Offense awakens, Giants avoid sweep with 8-1 win

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Offense awakens, Giants avoid sweep with 8-1 win

Sept. 11, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Madison Bumgarner didn't have much problem handling the Los Angeles Dodgers while stopping another losing streak for the Giants.Convincing manager Bruce Bochy to let him finish out the season may be a bit more difficult.San Francisco's most reliable starter over the last three weeks, Bumgarner has already logged more than 186 innings on the mound this season. With their postseason hopes dimming almost every day, the Giants plan to take a cautious approach the rest of the way with their young left-hander."We had a little concern, not much, with how much he pitched the year before," Bochy said after Bumgarner allowed three hits over five innings in San Francisco's 7-1 win Sunday. "I just like where he's at right now. He worked hard today but made some great pitches."Bumgarner won his fourth straight start, Pablo Sandoval doubled home the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and the Giants beat the Dodgers to avoid a three-game sweep.Bumgarner (11-12) struck out eight and walked three, matching the longest winning streak of his career and improving to 8-3 with a 2.73 ERA since June 26."I'm just making better pitches and having a little better luck at the same time," Bumgarner said while insisting his arm strength is fine despite closing in on the 200-inning mark."I don't know if I've gotten stronger. I still feel good. I'm not worried about wins and losses for me. The biggest thing is innings. You want to stay out there and pitch late. That's probably the most important thing."Six of Bumgarner's victories, including each of the last four, have came after Giants losses.It's probably too little too late for the defending World Series champions, who snapped a three-game losing streak and trail NL West-leading Arizona by 8 12 games. When San Francisco scored two runs in the fifth and five in the sixth, it marked the first time since July 3 that the Giants scored multiple runs in consecutive innings.Slumping Aubrey Huff had two hits and a bases-loaded walk in his first start since Monday. Sandoval finished with a career-high three doubles, tying a Giants regular-season record at AT&T Park."It seems to be starting a little late," Huff said. "You could tell when we got a three-run lead, everyone relaxed and we started scoring more."Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled in the Dodgers' run but struck out with the potential tying run at second base in the sixth. Los Angeles lost for only the third time in 13 games.San Francisco had gone 18 consecutive scoreless innings until breaking through against starter Hiroki Kuroda, who had not lost in four previous appearances at the Giants.Sandoval drove in Jeff Keppinger for a 2-1 lead in the fifth and Huff followed with an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch. In a 5-for-36 (.139) slump coming in, Huff also walked with the bases loaded against Scott Elbert during a five-run sixth.In the second, Huff doubled leading off after initially thinking he had a home run. The ball hit the top of the fence and bounced back onto the field, but second base umpire John Hirschbeck ruled the ball was still in play. Umpires upheld the call following a video review.It was reminiscent of San Francisco's win over Texas in Game 2 of the World Series last year when the Rangers' Ian Kinsler hit a ball to almost the same spot as Huff did. Kinsler was also given a double on the play.Three batters later, Eli Whiteside singled in Huff with San Francisco's first run."I was touching first and everybody thought it was a homer," Huff said. "I'm like, 'Homer? I hit it high enough to get out?' I scored, so it's kind of a moot point."Kuroda (11-16) allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since getting only 12 outs against San Diego on Aug. 2 last year."For the most part it looks like he isn't able to locate like he usually does," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Everybody is entitled to this kind of stretch. He's not going to cave in. It's not like he's missing with everything."Cody Ross hit a bases-loaded double and pinch-hitter Mark De Rosa added a two-run single in the sixth.Los Angeles scored its lone run in the second and had a chance for more with the bases loaded before Bumgarner worked his way out of it. He got Kuroda to ground into a force play at home then retired Dee Gordon on a comebacker.The Dodgers managed only four runners the rest of the way and ended their trip 7-3.NOTES: A moment of silence was held before the game to commemorate the victims of 911. There was no ceremonial first pitch; instead, Bochy walked out to the field alone and left a ball on the pitching mound. ... The previous San Francisco player to have three doubles in one home game was Nate Schierholtz on Sept. 24, 2008. ... The Giants activated LHP Barry Zito from the 15-day DL. Bochy plans to use Zito as a spot starter and out of the bullpen. ... Eric Surkamp (1-0) pitches for San Francisco in the series opener against San Diego on Monday. The rookie lefty beat the Padres on Sept. 6 for his only career win in the majors. ... Dodgers LHP Ted Lilly (9-13), who tied his season high of nine strikeouts in his previous start, will pitch for Los Angeles in the opener of a three-game set with Arizona.

