Giants

Huff hits three HRs, Giants take three from Cards

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Huff hits three HRs, Giants take three from Cards

June 1, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

ST. LOUIS (AP) The San Francisco Giants' top RBI man finally acted like him again.Aubrey Huff hit three home runs and matched his career best with six RBIs, and the San Francisco Giants hammered a pair of rookie pitchers making their major league debut in a 12-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night."It's a tremendous day," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a day he'll never forget and a big day for us."Huff, who entered batting .219, hit two-run homers in the fourth and ninth innings and a solo shot in the seventh for his first three-homer game. He also had an RBI single in the sixth. Huff raised his average 14 points while leading the surge for the Giants, who set a season high for runs."When Huffie gets going, he can carry the team. He did it last year," said Freddy Sanchez, who had a homer and four RBIs. "He's getting that confidence back and his swing is back."I don't think it's any coincidence that he's getting it going and we're getting going."Huff has four homers and seven RBIs the last two games after totaling four RBIs the previous 16 games.Colby Rasmus hit his second career grand slam and had a career-best six RBIs to help make it a contest for the Cardinals, who dropped three of four at home to the Giants for the first time since June 30-July 3, 2003. Albert Pujols had two hits, a steal and scored twice."He's got a ton of talent," manager Tony La Russa said of Rasmus. "The more at-bats, the more consistent he'll be."But Rasmus misplayed a leadoff double by pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to open the Giants' three-run sixth, drifting to his right on a ball in the gap that bounced off the warning track and into the stands."I kind of gave up on it there a little bit," Rasmus said. "I ain't going to blame it on anything, I just missed the play."The NL Central-leading Cardinals had been 13-1-1 in their previous 15 series since dropping two of three at San Francisco from April 8-10, leaving town with a 3-6 record.Triple-A callup Lance Lynn (0-1) needed 56 pitches to get through five innings while working on three days' rest, but retired only one of four hitters to start the Giants' sixth. Double-A reinforcement Mikail Cleto hit 98 mph several times on the stadium radar gun in the seventh but walked the first two hitters and surrendered back-to-back homers to Freddy Sanchez and Huff in a five-run inning that made it 10-3."There wasn't anything in Lynn's stuff to say he was pitching on short rest," La Russa said. "I mean, the situation was difficult. It would be difficult for anybody who would have pitched in the big leagues."Lynn said he wasn't tired, just made some poor pitches starting with Jonathan Sanchez's leadoff double."I felt good," Lynn said. "I need to keep pushing and fighting to get deeper into games."La Russa slotted Lynn ahead of Jaime Garcia in the rotation, giving the left-hander an extra day to get over a poor outing in which he surrendered 12 runs in 3 1-3 innings in Colorado. The move also set up Garcia, Kyle Lohse and Chris Carpenter to face the Cubs in a weekend series starting Friday, but left the Cardinals short in the finale against the Giants.La Russa was out to the mound for a pep talk with Cleto before Huff finished rounding the bases on his seventh homer of the season.Jonathan Sanchez (4-3) allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings, surviving a season-high six walks. Freddy Sanchez had a season high for RBIs with a three-run homer in the seventh and a run-scoring groundout in the sixth.The Giants entered the night with the second-lowest run total in the National League and are minus two big bats with catcher Buster Posey out for the season and Pablo Sandoval about to begin a rehab assignment from wrist surgery."Our numbers were so low it was a matter of time before these guys would get it going," Bochy said. "We're getting more consistent quality ABs, and I'm a firm believer that the more opportunities you create, the more times you're going to score."Rasmus' two-run triple put the Cardinals ahead 3-0 in the third, and his grand slam came in the seventh against Guillermo Mota, who has allowed at least one run in his last five appearances with a total of eight runs given up. Hitters are 11 for 23 against him during that stretch.NOTES: Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot singled in the second and has a career-best, 16-game hitting streak, the longest current run in the majors. ... Bochy doesn't think injured 2B Mark DeRosa (wrist) is close to returning, adding, "He says he doesn't feel anything, which shocks me." ... Huff has 13 career multihomer games. ... Bochy said rookie first baseman Brandon Belt (wrist), who missed two games after being hit by a pitch on Tuesday, will take swings Friday and could return to the lineup then.

'Piss poor' seventh inning haunts Giants at Dodger Stadium

'Piss poor' seventh inning haunts Giants at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES — The Giants put together a long rally in the top of the seventh inning Friday, scoring three runs to take a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Matt Moore walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches. 

“You don’t deserve anything really that good after something like that,” Moore said. “That’s piss poor.”

Nothing good came after the walk, as Moore expected. That man, Austin Barnes, would come around to score. Three more Dodgers would, too. It added up to a 6-4 win for the Dodgers. For the best team in the National League, this was a familiar feeling. For the most disappointing team in baseball, the same was true. 

The Giants have played so well against the Dodgers this season, but in one inning at Chavez Ravine, they fell apart. They looked exactly like the team that has bottomed out over the last calendar year, and none of the pitchers who threw in the inning were spared. 

Moore had a good night in general, and his second half is showing signs of promise. But he was left angry with the result, and much of that anger was directed at himself. An hour after it happened, Moore was still stewing over the four pitches to Barnes and the double he gave up to Joc Pederson.

“You’ve got to make him earn his way on there,” Moore said of Barnes. “I’ve got to be better than that in the seventh.”

Moore’s night ended when Yasiel Puig entered the on-deck circle. Puig hasn’t hit lefties this year, but Bruce Bochy didn’t like the look of some pitches Moore had thrown in the inning, and he was pulled after 96 pitches. George Kontos entered and got Puig, a righty-destroyer, to hit an RBI grounder to short. Then he hung a 3-2 slider to Chris Taylor that was knocked into left for a game-tying double. 

“He’s been very good at times,” Bochy said of Kontos. “But the breaking ball that he’s left up, that’s the one that’s hurting him.”

Josh Osich was called upon and put a curveball on a tee. Corey Seager blasted it and that was that. The Giants sent Steven Okert down to the minors last weekend, leaving Osich as their lefty in the ‘pen. Bochy reiterated that he needs more from the young pair. Neither has taken hold of a long-term job since Will Smith went down to Tommy John surgery. 

“It’s their time,” Bochy said. “We need one of them to step up.”

Perhaps another reliever has. Kyle Crick struck out two in an impressive eighth, lowering his ERA to 1.88. It was an inning with less at stake, and that’s been the norm for Crick. He has pitched 12 times in the big leagues and 11 of the games have been losses. The lone win was a 9-2 blowout. 

The Giants have said they want to get Crick into higher-pressure spots. The inning before his on Friday night might have accelerated that plan. 

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's fifth straight loss

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's fifth straight loss

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — While the Minnesota Twins are looking to claw their way into Wild Card contention, the A’s immediate goal is to get manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career victory.

That is proving quite task, as Oakland lost its fifth consecutive game Friday since their skipper posted win No. 999. Rookie Daniel Gossett didn’t make it out of the fourth inning in a 6-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins before 17,727 fans at the Coliseum. The A’s also squandered a bases-loaded opportunity with no outs in the second, a bad omen as the home team lost for the ninth time in the past 11 games.

Twins lefty Jaime Garcia, making his first start since being acquired earlier in the week from Atlanta, worked 6 2/3 innings to get the victory. There is speculation about whether Minnesota, which came in having lost seven of its past 10, might turn around and flip Garcia to a contender. That remains to be seen.

The A’s have decisions to make themselves as Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the main one being whether to deal No. 1 starter Sonny Gray, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday’s series finale against former Athletic Bartolo Colon.

GOSSETT’S STRUGGLES: Gossett is trying to prove he should stick in the rotation as Jharel Cotton and Kendall Graveman near a return to the rotation. But the right-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up nine hits and four earned runs with three walks and two wild pitches. Gossett’s ERA rose to 5.74 after his ninth start since being recalled from the minors.

JEKYLL AND HYDE ‘D’: What to make of this A’s defense? On Friday, third baseman Matt Chapman turned in one of the finest plays of Oakland’s season, making a diving backhand stop of Miguel Sano’s sharp grounder and beginning a dazzling 5-4-3 double play. Second baseman Adam Rosales made a strong throw to home to complete an 8-4-2 putout. Matt Joyce made a great running catch in right field. But the A’s also committed two errors. That included a fourth-inning sequence where Marcus Semien sailed a throw to first base for what could have been ruled an error. Ryon Healy’s throw home was in time to get Brian Dozier, breaking from third, but catcher Ryan Lavarnway couldn’t hold on to the ball to make the tag.

A LONG TIME COMING: The A’s cut into a 5-0 deficit in the fourth when Lavarnway doubled home two runs. It marked Lavarnway’s first major league hit since Oct. 4, 2015, when he was with Atlanta. He was called up from the minors Thursday when Josh Phegley joined the 10-day disabled list with a strained oblique.

GETTING CLOSER: Graveman is scheduled to start Saturday for Triple-A Nashville, and Melvin hinted that his Opening Night starter could come off the disabled list after that outing.

NOT THAT YOU ASKED, BUT …: When the A’s lost four straight in Toronto, it marked the second time they’ve been swept in a four-game series this season. That hadn’t happened since 1997, when Oakland got swept in three different four-game series.