Bagg's Instant Replay: Giants 4, Rockies 2


Bagg's Instant Replay: Giants 4, Rockies 2


DENVER A season ago, 22-year-old Madison Bumgarner didnt get his first victory until May 19. Jamie Moyer, 49, was trying to become the oldest pitcher in history to win a major league game.

Bumgarner is the young. But not the restless.

The left-hander no-hit the Colorado Rockies into the sixth inning, the Giants pieced together enough against Moyer and Brian Wilson infused more torture -- plus a visit to the mound from trainer Dave Groeschner -- into his first save chance as the Giants claimed a 4-2 victory on a windy Thursday afternoon at Coors Field.

Bumgarner (1-1) ensured he wouldnt start the year on a personal winless streak while helping the Giants complete their road trip with a 2-4 record -- a mark they gladly accepted after getting swept in a season-opening series at Arizona.

The Giants scored at least four runs in all six games on this road trip. Thats something they did in just 39.5 percent of their games last season.

One difference, though: They were an MLB-best 55-9 last year when they scored four runs. On this trip, they only won twice -- both times when they received a quality start (Barry Zito, Bumgarner).

Starting pitching report: Less than 15 hours after the Rockies blasted out 22 hits, Bumgarner calmly held them without a safety until the sixth inning.

Thats when Tyler Colvin, who entered the previous inning on a double switch, hit a sinking line drive to left field. Melky Cabrera gave a game effort, but his diving attempt came up short and Colvin ended up with a triple.

Bumgarner allowed two more singles that inning and the Rockies brought the dangerous Troy Tulowitzki to the plate as the tying run. But Bumgarner got him to ground out to third base to end the threat.

In a bit of a surprise, Giants manager Bruce Bochy let Bumgarner go out for the eighth inning with 102 pitches. Bumgarner gave up a single and retired Colvin on a pop-up, but not before worked him for a 13-pitch at-bat. With 117 pitches, Bumgarners day was done.

Bumgarner held the Rockies to one run on four hits and two walks in 7 13 innings. He struck out two. All in all, it was a huge improvement from his four-inning, four-run, two-homer fireworks show at Arizona.

Bullpen report: Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez made their pitches to escape the eighth. After Romo walked Dexter Fowler, Lopez retired Carlos Gonzalez on a broken-bat grounder to strand two runners. Hes stranded five runners in his three outings.

Wilson was vintage Wilson while recording his first save since . He allowed a run on three hits and a bases-loaded walk, but got lucky when Todd Heltons line drive found Emmanuel Burrisss glove at second base.

Wison converted his first save since Sept. 21, but just barely. The 95 mph fastball he unleashed a night earlier only topped 90 mph a couple of times and Groeschner went to the mound after catcher Buster Posey signaled for him after a 1-0 pitch to Colvin. Wilson threw one more warmup pitch and continued, but looked out of sorts as he walked Colvin to force in a run.

He got Marco Scutaro to fly out to right field with the bases loaded to end it.

At the plate: Cabrera reached base three times and collected two RBI hits, capping a highly successful first road trip as a Giant. He hit safely in all six games, batting .385 with a home run and three doubles among his 10 hits.

Brandon Crawford continued to prove that he can hit left-handers; he had a double and single against Moyer and scored a run.

The Giants got their first run off Moyer in the third inning, when Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Brett Pill hit consecutive singles. Pills hit was a pop-up that stuck like a lob wedge in right-center field. Sandoval made a good one-out read, scoring easily from second base.

Struggling leadoff man Angel Pagan had his average drop to .095 before digging out a pitch for an RBI single in the sixth.

In the field: Second baseman Ryan Theriot didnt distinguish himself with the glove this spring, but he made a nice diving stop to his right and flipped to force Carlos Gonzalez in the fourth inning.

Bochy still made a defensive switch and took out Theriot for Emmanuel Burriss in the eighth inning. That turned out to be a brilliant move, as Burriss made a lunging catch of Todd Heltons line drive with the bases loaded in the ninth.

Fowler, the Rockies center fielder, demonstrated why Little League coaches always preach to use two hands. He nonchalantly dropped Theriots fly ball to start the sixth inning a two-base error that led to an unearned run.

Attendance: It was AARP day at Coors Field. The Rockies announced 25,860 paid. Many complained the music was too loud between innings.

Up next: The Giants will host their 13th home opener at AT&T Park, welcoming the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fridays game (1:35 PDT first pitch) pits Matt Cain against right-hander James McDonald.

Tough luck: Rich Hill throws nine no-hit innings, loses on walk-off HR in 10th


Tough luck: Rich Hill throws nine no-hit innings, loses on walk-off HR in 10th


PITTSBURGH -- Dodgers lefty Rich Hill lost his perfect game on an error in the ninth inning, then lost his no-hitter on a leadoff home run in the 10th by Josh Harrison that sent the Pittsburgh Pirates over Los Angeles 1-0 Wednesday night.

Hill became the first pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 1995 to take a no-hit try into extra innings.

The Pirates didn't have a runner until Jordy Mercer led off the ninth with a sharp grounder that smacked off third baseman Logan Forsythe's glove for an error. Hill retired the next three batters.

Hill (9-5) came back out for the 10th and Harrison sent his 99th pitch of the night into the first row of seats in left field, just out of the reach of Los Angeles leftfielder Curtis Granderson. Hill struck out 10 without a walk.

Juan Nicasio (2-5) picked up the win after working the top of the 10th.

