Lincecum rocked, Giants rally past Rockies 8-6

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Lincecum rocked, Giants rally past Rockies 8-6

BOX SCORE
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Jamie Moyer knows making the Colorado Rockies is going to be a tough task after having Tommy John surgery.At 49, he's up to the challenge.Making his first appearance in a year and a half, Moyer pitched two scoreless innings and the Rockies tagged Tim Lincecum for five runs before the San Francisco Giants rallied for an 8-6 victory Wednesday."I was a little anxious entering the game," said Moyer. "It's been 18 months since I pitched in game. I wasn't nervous since I entered from the bullpen in the fourth.
"I have something to prove to this team," he added.Moyer last pitched July 20, 2010, when he was with Philadelphia. In his two innings of work, Moyer held the Giants to a single and induced five groundouts and had a strikeout. His fastest pitch was an 82 mph fastball to Brandon Belt in the fourth inning.If Moyer makes the team, he would become the fifth pitcher to play in the majors for 25 years or more. Nolan Ryan holds the record having pitched for 27.Moyer threw just 22 pitches in his outing. "I have a lot of work ahead of me," Moyer said. "I can't sit and dwell on this because one outing isn't going to create where I'm going to be."Today was all about trying to be effective and pitch around the strike zone," he said.The Rockies pounced on Lincecum in the first two innings, scoring five runs as the former two-time Cy Young Award winner struggled with his command.
BAGGARLY: Rockies tee off on Lincecum's fastball
The Giants ace gave up five runs on seven hits to the 13 batters he faced. In the first inning, he threw 29 pitches and yielded a lead-off homer to Charlie Blackmon and two-run triple to Michael Cuddyer.His struggles continued in the second as he gave up two-run single to Carlos Gonzalez."I felt fine, said Lincecum. "I felt like my times to the plate were good. Both innings were kind of rough, obviously."Just one of those things where you've got to eliminate the fact that you're trying to get super competitive out there and trying to get outs and really focus on what you're trying to work on," Lincecum said. "I wanted to just keep throwing my fastball and hopefully pound the zone with that. At times I thought I got changeup-happy."Jeremy Guthrie, making his first appearance of the spring, gave up two runs on five hits in three innings."I was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes," Guthrie said. "However, I played into their hand when I threw fastballs."Guthrie, who lost 17 games last season with Orioles is pitching in the NL for the first time."So far, I've been able to fit right in," Guthrie said. "It's a pretty easy group to fit into.Trailing 6-2 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Giants rallied for six runs in the next two innings.Tommy Joseph, a catcher, had two singles while Gregor Blanco, an outfielder had a single and double.New Giant Melky Cabrera continued his torrid hitting raising his spring average to .571 (8 for 14) by going 3 for 3. The outfielder had two homers on Tuesday against the Dodgers.
BAGGARLY: Bochy doesn't apologize after booting Angels scout
NOTES: An Angels scout taking notes during the Giants morning infield practice was ejected from Scottsdale Stadium at the request of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, according to CSNBayArea.com. Scout Jeff Schugel was removed from the stadium about 10:15 a.m. while the Giants were going through routine infield drills. Earlier this spring, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson had scouts removed while they were watching drills at Arizona's camp. ... On a back field, after Giants closer RHP Brian Wilson threw live BP to C Buster Posey and 2B Freddy Sanchez declared "that he was ready" to appear in a spring game. ... Dr. James Andrews told LHP Dan Runzler that he just aggravated his latissimus dorsi muscle - not re-torn it - and won't need surgery. Runzler tore the muscle during last season's final game. He should return in four to six weeks. ... Giants C Hector Sanchez missed practice with a right hamstring injury sustained during Tuesday's game.

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Programming note: Dodgers-Giants coverage starts today at 11:30am with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Dave Roberts and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for today's series finale at AT&T Park:

Dodgers (10-12)
1. Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Chris Taylor (R) 2B
6. Austin Barnes (R) C
7. Scott Van Slyke (R) 1B
8. Cody Bellinger (L) LF
9. Julio Urias (L) P

Giants (8-14) 
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Eduardo Nunez (R) SS
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Matt Moore (L) P (1-3, 5.87 ERA)

Morse, Arroyo stun Dodgers, lift Giants to thrilling comeback win

Morse, Arroyo stun Dodgers, lift Giants to thrilling comeback win

SAN FRANCISCO — This spring, Hunter Pence briefly tried to cut back on his coffee intake. The experiment did not last long for a player who is pure caffeine on and off the field, but even Pence is occasionally in need of more than a large cold brew. 

Pence tried to stay upbeat throughout a sluggish start to the season, but around him was a clubhouse in need of energy. Christian Arroyo walked through the door on Monday. Two days later, Michael Morse arrived.

“That’s quite an energy jolt,” Pence said of Arroyo. “Morse, it’s been an energy jolt as well.”

