Giants blow big lead, recover in extras to best the D’Backs, increase NL West lead

By Morris Phillips

Trade deadline activity that strengthens a competing club is energizing for the fans and organization. But it can be agonizing for players who may be on the departing end of a big trade.

Once the trade deadline passes, nervousness ceases and everybody gets back to work.

On Monday night in Phoenix, Alex Dickerson got back to work.

The Giants’ burly left fielder hit a grand slam to give the Giants a big lead, only to see it evaporate, and force the club to regain control in extra innings in an 11-8 victory over the Diamondbacks. With the acquisition of Kris Bryant, Dickerson had to be wondering about his current status with the club with Bryant offering a better option for the team’s outfield spots. But Monday found Bryant and Dickerson in the lineup together, a clear sign that manager Gabe Kapler hadn’t forgotten what a menace Dickerson has been when facing Arizona.

“He’s had quite a bit of success against the D-backs,” Kapler said. “He’s had quite a bit of success in this ballpark. I think he feels especially confident.”

“It hasn’t been the greatest year for me to this point, but they know and I know that I’m better than how I’ve played,” Dickerson said. “I just needed that kind of day where it all comes together. It was a good feeling to have everybody pulling for me.”

Kapler made it clear that while more is expected of Dickerson, hitting just .217, not much more is expected. Being an occasional home threat and delivering in that manner may be enough.

“I just think he needs to be the better version of Alex Dickerson. That’s a guy who’s a really tough out at the plate against righties and occasionally has games with big damage like he had today. I don’t want Alex to put any additional pressure on himself to be perfect every time out. Just be productive and keep the line moving.”

Dickerson’s slam off reliever J.B. Bukauskas in the fifth was typical, Giants home run express delivery: a poorly placed pitch in the hitting zone that wasn’t missed. That Dickerson sent the pitch 437 feet for his career-best 11th home run of the season said it all. The slam ended an 0 for 17 stretch for the slugger.

Despite building a 7-1 lead, the Giants found themselves in a nail bitter with a D’Backs club that came in 40 games below .500 and was embarassed by the Dodgers on Sunday, losing 13-0. Josh Reddick got the Arizona comeback started with a two-run shot off Anthony DeSclafani in the fifth. Asdrubral Cabrera followed with another two-run shot, and Christian Walker’s two-run double got the D’Backs even in the seventh.

Reliever Jay Jackson was victimized by Walker, a surprise after Jackson gave the eight, neat appearances in July, and had put himself in line for a bigger role out of the Giants’ pen. Jackson’s command issues on Monday were apparent prior to facing Walker, but Kapler was reluctant to turn to any of his top three relievers after a weekend of extended activity against the Astros.

With the game tied, Kapler did find some success with newly reacquired Tony Watson and hot arm Jarlin Garcia, who pitched the ninth and tenth innings. That gave the Giants a chance to catch a collective breather, and rally in the tenth. Buster Posey started it with a double that chased home Brandon Crawford, the placed runner to start an extra inning. Dickerson’s line out advanced Posey to third, and Austin Slater walked. Steven Duggar followed with an RBI single, and Donovan Solano capped the rally with a ground out that allowed Slater to score.

The Giants gained a half game on the Dodgers and Padres, increasing their lead in the NL West to 3 1/2 games. The Giants have won six of eight and moved a season-best 28 games above .500 at 67-39. The season series against Arizona continues to be lopsided with the Giants capturing 10 of 11 meetings thus far.

On Tuesday, the veteran matchup sure to gain attention takes place with Johnny Cueto facing Madison Bumgarner, the former Giant and 2014 World Series hero at 6:40pm.

Finishing Kick: Giants hope conclusion of their schedule carries them to the postseason

By Morris Phillips

Alex Dickerson’s wife is expecting the couple’s first child any day now. Complicating matters, his positive COVID test shut the Giants down Friday and Saturday as follow up testing procedures exercised the utmost caution for both the Giants and the Padres. At some point, Dickerson allowed the Giants to release his name, connecting him to the previously anonymous test within the team’s traveling party.

Then a false report printed by the USA Today claiming Dickerson contracted the virus from a family member while in San Diego (a meet up that is prohibited by the strict rules instituted by MLB for traveling clubs) caused the player–and his wife–a myriad of issues.

