Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 6, Phillies 5 (10)


Baggs' Instant Replay: Giants 6, Phillies 5 (10)

SAN FRANCISCO If at first you dont succeed, squeeze, squeeze again.

Gregor Blanco apparently missed a suicide squeeze sign in the eighth inning that hung out Buster Posey to dry in a tie game. But Blanco got all square in the 10th.

With runners at the corners, he laid down a perfect bunt down the first base line. Either it was a safety squeeze or Blanco made the decision on his own as the 3-1 pitch from Jonathan Papelbon screamed to the plate. Either way, Melky Cabrera scored without a play, and the Giants held on behind Santiago Casilla to take a 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Blancos small-ball exploits were the end chapters in a game otherwise ruled by home runs. Matt Cain and Cole Hamels hit solo shots in the third inning, becoming the first starting pitchers to go deep off each other since Kevin Millwood and Denny Stark in 2002. No major league pitchers had homered off each other in the same inning since Kevin Gross and Fernando Valenzuela in 1990.

And it was the first time in Giants franchise history (since 1919, at least) that a Giants starting pitcher and opposing starter both homered in the same game. (The last time two pitchers went deep in a game involving the Giants, Mike Krukow homered off Eric Show at San Diego in 1988 and Padres reliever Mark Davis hit one out off Don Robinson in the eighth.)

Posey tagged a two-run shot in the third inning as part of a huge, four-hit night. But Cains 4-2 lead disappeared in the sixth when he served up a three-run shot to Ryan Howard.

Poseys fourth hit helped set up the rally in the 10th as the Giants clinched a winning road trip and won for the seventh time in eight games following the All-Star break. Theyre 12 over .500 for the first time this season.

Starting pitching report
Giants starting pitchers were 6-1 with a 1.30 ERA in seven games since the All-Star break. Cain couldnt continue that run of excellence while allowing five runs, although he only paid for three mistakes while throwing an economical 97 pitches over eight innings.

Chase Utley homered off him in the first inning and Hamels shot in the third was his first career homer in 420 at-bats. But Howards shot in the sixth was most damaging of all.

Cain issued a leadoff walk to Jimmy Rollins and gave up a hit to Shane Victorino the 1000th of the Flyin Hawaiians career before Howard mashed a 1-2 fastball. It was just Howards third hit in 19 career at-bats against Cain all of them home runs.

It was the first three-homer game against Cain since Oct. 1, 2010 against San Diego, when he took the mound in a failed bid to clinch the NL West.

Bullpen report
The Giants bullpen never seems to get hit against the Phillies. Javier Lopez retired Howard in the ninth and Sergio Romo lowered his bingo-number ERA to 0.64 after retiring Carlos Ruiz and Hunter Pence.

Casilla, who had blown five of his last eight save chances, pitched around a one-out walk to Placido Polanco to nail it down.

At the plate
Hamels took the mound perhaps a few days away from signing a contract that could be worth more than 130 million. So his agent couldnt have been happy that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel let him throw 128 pitches.

Hamels had to battle, all right. He mostly pitched through traffic while flashing his tremendous changeup, but Cain pelted his second home run of the season in the third inning. It was the sixth homer in the third inning and Posey added a two-run shot.

Posey added yet another two-out, RBI hit on this road trip a single in the fifth after Ryan Theriot walked and stole his way into scoring position.

Posey improved to 4 for 6 against Hamels with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs.

Melky Cabrera hit a tying, solo homer in the eighth but the Giants missed an opportunity to take the lead. Posey doubled and took third on a ground out. Posey ran with the 1-1 pitch to Gregor Blanco, who presumably missed a squeeze sign as he took it for a ball. Posey, hung out to dry, couldnt beat the throw back to third base.

Brandon Belt continued his abysmal month by popping up to strand the bases loaded in the eighth. Belt also popped up with one out and the bases loaded in the 10th to complete an 0-for-5 night.
In field
The Giants were all lined up for a big inning in the fifth when Nate Schierholtz hit a leadoff
double and Theriot walked. But Phillies second baseman Chase Utley made a diving catch of Cabreras line drive and then reached with his glove to tag second base to double off Schierholtz.

The Phillies announced 45,809 paid surprisingly, the largest regular-season crowd in Citizens Bank Park history.

