Giants manage five hits, blanked by Dodgers 3-0

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Giants manage five hits, blanked by Dodgers 3-0

Sept. 10, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Bruce Bochy has walked into the manager's office every day this September expecting his San Francisco Giants to show some life. That day has yet to come.It likely won't this year.After the latest scoreless performance to the rival Los Angeles Dodgers knocked the Giants 9 12 games behind Arizona in the NL West, Bochy finally vented about his team's horrendous offense and all but admitted the playoff race is over."We're bad right now with the bats," he said. "We're awful. There's no other way to say it."Dana Eveland combined with two relievers to throw a six-hitter, and the Dodgers delivered another blow to the Giants' dismal playoff hopes with a 3-0 victory over the defending World Series champions on Saturday night.The pitching performance extended San Francisco's scoreless streak to 17 innings. The Giants have only had two runners reach third base in that span, and about all they can do now is play out the remainder of the season."You're obligated to go out there and give it your best," Bochy said. "We're fortunate to be here every game and have it sold out and have these great fans here. That's what makes it so much tougher - at home is where we're so bad."Juan Rivera had three singles and drove in a run off Ryan Vogelsong (10-7) to lift the Dodgers back to .500 with their 15th win in 18 games. Vogelsong gave up three runs in eight innings - including one on a balk - for his fifth straight loss.For the first time this September, San Francisco started to show signs that it's already moving ahead to next year.Bochy filled out his lineup with rookies and up-and-comers: Hector Sanchez made his first start at catcher, Brett Pill was at first, Brandon Belt played left field and Justin Christian was out in center.The revamped lineup did nothing to ignite San Francisco's offense.James Loney hit a one-out triple off Vogelsong in the second inning, and scored on Jerry Sands' groundout to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.Matt Kemp lined a triple to right leading off the fourth. Rivera followed with an RBI single, the first of three straight infield hits for Los Angeles.As if that wasn't enough to frustrate Vogelsong, he balked in a run with the bases loaded to extend the Dodgers' lead to 3-0. Vogelsong argued unsuccessfully with second base umpire Laz Diaz and paced the infield furiously over the call."Even though they weren't hitting the balls hard, they were finding holes. It happens," Vogelsong said.The right-hander rallied to get three straight outs and limit the damage. Of course, with San Francisco's scoring woes, that was more enough for the Dodgers.The closest the Giants came to scoring was a dismal two-out rally in the fourth, when Pablo Sandoval singled and Brett Pill doubled down the line in left. With a chance to knock home two runs, Brandon Belt lined out to third."His two outings have been really good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Eveland. "He throws strikes and gets ahead of hitters. If he keeps pitching like that, it's tough to keep a guy out."Things would only get worse for the home team.Carlos Beltran caught Jerry Sands' flyout in right field for the second out of the eighth and started jogging toward the dugout, apparently thinking it was the final out of the inning. Tony Gwynn Jr. easily went from second to third, and Giants fans booed Beltran - the prize acquisition at the trade deadline from the New York Mets - and several others left their seats.Eveland was lifted for Jansen after he walked Hector Sanchez to open the bottom of the eighth. After pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa singled to put runners on first and third with no outs, the Giants again went out with a whimper.Pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff and Jeff Keppinger struck out swinging, and Beltran groundout out to second to end the inning. All fans could do was boo.NOTES: Giants C Buster Posey threw a light toss for the first time since he tore three ligaments in his left ankle and fractured a bone in his leg in a home-plate collision with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25. He is on schedule to be ready by spring training. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito (ankle) will take fielding practice Sunday and is expected to be activated before the game. ... The Dodgers will send RHP Hiroki Kuroda (11-15) to the mound in the series finale Sunday against Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (10-12).

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

WASHINGTON -- On Monday, the Dodgers will play their first opening day since 1950 without Vin Scully calling their games. He won't be in the stands. He won't make a point of watching on TV, either.

"It's a day game. I'll probably have things to do," the famed 89-year-old announcer told The Associated Press from his home in Hidden Hills, California. "I might catch a piece of it."

Not that Scully has any regrets since retiring after last season. He says he's grateful for every minute he spent with the Dodgers, the franchise he joined 67 years ago in Brooklyn and followed to Los Angeles eight years later. He feels blessed to have worked as long as he did covering the game he fell in love with as a boy.

But he's learned that after a lifetime in the broadcast booth, watching a game as a fan holds little appeal.

"During the World Series back around '77 or '78, there was a game at Dodger Stadium with the Yankees, and I went to the game as a spectator. Now, I hadn't been as a spectator in a long, long time, and I felt somewhat restless that I wasn't broadcasting," Scully recalled Tuesday.

"I did not have the challenge of trying to describe, accurately and quickly, the way it should be done. I just sat there, and I was not happy, I'll be honest. So I realized that although I love the game, what I loved more was broadcasting it," he said.

