SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Zito and his bat earned the Giants pitching staff a place in the record book Wednesday night.
Overshadowed by Pablo Sandoval's monster night, Zito delivered a fourth-inning single that made it four consecutive postseason games in which a San Francisco pitcher drove in a run -- a first for any team in baseball history.
Hitting, starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong said, is something the staff works hard at under the direction of coach Tim Flannery.
"You'd be surprised how many times it helps you win games, bunting guys over, starting rallies," said Vogelsong, whose contribution to the streak came in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. "It's something you have to do in the National League."
Zito started the streak in Game 5 of the NCLS, and Vogelsong and Matt Cain continued it.
With Brandon Belt on second base Wednesday night, Zito singled to left field just past Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who might have been expecting a bunt after Zito bunted for a hit in the NLCS.
All part of the plan, reliever Jeremy Affeldt said.
"When you have to play up for a bunt like that and then he threw the bat out there, you take away the range," Affeldt said. "A ball could drop, and it did."
Belt said the other eight players in the lineup can be inspired when a pitcher comes through at the plate.
"It's fun to watch that, and I think it gets a
Zito's RBI was the first by a pitcher in Game 1 of the World Series since 1969, when the Baltimore Orioles' Mike Cuellar drove in a run against the New York Mets.
"It seems like Scutaro's getting a hit every time he's up," catcher Buster Posey said of the NLCS MVP.
But manager Bruce Bochy elected to keep the same 25-man roster for the third consecutive round, saying third baseman and former catcher Sandoval will serve as an emergency catcher.
Bochy said he anticipates Posey being the starting catcher for every game of the series regardless of the starting pitcher.
Staff writers Daniel Brown and Alex Pavlovic contributed to this report.