Giants' offense anemic, fall to Dodgers 2-1

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Giants' offense anemic, fall to Dodgers 2-1

Sept. 9, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Lincecum is still pitching like an ace even when he has nothing to show for it. That's the kind of year it's been for the Freak and his defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants.NL Cy Young Award contender Clayton Kershaw outdueled two-time winner Lincecum, pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll drove home the go-ahead run in the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers sent the Giants another game further from a return trip to the playoffs with a 2-1 victory Friday night."We're not trying to just sink," said Lincecum, who last fall pitched San Francisco to the city's first championship by winning Game 5 of the World Series at Texas. "It's not like anyone has given up by any means. This game is just as important at any game, it's just for a different cause."Time is running out.
RATTO: Giants now playing to finish above .500
The Giants fell to 8 12 games back of first-place Arizona in the NL West with 18 to play after the Diamondbacks beat the Padres 3-2. And the surging Dodgers are suddenly making a push for second place.Rod Barajas singled to start the ninth against Santiago Casilla (2-2) and former Giant Eugenio Velez came in to pinch-run. Justin Sellers sacrificed him to second and Velez moved to third on a wild pitch. Second baseman Jeff Keppinger then threw home on Carroll's grounder but a sliding Velez just beat the tag by catcher Eli Whiteside.Kershaw (18-5) allowed three hits, one unearned run, struck out nine and walked one in eight strong innings, allowing only Pablo Sandoval's first-inning RBI single.He's not ready to crown himself the Cy Young winner. Arizona's Ian Kennedy won his NL-best 19th game Thursday."Three more starts hopefully three more wins. And call it," Kershaw said. "And then look back after that. No disrespect to Timmy. He's an awesome pitcher. I don't care who I get a win against. A win is a win."Javy Guerra got three straight groundouts for his 17th save in 18 chances.Aaron Miles and Matt Kemp each had two hits. Kemp also stole second in the eighth after he nubbed a grounder about 20 feet up the third-base line, setting up Juan Rivera's tying single. Tony Gwynn Jr. entered to pinch run. Miles then singled and Giants manager Bruce Bochy paid Lincecum a mound visit before leaving him in to face Jerry Sands. Lincecum struck him out swinging for his sixth K.The Dodgers rallied late to win for the 14th time in 16 games and ninth in 11. Los Angeles has won five straight series, while San Francisco has failed to win in seven straight home series at sold-out AT&T Park since taking two of three from Milwaukee on July 22-24.The Giants missed chances yet again.Chris Stewart hit a one-out single in the eighth and was lifted for pinch-runner Darren Ford after he hurt his foot. Ford stole second but was stranded after pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa hit a foul popup and Justin Christian struck out in a 10-pitch at-bat that included five straight fouls."We're lucky if we score one for him," Stewart said of Lincecum. "Luckily we were able to get that across early tonight and he went out with a vengeance. He knew he was probably not going to get much more than that. ... It's just unfortunate we can't put enough runs across to get him a win."Lincecum went winless in four tries this year against the Dodgers, losing his two previous decisions to Kershaw. His 127-pitch outing matched his second-most pitches thrown this year behind 133 against Oakland on May 21."You like to say they don't but they both know who they are pitching against," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of the matchup of aces. "They both know you can't give up much because the other guy isn't going to."Kershaw's nine Ks made him the first National League pitcher to reach the 230 strikeout mark.The Dodgers finally did enough to back Kershaw after traveling cross-country following a wet and rainy stop in Washington. The nightcap of their scheduled doubleheader with the Nationals on Thursday was scrapped because of yet more precipitation - meaning Los Angeles at least got a decent night's sleep in the Bay Area.Lincecum has only one win in his last five starts, and 10 of his 12 defeats have come when receiving one or fewer runs of support. He has 10 starts receiving no runs."I'd definitely like to beat that guy just because he's done it to us and I manage to go head to head against him a lot," Lincecum said. "Most of the time it's gone to him."Lincecum received a couple of defensive gems, too. Shortstop Orlando Cabrera made a tough, diving stop on Miles' sharp line drive up the middle in the second. To end the sixth, right fielder Carlos Beltran made a tremendous catch in foul territory with his knee against the outfield wall and his left arm stretched well into the stands. Center fielder Christian hustled in toward left-center and made a diving, backhanded stop on a liner by Sellers in the seventh."We only scored one run in the first," Bochy said. "You've got to figure a way to get another run. We're not doing it. That's coming back to hurt us because we live on the edge."NOTES: Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (10-6), named the "Willie Mac Award" winner Friday after Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, pitches Saturday night trying to end a four-start losing streak. ... Mattingly changed his rotation, going with Dana Eveland in Saturday night's game to give the other starters extra rest. Hiroki Kuroda, who had been scheduled to start Saturday, was pushed back to Sunday and Ted Lilly to Monday at Dodger Stadium against the D-backs. Mattingly said Kuroda's 115-pitch outing his last time out in a 7-2 loss to the Nationals in Washington on Monday, figured in the decision.

Brandon Crawford: Giants should change right-center field wall

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AP

Brandon Crawford: Giants should change right-center field wall

Since the moment it opened, AT&T Park has been a pitcher's park.

Last Friday, Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford answered questions from kids at a youth baseball camp.

How big are Major League fields?

“They vary in size. Ours is one of the bigger ones, 421 feet to right-center, which should be changed," Crawford said.

Baseball fans are well aware that flyballs to deep right-center field in San Francisco -- home runs in the majority of ballparks -- are routinely caught or result in triples.

This season, there have been 69 home runs hit at AT&T Park -- by far the lowest in baseball.

Fenway Park in Boston (82) and PETCO Park in San Diego (89) are next.

Crawford has eight home runs this year -- six on the road and two at home.

Last year, he hit 12 home runs -- eight on the road and four at home.

In 2015, he hit a career-high 21 home runs -- 13 on the road and eight at home.

Might the Giants somehow move the fences in?

"It ain't gonna happen ... that's just not gonna happen," Mike Krukow said on KNBR 680 on Monday morning.

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.