Runs continue to come at premium in San Francisco

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Runs continue to come at premium in San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Given the events of the day, Matt Cain would have had a field day with the Giants Friday night.

As the Giants Saturday starter was being plaqued for his perfect game, the teams everyday lineup was showing that while perfect games are exceedingly rare, a shutout to even the most modest team is not out of the ordinary at all.

The Giants were granted a three-hit shutout defeat, 3-0, by Colorado rookie lefthander Tyler Chatwood and three relievers, and while the Rockies do some truly odd things with their pitching staff these days, this was not one of those nights when they were taxed nearly enough.

RECAP: Rockies 3, Giants 0

We got three hits against a guy who was effectively wild, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said between long, tortured face-rubs. They got a couple of timely hits, and we didnt get any.

Well, they got three in total, so timeliness was less noticeable than quantity.

One-out singles by Brandon Crawford in the third and fifth innings went begging, the fifth-inning one dying because Tim Lincecum couldnt get a bunt down, and the rest of the night was watching Giants hitters essentially run down the first base line and double back. The top six Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Melky Cabrera, Hunter Pence, Hector Sanchez and Brandon Belt went 1-for-21, and Pence is now 6-for-43 as a Giant, a profoundly untidy .140.

The inability to do anything to a Colorado team had surrendered 35 runs to the Giants a week ago mooted an odd outing by Lincecum, who lasted seven innings but spent much of his night fighting from behind. He was going to a slightly bigger wind-up Friday, but the main result was that he started 15 of the first 18 Colorado hitters off with a ball, and that inability to pitch ahead in the count could have crushed him.

As it was, he was nicked only for two-out RBI singles by Dexter Fowler in the third and Tyler Colvin in the fourth, and then a Colvin single and stolen base and a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Chris Nelson in the seventh. It was by the definition a quality start, and it surely could have been worse, but it was not one of Lincecums finest since the All-Star break.

But as Bochy said, That wasnt it. It was three hits, and three hits wins very few games. Without Buster Posey, who got the night off but flied out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, the Giants were hitting their four, five and six hitters higher than they would normally, and they provided next to nothing for their efforts.

And Pence, who has one walk and 11 strikeouts to go with those six hits, is having a stunningly minimal impact since the trade that brought him from Philadelphia.

This may all change when Posey returns Saturday to catch, and Monday, when Pablo Sandoval, who went 0-for-2 in San Jose on a rehab assignment Friday night, is expected to return. Then again, the Giants have the second fewest runs in baseball at home this year (180 in 56 games, a ridiculous 3.21 per game), and the second most on the road (291 in 57 games, an impressive 5.11), so it may not just be personnel.

But the ballpark isnt going to change, so the players have to. Friday, though, was more of the painful same in a season that looks like a seismograph that gets kicked every few days whether it needs it or not.

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

Former Giants top prospect earns first career MLB win with Twins

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Adalberto Mejia made the most of his brief stint back in the majors with the Minnesota Twins by getting his first big-league win.

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Chris Gimenez all homered to help Mejia and the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-4 in the second game Sunday to salvage a split of a doubleheader.

Mejia (1-1) was the Twins' 26th active player for the second game and allowed three runs in seven innings, on two home runs by Salvador Perez - who also went deep in the first game.

Mejia's reward for his first win? A trip back to Triple-A Rochester.

"I'm going to go down there and work on the things they told me work on," Mejia said through interpreter Carlos Font. "Then it will be up to them to see when I get back."

Grossman and Kepler each hit two-run homers in the first inning, and Brian Dozier had an RBI double in the second off Ian Kennedy (0-4) in his first game back from the disabled list.

Brandon Moss hit two of Kansas City's four home runs in the opener of the doubleheader, and Perez and Jorge Bonifacio each hit two-run homers to lead the Royals to a 6-4 win earlier in the day.

With the split, the Twins are now 7-1 on the year against the Royals. Kansas City's win in the first game snapped a seven-game losing streak against Minnesota.

Kennedy, who returned after missing time with a hamstring strain, said he felt fine physically. He walked three batters and gave up a pair of two-run homers in just two innings Sunday.

"He was way out of whack," manager Ned Yost said. "His leg was fine. He felt normal, felt good. Just timing was off, rhythm was off."

