Baggs' Instant Replay: Mariners 2, Giants 1

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Mariners 2, Giants 1

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE Neither the Giants nor the Seattle Mariners could create any breaks Sunday afternoon.

They failed to bunt over runners. They couldnt execute throws from the outfield to the plate. Hits with runners in scoring position? It was slim pickings out there.

But then Sergio Romo allowed two singles in the ninth. And the Mariners got lucky. Left fielder Melky Cabrera collected Justin Smoaks single off Javier Lopez and his throw hit runner Munenori Kawasaki in the back as the Mariners celebrated their second walk-off victory of the season, winning the rubber game of the series 2-1 at Safeco Field.
Starting pitching report
In his previous start, Madison Bumgarner joined Juan Marichal and Mike Krukow as the only starting pitchers in the Giants San Francisco era to hit a home run and strike out at least 12 in the same game.

There was no chance for Bumgarner to repeat that feat in an AL park, but he dominated the Mariners while holding them to four baserunners in eight innings.

He allowed his only run in the second inning when Casper Wells singled, Miguel Olivo doubled and Dustin Ackley hit a sacrifice fly. Angel Pagan caught the ball in somewhat shallow center field but his throw arrived on a bounce and was up the line.

Ackleys fly ball began a string of 18 consecutive batters retired by Bumgarner, who mixed his slider and moved his fastball in and out. He held the Mariners to three hits and a walk while striking out four.

Bumgarner had to adapt to a different strike zone in the eighth inning, after plate umpire Andy Fletcher left the game with a wrist injury. There was a delay in the top of the eighth as second base umpire Joe West rushed back to put on gear to replace Fletcher.

Bullpen report
Romo and Lopez only combined to do one thing right in the ninth. Lopez bounded off the mound to collect Michael Saunders sacrifice bunt and threw accurately to cut down the lead runner at third base.

Otherwise, the two relievers faced four batters and allowed three hits the same number of hits that Bumgarner allowed in eight innings.

At the plate
Felix Hernandez was tough, but the Giants were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 in the game.

They put immediate pressure on Hernandez when Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera singled in the first inning. Pagans clutch two-out hit scored Sandoval from second base, as catcher Miguel Olivo couldnt handle the one-hop throw from center field.

But they didnt score again. Hernandez got fellow Venezuelan Hector Sanchez to fly out with the bases loaded, then the former Cy Young Award winner matched Bumgarner while settling into one of his familiar grooves.

The Giants only got one more runner into scoring position in Hernandezs seven innings, and that was when Buster Posey reached on an infield single and moved up on a balk in the third inning.

It was the only hit for either team from the third inning through the sixth.

The Giants threatened in the seventh inning when Brandon Crawford hit a leadoff single. But Emmanuel Burriss left his bunt within Olivos grasp and Crawford was thrown out at second base.

They came up short again in the eighth inning and lost Posey in the process when Bochy pinch-ran Justin Christian for him.

That decision loomed large in the ninth when the Giants loaded the bases and Poseys spot came up. Burriss singled, Gregor Blanco drew a controversial walk (after drawing ball five, apparently), and Sandoval walked on four pitches. But Melky Cabrera struck out on three pitches from closer Tom Wilhelmsen and Nate Schierholtz, pinch-hitting for Christian, got jammed while grounding out on a 3-2 pitch.

In field
Smoak, the first baseman, was the clear difference maker in this game. In addition to his walk-off hit, he made a diving stop and flipped to pitcher Brandon League with two outs and two aboard to retire Sanchez in the eighth.

Sandoval had a solid game at third base, moving well to his right while making a couple plays. He saved a run when he stopped Brendan Ryans hard grounder with a runner on third and two outs in the second inning.

Attendance
The Mariners announced 40,603 paid on Fathers Day. It was Seattles largest crowd since opening day.

Up next
The Giants visit Angel Stadium for the first time since Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. Theyll begin their interleague series with the Angels on Monday as Matt Cain (8-2, 2.18) takes the mound for the first time since his perfect game on Wednesday. Hell try to extend a streak that stands at 32 consecutive batters retired while facing a former minor league teammate in right-hander Jerome Williams (6-4. 4.20).

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

Giants spring training Day 40: Belt continues domination of Rockies' home park

BELT RIVER FIELDS, Ariz. — Earlier this spring, Brandon Belt moved his schedule around so he could get additional at-bats. That led to some random trips across the desert, but there was never any doubt Belt would be in Friday’s road lineup.

Belt demolishes the ball at Salt River Fields, spring home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks. After coming out of Friday’s win, he shook his head in mock disgust when talking about the day’s stats.

“One for four, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Belt said. “That’s terrible.”

That one happened to be a homer, a three-run shot off Jon Gray, the likely opening day starter for the Rockies. Belt thought he crushed the ball but it ended up pretty high, so it simply dropped onto the berm in right. 

“It squeaked out,” Belt said. “Good mojo, I guess.”

The mojo kept his remarkable run going at Salt River. His updated career stats here: 22 for 35, with eight homers, four doubles, one triple and 18 RBI. Belt said he’s not quite sure why he turns into the flames emoji every time he steps onto this field. 

“I don’t know what it is, but I like hitting here,” he said. “Maybe it’s the batter’s eye?”

Salt River has a dark green batter’s eye with no distractions on either side, and the Giants certainly saw the ball well Friday. They had seven straight hits in the third before Gray was pulled with a sore foot. Belt hit second, and manager Bruce Bochy said that wasn’t simply because Joe Panik had the day off. Bochy will look at several different lineup permutations over the next week, and a Span/Belt/Pence/Posey/Crawford one-through-five is one option. 

