Bumgarner seeks win No. 2 against Marlins


Bumgarner seeks win No. 2 against Marlins

May 25, 2011

FLORIDA (27-19) vs.
GIANTS (27-20)

Coverage begins at 7 P.M. on NBC Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It took until mid-May, but San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner finally earned his first victory of the year.

It seems unlikely it will take as long for him to notch win No. 2.

Bumgarner, who has been the victim of bad luck, looks to build on one of the best starts of his career when he takes the ball for the Giants against the Florida Marlins on Wednesday night.

Bumgarner (1-6, 3.71 ERA) entered Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers as one of six pitchers to make at least eight starts but not have a victory. He no longer needs to worry about being a member of that ill-fated group after coming within one out of his first major league shutout.

In the 3-1 win over the Dodgers, Bumgarner allowed six hits and the lone run scored on Jerry Sands' RBI double with two outs in the ninth. The 21-year-old left-hander was then replaced by closer Brian Wilson.

"I'm just glad to finally get that first win out of the way," Bumgarner said. "The last few games, I felt like there's been a big difference from the first four, even though it didn't work out for me. But it taught me a lot and what I need to focus on."

Although it was his first win, Bumgarner has a 1.60 ERA over his last five starts for the Giants (27-20). He has been hurt by an offense that has backed him with an average of 2.29 runs, fourth-worst in baseball.

"I feel good about throwing a good game and keeping us in there," Bumgarner said. "Wins and losses are something you really can't control, so I tried not to focus on that."

Bumgarner's focus will be on a Marlins team that won Tuesday's series opener 5-1, snapping the Giants' five-game winning streak.

REWIND: Nolasco, Marlins end Giants' streak

"It was a big win to start the road trip against these guys," said winning pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who came within two outs of throwing a complete game.

Gaby Sanchez had a three-run double - one of his three hits - and Mike Stanton hit his 11th home run for Florida (27-19), which won for the third time in four games.

Stanton is heating up, batting .343 with six homers and nine RBIs in his last 10 games after hitting .160 with two RBIs in his previous seven. The California native is batting .353 with two home runs and five RBIs in five games against the Giants, and is also 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles lifetime against Bumgarner.

In Bumgarner's only career start against the Marlins on July 29, he gave up three runs and six hits in six innings a 5-0 loss.

Tuesday's loss was the Giants' first at AT&T Park since April 24, snapping a nine-game home winning streak. San Francisco scored its only run in the bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Tejada.

Although the Giants lost for just the fourth time in 16 games, Buster Posey extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a pair of singles. The catcher is batting .400 during his run, and will get his first look at Chris Volstad (2-3, 5.73) on Wednesday.

Volstad gave up three runs and four hits in five innings in Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander has not had much success away from Florida this season, going 0-1 with an 8.04 ERA.

He has fared well against the Giants, however, going 1-1 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts.

Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake


Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake


SAN JOSE — Danny Hoesen scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Marco Urena's second goal, lifting the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Hoesen opened the scoring in the 13th minute, off a long cross from Nick Lima. After touching the ball down, Hoesen gathered it off a defender's foot, stepped inside and unleashed a left footer into the top corner from just off the penalty spot.

Hoesen's long through ball down the right side sent Urena free and from a tight angle he rolled the ball past Nick Rimando in the 68th minute.

San Jose (6-6-5), which has battled injuries and call-ups to score just 16 goals in 16 games, won for just the second time in its last seven games.

Lima picked up two yellow cards in the second half and the Quakes played a man down from the 71st minute.

David Bingham made only one save in each half but was denied his seventh shutout when Jose Hernandez scored his second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Salt Lake (5-11-2).

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”