Giants

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

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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.

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

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AP

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore knew there was something different about his final home start at AT&T Park this season, and not just the fact that he received a loud ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh. Moore noted later that the outing was the first shutout he has been a part of this year. In fact, it was the first time in 30 starts that he walked off the mound without having allowed a run. 

“I guess it’s better late than never,” he said. 

The Giants are hoping it’s actually a preview of things to come. They counted on Moore to be a big part of their 2017 push, but instead, he likely will finish with the worst ERA of any full-time starter in the National League. Still, general manager Bobby Evans has informed Moore that his 2018 option will be picked up, something that Moore appreciated given the time of year. 

“I always pictured myself here,” he said. 

Whether coincidence or some kind of “weight off the shoulders” situation, Moore’s first start since the public revealing of the decision was his most encouraging of the year. Facing a good lineup, and a team that needed a win desperately, he pitched six shutout innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 4-0. 

Moore was already showing signs of life, with a 3.76 ERA over his seven previous appearances. Bruce Bochy viewed this as another step forward. 

“It’s been getting better and better with each start,” he said. “What he did really well today was on the arm side. He had good balance to both sides of the plate.”

Moore peppered the outside corner with fastballs, and he credited catcher Nick Hundley with stealing a few strikes. The plan allowed Moore to put hitters away in big spots, one of three points of emphasis he brought into the second half. The other two: limiting lefties and getting ahead of hitters.

That’s Moore’s roadmap back to being the player the Giants acquired. For the team as a whole, the roadmap back to relevance is similar to Wednesday’s plan. This is not a home-run hitting lineup, but the Giants are 47-21 when scoring four runs, and Wednesday was a reminder of the different paths to that magical number. 

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, but the first two runs came on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a walk-wild pitch-single combination. Bochy said he liked “the brand of ball” his team played.

“They executed so well today,” he said. “It’s just good baseball, and that’s what I felt good about.”

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”