Pill with the big hit in Giants win

By Jeremy Kahn

Brett Pill just wanted the opportunity to play down the stretch for the San Francisco Giants ,and he got it against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pill hit a two-run single off of Cy Young Award candidate Clayton Kershaw in the top of the seventh inning, as the Giants came back to defeat the Dodgers 4-2 at Dodger Stadium.

The Pill single drove in Pablo Sandoval and Joaquin Arias, and on the play, Pill advanced to second when Andre Ethier bobbled the ball for an error in centerfield.

Hunter Pence continues to be one of the Giants hottest hitter, as he hit his 22nd home run of the season, an opposite field poke off of Chris Withrow in the top of the eighth inning.

Madison Bumgarner went the first six innings for the Giants, as he he allowed two runs on five hits, walking only two and striking out six.

The lone mistake of the night by Bumgarner was when his former teammate Juan Uribe smashed a two-run home run over the left-center field wall to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Arias got the Giants on the board in that same top of the seventh inning when Pill hit his two-run single, as Arias hit a single that scored Pence.

It was the 12th win of the season for Bumgarner, and the 34th save of the season for Sergio Romo, who pitched the final one and one-thirds to nail it down.

Romo allowed two hits and struck out rookie sensation Yaisel Puig with two on and nobody out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Adrian Gonzalez grounded out on a wacky play to end the game, as his batted ball went up the middle off of Romo’s ankle and bounced over to Arias who threw to Pill to end it.Brett Pill

Giants still pushing for respectability, win second straight

By Morris Phillips

No World Series champion has finished last in its division the following season since the 1998 Marlins were stuck with the dubious distinction winning just 54 games and finishing last in the NL East.

The 2013 Giants don’t want that jacket—especially since they originally had designs on defending their title unlike those Marlins who sold off all their high-priced pieces after winning it all in 1997.

On Monday, the Giants were officially eliminated from winning the NL West but that didn’t prevent them from earning a hard fought victory over the Rockies when Brandon Belt knocked in the game-winning run in the 10th inning.

Belt knocked in the game-tying run in the eighth prior to winning it in the 10th. Since August 1, Belt’s done the opposite of dialing it in, hitting .354 with 16 runs batted in, while adhering to the hitting adjustments suggested by hitting coach Hensley Muelens.

“I don’t think I’ve looked at the standings in a while. But we still care about ourselves,” Belt said. “We have some goals in mind and want to finish the season strong.”

“That’s what you want to see from your young players: improvement and adjustments,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Belt. “And he’s done that, he’s a different hitter now than he was earlier in the season.”

The Giants evened their season record at home at 37-37 with eight games remaining. The win also gave the team consecutive one-run victories for the first time since May 5, when they completed a three-game run of one-run wins. Overall, the team has captured nine of their last 16 contests.

Tim Lincecum pitched into the eighth inning, but that was only good enough and long enough to get him off the hook for the loss. Still, the Freak pitched well, after allowing six hits and two runs in the first three innings. As the game went along, Lincecum began locating pitches and relying heavily on his changeup which was effective in retiring Rockies’ batters.

“We got a couple runs early, but he shut us down after that,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said of Lincecum.

Lincecum win-loss record remains an unsightly 9-13 but he won three consecutive starts prior to Monday’s no-decision, his best run of success since April 2010. Is Timmy in the Giants’ plans for 2014 even with his declining velocity and spotty results? It remains to be seen, but it appears Lincecum is still stating his case, which in itself is a good sign.

In terms of statistics, Timmy’s done some good: 178 innings pitched with 175 strikeouts, which ranks him in the top 15 in the National League. But he’s also done some bad: his 70 walks are among the highest totals in the National League and he’s surrendered 19 home runs in 29 starts.

And what of the Giants trying to stay out of the cellar? Monday’s win brought the team within a ½ game of the Rockies and one game of the Padres, who are in third place in the division. Ironically, the Giants’ 36-28 record within the NL West is the best of the bunch, but the team has had 15 other opponents (excluding the Yankees, who they will see for the first time on September 20) whom they haven’t done well against (28-51).

Overall, a mixed bag for the Champs, but a bag they still seem interested in trying to organize, which is admirable.

On Tuesday, the Giants turn to Ryan Vogelsong who will be opposed by Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa.

