On a night when there were only 10 home runs -- tied for third-fewest on any day this season -- Buster Posey hit the longest home run of the night (411 feet) to propel the San Francisco Giants into first place in the NL West. If you look at just days with six or more MLB games (as Thursday had), the 10 homers are the fewest this season and two away from being the fewest in the past five years.
Jonathan Sanchez started for the Giants and set a career high with 12 strikeouts, which gave him a career high 188 this season!
How Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez dominated the Los Angeles Dodgers:
• Strike percentage of 74.4 (on all pitches) was the highest of his career in a start. It was spread across all pitch types (76.7% on fastballs); the free-swinging Dodgers whiffed 18 times, the most for Sanchez since April.
• Curve and slider worked well; Dodgers went 0-for-7 against those two pitches, which also accounted for five of Sanchez' season-high 12 strikeouts. They also chased half of those two pitches outside the strike zone.
• No fear: Threw 25 pitches up and 22 across the middle, and did not surrender a hit on any of those. Los Angeles was 0-for-14 when putting those in play, and they chopped down on most of them: Sanchez' ground ball percentage of 64.3 was his highest of the season.
• High strike percentage led him to ZERO 3-ball counts the entire game (not even 3-2). That's another first in his career as a starter. He went 2-0 to only two batters, both of whom later made outs.
Sanchez also led all starters on Thursday in first-pitch strike percentage at 72 percent (18 of 25 batters faced).
And as the Giants move up the standings, a note about a team heading in the other direction:
FROM ELIAS: Since the 162-game schedule took effect in 1961, the 2010 Pittsburgh Pirates have the fewest ROAD wins of any team through 74 games. The New York Mets held that distinction with 16 wins in 1963.