After Mercer reached in the ninth, Hill quickly retired the next three batters. Chris Stewart laid down a sacrifice bunt, Jose Osuna grounded out to Forsythe and when shortstop Corey Seager gobbled up a grounder by Starling Marte, Hill held the Pirates hitless for nine innings.

But to get official credit for a no-hitter under Major League Baseball rules, a pitcher must complete the game - going nine innings isn't enough if it goes into extras. Back in 1959, a Pirates pitcher had perhaps the most famous near-miss of all when Harvey Haddix lost his perfect game and the game itself in the 13th at Milwaukee.

In what's been a charmed season for the Dodgers, a 37-year-old journeyman received an ovation from the Pirates crowd at PNC Park as he walked off the mound after the ninth. A large mass of fans clad in Dodger blue sitting behind the Los Angeles dugout rose to its feet after taking in the latest remarkable night in a season full of them for the team chasing the best regular season record in major-league history.

Rather than go to the best bullpen in the majors, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts sent Hill back out to see if he could keep the no-hitter going.

The appearance of his No. 44 jersey sent a jolt through the crowd of 19,859. It also proved to be one inning too many.

One batter, in fact. Hill could only watch the ball sail over the fence and, without expression, walked to the dugout.

"We knew we had a chance to win with one hit," Harrison said later.

Harrison broke up a no-hit bid by Detroit's Justin Verlander with two outs in the ninth in 2012. That game ended in a Pittsburgh loss. This one ended with Harrison sprinting toward a mob of teammates at home plate while Hill left as the losing pitcher following the best game of his career.

Hill raced through eight innings thanks in part to impeccable control and some spectacular defense behind him, most notably a diving grab by second baseman Chase Utley on a liner by Josh Bell leading off the eighth.

Bell was ruled safe on a close play at first in the second inning, but the call was overturned when replay showed Hill tagged him just before his foot hit the bag. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez also made a sliding grab on a bunt attempt by Harrison in the fourth but otherwise, Hill was in firm command.

Hill had come close to perfection in the past. Last Sept. 10, he retired all 21 batters at Miami before Roberts pulled him after seven innings and 89 pitches because of a recurrence of blisters on his pitching hand. He also was dealing with a groin injury.

In December, Hill re-signed as a free agent with the Dodgers, getting a three-year deal worth $48 million. The contract was quite a reward for a former journeyman who, as recently as 2015, was pitching for the Long Island Ducks in the independent Atlantic League.

Hill began this night with a 47-32 record in a career that began in 2005 and took him from the Chicago Cubs to Baltimore, then to Boston, Cleveland, the Angels, the Yankees, Oakland and the Dodgers. Hill has overcome serious injuries during his career, including a torn labrum in 2009 and elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2011.

Trevor Williams matched Hill out for out, if not pitch for pitch. The Pirates rookie kept Los Angeles off the board for eight innings, letting Hill to line out in the fourth to leave the bases loaded in the fourth, using a pair of double plays in the fifth and sixth and getting Forsythe to line out after a nine-pitch at bat with two on and two outs in the eighth.

The Pirates have been no-hit nine teams in team history. For nine innings it looked like they were on their way to a 10th. One swing from Harrison changed all that.

Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (lower back strain) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday. Roberts said the team considered having Kershaw return directly to the majors on Saturday but decided to exercise caution with such a large lead in the division. ... RHP Yu Darvish (lower back tightness) will be activated off the disabled list on Sunday and start against Milwaukee.

Pirates: Trainer Todd Tomczyk is "optimistic" RF Gregory Polanco will return from a strained left hamstring before the end of the season. Polanco is currently on the 10-day disabled list for a third time this season because of hamstring trouble. ... C Francisco Cervelli (left wrist inflammation) is eligible to come off the disabled list on Thursday and could return to the lineup.

Dodgers: Hyun-Jin Riu (4-6, 3.45 ERA) is undefeated in his last eight starts, going 2-0 with a 2.22 ERA since June 17.

Pirates: Chad Kuhl (6-8, 4.52) will try to bounce back from his worst start of the season on Thursday. Kuhl gave up eight runs in three-plus innings last week against St. Louis.

Two events in Wednesday's win show change in Jarrett Parker's luck

Two events in Wednesday's win show change in Jarrett Parker's luck

SAN FRANCISCO -- There have been more than 6,500 doubles hit in the big leagues this season. Only 55 have had an exit velocity of less than 62 mph. Only five of those 55 came with the go-ahead run on base.

So, it was a somewhat rare event when Jarrett Parker checked his swing, accidentally made contact, and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run double. On a related note, Parker didn't care.

He's not one for luck or karma. He's also not a big student of exit velocity. Asked if he wanted to know how hard his double was hit, Parker shook his head.

"Nope," he said. "Don't care."

The rest of the team didn't, either. The Giants figure they're owed a few more in this down year, and nobody cared how the winning run came across in a 4-2 victory over the Brewers.

"You hear good things happen when you put the ball in play, and he did," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a break for us and we'll take it. It went our way there with that check-swing, which you'll take. We've had some tough breaks."

For a moment after the series clinching win, Parker thought he had suffered another bad one. He felt something grab in his right arm as he went up for the celebratory jump with the rest of the outfield, and he said he was thinking about it as he jogged off the field. Parker missed 96 games earlier this year after fracturing his clavicle. That delayed what appears to be a bit of a breakout. Parker said his arm felt fine once he got back to the clubhouse. 

"I was worried about it at first but I shook it off," he said. "It was just a cramp."

That was a relief for Parker, and it kept the good vibes going. After the way Parker's season started, he certainly is owed a bit more in that department.