Season-high four in a row


Season-high four in a row


SAN FRANCISCO When youve hit one home run in your last 18 home games, youd better be creative about scoring runs.

The Giants keep finding ways, and their pitching staff keeps making those runs hold up.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro allowed the tying run to score in embarrassing fashion when he lost track of the outs in the fifth inning, Buster Posey scored the tiebreaking run in the seventh after drawing his fourth walk of the afternoon and Ryan Vogelsong maintained the rotations full-gallop pace as the Giants beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 at AT&T Park on Monday afternoon.

The Giants completed their first four-game sweep over the Cubs in San Francisco since June 17-20, 1999, at Candlestick Park. They have 19 wins since May 5, tied for the most in the majors with the Miami Marlins and Chicago White Sox.

Starting pitching report
Vogelsong (4-2) turned in the Giants seventh consecutive start of at least seven innings and no more than two earned runs. Its a streak that has been done just one other time in the Giants San Francisco era, when they had nine straight starts meeting those qualifications in 1988.

Vogelsong gave up both his runs in the second inning, when the Cubs collected five singles most of them bleeders -- in a six-batter span. The right-hander stranded the bases loaded when he fielded Castros checkswing tapper and made an accurate throw to first base.

He only allowed one more runner into scoring position after that, and Ryan Theriots highlight play helped him escape the seventh inning.

Vogelsongs 2.38 ERA leads the Giants rotation and he has nine quality starts in 11 outings.

Bullpen report
Jeremy Affeldt went six up, six down to record a very impressive two-inning save. He even got an at-bat out of the deal, which his teammates enjoyed very much.

At the plate
The Giants extended their streak to 13 home games without a home run, the second longest in the clubs San Francisco era. They went 15 games without a homer from Sept. 4 to Oct. 3, 1980.

Its also the longest streak by any club at home since the Dodgers played 14 consecutive games at Chavez Ravine without a homer in 1992.

They utilized patience over punch to score enough to support Vogelsong. Buster Posey walked while seeing 27 pitches in each of his first four plate appearances. He became the first Giant with a four-walk game since Juan Uribe on May 9, 2010. It also was just the second four-walk game since Barry Bonds in 2007.

(Since 2000, Bonds owns 16 of the clubs 19 four-walk games. Posey, Uribe and Dustan Mohr own the others.)

The Giants began their comeback from a 2-0 deficit in the second inning when Brandon Belt and Joaquin Arias singled and Brandon Crawford followed with a double down the right field line. But Ryan Theriot struck out with the bases loaded and Melky Cabrera had the misfortune of lining out to second baseman Darwin Barney.

Cabrera grounded out to strand a pair in the fourth, but the Giants benefited from a huge mental mistake to tie it in the fifth.

Posey led off by drawing a walk against Jeff Samardzija and Angel Pagan ripped a single extending his hitting streak to an all-time franchise record 28 home games. Pagan doffed his helmet as the sellout crowd treated him to a standing ovation.

Belt walked to load the bases but it appeared the Cubs would escape when Arias lined out and Crawford hit a roller to second base for an easy double play. But Castro simply strode across the bag as he received the throw from Barney, causing faces to strike palms all through Cubs nation. Posey looked back after crossing the plate, surprised that his run counted.

Posey drew another walk from former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol to start the winning rally in the seventh. The Giants once again loaded the bases with no outs after Pagan reached on an infield single and Belt walked. Arias grounded into a double play as Posey crossed the plate.

In field
Was Theriot lucky or good?

Maybe a little of both when he stopped Castros short-hop smash in the seventh inning. With the tiebreaking run at third base, Castros hot shot deflected off Theriots glove but went straight up in the air. It was a bad bounce for the Cubs, as Theriot snatched the ball with his bare hand and threw in time for the out.

The Giants announced 41,524 paid. Approximately 41,523 knew there was one out when Crawford hit his grounder in the fifth.

Up next
The Giants begin a three-game road trip at Petco Park against the last-place San Diego Padres on Tuesday. Tim Lincecum (2-6, 5.82) will try to get back in the victory column against right-hander Anthony Bass (2-5, 4.00).

Lincecum is 10-4 with a 1.84 ERA in his career against the Padres. After San Diego, his next start is expected to come June 16 at Seattle the Washington natives first ever appearance at Safeco Field.

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


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.