Bochy maintains faith in slumping Pagan, Blanco

781952.jpg

Bochy maintains faith in slumping Pagan, Blanco

SAN FRANCISCO Everything went wrong in the Giants 10-0loss to the Dodgers on Saturday. Barry Zito got roughed up and the relieversthat followed him didnt fare much better. On the other side of the ball, theGiants bats strung together just five hits in the shutout loss. Dont forgetto throw in an error for good measure.Giants manager Bruce Bochy understands the significance of Sundays seriesfinale, even if he is hesitant to single out one game as more important thananother.Youre at home and the first two didnt go well, especiallyyesterday, Bochy said. All series are important, but this one sure. Theyvegot a tough pitcher going and we do too.The Dodgers tough pitcher is Clayton Kershaw, who owns a 6-3 lifetime recordand 1.45 ERA against the Giants.I hope we come out and play better ball today, Bochy said.Were quiet with the bats right now. We need to get those going.
After experimenting with Nate Schierholtz in the leadoff spot over the last week,Bochy is going back to a more prototypical leadoff man in Gregor Blanco Sundayagainst the Dodgers southpaw ace Kershaw. The left-handed Blanco has reversesplits, hitting lefties at a .272 clip this season, compared to .234 vs.right-handed pitchers. Bochy referenced that as one of a few reasons why hewent back to Blanco as his leadoff hitter.We need someone to spark the club, Bochy said. Last timehe gave us that spark. Hes done it in the past and he brings energy to theclub.Bochy is referring to the Giants mid-May struggles, which led to Blancogetting more playing time. Starting with San Franciscos road series win overthe Diamondbacks from May 11 to 13, Blanco went on a mini-tear that suggestedhe could be the true table setter the Giants have been seeking for over adecade. From that series in Arizona until the end of the month, Blanco hit.310, got on base at a .424 clip, scored 17 runs and stole four bases. He alsowalked 14 times compared to just 18 strikeouts.Since that time, however, Blanco is hitting .216 with a .291OBP and has watched his playing time diminish as a result. Angel Pagan is also slumping, to use Bochys least favorite word, but hasntbeen punished with less opportunities. The Giants centerfielder, acquired inan offseason trade with the New York Mets for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez,had a terrible Cactus League performance, but didnt take long to get goingonce the games started to count. In July, however, Pagan is just 16-for-74(.216) and has gone 145 at-bats since his last home run. Bochy said that Pagan demonstrated an ability to snap himself out of funks likehe did after spring training, which is why hes still in the lineup regularly.He came out of it and took off, Bochy said. We need him,particularly with him in the five hole. He has the experience to come out ofit.Experience goes a long way, but plate discipline and pitch selection have beenPagans problem of late.When you dont see the ball as well as you were, youre notgoing to be as selective, Bochy said.Bochy needs to maintain faith in some of his strugglingplayers because he doesnt have many other options thanks to a banged-uproster.Pablo Sandoval just hit the disabled list and Hector Sanchez isnt eligible toreturn until August 2. Bochy remains confident that Sanchez will be activated once his 15 days are up,barring any setbacks, but isnt ready to go on record with a timetable forSandoval yet.Hes coming along but hes a ways away, Bochy said ofSandoval. No need to push him.

Melancon wastes Blach's gem, Giants fall to Padres in 12 on Myers' homer

Melancon wastes Blach's gem, Giants fall to Padres in 12 on Myers' homer

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers hit a three-run homer in the top of the 12th inning to send the San Diego Padres past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

Myers' seventh home run and second in two games came on a 1-0 fastball from reliever George Kontos (0-2). Cory Spangenberg singled against Kontos leading off the inning, and Erick Aybar singled two batters later.

Hector Sanchez, who played parts of five seasons with the Giants, had a pinch-hit, two-run homer off San Francisco closer Mark Melancon in the ninth to send the game to extra innings.

Sanchez turned on a 1-1 cut fastball over the heart of the plate for his first home run of the season and third career pinch-hit homer.

It was Melancon's second blown save in seven chances.

Sanchez represented the tying run after shortstop Eduardo Nunez booted Luis Sardinas' leadoff grounder for an error.

Ryan Buchter (2-1) pitched two shutout innings for the Padres. Jose Torres worked a scoreless 12th for his first save.

Melancon's flop followed a full meltdown by the Giants' bullpen Saturday, when the Padres tagged San Francisco relievers for 11 runs in three innings of a 12-4 win that included Myers' three-run homer.

Giants starter Ty Blach pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, retiring 10 of his last 11 batters in his second start for San Francisco since taking injured ace Madison Bumgarner's spot in the rotation. Bumgarner is expected to miss three months with a separated left (pitching) shoulder he sustained in a dirt-bike crash.

The Giants, who were hitting a league-worst .217 against lefties going into Sunday, took a 2-0 lead against southpaw Clayton Richard, who pitched 5 1/3 innings of six-hit ball.

Joe Panik, who was hit by a pitch leading off the fourth, scored on Blach's sacrifice fly. Michael Morse doubled in Hunter Pence in the fifth.

The Padres have won 12 of 16 games against the Giants dating to last season.

San Francisco (9-17) has the National League's worst record and is 39-59 since going into last year's All-Star break 24 games over .500 with the best record in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Padres: RHP Jarred Cosart, on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, tentatively plans to pitch for Class A Lake Elsinore on a rehab assignment Tuesday, manager Andy Green said. Cosart will throw three innings or about 45-50 pitches.

Giants: RHP Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment and the Giants called up RHP Bryan Morris from Triple-A Sacramento. . CF Denard Span, on the disabled list with a right shoulder injury, tentatively plans to take batting practice in Los Angeles on Monday.

UP NEXT:
Padres: After an off day, RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 4.50 ERA) will pitch the home series opener against Colorado on Tuesday. Cahill is 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his career against the Rockies.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (3-1, 5.10) starts the series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Monday. The two-time All-Star gave up three runs in six innings vs. the Dodgers last week and was 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA against them last season.

Giants DFA RHP Neil Ramirez, call up RHP Bryan Morris from Triple-A

Giants DFA RHP Neil Ramirez, call up RHP Bryan Morris from Triple-A

The Giants designated right-handed reliever Neil Ramirez Sunday and purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Bryan Morris from Triple-A in a corresponding move, the team announced.  

Ramirez appeared in nine games for the Giants this season. In 10.1 innings pitched, he went 0-0 with a 13.06 ERA. 

Morris has spent time with both the San Jose Giants and Sacramento River Cats this season. Between the two levels, Morris is 1-0 with 0.00 ERA in five games. 

The 30-year-old fractured his right foot in spring training during a live batting practice drill. Over five years in the majors, Morris is 18-12 with a 2.80 ERA.