More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win

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More magic -- Ross gives Giants fifth walk-off win

May 10, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Tim Lincecum pitched scoreless ball. Cody Ross provided the late dramatics. The Giants celebrated a victory in thrilling fashion.Sound familiar?The World Series champions are at it again.Ross hit a game-ending RBI single in the ninth inning, Lincecum pitched another gem and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 Tuesday night for their fourth straight victory."I don't feel that great yet, but it does feel like the playoff formula with the pitching," said Ross, the NL championship series MVP. "Torture again, I guess."At least until the end.
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Ross' line-drive single down the third base line off David Hernandez (2-1) scored pinch-runner Darren Ford from second, sending the Giants pouring out of the dugout in celebration for their third last at-bat win in four games. Ross also drove in all three runs in a 3-0 victory over the Rockies on Sunday that capped San Francisco's first three-game series sweep this season.
Lincecum struck out nine and took a no-hitter into the sixth in another dominating start for the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, giving San Francisco back-to-back shutouts and spoiling a stellar outing by Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy. It was also the first time Arizona has been held scoreless this season.Brian Wilson (3-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win."We kind of have that fire going into those last innings knowing that anything can happen," Lincecum said. "And stuff like this does, and it seems to happen to us quite a bit."Buster Posey led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk. He was lifted for Ford, who stole second so easily that catcher Miguel Montero didn't even contest with a throw.Hernandez rallied by striking out Aubrey Huff before Ross sent a line drive past diving third baseman Melvin Mora for another dramatic late-inning victory that is becoming all too common again. The Giants have five walk-off wins already this year."That's been the story of my season so far is walking guys, especially leadoff guys," Hernandez said. "Eventually it's going to come back and get you, and today was one of those days."
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For most of the game, though, this was a pitcher's duel.The first hard hit ball of the night didn't even count when Chris Young missed a home run by mere inches in the fifth, when he scorched a fastball from Lincecum that barely cleared the left-field wall and somehow missed striking the foul pole. Instead, Young later popped out to center field.Leave it to the most unlikely candidate to finally snap Lincecum's streak.Kennedy sent a groundball up the middle for a clean single with one out in the sixth for his first hit of the season, snapping an 0-for-13 skid at the plate. Melvin Johnson added a line-drive single to left with two outs before Justin Upton flied out to right.At a time when no-hitters are becoming commonplace, the feat has eluded San Francisco's ace.Lincecum has twice taken a no-hitter into the seventh, including earlier this year at Colorado. In that outing April 18, Carlos Gonzalez singled with one out in the seventh before the Giants held on for an 8-1 victory."It's so hard to do. It's going to happen at some point in his career," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
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His counterpart wasn't quite as dominate but equally effective.Kennedy struck out eight and allowed four hits in eight innings and managed to wiggle his way out of jams. The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the fourth before Kennedy recovered, striking out Ross and getting Mark DeRosa to ground into a double play.Kennedy didn't allow another baserunner until Freddy Sanchez's one-out single in the eighth, even breaking the strings on Montero's glove on his 115th pitch."It was outstanding," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He matched Lincecum. He threw the ball very well. We've seen (Lincecum) throw games like that and Ian was up to the task. Their lines were almost identical. We just couldn't get the win."
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NOTES: The outing was the 19th time Lincecum has pitched at least seven innings without giving up a run. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval fielded groundballs for the first time since he had surgery to repair a broken bone in his right wrist two weeks ago. He was still wearing a cast and is expected to be out at least another four weeks. ... Gibson, third base coach Matt Williams and bullpen coach Glenn Sherlock spent part of the off day Monday riding San Francisco's famous cable cars. ... Giants reliever Santiago Casilla threw about 35 pitches against hitters before the game. Bochy said Casilla will make at least one rehab start. The club was deciding where that outing will be.

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

Giants spring training Day 39: Nuñez receives pair of cortisone shots

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford will return to camp Thursday, show off their WBC championship medals, and then head to nearby Salt River Fields to take on the Colorado Rockies. It'll be a few more days, however, before the Giants have their full infield on the field. 

Eduardo Nuñez said he actually got two cortisone shots in his right shoulder, since an MRI this week showed “something” in two separate spots. Nuñez asked for the MRI because, while he was able to play and make strong throws, he felt pain on a daily basis. He might DH this weekend, but it'll be a few more days before he's cleared to begin throwing. 

The Giants are hopeful that the shots calm all this down, and Nuñez anticipated being ready for Opening Day. Still, it certainly sounds like this will be a close call. Conor Gillaspie, who is having a huge spring, could get plenty of early time at third. Manager Bruce Bochy doesn't anticipate Nuñez missing Opening Day.

"He should be ready," Bochy said. 

The Giants need all the good injury news they can get. It is expected that Will Smith will announce Friday that he's having Tommy John surgery. 

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Also, one of the bench candidates, Gordon Beckham, asked for his release. The Giants will soon have to make decisions on Hill and David Hernandez, who have similar retention bonuses due March 28.

GAME RECAP: The Giants played one of their uglier games of the spring, losing 9-2 to King Felix and the Mariners … Matt Moore lasted just 1 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, two walks, a balk and a wild pitch. It was the same old thing: Moore just all of a sudden lost his command, and because he got up past the 30-pitch mark in the second inning alone, the Giants cut it off. Moore went down to the bullpen and got up to around 80 pitches. He'll make one more start down here, Tuesday against the Cubs ... Joe Panik had a hard double, one of just four hits for the Giants … Chris Marrero hasn’t played a whole lot of left field this spring, and he didn’t show much to the coaches on a couple of opportunities to throw home. The left field situation remains a mystery. 

POSITION BATTLES: Kelby Tomlinson played six innings of left field in a minor league game, and he had to wait until the sixth to get his first and only fly ball. There seemed to be a lot of interest from decision-makers about how Tomlinson fared, and his action today opens up an intriguing possibility. There’s a roster permutation that has the Giants keeping just one reserve outfielder (Gorkys Hernandez) and three backup infielders: Conor Gillaspie, Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson, with the latter two being options in left field. 

FAMILIAR FACE: Angel Pagan made it through the WBC healthy, and he apparently is drawing interest from the Phillies and Blue Jays. Giants people are confident Pagan will get a big league job somewhere over the coming week. 

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

Giants reliever Will Smith leaning toward season-ending Tommy John surgery

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Left-hander Will Smith, a key piece of a revamped bullpen, is leaning toward having Tommy John surgery, manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday night. 

Bochy said surgery was the recommendation of both doctors who examined Smith's elbow this week. Smith will talk to his agent before coming to a final decision on Friday. The procedure would keep Smith out the entire 2017 season and likely would cause him to miss the start of the 2018 season.

Smith, 27, missed the first month of camp because of pain in his throwing elbow. He returned March 17, but during a March 20 outing he again felt pain and called for a trainer. A second round of diagnostics revealed a strain and a sprain in the elbow. Smith saw team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki in San Francisco and flew to Los Angeles this week to get a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlen-Jobe Clinic. 

"They had the same opinion," Bochy said. "There is a tear there. You can try to rehab it and if that doesn't work you're behind a couple of months ... It's not a definite he's going to have it done, but two doctors are in agreement on what this is."

Smith was expected to serve as the late lefty for the Giants, getting setup work in the seventh and eighth innings. With Smith out, the Giants will lean on young lefties Steven Okert, Josh Osich and Ty Blach. 

"We're going to have to have someone step up and help us in the seventh and eighth," Bochy said. "That was going to be will's role. He's a guy we were leaning on."

Smith was acquired from the Brewers at the deadline last season in exchange for right-hander Phil Bickford (who is currently serving a 50-game suspension) and catcher Andrew Susac (who is currently injured). After a shaky start, he finished the regular season with 18 consecutive scoreless appearances. 

The Giants have for the most part avoided Tommy John for 40-man roster pitchers. Hunter Strickland, Derek Law and Josh Osich have all had it during their time in the organization, along with outfielder Mac Williamson. Prospect Ian Gardeck is currently recovering from Tommy John. The last Giants pitcher who was likely headed for the roster before having Tommy John was left-hander Eric Surkamp. He had surgery in 2012.

The timetable is different for every pitcher, but the general consensus is that the procedure sidelines a pitcher for at least a year, and usually closer to 16 months. Matt Moore, Thursday night’s starter, had Tommy John on April 23, 2014. He did not return to a big league mound until July 2, 2015, and even then, he was under restrictions. 

Smith is under team control for two more seasons after this one.