Pill, Christian lead Giants to win in L.A.

540816.jpg

Pill, Christian lead Giants to win in L.A.

BOX SCORE
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A couple of September call-ups are giving the San Francisco Giants an offensive boost in their last-gasp bid for a playoff berth.Justin Christian had a three hits and drove in three runs - all with two outs - and Brent Pill went 3 for 5 with two RBIS in an 8-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night."It's nice to see these guys called up and making the contribution," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "They're doing what you hoped to see and that's showing they can play in the major leagues."Christian, who had his contract purchased from Triple-A Fresno on Sept. 5, is 5 for 8 in the first two games of the series. Pill, who played with Christian in Fresno, also scored twice."It's awesome," he said of his success. "I feel pretty relaxed, not trying to do too much."Pill grew up rooting for the Dodgers against the Giants."It's fun to be part of it and help the team," he said.The Giants can use all the help they can get at this point.Any combination of two Arizona wins andor Giants' losses would eliminate the defending World Series champions. San Francisco trails Atlanta by 3 12 games for the NL wild-card spot."We're in the mode right now where we got to win every game," Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong said. "The mood is try and win every night and see what happens."Los Angeles had its four-game winning streak ended as it dropped back to .500.Vogelsong (12-7) allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings, struck out three and walked one in extending his career-high victory total. The All-Star right-hander has gone 3-6 in his last nine starts after being 9-1 through his first 20 games."I just started missing a little in the fifth," he said. "They were pitches I wanted. I just didn't put them where I wanted to."After giving up an RBI single to James Loney in the ninth, Brian Wilson earned his 36th save in 41 chances, and his first since Aug. 13 after a stint on the disabled list.The Giants had their season-high eight-game winning streak snapped in the series opener Tuesday, but have won 11 of 15.They scored three runs with two outs in the first on RBI singles by Pill and Mike Fontenot. Christian's two-run double with two outs in the fourth increased their lead to 5-0.The Dodgers got to 5-4 in the fifth on Jamey Carroll's RBI single and Matt Kemp's three-run homer.Bolstering his bid for the NL MVP award, Kemp hit his 35th homer to tie Atlanta's Dan Uggla for second in the league. Kemp overtook Philadelphia's Ryan Howard for the league lead in RBIs with 116 and he surpassed Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for the runs lead with 106. He singled in the ninth for his 183rd hit.Dana Eveland (2-2) gave up five runs and six hits in four innings, struck out one and walked three in his fourth start for the Dodgers this season. The left-hander fell to 3-1 in his career against the Giants after having blanked them for seven innings of a 3-0 win on Sept. 10."I think on all three of my walks I was ahead in the count. I just struggled putting guys away," he said. "It wasn't so much the hits that I gave up in those situations. It was how I got into those situations that really bothers me. I don't like to walk people, especially from an 0-2 or 1-2 count. I was overthrowing some pitches, just trying to do too much."San Francisco extended its lead to 6-4 with two outs in the sixth on Christian's RBI single. The Giants added two runs in the seventh on Pill's RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Mark DeRosa.NOTES: Giants RF Carlos Beltran left the game with a right foot contusion after being hit by a pitch in the third. He doubled in the first to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Bochy said he expects Beltran to play in Thursday's series finale. ... Vogelsong improved to 6-1 on the road this season. ... Kemp's homer was the 94th given up by the Giants this season, fewest in the majors. ... Dodgers SS Dee Gordon extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the first, while RF Jerry Sands' streak extended to nine games with a single in the eighth.

With Bumgarner sidelined, Blach 'taking full advantage' of opportunity

With Bumgarner sidelined, Blach 'taking full advantage' of opportunity

SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point over the next four days, Madison Bumgarner will pick up a baseball, stand a few feet across from a member of the training staff, and simply play catch. It'll be a huge step in Bumgarner's rehab, and should it go well, a boost to the psyche of a struggling team.

In the meantime, another lefty is making sure the Giants don't suffer too much without their ace, as improbable as that first seemed.

