Giants use late rally to top Reds 4-2, split series

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Giants use late rally to top Reds 4-2, split series

June 12, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) The San Francisco Giants finally got some relief from the middle of its injury-shattered lineup.Aubrey Huff had three hits and two RBIs, Nate Schierholtz delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly and the Giants rallied from two runs down for a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night."That's something we have been needing - those guys in the heart of the order doing some damage," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've been struggling to score runs."Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez was wildly effective, walking five and striking out five in six innings. He constantly pitched out of jams and forced three inning-ending double plays, giving San Francisco a chance to earn a four-game series split by matching Reds starter Edinson Volquez after six innings.Ramon Ramirez (2-0) earned the win and Brian Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save in 20 opportunities."It feels good to contribute. It's just been such a grind out there this season," Huff said.The Giants don't play them any other way.Sanchez struggled with his control again but kept the game close. And San Francisco, even banged up with injuries to sluggers Freddy Sanchez and Buster Posey among others, just doesn't lose many close games at home.Chris Stewart started the seventh with a walk. Then Andres Torres hit a double off Jose Arredondo (0-2), who intentionally walked Miguel Tejada to load the bases with one out.Arredondo was lifted for left-hander Bill Bray, who didn't fare much better. Schierholtz hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly to center, and Huff followed with a run-scoring single to give the Giants a 4-2 lead."Those leadoff walks come back to haunt you, which it did us at least," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We really have to tighten up that part of our game."The lead was more than enough cushion to back San Francisco's bullpen.Ramirez, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo held the Reds scoreless for two innings before Wilson entered in the ninth. That's the formula San Francisco used to win the World Series last season, even if it looked like Sanchez might throw the game away early.Of course, that both starters struggled with their control was no surprise. Sanchez and Volquez entered the game as the top two in the National League in walks and the trend continued to hurt both.Sanchez hit Joey Votto and walked Jay Bruce to lead off the fourth. Then Scott Rolen hit an RBI double before Edgar Renteria lofted a sacrifice fly to left field to give the Reds a 2-0 lead."We pitch 6-7 innings, we're fine with our bullpen," Sanchez said. "Just wanted to keep the game close."The Giants started their rally in the fourth when Huff doubled down the left-field line to score Schierholtz from first and trim Cincinnati's lead to 2-1. Volquez walked Cody Ross to put runners on first and second with one out, then struck out Brandon Crawford and got Manny Burriss to line out to third.Schierholtz drew a walk off Volquez to open the sixth. He moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Huff, and scored on Ross' groundout to short to even the score.Volquez departed with the game tied after six innings, striking out five but walking three. The Reds only other scoring chance came when Votto flied out to left and Ross threw to second to double off Volquez.NOTES: The Giants optioned Conor Gillaspie to Triple-A Fresno to make room for Pablo Sandoval, who is rejoining the team in Arizona on Tuesday. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito (sprained right foot) will make his next rehab start at Triple-A Fresno on Thursday. Zito said he feels great and is working on putting "more finish" on his pitches to improve velocity and build late movement. ... Stewart started in place of struggling catcher Eli Whiteside for San Francisco and will start again Tuesday at Arizona. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he wanted to give Whiteside some rest after becoming the everyday starter for the injured Buster Posey. ... The announced crowd of 42,084 was San Francisco's 31st straight sellout to start the season.

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

'The Kid' Arroyo continues wildly impressive first week with Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — In a quiet moment in the dugout Friday, manager Bruce Bochy tried to figure out a nickname for his new budding star. During a week where Christian Arroyo has made the game look so easy, this has turned out to be the most difficult part. 

Bochy briefly settled on “Yo” before that was scuttled because the team’s video coordinator is Yo Miyamoto. Joe Panik said some players have tried C.A. or YoYo, but admitted that neither is all that good. The team’s Twitter account spent a few days trying to make Boss Baby a thing, but Arroyo wasn’t thrilled with that one and the experiment appears to be over. In a back room of the clubhouse, there’s a printout showing Arroyo and Buzz from “Home Alone,” but that comparison is much better made with Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman. 

Perhaps the answer is as simple as the path Arroyo’s bat takes to a fastball. As he watched Arroyo field grounders during batting practice, Dick Tidrow was asked about the 21-year-old. Tidrow, the team’s senior VP of player personnel, has seen and worked with Arroyo since he was drafted. 

“We always just called him The Kid,” Tidrow said. “He would turn around when I called him Kid.”

The Kid is growing up quickly. Arroyo’s second homer of the week was the game-winner Friday, an eighth-inning blast that put a lead in Mark Melancon’s hands. The new closer made sure the new third baseman’s homer didn’t go to waste, clinching a 4-3 win that got the Giants out of the National League West’s cellar. 

The homer might have surprised Arroyo as much as anyone. He came here with a reputation as a mature and talented hitter, but power is not his calling card. 

