Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 7, Cubs 5

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 7, Cubs 5

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO The Giants have hit the fewest home runs in the major leagues. The wind was blowing in off Lake Michigan Sunday afternoon, too.

Good thing they can string hits together like Christmas lights.

Even without Melky Cabera, and a total lack of power from positions of traditional thump, the Giants keep finding ways to move the line along. Xavier Nady started all three of their scoring rallies, including a two-run sixth that tied the score and a two-run ninth that delivered a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Nady, who hit a bases-clearing double in his Giants debut Saturday, was an impact presence once again. He walked to start two innings, including a three-run third. His final act was to draw a walk from Carlos Marmol to begin the ninth. Pinch-runner Gregor Blanco stole a base and scored the tiebreaking run on Angel Pagans single to left field. Marco Scutaro followed with another RBI single as the Giants pulled out a series victory and concluded a highly successful 5-1 road trip.

The Giants are 10-2 in their last dozen road games and have won four consecutive series away from AT&T Park. They wont stray further from Denver the remainder of the season.

Starting pitching report
Matt Cain was cruising toward his 14th victory, which would have matched his career high. But Soriano dashed those plans with one swing in the fifth inning.

Cain knew immediately that his poorly located 1-0 fastball wasnt coming back unless thrown by a bleacher creature. He bent at the waist and slapped the mound as Soriano watched his three-run home run cut through the lake breeze.

Until then, Cain was having a very good day. He gave up a run in the third inning when No. 8 hitter Darwin Barney singled, advanced on a sacrifice and scored on David DeJesus line single.

The Cubs used the same combination Barney single, a sacrifice and a DeJesus line single to right field to score again in the fifth. But DeJesus didnt get an RBI this time because the third base coach had held Barney before right fielder Hunter Pence bobbled the ball. Pence was charged with an error for allowing Barney to score.

After a walk to Luis Valbuena and a fielders choice, Cain faced Soriano with two outs. Back in the third inning, Cain was able to get out of a two-on, two-out situation when he threw a pair of two-strike curveballs and got Soriano to swing through the last one.

But this time Cain fell behind, and his 1-0 pitch wasnt remotely close to Buster Poseys low-and-away target. The fastball ran up and tailed middle-in, right into Sorianos happy zone.

Cain retired the next hitter to end the fifth but the damage was done. The home run turned a 3-2 lead into a 5-3 deficit.

Bullpen report
The Giants dont win without near perfect work from their relievers. Jose Mijares, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla navigated the sixth through the eighth.

Casilla began the ninth and yielded to left-hander Javier Lopez after giving up a one-out single.

At the plate
The Giants have done a credible job of scoring runs without the longball, and they did it again while grabbing a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Angel Pagan, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey hit RBI singles in a four-batter span.

Nady set up the inning with a leadoff walk and Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo threw wide for an error as Cain reached after getting down a sacrifice bunt.

Nady also started the Giants two-run rally in the sixth with a double, and when the Cubs pulled left-hander Travis Wood for right-hander Manuel Corpas, Giants manager Bruce Bochy sent up Brandon Belt to pinch hit for first baseman Brett Pill. Belt tripled into the left field corner to score Nady.

Then Bochy sent pinch hitter Aubrey Huff to the plate for the first time since July 30 (and just the fourth at-bat since June 10). Considering the long layoff, Huff had an impressive at-bat. He fouled off a two-strike pitch to stay alive, then Belt scored the tying run on a wild breaking ball in the dirt.

Huff ended up hitting a deep out to right field.

In field
Soriano didnt merely frustrate Cain with his home run swing. The left fielder also denied Cain when he crashed against the ivy while catching the pitchers well-struck drive in the fourth.

Soriano returned to his more familiar fielding foibles glove in the sixth when he didnt look so smooth while failing to catch Belts triple in the left field corner.

