Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


Instant Replay: Giants 3, Padres 2


SAN FRANCISCO The Giants were held hitless for six innings between the first and eighth, but broke a 2-2 tie in the ninth on Brandon Crawfords line-drive single to center for their sixth walk-off win of the season.Starting pitching report: Madison Bumgarner started and ended a 1-2-3 first inning with strikeouts, then watched as his offense staked him to a 2-0 lead. But Bumgarner gave it right back in an ugly second inning that included two doubles and a bloop hit from San Diegos starter Edinson Volquez.After his 26-pitch second inning, Bumgarner benefited from a spectacular double play in the third, then worked around a leadoff double with two strikeouts for a scoreless fourth.Bumgarner kept the Padres off the board in the fifth and sixth innings as well, but racked up 100 total pitches in the process, putting him on a short leash entering the seventh.The Giants 22-year-old leftys best inning was his last, as he cruised through the seventh with two strikeouts and a slick fielding job on a comebacker to end the inning.Despite the quality start, Bumgarner actually raised his home ERA this season from 1.81 to 1.90.Bumgarners final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K (111 pitches, 69 for strikes)Bullpen report: Sergio Romo entered a tie game in the eighth inning and wouldve been on the hook for a loss if not for Angel Pagans spectacular catch and throw double play to end the inning.Santiago Casilla got the call in the ninth and issued a one-out walk to former Giant Jesus Guzman. But the fill-in closer got Everth Cabrera to strike out to end the inning At the plate: The Giants wasted no time getting on the board, just as they did in Mondays 7-1 win. It wasnt a four-run first inning like in the series opener, but the Giants managed two runs to give Madison Bumgarner an early cushion.Nate Schierholtz, leading off for a fourth straight game, roped a double into the rightfield corner, advanced to third on Ryan Theriots infield single, and scored on a Melky Cabrera groundout. Pablo Sandoval just missed a home run with a deep drive into triples alley. Though he only ended up on second, it was more than enough to bring in Theriot for a 2-0 lead.After the Padres tied the game, the Giants went down in order in the second and wasted back-to-back leadoff walks in the third thanks to back-to-back strikeouts from Buster Posey and Brandon Belt.In the fourth through seventh innings, the Giants mustered just one walk and struck out six times against Edinson Volquez. When Luke Gregerson entered the game in relief of Volquez in the eighth, the Giants struck out two more times before collecting their first hit since the first inning, an infield single from Cabrera. He was stranded, though, when Buster Posey grounded into a fielders choice.Belt led off the ninth with a full-count walk against Joe Thatcher and advanced to second when Angel Pagan poked a ball through the hole between shortstop and third. With Brandon Crawford attempting to lay down a bunt, both runners advanced on a passed ball, changing Crawfords approach at the plate. Crawford came through with a clean line-drive single back up the middle to score Belt and end the game in style.In the field: Ryan Theriot, Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval teamed up for a very high-degree-of-difficulty double play to end the top of the third inning. Theriot fielded Carlos Quentins sharp ground ball while on his knees, then fed Brandon Crawford, who leaped to avoid the baserunner and get off a throw. Crawfords relay was low, but Sandoval dug it out while stretching to do the splits. Unfortunately, the highlight-reel play cost Sandoval, as he left the game immediately after with a left hamstring injury.With the go-ahead run at first, Angel Pagan brought back memories of Gregor Blancos catch in Matt Cains perfect game when he covered a lot of ground in the left-centerfield gap and dove to make an amazing grab to rob Carlos Quentin. Pagan wasnt done yet, as he threw the ball back toward the infield as his momentum carried him closer to the outfield wall. Brandon Crawford caught Pagans throw and relayed the ball to Brandon Belt at first to complete the rare 8-6-3 double play.On the bases:In the third inning, Nate Schierholtz and Melky Cabrera contributed their third and eleventh stolen bases of the season, respectively. Neither came around to score, though.Attendance: The Giants announced their 131st consecutive sellout crowd with a paid attendance of 42,559.Up next: The Giants will go for the three-game sweep in a Wednesday matinee game at 12:45 p.m. The Padres will start right-hander Jason Marquis (3-5, 3.79 ERA) to oppose fellow right-hander Tim Lincecum (4-10, 5.72 ERA). Lincecum dominated the Padres on April 28, allowing just an unearned run in eight innings; hes also 10-4 with a 2.03 ERA against San Diego in his career. Your current Jeopardy! champion, Insider Andrew Baggarly, will be back on the beat for the series finale.

