Scutaro 'more optimistic' about Game 3; Bochy vows no retaliation

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Scutaro 'more optimistic' about Game 3; Bochy vows no retaliation

ST. LOUIS Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro wasdiagnosed with a contusion and a strained left hip but remains a possibility to startGame 3 of the NLCS Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

An MRI exam confirmed the strain and ruled out otherstructural damage stemming from Matt Hollidays hard, late and controversialslide in the first inning Monday night, when the Cardinals power hittersuccessfully broke up a double play. Scutaros left knee was sore as well,Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Were hopeful he can go, said Bochy,adding that he was comfortable with veteran Ryan Theriot as an alternative.Hell get treatment today and well know where hes at tomorrow. But thatswhat were hopeful for.

Scutaro accompanied the team to St. Louis on Tuesdayscharter flight and offered to test his condition with some baseball activities.Bochy and trainers originally planned to limit him to rest and treatment, but Scutaro talked his way into jogging in the outfield and taking some swings in the cage, including one that went for a home run.

Bochy added that the chance of wet weather wouldnt impacthis decision whether or not to play Scutaro, whose ability to field hisposition would be the bigger concern.

But I will say hes more optimistic about where hes atright now than when it first happened, Bochy said.

And about what happened

Bochy was resolute when asked if his perceptions ofHollidays slide changed at all after hearing the left fielders remorse atstarting into the base later than he had planned.

RELATED: Brutal takeout slides from past postseasons

I dont think Ive changed my stance on what I said lastnight, said Bochy, reiterating that the slide was illegal in his view. Idont think there was intent to hurt someone. But it was late. And I explainedmy reasons last night. The second baseman is in a position where there can bedamage done, as we saw. He came out of this pretty good considering how hard hegot hit.

So I dont think my chance has changed at all. Thats an illegal slide.

RELATED: Bochy declares takeout slide on Scutaro 'illegal'

Bochy acknowledged he was watching first base and wasscreened out from having a view on Hollidays sideways, body-blocking slide overthe top of second base in the first inning, which took out Scutaros legs. Whenhe asked second base umpire Greg Gibson whether the slide constitutedinterference, the umpire told Bochy that Hollidays momentum carried him intothe runner.

Replays showed more than just a runner sliding through the bag.

Bochy never bristled louder than when asked a question thatincluded the word retaliation. The manager has said many times over hiscareer that hes never ordered a pitcher to hit someone, and he did not wanthis players to be tempted into committing any macho acts in Game 3.

Whats on our mind is to go out and play our best ball,Bochy said. Thats over. You have to move on. You hate to see what happened.Whats important is we keep our focus and try to win a ballgame.

And yes, that includes throwing inside. Matt Cain has heldHolliday to a .200 average (8 for 40) but with three home runs over their manytangles, and the right-hander said he wouldnt be timid about throwing insideas part of his game plan.

If one gets away, it gets away, Cain said.

Said Bochy: Were not changing our game plan with whathappened. Were going to go out there and hopefully execute pitches and not getcaught into that. We dont want any distraction. Well do what we can to win aballgame.

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.