The two recent River Cats sent a pair of jolts through a stadium that was sold out for the 499th consecutive time. Arroyo hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his first in the big leagues. Morse went deep in the eighth for his first big league hit in two years and first homer as a Giant since the 2014 NLCS. 

Pence is close friends with Morse and an admirer of Arroyo, the 21-year-old who has taken a locker a few feet away. He made sure neither jolt went to waste, hitting a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th to give the Giants a thrilling 4-3 win they hope they can build on.

“That was a shot in the arm,” Morse said.

The big slugger was just that earlier Wednesday. Morse agreed to terms on a minor league deal at Pence’s wedding last winter and he was on track for Opening Day before a hamstring injury. He was so excited by Wednesday’s call back to San Francisco that he beat Bruce Bochy to the park. The manager tried to lower expectations before the game, telling reporters that Morse would not be a regular starter, especially in left, where the Giants have watched a black hole open. 

Morse was here for the late innings, for the moment when Bochy looks at him and says simply, “Get ready, Mo.” For most of Wednesday’s game, it looked like that big moment wouldn’t come. Alex Wood took a no-hitter into the sixth but he was pulled in the seventh by a Dodgers staff trying to protect his arm. Sergio Romo entered and soon faced a kid who was 19 the first time he walked into Romo’s clubhouse. 

“He’s been doing the same thing in the big leagues with good results for a long time,” Arroyo said. 

Arroyo got the slider that’s always coming, low and away, and he drilled it deep to left-center. He hit only three homers last year but Giants management felt the 36 doubles at Richmond showed a developing power bat. The strength has come quickly, and the ball carried into the first row of seats. 

“I looked up and saw the ump waving and I was like, ‘I’ve got to slow down,’” Arroyo said, smiling. “I tried to slow down and take it all in.”

As Arroyo crossed the plate and looked to the sky, his family shared hugs — without spilling a nacho — in a section overlooking the home dugout. The ballpark roared. A 3-0 deficit had been nearly erased. 

“Now it’s a one-run game,” Bochy said. “Anything can happen.”

Even by that standard, Morse’s blast was improbable. This is a player who didn’t have a hit last season before being sent home by the Pittsburgh Pirates. A player who, at 35, was having a poor spring before he announced to a reporter one day that he was going to hit a homer -- and then promptly did. On a rehab assignment over the past week, Morse had a .250 average and no homers, but he insisted to general manager Bobby Evans that his swing was ready. 

Evans believed, and Morse rewarded him with a moment that had everyone in the park throwing it back to 2014. Just as in the deciding game of the NLCS against the Cardinals, Morse was sent up as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Sidewinding Pat Neshek was replaced by fire-balling Pedro Baez, but the approach was the same. 

“Swing hard,” Morse said. “Just in case you hit it.”

Baez kept pumping fastballs and Morse turned on one at 97 mph. He raised his arm the same way he did three years ago, an inning before Travis Ishikawa’s heroics. 

“I’m not going to lie,” Bochy said. “I was thinking about that game against St. Louis.”

All the Giants were. 

“You kind of just sit there and shake your head a little bit because it was very similar to his last homer here,” Posey said. “Even his excitement out of the box was similar.”

Morse said he didn’t intend to strike the same pose. 

“I was like, ‘I hope I didn’t strike out and I’m just running around the bases,’” he said, laughing. “It was cool, man. Not only for me, but for the team.”

For four innings, the surging bullpen made sure the homers would not be a fun footnote to another loss. Gorkys Hernandez kicked off the winning rally in the 10th with a single. He was pushed along by a stolen base, walk and bunt. Pence stepped in with no outs and engaged in one of the strangest battles of a career full of them. 

Ross Stripling, a starter with a deep repertoire, kept pumping 94 mph fastballs up near Pence’s eyes. Pence swung through one, fouled off five, and took three more for balls. Only one of the pitches he saw was in the strike zone. In the dugout, Posey shook his head in amusement. 

“It was kind of hard not to laugh,” Posey said. “He’s probably the only guy who can do that.”

Some Giants couldn’t hold the laughter in, even in a tense spot.

“He had that ‘Thou shall not walk’ going in that at-bat,” Bochy said. “He probably expanded as much as I’ve ever seen. If he would have walked it would have gone down as one of the more amazing walks with all the balls he swung at.”

On a night full of so much energy, a walk would have been an anticlimactic ending. Pence, who had been expecting a curveball the whole at-bat, lofted a 10th fastball deep enough to left to score Hernandez and send the Giants streaming out of the dugout. 

Arroyo, the youngest of them all, went sprinting across the infield. Morse followed, and soon he had Pence wrapped in a hug. Hours earlier, he had promised that at the very least, he would bring energy to the clubhouse. He delivered more than anyone could have imagined.

“To do that is one of those special moments that can change a season,” Pence said. “It was electric ... Morsey being Morsey.”