Pagan plays hero again, 11th inning hit gives the Giants a walk-off win

By Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. – In the iconic words of Han Solo, “Never tell me the odds!” On Star Wars day at AT&T Park, the Giants were able to hold off on elimination from playoff contention today by beating the Diamondback 3-2 with a bottom of the eleventh walk-off single by hero Angel Pagan. Javier Lopez was credited with the win bringing his record to 3-2 and the Diamondbacks Joe Thatcher was given the loss to bring him to the same record of 3-2.

Going up against Diamondbacks pitcher Joe Thatcher with the score tied at 2, Hector Sanchez grounded a leadoff single to left field to start the Giants eleventh inning rally. To add some speed to the bags, Giants manager Bruce Bochy put in pinch-runner Ehrie Adrianza in his first major league appearance. Gregor Blanco followed with sacrifice-bunt attempt to help move Adrianza over to second however instead of going for the sure out at first, Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero threw to second base and wasn’t able to get Adrianza and Blanco reach first safely. Pagan then came up and knocked a 1-1 four-seam fastball to left field that Willie Bloomquist tried to relay in but if was off-line and Adrianza was able to slide in safely.

On scoring his first run in the big leagues, Adrianza said that “I was a little nervous out there but I tried to be in control and win the game.” Adrianza has been in the Giants farm league since 2006 and has 107 stolen bases to his credit, so the speed is there. Speaking on Adrianza, Bruce Bochy said “I’m going to have to try and find a spot for him. It’s good to have him out there.”

Madison Bumgarner who was looking for his first win since August 2nd threw 6.0-scoreless innings, allowing just four hits with nine strikeouts. Bumgarner struck out 5-straight Diamondbacks, tying the most consecutive strikeouts in his career. On his quick outing and performance Bumgarner said, “You want to stay out there but it’s their (the managers) job to look at the big picture and ours to look at today. I felt pretty good out there.” On him not getting the decision, Bumagarner continued, “it doesn’t matter if I get the win or not, all the starters are trying to do is eat up some innings and give us the chance to win.”

The Giants were able to get on the board first when in the bottom of the fourth Hector Sanchez hit a line single to right field that brought in Tony Abreu who walked to start off the inning. A few batters later on a wild pitch to Juan Perez, Buster Posey came in to score to make it a 2-0 Giants lead. In the eighth, Arizona tallied their two runs on a sacrifice fly from Eric Chavez and on a single from A.J. Pollock who brought in Adam Eaton to tie the game at 2.
The turning point of the game came in the top of the 10th when a call was turned over by umpire Ron Kulpa. Arizona had runners on first and second with two outs when Aaron Hill hit an easy grounder to Buster Posey at first which took a weird bounce and hit Posey in the chest. Giants pitcher George Kontos who was sprinting over to first to cover the bag was able to get there in time but Hill was initially called safe. After a brief conference by all four umpires, Kulpa changed the call and called Hall out. Understandably Arizona head coach Kirk Gibson went out to argue the call was then thrown out of the game, his fourth time this year. That momentum from the overturned call and the manager ejection gave the Giants the motivation they needed to ended the game as soon as possible and Angel Pagan was happy to deliver.

“They (the Diamondbacks) came back to tie the game in the eighth. If the game gets away from you after having the lead, it’s disheartening, but when you win it’s huge,” said Bochy on the win.

The Giants hope to continue their winning ways tomorrow when they face the Colorado Rockies at home. The Rockies send Jhoulys Chacin (13-8) to the mound while the Giants put Tim Lincecum (9-13) up to battle. Game time 7:15pm.

Another day, another A – former Oakland Athletic Brandon McCarthy spoils Matt Cain’s return with a 2-1 Diamondbacks victory

By Emily Zahner and Kahlil Najar

SAN FRANCISCO,CA–The San Francisco Giants (63-79) could not solve the puzzle that was Arizona Diamondbacks’ (72-69) starter Brandon McCarthy, as they fell 2-1 to the visiting D-backs. The former Oakland Athletic improved to 4-9 on the season with the win tonight from eight strong innings. In a thrilling pitchers battle, Matt Cain also threw a great game, only giving up two runs on eight hits. Unfortunately for the Giants, McCarthy was just a little bit better. With the loss tonight, the Giants are now one loss away from elimination from the post season. The Diamondbacks sit 11 games back from the continually impressive LA Dodgers.

