Instant Replay: Giants 3, Astros 2

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Instant Replay: Giants 3, Astros 2

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Freshly promoted Marwin Gonzalez's third-inning leadoff double to right field drew an audible groan from the 129th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park. No perfect game this Sunday. But Matt Cain and the Giants did treat their fans to a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros and a series sweep in their last home game until July 23.Starting pitching report:Matt Cain entered Sunday's game with a streak of 28 consecutive Astros retired, dating back to 2011 and including his June 13 perfect game. More of the same from the Giants' horse as he went 1-2-3 in the first and second innings to push his retired batters streak to 34 before Gonzalez's double. Cain had the chance to strand him, but it was his error that brought the Astros within one on the unearned run.Houston earned its next run. Brian Bogusevic knocked a fourth-inning single and Chris Johnson tattooed a ball into the left-center field gap. Bogusevic came all the way around to tie the game, but strong San Francisco defense limited the damage and kept it tied at two.Thanks to his offense, Cain took the mound again with the lead in the sixth inning, and he turned in a shutdown inning of dominant proportion. Facing the heart of the Astros order, he struck out All-Star Jose Altuve swinging on a tight slider, Scott Moore looking on the same slider and J.D. Martinez swinging at a 92-mph outside-paint fastball.Cain was lifted in the seventh inning after Gonzalez's ground ball eluded Brandon Crawford, who was moving to cover second with Bogusevic in motion.It wasn't perfection, but it was enough to leave in line for the win. Cain's final line: six and one-third innings, five hits, two runs, one earned run, one walk, six strikeouts, 108 pitches, 74 strikes and the win.Bullpen report:Jeremy Affeldt entered the game -- and a high-stress situation -- when Cain sputtered in the seventh. Protecting a one-run lead with one away and runners on the corners, Affeldt induced a foul pop out from Carlos Corporan and got pinch-hitter Jason Maxwell -- he of the big ninth-inning double Saturday -- to fly out to right field and end the threat.With the dynamic specialist duo of Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo warming up in the bullpen, Affeldt staying in for the eighth inning and made quick work of Jordan Schafer and Altuve before he hit Moore in the forearm.Bochy was quickly out of the dugout calling on Romo to face the right-handed Martinez. Romo's Frisbee-slider was on point, and Martinez went down swinging to end the inning.Still holding on to the one-run lead, Bochy elected not to start the ninth inning with Santiago Casilla. Instead, it was Javier Lopez who faced Bogusevic. As he had done to each of the two other batters he faced this series, Lopez struck him out.And then it was Casilla time.Fans were audible with their disfavor of Bochy's decision, but Casilla was strong. He struck out Johnson and got Gonzalez to ground out to record his 23rd save of the year -- good for third in the National League -- without a shred of doubt.With the bats:Owners of 23 hits in the first two games of the series, the Giants kept finding space between the lines early Sunday. Gregor Blanco and Emmanuel Burriss each slapped singles between short and third to begin San Francisco's day at the plate. After a wild pitch, Buster Posey stroked a clean single to right-center field to plate Blanco and open the scoring. After loading the bases with one out, though, the Giants could only add one more run when Brandon Belt drew a four-pitch walk that scored Burriss.Two runs for Matt Cain against the Astros? It wouldn't be enough on this Sunday.The Giants were primed to score when Norris walked the first two batters of the fourth inning, but Crawford, Cain and Burriss came up empty with runners in scoring position.Tied at two, Sandoval put the pressure on the Astros with a leadoff double in the fifth inning. The Giants didn't waste any time, as Posey's second RBI single of the game reclaimed the lead.Posey added a seventh-inning single to finish the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs.With the gloves:Matt Cain did well to field Norris' third-inning sacrifice bunt and throw across his body and against his momentum to record the out. But he was tested again when, with two outs and a runner on third, Schafer dropped down a second consecutive bunt. Cain charged this one towards the first-base line, but his on-the-run overhand toss to first dove towards Brandon Belt's feet and couldn't be corralled. Cain's error allowed Gonzalez to score and brought the Astros within one.On the next play, Crawford dove to his right to field Altuve's sharp shot in the hole, rose and fired a one-hop frozen rope to Belt that appeared to beat Altuve by a hair. First-base umpire Lance Barrett saw otherwise and the inning continued...for one more batter.Crawford made another nice play in the fourth inning when, while leaning toward second to keep baserunner Chris Johnson close, Gonzalez hit a ground ball his way. Crawford charged, scooped it up and made the alert play to throw on to Sandoval with plenty of time to cut down Johnson, who made the ill-advised decision to take third on a ball hit a step in front of him.The fine fourth-inning defense wasn't over. Crawford's fielder's choice left Gonzalez on first base, and when he attempted to steal, Crawford slapped down the tag from a rifle throw by Buster Posey and trotted off the field.Attendance:The Giants announced a paid crowd of 42,265, 25,000 of which went home with the coveted Madison Bumgarner bobblehead, complete with the 22-year old's bristly 5 p.m. shadow. Up next:After a travel day Monday, the Giants hit the road for a six-game trip through Atlanta and Philadelphia that begins with Barry Zito (7-6, 4.01) and Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 4.97) going head to head at 4:10 p.m. Coverage begins Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

After another loss, Bochy challenges staff to 'tighten it up here'

DENVER — For the second straight start, Matt Moore watched an outfielder chase down a rocket, slam into the wall, and immediately leave the game with a hurt shoulder. 

