Tigers expect Oakland-style craziness from AT&T Park crowd

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Tigers expect Oakland-style craziness from AT&T Park crowd

SAN FRANCISCO The Detroit Tigers deserve to win a Bay Area baseball Mr. Congeniality award.When talking about what they expect from the AT&T Parkcrowd, many Tigers managed to compliment both Giants and As fans in theprocess.Hopefully that Oaklandseries prepared us for this, Austin Jackson said. Just watching the NLCS onTV it was loud, so I cant imagine how its going to be live.ALCS MVP Delmon Young compared the scene in Oakland during the Division Series to aninternational soccer match.If theyre anything like Oakland,its going to be a crazy series because that was the most intense scene Iveever seen. That was like playing in FIFA World Cup soccer. The only thing thatseparates them is a bridge so I think itll be crazy.The noise at AT&T Park during Games 6 and 7forced Fox announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver to raise their voices duringthe game broadcast and the auxiliary press box in the third deck would shakeduring big moments. Tigers catcher Gerald Laird is expecting more of the same, or worse, in theWorld Series.We expect the worst. We see how the Bay Area is. Its loud. Oakland was great; it was a great atmosphere.We expect the same here in San Francisco.Laird said he was really impressed while watching the end of Game 7 by the fansthat embraced a strong rain like it was a hot shower.You can tell last night no one left and it was a downpourfor the last out. So we know how much they love their baseball here. But aftergoing through Oakland,we feel like we can play in any stadium because it was probably the loudestwed been in all year.The Giants helped their crowd get loud in Games 6 and 7 of the NLCS becausethey scored early in each game. Marco Scutaro, the NLCS MVP, was a big reasonwhy the fans had something to cheer about early, whether it was the age-oldLets go Giants! chants or the MVP! MVP! encouragement for Buster Poseywhen he came up with ducks on the pond. So how do the Tigers plan on keeping Scutaro, who hit .500 over 28 at-bats inthe NLCS, off base in front of Posey?Its tough; youve got to pitch to your pitchersstrengths, Laird said. We felt like the Cardinals made a lot of mistakes tohim and he didnt miss it. Thats what good hitters do. We have to executepitches to him, weve got to make him feel uncomfortable in the box and I feellike we have the right-handed pitching to do that.Game 1 starter Justin Verlander has been known to quiet opposing crowds withhis electric stuff, but even when he was cruising through the As lineup inGame 5 of the ALDS, the crowd in Oaklandwas relentless.The Giants and their fans will likely still be riding the high from a Game 7win, and the Tigers are well aware of that.Theyre definitely going to have some momentum going into this next game, Jackson said. I thinkits going to be a good matchup. I really think its going to be a tough battlefor both teams.

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

Giants lineup: Posey catching, Nunez at third base against Braves

The Giants look to win two straight against the Braves and Bruce Bochy has made a few changes to the lineup Sunday.

Atlanta Braves (21-26)

1. Ender Inciarte (L) CF
2. Brandon Phillips (R) 2B
3. Nick Markakis (L) RF
4. Matt Kemp (R) LF
5. Matt Adams (L) 1B
6. Kurt Suzuki (R) C
7. Rio Ruiz (L) 3B
8. Dansby Swanson (R) SS
9. R.A. Dickey (R) P

San Francisco Giants (21-30)

1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
3. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
4. Buster Posey (R) C
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Justin Ruggiano (R) RF
7. Joe Panik (L) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) LF
9. Johnny Cueto (R) P