MIAMI -- Barry Zito has dealt with plenty of new experiences on the baseball field this season, many of them unpleasant. He found himself in another unfamiliar place on the diamond Friday night.

On the basepaths when Rajai Davis drove a sinker over the scoreboard at Dolphin Stadium.

"That was my first time ever scoring a run on a home run," said Zito, who froze for a few seconds and appeared dumbstruck after Davis' ball cleared the board. "I tried to enjoy it, trot a little bit, too."

Zito kept his head down for seven innings against a hot lineup, and when he finally looked up, he could enjoy those results as well. He held the Florida Marlins to one hit and the Giants captured a 3-0 victory.

Davis' first career home run came moments after Zito reached on an error in the seventh inning. Pedro Feliz hit a run-scoring double in the fourth and Randy Winn made a headfirst diving catch of a broken-bat line drive to end the game.

"The last two games, it's hard to play better than we've played," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Hopefully we're building off this and getting on a roll here."

No Giant could benefit more from a late-season roll than Zito, who has produced spotty results in his first season after signing the richest contract given to a pitcher in major league history.

Zito dominated a dangerous lineup, allowing just a one-out double to Cody Ross in the fifth inning. He walked two, struck out eight and improved to 9-11 this season.


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The big-picture results might not meet his standards, but he is one away from double-digit victories -- no small feat on a last-place team.

"I've got seven or eight starts left to go back to being myself," Zito said.

It was the second time in his career Zito pitched at least seven innings and allowed one hit or less. He had an eight-inning effort Aug. 4, 2001, at Detroit in which he gave up just a solo home run.

Yet Zito said he wasn't aware he had allowed just one hit.

"It's a year where I can't try to go out and throw a no-hitter or whatever," he said. "It's going pitch to pitch, inning to inning, and at the end of the day, you look up and see what happened."

That's all Marlins left fielder Josh Willingham could do after Davis lifted a pitch from Scott Olsen. Davis had hit just 25 home runs in 51/2 minor league seasons, averaging about one per 100 at-bats.

"Is that what it is? That's going to change," said Davis, whose quiet confidence has made him an instant hit in the clubhouse. "I'm still learning how to hit, still learning how to drive the ball. I haven't mastered it like Barry (Bonds) has."

Even Bonds played with more energy, running hard after a ball in left field and trying to go from first to third on a single. He was thrown out.

Bonds might have been energized by the reception he got from the announced crowd of 25,079. The fans cheered him during introductions and again in his first at-bat -- perhaps his most positive road reception since 2004, when the Giants played the Montreal Expos in Puerto Rico.

Unlike Bonds during the home run chase, Davis didn't have specially marked baseballs thrown to him. That presented a problem when his home run ball lodged behind the scoreboard and stadium workers climbed up to retrieve it. They found two more baseballs up there, presumably from batting practice.

Somehow, they determined which one was the authentic ball.

"Hey, I got it," Davis said. "That's all I know."

The Giants nearly lost their shutout behind closer Brad Hennessey in the ninth when Mike Jacobs hit a two-out flare with a runner at second base. But like Davis a night earlier, Winn made a highlight catch to start the handshakes.

"It's his web gem," Davis said, smiling. "I'll look for myself in the background."

Contact Andrew Baggarly at abaggarly@mercurynews.com

GIANTS 3, MARLINS 0

  • TODAY: Giants (Matt Cain 4-13) at Marlins (Rick Vanden Hurk 3-3), 4:05 p.m. TV: FSNBA. Radio: 680-AM