Giants

Sandoval goes deep to end hitless streak, Giants steamroll White Sox

Sandoval goes deep to end hitless streak, Giants steamroll White Sox

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- Despite compiling the longest hitless streak of any Giants player since at least 1900, Pablo Sandoval insisted he wasn't focused on the dry spell.

"You know, I don't think about it," he said. "I keep swinging. It's one of those things, you have to grind every day (on) the field and think with a great attitude and great positivity to do everything you can to get out of it."

Sandoval snapped his 0-for-39 skid with a three-run homer, Matt Moore pitched effectively into the seventh inning and San Francisco beat the Chicago White Sox 9-2 on Friday night.

Denard Span also homered and Brandon Crawford had three hits with an RBI for the Giants, who have won back-to-back games after losing seven of eight.

Sandoval went 1 for 3 with four RBIs. His previous hit was a single on Aug. 25 at Arizona.

"There are a lot of ways to break out of it, but that's probably the best one right there - giving us a three-run lead," Moore said. "A no-doubter like that, he can kind of take a little bit of a breath for himself."

Avisail Garcia homered for Chicago, which has dropped five straight.

Moore (5-13) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 2/3 innings. He won for just the second time in eight decisions.

Lucas Giolito (2-2) gave up five runs, three earned, and three hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked four, struck out five and was ejected by plate umpire Gabe Morales after he was lifted.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria also was tossed, by crew chief Eric Cooper. Giolito had allowed one earned run in 14 innings over his previous two starts.

"I didn't think I said anything to warrant an ejection," Giolito said. "To a certain extent, you have to stand up (for) yourself. I guess I just said one too many things."

The 23-year-old right-hander didn't permit a hit until Crawford singled with one out in the fourth. Nick Hundley followed with a walk. One out later, Giolito hung a 2-1 changeup to Sandoval, who hit a 405-foot drive deep into the right-field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.

Garcia's two-run shot in the bottom of the inning made it 3-2.

The Giants added a couple of unearned runs in the sixth for a 5-2 lead.

Crawford had an RBI single in the seventh to make it 6-2. Span hit a solo shot and Hundley added a two-run single in the ninth.

GOTCHA!

Buster Posey, who reached on an error by Chicago second baseman Yoan Moncada, scored the first run of the sixth when the defense was caught napping. With runners on the corners, Crawford took off from first base on a 3-2 pitch to Hunter Pence. The pitch was called a ball, but catcher Kevan Smith threw to second base. Moncada went to tag Crawford as Posey ran home from third.

"When he came in, I said, `You know he walked, right?'" Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got a great jump on that. They didn't have a chance on him."

Posey, though, wasn't credited with a steal of home. It was called a fielder's choice.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: Injured closer Mark Melancon will have season-ending surgery on his right forearm Tuesday. Melancon has been bothered by chronic compression of a muscle in the forearm throughout the year, and the surgery will aim to relieve it. "After Colorado, we said let's go ahead and get this thing done for his peace of mind and everybody's," Bochy said.

White Sox: LHP Carlos Rodon was placed on the 10-day DL with shoulder inflammation and the team announced he won't pitch again this season. Rodon had an MRI after being scratched from his scheduled start Thursday. He'll be re-evaluated next week. "We're just being extremely cautious," Renteria said. "(He's) a very important piece for us moving forward."

UP NEXT

Chicago right-hander James Shields (2-6, 5.72 ERA) looks to snap an 11-start winless streak Saturday night in the middle game of the series. San Francisco righty Jeff Samardzija (9-2, 4.31) faces his former team for the first time since leaving as a free agent following the 2015 season.

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.”