Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 9, Braves 0

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 9, Braves 0

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ATLANTA Buster Poseys hometown of Leesburg is three hours south of Atlanta on I-75 and a world away.He said it more than once during the NL Division Series in 2010: Atlanta is not his hometown, nothing like the place where he grew up.But maybe its not such a bad place to hit.Playing in only his second regular-season series at Turner Field, Posey exploded for a three-hit, five-RBI game while leading the Giants to a 9-0 red-velvet cakewalk over the Braves Tuesday night.The Giants achieved just their second shutout in the 16-year history of Turner Field. Both times, they got seven shutout innings from Barry Zito. The other shutout came in 2008.It was also the Giants largest shutout win in Atlanta since Sept. 29, 1976 the day John Montefusco threw his no-hitter in a 9-0 victory.Posey powered this one. He hit a two-strike, two-out RBI double in the first inning, a two-strike, two-out RBI single in the third and a two-strike, bases-clearing double in the fourth off reliever Luis Avilan. He lined out and struck out in his last two trips, leaving him one short of matching his career high of six RBIs, which he set July 7, 2010 at Milwaukee.Posey started at first base but moved behind the plate in the fourth inning after Hector Sanchez sprained his left knee on the basepaths. The severity of Sanchezs injury was not immediately known, but all sprains are ligament tears to some degree. If Sanchez must go on the disabled list, Eli Whiteside is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster.The Giants, at 50-40, became the fifth major league club to reach the 50-win mark.Starting pitching reportThe Giants offense carried the day against right-hander Jair Jurrjens, but there was no understating the importance of Zitos highly effective start especially against a Braves lineup that had mashed for an average of 6.1 runs over a seven-game winning streak.Zito entered 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four career starts at Turner Field and improved on those numbers. He gave up just three hits two singles and a double in seven shutout innings and issued just one walk as the Giants shut out the Braves for the second time in the 16-year history of Turner Field.The other time? It was Aug. 18, 2008 when Zito threw seven shutout innings, and Keiichi Yabu and Sergio Romo followed with scoreless frames.Prior to that, the Giants hadnt posted a shutout in Atlanta since Sept. 30, 1992, when Jeff Brantley, Bill Swift and Rod Beck combined for a 1-0 win at old Fulton County Stadium.Zito (8-6) set the tone the rotation needed on this six-game road trip to Atlanta and Philadelphia; the Giants entered the trip with a 4.85 road ERA that ranked as the third worst in the major leagues.Bullpen reportThe roles of Messrs. Yabu and Romo were played by George Kontos and Clay Hensley, Esq.At the platePosey had a big return to his home state, but two former Braves had productive nights as well. Melky Cabrera and Gregor Blanco were constantly on base in front of Posey.Blanco walked twice, scored two runs and hit an RBI single. Cabrera hit a hustle double and an RBI single for his major league-leading 41st multi-hit game of the season. He also leads the majors with 122 hits.In 2010 with the Braves, Cabrera had 117 hits all season, and just 27 multi-hit games.Its July 17, by the way.In fieldThe Braves made most of the highlight grabs. Left fielder Martin Prado made a running catch on Ryan Theriot near the wall in the fifth inning, and future Hall of Fame third baseman Chipper Jones robbed Pablo Sandoval of a hit in the sixth.But the Braves also made the biggest goof of the night when Angel Pagan grounded to first baseman Freddie Freeman to start the fourth. Jurrjens failed to step on the bag after receiving the throw, leading to an infield hit and opening the door to a six-run inning.AttendanceThe Braves announced 29,623 paid. Many foam tomahawks went unchopped.Up nextThe Giants continue their series at Turner Field on Wednesday as right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (7-4, 2.36) takes the mound against left-hander Mike Minor (5-6. 5.97). The Giants have won 10 of Vogelsongs last 12 starts; they even have a winning record (4-3) in his road assignments. Vogelsong has faced the Braves just once in his career, when he threw 3 13 scoreless relief innings in April of last 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.