EXTRAS: Sandoval anticipating fine from fashion police, etc.


EXTRAS: Sandoval anticipating fine from fashion police, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Second only to performing, Bay Area athletes place great importance on looking good, no matter the consequences.


Brian Wilson wore his All-Star Game cleats in 2010 and was fined because they weren't fifty-fifty black and orange. He was infamous for taking a sharpie to them to get them in compliance with the uniform regulations.

Michael Crabtree and the entire 49ers receiving corps welcomed fines when they wore all white socks in their memorable 2011 season.

Pablo Sandoval, you're up.

Sandoval took a page from Wilson's book and donned his flashy All-Star Game cleats during the Giants' 5-1 win on Orange Friday. The cleats are roughly fifty-fifty orange and gold -- not even close to the league stipulation that cleats must match the team jerseys -- and are likely going to cost Sandoval.

"It's like 1,000 for the fine," Sandoval estimated. Or maybe he didn't. Sandoval said he's received a similar fine before. Last season he wore his all white All-Star Game cleats and was docked pay.

He's anticipating a repeat offense, but it didn't seem to bother him, saying he felt good in them, it was Orange Friday, and they brought him good luck.

Sandoval finished the game 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.

'Pen changing?

Bochy shied from a concrete answer about how he plans to treat the ninth inning going forward, but when prodded, he acknowledged that we "are seeing a little change."

"With Sergio (Romo) throwing the ball so well, if he has an easy eighth like he did, there's a good chance he will start the ninth."

RELATED: 'Good baseball' earns complete win

It's a bit of a departure from the stereotypical role of the closer, but then again, when have these Giants been stereotypical about anything?

Bigger, badder curveball

If Madison Bumgarner's curveball looked a bit different Friday night, you are very observant.

"I've been talking with (Jeremy) Affeldt," Bumgarner said. "He's got a really good curveball. We've been working on some stuff.

"We made a little adjustment, and it made it a whole lot better."

Bumgarner's tighter slider is still in his repertoire, but the addition of a larger breaking pitch could take the young lefty to the next level -- especially if he keeps it down like he did Friday.

Greg White

Gregor Blanco didn't play Friday night, but with right-handed pitcher Lucas Harrell going for the Astros Saturday and Justin Christian going 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot Friday, Blanco is likely to start Game 2 against Houston.

The backs of Blanco's cleats are embroidered, the left reading "Greg," the right reading "White."

Listless Giants roughed up by Pirates in ejection-filled series opener

Listless Giants roughed up by Pirates in ejection-filled series opener


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pittsburgh Pirates kept clearing the fences, and the San Francisco Giants were left arguing plate umpire Chris Conroy's tough strike zone.

Even Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle understood the beef.

Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, Gerrit Cole won for the fifth time in six starts, and the Pirates beat San Francisco 10-3 on Monday night.

"I think there was some frustration really all night," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who watched most of the game from his office after an ejection in the second. "I don't think he had a real good night, to be honest, as far as consistency, but that really had nothing to do with what happened tonight. We gave up three-run homers."

Jordy Mercer added a three-run shot of his own in the eighth to further back Cole (8-7), 5-1 in his last eight starts. That lone defeat came June 30 as San Francisco swept the Pirates at Pittsburgh from June 30-July 2 - the Giants' first in the series since 2009.

This time, Pittsburgh immediately jumped on San Francisco starter Matt Cain (3-9), who matched the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - also done from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016.

Bochy was tossed by Conroy for arguing balls and strikes in support of Cain moments after McCutchen connected, the skipper's second time being tossed this year. San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti then got tossed in the ninth.

"It was a tough zone," Hurdle said. "They lost two people on their side thrown out of the game."

Cole allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked four.

He improved to 4-1 in six career starts against San Francisco. The Pirates won their seventh straight game at AT&T Park and ninth in 10, including sweeps both last year and in 2015.

Buster Posey hit a pair of RBI singles in San Francisco's fourth loss in five games.

McCutchen hit his 18th homer as the Pirates cleared the fences in San Francisco for a sixth straight game. His RBI groundout in the first started things off for a Pittsburgh club that had lost back-to-back games on the heels of a season-best, six-game winning streak, including a 13-3 flop in the finale against the Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field.

Josh Bell and Starling Marte each doubled home a run and Josh Harrison added an RBI single.

"This offense is good, we've shown that," McCutchen said.

Cain matched his second-shortest outing of the year at four innings and is winless in his last 11 starts, the longest by a Giants pitcher since the right-hander went 15 outings without a victory during his previous eight-game skid.

Former slugger Barry Bonds, who played for both teams, received a greeting on the scoreboard for his 53rd birthday but the career home run king wasn't in the stands.

Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco, who strained his left hamstring Friday at Colorado and landed on the 10-day disabled list, tested his leg with some straightaway running and was going to do some riding on the stationary bike with the hopes he can hit in the cage soon. Hurdle said he did witness Polanco scurry across a street to avoid being hit by a car, then acknowledged it wasn't that close a call. ... With an off day Thursday at San Diego, the starters will get an extra day of rest.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto played catch and said the trouble spots on three of his pitching fingers are greatly improved. He said they aren't true blisters. The plan is for him to play catch again Tuesday and perhaps throw off the mound Wednesday if all continues to go well. ... Closer Mark Melancon had the day off as he recovers from a second DL stint with a strained forearm. He will throw a bullpen session Tuesday, Bochy said, and face hitters this weekend in Los Angeles if ready.

Pirates: RHP Jameson Taillon (6-3, 3.08 ERA) is 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts since returning from the DL on June 12, just more than a month after surgery for testicular cancer. He seeks his first decision against the Giants in two starts.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 3.57) tries again for his first victory of 2017 in his third outing back from missing nearly three months following a dirt bike accident April 20 in Colorado.

Bruce Bochy ejected in second inning vs Pirates after arguing with umpire

Bruce Bochy ejected in second inning vs Pirates after arguing with umpire

Bruce Bochy's night didn't last very long.

The Giants manager was ejected in the top of the second inning Monday after arguing with the home plate umpire.

The argument came after a three-run homer by Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Bochy appeared to be voicing frustrating with the strike zone.

Bochy came out to argue with Chris Conroy and the home plate umpire threw him out almost immediately.

McCutchen's home run put the Pirates up 6-0 in the second inning.