Up next
The Giants try to make it a banner, 5-1 trip and go for a three-game sweep in Sundays series finale. Left-hander Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75) hopes to finish the trip the way he started it in Atlanta. Hell oppose right-hander Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79), his former As teammate. The Giants haven't had a three-game sweep in Philadelphia since 2004 -- a series that included J.T. Snow's memorable three-homer game.

Listless Giants roughed up by Pirates in ejection-filled series opener

Listless Giants roughed up by Pirates in ejection-filled series opener


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pittsburgh Pirates kept clearing the fences, and the San Francisco Giants were left arguing plate umpire Chris Conroy's tough strike zone.

Even Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle understood the beef.

Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, Gerrit Cole won for the fifth time in six starts, and the Pirates beat San Francisco 10-3 on Monday night.

"I think there was some frustration really all night," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who watched most of the game from his office after an ejection in the second. "I don't think he had a real good night, to be honest, as far as consistency, but that really had nothing to do with what happened tonight. We gave up three-run homers."

Jordy Mercer added a three-run shot of his own in the eighth to further back Cole (8-7), 5-1 in his last eight starts. That lone defeat came June 30 as San Francisco swept the Pirates at Pittsburgh from June 30-July 2 - the Giants' first in the series since 2009.

This time, Pittsburgh immediately jumped on San Francisco starter Matt Cain (3-9), who matched the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - also done from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016.

Bochy was tossed by Conroy for arguing balls and strikes in support of Cain moments after McCutchen connected, the skipper's second time being tossed this year. San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti then got tossed in the ninth.

"It was a tough zone," Hurdle said. "They lost two people on their side thrown out of the game."

Cole allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked four.

He improved to 4-1 in six career starts against San Francisco. The Pirates won their seventh straight game at AT&T Park and ninth in 10, including sweeps both last year and in 2015.

Buster Posey hit a pair of RBI singles in San Francisco's fourth loss in five games.

McCutchen hit his 18th homer as the Pirates cleared the fences in San Francisco for a sixth straight game. His RBI groundout in the first started things off for a Pittsburgh club that had lost back-to-back games on the heels of a season-best, six-game winning streak, including a 13-3 flop in the finale against the Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field.

Josh Bell and Starling Marte each doubled home a run and Josh Harrison added an RBI single.

"This offense is good, we've shown that," McCutchen said.

Cain matched his second-shortest outing of the year at four innings and is winless in his last 11 starts, the longest by a Giants pitcher since the right-hander went 15 outings without a victory during his previous eight-game skid.

Former slugger Barry Bonds, who played for both teams, received a greeting on the scoreboard for his 53rd birthday but the career home run king wasn't in the stands.

Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco, who strained his left hamstring Friday at Colorado and landed on the 10-day disabled list, tested his leg with some straightaway running and was going to do some riding on the stationary bike with the hopes he can hit in the cage soon. Hurdle said he did witness Polanco scurry across a street to avoid being hit by a car, then acknowledged it wasn't that close a call. ... With an off day Thursday at San Diego, the starters will get an extra day of rest.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto played catch and said the trouble spots on three of his pitching fingers are greatly improved. He said they aren't true blisters. The plan is for him to play catch again Tuesday and perhaps throw off the mound Wednesday if all continues to go well. ... Closer Mark Melancon had the day off as he recovers from a second DL stint with a strained forearm. He will throw a bullpen session Tuesday, Bochy said, and face hitters this weekend in Los Angeles if ready.

Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (6-3, 3.08 ERA) is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts since returning from the DL on June 12, just more than a month after surgery for testicular cancer. He seeks his first decision against the Giants in two starts.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 3.57) tries again for his first victory of 2017 in his third outing back from missing nearly three months following a dirt bike accident April 20 in Colorado.

Bruce Bochy ejected in second inning vs Pirates after arguing with umpire

Bruce Bochy ejected in second inning vs Pirates after arguing with umpire

Bruce Bochy's night didn't last very long.

The Giants manager was ejected in the top of the second inning Monday after arguing with the home plate umpire.

The argument came after a three-run homer by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Bochy appeared to be voicing frustrating with the strike zone.

Bochy came out to argue with Chris Conroy and the home plate umpire threw him out almost immediately.

McCutchen's home run put the Pirates up 6-0 in the second inning.