Instant Replay: Giants 9, D'backs 8 (10)

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Instant Replay: Giants 9, D'backs 8 (10)

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO After blowing an early four-run lead, the Giants put together another come-from-behind victory, walking off against the Diamondbacks on Marco Scutaros single in the 10th inning.Starting pitching reportBarry Zito finished a 1-2-3 first inning with back-to-back strikeouts, the first swinging and the second looking, and struck out the side in the second to work around Paul Goldschmidts one-out double. Zito didnt have his strikeout pitch working in the third and fourth innings, but still held the Diamondbacks scoreless as he worked with a 4-0 lead.The Diamondbacks got to Zito in the fifth inning, though, as Miguel Montero led off the inning with a single and trotted home on Chris Johnsons no-doubt home run to left. Zito stranded Chris Young on second base after his two-out double to keep Arizona from getting within a run of tying the game.Justin Upton and Jason Kubel put together back-to-back singles to open the sixth and knock Zito from the game. Guillermo Mota, a frequent follow-up to short Zito starts, allowed both of his inherited runners to score.Zitos final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K. He threw 59 of his 89 pitches for strikes.Zito was 36-3 in his Giants career when receiving at least four runs of support while in a game. The Giants offense gave him that magic number in the first, but Zito uncharacteristically didnt return the favor.Bullpen reportBruce Bochy turned to Guillermo Mota with two men on and no outs in the sixth inning and the veteran right-hander had an outing to forget. He got lucky when Paul Goldschmidts drive to left-centerfield hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double, keeping the tying run at third. That run would come across anyway, when Chris Johnson tallied his third RBI on a sacrifice fly. But the Diamondbacks werent done beating up on Mota. Former Giant Cody Ransom worked a walk and pinch-hitter Willie Bloomquist followed with a single to drive in Goldschmidt.With Arizona now leading 5-4, Bochy turned the ball over to George Kontos, coming off his first career win in Houston. Kontos, who has admitted putting more pressure on himself when he inherits another pitchers baserunners, didnt do Mota or the Giants any favors, as he allowed back-to-back singles. Kontos got Justin Upton to fly out to right to end the inning, but not before Arizona batted around for a five-run inning and a 7-4 lead.Brad Penny got the call in the seventh and was in immediate trouble after a leadoff double followed by a walk. But Penny danced out of danger by getting Miguel Montero to fly out and ended the inning with a blind-luck grab of a screaming comebacker for a double play.Shane Loux allowed an Arizona insurance run in the eighth, but was hit hard in what couldve been a much uglier inning if not for the defensive efforts of Pablo Sandoval and Angel Pagan.Recent call-up Jean Machi, a right-hander who saved 15 games for the Fresno Grizzlies this season, made his major-league debut in a one-run game and held his own. He put sure-handed shortstop Brandon Crawford to work, inducing back-to-back infield pop ups before Jason Kubel hit a routine ground ball to short to end the inning.El Mechon blared over the AT&T Park speakers as Sergio Romo ran in from the bullpen to pitch the 10th inning. He struck out the first two Diamondbacks he faced before inducing a weak ground ball to third from Gerardo Parra to end the inning.At the plateThe Giants came into Mondays game averaging just 3.45 runs per home game, ahead of only the Seattle Mariners. They raised that average with their first inning output alone.Angel Pagan lined out on the first pitch, but the Giants strung four consecutive hits together to score first. Marco Scutaro started the rally with a single and Pablo Sandoval kept the line moving with another single. Buster Posey followed with a drive to deep right that Arizonas Justin Upton appeared to have a beat on. But Upton watched as the ball sail over his head and bounced off the wall past him and towards the infield, allowing Scutaro to score easily. Upton had to hustle again when Hunter Pence one-upped Posey with a two-RBI triple into the right-centerfield alleyway. Sanchez drove in Pence with an infield single for a 4-0 San Francisco lead.After the four-run first, the Giants were held scoreless until the seventh inning, when Aubrey Huff led off with a pinch-hit single. Pagan grounded into a fielders choice and the baserunner swap paid off, as the faster Pagan advanced to second on Scutaros grounder to third and came around to score on Sandovals single up the middle.The Giants added two more runs in the eighth with a two-out rally to cut the Diamondbacks lead to one. Pence struck out looking to open the frame and Xavier Nady grounded out to second, but Hector Sanchez and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back doubles and pinch-hitter Brandon Belt drove in the other Brandon with a single to right. Pinch-runner Gregor Blanco, in for Belt, represented the tying run, but Pagan lined out to right to end the threat.The Diamondbacks turned to J.J. Putz in the ninth, fresh off a blown save in Los Angeles on Sunday, and Scutaro greeted him with a leadoff double to left. Sandoval hit a weak ground ball to second to advance Scutaro and set the stage for Posey. With the tying run 90 feet away and the Arizona infield playing in, Posey laced a ground ball past diving third baseman Chris Johnson for a double and a brand new ballgame. Posey was left stranded to keep the game tied, however, after Putz intentionally walked Pence and struck out Nady and Sanchez. The double was Poseys first career game-tying hit in the 9th inning or later.Crawford led off the 10th inning with a towering chopper behind the pitchers mound that he beat out for an infield single. Big Brett Pill followed with his first career sacrifice bunt to advance the game-winning run into scoring position. Pagan pushed Crawford 90 feet closer to ending the game with a groundout to first base, and Scutaro came through with his 11th career walk-off hit, which was nearly identical to Poseys grounder past diving third baseman Johnson.The Giants finished 9-for-15 with runners in scoring position, including three doubles, a triple and all nine of their RBIs.In fieldBrad Penny made the play of the day, even if it required more instinct than skill, when he snagged Chris Johnsons comebacker in the heel of his glove for one out, then lobbed the ball back to first for a double play.Pablo Sandoval made a pair of nice plays in the eighth to keep the Diamondbacks from putting up a crooked number. With Cody Ransom on third, Sandoval fielded a sharp ground ball off the bat of Chris Young and threw home to Hector Sanchez, who chased Ransom back to third, where Sandoval got the ball back and applied the tag. The next batter, Aaron Hill, ripped a liner right at Sandoval, who stood his ground and hit the dirt to complete the catch.Angel Pagan also helped limit Arizona to one run in the eighth, as he ended the inning with a leaping catch on the warning track just in front of the avocado tree past the centerfield wall.On the basesGregor Blanco took off for second base in the eighth after coming in as a pinch-runner, but Angel Pagan hit the pitch foul. No other Giant attempted a stolen base against Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero.AttendanceThe Giants announced a crowd of 42,045 for their 150th consecutive regular season sellout.Up nextThe Giants continue their series with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night with right-hander Ian Kennedy (12-11, 4.27 ERA) starting opposite fellow right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (12-7, 3.02 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Giants Pregame Live kicks off at 6:30 p.m.

