Giants

Giants hit six HRs, sweep Rockies at Coors 12-5

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Giants hit six HRs, sweep Rockies at Coors 12-5

Sept. 18, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDDENVER (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants headed home with their playoff hopes still alive.Pablo Sandoval homered twice in an eight-run fourth inning, part of a six-home run barrage that led the late-charging Giants over the Colorado Rockies 12-5 Sunday for their eighth straight win.On its longest winning streak since April 2007, San Francisco closed within four games of Atlanta, the NL wild-card leader."We've done what we needed to do," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's obvious we need help. We've got to find a way to get (wins) and see what happens at the end."Pitcher Matt Cain, Mike Fontenot, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford also homered for the Giants, who remained five games back of Arizona in the NL West.The defending World Series champions have nine games left, including three against the Diamondbacks."We feel like we've got a really good shot," Belt said.Cain (12-10) allowed five runs - three earned - five hits, four walks and two hit batters in five innings. He helped himself with two hits, including his first home run since May 13, 2008, against Houston."I never found a rhythm," he said. "I was really working and putting a lot of pressure on myself throughout the five innings."Bochy said he was one batter from taking Cain out in the fifth, but Cain got Tommy Field to hit into an inning-ending double play."He looked like he didn't know how to pitch with a lead like that," Bochy said.In a four-game sweep of the Rockies, the Giants piled up 35 runs and 48 hits. Sandoval led the way with a seven hits, including three homers, in three games. He started the series by hitting for the cycle Thursday and ended it with his second multihomer game this season."What a series he had," Bochy said. "Pretty impressive. Pablo was locked in."Sandoval led off the fourth with a homer to center off Esmil Rogers (6-6). One out later, Belt homered and Crawford doubled. Cain followed with a homer to center.Sandoval ended the rally with his 22nd homer, a drive into the right-field bleachers for 10-1 lead."I said to my teammates, I got the hard ones. We'll see what happens.' When you get the hard ones, it's tough to get the easy ones," Sandoval said. "I wasn't thinking about the cycle, you just want to get a pitch to drive the guy in. I got a good pitch, and I hit a home run."Fontenot had given the Giants a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the first.Colorado scored twice each in the fourth and fifth innings to close the gap, but a solo homer by Crawford helped the Giants stay comfortably ahead.Ty Wigginton and Seth Smith had two hits each for Colorado, which has lost five of six.Rogers allowed nine runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings, dropping to 0-4 with a 7.81 ERA since winning three straight starts in late July and early August."The ball was very true going through the strike zone and somewhere between belt and mid-thigh area," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "When you do that, you're going to get hit by good big league hitters. That's exactly what happened."NOTES: The Giants activated closer Brian Wilson from the 15-day DL. ... The previous San Francisco player to homer twice in the same inning was Juan Uribe last Sept. 23 against the Chicago Cubs. ... The last time the Giants hit four home runs in one inning was Aug. 23, 1961, at Cincinnati. They last hit six homers in one game Aug. 7, 2006, at Arizona. ... The Giants open a three-game home series against the Dodgers on Tuesday. Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum will face Clayton Kershaw in the opener. ... Colorado finishes its home schedule with a three-game series against San Diego starting Monday.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

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AP

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants drop finale in Miami

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The flight from Miami to San Francisco is one of the longest in the league. It will not be a happy one.

The Giants fell behind early and never recovered, losing 8-1 in the series finale with the Marlins. The Giants had won six of nine entering the road trip. They dropped a series in Washington D.C. and then lost two of three to the Marlins. 

You are here already, so here are five things to know … 

—- Matt Cain deserved better in the first, and it was kind of a stunning error that cost him. With two outs, Brandon Crawford dropped a liner that was hit right at him. The next batter, Tomas Telis, hit a two-run double. 

—- Cain was charged with five runs in four innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, showing a good curveball throughout. Several times, he dropped down for a new look. Like I said, he deserved a bit better than that final line. 

—- Pablo Sandoval’s walk in the eighth was his first since returning to the Giants. His numbers, by the way, are right in line with his Boston numbers. 

—- Albert Suarez has seen his stuff take a tick up during this stint with the Giants, but it’s not leading to results. After giving up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cain. Suarez currently has a 7.43 ERA. 

—- Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 with two singles. His run of six games with a homer came to an end. I suppose that’s a small victory for the Giants?

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

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USATI

Giancarlo Stanton to Giants? Upside vs downside from Marlins perspective

Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”

The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.

But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.

So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.

So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.

And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.

So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.