Vogelsong beats Mariners, matches Cain in one respect


Vogelsong beats Mariners, matches Cain in one respect

SEATTLE Ryan Vogelsong came out of his ritualistic bloodfever, which he enters in the hours before every start, to say a rare word to ateammate Friday afternoon.

It was Matt Cain.

Yeah, I told him before the game today Im trying to keepup with him, said Vogelsong, who was one of the greatest admirers of Cainsperfect game on Wednesday. Hes not making it easy.

Vogelsong was not perfect in a 4-2 victory over the SeattleMariners. But if there is something more pure than perfection, its overcomingimperfection. And nobody does that better than the Giants 34-year-old successstory.

I actually feel Ive pitched better than I did last yearbecause Im pitching out of jams, said Vogelsong, who faced plenty of earlyturbulence yet took a two-hit shutout into the eighth inning. Not that Ididnt last year, but its even more now. That comes with success andconfidence. You just keep making pitches. Guys make plays for you.

Like I said, Im just trying to keep up with the big man.

In the most important sense, he is. The Giants are 8-0 inCains last eight starts. Theyre 8-0 in Vogelsongs last eight, too.

In case math is not your strong suit ... the Giants are 16-0 in their last 16 games with Cain and Vogelsong on the mound.

Thats incredibly convenient for Tim Lincecum. As theirstruggling two-time Cy Young Award winner takes the mound Saturday, its evenmore well documented that the Giants are 0-8 in his last eight outings.

Imagine how crippling the pressure would be on Lincecum ifnot for Vogelsong and Cain.

Oh, without question, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. AndI think you have to look at Zito, too, with the job hes done. It does take thepressure off. You dont always rely on your No.1 guy to win a ballgame.

Its gonna get better with Timmy. No question. But in themeantime, its about picking each other up. And Vogelsong, its fun to watchhim. I think Buster (Posey) will tell you its fun to catch him, too.

The longball is fun, too. The Giants got two of them, fromPosey and Melky Cabrera, and have hit eight over their last four games. Toparaphrase Bochy and Posey: Hey, they come in bunches.

Vogelsongs quality starts are consistent as well asplentiful. He battled again in the early innings and fought himself to throwstrikes at times. But second baseman Ryan Theriot made a jump throw across hisbody and shortstop Joaquin Arias picked it out of the dirt while sweepingacross the bag, then threw off-balance to complete an impressive double play inthe fourth inning.

If Arias doesnt dig out that ball and keep it from goinginto left field, its likely that a run scores and the Mariners have runners atsecond and third with one out. Instead. Theriot gave Arias a round of applauseas they jogged off the field together.

Vogelsong retired the next nine hitters.

Well, what a play like that does is it makes you pitch tocontact, he said. If guys are going to make plays like that let them hitit.

Vogelsongs ability to grind through starts is what mostimpresses Bochy.

What you like about him, he keeps his composure out there,Bochy said. He continues to grind it out and make pitches.

Bochy would love to be able to say the same thing afterLincecums start in his hometown Saturday.

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.