“I like (that spot) a lot,” Belt said. “I feel good getting started and knowing I’ll get to bat in the first inning. It’s a good spot. I don’t think my approach changes that much: Get a pitch to hit and try to hit it hard.”

GAME RECAP: Jeff Samardzija was sharp in four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out three. He threw about 45 pitches on the field and then went down to the bullpen for 45 more. Samardzija certainly benefited from having Buster Posey back in the lineup. He said Posey noticed during warmups that Samardzija’s delivery was a little flat and his arm was dragging too low. 

“That doesn’t happen often,” Samardzija said of having a guy like Posey back there. “You have a lot of catchers who are afraid to say something.”

The rest of this one was a laugher until the ninth, when the Rockies rallied and brought the winning run to the plate. It hasn’t been a great spring for the bullpen.

STOCK WATCH: Chris Marrero hit a deep homer, his seventh of the spring. He also made a nice pick at first, where he looks much more comfortable. At this point, it appears it’s either Marrero or Kelby Tomlinson for that final bench spot.

TRAINER’S ROOM: The news on Will Smith was as expected. He will have Tommy John surgery next week. 

There is good news for Trevor Brown: The catcher, who has a sore ankle, took some swings and he’s feeling much better. Brown did not, as first reported, get hurt hiking on an off day. It happened during a game. Brown won’t be ready in time to return to Cactus League action, so he’ll likely stay here during the Bay Bridge Series and then travel home with Triple-A Sacramento. 

ICYMI: Brandon Crawford, Buster Posey and Mark Melancon are back in camp. Here’s a story on Posey’s WBC experience, with the catcher saying he’d like to play again in four years. Here’s Crawford on his month, which ended with him giving an NL West rival a slump-busting bat. 

ROSTER UPDATE: The Giants released David Hernandez, at his request. They have started to tell others that they’re not making the opening day roster, so there should be a series of minor transactions this weekend. (You know where to go.)

QUOTABLE: "I swung at a heater and a slider went right into my bat. I was happy to be able to track (pitches), and happy that the next time the bunt didn't go off my beautiful face." -- Samardzija, when asked about his double off the wall. 

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Plenty of high-profile MLB players wearing new uniforms in 2017

Chris Sale traded socks (AP) -- or Sox - from white to red. Edwin Encarnacion took his big bat to Cleveland. Aroldis Chapman returned to the Bronx.

Plenty of All-Stars, Cy Young winners and MVPs are wearing new uniforms this season.

The biggest move occurred when the Boston Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox. The five-time All-Star left-hander left a team that hasn't reached the playoffs since 2008 for one that's won three World Series titles since 2004.

Encarnacion left Toronto for the team that beat the Blue Jays in last year's ALCS. He averaged 39 homers and 110 RBIs over the past five seasons in Toronto and gives the Indians a major boost.

Chapman is back in New York after spending the first half of last season with the Yankees before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs and helped them win the World Series.

Here's a 25-man roster of familiar faces in different places this season:

STARTING LINEUP

1. CF: Dexter Fowler. Jumped from World Series champion Cubs to rival St. Louis. Gives the Cardinals stability atop the batting order.

2. RF: Adam Eaton. Traded from White Sox to defending NL East champion Nationals. He'll play center field in Washington between Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper.

3. DH: Kendrys Morales. Joined Blue Jays to help fill Encarnacion's void after spending past two seasons with the Royals.

4. 1B: Encarnacion.

5. C: Brian McCann. Traded from Yankees to Astros, giving Houston's stacked lineup another slugger.

6. SS: Ian Desmond. Returns to NL to join Rockies after one season playing outfield in Texas. He'll play first base for Colorado, but he's back at shortstop on this squad.

7. LF: Matt Holliday. Signed with Yankees following 7 1/2 seasons in St. Louis. The seven-time All-Star will likely DH in New York though he'll see some action in left field.

8. 2B: Brandon Phillips. Waived no-trade clause to go to rebuilding Braves after 11 seasons with Reds.

9. 3B: Howie Kendrick. Comes east after spending his entire career in Los Angeles - nine seasons with Angels and last two with Dodgers. Kendrick is playing left field for Philadelphia but he starts at third to fill this lineup.

BENCH

1B: Chris Carter. Landed with Yankees after swatting 41 homers for Milwaukee last season to tie for NL lead.

INF: Jimmy Rollins. Former NL MVP is trying to land a roster spot with San Francisco as a utility man after playing all but one-third inning of his 17-year career at shortstop. Has bounced from Dodgers to White Sox to Giants after 15 seasons in Philadelphia.

OF: Michael Saunders. All-Star for Blue Jays last season and will start in right field for Phillies.

OF: Carlos Beltran. Returns to Houston after spending half the 2004 season with the Astros and hitting eight postseason homers for them.

C: Matt Wieters. Left Baltimore for Washington to replace All-Star Wilson Ramos, who joined Tampa Bay and is still recovering from knee surgery.

STARTING ROTATION

Sale.

Edinson Volquez. Goes from Royals to Marlins.

Jaime Garcia. Lefty joins Braves after eight seasons in St. Louis.

Jered Weaver. Stays in California, switching to Padres after 11 seasons with Angels.

R.A. Dickey. Knuckleballer returns to NL East after four seasons in Toronto. One of two 40-plus former Cy Young award winners signed by Braves.

LONG RELIEVER

Bartolo Colon. Other veteran Braves signed to bolster rotation. He'll be long man on this staff.

BULLPEN

Chapman.

Mark Melancon. Signed with Giants after finishing last season in Washington.

Sergio Romo. Went from San Francisco to rival Dodgers.

Wade Davis. Traded from Royals to Cubs to replace Chapman.

Santiago Casilla. Stays in Bay Area, going from Giants to A's.