Giants

Abreu, White Sox feast on Giants pitching in 13-1 rout

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AP

Abreu, White Sox feast on Giants pitching in 13-1 rout

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO  — Jose Abreu became the first White Sox player to hit for the cycle in 17 years, among six Chicago players to go deep in a 13-1 rout of the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.

Abreu hit his 29th homer in the first off former White Sox starter Jeff Samardzija (9-13), doubled in the third, struck out in the fifth, singled in the seventh against Josh Osich and hit a two-run triple in the eighth versus Roberto Gomez. The previous White Sox player to hit for the cycle was Jose Valentin against the Baltimore Orioles on April 27, 2000.

Tim Anderson, Avisail Garcia and Yoan Moncada also hit solo home runs, Nicky Delmonico had a two-run drive and Yolmer Sanchez added a three-run homer, the 13th time Chicago hit six or more in a game.

James Shields (2-7) allowed one run and two hits in a season-high seven innings, retiring 17 of 18 batters before Nick Hundley homered in the seventh. He had been 0-5 with a 6.64 ERA since beating the New York Yankees on June 29.

Samardzija (9-13), pitching on the South Side for the first time since the final week of the 2015 season, gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.

A night after they were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, the Giants (56-88) lost for the 11th time in 15 games. If they lose more than 94 games, they will have their worst record since going 62-100 in 1985.

Home runs by Abreu in the first and Anderson in the second built a 2-0 lead, and Sanchez's homer made it 5-0 in the fourth. Garcia homered in the fifth, and Moncada and Delmonico went deep in a four-run seventh.

REGRETS

Tim Raines, inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He said one of his few regrets with the White Sox came in the strike-shortened 1994 season.

"We had the best team in baseball," Raines said. "Someone else probably would say the Expos had the best team, but they were on the other side of the league. We had everything that we needed to win a world championship — pitching, defense, offense and all the intangibles."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: C Buster Posey could be behind the plate Sunday for the first time since he took a foul tip off his right hand Tuesday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Posey started at designated hitter in the second straight game. ... OF Jarrett Parker (strained left oblique) sat out a seventh consecutive game but could return Sunday. ... RHP Matt Cain, absent with what the team said was a personal matter), is slated to rejoin team Monday for the start of an eight-game homestand.

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon (inflamed left shoulder) will be re-evaluated next week.

UP NEXT

RHP Carson Fulmer (1-1, 10.50) is to start for the White Sox on Sunday and LHP Madison Bumgarner (3-7, 3.15) for the Giants. Fulmer, Dylan Covey and Mike Pelfrey will fill Rodon's rotation spot for the remainder of the season, according to manager Rick Renteria.

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

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AP

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore knew there was something different about his final home start at AT&T Park this season, and not just the fact that he received a loud ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh. Moore noted later that the outing was the first shutout he has been a part of this year. In fact, it was the first time in 30 starts that he walked off the mound without having allowed a run. 

“I guess it’s better late than never,” he said. 

The Giants are hoping it’s actually a preview of things to come. They counted on Moore to be a big part of their 2017 push, but instead, he likely will finish with the worst ERA of any full-time starter in the National League. Still, general manager Bobby Evans has informed Moore that his 2018 option will be picked up, something that Moore appreciated given the time of year. 

“I always pictured myself here,” he said. 

Whether coincidence or some kind of “weight off the shoulders” situation, Moore’s first start since the public revealing of the decision was his most encouraging of the year. Facing a good lineup, and a team that needed a win desperately, he pitched six shutout innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 4-0. 

Moore was already showing signs of life, with a 3.76 ERA over his seven previous appearances. Bruce Bochy viewed this as another step forward. 

“It’s been getting better and better with each start,” he said. “What he did really well today was on the arm side. He had good balance to both sides of the plate.”

Moore peppered the outside corner with fastballs, and he credited catcher Nick Hundley with stealing a few strikes. The plan allowed Moore to put hitters away in big spots, one of three points of emphasis he brought into the second half. The other two: limiting lefties and getting ahead of hitters.

That’s Moore’s roadmap back to being the player the Giants acquired. For the team as a whole, the roadmap back to relevance is similar to Wednesday’s plan. This is not a home-run hitting lineup, but the Giants are 47-21 when scoring four runs, and Wednesday was a reminder of the different paths to that magical number. 

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, but the first two runs came on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a walk-wild pitch-single combination. Bochy said he liked “the brand of ball” his team played.

“They executed so well today,” he said. “It’s just good baseball, and that’s what I felt good about.”

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”