The silver lining Giants fans can grasp from from this loss and maybe for the remainder of the season is that after missing 14 games on the DL, Matt Cain (8-9) came back and appeared to have no trouble or pain. He went six and a third, gave up two runs on eight hits and struck out three. Cain even took a hard grounder to his right calf from Arizona’s power hitter Paul Goldschmidt. “Matt did a nice job since coming off the DL. It’s been a while since he’s been out there. Pitching and defense did a great job tonight keeping that game close but we couldn’t help with the offense” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Offensively for the Giants, Hunter Pence continued his hot streak. His two singles tonight pushed him to his 49th multihit game of the year, good enough to tie him for third in the National League. Angel Pagan continued his amazing return to the line up when he dazzled the fans with what could be called the play of the night. After a deep double by Gerardo Parra, Pagan took the ball on the bounce and shot a dart to shortstop Brandon Crawford who relayed it to catcher Hector Sanchez, who tagged out Wil Nieves, who was trying to score from first. Bochy echoed Pagans accolades, “He’s worked hard to get to this point. He looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. It’s really amazing considering the surgery he had. This is big for him as we wind down the season, he goes into next season knowing he’s healthy and 100%.”

For Arizona, Brandon McCarthy (4-9) went eight strong innings, surrendered six hits and only one run. Paul Goldschmidt and Gerardo Parra provided the offense for the Diamondbacks as they went 5 for 8 with three singles, a double and a triple and driving in both Arizona runs. McCarthy was replaced in the ninth by another former Athletics, Brad Ziegler, who threw an easy 1-2-3 inning for his ninth save of the year. With his win tonight, McCarthy was questioned as to how he was able to come into AT&T and pitch as well as he did, “It’s just trying to execute as many pitches as I can. Focus on what I can control.” Bochy also had high praises for the Arizona starter, saying “We couldn’t figure out McCarthy. His pitches moved a lot and we didn’t hit any balls hard tonight.”

The scoring started in the bottom of the third when Brandon Crawford scored after Marco Scutaro hit his 110th single of the year to center field to give the Giant’s a 1-0 lead. Crawford had led off the inning with a single of his own and was scooted over to third by a sac bunt from Matt Cain and a grounder to first by Angel Pagan. The Diamondbacks got on the board then next inning when Gerardo Parra hit a line drive to Hunter Pence in right field and scored Paul Goldschmidt to tie the score at one apiece. Goldschmidt gave Arizona the lead for good when in the fourth when he hit shot to the deepest part of the AT&T park that scored Adam Eaton from first to seal the victory with a final score of 2-1.

The Giants will try to stave off elimination tomorrow as they take on Arizona’s Wade Miley (9-10, 3.78) and put Madison Bumgarner (11-9, 2.91) on the mound. Game time 1:05pm PST.

Petit is nearly perfect

By Jeremy Kahn

PhotoSAN FRANCISCO-Yusmeiro Petit came within just one strike of baseball immortality against his former team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The right-hander, who is making his third start in the last two weeks, came within one strike of becoming the 24th pitcher to throw a perfect game, as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 3-0 before a sellout crowd of 41,180 at AT&T Park.

Petit retired the first 26 batters he faced, but former Oakland A’s third baseman Eric Chavez broke up the perfecto with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, as his single was out of the reach of a diving Hunter Pence in right field.

In all, Petit threw a complete game one-hit shutout, the first of his career, as he struck out seven, just five days after striking out a career-high 10 in the Giants 8-2 victory over these same Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Petit was only the second Giants pitcher this season to throw a complete game, joining Tim Lincecum, who threw a no-hitter on July 13 against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

The eight and two-thirds of no-hit ball pitched by Petit was the longest in his career, breaking his previous long of seven innings, while pitching for the Diamondbacks at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 4, 2009.

Petit is the 12th pitcher in major league history to lose a perfect game with two outs in the ninth inning, and the second this season, as Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers lost a perfect game in his first start of the season against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on April 2, 2013.

In that game, Ronny Cedeno broke up Petit’s no-hit bid with no outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Pirates 6-0.

Pence scored the first run of the game for the Giants in the bottom of the second inning, as Petit’s battery mate Hector Sanchez drove him in with a single.

It was also Pence who scored the Giants second run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, as he scored on the second Sanchez single of the night.

On the night, Pence went 3-for-3 with three runs, a single, a double and a home run.

Over his last 15 games, Pence is hitting .392, going 20-for-51 with nine RBIs, and 13 runs scored.

