Giants Offense Goes 'Bam Bam' in World Series

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Giants Offense Goes 'Bam Bam' in World Series

Oct. 29, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOMLB POSTSEASON

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hensley Meulens became the Giants' hitting coach a year ago, facing a daunting question: How to turn around a sluggish offense?

What a job his hitters have done so far in the World Series.

The Giants scored 20 runs in two games at home against the Texas Rangers to take a 2-0 lead, with the Series shifting to Texas for Game 3 on Saturday.

And this is supposed to be a team all about pitching.

"Crazy, right? Anything can happen, especially in the postseason," San Francisco second baseman Freddy Sanchez said. "Hopefully we can keep it going."

This is gratifying to say the least for Meulens, the guy nicknamed "Bam Bam" during his day for his mighty swing. He jumped right into the job when hired by San Francisco last year, immediately booking trips to Venezuela and Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, then back to Arizona and the Bay Area, to meet and begin working with his new hitters. He quickly gained the respect of his players, who were impressed by Meulens' 12-hour work days and never-ending enthusiasm and energy to make them better. Not to mention the fact he speaks five languages.

"I took this job Nov. 2 and I went running and I haven't taken a day off since," Meulens said after the Giants' 9-0 victory Thursday night.

The Giants produced a seven-run eighth inning Thursday after getting a six-run fifth the previous night. San Francisco scored six runs or more in an inning just five times during the regular season -- then did it twice in two days on the big stage when it mattered most.

It also marked the first time the Giants scored nine or more runs in consecutive games since a three-game series against Cincinnati on Aug. 23-25.

Was it surprising to see this output after the Giants were outscored 20-19 by the Phillies in six games of the NL championship series?

"No, it's not. At some point we had to do it," Meulens said with a chuckle. "We're a veteran team. They have a younger team out there."

The Giants were able to capitalize on mistakes by Rangers ace Cliff Lee handing him his first career postseason defeat with an 11-7 win in Game 1 on Wednesday and then C.J. Wilson. Colby Lewis will try to hold the Giants in check in Game 3.

"We have a clubhouse and bunch of guys that want this really badly," Meulens said. "That's what they've shown these two games the desire, the heart and the spirit to just bring this thing to this city that has waited for so long."

Meulens was hired to replace Carney Lansford after the Giants finished 88-74 last season, four games behind wild-card winner Colorado and with 16 more victories than in 2008. But the team had the second-fewest home runs (122) in the majors and drew the fewest walks (392) in '09. They were 13th in the National League in runs.

So, he had plenty of work to do. That makes the World Series so gratifying.

"The hard work is paying off," Meulens said.

The 43-year-old Meulens spent parts of seven season in the big leagues as an infielder and outfielder for the Yankees, Montreal and Arizona, retiring after the 1998 season. He's a career .220 hitter with 15 home runs and 53 RBIs.

He was the Triple-A hitting instructor for the Indianapolis Indians in the Pittsburgh Pirates' organization from 2005-08.

When he was about 15, Meulens was on a softball team with older players and decided to hit left-handed because "I didn't want to mess up my right-handed swing," he said. He was a natural from the left side and everybody said he was as strong as cartoon character "Bam Bam" of the Flintstones.

Now, Meulens is enjoying every moment of his players' remarkable run.

"It's all a tribute to the guys in the clubhouse, man," Meulens said. "They've scored just enough runs all year. It's nice to see them break loose like this on the biggest stage in the world."

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

BOX SCORE

The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.