Giants

Belt homers, Giants play to tie with Dodgers

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Belt homers, Giants play to tie with Dodgers

BOX SCOREGLENDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon Belt lofted a two-run homer and the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers quit after nine innings tied at 3-3 Saturday night.A brisk win helped Belt's homer clear the left-field fence."I hit it pretty good, but I popped it up a little more than I thought," Belt said. "I'd rather get lucky and be 1 for 3 rather than be unlucky and be 0 for 3."Belt drove in all three Giants' runs. He hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game 3-3 in the eighth inning. He drove in Gregor Blanco, who had doubled.

Blanco went 2 for 4 to raise his average to .444 and scored two runs.Luis Cruz belted a homer to left field that broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth for the Dodgers.Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang gave up seven hits and two runs, including Belt's homer, in four innings."It's hard to judge because of the way the wind is blowing," Harang said. "You come out of a 2-1 game in those conditions. ... I felt good."There are a few ballparks in the league where you'll get these kind of conditions. ... Fly balls are carrying or the wind is knocking them down. You get your pitches out of it, try to work on throwing strikes."Fielders such as Belt, a first baseman in the past who is learning left field, had the same sort of intrigue."I'm just learning how to get my routes down and take good angles. You add the wind factor, and it makes it a lot tougher."Starter Brian Burres limited the Dodgers to one run and three hits in three innings.A sellout crowd of 13,655, a Cactus League record, attended in the breezy conditions. A storm approaching from the west threatens Cactus League games on Sunday, including a sellout at Camelback Ranch in which the Dodgers host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."From what we've heard we'll be able to play," manager Don Mattingly said. "If we don't play, we'll hit in the cages and work out."The Dodgers had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.Josh Fields singled to open the inning, then Cruz sacrificed him to second. The Giants intentionally walked Jeff Baisley, then Matt Angle grounded out, advancing the runners.Then Matt Yourkin, who pitched three scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.25, struck out Justin Sellers to end the game.Dodgers infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr. injured his side while swinging. He will undergo tests, Mattingly said."He's been looking great," Mattingly said of DeJesus, who has been stellar in the infield.NOTES: Don Newcombe, the Dodgers' special adviser to the chairman, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Newcombe threw a strike. ... Vin Scully, who hadn't broadcast a game since Sept. 28, worked Saturday night's game for Dodgers' TV. Scully, who is entering his 63rd season as a Dodger broadcaster, said he needed some "batting practice." Scully, 84, is eliminating games in Colorado from his schedule this season "just to cut back a little bit more on the traveling." He will broadcast games in California and Arizona, more than 100 games in all. The first three innings will be simulcast on radio.

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

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USATSI

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season. 

The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:

--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona. 

--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit. 

“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”

--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings. 

--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back. 

Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.

“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”

--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way. 

Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back. 

Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning. 

Anyway, here are five other things to know … 

—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early. 

—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances. 

—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand. 

—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third. 

—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.