept by the A’s. That’s a story for another time.

July 2, 1997
The first interleague Bay Bridge Series game was played on a Wednesday afternoon at then-3Com Park. Barry Bonds didn’t homer, but Mark McGwire did in the A’s 8-1 win. McGwire only hit four more with the A’s before being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals and beginning his pursuit of Roger Maris. Bonds homered the following day, the first of 18 in 52 games against the A’s. He also walked in 63 of his 222 plate appearances.

Giants Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire talk at first base. (Contra Costa Times/Bob Larson) 1997 

June 4, 2000
Jeff Kent hit two home runs with 5 RBIs in an 18-2 Giants win. But amid all the offense — the teams combined for 26 hits and five home runs — was Shawn Estes pitching the first complete game in the series. It’s only been done 12 times in 136 games, the last coming by Tim Lincecum in 2011. That was the end of a six-game stretch against the A’s that saw Lincecum go 5-0 with two shutouts and three complete games. The complete game that didn’t result in a shutout might have been Lincecum’s most dominating against the A’s, a 12-strikeout performance in 2009 spoiled only by Jason Giambi’s penultimate homer
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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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