Arias, Sanchez help Giants win in a pinch


Arias, Sanchez help Giants win in a pinch


HOUSTON Division winners find the handshake line in manydifferent ways.

They can bash their way to a victory. They can stand behinda worthy ace to win 2-1. And, every once in awhile, they have to battle whendown to their last three outs, or even their last strike.

The Giants in 2010 found ways to claim those zombievictories, whether it was Juan Uribes huge home run at Dodger Stadium inSeptember or Freddy Sanchez singling off Craig Kimbrel in the NL DivisionSeries.

Its one road to the handshake line that these currentGiants hadnt traveled very often.

And as much as they would have preferred to trounce theAstros Tuesday night, as most of the league has done since the All-Star break,perhaps there is something more to be gained from entering the ninth down 2-1and entering that handshake line as 3-2 winners.

After all, the Giants were 2-50 when trailing after eight innings.Their pinch hitters had combined for a .177 average, dead last in the NL. Butafter Brandon Belt singled off a lefty, Wesley Wright, the bench camethrough. Joaquin Arias doubled in the tying run off Wilton Lopez and HectorSanchez, fully expecting a changeup, stayed back and got just enough of hisbroken-bat single to put the Giants ahead.

Sure, it came against the Astros, who mark save situations as if they were moon phases. No matter. The Giants won in a pinch, and they'll remember that the next time they need to win that way.

One more fun fact: Lo and behold, the Giants now hold a 3 -game lead in the NLWest their largest advantage of the season.

One of our biggest hits this year, Bochy said of Arias,who continues to scald the ball in August. It goes to show you how importantthe bench is. Its a tight ballgame and thats what you need. Were down tothree outs but youve got to keep fighting and they did that. Its why you gohard for 27 outs.

Sergio Romo said the Giants bullpen erupted with both ofthose pinch hits. So did Matt Cain, who had rolled in the dirt moments earlier,scowling in anger, when a wild 3-2 curveball allowed the Astros to score the tie-breaking run in the eighth.

This is great for us, to come back and win, Cain said. Thatswhat you want to be able to do with three outs left, and for those guys to stepup, I think thats going to build a lot of momentum for us during the week.

The Giants have three days left to see what the waiver wiremight bring them, but the Dodgers are behind them in the standings and might aswell have flyswatters in both hands. Its unlikely anyone who could help Scott Hairston, etc. will get through without being claimed.

So the Giants are likely to make do with the bench theyhave, and it is not an experienced lot. They have Ryan Theriot and Aubrey Huff,for whatever he might have left, will rejoin them as part of Saturdays rosterexpansion.

But Arias will get at-bats in key situations. So willSanchez.

Those guys, said Pablo Sandoval, beaming with pride, theymade it look easy.

Said Sanchez, of his single: He threw me a really good pitch,a changeup. Thats a pitch I was looking for and I tried to stay back. I brokemy bat, but I hit it in a good spot. Hey, I take it. Its a good one.

It wasnt the way the Giants wanted to beat the Astros, whoare 8-46 since June 28 the worst 56-game stretch of any major league teamsince the 1961 Phillies.

If anything, the Giants learned not to take the Astroslightly over the rest of this series and beyond, considering all but six oftheir remaining games (against the Dodgers) are against clubs that currentlyhave losing records.

I dont look at it that way and I dont want to hear it,Bochy said. Youve got to play your best ball. Thats the last thing I want tohear, or the players to hear. Youve got to be ready to go every night.

To the very end, too.

Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade


Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

The teams announced the deal after their games Friday night. The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs this year.

Los Angeles is running away with the NL West. The Dodgers are 86-34 after Friday's win at Detroit . Granderson gives Los Angeles another option for the outfield along with Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

Pederson has been struggling quite a bit of late, hitting .149 since the All-Star break. Granderson, like Pederson, offers some power from the left side of the plate.

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth


SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Moore took his time walking off the mound after Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to replace him in the eighth inning.

Moore wanted to enjoy the ovation from the crowd at AT&T Park, something he hadn't heard for quite some time.

Moore took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and picked up his first win in nearly two months as San Francisco beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2 on Friday night.

"It's something that I think is one of the coolest parts about playing here, is just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill," Moore said. "It was definitely nice to have that."

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford both homered, Pablo Sandoval had an RBI single and Denard Span added three hits and made a nice running catch in center field to help San Francisco to its ninth win in the last 12 games at AT&T Park.

One day after becoming the first team in major league history to reach 11,000 wins as a franchise, the Giants added on by beating the worst team in baseball again.

Moore (4-12) was crisp in his second straight strong start despite four walks, allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time since June 20.

"He's got a good rhythm going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's playing catch with (catcher Buster Posey), that's the effort he's putting in it right now. I think it's helped his command on all his pitches."

Moore credited a calmer approach in his last two starts.

"For a lot of the season I was overthrowing," Moore said. "It's just too much to be gritting that much through. After the break that was something I was working on, making sure I'm not white-knuckling too much stuff."

Four relievers combined for five outs to complete the four-hitter.

Jorge Alfaro singled twice and scored for Philadelphia.

Pence doubled and scored as part of a three-run first inning, then hit his 11th home run in the second.

Crawford tacked on with a two-run home run in the third, his 10th, after Sandoval walked. Crawford, who also doubled in the eighth, had been in a 2-for-22 slump.

Philadelphia didn't get a runner past second base until the eighth when Freddy Galvis singled in both runs.

"We got four hits (and) Alfaro had two of them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The bats just ain't there right now."


Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings for the Phillies and later complained of tightness in his right shoulder. Eflin has lost two of three starts since a two-month stint in the minors. "As the fifth inning came to an end it was more of a precautionary thing to come out because it wasn't feeling right at that point," Eflin said.


Posey has hit safely in 20 straight games against Philadelphia, the longest hitting streak of his career against any team.


Phillies: Mackanin's ballclub was one player short after the team placed OF Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in a move that is retroactive to Aug. 15. Herrera has a 17-game hitting streak that is the longest active in the majors. A corresponding move is expected before Saturday's game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Cueto also threw a 50-pitch bullpen during the team's recent three-game series in Miami. ... 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) and 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) both did cardio work before the game.


Phillies RHP Jerad Eickoff (3-7, 4.45 ERA) makes his second start against the Giants this season Saturday while San Francisco counters with LHP Ty Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA). Blach blanked Philadelphia with a seven-hitter on June 2.