Giants seek series sweep over D'Backs

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Giants seek series sweep over D'Backs

April 17, 2011
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(AP) -- The San Francisco Giants tied a major league record last season by having the shortest regular-season winning streak by a World Series champion at five.Manager Bruce Bochy's club has a chance to match that run less than three weeks into its 2011 schedule.The Giants on Sunday seek their fifth straight victory overall, a weekend series sweep and their sixth consecutive win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
NEWS: Giants place Zito on DL
En route to their first World Series championship since moving to the Bay Area in 1958, the Giants won a season-high five straight July 10-17. That tied the 1996 New York Yankees and 2007 Boston Red Sox for the shortest regular-season winning streak by a World Series champion.While the Giants (8-6) have a ways to go before even thinking about becoming the first team to repeat since the Yankees (1998-2000), they can match last season's longest winning streak following Saturday's 5-3 victory at Arizona (5-8).Buster Posey hit a two-run homer, Freddy Sanchez knocked in three runs and Guillermo Mota went a career-high 4 1-3 innings of relief to earn the win after Barry Zito left in the second with a sprained right foot."It's tough for Barry. I don't know what happened or the severity of it, but hats off to Guillermo Mota," infielder Mark DeRosa said after the Giants improved to 7-2 since a 1-4 start. "Player of the game, no doubt."The depth of this team was something that was a positive for us last year and I think this year it's the same."Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 9.00 ERA), who takes the ball Sunday, was one of the Giants' standouts last postseason, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA in four appearances. The 21-year-old left-hander has yet to approach that type of success in 2011.He has allowed opponents to hit .406 against him while losing both of his starts this season. After lasting just three innings against San Diego on April 5, Bumgarner went five unimpressive innings in his home debut Monday, a 6-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers."I felt good the whole time," he told the Giants' official website after walking four and surrendering five runs and eight hits. "It's hard to explain games like that sometimes."Bumgarner is 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA in three starts against Arizona. He struck out seven in each of those outings.The Diamondbacks, who have lost a season high-tying three straight overall and 15 of 18 to the Giants, are hoping Barry Enright (0-1, 6.00) can get on track when he takes the ball Sunday.The right-hander posted an 8.06 ERA while losing his last five starts as a rookie last season, and has unfortunately picked up where he left off in 2011. Enright has been tagged for four runs over six innings in each of his first two outings. He hit a batter and allowed nine hits in Monday's 8-2 home loss to St. Louis."I lose my aggressiveness sometimes," said Enright, 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts against San Francisco last season. "You get a few guys on base and you start trying to place the ball instead of going after people."Enright should be careful going after Posey, who is 6 for 12 with two doubles and a homer in their meetings. The reigning NL rookie of the year is batting .400 (22 for 55) in 15 career games against Arizona.Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has also been getting great production from his catcher. Miguel Montero is batting .415, and went 1 for 3 with a two-run double Saturday.Montero is hitless in four at-bats against Bumgarner.

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

Reigning AL MVP Trout to undergo thumb surgery, out 6-8 weeks

ANAHEIM -- Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout has a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery Wednesday that is expected to sideline him between six to eight weeks.

The Angels put the reigning AL MVP on the disabled list Monday for the first time in his career. The outfielder hurt himself a day earlier making a headfirst slide to steal second base in Miami.

At 25, Trout already is a two-time AL MVP. He is hitting .337 and has 16 home runs, second most in the majors.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said an MRI revealed the tear. Team doctor Steve Shin arrived in Anaheim later Monday night, met with Trout and it was determined surgery was his best option.

"It was news no player wants to hear," Eppler said. "He's been put in a tough spot and it's something he's still digesting."

The Angels lost shortstop Andrelton Simmons to a similar thumb injury last season. He had surgery and was out slightly over five weeks.

Los Angeles was 26-28 going Monday night's game at home against Atlanta, and the lineup recently missed ailing slugger Albert Pujols.

Trout made his major league debut by playing 40 games for the Angels in 2011. Since then, he's been a five-time All-Star and has finished in the top two in the AL MVP all five seasons.

A year after hitting .315 with a .441 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBIs and 30 steals, Trout was off to a dynamic start. He was leading the league in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging percentage (.742) when he was hurt.

"It's really hard to quantify (his loss)," Eppler said. "We're going to feel that impact and it's going to require multiple people stepping up in his absence. The team will fight as it always does. But he's in the heart of the order and a leader in the dugout. Those are tough to absorb."

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.