“When you’re dealing with pregnancy and COVID-19, it is not a good thing to make the assumption that I came in and went and broke protocol and saw family and friends when I’m only permitted to see my wife and she is the only person I saw, and she has been quarantining and on bed rest,” Dickerson said. “It caused a lot of problems, a lot of hate to come towards you and it was kind of unwarranted.”

The Giants had benefitted tremendously from avoiding issues and disruptions from the virus. Just maintaining their schedule as written was big, for them and the rest of the NL West. After all, makeup doubleheaders–regardless of the reduced length in innings–aren’t momentum builders.

That Dickerson’s positive test morphed into a false positive with no other positive tests was frustrating as well. The conclusion? Being a big league club on the road in 2020 isn’t the best. Nine of the 15 National League clubs have losing road records. Isolation and testing are a big contributor to that.

So as the Giants settle into their Seattle hotel on Monday night, two things stick out: the Mariners spent a day/night in the smoke-filled air on Monday, splitting a pair of makeup contests with the A’s. That’s 14 innings for the hosts and none for the Giants, who were idle. Even bigger, with 13 games remaining, these two will be the last two outside the Bay Area involving a hotel and the stringent protocols.

Starting Friday, the Giants play three games in Oakland, then eight at Oracle Park to end the regular season.

That schedule may be enough to keep the Giants from losing their grip on the eighth and final playoff spot, and possibly sending them to Dodgers Stadium for a best of three-game series that would generate a great deal of interest. It also would be their first postseason berth since 2016.

The Giants are 14-9 at home, while averaging better than five runs per game. They’ve struggled with the A’s and the Padres, but might be poised to take advantage of the Rockies.

Giants’ rally in the ninth comes up just short in 7-6 loss to the Rockies

By Morris Phillips

The Giants offense has gone from feeble to fantastic in less than a week, led by early MVP candidates Donovan Solano and Mike Yastrzemski. 

Now if only the Giants’ pitching and defense could make the same dramatic leap.

Currently, the Colorado Rockies are serving up the NL West’s best combination of the critical, baseball elements, the latest example their come-from-behind, 7-6 win over the Giants at Coors Field on Monday.

The Giants jumped out to 4-1 lead in the fifth inning behind Johnny Cueto only to see the Rockies explode for five runs in the sixth to seize control. Colorado added a run in the eighth, then held on when the Giants rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth, leaving the tying run stranded at third base.

In the end, the Giants could only blame themselves and their inability to record big outs, along with less than stellar defense.

“It’s really important we tighten up our play, we play catch and make the plays, particularly in one-run games at a Coors Field,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

Nolan Arenado homered with Charlie Blackmon aboard to cut the Giants lead to 4-3 which ended Cueto’s evening two batters into the sixth. Despite the hiccup, Cueto proved again to be the master of the huge park and its mile high elevation. At that point, Cueto had done his part in a potential sixth team win in his seven starts as a Giant at Coors.

Reliever Wandy Peralta allowed Ryan McMahon’s drive to right that Alex Dickerson bobbled and dropped on the warning track for a triple. Matt Kemp’s single tied it, and subsequent base hits by Chris Owings and David Dahl gave the Rockies a two-run cushion.

Dickerson again contributed to the Rockies’ rally with an errant throw that forced catcher Chadwick Tromp to vacate his position as Kemp and Owings crossed the plate on Dahl’s hit. Kapler penciled in Dickerson for only his second start as a right fielder only to see the decision backfire with the miscues.

“Honestly I bet Dick makes that (catch) 19 out of 20 times,” Kapler said. “The throw, I bet he makes almost every time. There’s no question.”

Home runs by Tromp, Yastrzemski and Dickerson were squandered in the loss. The Giants have hit 10 home runs in their last six ballgames, a stretch in which the team has gone 3-3.

Pitcher Andrew Suarez was recalled before the game, and Andrew Triggs, who had a rough outing on Sunday, was optioned. The Giants have not announced a starter for any of the three, remaining games in Denver, the start of a 10-game, three-city, road trip that continues to Los Angeles and Houston.

Longtime KNBR talk host Ralph Barbieri passed away Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s. The 74-year old Barbieri spent 28 years at KNBR, the last 15 with co-host Tom Tolbert, and was well known for his razor-sharp wit.

