Giants

Bumgarner dominant in Giants' 5-2 win over Pads

696426.jpg

Bumgarner dominant in Giants' 5-2 win over Pads

BOX SCORE
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Edinson Volquez dealt with a case of nerves Thursday as he pitched in a San Diego Padres uniform for the first time.The veteran pitcher allowed a run and two hits in two innings as the Padres lost to the San Francisco Giants 5-2.Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner struck out five in three shutout innings in his spring debut.

RELATED: Bumgarner moves past 2011 struggles
"First time in this uniform," Volquez said. "I don't always get nervous, just this time, especially with a new organization and a lot of eyes on me. A friend told me sometimes it's good when you're nervous, but you can't be scared."Bumgarner was very good in his first start as he needed only 44 pitches to get through the third inning.The left-hander, who went 13-13 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts last season, limited the Padres to two hits and walked one."My command feels pretty good," Bumgarner said. "Everything seems to be on schedule. It's better than usual. I'm just trying to focus as if it's the regular season."San Francisco outfielder Angel Pagan had an RBI single in three at-bats.Kyle Blanks hit a solo home run for the Padres and Everth Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a run scored. Micah Owings allowed a hit and struck out two in two scoreless innings for the Padres.An 18-game winner in 2008, Volquez came to the Padres in a Dec. 17 trade that sent Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds. The Padres hope to get Volquez, who was 5-7 with a 5.71 ERA in 20 starts last season, back on track.Volquez had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2009 and received a 50-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing drugs in 2010.Pitching coach Darren Balsley has worked closely with Volquez this spring, encouraging him to be aggressive earlier in his starts. He has also made several minor adjustments to Volquez's setup.Thus far the Padres like what they see from Volquez, who threw strikes on 23 of 31 pitches. Volquez walked one and struck out one."Every time he has been on the mound we've seen a focused guy," Padres manager Bud Black said. "His velocity was there and he had good secondary pitches. The delivery was good."Volquez said he approves of the Padres' adjustments. He also likes the way he adjusted after his bout with nervousness in the first inning."I like what I've been doing," Volquez said. "That's what I want is to be consistent and get ahead in the count."NOTES: San Francisco catcher Buster Posey is expected to start his first game of the spring on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Posey hasn't played in a game since he broke his leg May 25 in a collision at the plate. He is expected to catch two innings. ... Bochy said second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who had surgery last August to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, will make his spring debut and serve as the team's designated hitter on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong threw off a bullpen mound for the first time this spring. Vogelsong has been sidelined with a sore back. ... Padres infielder Logan Forsythe is headed back to San Diego for surgery on a fractured left foot, manager Bud Black said. Forsythe will be out for at least eight weeks.

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

SAN FRANCISCO — After the final out Monday night, a round table was carried into the corner of the home clubhouse at AT&T Park and surrounded by chairs. Eleven players were sitting, eating, drinking and laughing as Chris Stratton prepared to address the media. 

It was a rare sight for the Giants these days, a very rare sight. But then, so was Monday’s result. Stratton led the way in a 2-0 win over the Brewers that was the first home shutout of the season and motivated the joyous post-game scene. 

The shutout was just the second of the season for the staff. Ty Blach went the distance in the other one and Stratton, a fellow rookie, did the heavy lifting Monday, throwing six strong innings before giving way to the bullpen. Matt Cain pitched the seventh, Mark Melancon pitched the eighth while going back-to-back for the first time in three months, and Sam Dyson closed it out quickly. 

There’s a chance that Stratton joins that group in a few days. Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make a rehab start on Tuesday night in Sacramento and that could put him on track to return to the rotation a turn later. That would line up with Stratton’s next start, but Bruce Bochy wasn’t ready to kick the young righty out of the rotation, not after back-to-back scoreless starts against two of the better lineups in the league. A few days after striking out 10 Washington Nationals, Stratton cut through the Brewers. He has 12 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two appearances. 

“For how we’re using him, he’s really handled it well,” Bochy said. “We skipped him, moved him back three or four days, but he doesn’t let it faze him. This is an important time for these young players coming up, whether it’s (Ryder) Jones or (Jarrett) Parker or Stratton. They’re trying to show they belong in the Major Leagues.

“You’re hoping these guys show they’re ready to play here and we don’t have to do something else because we can do it internally.”

Bochy said he could use a six-man rotation when Cueto returns, or a starter could be skipped. That will all sort itself, but the manager made one thing clear. 

“We’d like to pitch him as much as we can,” Bochy said of Stratton.

That’s the same thing Bochy used to say of another right-hander, one he compared Stratton to before Monday’s game. Bochy was asked about Yusmeiro Petit, and he smiled and fondly stated, “He was so good. So good.” The Giants see some Petit in Stratton. He is unaffected by long layoffs and he’s capable of starting, relieving, or even pumping his fastball up a couple ticks for short outings. 

Petit was a mainstay in San Francisco for years, a key cog in a championship team. Bochy has been looking for that piece since Petit departed in free agency, and Stratton seems like he might be suited for the role. He will want more, of course, because all pitchers do. The Giants will give him five more weeks here to try and earn that. 

For the moment, Stratton’s focus is elsewhere. He turns 27 on Monday and the celebration started early. As Stratton answered questions, veterans at the table heckled him about striking out just one Brewer. 

“I left all the strikeouts in Washington, I guess,” Stratton said. 

Nick Hundley walked up with a TV remote and held it up between the cameras. 

“What was your thought on the punchout?” he asked. 

“I’m glad he swung,” Stratton said, smiling. “It was a ball.”

“Did you think about getting any more?” Hundley asked. 

With that, he smiled and ducked back behind the cameras to return to the celebration in the corner. A few minutes later, Stratton joined him.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach has been a bright spot in this losing season, giving the Giants a young, cost-controlled lefty who can potentially fill a huge role next season. Chris Stratton is trying to do the same thing from the right side. 

The 26-year-old continued his August surge, throwing six dominant innings against the Brewers in a 2-0 win that was the staff's first shutout at AT&T Park this season. 

It was the kind of night that's been so familiar over the years. The Giants had six home shutouts last season. Here are five things to know from this year's first ... 

—- The Brewers are first in the league in homers and the Nationals are third, so Stratton had his work cut out for him the last two times out. His results: 12 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts. That’s quite the statement. Stratton’s scoreless streak is the longest by a Giants rookie starter since Chris Heston threw 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in July of 2015. 

—- Matt Cain was used as a short reliever to protect a two-run lead in the seventh. He had a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout. 

—- Mark Melancon pitched back-to-back games for the first time since May 19-20. He struck out Neil Walker and Ryan Braun in a perfect inning. 

—- Jarrett Parker reached base his first three times up. He’s hitting .385 at home this season but he’s just 4-for-35 (.114) on the road. Weird splits for a Giant slugger. 

—- Brandon Crawford is finally finding some traction. His double in the fourth was the big hit in a two-run frame that gave Stratton a lead to work with. Crawford is 7-for-17 on the home stand with three extra-base hits and four RBI.