“You’ve got to feel a little responsible,” he said Saturday night, shaking his head. 

That’s not entirely fair. The Jarrett Parker and Denard Span injuries have been flukes, but there is a different kind of responsibility for the starting staff. Bobby Evans built this team on the starting five, and through three weeks, the group has been a letdown. 

Madison Bumgarner was hurt during an off-field incident. Johnny Cueto has an uncharacteristic 5.25 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through four starts. Moore gave up six runs in four innings Saturday, raising his own ERA to 5.87. On the other side, a rookie — Antonio Senzatela — held the Giants to four hits, leading the Rockies to a 12-3 win.

“He just made mistakes. You saw them,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Moore. “They caught too much of the plate and they were up and they took advantage of them. This can be a tough park but they pitched well tonight with a young kid. You’ve got to make your pitches. Keep concentrating and don’t give in. That’s the way it works and we’re not doing a very good job of that.

“Obviously our staff, we’re a much better staff than what’s happened. We’ve got to tighten it up here and wake up. We’re not a team that goes out and pounds it with you. We’ve got to pitch.”

The starting staff, even without Bumgarner, is more important than it first seemed. That's because the rest of the Giants are dropping, too. Span went out in the third when he slammed into the wall while making a catch, and while the initial read is positive, he was going for X-rays Saturday night. At the very least, a right shoulder sprain will keep him out a couple of days. 

That means Bochy, 18 games in, is dealing with one of his Bomb Squad situations. Buster Posey will play first on Sunday after a couple of long days in the squat, and it’s possible Brandon Belt will get a day in left. Gorkys Hernandez, hitting just .088, is the man in center while Span is out. Hunter Pence (knee bruise) is expected to return to right field Sunday, but the outfield is hanging by a string. The Giants have even talked about putting Eduardo Nuñez in left, and on Saturday he played several innings in right because of the Span injury. 

Bochy challenged his starters, but the regulars behind them will need to be better, too. The bats didn’t get going until the eighth inning at Coors Field, and even then, a rally was cut short and the Giants promptly gave up six more runs. Nuñez was late getting over on a pop-up that clanked off Joe Panik’s glove and extended the inning. 

“You’re going to deal with that,” Bochy said. “He’s going to feel discombobulated.”

Bochy had just one positive to point to, and he lit up when asked about Chris Stratton, who threw three hitless innings to keep the Giants within shouting distance. 

“Boy, that kid did a nice job," he said. 

Stratton isn’t far down the depth chart if there are further injuries in the rotation, and with a fastball that touched 95, he looked better than he has in years. The Giants hope they don’t need to test him. They’re banged-up, but at the moment, they still have four of their projected starting pitcher, along with Ty Blach. Without Bumgarner, the group will have to be better, and Bochy let them know it Saturday. 

Instant Replay: Rockies crush Moore, Giants lose Span in third straight loss

Instant Replay: Rockies crush Moore, Giants lose Span in third straight loss

BOX SCORE

DENVER — Near the end of last season’s collapse, the Giants spent a couple of days sitting eight games out of first place. Less than three weeks into this season, they’re already six out, and there are no signs that this is going to get better anytime soon.

The Giants managed just four hits against rookie Antonio Senzatela and went on to lose 12-3 at Coors Field. They also lost another starter to injury. 

A week to the day after Jarrett Parker broke his clavicle, Denard Span was removed after a similar collision with an outfield wall. Span has a mild right shoulder sprain and will go for X-rays. Throw in Hunter Pence’s left knee bruise and the Giants played most of this game without all three of their projected starting outfielders. 

To hang in a game like this one, the Giants needed a one-man show on the mound. Matt Moore wasn’t up to it. The lefty gave up six runs in four innings, including three homers. Mark Reynolds hit a deep blast in a three-run first and Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon went deep in a three-run fourth. 

The Giants threatened in the eighth, getting two runs back and sending the tying run to the plate. That rally seemed a lifetime away by the top of the ninth. The Rockies scored six runs off Neil Ramirez in their half of the eighth. 

Starting pitching report: No pitcher likes this place, but Moore has a real beef. In three career starts at Coors Field he has thrown just 11 2/3 innings and allowed 16 earned runs. 

Bullpen report: Chris Stratton, called up for the Madison Bumgarner roster spot, made his season debut in the fifth. He was outstanding. Stratton allowed just a walk in three innings and he topped out at 95 mph, a significant tick up from where he was last year. Stratton struck out three and broke Nolan Arenado’s bat on a grounder. 

At the plate: Joe Panik went deep in the sixth for his first homer of the year. 

In the field: Eduardo Nuñez made a great stop in the second and threw Stephen Cardullo out as he rolled over. An inning later, he was in right field. The Span injury forced Nuñez to right for just the seventh time in his career. He wasn't tested until the eighth, when he was late getting over to a deep pop-up that Panik dropped. 

Attendance: The Rockies announced a crowd of 39,239 human beings. They’re excited about this team, and for good reason. 

Up next: Save them, Jeff.