Giants shoot for sweep of Diamondbacks

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Giants shoot for sweep of Diamondbacks

June 16, 2011

GIANTS (39-29) vs.
ARIZONA (37-32)

ARIZONA (AP) -- Domination in head-to-head matchups is what's keeping the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants ahead of the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks.

San Francisco goes for its sixth straight win and eighth in nine games over Arizona in the finale of their three-game series in the desert Thursday night.

The Giants have a 2 12-game lead over the Diamondbacks (37-32), and a 12-inning, 6-5 loss April 17 at Chase Field is all that stands in the way of San Francisco (39-29) being unbeaten against Arizona this year.

"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."

The Giants haven't been blowing out the Diamondbacks. None of the eight games in the season series has been decided by more than three runs, including San Francisco's 5-2 triumph Wednesday.

REWIND: Bumgarner gets run support, Giants beat D'Backs

Bill Hall - acquired earlier in the week to replace the injured Freddy Sanchez - singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and scored in the ninth on Eli Whiteside's triple. That gave Madison Bumgarner the win after he came in with the fifth-worst run-support average in the majors at 2.65.

"We didn't exactly blow them out but we got enough for him. That's what it's all about," said Pat Burrell, who added a run-scoring triple.

Willie Bloomquist and Chris Young homered for Arizona, which increased its season total to an NL-high 80.

URBAN: Giants' GM finds another scrap-heap gem

A good pitchers' duel could be on tap Thursday when the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong (4-1, 1.81 ERA) faces off against the Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy (7-2, 3.23).

Vogelsong may not have been happy with his last start, but he also may be the only one associated with the Giants who wasn't.

The right-hander was effective Saturday against Cincinnati despite failing to come away with a decision. He gave up two runs while scattering a season-high eight hits in six innings, and San Francisco won 3-2 on pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz's walk-off single.

"I'm not really happy with the way I threw, but the results turned out all right," Vogelsong told the team's official website.

Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA over his last seven starts. He's 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in four road games this year, but is looking to win at Chase Field for the first time since Aug. 17, 2004, with Pittsburgh.

Kennedy has fared much better on the road than at home for Arizona in 2011.

In eight starts in Phoenix, the right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA. When he takes the ball away from home, Kennedy is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA.

Pitching on the road didn't help Saturday in Miami, when he was tagged for five runs and three homers among five hits in eight innings. Despite those numbers, he got credit for a 9-5 win. The five runs were the most allowed by Kennedy since April 13, when he yielded a career-high nine in a loss to St. Louis.

"The offense took care of it and I tried to get innings as much as possible," Kennedy told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I was really, really happy that (Gibson) let me go into the eighth."

Kennedy is 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in three home outings against San Francisco. He gave up two hits and walked two in eight shutout innings Sept. 6, but the Diamondbacks fell to the Giants 2-0 in 12 innings.

Report: Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

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AP

Report: Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have reportedly traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire two minor league pitchers, according to USA Today.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.

With Yankees on the prowl, error costs Sonny Gray in loss to Blue Jays

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USATSI

With Yankees on the prowl, error costs Sonny Gray in loss to Blue Jays

BOX SCORE

Sonny Gray walked off the mound after a scoreless bottom of the sixth Tuesday in Toronto.

Was it the last inning he’ll pitch in green and gold?

That’s the dominant storyline around the A’s right now, especially in light of Tuesday afternoon’s revelation that the Yankees are making a run at acquiring both Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonso from Oakland in a package deal.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported multiple sources as saying the teams were “making progress” on a deal that would send both players to the Big Apple.

The A’s have been scouting the Yankees’ farm system recently, along with the systems of other contending teams who are considering Gray. The speculation surrounding Alonso, a free agent this winter, has been light in recent weeks except for the Yankees’ known interest. But after New York acquired corner infielder Todd Frazier from the White Sox last week, it seemed the Yankees’ need for Alonso might have lessened. Apparently, that’s not the case.

Gray struck out nine over six innings in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays, which leaves the A’s 1-4 so far on this seven-game road trip. All four runs off him came in the second, when his own throwing error toward second base helped open the gates to the only rally Toronto needed. Ryan Goins had a two-out two-run double and Jose Bautista also doubled home a run in the inning, with all four runs off Gray unearned.

MLB.com also reported earlier Tuesday that the A’s had a particular interest in Yankees Single-A center fielder Estevan Florial, and that infielder/outfielder Jorge Mateo, ranked New York’s fourth-best prospect by Baseball America before the season, could also enter the equation. That same report mentioned that such elite Yankee prospects as shortstop Gleyber Torres, outfielder Clint Frazier and pitchers Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield would be all but untouchable. All are among New York’s top-10 prospects.

But for a deal that includes both Gray and Alonso, it stands to reason the A’s could ask for the inclusion of one or more of those four in a deal.

The Yankees aren’t the only team that has an enticing pool of prospects that could make for a match with Oakland. Houston, known to be going after a starter, has multiple outfielders who could be attractive to the A’s. The Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers are among other teams in search of pitching who could put together competitive offers.

Gray’s next scheduled start would come Sunday at home against the Minnesota Twins, one day before the non-waiver trade deadline.