San Francisco Giants podcast with Jerry Feitelberg for Michael Duca: Pillar’s bat helps Giants in month of August; Dickerson back in the lineup; plus more

Photo credit:

On the San Francisco Giants podcast with Jerry for Michael:

#1 Kevin Pillar has had a good month of August for the Giants, hitting .255, 115 hits, 15 homers and 63 RBIs. He has been clutch. How impressed is Jerry about Pillar?

#2 How important is it to have Alex Dickerson back in the lineup? He suffered an oblique strain and is doing a reduced workout now.

#3 How impactful is it that Pablo Sandoval being out of the line up with the inflamed right elbow and how much will they miss Pablo being around as he will be out at least 10 days on the injured list? Sandoval was hitting .269, 14 home runs and 41 RBIs before the injury.

#4 Manager Bruce Bochy said he wasn’t sure how long Sandoval will be out, but the team will have to see how Sandoval responds to treatment.

#5 The Giants are in Arizona for a four-game series with the Diamondbacks. It’s an important series just being 4.5 out of first place for the NL wild card.

Jerry is filling in for Michael Duca catch Michael who does the Giants podcasts each Friday at

Pillar wins it late to give Giants the series; SF defeats Phillies 9-6

photo from  San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar swings for an RBI triple off Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO — When the San Francisco Giants they knew that were getting a hitter with power and potential, and this season, Kevin Pillar has done just that.

Pillar went 2-for-4, including the go-ahead triple in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 before a crowd of 36,637 at Oracle Park.

The win by the Giants gave them the series, their first series win since winning two out of three against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

Evan Longoria led off the inning with a single, and then after both Stephen Vogt and Scooter Gennett were retired by Jose Alvarez, Nick Pivetta came on to face Pillar and he put into the right-center field alley that easily scored Longoria from first base.

Brandon Crawford was then intentionally walked, so that Pivetta could face Will Smith, who was making his first ever plate appearance. With Smith at the plate, Crawford stole second and then Smith shocked everyone, as he lashed an opposite field single that scored both Pillar and Crawford; however, Bryce Harper nearly ruined it, as his throw just missed getting Smith at first base.

Joey Rickard then doubled Smith to third base, where he shared a laugh with Ron Wotus and after a Brandon Belt walk, Pivetta finally got out of the inning, as he got Mike Yastrzemski to ground out to end the inning.

This was a wild game that saw everything, as the Giants took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, as Belt led off the inning with a walk, Yastrzemski then doubled off the left field wall and then Longoria gave the Giants the lead, when he singled up the middle off of Phillies starter Jake Arrieta.

Vogt then singled off of Arrieta that sent Longoria to third base; however, Arrieta regrouped to get Gennett to strike out and then Pillar grounded into a double play that ended the inning.

That 2-0 lead by the Giants was gone by the top of the second inning, as the Phillies erupted for three runs and that was end of the night for Giants starter Conner Menez.

J.T. Realmuto and Scott Kingery each walked, and after Sean Rodriguez struck out, Cesar Hernandez singled to load the bases. Arrieta then struck out for the second out of the inning, but the Phillies got on the board, when Roman Quinn walked and then Harper hit a two-run single that gave the Phillies the lead and that was it for Menez.

Jandel Gustave ended the inning, as he got Rhys Hoskins to fly out to Austin Slater and stop any further damage.

In all, Menez lasted just 1.2 innings, allowing three runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out four.

The Phillies attacked the Giants again in the top of the third inning, as Hernandez hit a two-run single off of the Giants third pitcher of the game and second reliever, Andrew Suarez, who came on to replace Gustave, when Corey Dickerson came on to pinch hit for Rodriguez.

Unfortunately for the Phillies that was the score for just one-half inning, as the Giants came all the way back to tie up the game, as Yastrzemski hit his 12th home run of the season. Longoria then picked up his second hit in as many at-bats, and after a Vogt fly out, Gennett doubled in Longoria to cut the Phillies lead down to one. Pillar then singled in Gennett to tie up the game.

Menez, who went from being on the hook for the loss, ended up getting a no-decision and Arrieta also did not fare in the decision, as he went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, walking just one and striking out five.

