Giants

Cabrera blasts two, leads Giants past Dodgers

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Cabrera blasts two, leads Giants past Dodgers

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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Melky Cabrera showed off his offensive prowess on Tuesday.Cabrera homered from both sides of the plate in the San Francisco Giants' 8-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.Barry Zito gave up four hits and two runs and got the win for the Giants.Ted Lilly struggled as he allowed five runs, including two homers, in two innings for Los Angeles.

BAGGARLY: Zito getting up to speed?
Cabrera led off the game with a right-handed homer off Lilly that sailed over the left-field bullpen.Then, after Emmanuel Burriss doubled, Brett Pill hit a two-run homer to left. Cabrera hit another solo homer, batted left-handed, in the sixth, off the Dodgers' Ramon Troncoso.The Giants acquired Cabrera from the Royals to help bolster their offense."I don't care if it's spring training," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That's impressive. Few guys can or have done that. A great job on his part."Lilly also gave up three hits and two runs in the second inning."I'm not so much concerned, just not happy with the outcome," Lilly said."If I search hard and try to be positive, I came out of it healthy. Even though it's spring training, I'm looking for results."
BAGGARLY: Cabrera breaks out, homers from both sides
Lilly said he struggled to locate his fastball, then had to throw more breaking balls than he'd planned.Zito threw a scoreless first inning, giving up an infield hit to Dee Gordon. He gave up two runs, including a solo homer to Andre Ethier, in the second inning.Zito threw 28 strikes out of 35 pitches in his first spring outing. He struck out Matt Kemp and had some other Dodger hitters off balance."I'm happy with it," he said.His manager was also pleased."I thought Barry looked great," Bochy said. "He should feel good about that outing."Zito was "a little uncomfortable" pitching out of the windup, which he has been tinkering with, so he pitched to one batter in the third inning, Bochy said.The Giants finished with 16 hits. Cabrera, Pill, Burriss, Joe Panik and Nate Schierholtz, each had two hits.Notes: Aaron Harang will start Wednesday for the Dodgers. ... With the left-hander Zito on the mound, Ethier hit fifth for the Dodgers instead of fourth, behind Juan Rivera, something that could be routine in the regular season. ... Scott Van Slyke, who homered for the Dodgers on Monday will work "in different spots in the outfield, right or left, get some at-bats, get some experience," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's coming off a good year (in the minors). He's probably coming in with a lot of confidence. It's a good chance for him to show people what he can do."

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

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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.