This was also the 48th multi-hit game of the season for Pence, tied for the third-most in the National League.

Following the Pence double, Pablo Sandoval nearly reached for the second consecutive at-bat; however Adam Eaton made a terrific catch in left field.

Joaquin Arias was then retired following the Sandoval fly out, as Paul Goldschmidt made a great play at first base.

Petit’s opponent on the mound, Patrick Corbin nearly picked up the first Diamondbacks hit in the top of the sixth inning, but Juan Perez made a tremendous diving catch to preserve the game for Petit.

Corbin went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking just one and striking out five, but lost for the second time in the last five days to the Giants.

Sandoval extended his hitting streak to eight-straight games, as he singled off of Corbin in the bottom of the second inning.

During the streak, Sandoval is hitting .406 (13-for-32) with eight RBIs, also over his last 23 games, the 2012 World Series MVP is hitting .386 (33-for-86) with 20 RBIs.

Pence made it 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, as he took a Corbin pitch and supplanted it into the left field bleachers for his 19th home run of the season.

It was the 19th home run of the season for Pence, as he is just one home run shy of becoming the first Giants player to go 20-20 since Barry Bonds turned the trick in 1998.

Pence and Sandoval are not the only Giants swinging a hot bat, as Angel Pagan extended his hitting streak up to 11 games, as he singled in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Giants pounce on the Padres

By Jeremy Harness

The last time Pablo Sandoval hit three home runs in a game, he was leading the Giants past the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of last year’s World Series.

Lest to say that we are far removed from those days, even though it was only less than 11 months ago. Nonetheless, every win should be taken as a positive, no matter how meaningless it is now, and Sandoval’s three-bomb outing Wednesday night helped the Giants breeze past the San Diego Padres, 13-5, at PETCO Park.

In hitting the trio of homers, Sandoval drove in a total of six runs, giving the Giants all the runs they would need to pull out the victory.

Well, this game did have some meaning, in the fact the Giants are no longer in the cellar of the National League West. Now they have company, as they dropped the Padres into a tie with them for last place with matching 62-77 records.

Tim Lincecum didn’t pitch great – he gave up five earned runs on seven hits, walking four and striking out five – put he held on long enough to pick up only his ninth victory of the season against 13 defeats.

He was helped out by a bullpen that combined to allow only two hits the rest of the way.

Aside from Sandoval, Hunter Pence had a rather-solid game at the plate for the Giants. He knocked in three runs, including a two-run homer in the fourth inning off Padres starter Eric Stults.

Petit rattles former team in Giants win

By Jeremy Kahn

PhotoPHOENIX-Yusmeiro Petit must have loved to hear from Bruce Bochy that he was going to pitch the finale of this three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Petit, who pitched for the Diamondbacks from 2007-2009 was absolutely fantastic, as he went six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out a career-high 10 and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 8-2 before 33,422 at Chase Field.

“Another great start for him, two tough ballparks in Colorado and here,” said Bruce Bochy.

Hunter Pence continued his hot hitting, as he went 3-for-4 on the afternoon, which included his 17th home run of the season, a two-run belt to the opposite field that scored Buster Posey, who went 3-for-5 on the afternoon.

Despite allowing a run on two hits in the bottom of the first inning, Petit struck out the side in the inning and struck out the side in the bottom of the second inning.

Martin Prado got the Diamondbacks on the board in the bottom of the first inning, as he doubled off of Petit to score Adam Eaton, who singled with one out.

Hector Sanchez got the Giants on the board in the top of the second inning, as he grounded out to shortstop to score Pence from third base, after Pence walked to leadoff the inning.

Sanchez continued to be a run producer in the top of the fourth inning, as he hit a two-run double that scored Posey and Pence, in what proved to be the game-winning runs.

Petit helped out his own cause in that frame, as he singled to the opposite field to score Sanchez with the third run of the inning.

“Put the ball in play,” said Petit, through interpreter Jose Alguacil.

Tony Abreu made his return to the team after missing the last 31 games with bursitis in his left knee, and made his presence in the field well known.

Abreu, starting in place of Marco Scutaro at second made a diving stab at a ball, got up threw to Joaquin Arias at second base who in turn threw to Posey to complete a dazzling double play.

Thirteen-game winner Patrick Corbin lasted only five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out six.

With the victory over the lefthander, the Giants won for just the third time in their 12 versus a left-handed pitcher.