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

After Stratton leads way in Giants' shutout, what does his future hold?

SAN FRANCISCO — After the final out Monday night, a round table was carried into the corner of the home clubhouse at AT&T Park and surrounded by chairs. Eleven players were sitting, eating, drinking and laughing as Chris Stratton prepared to address the media. 

It was a rare sight for the Giants these days, a very rare sight. But then, so was Monday’s result. Stratton led the way in a 2-0 win over the Brewers that was the first home shutout of the season and motivated the joyous post-game scene. 

The shutout was just the second of the season for the staff. Ty Blach went the distance in the other one and Stratton, a fellow rookie, did the heavy lifting Monday, throwing six strong innings before giving way to the bullpen. Matt Cain pitched the seventh, Mark Melancon pitched the eighth while going back-to-back for the first time in three months, and Sam Dyson closed it out quickly. 

There’s a chance that Stratton joins that group in a few days. Johnny Cueto is scheduled to make a rehab start on Tuesday night in Sacramento and that could put him on track to return to the rotation a turn later. That would line up with Stratton’s next start, but Bruce Bochy wasn’t ready to kick the young righty out of the rotation, not after back-to-back scoreless starts against two of the better lineups in the league. A few days after striking out 10 Washington Nationals, Stratton cut through the Brewers. He has 12 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two appearances. 

“For how we’re using him, he’s really handled it well,” Bochy said. “We skipped him, moved him back three or four days, but he doesn’t let it faze him. This is an important time for these young players coming up, whether it’s (Ryder) Jones or (Jarrett) Parker or Stratton. They’re trying to show they belong in the Major Leagues.

“You’re hoping these guys show they’re ready to play here and we don’t have to do something else because we can do it internally.”

Bochy said he could use a six-man rotation when Cueto returns, or a starter could be skipped. That will all sort itself, but the manager made one thing clear. 

“We’d like to pitch him as much as we can,” Bochy said of Stratton.

That’s the same thing Bochy used to say of another right-hander, one he compared Stratton to before Monday’s game. Bochy was asked about Yusmeiro Petit, and he smiled and fondly stated, “He was so good. So good.” The Giants see some Petit in Stratton. He is unaffected by long layoffs and he’s capable of starting, relieving, or even pumping his fastball up a couple ticks for short outings. 

Petit was a mainstay in San Francisco for years, a key cog in a championship team. Bochy has been looking for that piece since Petit departed in free agency, and Stratton seems like he might be suited for the role. He will want more, of course, because all pitchers do. The Giants will give him five more weeks here to try and earn that. 

For the moment, Stratton’s focus is elsewhere. He turns 27 on Monday and the celebration started early. As Stratton answered questions, veterans at the table heckled him about striking out just one Brewer. 

“I left all the strikeouts in Washington, I guess,” Stratton said. 

Nick Hundley walked up with a TV remote and held it up between the cameras. 

“What was your thought on the punchout?” he asked. 

“I’m glad he swung,” Stratton said, smiling. “It was a ball.”

“Did you think about getting any more?” Hundley asked. 

With that, he smiled and ducked back behind the cameras to return to the celebration in the corner. A few minutes later, Stratton joined him.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' first home shutout of 2017


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach has been a bright spot in this losing season, giving the Giants a young, cost-controlled lefty who can potentially fill a huge role next season. Chris Stratton is trying to do the same thing from the right side. 

The 26-year-old continued his August surge, throwing six dominant innings against the Brewers in a 2-0 win that was the staff's first shutout at AT&T Park this season. 

It was the kind of night that's been so familiar over the years. The Giants had six home shutouts last season. Here are five things to know from this year's first ... 

—- The Brewers are first in the league in homers and the Nationals are third, so Stratton had his work cut out for him the last two times out. His results: 12 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts. That’s quite the statement. Stratton’s scoreless streak is the longest by a Giants rookie starter since Chris Heston threw 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in July of 2015. 

—- Matt Cain was used as a short reliever to protect a two-run lead in the seventh. He had a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout. 

—- Mark Melancon pitched back-to-back games for the first time since May 19-20. He struck out Neil Walker and Ryan Braun in a perfect inning. 

—- Jarrett Parker reached base his first three times up. He’s hitting .385 at home this season but he’s just 4-for-35 (.114) on the road. Weird splits for a Giant slugger. 

—- Brandon Crawford is finally finding some traction. His double in the fourth was the big hit in a two-run frame that gave Stratton a lead to work with. Crawford is 7-for-17 on the home stand with three extra-base hits and four RBI.