Giants Insider notes: Boss is back

Giants Insider notes: Boss is back
May 11, 2011, 6:03 am
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May 10, 2011

Our MLB Insider takes a look at the 1-0 victory over the visiting Diamondbacks in the opener of a three-game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco.The Boss is back: Monday's day off didn't do anything to cool off Cody Ross, who has shrugged off an ugly start to his season by coming up big time and again during the Giants' recent hot streak; he was 4-for-9 in his past four games entering Tuesday's content, including a 2-for-3 performance that featured his first homer of the year and three RBIs on Sunday. Erasing an evening of offensive frustration with one swing of the bat, Ross laced a line drive down the left-field line with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to score pinch runner Darren Ford from second base for yet another heart-stopping, walkoff win -- San Francisco's fourth consecutive victory and sixth in seven games -- at China Basin.Awesome unrewarded: Tim Lincecum, coming off a brilliant 12-strikeout performance against the Mets, picked up where he left off by holding the Diamondbacks hitless into the sixth inning, when Arizona starter Ian Kennedy broke up the bid for history with a one-out single. Lincecum's eight shutout innings of four-hit work with two walks and nine strikeouts represented his sixth quality start in eight assignments this season, but the Giants' inability to solve Kennedy -- eight shutout, four hits, three walks, eight strikeouts -- represented the fifth time that Lincecum, who was lifted for pinch hitter Pat Burrell (groundout to second base) in the bottom of the eighth, has received two or fewer runs of support.
RECAP: More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win
More failing The Freak: Tuesday also marked the third time this year the Giants haven't scored for Lincecum at all, and it was the fourth time in his career that he's pitched at least seven shutout innings only to be stuck with a no-decision. Since 2007, only Seattle's Felix Hernandez and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter have been ND's more often despite spinning such gems, each with five.Second-guesser's delight: With Lincecum clearly on his game from the outset, any proponent of small ball likely saw Giants manager Bruce Bochy's decision not to call for a sacrifice bunt from Cody Ross with runners at first and second and nobody out in the fourth inning as a mistake. It's worth noting, however, that Ross has all of two sacrifice bunts in eight seasons as a big leaguer. Bochy had another chance to play for one run with small ball when the Giants loaded the bases with one out later in the frame, but if you were expecting the skipper to call for a squeeze in that situation, you might want to brush up on the man's approach to offensive baseball. That's just not how he rolls.Welcome back: Fresh off the disabled list, Andres Torres returned to his customary spots in center field and atop the Giants' lineup, and he wasted little time in reminding the home crowd what it's been missing as he worked his way back from an injured Achilles tendon. In the top of the first, Torres made a nice running, over-the-shoulder grape of a drive off the bat of Mora, and he opened the bottom of the frame with a single to center.Rusty DeRosa: Also fresh off the DL, Mark DeRosa, who was given the start over struggling Miguel Tejada at third base, struck out with two runners on to end the second inning and grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the fourth on the way to going 0-for-3.
NEWS: DeRosa, Torres return; Rohlinger, Burriss sent down
Little League lapse: When you get a break against a pitcher of Lincecum's caliber, don't get greedy. That's the lesson that Diamondbacks first baseman Miranda learned the hard way Tuesday, when he reached on a throwing error by second baseman Freddy Sanchez. As soon as the throw got past first baseman Aubrey Huff, Juan Miranda broke for second, but the ball caromed directly back to Huff's whose throw beat Miranda to second base by a good 10 feet. It was the kind of play you see every weekend -- in games played by 11- and 12-year-olds. DL downlow: Righty reliever Santiago Casilla (inflamed elbow) threw 35 pitches in a simulated game and is expected to soon be sent out on a minor-league rehab assignment that could include stints at Single-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno. Lefty Barry Zito (sprained ligament in right foot) played catch at 90 feet before batting practice and will throw off a mound Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury April 17. Disabled for the first time in his career, Zito said he has no idea when he might be back but expects to throw off the mound a few times before heading out on a rehab assignment. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval (right hand) was allowed to take ground balls for the first time since his May 3 surgery and said everything felt "perfect." He's expected to be out another 3-5 weeks.