Sept. 17, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDDENVER (AP) -- San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said the task at hand is straightforward for the Giants in the waning days of the regular season."We just got to go out there and try to win ballgames," Bochy said. "It's pretty simple at this point. And obviously, we need some help."The Giants suceeded on both counts Saturday night. They scored four runs in the eighth and then held on to beat the Colorado Rockies 6-5 and extend their winning streak to seven games.The Giants moved five games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West with 10 games to play after Arizona lost at San Diego. San Francisco has made up 4 12 games on Arizona in a week.The Giants are also five games behind the Atlanta Braves in the wild-card race where they are third and trail the St. Louis Cardinals by a half game.San Francisco scored once in the sixth to go ahead 2-1 only to have the Rockies take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning. That was the Giants' plight in the eighth, when Huston Street came on for the Rockies and Andres Torres led off with a single."We feel we've got a shot," Torres said. "I got a base hit and everything started. We just got to play hard and win some games."Street (1-4), pitching in a set-up role after Rafael Betancourt took over as the closer in mid-August while he was on the disabled list, then fielded Jeff Keppinger's bunt, but threw the ball wide of shortstop Hector Gomez, allowing Torres to take third."That's a good throw, it's probably close to being a double play ball," Bochy said. "But we caught a break there."Carlos Beltran followed with a run-scoring double that sent Keppinger to third. Street then struck out Mark DeRosa.But Brett Pill, who tripled home the Giants' first run in the sixth off Matt Belisle, tripled again and two runs scored."I don't think I've ever had two triples in my life (in a game)," Pill said. "It was hard to breathe when I got to third."Pill said he benefited from watching Street throw sliders exclusively to DeRosa. Pill fought back from a 1-2 count and drove a 2-2 slider to the gap in left-center."He kind of left one over the plate with two strikes, and I just barreled it," said Pill, a 27-year-old rookie who is 7-for-21 with one double, two triples, two homers and six RBI in his first six games in the majors."I think the problem area for Huston tonight simply boils down to the inability to make a two-strike pitch," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He had Torres right where he wanted him at two strikes, but he left a changeup enough to where he could serve it into left field. We had an out at second base on the hard bunt by Keppinger. He was going to be out with a good throw...He had two strikes on Pill and left a slider up in the zone. We were in the position we were in to wiggle ourselves of the inning. We weren't able to get out of it."Matt Lindstrom relieved Street and got pinch hitter Aubrey Huff to ground to first baseman Jordan Pacheco. He was slow throwing the ball home, and Pill scored to make it 6-3.Santiago Casilla, filling in for injured closer Brian Wilson, earned his fifth save but not without a few anxious moments. He gave up a one-out single to pinch hitter Seth Smith and walked Ty Wigginton. Mark Ellis doubled to score Smith, and Wigginton scored when Wilin Rosario grounded out.Gomez had gone 2 for 3 in his first major league start, one night after his major league debut, but Casilla struck him out to end the game.Waldis Joaquin (1-0) retired the two batters he faced in the eighth to earn the victory.Notes: Giants outfielder Cody Ross, who came out of Friday's game in the sixth, underwent an MRI that confirmed a strained right hamstring. He's expected to miss about a week. ... Rockies manager Jim Tracy said center fielder Dexter Fowler would not be in the lineup Sunday. He has started every game since Aug. 15. ... Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left hip), first baseman Todd Helton (back) and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (right wrist) didn't play. Tulowitzki has missed four straight games and six of the past eight. Helton has missed four straight games and 10 of the past 12 games, and Gonzalez missed his second straight game. ... Brian Wilson (right elbow inflammation), who has been on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 16, played catch Saturday, and Bochy said, "There's a good chance if he comes in tomorrow and feels fine that we will activate him." ... Giants pitcher Jonathan Sanchez (left ankle sprain) could throw off a mound Monday or Tuesday, Bochy said, and might pitch "an inning or so" before the season ends. ... Esmil Rogers, who is 6-5 with a 5.88 ERA overall but 1-2 with a 9.86 ERA at Coors Field, will start for the Rockies. Matt Cain, who is 11-10 with a 2.79 ERA will make his 26th career start against the Rockies and fourth this season. He's 12-7 with a 3.16 ERA against the Rockies.
SAN FRANCISCO — The flight from Miami to San Francisco is one of the longest in the league. It will not be a happy one.
The Giants fell behind early and never recovered, losing 8-1 in the series finale with the Marlins. The Giants had won six of nine entering the road trip. They dropped a series in Washington D.C. and then lost two of three to the Marlins.
You are here already, so here are five things to know …
—- Matt Cain deserved better in the first, and it was kind of a stunning error that cost him. With two outs, Brandon Crawford dropped a liner that was hit right at him. The next batter, Tomas Telis, hit a two-run double.
—- Cain was charged with five runs in four innings, but only two of them were earned. He struck out seven and walked just one, showing a good curveball throughout. Several times, he dropped down for a new look. Like I said, he deserved a bit better than that final line.
—- Pablo Sandoval’s walk in the eighth was his first since returning to the Giants. His numbers, by the way, are right in line with his Boston numbers.
—- Albert Suarez has seen his stuff take a tick up during this stint with the Giants, but it’s not leading to results. After giving up a walk-off grand slam on Sunday, he allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings in relief of Cain. Suarez currently has a 7.43 ERA.
—- Giancarlo Stanton was 2 for 4 with two singles. His run of six games with a homer came to an end. I suppose that’s a small victory for the Giants?
Because we are too cool to allow the games to sustain us and because we all think the purpose of sports is actually not to be the best player but the general manager, the new item on the baseball menu is not the pennant races but “Where should Giancarlo Stanton go?”
The usual suspects are listed – the Yankees, the Giants, the Chunichi Dragons, Real Madrid – and the $295 million still on his contract is not considered an impediment.
But the logic behind the Marlins keeping him is just as clear and more pressing. Namely, Bruce Sherman, the incoming owner, and Derek Jeter, the designated face, did not buy this team and promptly try to make themselves detested by the few people who still care about it.
So far, we know that the monstrous thing in center field (no, not Christian Yelich) is likely to be torn down, and that Stanton is don’t-go-to-the-bathroom-during-his-half-inning entertainment. Beyond that, we know only that the Marlins draw when they win a lot and barely at all the rest of the time. They are clearly a distant third in a four-team race with the Dolphins and Heat for people’s hearts, and now that hating Jeffrey Loria’s living guts are off the table for the fans, there really is no there, there.
So what’s the up-side of moving Stanton (and before we go any further, the Giants don’t have nearly enough assets to make that work, so calm the hell down) for the Marlins? Prospects, the dark hole that makes a three-year plan a six-year plan.
And the down-side? Sherman may as well move the team for the level of fun he’ll get from it, and the only reason to buy a team looking at a $60 million loss is for the fun. Besides, onlky a very few owners have ever made the full turn from villain to hero – the first impression almost always lasts forever.
So while Stanton may create immediate wallet relief for this aggressively average team (their current record of 57-61 is the 12th best in their 25-year history, and they’ve only had eight winning seasons ever), they also have nothing to sell the fans that they have to live with every day. And if they don’t have enough fans . . . well, I hear San Jose is always hot for a mediocre franchise that lurches between spending money and hoarding it.