In seven starts versus Corbin, this was just the second time that the Giants defeated the 13-game winner.

The Giants previously defeated Corbin on September 26, 2012 at AT&T Park, in what the second to last home game of what turned out to be a World Championship season.

The Diamondbacks attempted to make a game of it in the bottom of the seventh inning, as A.J. Pollock singled to leadoff the inning and then scored on an Adam Eaton singled with two outs to narrow the lead down to 5-2.

That brought the dangerous Paul Goldschmidt to the plate representing the tying run for the Diamondbacks.

Goldschmidt took a Jose Mijares offering to deep left-center field, but Gregor Blanco was able to track it down for the third out just in front of the warning track near the 413-foot mark.

The Giants added three more three in the top of the ninth, as Scutaro singled, then Arias singled, after a strikeout by Abreu, Posey came up with third hit of the afternoon and then Pence joined Posey in the three-hit club, as he singled.

“That is what you are hoping for from the heart of your lineup,” said Bochy.

All of the hits and runs came off of Heath Bell, who was shelled in 0.1 innings of work, as he allowed three runs on four hits and struck out one.

NOTES: Barry Zito will start for the Giants on Monday against the San Diego Padres from Petco Park, while the Padres will send former Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy in the series opener.

In 56 games versus the National League West this season, the Giants are now 32-24 (.571), the best of any team in the division.

This was the most runs scored by the Giants in a game since scoring 14 runs in a victory against the Miami Marlins on August 16 at Marlins Ballpark.

DOWN ON THE FARM: Four of the Giants six minor league affiliates will play in the postseason.

The San Jose Giants will make their California League record 10th consecutive playoff appearances.

Making the playoffs for the second time in the last seasons will be the Augusta GreenJackets of the Class-A South Atlantic League.

The Giants Short Season affiliate from the Northwest League, the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes return to the playoffs for the first time since the 2009 season.

Rookie level Arizona Giants also return to the postseason for the first time since the 2011 postseason.

Chavez bites Giants

By Jeremy Kahn

PHOENIX-Eric Chavez played against the San Francisco Giants in the Bay Bridge Series for the Oakland A’s, but he is now playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and he continues to be a pest for the Orange and Black.

Chavez hit a walk-off single off of Sandy Rosario in the bottom of the ninth inning, as the Diamondbacks defeated the Giants 4-3 before a crowd of 36,091 at Chase Field.

“It was a fastball away. I’d never faced that guy before, so I didn’t know what he had. I was just looking for a strike,” said Chavez.

In his career versus the Giants, Chavez is now 43-for-174, a .247 clip over his 15-year career with the A’s, New York Yankees and now the Diamondbacks.

“This has kind of been the only time I haven’t swung the bat good the whole year, but I feel fine. I just haven’t been getting any hits. So that was a nice one to get,” said Chavez.

Willie Bloomquist led off the ninth inning with a single, and then after an Adam Eaton sacrifice bunt advanced Bloomquist to second base, Paul Goldschmidt was walked intentionally to bring Chavez to the plate and he took a Rosario offering to the opposite field to win the game.

It was the 12th walk-off win of the season for the Diamondbacks and the first walk-off for Chavez since June 4, 2007 against the Boston Red Sox, when he hit a home run in the bottom of the 11th inning off of Kyle Snyder and made a winner out of current Giants reliever Santiago Casilla (according to Retrosheet).

After being tamed by former Oakland A’s pitcher Trevor Cahill for six innings, the San Francisco Giants finally got to the right-hander in the top of the seventh inning.

Cahill pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, while walking three and striking out three.

Gregor Blanco led off the top of the seventh inning with his second home run of the season to get the Giants their first run since Angel Pagan scored in the top of the first inning of Friday night’s 1-0 victory.

After a Roger Kieschnick strike out, Pagan singled and then scored the second run of the inning on a triple by Marco Scutaro.

Brandon Belt struck out for the second out of the inning, and then the Giants tied up the game on a single by Buster Posey off of Josh Collmenter.

Hunter Pence then singled for his third hit of the game that advanced Posey to third, but the two were stranded, as Pablo Sandoval grounded out to Collmenter to end the inning.

Pagan came up huge in the field in the bottom of the seventh inning, as he made a diving catch off a sinking liner off the bat of Montero.

“Did a great job again, he’s excited to be back,” said Bruce Bochy.

