Sandoval upbeat, excited, embraced by fans in return

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Sandoval upbeat, excited, embraced by fans in return

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO No matter what controversy PabloSandoval might face off the field or how many pounds he packs on, the Giantsknow they are a better team with his bat in the lineup.

Their fans understand it, too.

Sandoval returned from the disabled list on Saturday to anovation that was loud, and by all indications, positive.

RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 5, Rangers 2

He made all the plays at third base, survived a scare on aninside fastball that nearly hit his repaired left hand, and whistled an RBIsingle up the middle in the seventh inning.

And he was all smiles after the game, grateful for thechance to play in the big leagues again after a six-week absence and evengrateful for the scolding that Giants manager Bruce Bochy gave him about hisconditioning.

Yeah, yeah, Im excited he told me those things, said Sandoval, who received a lecture prior to the game. I want to work hard to get in shape. We have a great manager. He givesyou advice to work hard to be a better player. He told me, You have thetalent. Youve got to show it. Ill keep doing my routine Ive been doing forthe last couple weeks.

Off the field, the last few weeks have been anything butroutine for Sandoval. He remains under investigation by the Santa Cruz CountySheriffs Department and faces possible sexual assault charges stemming from anincident at a seaside resort June 1. Investigators interviewed Sandoval on thatday with his attorney present; they have not conducted subsequent interviewswith him, Deputy April Skalland said.

RELATED: Sandoval's alleged victim a 212-year-old SC woman

Detectives expect to wrap up the investigationin another two weeks and submit a recommendation to the district attorneysoffice. He does not currently face charges, nor has he been arrested.

Despite the controversy, Sandoval experienced little to no backlash from fans in hisreturn. Fans of all ages continued to wear Panda hats and cheer each of hisat-bats.

When youve got fans like that supporting you every day,its exciting, Sandoval said. I go to the field every day and try to help myteam.

Sandoval was his usual, upbeat, aggressive self at the plate. He took a mighty cut at the first pitch from ScottFeldman and eventually flied out to center field in his first at-bat. He hittwo more fly outs before hitting an RBI single in the seventh inning.

The hit came one pitch after Sandoval got brushed back by afastball from Koji Uehara; the pitch hit Sandovals bat near his left hand,which he immediately began shaking. He said the vibrations didnt feel good,but he was OK.

Good, good. It doesnt bother me, said Sandoval, whobatted from the left side each time but said hes ready to hit lefties, too. Ican swing hard right-handed.

Sandoval missed seven weeks last season following his right hamate fracture. He missed six weeks this time after surgery to remove the same bone in his left hand.

Bochy said he was pleased with Sandovals performance in hisfirst game back.

He did a nice job at third base, Bochy said. He was alittle anxious at the plate early. He was getting himself out. He shortened upand got a hit. Thats usually the case when guys come back. Theyve got to slowit down. I thought he had a good batting practice. I thought itd take a gamefor him (to slow down). He looked good.

Said Sandoval: Its one month to come back. You want to doeverything in one at-bat, in one play. The last at-bat, I just try to calm downmyself.

Down on the Farm: Beede earns third win with River Cats on 24th birthday

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AP

Down on the Farm: Beede earns third win with River Cats on 24th birthday

Tyler Beede stepped on the hill at Raley Field in Sacramento on Tuesday night one year older and came away with one more win after the River Cats defeated the Memphis Redbirds, 6-2. 

Beede, now 24 years old, didn’t churn out his most impressive or dominant performance, but he limited hits and found a way to earn his third win of the year. On the night, he completed 5 1/3 innings pitched and only allowed four hits and two earned runs. He did, however, walk more batters (3) than strikeouts (2), which is his lowest strikeout total in a game this season. 

Those numbers shouldn’t be too surprising when looking at Beede’s trends this season on the mound. In his nine starts for the River Cats, he is walking slightly more batters than last year when he was in Double-A Richmond, and he’s significantly striking out less batters. Through 49 innings pitched, which leads the River Cats, Beede is issuing 3.31 walks per nine innings (3.24 BB/9 in 2016) while only striking out 5.88 batters per nine, compared to 8.25 K/9 last year. 

Instead, the Giants’ top pitching prospect is turning to ground balls, setting him up smarter for the future. After forcing seven groundouts to three flyouts on Tuesday, he is now rolling ground balls 56.5 percent of the time, an increase from 47.9 percent last season. 

Sacramento plays in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. All teams outside of the River Cats, who are last in the league with a team batting average of .238, are averaging just over five runs per game and almost one homer every game. Beede, isn’t letting the ball fly through air and has only allowed three homers off of him this season. This plays well for his and the Giants’ future. 

Whenever Beede finds his way to San Francisco, he doesn’t need to rely on his mid-90s fastball to get outs. The strikeouts will come, but life will be much easier watching a Gold Glove infield scoop up grounders for years to come. 

While Beede waits his turn to join the bigs, he’s showing maturity on the hill and stayed undefeated at home on a birthday night to remember. 

Around The Horn

— The Giants’ top power prospect, Chris Shaw, has been called up from Double-A Richmond to Triple-A Sacramento. Shaw, 23, played only first base in the minors before this season, but has transitioned to left field. He played 18 games at first and 18 games at left for the Flying Squirrels, registering no errors in the outfield. 

— Kelby Tomlinson is working in center field while with the River Cats. Insider Alex Pavlovic spoke to Bruce Bochy about the move

— Bryan Reynolds, the Giants’ top pick in 2016, finished a home run short of the cycle on Sunday. He went 5-for-6 with four RBI in the San Jose Giants’ win. On the season, Reynolds now has 14 multi-hit games in 38 games played. Here’s the breakdown: Six two-hit games, seven three-hit games and one five-hit game. 

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

Mariners designate former Giants pitcher for assignment

CHICAGO -- Chris Heston was hopeful a move to a new organization could give his career a jolt. It hasn't worked out that way.

The former Giant was designated for assignment on Wednesday by the Mariners, who earlier acquired an outfielder from the Astros and needed the roster spot. Heston was traded to Seattle at the winter meetings for a player to be named later. The Giants have not yet picked that player off a list the teams agreed to.

Heston had a 3.95 ERA as a starter for the Giants in 2015 and threw a no-hitter at Citi Field, but he had trouble transitioning to relief the next season and dealt with an injury in Triple-A. Needing a roster spot in December, the Giants traded him.

Heston started Sunday for Seattle and gave up six earned runs in three innings. He allowed five earned in two innings in his previous appearance.