“I’m not trying to hit a homer there,” he said. “Get the head out, see a pitch over the plate, barrel something, just keep the line moving. I got a good pitch, elevated it, and fortunately it went out.”

Arroyo already speaks like a hitting coach, but he is not afraid to admit that there are things he doesn’t know. It’s easy to get film on opposing starters, but there’s little a rookie can do to prepare for late-inning pitching changes. Arroyo consulted Buster Posey and Conor Gillaspie before facing Ryan Buchter, who has been in the division for two years. Gillaspie told him Buchter’s fastball has some late life and gets on a hitter. 

“I wanted to see it and the first pitch was a little low so I got a good read on them,” Arroyo said. 

The second one was right at the belt and Arroyo pulled it down the line for his second big league homer. He had just three last year in Double-A, but the Giants felt the 36 doubles showed that power was on the way. 

“He’s got pop,” Bochy said. “He’s not a guy trying to hit homers. He tries to put a good swing on it. But he drives balls and you saw it tonight. We see him more as a gap guy, but he’ll get more power as he gets older. We’re not asking him to hit homers, trust me, but it’s good to see him letting it go.”

The homer secured a win on a night when a lot went right. Jeff Samardzija was sharp, paying for one pitch to Ryan Schimpf that left the park but otherwise pitching seven strong. Panik and Brandon Belt ignited the offense early and Michael Morse came through with a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. Derek Law and Mark Melancon closed it out, with Melancon getting help from Panik, who made a spectacular tumbling catch on a flare to shallow right-center. It was a big first out given that Melancon was pitching for the third straight day. 

“It was going to be in no man’s land,” Panik said. “You give it everything you’ve got. Fortunately the ball stayed in the glove.”

When it was over, the youngest Giant was in for another round of interviews to cap a hectic week. On Monday he made his debut and on Tuesday he picked up his first hit. Wednesday brought the first homer and Thursday was the first multi-hit game. What will the weekend include? Maybe a real nickname? 

For now, the Giants are fine with leaning on The Kid, because many of them didn’t even know how young the star of the week was until he was a couple of days into his big league career.

“I was thinking he was 23 or 24,” Samardzija said. “This has been really impressive.”

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

Vanderdoes out to 'prove people wrong,' show Raiders his very best

ALAMEDA – Eddie Vanderdoes knows his UCLA game tape is inconsistent. The powerful defensive tackle admits he wasn’t always at his best, especially after tearing his ACL in 2015. Before that, he was difficult to stop. Afterward, he wasn’t the same player. He doesn’t blame the knee.

He struggled with ankle injuries and weight issues in 2016, a lackluster campaign by his own standard. Since that season ended, Vanderdoes has returned to 100 percent. His ankles are fine. His knee is great. And he lost 40 pounds heading into the NFL scouting combine, preparing for a return to his old self.

The Raiders see great potential in the former Bruin and made him their third-round pick on Friday evening. The Auburn native was excited by the prospect, and believes the Raiders will get his absolute best. His voice was passionate, his determination clear even on a conference call with local press.

“I am going to be the player I was earlier in my career,” Vanderdoes said. “I had a bad season. That wasn’t me. That’s not the person that I am. That’s not the character that I hold. I’m definitely going to bring that to the Raiders’ defensive line. I’m going to bring that energy and I’m really happy to be an Oakland Raider.”

The Raiders will be thrilled if that’s true. They liked what he showed at the Senior Bowl and the NFL scouting combine, where he showed traits that should translate to NFL production.

“I am definitely back 100 percent, very confident with the combine, the Senior Bowl,” Vanderdoes said. “I got my explosiveness back. I got my speed back, my athleticism back. I am definitely at the top of shape right now, so I’m ready to get back to work and show them the player that they saw on the film and the player that they wanted to draft and I’m also looking to turn even more heads and do things that some people might expect that I couldn’t do.”

That includes rushing the passer, being a consistent three-down tackle in the Raiders scheme. He might be a rotational player first, filling the void created when Stacy McGee left in free agency.

“He’s a good, active defensive lineman that we think his best football is in front of him,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He had an ACL (injury) a couple of years ago. His weight has been up and down. We expect him to come in here and be a real professional and work hard with (head strength and conditioning coach) Joe Gomes and the strength staff and get himself ready to roll. He needs to come in here and add depth to our defensive line and give us a little interior push.”

Vanderdoes believes he can do more than that if he does things right. If his weight stays down, strength stays up and he learns the system well, he wants to compete for a significant role as a rookie.

“I’m coming in expecting to contribute and play right away,” Vanderdoes said. “That’s the mindset that I’ve always had. I’ve came with that mindset that I need to be the guy to step in and do what I do and dominate. I definitely think people slept on me a little bit this past offseason.

“I love the fact that (the NFL) slept on me, I think that’s what motivated me every morning waking up, knowing that I get to prove people wrong. I think I’ve done a good job so far of that, and I’m going to keep doing as well being an Oakland Raider because I know I’m at the bottom again. I have to work my way back up.”