Gennett gave the Giants once again in the bottom of the sixth inning, as he hit his second home run of the season and first at home. His home run landed in McCovey Cove, the 80th Splash Hit by a Giants batter since the ballpark opened on April 11, 2000.

Dickerson tied up the game in the top of the eighth inning, as his sacrifice fly that took Yastrzemski to the wall easily scored Realmuto from third base. Realmuto led off the inning with a single, then went to third on a Kingery double.

Smith, who came on to replace Tony Watson prior to the Dickerson sacrifice fly then walked Hernandez intentionally and Brad Miller flew out to Yastrzemski to end the inning.

In all, the Giants pitched the final 7.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, walking eight and striking out six.

Smith, who was unable to save the game for just the third time this season ended up with the victory, as he went the final 1.2 innings, allowing just two walks and a strikeout to improve his record to 4-0 on the season.

As a staff, the Giants walked 11 batters and this was the first time since September 20,2006 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field where they won a game like that. It was the 11th time since moving to San Francisco in 1958 that the Giants (2019 J.G. Spink Award Jayson Stark gets credit for that stat).

NOTES: Gustave, Trevor Gott and Smith each made their first ever plate appearances during the game, and this was the first time since September 21, 1934 that three pitchers made their first ever appearances at the plate in the same game. Sherman Edwards, Whitey Wistert and Lee Grissom each went to the plate for the first time for the Cincinnati Reds in a 16-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. That is the only other time since 1913 that this occurred in a game, according to STATS, INC.

The 11 walks by the Phillies are a season high, and the first time they turned the trick since April 26, 2009 against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium in a 13-2 Phillies victory.

Prior to the game, the Giants honored their 1989 National League Championship team, as Will Clark, Don Robinson, Bill Bathe, Chris Speier, Ernie Camacho, Brett Butler, Terry Kennedy, Craig Lefferts, Ernest Riles, Donell Nixon, Atlee Hammaker, Dave Dravecky, Greg Litton, Kelly Downs, Robby Thompson and Mike Krukow were joined on the field by coaches Bill Fahey, Dusty Baker, Norm Sherry and manager Roger Craig.

They also memorialized Jose Uribe, Wendell Kim, Hank Greenwald and General Manager Al Rosen.

Giants President then announced the surprise of the night, The Thrill of the Night, as the Number 22, worn by Will Clark will be retired during the 2020 season.

Clark will join Bill Terry, Mel Ott, Carl Hubbell, Monte Irvin, Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie McCovey in that elusive club.

Christy Mathewson and John McGraw are honored by the team with the letters NY, as they never wore numbers for the Giants.

Jackie Robinsons number 42 is retired throughout Major League Baseball and is also on the façade on the Club Level at Oracle Park.

Ford Frick Award Winners Jon Miller, Lon Simmons and Russ Hodges are honored on the Club Level.

UP NEXT: Madison Bumgarner takes on the mound on Tuesday evening, as the Oakland As make their only trip to San Francisco this season. The As return to the Bay Area after splitting six games in Chicago will send Brett Anderson to the mound in the opener.

Yastrzemski goes 4-for-5 in Giants win 7-6; Final game at Petco for Bochy photo: San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski scores on a Solano Donavon single the top of the fourth at Petco Park in San Diego on Sunday

By Jeremy Kahn

In what was Bruce Bochy’s final game at Petco Park, the San Francisco Giants gave their manager a nice going away present.

Mike Yastrzemski picked up his second four-hit game of the season, while Madison Bumgarner went seven innings and the Giants hung on to defeat the San Diego Padres 7-6 at Petco Park.

Yastrzemski singled twice and doubled twice, as the Giants improved to 13-4 since the All-Star break.

Bumgarner scattered four hits in seven innings, and his only mistake was a three-run home run to Hunter Renfroe in the bottom of the third inning that gave the Padres a 4-2 lead.

He also struck out six and walked two in his final start before the July 31 trade deadline.

On the afternoon, the Giants picked up 16 hits against Padres pitching, as they won their seventh game in the past eight against the Padres, five of those seven wins came at Petco Park. The Giants swept the Padres in a three-game series from July 1-3.

Renfroe, who hit the three-run home run that gave the Padres a two-run lead in the bottom of the third inning, drove in four runs; however, it was not enough, as the Padres are now 4-11 since the All-Star break and have fallen into fourth place in the National League West.

