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The Grand Slam: Buster Posey's five hits help Giants dismantle Brewers

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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If you thought Buster Posey was hot coming out of the Colorado series (six hits, three home runs, including a walkoff), he's positively scorching now after going 5 for 5 in San Francisco's 13-2 blowout victory over the Milwaukee Brewers

Posey singled and scored on a wild pitch in the first. In the second, he singled home pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. In the fourth, he reached on an infield single and scored. In the fifth, he tripled home two runs. And in the sixth, he singled again. That's five hits in just six innings as the Giants offense as a whole battered around Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta and long reliever Marco Estrada.

At that point, the only thing left to wonder was whether or not Posey would collect a six-pack of hits. That opportunity never came, however, as Bruce Bochy elected to rest his former MVP with a sizable lead.

''It would have been nice for him to go for six, but the rest was more important,'' Bochy said.

There was no argument from Posey on that. 

Other Giants to have big games in their 19-hit attack: Lead-off man Angel Pagan was 3 for 5, finishing just a home run shy of the cycle. No. 2 hitter Joe Panik finished 4 for 6 with two runs scored. Hunter Pence was 3 for 5 with two runs and three RBIs. And Gregor Blanco of all people hit the only home run, a two-run shot in the fifth.

ANGELS ADD ANOTHER GAME TO WEST LEAD: 

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

There's still plenty of baseball left to be played, but if the Oakland A's can't rebound this weekend against the Los Angeles Angels, it might feel like the AL West crown has slipped through their fingers. The Angels extended their lead to three games with an impressive 4-0 win behind Jered Weaver on Friday night.

In his first-ever matchup against new A's ace Jon Lester, Weaver sparkled, shutting out the A's offense over seven innings. He allowed three hits and walked three, but was only truly threatened in the sixth when Oakland loaded the bases on a hit, walk and hit-by-pitch. Weaver retired Josh Reddick on a fly ball to escape the jam, and the Angels sailed from there, as Weaver picked up his 15th victory. 

“It’s been a little while since we’ve been in this position,” Weaver said. “It’s nice to have games that mean something. It’s a big series, but it’s not the last series. We need to keep our heads and keep trucking.”

Offensively, Chris Iannetta led the way with a two-run home run and a bases loaded walk. Albert Pujols capped the scoring with his 516th career home run.  

The Angels and A's will meet again on Saturday and Sunday, but the Angels are now guaranteed to finish the weekend alone in first. 

EDINSON VOLZQUEZ DOMINATES REDS: As the 2014 season has progressed, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez has seemingly gotten stronger, which is encouraging considering the injuries and ineffectiveness that have plagued him dating back to 2011. On Friday night, he didn't necessarily have his best stuff, but he certainly had his best results against his former team, the Cincinnati Reds, taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Pittsburgh's 2-1 victory

Unfortunately for Volquez, despite escaping the seventh inning without allowing a run and pitching into the eighth, he ended up taking a no-decision. It wasn't until the eighth that Pittsburgh's offense perked up, scoring two on Josh Harrison's RBI triple and Jose Tabata's RBI single. Still, his outing was not lost on manager Clint Hurdle. 

''It was a very impressive outing,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. ''It wasn't his best fastball but he kept it down and no-hit them for six innings without the best stuff we've seen from him.''

In case you're wondering, All-Star reliever Tony Watson picked up the victory, his 10th, despite retiring only one batter in the eighth. With said win, the Pirates moved to three games behind the division-leading Brewers.

NATS KNOCK AROUND KING FELIX: In his first 13 home starts this season, Felix Hernandez had allowed only five home runs in 96 2/3 innings. In Friday night's 8-3 loss to the Washington Nationals, he allowed four in seven innings. 

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(USA TODAY Sports)

(USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony Rendon, Ian Desmond and Wilson Ramos each connected for solo home runs. Jayson Werth added a two-run shot to account for Washington's five earned runs against Hernandez. Ramos added a second blast in eighth, going back-to-back with Bryce Harper, which gave the confident-swinging Nationals six homers overall.

''I don't think it was necessarily what he did, it's more what we did,'' Desmond said. ''We brought a good approach to the plate today and we were able to fight off some tough pitches. He was making good pitches down in the zone and we forced him to get the ball up and we were able to make him pay.''

The six home runs were the most in a single game for Washington since 2012. It's an outburst they've likely been waiting for all season, but not even they could have expected it to come in this matchup. 

Speaking of what we thought might be the pitcher's duel of the night, the output was more than enough support for Jordan Zimmernann, who allowed just two runs over six innings. He struck out eight. 

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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