EXTRA BAGGS: Zito says time is now to capitalize vs. Dodgers

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EXTRA BAGGS: Zito says time is now to capitalize vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO Barry Zito said all along that two of hisprevious three losses hadnt been terrible starts, except for the result in thebox score.

Its true, the Rangers and Angels can take the cheese graterto a starting pitcher better than almost any team in either league. Zito felthe hadnt made too many terrible pitches while staying aggressive. He didntfall into the trap of nibbling and walking hitters.

Zito plugged the leak against the Los Angeles Dodgers bydoing a little of both.

He returned to his winning ways while holding down a Dodgerslineup that didnt exactly resemble a first-place murderers row. They managedjust three hits against him, and Zito pitched around three walks in the firsttwo innings. Handed a huge lead, he cruised as he normally does.

And he offered some pretty strong postgame analysis, too.

Theyre pretty banged up over there and weve got tocapitalize on that, Zito said. We were banged up early and they capitalizedon that. Its the nature of the game. Its a marathon, and were happy withwhere were at.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy noted that Zito might have beentoo aggressive in the strike zone in those losses to the Rangers and Angels; hesaid Zito learned from those experiences and did a better job being focused onmaking quality pitches, and using all his pitches.

Zito was 0-4 in his last eight starts against the Dodgers,even though he posted a 2.92 ERA over that span. He beat them for the firsttime since May 8, 2009. And yes, he acknowledged it was a big deal for him.

Yeah, definitely, he said. Its the biggest rivalry inbaseball, and well be playing them down the stretch in crunch time, inSeptember. So no doubt.

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Catcher Hector Sanchez said he was fine and that doctorsconcurred after he took a foul ball off the side of the mask in the ninthinning Monday night.

Sanchez had turned his head slightly when he absorbed theimpact. It appeared small pieces of debris flew off his mask and trainersrushed out to check on him. But he told them he could finish the game, and wasnot woozy.

Afterward, Sanchez gave Barry Zito a hug and was lucid as hespoke with reporters. He had two hits including an RBI double in place ofBuster Posey and helped Zito to his third start of seven shutout innings or morethis season.

Posey is expected to be back behind the plate to catch RyanVogelsong on Tuesday.

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Even with the Giants up 7-0 after the second inning, Bochynever took out any of his starters early. Even guys like Angel Pagan and MelkyCabrera, who are playing every day and a little nicked up, stayed out there tothe end.

Sure, its June. But its also a rivalry game against thefirst-place team, and Bochy wasnt about to take any chances.

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This was like a win-win-win for the Giants. Not only do theysave the bullpen and have no need for closer Santiago Casilla, who wasunavailable after being taxed over the weekend, but they were able to givePosey a break. The Giants are 7-2 in games when Posey doesnt make anappearance in the box score, according to BayAreaSportsGuy.com.

Obviously, the Giants are a better team with Posey in thelineup. But a stat like that makes it a little easier for Bochy and maybesome Giants fans to stomach his needed days off to rest his ankle. The clubwont be able to afford that luxury in September, so they might as well takeadvantage of it now.

Blach knocked around as Giants drop three of four to Padres

Blach knocked around as Giants drop three of four to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers has had his way with the San Francisco Giants, and so has San Diego.

Oh how this rivalry has shifted - not to mention Myers' power stroke at AT&T Park, where he has already cleared the fences five times this season.

He decided to embrace the ballpark's challenging conditions and typical chilly temperatures coming off the bay.

Myers homered for a career-best third straight game against San Francisco, Jabari Blash hit a go-ahead two-run double in the decisive fourth to back Dinelson Lamet, and the San Diego Padres beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

"One of the big things is just actually wanting to come here to play. Last year I kind of dreaded coming here because it's a pitcher's ballpark and they have great pitchers," Myers said. "One thing I did this year was just got excited to play here. It's the mindset you got to have if you want to play well."

Lamet (4-4) struck out six pitching into the seventh in his 10th big league start and sixth on the road. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in six of his outings.

San Diego hit three straight doubles in the fourth and four consecutive hits in all against lefty Ty Blach (6-6), who is yet to beat the Padres in three career starts.

Hector Sanchez added a run-scoring double in the fourth against his former and Cory Spangenberg hit an RBI single.

Myers clobbered a 3-2 pitch for his 20th home run with two outs in the first. The Giants tied it in the bottom half when Buster Posey's RBI single scored Denard Span, who doubled leading off the inning.

"A couple bad pitches they ambushed me early in the count," Blach said. "It's frustrating when you're rolling like that you can't make adjustments quick enough."

Lamet surrendered eight hits and two runs and walked a batter in 6 2/3 innings as the teams finished after nine innings following extra-inning games the previous two days. Brad Hand, San Diego's third reliever, finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.

Sanchez had a season-best three hits Friday and finished this series 5-for-12 with a home run and three RBIs. He is a career .464 hitter (13 for 28) with five homers and 14 RBIs against San Francisco, which hasn't won a series with the Padres since May 2016.

The Giants had won the past three starts by Blach, who allowed five runs on eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one after winning his last two decisions.

San Diego has won seven of the last nine meetings in the rivalry, currently featuring the two bottom teams in the NL West.

"We still have a ton of respect for who they are, the players on the field and what they've done," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We know at any point in time they could go reel off 10 or 12 and have a great run. We don't want that to start on us."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Padres: 2B Yangervis Solarte, a switch-hitter sidelined by a strained left oblique muscle, is set to begin swinging from the right side Monday. The left side hasn't been a problem. ... RHP Craig Stammen is still two or three days away from pitching after he strained a hamstring, Green said. ... OF Travis Jankowski's rehab will be extensive, with him staying with Triple-A El Paso through the month as he nurses a bruised bone in his right foot. ... LF Jose Pirela got a break.

Giants: Closer Mark Melancon threw all of his pitches in a mound session as he works back from a second DL stint with a strained forearm. "Now it's a matter how he comes out of it," manager Bruce Bochy said. Melancon is likely to need another two or three weeks and the Giants have no target date for his return. The reliever could face hitters within a week. ... RHP Johnny Cueto, who landed on the DL with blisters on three fingers, played light catch. ... 2B Joe Panik had a day off.

UP NEXT:
Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (5-10, 5.35 ERA) faces the Mets owning a 4.17 ERA against New York over his initial seven starts.

Giants: RHP Matt Cain (3-8, 5.49) will try to avoid matching the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016 - when he pitches the series opener at home against Pittsburgh.

No room for Eduardo Nunez? Red Sox call up top third base prospect

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USATSI

No room for Eduardo Nunez? Red Sox call up top third base prospect

The Boston Red Sox have promoted Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket, manager John Farrell announced Sunday.

Devers will play his first game on Tuesday.

The third baseman has spent his 2017 season and Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA). With the Pawsox, Devers had a .324 batting average in 34 at-bats. He had 11 hits, one double, two homers and four RBIs.

The Sox have been unsettled at third base during the 2017 season, and released third baseman Pablo Sandoval Wedneday. Devin Marrero, Tzu-Wei Lin and Brock Holt have rotated at third base throughout the season. However, the Sox optioned Lin to Pawtucket last week.

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