Giants promote power-hitting outfield prospect to Triple-A

Giants promote power-hitting outfield prospect to Triple-A

CHICAGO -- The Giants wanted Christian Arroyo to force his way up to the big leagues. Chris Shaw isn't exactly in the same boat, but he is now at the same level where Arroyo was to start the year. 

Shaw, the top power-hitting prospect in the organization, was promoted from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday morning. General manager Bobby Evans said Shaw, a first baseman in his first couple of years in the minors, will continue his recent outfield work. Shaw had been playing left field in Richmond and he will be the primary left fielder in Sacramento.

"He's put himself in a position where the next test is the Triple-A level," Evans said. "He was starting to get to the point where he was ready for the next challenge."

It is unlikely that Shaw gets promoted again this season because the Giants do not need to add him to the 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. Arroyo, on the other hand, would have been added after this season anyway. Austin Slater, who also needs to be added at some point in 2017, is more likely to earn a September call-up. The Giants do, however, leave the door open for prospects to force the issue. 

The 23-year-old Shaw was the 31st overall pick in the 2015 draft. He hit 12 homers in 46 games in rookie ball and then slugged 16 in 72 games for the San Jose Giants, earning a promotion late in 2016. Shaw had five more homers in two months with the Flying Squirrels and he opened up this year with six in 133 at-bats. 

In three minor league seasons, Shaw is batting .277 with a .350 on-base percentage and .503 slugging percentage. He has 39 homers in 813 professional at-bats, along with 59 doubles and four triples. In 37 games this season, Shaw has 26 strikeouts and 18 walks.

"He controls the strike zone and he's got a fairly decent eye," Evans said. "He strikes out a relatively low percentage of the time and has a pretty good walk rate for a power guy."

Shaw played quite a bit in the outfield at Boston College but he was a first baseman in the minors until this season. With Brandon Belt locked in at first at the big league level, the Giants started giving Shaw starts in left field. Before leaving Richmond, Shaw made 18 starts in the outfield, totaling 158 innings. 

Listed at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Shaw would be big in left, even by the Giants' standards. In the past, scouts -- who admitted they had only seen him at first -- insisted he probably can't handle the position, but the Giants disagree. Shaw is said to have the footwork to handle left, but he's working on getting comfortable with throws. 

"He played a lot of outfield in college, pretty close to 100 games, mostly in right field," Evans said. "We'd like to give him as much time as possible to get comfortable.  We discussed (the outfield) this spring and we made a more conscious decision to get him out there (in left). That was a discussion from the time he was drafted."

 

Giants finalizing deal to sell Marrero's rights to Japanese team

Giants finalizing deal to sell Marrero's rights to Japanese team

CHICAGO -- Chris Marrero forced his way onto the Opening Day roster with a huge spring. Two months later, he's headed overseas.

The Giants are close to finalizing a deal that would sell Marrero's rights to the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese league, general manager Bobby Evans said Wednesday. Marrero was designated for assignment last month to clear a roster spot for Christian Arroyo.

Marrero, a 28-year-old former first-round pick, hit eight homers this spring, including a couple of walk-off shots, to become part of the left field platoon with Jarrett Parker. The plan didn't work out. Parker got hurt and Marrero batted just .132 before being designated.

At the time, Marrero said he hoped to work his way back up, and manager Bruce Bochy said he would like to see Marrero find his power swing in the minors and then return. Japan, however, is a more lucrative opportunity for veterans. Marrero had asked the Giants to help facilitate the move so he could sign a new deal with Orix.