Miguel Montero got the Diamondbacks on the board after he singled to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning, to score Martin Prado, who doubled to leadoff the inning.

Following the Montero single, Gerardo Parra hit a sacrifice fly to Pence in right field that scored Aaron Hill, who singled following Prado.

After a sacrifice bunt by Cahill, that advanced Montero to second base, Willie Bloomquist drove in the third run of the frame to score Montero, but after attempting to stretch the single into a double, Bloomquist was tagged out by Brandon Belt after a great throw by Pagan in centerfield.

Ryan Vogelsong saw his scoreless inning end at 15, as he allowed those three runs to cross the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning.

In all, Vogelsong went six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, while walking two and striking out one.

This was the seventh consecutive start that Vogelsong held his opponent to three runs-or less.

“Felt pretty good, I was not as sharp as I was on Sunday,” said Vogelsong.

Vogelsong did pickup his second hit of the season in the top of the fifth inning with a single, but was stranded at third base.

Like in the fifth inning, when Vogelsong was stranded at third base, it happened again in the top of the sixth inning, as Hunter Pence was stranded just 90 feet away from home plate.

Pence advanced to second on a wild pitch after singling with one out, went to third on a Pablo Sandoval ground out to first base and then Brandon Crawford struck out swinging to end the inning.

Things could have gotten a lot worse for the Giants in the bottom of the sixth inning, as the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with one out.

Aaron Hill walked, then Montero singled and then Parra singled to load up the bases against Vogelsong.

Cahill hit a sharp hit ball to Crawford at shortstop, and he threw to plate, where Buster Posey just barely got to home plate ahead of the sliding Hill for the second out of the inning.

Bloomquist then grounded out to Vogelsong for the final out of the inning, and escape the jam.

There was a scary moment for Bochy in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Montero lost control of his bat and flew towards the Giants dugout.

“The net saved me,” said Bochy.

Not did it get a chuckle from the Giants dugout, but Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was shown on the television getting a good laugh.

“My guys did too,” said Bochy.

NOTES: Yusmeiro Petit will take the ball in the series finale against his former team, while 13-game winner Patrick Corbin will head to the mound for the Diamondbacks.

With the loss, the Giants drop 2-3 on their three-city, 10-day road trip, thru Colorado, Arizona and San Diego.

The Giants are now 26-40 (.393) away from AT&T Park with 15 games remaining, the fifth-lowest winning percentage in the National League.

Tony Abreu will be activated back to the roster on Sunday, as major league teams can increase their rosters for the final month of the season.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau in Friday night’s 1-0 victory, this was the first time in 21 years that the Giants won a game where they scored their only run in the top of the first inning.

On their last two occasions, both wins came against the Atlanta Braves (August 7, 1991 and September 30, 1992).

DOWN ON THE FARM: Infielder Christian Arroyo, the first-round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, was named the Arizona Rookie League MVP.

In 45 games with the AZL Giants, Arroyo batted .326 going 60-184 at the plate with 25 extra base hits and 45 runs scored.

Arroyo was not the only player to be named to the AZL All-Star team, as Giants second round pick infielder Ryder Jones and left-handed pitcher Luis Ysla and AZL Giants manager Nestor Rojas was named Field Staff All-Star of the Year.

Lincecum defangs Diamondbacks

By Jeremy Kahn

August 30, 2013

PHOENIX-Tim Lincecum is a free agent at the end of the 2013 season, but if he pitches the rest of the way like his two last starts, he should be wearing Orange and Black next season.

Lincecum went seven innings, allowing zero runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out two on his way to his second consecutive win and the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 before a crowd of 24,380 at Chase Field.

“Best I have had felt out there in a while,” said Lincecum, who threw 99 pitches on the evening.

The win was also special for Giants centerfielder Angel Pagan, who made his return to a major league diamond for the first time since May 25, when hit a walk-off two-run inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park against the Colorado Rockies.

In his first major league at-bat in 82 games, Pagan hit a double off of Diamondbacks starter Randall Delgado and then scored the only Giants run that they would need, as Brandon Belt hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Pagan from third base in the top of the first inning.

“I was going, I was going to challenge (A.J. Pollock),” said Pagan.

Despite taking the loss, Delgado pitched an admirable game, as he went seven innings, allowing one runs on just three hits, walking two and striking out three; however he saw his record fall to 4-5 on the season.

