Vogelsong leads Giants to 3-1 win

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Vogelsong leads Giants to 3-1 win

BOX SCORE
SAN FRANCISCO -- Ryan Vogelsong has heard the critical words all year: One-hit wonder. Fluke.It fueled him every fifth day. It will fuel him for the next four months.Vogelsong wrapped up his extraordinary, improbable comeback season with one final gem for the home Giants crowd.The All-Star right-hander pitched seven shutout innings, Mike Fontenot hit a two-run triple and San Francisco beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Monday night.This winter, at last, Vogelsong will allow himself some time to reflect on his remarkable 2011 run - as he sits on his couch and watches reruns of "The Franchise.""I haven't had much time to really think about it," Vogelsong said. "Once I get home and melt down a little bit from the season, it's going to be a lot of good thoughts and I'm probably going to realize how amazing it all is. It's been fun, it really has. All I can hope for right now is that I keep it going, come back and do it again."Brett Pill had two hits and drove in a run and Pablo Sandoval added a pair of singles and his first career sacrifice bunt for the Giants, who ended a four-game losing streak with their fifth straight home win at soldout AT&T Park.The switch-hitting Sandoval bunted left-handed because he couldn't find his batting helmet to hit righty.Mark Ellis - back in the Bay Area after being traded by the Oakland Athletics this summer - had two hits and drove in a run for the Rockies, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games and have dropped six in a row to the Giants. Seth Smith also had two hits.Vogelsong (13-7) won his third consecutive start following a five-game losing streak and improved to 4-0 this year against Colorado. He allowed four hits, struck out four and didn't walk a batter. He retired 17 of 18 during one stretch.The journeyman Vogelsong became an unlikely All-Star and among the most reliable pitchers for the reigning World Series champions - at age 34."My years in baseball, it's the best story of a guy who has persevered like he did to get another shot at pitching in the big leagues," manager Bruce Bochy said.A non-roster invitee to spring training on a minor league deal, Vogelsong emerged during Barry Zito's first stint on the disabled list. Vogelsong toiled through three seasons in the Japanese League before Triple-A stints last year for the Phillies and Angels. In the Bay Area with the team that originally drafted him in the fifth round in 1998."I've got a lot of motivation to come back and do this again and not be the one-hit wonder," Vogelsong said. "I've heard the things through the season - 'it's going to end' and 'he's a fluke' - and that stuff drove me all year and it's going to drive me through the offseason."Jhoulys Chacin (11-14) took the loss despite a solid outing. He gave up the two runs on eight hits over seven innings. Chacin walked one and struck out three.Ellis' RBI single in the eighth ended Sergio Romo's 21 2-3 scoreless inning streak, a span of 29 games.Romo got through the eighth, Javier Lopez got an out and Santiago Casilla finished off the game for his sixth save in seven chances.Vogelsong allowed three or fewer runs in 23 of his 28 starts this season and increased his lead among Giants pitchers with his 12th hit.Chacin lost his fourth straight start after not receiving any run support for the second straight game and fourth this year."I finished the season strong and healthy," Chacin said. "I'd like to get 200 innings next year if I'm healthy."Chacin (11-14) gave up two runs on eight hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out three. Fontenot drilled a two-out, two-strike pitch from Chacin into the right-center field gap for a triple, driving in two runs in the third inning."It was a pitch I wanted to make but I guess I didn't get it away enough for him to hit it that far," Chacin said. "I was focusing on the glove and trying to hit the glove."Fontenot's triple capped a two-out rally in the third after Vogelsong singled and Andres Torres walked ahead of him.After stranding five runners in scoring position, Ellis' two-out single in the eighth put the Rockies on the board.Pill added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.Bochy said closer Brian Wilson won't pitch again this season in order to protect his troublesome elbow. Wilson didn't seem happy about the decision after the game."I'm not going to talk about myself," he said before making a quick exit.NOTES: Vogelsong didn't walk a batter for the first time since April 22 vs. Atlanta. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez had his injured right wrist examined by 49er team doctor Tim McAdams, who confirmed a deep bone bruise and tendon inflammation. ... Colorado hitting coach Carney Lansford said he will likely undergo right hip replacement surgery sometime in October. ... RHP Alex White (3-3, 7.04) will start Tuesday's game for the Rockies. He's lost his last two starts, giving up 11 runs in 10 1-3 innings. The Rockies won each of his first four starts and six of his first seven. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner (12-13, 3.32) pitches for the Giants on Tuesday. He had a five-game winning streak snapped in his last start. He's 1-3 in six career starts against the Rockies, but with a 2.43 ERA. ... Rachael Flatt, the 2010 women's national figure skating champion, and San Jose Sharks' players Torey Mitchell and Logan Couture were among those in attendance. ... Rockies' manager Jim Tracy said he doesn't expect to use Huston Street the rest of the way as the pitcher nurses a groin injury. Street experienced discomfort after his last throwing session. ... The Giants set an all-time attendance record with 3,303,060.

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

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AP

Down on the Farm: Is there a two-way star in MLB's future?

This game is supposed to be hard. Somehow in the 2017 MLB Draft, two of the top prospects have so much talent they put teams in a tough spot. 

High School phenom Hunter Greene and University of Louisville star Brendan McKay were both options to go No. 1 overall to the Minnesota Twins. The only question with them was, where would they play? No, this isn't because the two are DH-type players who can't stay on the field. Instead, the two are marvels at the plate and on the mound, making the idea of a possible two-way MLB star, start to seem real. 

“I think it’s really just that hard," says Sacramento River Cats pitcher Michael Roth. "I don’t really know if that’s possible." 

If it was up to Roth, he would have made MLB scouts fret over what to label him as well. Roth, who wound up as a College World Series legend on the mound for South Carolina, came to the school with intentions of a career at first base. 

The most games Roth appeared in as a hitter in college were 17 as a senior. He batted .211 that season and the lefty wound up going to the Angels in the ninth round of the draft after completing one of the greatest college careers ever as a pitcher.

As strictly a pitcher, and serving as both a starter and reliever, Roth knows the rigors he must put in before a game. This is hours of work, all prior to a three-hour game. 

"From a pitcher’s perspective, I know how much work goes into honing our craft and you’re never perfect," said Roth. "I mean, you’re always working on it and there’s still something each day that you don’t think you did well enough."

With his past of a former two-way player himself in college who focused more on offense when first arriving on campus, Roth says the same when it comes to position players. 

"I mean they have to put time into honing their craft whether it be on the field fielding ground balls or taking fly balls in the outfield and then taking swings. And it’s a lot of work,” Roth continues. 

For Greene and McKay, the numbers speak for themselves. Maybe they really are the ones.

Greene, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher and shortstop, hit .324 with six home runs in 30 games as a senior at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. On the mound, with a fastball that can touch 102 miles per hour, Greene allowed a total of three earned runs in 28 innings pitched with 43 strikeouts.

Maybe he is the one.

College baseball's Colossus of Clout put up numbers among the best bats and arms in the country for the Cardinals. McKay led Louisville to the College World Series where his amateur career ended in a 4-3 loss to TCU, going out with a bang as he bashed his 18th home run of the year, 20 rows deep into the right-field bleachers. He finished his junior year at the plate hitting .341 with 18 home runs. His pitching stats weren’t far behind, going 11-3 as he posted a 2.56 ERA and struck out 146 in 109 innings pitched. 

McKay is the only person to win the John Olerud Award, given to the top two-way college baseball player in the country, more than once. He won it three straight years, every single season of his college career. 

Maybe he is the one. 

These are two supreme athletes at 17 years old (Greene) and 21 (McKay). They have not peaked and theoretically can only improve their bodies in the next few years. That’s not the problem.  

“As a pitcher, we’re constantly doing things for our body and same thing for position players,” Roth said. “That’s the biggest thing, recovery. 

“I remember days where I would actually pitch and hit sometimes. I would start on a Friday and then every once in a while on Sunday I would get the DH spot in college and at DH sometimes I could feel on the follow through of my swing, I was tight in my shoulder. Things like that can inhibit your swing.” 

On draft night, Greene went No. 2 overall to the Reds while McKay was selected No. 4 overall by the Rays. Officially, Greene was announced as a right-handed pitcher and McKay a first baseman. Maybe their way to the majors is a one-way street. But maybe in the case of Greene or McKay, there's a two-lane road.

Roth is running down the path of a realist. Don’t mistake him for a pessimist. Like any other baseball fan or player that grew up throwing as hard as they could and trying to hit balls to sights unseen, he wants to see a two-way star in the bigs. 

“I just don’t know how it would really work. Obviously, they’d have to be a specimen too,” Roth said before he smiles with a short laugh and says, “I think that would be really cool if someone could do it because that means they’re a freak. That would be cool, but tough.”

All it takes is one. 

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

Blach only lasts three innings as Giants get mashed by Mets in loss

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes had three hits including a two-run homer and Lucas Duda had three hits including a solo blast as the New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 11-4 on Friday night.

The win snapped the Mets' four-game losing streak. They had lost seven of eight.

The Giants have lost 10 of their last 11 games, 12 of their last 14 and 19 of their last 24.

Along with Cespedes and Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera, Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto all had three hits.

After being held to five runs over their last three games, the Mets broke out their hitting slump, combining for 20 hits.

All but one Mets starter (Jose Reyes) had at least one hit and all but two (Reyes and Cabrera) drove in at least one run.

Seth Lugo (2-1) won for the third time in his last four starts. He gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings and was 1 for 2 with one RBI.

Gorkys Hernandez hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth off Lugo that spoiled his bid for a fifth straight quality start.

Cespedes' ninth homer of the season highlighted a six-run second inning in which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cespedes had a double in the sixth that highlighted a three-run inning.

In 13 games since coming off the disabled list Cespedes is 17 for 43 with seven extra-base hits including three home runs.

He's 8 for 18 with three home runs in his last four games at AT&T Park going back to last season.

Ty Blach (4-5) gave up seven runs in three innings. He's 0-3 with a 6.84 ERA in his last five starts.

Cabrera was activated from the disabled list and inserted into the New York Mets' starting lineup at second base rather than shortstop and he said he wants to be traded. Cabrera had three hits Friday night.

The 31-year-old, a two-time All-Star and a veteran of 11 big league seasons, had not started at second since Sept. 28, 2014. The Mets started Jose Reyes at shortstop against San Francisco on Friday night and Wilmer Flores at third.

TRANSACTIONS:

Mets: Second-round draft selection Mark Vientos signed out of high school for a $1.5 million signing bonus. The infielder was the 59th overall selection in this year's draft. . The Mets also signed their third- and fifth-round picks, OF Quinn Brodey and 1B/OF Matt Winaker (both from Stanford). . Brodey signed for a $500,000 bonus and Winaker for $280,000.

Giants: LHP Bryan Morris was designated for assignment and Steven Okert was called up from Triple-A Sacramento.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner (separated left shoulder) threw 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday at the team's spring training complex in Scottsdale, Arizona. . Utilityman Eduardo Nunez went on the 10-day DL with a hamstring injury. The Giants activated 3B Conor Gillaspie (back spasms).

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom (6-3, 394 ERA) has allowed one earned run over 17 innings in his last two starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in five career starts against the Giants. San Francisco RHP Johnny Cueto (5-7, 4.42) is 1-6 with a 4.13 ERA in his last nine starts. He's 4-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 12 career starts against the Mets