MINOR'S WIN

Mike Minor's road back to the majors was not an easy one. Shoulder surgery kept him out of the majors for two years and resulted in a move to the bullpen.

Minor got his first victory since 2014 with 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief in the first game Sunday. He relieved Jake Junis with a 5-2 lead in the fifth, two outs and two on. The 29-year-old left-hander walked Max Kepler, then retired Kennys Vargas on a popup. Minor retired the side in order in the sixth.

Minor had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder in May 13, 2015, and did not appear in the major leagues in 2015 and 2016. Minor, who signed a $7.25 million, two-year contract with the Royals in February 2016, got his first major league victory since Aug. 28, 2014, for Atlanta.

JUNIS' FIRST START

Kansas City's Jake Junis, a 24-year-old right-hander, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha and made his first big league start after a pair of relief appearances. He allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings, leaving after RBI singles from Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano.

Junis found out Saturday that he would be making his first career start. He didn't pitch deep enough to get the win, but impressed manager Ned Yost before the Royals optioned Junis back to Omaha after the game.

"I thought he did a nice job," Yost said. "We tried to get him through that fifth inning, but we needed to win this game."

ROYALS MOVES

Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon missed the second game to join his wife, who is due to give birth on Monday. Infielder Raul Mondesi replacing Gordon on the roster but was optioned to Triple-A Omaha after the game. That means LHP Miguel Almonte, initially the Royals' 26th active player Sunday, remains on the 25-man roster. ... RHP Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Junis.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Royals: RHP Nate Karns had his pitching arm evaluated after Friday's start against Minnesota. Manager Ned Yost said fluid was found in the elbow area but Karns does not have a strain. Karns exited his start Friday after five innings and threw just 72 pitches due to stiffness in his arm.

Twins: RHP Phil Hughes was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with shoulder discomfort. Hughes took the loss in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. Right-hander Kyle Gibson will take Hughes' place on the roster.

UP NEXT

Royals: LHP Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.03 ERA) starts Monday's series opener at the New York Yankees.

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 8.20 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday against Baltimore.

Heston makes first start with Mariners, allows seven in three innings

Heston makes first start with Mariners, allows seven in three innings

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SEATTLE -- Yolmer Sanchez had a two-run single in Chicago's five-run first inning, Derek Holland pitch eight strong innings and the White Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 8-1 Sunday.

Tim Anderson had three hits and two RBIs for the White Sox, including his fifth home run - a solo shot in the third inning - and Matt Davidson added two hits and two RBIs. Sanchez's single in the first extended his hitting streak to 12 games, tying a career high.

Holland (4-3) gave up a run and six hits while striking out six and walking two. He finished his longest outing of the season by striking out the side in the eighth inning.

Nelson Cruz hit his 11th home run in the seventh for the Mariners, who have lost three straight.

Seattle starter Chris Heston (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Tacoma before the game to make his first major league start since Oct. 2, 2015, was roughed up for seven runs and seven hits in three innings. He walked the bases loaded in the first before giving up four straight hits.

Heston became the 11th pitcher to start for the Mariners this season, the most in the major leagues. In his only other appearance this year, he gave up five runs on seven hits in two innings of relief against Detroit on April 25.

LET'S TURN TWO

The White Sox turned four double plays, equaling the team's season high - set Saturday.

TRAINERS ROOM

White Sox: OF Leury Garcia was back in the starting lineup after missing two games. Garcia was hit on the elbow in Thursday's series opener.

Mariners: 1B Danny Valencia missed his second straight game after hurting his left wrist on a slide in Friday's game, and had an MRI Sunday. First baseman Daniel Vogelbach was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and started at first base in his place. ... Seattle manager Scott Servais said LHP James Paxton, on the DL with a left forearm strain, will probably have a rehab assignment at Double-A Arkansas later this week. If all goes well Paxton could return after the Mariners' upcoming eight-game road trip. ... OF Mitch Haniger (strained right oblique) will also likely start a rehab assignment this week.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (3-4, 4.29) starts in Chicago's series opener at Arizona. Gonzalez is 0-4 with a 6.94 ERA in his last four starts.

Mariners: Seattle has a day off Monday. RHP Christian Bergman starts Tuesday at Washington. Bergman is coming off the best outing of his career, when he held Oakland scoreless over 7 1/3 innings with a career high nine strikeouts.