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09/09/2007 3:09 AM ET
Behind Oseguera, Giants win opener
Southpaw limits Oaks to four singles over seven innings
Paul Oseguera is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA in three starts against Visalia this year. (Damon Tarver/


The San Jose Giants had the best pitching staff in the California League during the regular season, and Saturday night was no different.

Paul Oseguera and three relievers combined on a five-hitter as San Jose blanked visiting Visalia, 1-0, in Game 1 of the California League North Division Championship Series.

Oseguera (1-0) scattered four hits -- all singles -- while walking one and striking out eight over seven sinnings to win his third straight decision. Ronnie Ray faced three batters in the eighth, yielding a double and striking out two, before Jason Waddell fanned Gregory Thomson to end the threat. Sergio Romo tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to notch his first postseason save.

"I felt better tonight than I had in the last month or so," Oseguera said. "I kept the fastball down, threw the curveball for a strike and was able to use the changeup later in the count."

The 23-year-old left-hander, who went 10-6 with a 3.54 ERA in the regular season, surrendered five runs over 3 2/3 innings in his final regular-season start. But in two starts against Visalia, he went 2-0 and allowed just three runs on seven hits over 14 innings, striking out 10 and walking one.

"They have a good lineup, so I didn't want to let up in any situation," said Oseguera, who was used exclusively as a reliever for 2006 Northwest League champion Salem-Keizer. "The defense made some good plays behind me. We were anxious to get the series started and let them know we were ready," he explained.

Travis Denker, who went 2-for-3, hit his first playoff homer with one out in the first for the game's only run.

Oaks starter Brett Anderson (0-1) allowed a run on three hits while striking out four and walking one in four frames. Anthony Cupps tossed four shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Frank Curreri went 2-for-3 for Visalia.

Game 2 of the best-of-5 series is Sunday at San Jose.

Steve Conley is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.