Lincecum outduels Latos; Giants sweep Padres

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Lincecum outduels Latos; Giants sweep Padres

Sept. 14, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- In less than two months, Carlos Beltran has been through a cross-country move to switch teams and a hand and wrist injury that landed him on the disabled list.That left little time to think about his latest milestone: home run No. 300.Beltran connected twice to give him 300 for his career and Tim Lincecum ended a three-start winless stretch in the San Francisco Giants' 3-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday that completed a rare sweep in this rivalry."It means a lot for me, actually. Thank God for that, being able to play this game for a long time," said Beltran, both knees wrapped in ice bags and his hand sore. "Three hundred, for a guy from Manati, Puerto Rico, a small town, it's good."Beltran became the sixth Puerto Rican-born player to reach 300 home runs.He homered in the first inning and again in the sixth with a splash hit into McCovey Cove to put the Giants ahead. It marked the slugger's 30th career multihomer game, third this year and first since joining San Francisco in a trade from the Mets on July 28."Beltran is one of the best players in the National League. And he's got that in him," Padres manager Bud Black said.Lincecum (13-12) outdueled Mat Latos (7-14) for his first win since beating the Padres on Aug. 24.The defending World Series champion Giants began the day trailing the first-place Diamondbacks by 8 12 games in the NL West. Arizona had a night game at Los Angeles.San Francisco has its first four-game winning streak since July 9-15.Lincecum allowed four hits and an unearned run in seven innings. He struck out six and walked two as the Giants wrapped up their first winning home series in the last eight sets since taking two of three against Milwaukee from July 22-24. September call-up Hector Sanchez caught Lincecum for the first time."A lot of credit goes to Sanchez for making adjustments from our first inning on," Lincecum said.After Dan Runzler walked pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia to start the eighth, Sergio Romo relieved and retired the side in order. He pumped his fist after striking out Cameron Maybin to end the inning. Santiago Casilla finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.San Diego, which dropped its fourth straight this season at AT&T Park and sixth in seven games, was swept in a series of three or more games against the Giants for the first time since Aug. 22-24, 2008. This was San Francisco's first sweep this year since taking three in a row June 24-26 from Cleveland.It was largely because of Beltran.The slugger's shot into the water beyond the right-field arcade was the fourth by a Giants player this year, 59th by San Francisco overall and No. 83 in the history of the 12-year-old ballpark. Home run king Barry Bonds has 35 of them."He makes this park look small at times," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I think it puts you in a really elite class - 500 is the benchmark for guys who are going in the Hall of Fame, 300 is quite a feat. Few guys have done that."Beltran also homered over the elevated brick wall in right to tie the game in the first. He went 7 for 12 (.583) with a double, three homers and four RBIs in the series and is batting .520 (13 for 25) with four homers in seven games against San Diego this season."You really have to hit the ball good in order to hit it out," Beltran said. "That's why in the dugout we always talk about what Barry Bonds did here for many years."Kayaker Dave Edlund, a McCovey Cove regular, retrieved Beltran's 300th and also No. 298 after it hit the water on the bounce. Beltran was open to a trade with Edlund but also fine with the fan keeping the souvenir.Whether Beltran will be hitting home runs here beyond this season is unclear. He said that will be a decision for after the season, though it's not certain the Giants will want to pay him the contract he seeks, either. Beltran can become a free agent after the World Series and is represented by Scott Boras."It's not my decision, but I'd be happy if he comes back," All-Star third baseman Pablo Sandoval said.The Padres took a 1-0 lead against Lincecum on Jesus Guzman's two-out RBI double in the first.Latos was tagged for seven hits and three runs in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked one.Sandoval provided a big defensive stop to end the third with Will Venable on third after he stole his 26th base. Sandoval lunged to his left to field Guzman's sharp grounder, then fired to first just in time while throwing from one knee. He chuckled after doing it again on nearly an identical play on Maybin's grounder in the sixth."Tough as he usually is," Maybin said of Lincecum. "That's why he's a Cy Young Award winner."NOTES: San Diego is 4-17 in its stretch of 30 straight games against division foes. ... Longtime Padres broadcaster and former New York Yankees 2B Jerry Coleman celebrated his 87th birthday. A retired Marine Lt. Col. and Bay Area native, Coleman worked the radio booth from the fourth through the sixth innings. ... Giants rookie Brandon Belt will play five or six weeks of winter ball in the Dominican Republic to make up for time missed while he was injured this summer. Belt was sidelined after sustaining a hairline fracture in his left wrist when he was hit by a pitch from St. Louis' Trever Miller in June. The team approached Belt last month about going to winter ball. ... All-Star RHP Ryan Vogelsong (10-7) starts Thursday night for the Giants at Colorado while trying to end a five-start losing streak. ... After an off day Thursday, RHP Tim Stauffer starts for the Padres on Friday, looking for his first career win against the Diamondbacks in his fifth start and 11th appearance. ... Lincecum is 54-4 when the Giants score at least three runs for him. ... Romo appeared in all three games in the series.