Scully spoke to the AP because the Library of Congress has announced it will preserve his call of a 1957 game between the Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, the final time they played at the hallowed old stadium. Both teams moved to California after that season, opening up the West Coast to Major League Baseball.

Scully's call of Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game is more famous. But that game at the Polo Grounds meant more to him personally, because he grew up going to games there, cheering for the Giants and dreaming of watching from the press box.

"It was so meaningful to me. I'm not sure what it really means to baseball fans anymore," Scully said. "The sands of time have washed over the Polo Grounds. But for me, it was one of the more memorable games I was ever involved in."

During that broadcast, Scully implored the players to take their time before there franchises left town: "Let's take it easy, we just want to take one last lingering look at both of you." The Library of Congress called it "a masterful example of the artistry that great sports announcers bring to their work, as well as their empathy for players and fans."

Six decades later, Scully is having an easier time letting go. So no plans to keep track Monday when Los Angeles plays the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

"All summer long, I expect to get feelings of nostalgia, wistfulness, whatever the word may be, but no, I am comfortable, I do know in my heart and soul I am where I should be, and that really is all I need," he said.

"Sure, after 67 years, you'll bet I'll miss it," he added. "But heck, I miss the guys I hung out with when I was in school."

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

Giants spring training Day 44: Marrero caps huge spring with eighth homer

MESA, Ariz. — The Giants went 0-62 last season when trailing after eight innings. Chris Marrero wasn’t around for any of that, but it’s a stat that could help Marrero as he tries to lock up a bench spot. 

The first baseman/left fielder crushed a three-run shot in the ninth inning Tuesday, wiping out a two-run deficit against the Cubs. Marrero also has two walk-off homers this spring. 

“This kid, you see it when he goes up there. He’s got great focus,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s intensity and determination. From day one, you could see it in his at-bats. Late in the game, he seems very comfortable. He wants to go up there.”

Tuesday’s homer, which shot out to right-center, was the eighth of the spring for Marrero. That ties him with a guy named Bryce Harper for the MLB lead, and the vast majority of Marrero’s bombs were no-doubters. 

“It’s been a great spring for him,” Bochy said. “The last game here, it seems fitting that he would do something like that. He’s already done it a couple of times. This kid has done all he can. I love his swing and the work that he’s put in.”

With Michael Morse down, Marrero is the best remaining option as a power right-handed bat off the bench, a glaring need a year ago. Justin Ruggiano, another one in the mix, followed Marrero’s shot with one of his own. The homer was Ruggiano’s second of the spring. 

Ruggiano is a better fit defensively in the outfield, but Marrero has been solid at first and Bochy said he’s fine with what he’s seen in left field. “He’s still working on it,” Bochy said, noting that Marrero will play left field during the Bay Bridge Series. 

LEADING OFF: Denard Span saw a wild pitch bounce off the bricks behind home plate, and he never slowed down. Span sped around third in the second inning and slid in ahead of the throw. The notable part of the play wasn’t that a quirky bounce allowed Span to take 180 feet on a wild pitch. It was that his legs did. The 33-year-old has been a different guy in his second spring with the Giants. Last year, Span was coming off hip surgery. This spring, his old game has returned.

“I’ve just been able to do the things I’ve always been able to do,” Span said. “I have more control of my body. I’m stronger. I had a full offseason and a full spring training to get my legs up under me. The last couple of weeks, I’ve felt much better and more confident.”

A healthy and spry Span would be a big boost to a lineup that often looked flat in the second half last season Span showed off every aspect of his game Tuesday. He blasted a leadoff homer on Jake Arrieta’s second pitch, and during their second matchup, he put a perfect bunt down the third base line for a single. Span stole second easily before his race home. 

“He’s playing terrific baseball and he’s been a real inspiration, being our leadoff hitter,” Bochy said. “That’s what we needed — energy at the top of the order.”

TRAINER’S ROOM: Eduardo Nuñez (shoulder) is feeling much better, and Bochy said he’ll play third base during the games at AT&T Park before getting four or five innings at shortstop on Saturday. Joe Panik (drilled in the back on Monday) said he’s feeling fine. 

POSITION BATTLES: Here’s the latest on Matt Cain, and here’s an update on Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins. 

ICYMI: Big news today from NBC Bay Area. Matt Williams, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross have joined out pre- and post-game shows. You can find stories about those guys on our homepage here. Those shows will also now be an hour long on both ends of the game, adding an extra hour of Giants coverage to your day. Which is good. 

That’s all on the way during the regular season. If you missed any of our spring coverage, you can find a bunch of features here, and podcasts here (spring pods included Mike Morse, Matt Cain, Mac Williamson, Jimmy Rollins and others, with one more coming this week). And in case you’re new to our coverage, the Twitter account is here and the Facebook page is here. Next stop, San Francisco …