Paul Goldschmidt, who entered the game with a .529 clip in his career versus Lincecum was retired in his first at-bats, but finally got to Lincecum, as he hit a single in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Following the Goldschmidt single, Martin Prado hit a single that sent Goldschmidt and immediately following the Prado single, Aaron Hill walked to load the bases.

After going 1-for-3 on the night, Goldschmidt is still hitting at .an .500 clip, as he is now 10-for-20 in his career versus the two-time Cy Young Award Winner.

Lincecum then struck out Miguel Montero on three consecutive pitches, and Pablo Sandoval saved the shutout, as he dove for an A.J. Pollock hit down the left field line, got up and threw to Belt for the final out of the inning.

“Ball down the line, looking at a crooked number,” said Bruce Bochy, “that was how we won the game.”

Marco Scutaro made an amazing play at second base, as Goldschmidt was running on the pitch, Scutaro was covering second and a ball hit by Prado was snared by Scutaro, who tagged second and threw to first to complete the double play.

Sandoval was forced to leave the game after being hit on the knee by a Brad Ziegler pitch in the top of the ninth inning and was replaced by Joaquin Arias at third base.

Sergio Romo came on in the bottom of the ninth inning, and shut the Diamondbacks down to pickup his 33rd save of the season.

Romo extends two different streaks at Chase Field, as he now completes 20.0-consecutive scoreless innings, tied for the second longest streak all-time by a visiting pitcher in the history of the ballpark (according to Stats LLC).

Also, Romo completed his 23rd consecutive inning of scoreless appearances at Chase Field, the longest such by any visiting pitcher at any ballpark since 1921 (according to Stats LLC).

NOTES: Ryan Vogelsong will take the ball in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday afternoon, while former Oakland A’s starter Trevor Cahill will toe the rubber for Kirk Gibson’s Diamondbacks.

Former Diamondbacks pitcher Yusmeiro Petit will face his former team on Sunday, while 13-game winner Patrick Corbin will head to the mound for the Diamondbacks.

To make room for Pagan, Francisco Peguero was optioned to Fresno and Andres Torres was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day disabled list after having surgery on his left Achilles.

With the victory, the Giants are now 5-10 following an off day this season, their first win after an off day since Chad Gaudin defeated the Diamondbacks on July 19 at AT&T Park.

The Giants have raised their record versus the National League West to 31-24, the best out of any team in the division.

When the game began at 6:40 (local time) it was a balmy 91 degrees outside of the ballpark, but a cool 78 degrees inside.

Zito’s cryptic explanation highlights Giants’ blowout loss

By Morris Phillips 

August 21, 2013

PhotoIt’s not just that the Giants are losing. It’s how they’re losing. 

Wednesday’s 12-1 super-sized beat down at the hands of the Red Sox wasn’t just embarrassing, it may have been Barry Zito’s final start as a Giant, less than four innings in length and hard to watch as the Boston hitters found the lefty’s offerings to be of little mystery. 

For GM Brian Sabean, trying to figure out which parts of his last place club should return for 2014 and which parts should be dispatched to the nearest recycling center couldn’t be any more difficult. One year removed from a second World Series title in three years, the Giants carried the worst record in baseball for nearly two months and now seem just as unhealthy in completing a third month of awful performances. The 2013 Giants will be known for meager offense supported by raggedy pitching that have their opponents reluctant to leave town after a three or four game series. 

The Red Sox came in struggling and sleepy and left town Wednesday afternoon happy and alert, just what you would expect after a 12-run outburst that took just 12 hits with have of those going for extra bases. After Stephen Drew’s three-run homer in the seventh off reliever Michael Kickham it was hard to tell if the game was being played at AT&T Park or Fenway Park. 

Zito allowed half of the 12 runs and was gone in the fourth inning, and this was after the veteran was temporarily promoted back into the starting lineup due to Chad Gaudin’s injury. But Zito the starter wasn’t any better than Zito the reliever as the desultory appearance kept his ERA over 10 over his five relief appearances and Wednesday’s start. 

So what could the multi-millionaire athlete offer in explanation afterwards? 

“Some strange stuff happened out there today,” Zito said. “Baseball is a strange game sometimes. The nature of the game is so unpredictable. That’s why we all love it and why we all hate it.” 

Given that explanation, we move on to Thursday evening when the first place Pirates begin a four-game set with the Giants that starts with a Jeff Locke-Matt Cain matchup at 7:15pm.