SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Zito may take the same approach as always but it's producing better results.
Zito pitched six strong innings and Bengie Molina homered among his three hits and drove in three runs, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Saturday.
"He's been throwing better than his record indicates," Giants Manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been our tough-luck pitcher and he's been exceptional this past month."
Eugenio Velez also homered as the Giants won for the fifth time in seven games. Fred Lewis added two hits.
Never miss a local story.
Zito (8-10) gave up two runs and three hits over six innings to win his third straight decision. He walked two and struck out four. Zito last won three consecutive decisions from May 23-June 4, 2007.
"I didn't really feel in sync," said Zito, who insisted he's pitched the same way all year, even during a 1-6 start over the first two months. "Sometimes you go out there and feel amazing and when you look at the results you think you should be bummed, but you don't. This time I had to grind every pitch and we came out with the win."
Brian Wilson bounced back from Friday night's blown save to pitch a scoreless ninth for his 28th save in 33 chances.
"I know Willy and he takes it hard," Bochy said. "It's not easy for any pitcher to wave that off but this kid is strong."
Bronson Arroyo (10-11) gave up three runs on seven hits to lose his third decision in a row. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. Wladimir Balentien and Jonny Gomes drove in runs for the Reds, who have lost 11 of their last 13 road games.
"I thought I threw the ball pretty good," Arroyo said. "Zito threw well and things just went their way. You just hope you continue to feel good and things will work out in the end."
Arroyo, who has not won in San Francisco in five starts, also had a three-game winning streak against the Giants end.
Zito beat the Reds for the first time since June of 2004 when he was with the Oakland Athletics.
"He had better command of the strike zone since the last time we saw him," Baker said. "His curveball was breaking sharply. I thought we were going to get to him early. Then the bullpen comes in and shuts us down."
Molina has four extra base hits — two home runs — over his past three games.
Rolen still feeling effects
Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was scratched from Saturday's starting lineup against because he was experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Cincinnati's recent acquisition was beaned in the head with a fast ball from Rockies pitcher Jason Marquis last week.
Rolen will be examined in Cincinnati on Sunday.
"He wasn't feeling that well yesterday," Reds Manager Dusty Baker said. "He took batting practice but he's still feeling not himself. That's not surprising. When you get hit like that your brain gets rattled and you're still coming in and out of feeling normal."
Reds rally Friday night
Brandon Phillips drew a tie-breaking bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning and the Reds took advantage of a meltdown by San Francisco's bullpen to beat the Giants 10-5 late Friday night.
Pinch-hitter Drew Sutton led off the ninth with an infield single off Giants closer Brian Wilson (3-5) before Alex Gonzalez and Joey Votto drew one-out walks. Phillips, who doubled and scored when the Reds tied the game with two runs in the eighth, walked to force in Sutton.
The Reds then took advantage of two San Francisco errors and a wild pitch to tack on four more runs, ending their eight-game road losing streak.
Giants starter Tim Lincecum scattered six hits over seven innings, striking out seven while allowing three runs but got a no-decision for the eighth time this season despite leaving with a 5-3 lead.
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey gave up five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings.