Vogelsong 'just along for the ride' in Giants' win

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Vogelsong 'just along for the ride' in Giants' win

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong said it best: I was justalong for the ride tonight.Vogelsongs 19th consecutive start of six innings or more, datingback to his last outing of 2011, was overshadowed by a three-hit night fromBuster Posey, a cringe-inducing catch from Melky Cabrera and a crew of umpiresthat made itself a part of the game.The Giants had already pounced on the Padres for three first-inning runs whenBrandon Crawford hit a sinking line drive that San Diegos Mark Kotsay appearedto trap. Crawford and third base coach Tim Flannery, who had the best view ofthe play along with third base umpire and crew chief Dana DeMuth, were irateimmediately. Bruce Bochy trotted out of the dugout to voice his displeasurewith the call as well, and before the Padres had time to switch their fieldinggloves for batting gloves, the umpires met on the field and overturned DeMuthscall of a catch.Its a tough call, Bochy said. You run and you try and make the call. Weknew it short-hopped him. Its all about getting it right, which they did. Theydid a great job of getting together and getting it right. Thats a big call toobecause the run scores.Vogelsong, who was in the on-deck circle with Crawford atthe dish, said he never returned to the dugout despite the out call on thefield.I saw the ball hit the ground, Vogelsong said. I didntknow if they were going to overturn it or not.The four-run first inning gave Vogelsong a cushion he rarely enjoys. Cominginto Mondays game, the Giants had provided their veteran right-hander with3.16 runs of support, lowest on the teams staff and third lowest in theNational League. Though the four runs would end up being more than enough forVogelsong, the Giants werent done.Posey, who was in the middle of the Giants first inning rally, put the gameout of reach with a three-run shot into the first row of arcade seats in right.The fans above Levis Landing seemed to know off the bat it was gone, but didPosey?Not off the bat, Posey said of only the 14th home run by aright-handed Giant at AT&T Park. I knew I got the barrel on it. I sawMark Kotsay keep drifting and thought it was going to go off the wall, butwas even happier when it went over.Posey collected three hits, as did Cabrera and Ryan Theriotfor a potent 2-3-4 part of the lineup that combined for six runs and four RBIs.Multi-hit games from Cabrera have become the norm since he came to SanFrancisco in an offseason trade, but his catch in the sixth inning as he fellinto the stands was nothing short of spectacular.Even in a 7-1 game in July, Cabrera hustled to make it to the short wall nearthe Giants bullpen, then sacrificed his body as he left his feet to make thecatch. Cabrera landed on a few fans, who helped him back onto the field, thentrotted back to his position with a wide smile and chants of Melky! Melky!surfacing around the stadium.Bochy and Posey both said they did not think Cabrera had a chance to catch theball.First of all, I thought it was going to be in the seats,Posey said. He went a really long way and that was an unbelievable catch.Bochys take is nearly identical.I thought the ball was in the seats, Bochy said. Its a dangerous play. Youhate to see him go into the stands like that but hes so athletic and he landedpretty soft there. It looked like he landed in the seat. But what a grab. Ittakes great focus to catch that ball. Thats the way he plays.For Cabrera, its just part of the job.I always play hard because I like to help my team in any way I can, Cabrerasaid through a translator. Before Cabrera even had time to catch his breath, the umpires re-took centerstage. In a cruel twist of fate, Crawford went from having an out turned intoan RBI hit in the first inning to having a double turned into an out in thesixth. After splitting the right-centerfield gap, Crawford appeared to have aneasy double, but was called out when first base umpire Jordan Baker said henever touched first on his way to second. Unlike in the first inning, argumentsfrom the Giants side fell on deaf ears.When Crawford grounded out to first in the eighth, he stepped on the bag harderthan normal and tried to have a conversation with Baker. But the umpire wasntin the mood and handed the Giants young shortstop his first career ejection.I didnt think I said anything worthy of getting tossed, Crawford said. Other than the hit to Crawfords batting average, the Giants had a bannerMonday to open a 10-game homestand. The bats looked lively, the defense stepped up in big spots, and the starterthe Giants picked up off the scrap heap continues to prove that his 2011breakout season was no fluke.

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