Bumgarner gets run support, Giants beat D'backs


Bumgarner gets run support, Giants beat D'backs


PHOENIX (AP) To a man, the San Francisco Giants were intent on giving Madison Bumgarner the outcome he deserved.Then the reigning World Series champs followed through, providing the Giants' talented young left-hander with enough run support for a change to help him pitch the Giants past the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 Wednesday night."He's been pitching so good I was embarrassed today to see that he has nine consecutive quality starts and 2-5 to show for it," Giants teammate Pat Burrell said. "That's embarrassing to us as an offense. We didn't exactly blow them out but we got enough for him. That's what it's all about."Bumgarner (3-8) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out six in six innings.Willie Bloomquist and Chris Young hit solo home runs, ending Bumgarner's 10-start string without allowing a homer. But that was about all the Diamondbacks could muster against the 21-year-old Bumgarner, who entered the game with the fifth-worst support in the majors (2.65 runs per game)."It's kind of funny. I feel not much different than the last few games when it's been the other way around," Bumgarner said. "I feel like I've thrown some better games before today and lost. Today it was a battle. But I feel good about it."Arizona had runners at first and second with two outs in the ninth, but Brian Wilson retired pinch-hitter Juan Miranda on a grounder for his 20th save in 22 chances.Bill Hall singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth with his first hit since joining the Giants four days ago and later doubled. The Giants beat Arizona for the fifth straight time,"The last five games against them they have made the plays when it has counted," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have been in the games and they have responded better than we have. We had our opportunities to get guys in. I think we were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and we left seven on. We had opportunities in the first, sixth and seventh and didn't get them in."Joe Saunders (3-7) allowed three runs and threw a season-high 115 pitches in seven innings for Arizona.San Francisco scored two insurance runs off closer J.J. Putz in the ninth. Eli Whiteside tripled home Hall and scored on a wild pitch.Aubrey Huff singled twice, drove in a run and scored for the Giants, who are 7-1 against Arizona this season with one to play in this three-game series.In the Arizona eighth, Kelly Johnson tried to score what would have been the tying run from first on Young's double down the left-field line. Aaron Rowand, who had shifted from center field to right in the seventh, threw to shortstop Miguel Tejada, whose relay home was in plenty of time for the catcher Whiteside to apply the tag."What a quick release and strong throw, right on the money," manager Bruce Bochy said. "A ball down the line and they had speed on the base. You know he's going and it takes perfect execution to get it done, and we had it from both guys."Gibson praised the way the Giants made the play."In that situation Rowand made a really good play on it," Gibson said. "He went into the corner and it looked like the ball popped right up to him. They made a picture-perfect relay play."Huff singled with one out in the sixth, then Pat Burrell walked to set up Hall's RBI hit. Moments later, Hall was called for interference going into second base, a ruling that resulted in an inning-ending double play.The Giants scored in the first after a double play erased Aaron Rowand's leadoff single. Pablo Sandoval singled, Cody Ross walked and Huff singled.Bloomquist, hitless in his previous 12 at bats, hit Bumgarner's 2-0 pitch just over the left-field wall for his second home run of the season to tie it at 1 in the third. It was the first home run the Giants' lefty has allowed in 67 innings.San Francisco quickly regained the lead 2-1 when Ross led off the fourth with a double and scored when Burrell tripled off the Arizona bullpen fence down the left-field line. It was his first triple in two seasons.Young homer also barely cleared the left-field fence to tie it at 2 in the fourth.NOTES: Bumgarner had not allowed a home run since a solo shot by Arizona's Justin Upton's at Chase Field on April 17. ... After the enclosed structure was cooled by air conditioning, the Chase Field roof was opened just before the first pitch even though it was 106 degrees outside. ... Arizona's Xavier Nady struck out four times. ... Bumgarner's three victories all have come on the road. ... All eight games between the Diamondbacks and Giants have been decided by three runs or fewer. ... The Giants are 14-5 against left-handed starters.

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid


SAN FRANCISCO — This spot in the rotation is the one reserved for the stopper, the pitcher who takes a game by the throat when his team really needs it. 

Ty Blach took the mound Saturday for a team that had lost five of six, and just as Madison Bumgarner often has, Blach ended the skid. The young lefty was dominant into the eighth and the bats finally provided enough support. The Giants won 6-3, tying this weekend series with the Braves.

Here are five things to know from a night we were reminded that Emilio Bonifacio is in the big leagues … 

--- Blach pitched 7 2/3 innings. He has thrown at least seven innings in his last four starts, and five of seven starts overall. Jeff Samardzija (6) is the only Giants starter who has gone that deep more often. Blach is tied with Johnny Cueto for second-most seven-inning starts on staff, and Cueto has made three additional starts. 

--- Blach’s RBI single in the fourth was -- at the time -- the fourth hit of his career, and the first against a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. The ball had an exit velocity of 101 mph. Blach tried to score from first on Denard Span’s double, but Phil Nevin held him. Still, the way he was moving, it makes you wonder if Samardzija really is Bruce Bochy’s best pitcher-pinch-running option. In the seventh, Blach picked up a second single. 

--- Blach’s only bad start has been the one he made in Cincinnati, where the Giants played like a Double-A team. If you take that one out, Blach has a 2.21 ERA since taking over Bumgarner’s rotation spot. 

--- Even though he gave up just two earned in 7 2/3, Blach’s home ERA actually went up. It’s 1.75, which ranks seventh in the National League. The sellout crowd gave Blach a standing ovation when he was pulled in the eighth. 

--- Blach had a season-high five strikeouts. When he got Nick Markakis to end the first, Blach ended a streak of 37 left-handers faced without a strikeout. He later struck out another lefty, Matt Adams. The new Braves first baseman came up as the tying run in the eighth but Derek Law got him to ground out to first. 

--- Bonus sixth “thing to know” ... on Blach of course: His first name is Tyson, not Tyler. It’s Tyson Michael Blach.

Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy


SAN JOSE -- Cali Clasico fans have come to expect fireworks on the pitch every time the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy face off in one of Major League Soccer’s best rivalries.

And the first affair of 2017 was no exception. Five goals in the first half got the match off to a roaring start but, much to the chagrin of San Jose fans, L.A. handed the Earthquakes their first Avaya Stadium loss of the season with a 4-2 final.

Giovani Dos Santos notched a pair of goals including the backbreaking tally 20 minutes into the second half.

Chris Wondolowski got the first half flurry going with an easy-money strike on a volley after a perfect backpost cross from Danny Hoesen in the 10th minute.

Saturday’s match was Hoesen’s best performance of the season, by far.

Los Angeles equalized nine minutes later when Joao Pedro took advantage of a sneaky ball between two defenders from Dos Santos. The Brazilian turned and struck the ball true to beat David Bingham.

It was the first sign of the San Jose nightmare that is the Mexican national.

The Galaxy took their first lead of the match in the 35th minute when Dos Santos finished a penalty kick earned after Kofi Sarkodie clothelined Bradley Diallo in the box.

But two minutes later, it was Hoesen getting off the proverbial schneid by notching his first goal as an Earthquake. It was a classy finish off a low cross inside the box from Tommy Thompson, who picked up his second assist of the season on the play.  

Disaster struck one minute before halftime though, when a diving Victor Bernardez deflected a Diallo cross after the defender found himself back in the San Jose 18. The ball beat a shocked Bingham.

San Jose came out aggressive in the second half and Los Angeles made them pay on the counterattack to put the game away. Romain Alessandrini raced down the left flank, took a look up and struck gold on a left-footed cross to Dos Santos on the back post that could not have been hand-placed any better. Dos Santos arrived perfectly to head the ball past Bingham.

The loss moved San Jose’s home record to 3-1-3.

Turning point: The final marker gave L.A. a two-goal win, but any momentum San Jose had after Hoesen equalized evaporated on the Bernardez own goal. Not only did the goal somewhat deflate the home team, but put San Jose in the position of aggressor – and it’s a position the Galaxy exploited to score the fourth goal.

San Jose’s Man of the Match: The pressure has been on Hoesen since the forward arrived on loan from the Netherlands. In 12 previous games, the man from Heerlen only had one assist to show for his efforts. On Saturday, Hoesen assisted on the first goal with a world-class cross and picked up his first goal of the season on an equally exquisite finish.

History watch: Wondolowski’s first half strike was his eighth goal against the Los Angeles side and 127th all-time in MLS. He is now just six behind Jaime Moreno, who sits third on the MLS’ all-time list.

Attendance: As expected, the San Jose Earthquakes announced a sell out for the marquee match on their schedule.

Up next: The Earthquakes head north to take on the Portland Timbers. The June 2nd matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.