Giants set to welcome red-hot Nationals in pivotal series


Giants set to welcome red-hot Nationals in pivotal series

SAN FRANCISCO Things are about to get a little tougher at 24 Willie Mays Plaza.

After taking two of three from the bottom-dwelling Colorado Rockies, the Giants will welcome the major-league leading Nationals to town for a three-game set beginning Monday. Washington owns a league-best 3.25 team ERA, and will send its three winningest starters to the mound in Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman and Stephen Strasburg.

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Theyre so solid starting pitching, bullpen, lineup, Bruce Bochy said. You dont have the record that they have unless youre good. Theyre playing well now and on a good roll. We know it. Its going to be up to us to go out there and not make any mistakes and play our best ball.

Washington swept the Giants in the nations capital in early July by a combined score of 24-12. San Francisco has won its last two games after dropping the series opener to the Rockies on Friday, though, while scoring 18 runs in the process.

Were feeling pretty good. Its going to be a big series and a tough series and theyre playing great ball. But theyre coming here, and its not easy to play here, Hunter Pence said. Our pitching staff is pretty good, too. Its going to be an exciting series and its going to be something you could see later on down the line, as well.

The Giants didnt play a perfect game on Sunday in a 9-6 defeat of Colorado, but found a way to rally and win for just the fourth time this season when trailing after seven innings (4-46).

We were down and there was a lot of stuff going wrong for us, but it didnt matter, everybody just came together and did what they had to do to get the job done, said Brandon Belt.

Theres also a chance that one of the Giants key bats will get back into the lineup as Pablo Sandoval could rejoin the team after rehabbing a strained left hamstring in Class-A San Jose this weekend.

Bochy wouldnt put odds on a Sandoval return, but said on Saturday that Sandoval was on target for Monday. Whether or not hell play is apparently to be determined.

When Sandoval returns, the Giants will boast an impressive middle part of their order with leading hitter Melky Cabrera, MVP candidate Buster Posey, the newcomer Pence, and maybe even Brandon Belt, who was 4-for-4 on Sunday.

Its an All-Star bat coming into the lineup and its going to be a big pickup. Were looking forward to getting Sandoval back, said Pence.

Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade


Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

The teams announced the deal after their games Friday night. The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs this year.

Los Angeles is running away with the NL West. The Dodgers are 86-34 after Friday's win at Detroit . Granderson gives Los Angeles another option for the outfield along with Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

Pederson has been struggling quite a bit of late, hitting .149 since the All-Star break. Granderson, like Pederson, offers some power from the left side of the plate.

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth


SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Moore took his time walking off the mound after Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to replace him in the eighth inning.

Moore wanted to enjoy the ovation from the crowd at AT&T Park, something he hadn't heard for quite some time.

Moore took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and picked up his first win in nearly two months as San Francisco beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2 on Friday night.

"It's something that I think is one of the coolest parts about playing here, is just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill," Moore said. "It was definitely nice to have that."

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford both homered, Pablo Sandoval had an RBI single and Denard Span added three hits and made a nice running catch in center field to help San Francisco to its ninth win in the last 12 games at AT&T Park.

One day after becoming the first team in major league history to reach 11,000 wins as a franchise, the Giants added on by beating the worst team in baseball again.

Moore (4-12) was crisp in his second straight strong start despite four walks, allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time since June 20.

"He's got a good rhythm going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's playing catch with (catcher Buster Posey), that's the effort he's putting in it right now. I think it's helped his command on all his pitches."

Moore credited a calmer approach in his last two starts.

"For a lot of the season I was overthrowing," Moore said. "It's just too much to be gritting that much through. After the break that was something I was working on, making sure I'm not white-knuckling too much stuff."

Four relievers combined for five outs to complete the four-hitter.

Jorge Alfaro singled twice and scored for Philadelphia.

Pence doubled and scored as part of a three-run first inning, then hit his 11th home run in the second.

Crawford tacked on with a two-run home run in the third, his 10th, after Sandoval walked. Crawford, who also doubled in the eighth, had been in a 2-for-22 slump.

Philadelphia didn't get a runner past second base until the eighth when Freddy Galvis singled in both runs.

"We got four hits (and) Alfaro had two of them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The bats just ain't there right now."


Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings for the Phillies and later complained of tightness in his right shoulder. Eflin has lost two of three starts since a two-month stint in the minors. "As the fifth inning came to an end it was more of a precautionary thing to come out because it wasn't feeling right at that point," Eflin said.


Posey has hit safely in 20 straight games against Philadelphia, the longest hitting streak of his career against any team.


Phillies: Mackanin's ballclub was one player short after the team placed OF Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in a move that is retroactive to Aug. 15. Herrera has a 17-game hitting streak that is the longest active in the majors. A corresponding move is expected before Saturday's game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Cueto also threw a 50-pitch bullpen during the team's recent three-game series in Miami. ... 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) and 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) both did cardio work before the game.


Phillies RHP Jerad Eickoff (3-7, 4.45 ERA) makes his second start against the Giants this season Saturday while San Francisco counters with LHP Ty Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA). Blach blanked Philadelphia with a seven-hitter on June 2.