Angel Pagan had a right to feel robbed. Third baseman Luis Valbuena made a diving stop of a hard-hit grounder to take away a single from Pagan in the fifth inning. And center fielder Brett Jackson charged before making a sliding catch of Pagans flare in the seventh.

Blanco made a huge contribution in the ninth when he caught Brett Jacksons leadoff shot against the ivy in left field. Plus there was Blancos stolen base, too. Hes the new Darren Ford on this team.

Attendance
The Cubs announced 39,760 paid. Olympic hockey legend Phil Esposito was the guest conductor for Take Me Out to the Ballgame. He believes in miracles, obviously. But the Cubs winning the World Series? You might need something stronger.

Up next
The Giants play their final 28 games against NL West teams, beginning with a Labor Day matinee against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday. Barry Zito (10-8, 4.42) will oppose left-hander Patrick Corbin (5.6, 3.93). Ryan Vogelsong is scheduled to pitch Tuesday against right-hander Ian Kennedy (12-11, 4.27) and Madison Bumgarner is due to pitch the series finale Wednesday against right-hander Trevor Cahill (9-11, 4.02). The Giants are 27-17 within the division thus far this season.

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

Santiago Casilla says he never received offer from Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the final month of his time with the Giants, it became clear that Santiago Casilla and the team would part ways. On Friday, Casilla confirmed that he never had the opportunity to return. 

On a conference call to announce a two-year deal with the Oakland A’s, Casilla said he “would have been happy to return to the Giants, but I never got an offer from them. I understood.”

Casilla said he had several opportunities to go elsewhere and close, mentioning the Milwaukee Brewers as one interested team. Casilla signed a two-year, $11 million deal with the A’s, who likely won’t need him to pitch in the ninth. The Brewers went on to bring in Neftali Feliz for one year and $5.35 million; he is expected to close. 

“I preferred to return to the Athletics because that’s where my career started,” Casilla said through interpreter Manolo Hernández Douen. “And I’m very excited.”

Casilla spent the first six years of his career with the A’s before crossing the bridge and becoming a key figure in three title runs. In seven seasons in San Francisco, he posted a 2.42 ERA and saved 123 games. Casilla had a 0.92 ERA in the postseason, but he was stripped of a prominent role in the weeks leading up to the 2016 playoffs. 

Casilla, 36, blew nine saves before being pulled from the ninth inning. He appeared just three times in the final 14 regular season games and just once in the playoffs. He did not take the mound in Game 4 of the NLDS, watching as five other relievers teamed up to give back a three-run lead. 

That moment stung Casilla, and it affected Bruce Bochy, too. The Giants struck quickly in December to bring Mark Melancon in as their new closer, but at the Winter Meetings, Bochy said he would welcome Casilla back in a setup role. 

“He’s a great team player (and) teammate,” Bochy said. “(I) certainly wouldn’t rule it out because he still has great stuff. And he had some hiccups there in that closing role, but I would take him anytime.”

As it turned out, that opportunity was never there for Casilla. The Giants didn’t make another move after the big deal with Melancon, and they’ll rely on younger arms to record most of the outs in the seventh and eighth. Casilla said he’s not bitter about the way it all ended. 

“I have left that in the past,” he said. “It’s a new year, it’s a new year. I have left this in the past.” 

Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

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Authorities: Two Dodgers security guards arrested, accused of theft

LOS ANGELES -- Prosecutors say two security guards at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium have been arrested and are accused of stealing equipment, baseballs and jerseys from the major league team to sell online.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says Juan DeDios Prada and Fernando Sierra pleaded not guilty to burglary and other charges Thursday.

Prosecutors say the two security guards conspired with a third man, Jesse Luis Dagnesses, to steal baseball uniforms and other team merchandise to sell online.

They say Prada and Sierra stole more than $3,400 from a locked equipment room at the stadium between January 2013 and February 2016.

Authorities say Dagnesses is accused of receiving $950 in stolen baseballs and jerseys.

It wasn't immediately clear if the men had attorneys who could comment on the allegations.