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Posey hits 16th homer of season, leads Giants back into first in NL West

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast

Photo by Charles Rex Arbogast

CHICAGO -- A pregame hitters' meeting seemed to help shake the San Francisco Giants out of their recent slumber.

A stiff wind blowing out of Wrigley Field didn't hurt, either.

Juan Uribe hit a grand slam and a two-run homer, both shots coming during a nine-run second inning that sent the Giants past the Chicago Cubs 13-0 Thursday night and into first place in the NL West.

"He is a guy who can do a lot of damage," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's knocked in a lot of runs for us this year. It's nice having a shortstop who can do that. We needed a big game from somebody and we got it from him tonight."

San Francisco moved a half-game ahead of the San Diego Padres, who lost 3-1 at Los Angeles. The Giants have the same record as idle Atlanta, which leads the wild-card race.

Thanks also to Leesburg's Buster Posey 16th home run of the season --- his sixth in September alone -- in the third inning, the Giants are now back in the driver's seat. Posey shot was a solo in the third after the Giants' 9-run third innings, while Cody Ross made it 12-0 when he homered off Marcos Mateo in the sixth.

"We're better than this and it's going to take everybody to focus out there," Bochy said he told his players. "Trust the guy behind you. We've had a few guys trying to do too much out there. Just try to get a quality at-bat and keep things moving."

The Giants responded with 19 hits and four home runs.

San Francisco pitchers, meanwhile, kept doing a solid job. They have gone 17 straight games giving up three or fewer runs, the longest streak since the Chicago White Sox set the record with 20 in a row in 1917, the Elias Sports Bureau said.

Madison Bumgarner (6-6) scattered seven hits over seven innings and struck out a career-high nine.

"I feel like I was keeping the ball down a lot better today than I was the last few games," he said. "I'm trying to keep the same approach each time I go out there. I feel good about going out there and giving us a chance to win."

Uribe had only two hits in his previous 21 at-bats before his quick six RBIs as the Giants teed off on Ryan Dempster (14-11) and reliever Thomas Diamond.

"He (Dempster) didn't look comfortable to me from the get-go," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He'll be fine next outing.

"You certainly have to put this one behind you. This is a turn-the-page game for me," he said.

The Giants loaded the bases with none out in the first, but scored just once as Buster Posey hit into a double play that drove in a run. But San Francisco broke loose the next inning, highlighted by Uribe's 21st and 22nd home runs.

Uribe's two-run shot off Dempster cleared the left-field wall and landed on Waveland Avenue for a 3-0 lead. He later hit his fifth career slam, a drive off Diamond into the left-field seats.

In between Uribe's homers, the Giants opened a 6-0 lead on RBI singles from Freddy Sanchez and Posey.

Pablo Sandoval's RBI single in eighth completed the rout.

Notes: Sanchez had four hits and Ross had three. ... The 1972 Indians and 1981 Athletics also went 16 straight games of giving up three or fewer runs. ... San Francisco travels to Colorado for a three-game series beginning Friday. ... Cubs leadoff man Jeff Baker was a late scratch because stomach flu