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 notes: Belt gets start in left field; Span 'day-to-day'

Giants notes: Belt gets start in left field; Span 'day-to-day'

DENVER -- Brandon Belt spent some time Sunday morning playing balls off the wall at Coors Field to get accustomed to life as a left fielder. He used to borrow Javier Lopez's glove, but with Lopez retired, Belt snagged a Chad Chop BP glove. It's an outfield glove that Chop said was a gift from Tim Lincecum, and it's apparently from Japanese Nike, whatever that means. 

Belt looked back fondly on his one day in left field last year in Arizona. 

"I was amazing," he said. "I had one Defensive Run Saved."

It's true, he did. Belt made a nice running catch that he brought up as reporters were talking to Denard Span.

"I don't remember that," Span said. 

"I ran into the fence but I stayed in the game," Belt replied. 

Span smiled and admitted he had no comeback. An X-ray came back negative after Span's collision Saturday, and he's hopeful he'll only miss a few days. If it's more than that, the Giants will put him on the 10-day DL. Span had a similar issue with his SC joint in 2012 and missed several weeks. 

"It's a little sore," he said. "Right now I'm day-to-day. The good thing is I've got range of motion."

Span said he immediately thought of Jarrett Parker as he hit the wall. He knew the injury wasn't as bad as Parker's, but "I knew something didn't feel right."

With Span out, Gorkys Hernandez starts in center and Hunter Pence is the backup there. This could be the start of some serious roster juggling. Bochy said the staff has talked about getting Belt more time in left so Buster Posey and Nick Hundley, who is swinging it well, can both start. Eduardo Nuñez is one possibility. Michael Morse and Mac Williamson are not ready yet. Drew Stubbs could be the first one up; he has looked great, according to the reports Bochy is getting. 

"We'll go day-to-day and see how it goes," Bochy said. 

--- If you missed it last night, Bochy isn't thrilled with his starting pitchers, and for good reason. You can talk about Hernandez and Chris Marrero and all that until you're blue in the face, but the resources have been spent on the rotation, and it's been an issue on and off field.

 

In series of roster moves, Mariners call up former Giants pitcher

In series of roster moves, Mariners call up former Giants pitcher

Chris Heston is back in the major leagues.

The former Giants pitcher was recalled as part of a flurry of roster moves by the struggling Mariners prior to Sunday's game against the A's in Oakland.

First baseman Dan Vogelbach was also recalled, while outfielder Leonys Martin was designated for assignment and pitcher Chase De Jong was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Heston was traded by the Giants to Mariners in December for a player to be named later.

In parts of three seasons with the Giants, Heston went 13-12 with a 4.16 ERA and 148 strikeouts in 188 innings.