Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 10, Padres 1


Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 10, Padres 1


SAN DIEGO The relentless approach, the hard contact, the smart baserunning, the consistency

Were not describing those qualities that the Giants will miss most from Melky Cabrera. Were describing what his former teammates did without him Friday night.

They worked San Diego Padres right-hander Ross Ohendorf down to a nub in an eight-run third inning, putting up one tenacious at-bat after another to provide ample support for Matt Cain in a 10-1 victory at Petco Park.

Combined with the Dodgers extra-inning loss at Atlanta, the Giants nudged back into first place, a half-game ahead of their archrivals.

Marco Scutaro hit a home run in the first inning, Brandon Crawford doubled to touch off the clubs biggest single-inning feast of the season and Cain took a no-hitter into the fifth inning as the Giants played nearly flawless baseball to start their six-game road trip.

Starting pitching report
Nobody is better than Cain at stabilizing a troubled situation. His outing was a seismic retrofit for a rotation that simply must step up its game down the stretch.

Cain (12-5) held the Padres to a run on four hits and one walk in eight innings. He threw 74 of 108 pitches for strikes and he did it in typical fashion, brushing his hard, exploding fastball on the periphery while flipping in enough offspeed stuff to keep the Padres off balance.

Cain retired the first nine hitters before the Giants gave him a big lead, just as they did when he threw his perfect game against Houston on June 13. But Logan Forsythe got hit by a pitch in the fourth and Yonder Alonso made the no-hitter go away in the fifth. Everth Cabreras two-out single scored Alonso the only earned run Cain has allowed in his last two starts (spanning 15 innings) at Petco Park.

Cain improved to 6-0 in eight starts that follow Giants losses.

Bullpen report
George Kontos pitched the ninth. Miles Mikolas pitched for the Padres earlier in the game. Perhaps they celebrated their Greek heritage together over some baklava and flaming cheese.

At the plate
The Giants sent 13 men to the plate in their eight-run third inning, which began with Crawfords double and a rare failure when Cain popped up a sacrifice bunt.

Angel Pagan, who entered with a .308 average and .403 on-base percentage in 13 games since moving back to the leadoff spot, followed with a triple and Scutaro used a solid approach to bang an RBI single up the middle.

The good at-bats continued. Pablo Sandoval fouled off a series of tough, two-strike pitches. Then he took one, allowing Scutaro to steal second base and move to third when catcher Yasmani Grandals throw clipped him on the shoulder. Sandoval followed by smoking an RBI single through the right side.

The Giants werent satisfied with a three-run rally. After Buster Posey walked, Hunter Pence yanked an RBI double down the left field line. Then Brandon Belt had perhaps the best plate appearance of the night, working a 12-pitch walk. Gregor Blanco, Matt Cain and Pagan would contribute three more RBI hits with Crawford scoring his second run of the inning before Scutaro finally grounded into a fielders choice to strand two.

Pagan led the club with three hits and seven different Giants crossed the plate in one of their most satisfying performances of the season.

In field
Angel Pagan covered plenty of ground in center field to keep Cains no-hitter intact into the fifth. But Padres second baseman Logan Forsythe made the play of the game, diving to snare Pences ground ball up the middle and quickly recovering to throw him out to end the fourth.

The Padres announced 38,755 paid on Orange Friday at Petco Park.

Up next
The Giants continue their series at AT&T Park South, otherwise known as Petco Park, on Saturday with a 5:35 p.m. (PDT) first pitch. Barry Zito (9-8, 4.29) takes the mound against left-hander Eric Stults (3-2, 2.45), who was marvelous in his cameo in Pulp Fiction.

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

Former Giants OF Gregor Blanco agrees to deal with NL West rival

After five seasons with the Giants, outfielder Gregor Blanco has a new home.

The veteran outfielder has agreed to a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, according to his agent Wilfredo Polidor.

The deal includes an invitation to spring training.

The deal includes a $1 million base salary if Blanco makes the major league roster, according to SB Nation's Chris Cotillo. Blanco has a chance to earn an addition $2.7 million in performance-based incentives and has an opt-out of April 1 in the deal.

Shortly after Polidor made the announcement, Blanco thanked the D'backs on Twitter for the bringing him to the organization.

"Thanks to the @Dbacks for let me part of a dream the same dream I got another ring another championship let's all dream together we can doit," Blanco wrote.

Blanco bounced around from Braves to the Royals from 2008 to 2010, but found a home with the Giants prior to the 2012 season.

Over five seasons with the Giants, Blanco appeared in 649 games. He hit .259/.338/.360 with 244 runs scored, 78 doubles, 24 triples, 19 home runs, 157 RBI and 75 stolen bases.

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Obama pardons Giants legend Willie McCovey

President Barack Obama pardoned Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey on Tuesday.

McCovey, along with Dodgers Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, pleaded guilty to tax fraud in July of 1995. The crime came from not reporting income McCovey earned from signing autographs and appearing at sports memorabilia shows. 

McCovey previously pleaded guilty to not listing $70,000 he made from 1988-90, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Through the Giants, McCovey said: "I want to express my sincere gratitude to President Obama not only for this kind gesture on my behalf, but also for his tireless service to all Americans. He will be deeply missed and I wish him all the best in the future."

The 79-year-old McCovey was one of 64 people who received pardons from President Obama Tuesday as his final days in office wind down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.