Giants start second half with 'good baseball,' complete win


Giants start second half with 'good baseball,' complete win


SAN FRANCISCO -- There wasn't one phase of the game you could scapegoat as the Giants limped into the All-Star break. Losers of seven of their last nine, it was important to play a complete game Friday -- nine innings of solid play in all facets of the game -- in order to get the team in the right state of mind for the second half.

Sure it was only one game, but nine hits from the offense, a three-hitter from the pitching staff and flawless defense made the Giants clubhouse an enjoyable place to be after San Francisco's 5-1 win over the Houston Astros Friday night.

"I thought it was important to get on track and just play good ball," Bochy said. "And we did that.

"It started with Bumgarner."

Bumgarner is doing remarkable things for any MLB pitcher. What he's doing as a 22-year old is downright wild. Bumgarner earned his 11th win of the season with seven innings of two-hit ball, and he was frustrated afterward.

"Command-wise," Bumgarner said. "I wasn't putting it where I want to."

Despite the apparent lack of control -- Bumgarner was visibly frustrated when he walked Brian Bixler following the Giants' two-run second inning -- the unforgiving lefty lowered his home ERA to 1.81 in eight AT&T Park starts this year. That's good for fourth in the National League, behind only the Dodgers' Chris Capuano, the Pirates' James McDonald, and teammate Ryan Vogelsong, who leads the National League with a 1.43 ERA at home.

While Bochy believes Bumgarner feeds off the hometown crowd, Bumgarner likes to think he is imperturbable on the mound. That said, he acknowledges the positive impact of the ballpark.

"I think any pitcher would be more comfortable pitching here," Bumgarner said. "It's not really a hitter's park."

Something else that helps? Four runs in support over the first two innings.

The Giants collected nine hits on the night, one from every spot in the lineup save leadoff.

"It's nice to get off to an early lead, take a little pressure off. But you're still trying to go out there and pitch your game -- make pitches. But if you mess up here or there, it's going to be okay."

He did mess up, and it was okay. Bumgarner's lone blemish on the night came when he elevated a fastball to Chris Snyder. Gone.

The Giants had a chance to add an insurance run when Nate Schierholtz led off the seventh inning with a triple, but they failed to get him in.

Pablo Sandoval made sure that wouldn't happen again in the eighth after his seismograph-registering belly slide put him on third base with one out. His bold decision to tag up on Angel Pagan's subsequent shallow line drive to left paid off when he re-tagged home after the aftershock of the homeplate collision between 240-pound heavyweights Sandoval and Chris Snyder.

"That's a lot of mass coming into home plate," Bochy said.

It was a lot of mass leaving AT&T Park happy as the 127th consecutive sellout enjoyed fireworks before filing out after diving head first into the final 75 games of the year.

"This is the way we wanted to start the second half off," Angel Pagan said. "We're ready to go. Refreshed and rejuvenated, and ready to win this thing."

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.