It was the second four hit of Yastrzemskis career and his second in the last 13 days, as he picked up four hits against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on July 25.

Buster Posey picked up three hits on the afternoon, which included an RBI double in the top of the ninth inning.

The Giants tied up the game in the top of the fourth inning, as Poway native Alex Dickerson singled to right field to score Donovan Solano, who cut the Padres lead down to 4-3 two batters before Dickerson tied it up. Solanos single scored Yastrzemski, who doubled to left-center field with one out in the inning.

Will Smith gave up a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to Wil Myers in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Luis Urias to end the game and pick up his 26th save of the season.

NOTES: With this being Bochy’s last game at Petco Park, the manager stayed at the team hotel on Saturday night instead of his Poway home.

“A lot of people were going to ask me, what’s it going to be like coming to the ballpark, going down memory lane, whatever,” Bochy said. “That’s the first time I’ve walked from the Marriott, so it was not like I went down memory lane on that one.”

Nick Vincent was reinstated from his rehab assignment, also reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and then designated for assignment.

UP NEXT: After an off-day on Monday, the Giants begin a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park and Tyler Beede will take the mound in the opener.

Longoria wins it on home run in seventh SF wins 1-0

photo from San Francisco Giants’ Evan Longoria, left, is congratulated by third base coach Ron Wotus (23) after hitting a solo home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the seventh inning of a baseball game in San Francisco, Sunday, July 7, 2019.

By Jeremy Kahn

SAN FRANCISCO-Evan Longoria ended two things against Jack Flaherty with one swing of the bat.

Longoria hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking up both a shutout and a no-hitter and it helped the San Francisco Giants to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals before a crowd of 33,841 at Oracle Park.

This was only the third shutout of the season for the Giants and the first since April 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

On the afternoon, the Giants only got two hits, and this was the fewest hits in a game where they won since a two-hit over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on March 30, 2018.

Flaherty was throwing a perfect game until he walked Alex Dickerson to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning.

After the Longoria home run, Dickerson singled to left, but then Flaherty got Stephen Vogt to fly out to Dexter Fowler and then Kevin Pillar lined out to Paul DeJong to end the inning.

It was the 12th home run of the season for Longoria, and his fifth in his last six games. During the six-game stretch, Longoria is hitting .429 (9-for-21) with seven extra base hits (two doubles and five home runs), 10 RBI and eight runs scored.

Longoria is no stranger to breaking up no-hitter, as it was the fourth time in his career that he broke up a no-hitter in the 7th inning or later.

With DeJong on first base in the top of the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a line drive into the right-center gap; however, Pillar flew through into the air and made a fantastic catch that kept the game scoreless.

The Longoria home run made a winner out of Jeff Samardzija, who pitched a tremendous game, as he went seven innings, scattering four hits and striking out two on his way to picking up his sixth win of the season.

This was the first time since August 28 and September 2, 2017 that Samardzija went seven innings with two or fewer runs. That was also the last time he pitched at seven innings in consecutive starts.

It was a tough loss for Flaherty, who also went seven innings, allowing one run on just two hits, walking one and striking out six and saw his record fall to 4-6 on the season.

Sam Dyson pitched one inning, allowing one hit and struck out three. Closer Will Smith came on in the top of the ninth inning and despite giving up a single to Goldschmidt, he picked up his 23rd save in 23 chances, as Fowler grounded into a double play to end the game.

Over his last 19 outings, Smith has not allowed a run in 17 of those games and is possessing a 0.96 earned run average (two earned runs in 18.2 ip) with 30 strikeouts and opposing hitters are hitting .156 against him.

NOTES: Pillar also drove in the only run of the game on April 11, when he homered against the Colorado Rockies in a 1-0 Giants victory that made a winner out of Samardzija.

The Giants are now 18-9 in one-run games and 4-7 in final games of the series.

This was the seventh time this season that the Cardinals have been shutout, and it was the first time that the Cardinals have lost a series to the Giant since May 19-21, 2017 at Busch Stadium.

UP NEXT: Following the All-Star break, the Giants begin a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Shaun Anderson will open the series against the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night, followed by Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Beede. The Brewers starter has yet to be determined.