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

Giants continue embarrassing stretch against rebuilding Padres

SAN FRANCISCO — Three years ago, the Giants and Padres were the two teams in it until the very end for Pablo Sandoval’s services. He ended up in Boston, and when he became available again over the past week, the Padres politely backed away. 

They prefer youth and Rule 5 Draft picks. They came into this season knowing they might lose 100 games, and they didn’t mind. If anything, they welcomed the increased shot at the top pick in the 2018 draft. They’re here to tank, but the Giants (who expect to welcome Sandoval back on a minor league deal as soon as Friday) just won’t let them. 

Thursday’s 5-2 loss to San Diego was like so many others over the past calendar year. The Giants didn’t hit, they didn’t come through in the clutch, they did not support their starting pitcher, and they did not guarantee a handshake line. 

The Giants have lost 15 of 20 to the Padres since last year’s All-Star break, including three straight last July to kickstart a tailspin that has lasted over a year now. They have dropped four of five meetings in this second half, which was supposed to prove that a Padre-like rebuild is not needed up here in the Bay Area. They are five games behind the Padres in the race to finish a distant fourth in the National League, and in a season full of disappointment, that stands as one of the more embarrassing facts. 

Not even Madison Bumgarner’s return to AT&T Park could turn the tide. The lefty looked good most of the night, but two homers left him with a rougher-than-hoped line. Bumgarner gave up four earned on two homers. He has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Both starts have come against the Padres. 

“I’ve got to stop giving up homers,” Bumgarner said of his start. “That’s not going to work.”

Bumgarner said he felt fine physically, and his curveball — the pitch that has backfired on him most often since his return — feels right mechanically. He was facing his last batter in the seventh as George Kontos warmed up with a runner on. Corey Spangenberg hit a two-run shot to the deepest part of the yard to make it 4-2. 

Buster Posey flied out with the bases loaded in the eighth. The Giants brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth but couldn’t score, which has been the norm against the Padres. The Giants are averaging just 3.2 runs per game during this 20-game stretch of futility against a team they once dominated. 

“We need to win ballgames right now,” Bumgarner said. “We’ve got to start doing that. There’s no magic solution. We’ve got to start playing better, all of us.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as homers hurt Bumgarner vs Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A day after he did his press conference from a “Game of Thrones” throne, manager Bruce Bochy said he was happy the Giants won their series finale against the Indians and kept that plan in play. In that respect, he’s lucky his team wasn’t facing the Padres on Wednesday. 

The Giants were on Thursday, however, and they continued their baffling stretch of ineptitude against what is supposed to be the worst team in the National League West. The 5-2 loss to San Diego was the 15th in the last 20 meetings between the two teams, one of which has a $200 million payroll and the other of which is actively tanking. 

The Giants had a shot at a comeback in the eighth, but Buster Posey flied out to right with two outs and the bases loaded. Here are five things to know, if you are the curious type: 

—- Madison Bumgarner has faced the Padres twice since returning. In 13 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs. He is getting hurt by a familiar problem for the 2017 Giants: The Padres have four homers off Bumgarner in those two starts. Hunter Renfroe and Cory Spangenberg took him deep Thursday, with Spangenberg hitting one out to the deepest part of the yard on Bumgarner’s final pitch. 

—- This is the first time in Bumgarner’s career that he has allowed multiple homers in back-to-back starts. 

—- Kyle Crick showed good stuff — sitting 96-97 — while stranding a runner on second in the eighth. He followed that with a scoreless ninth. The Giants should make it a priority to throw him into some deeper water over the next two months. 

—- There’s an epidemic these days of outfielders making foolish throws to the plate. We see it just about every night, and it cost the Padres in the sixth. Gorkys Hernandez was on second and he took off right away on Denard Span’s single to right. Renfroe had no play at the plate but he threw it anyway and Span took second. He scored when Eduardo Nuñez singled to left. 

—- The Giants announced their second consecutive sellout. That’s a streak. Maybe?