Ty Blach took a shutout into the eighth Saturday night and in true Bumgarner fashion, he added a pair of hits and an RBI. The Giants beat the Braves 6-3. They've won Blach's past three starts, and even with a 10-run outing in Cincinnati mixed in, he has a 3.71 ERA since taking the spot left open by a dirt bike accident.

"Because of what happened he's in the rotation," manager Bruce Bochy said, "And he's taking full advantage."

Blach has shown that long term, he might be a big part of this rotation. It's been years since the Giants locked a young, cost-controlled starter in, and Blach has backed up his big cameo last year. It's possible -- likely even -- that at some point the Giants will need to trade a veteran, perhaps Johnny Cueto, for young bats. Blach provides needed insurance. 

Short term, he's providing a huge boost to a team that doesn't have much going right. Blach has thrown at least seven innings in his past four starts. He has allowed just eight earned runs in four starts since the one in Cincinnati, throwing 28 2/3 innings. 

"I feel good," Blach said. "I've always been a starter, so it's been a pretty easy transition to make. I feel comfortable."

The Giants are comfortable behind him, as evidenced by a half-dozen strong defensive plays Saturday. 

"He's been consistent and he works quickly," first baseman Brandon Belt said. "He's just a great guy to play behind."

Blach even joined in at the plate. He had an RBI single in his first at-bat -- his first big league hit off Not Clayton Kershaw -- and later roped another single. Blach even showed off his wheels, busting it from first to third on Denard Span's ball to the corner before Phil Nevin held him up. 

"I worked into some good counts and I was able to get fastballs," Blach said of his night at the plate. "It's definitely a big confidence booster when your spot comes up and you're able to drive in runs."

The night was straight out of Bumgarner's playbook, and it was needed. The Giants had dropped five of six, but Blach was backed by homers from Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt. It got a little hairy late, but the bullpen held on, clinching Blach's third win of the season. He looks poised for many more, and Bochy is happy to keep running him out there.

"I'm not surprised by what he's doing," the manager said.

 

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — This spot in the rotation is the one reserved for the stopper, the pitcher who takes a game by the throat when his team really needs it. 

Ty Blach took the mound Saturday for a team that had lost five of six, and just as Madison Bumgarner often has, Blach ended the skid. The young lefty was dominant into the eighth and the bats finally provided enough support. The Giants won 6-3, tying this weekend series with the Braves.

Here are five things to know from a night we were reminded that Emilio Bonifacio is in the big leagues … 

--- Blach pitched 7 2/3 innings. He has thrown at least seven innings in his last four starts, and five of seven starts overall. Jeff Samardzija (6) is the only Giants starter who has gone that deep more often. Blach is tied with Johnny Cueto for second-most seven-inning starts on staff, and Cueto has made three additional starts. 

--- Blach’s RBI single in the fourth was -- at the time -- the fourth hit of his career, and the first against a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. The ball had an exit velocity of 101 mph. Blach tried to score from first on Denard Span’s double, but Phil Nevin held him. Still, the way he was moving, it makes you wonder if Samardzija really is Bruce Bochy’s best pitcher-pinch-running option. In the seventh, Blach picked up a second single. 

--- Blach’s only bad start has been the one he made in Cincinnati, where the Giants played like a Double-A team. If you take that one out, Blach has a 2.21 ERA since taking over Bumgarner’s rotation spot. 

--- Even though he gave up just two earned in 7 2/3, Blach’s home ERA actually went up. It’s 1.75, which ranks seventh in the National League. The sellout crowd gave Blach a standing ovation when he was pulled in the eighth. 

--- Blach had a season-high five strikeouts. When he got Nick Markakis to end the first, Blach ended a streak of 37 left-handers faced without a strikeout. He later struck out another lefty, Matt Adams. The new Braves first baseman came up as the tying run in the eighth but Derek Law got him to ground out to first. 

--- Bonus sixth “thing to know” ... on Blach of course: His first name is Tyson, not Tyler. It’s Tyson Michael Blach.