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

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AP

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

This game is supposed to be hard. Somehow in the 2017 MLB Draft, two of the top prospects have so much talent they put teams in a tough spot. 

High School phenom Hunter Greene and University of Louisville star Brendan McKay were both options to go No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Twins. The only question with them was, where would they play? No, this isn't because the two are DH-type players who can't stay on the field. Instead, the two are marvels at the plate and on the mound, making the idea of a possible two-way MLB star, start to seem real. 

“I think it’s really just that hard," says Sacramento River Cats pitcher Michael Roth. "I don’t really know if that’s possible." 

If it was up to Roth, he would have made MLB scouts fret over what to label him as well. Roth, who wound up as a College World Series legend on the mound for South Carolina, came to the school with intentions of a career at first base. 

The most games Roth appeared in as a hitter in college were 17 as a senior. He batted .211 that season and the lefty wound up going to the Angels in the ninth round of the draft after completing one of the greatest college careers ever as a pitcher.

As strictly a pitcher, and serving as both a starter and reliever, Roth knows the rigors he must put in before a game. This is hours of work, all prior to a three-hour game. 

"From a pitcher’s perspective, I know how much work goes into honing our craft and you’re never perfect," said Roth. "I mean, you’re always working on it and there’s still something each day that you don’t think you did well enough."

With his past of a former two-way player himself in college who focused more on offense when first arriving on campus, Roth says the same when it comes to position players. 

"I mean they have to put time into honing their craft whether it be on the field fielding ground balls or taking fly balls in the outfield and then taking swings. And it’s a lot of work,” Roth continues. 

For Greene and McKay, the numbers speak for themselves. Maybe they really are the ones.

Greene, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher and shortstop, hit .324 with six home runs in 30 games as a senior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. On the mound, with a fastball that can touch 102 miles per hour, Greene allowed a total of three earned runs in 28 innings pitched with 43 strikeouts.

Maybe he is the one.

College baseball's Colossus of Clout put up numbers among the best bats and arms in the country for the Cardinals. McKay led Louisville to the College World Series where his amateur career ended in a 4-3 loss to TCU, going out with a bang as he bashed his 18th home run of the year, 20 rows deep into the right-field bleachers. He finished his junior year at the plate hitting .341 with 18 home runs. His pitching stats weren’t far behind, going 11-3 as he posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 146 in 109 innings pitched. 

McKay is the only person to win the John Olerud Award, given to the top two-way college baseball player in the country, more than once. He won it three straight years, every single season of his college career. 

Maybe he is the one. 

These are two supreme athletes at 17 years old (Greene) and 21 (McKay). They have not peaked and theoretically can only improve their bodies in the next few years. That’s not the problem.  

“As a pitcher, we’re constantly doing things for our body and same thing for position players,” Roth said. “That’s the biggest thing, recovery. 

“I remember days where I would actually pitch and hit sometimes. I would start on a Friday and then every once in a while on Sunday I would get the DH spot in college and at DH sometimes I could feel on the follow through of my swing, I was tight in my shoulder. Things like that can inhibit your swing.” 

On draft night, Greene went No. 2 overall to the Reds while McKay was selected No. 4 overall by the Rays. Officially, Greene was announced as a right-handed pitcher and McKay a first baseman. Maybe their way to the majors is a one-way street. But maybe in the case of Greene or McKay, there's a two-lane road.

Roth is running down the path of a realist. Don’t mistake him for a pessimist. Like any other baseball fan or player that grew up throwing as hard as they could and trying to hit balls to sights unseen, he wants to see a two-way star in the bigs. 

“I just don’t know how it would really work. Obviously, they’d have to be a specimen too,” Roth said before he smiles with a short laugh and says, “I think that would be really cool if someone could do it because that means they’re a freak. That would be cool, but tough.”

All it takes is one. 

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets