Pablo homers again, but D'Backs rally past Giants


Pablo homers again, but D'Backs rally past Giants


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Addition by subtraction certainly seems to be the case for Pablo Sandoval.After losing 38 pounds in the offseason, to a svelte 240, Sandoval already has two home runs this spring, the latest a booming solo shot in San Francisco's 4-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on a chilly Sunday afternoon."He's on a mission to get back to his form of a couple of years ago," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "I like the way he's shown up in camp. He's just got a great look about him. I knew with him not playing winter ball he'd probably need some extra at bats, but I didn't think he'd be swinging it this well this early."Sandoval hit an 0-2 pitch from Arizona's Daniel Hudson far beyond the right-field fence, the ball nearly clearing the grassy slope that serves as a picnic area. Like his two-run homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, it came from the left side of the plate for the big switch hitter.Matt Cain, in his spring debut, allowed three hits in two scoreless innings for the Giants. Ryan Vogelsong walked two and struck out two in two scoreless innings that followed Cain.Arizona scored all four in the fourth on Konrad Schmidt's leadoff homer, a two-run single by Juan Miranda and an RBI single by Tony Abreu."Tony Abreu had a really good at bat," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's been a little jump at his previous games. You look at the first pitch. It's away and he took it. That's the kind of ball you get yourself out on. Then he got in to the count and stayed on the ball."It was the second late-inning outburst in a row for Arizona. The Diamondbacks scored five in the ninth to force extra innings against Colorado before the Rockies won 8-7 in 10."We started out like, 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, but finished very nicely," Gibson said.Paul Goldschmidt, who played last season at Class A Visalia, had a double in Sunday's rally after hitting a three-run homer in Saturday's comeback.Arizona's Ian Kennedy allowed two runs in the second inning. Cody Ross led off with a double, then Pat Burrell walked. After Sandoval struck out, Ryan Rollinger and Emannuel Burriss each singled in a run.Snow dusted the nearby hilltops with a 50-degree temperature at first pitch. Although the temperature never reached the mid 50s, a crowd 10,342. Saturday's inaugural game at Salt River Fields drew a capacity 12,514.

Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake


Hoesen leads the ways as Earthquakes take down Real Salt Lake


SAN JOSE — Danny Hoesen scored his second goal of the season and assisted on Marco Urena's second goal, lifting the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on Saturday night.

Hoesen opened the scoring in the 13th minute, off a long cross from Nick Lima. After touching the ball down, Hoesen gathered it off a defender's foot, stepped inside and unleashed a left footer into the top corner from just off the penalty spot.

Hoesen's long through ball down the right side sent Urena free and from a tight angle he rolled the ball past Nick Rimando in the 68th minute.

San Jose (6-6-5), which has battled injuries and call-ups to score just 16 goals in 16 games, won for just the second time in its last seven games.

Lima picked up two yellow cards in the second half and the Quakes played a man down from the 71st minute.

David Bingham made only one save in each half but was denied his seventh shutout when Jose Hernandez scored his second goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time for Salt Lake (5-11-2).

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

Latest round of bullpen auditions go poorly in Giants' 50th loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- Practically speaking, the 50th loss is no different than the one before or the one after, but this sport is built on milestones, and this one came quickly.

The Giants lost their 50th game on August 12 last year. This season, it was clinched when Ryder Jones grounded out in his fourth career at-bat, handing the Mets a 5-2 win on June 24. 

Bruce Bochy called losing 50 of your first 77 games "hard to believe" and "embarrassing." Johnny Cueto, who went seven strong, said the reality was "hard and sad." Brandon Belt, who got Cueto off the hook for a loss, agreed with his manager.

"That's a pretty good word to use -- it is embarrassing to come out and lose every day, especially with the group of guys we have," Belt said. "When you're losing as much as this, it is embarrassing. We're trying to do whatever we can to turn this thing around."

Lately, that has meant changes to the roster. It is officially audition season, and in that respect, it was not a particularly inspiring day for the bullpen. The Giants felt they would have a better mix this year, but it hasn't played out. Instead, they're once again trying to find pieces for the next successful Giants bullpen.

With Hunter Strickland suspended and Derek Law in the minors, two young relievers, a middle-innings stalwart, and a newcomer pitched the final two frames. They gave up four runs.

Sam Dyson was the first on the mound in the eighth. Belt had homered a few minutes earlier, tying a good starter's duel. Dyson gave up a leadoff triple to Curtis Granderson and walked Asdrubal Cabrera before throwing two good sliders past Yoenis Cespedes for the strikeout. With two lefties coming up and the go-ahead run still on third, Bochy turned to Steven Okert. He immediately gave up a seeing-eye RBI single to Jay Bruce. Wilmer Flores doubled off George Kontos later in the frame to make it 3-1. 

In the ninth, Kyle Crick showed some of the wildness that kept him in the minors for seven years. He, too, gave up a leadoff triple, a sin you always pay for. A walk helped put another run into scoring position and a wild pitch extended the Mets’ lead to four. 

Before the game, Bochy talked of getting an extended look at Jones. He was 0-for-4 in his first big league game but he’ll be back out there tomorrow. It’s time to fight for a job, and the same holds true of some relievers who didn’t fare well Saturday. It is a group with a closer locked into a longterm deal and little else decided. 

Are Strickland or Law eighth-inning guys? Will Dyson be a worthwhile reclamation project? Will Kontos be back, and will he carve out a different role? Are Okert and Josh Osich capable of giving Bochy lefties he trusts? Is Crick’s improvement in Triple-A a sign of things to come? There are many questions to be answered over the next three months. 

“This is a good time for them, this is what players get up here for, to show what they can do,” Bochy said. “Because of our situation, we’re going to take a look at these guys and we know there are going to be growing pains.”