Posey goes deep as Giants beat Rockies 7-5


Posey goes deep as Giants beat Rockies 7-5

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Once Buster Posey connected, Jorge De La Rosa knew exactly where the ball was going."That's the longest home run I've ever given up," De La Rosa said.Posey hit a long two-run shot to center field and a sharp single off De La Rosa, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 on Thursday."It's safe to say Buster Posey is a pretty good player," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.Darren Ford also homered and Ryan Vogelsong threw three hitless innings for the Giants, who won for the third time in four games. Mike Fontenot added three hits, and Emmanuel Burriss had two hits and two RBIs.De La Rosa allowed four runs and six hits over three innings in his first spring start. The left-hander pitched in an intrasquad game Sunday.Colorado's Todd Helton doubled for his first hit of the spring.Posey singled and scored on Burriss' base hit in the second. The reigning NL Rookie of the Year went deep with one out in the third, belting a drive that traveled an estimated 450 feet to straightaway center."It's hard to hit a ball much further than that," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He got every bit of that."Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who got a new six-year contract worth 120 million during the offseason, has been impressed with Posey from the start."Everybody knows he's real good," Tulowitzki said. "Some guys are just good players. Everything he's done since the beginning has been a class act. To hit a home run off that caliber of pitcher and to the middle of the field is impressive. His other at-bats were solid too. He's a pretty solid player."Vogelsong walked one and struck out two. He has thrown five shutout innings this spring as he tries to make a major league roster for the first time in five years."I felt better in the second and the third than the first," Vogelsong said. "I was just trying to feel out my mechanics a little bit."Tulowitzki hit his heel on his back swing in the bottom of the fourth and had to leave the game. He wasn't too concerned about it afterward."I've never done anything like that," he said. "It's just bruised a little bit and might be sore tomorrow."NOTES: RHP Aaron Cook, whose sore right shoulder has not shown any improvement for almost two weeks, asked for an examination by the Rockies' team doctor. ... Giants RHP Brian Wilson threw to hitters and could throw in a game as early as Sunday. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez said he lost Burriss' triple in the sun and just covered his face to avoid getting struck by the ball. "I almost got killed," he said. "You can't catch what you can't see." ... Rockies RHP Felipe Paulino, who could pitch himself into the starting rotation, allowed a run and three hits in three innings. "That was a bright spot," Tracy said.

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

Pau Gasol's lofty praise for Warriors: 'In all my years in the league...'

The Warriors are NBA Finals bound for the third straight year.

Following their Game 4 victory over the Spurs on Monday night, Pau Gasol opened up about the Western Conference champions.

“They’re in a groove,” Gasol told Courtney Cronin of the Bay Area News Group. “They know what it takes to win and obviously they’ve been champions, they’ve established records that have never been set before and they’re on a path to get another championship.

"In all my years in the league, they’re playing at the highest level right now.”

Gasol entered the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick in the 2001 draft.

He won championships with the Lakers in 2009 and 2010.

The Warriors are the first team in NBA history to enter the Finals with a record of 12-0.

Their average margin of victory in the playoffs is 16.3 points.

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

Giants notes: Blach shows resiliency; another option in center?

CHICAGO — John Lackey's night started with a leadoff homer. Ty Blach's night started with a 13-pitch battle. Neither one is a positive for a pitcher, but Blach didn't view it that way. He actually appreciated Ben Zobrist stretching him out.

"It's good to have a battle like that and get you locked in," Blach said. "It gets you focused and you'll be like, I can execute and get guys out. It's good. It's a good battle."

There, in a nutshell, is so much of what Bruce Bochy loves about his young left-hander. The Giants have found Blach's arm and resolve to be remarkably resilient. He wasn't bothered when they moved him to the bullpen and he didn't get too high when they moved him back to the rotation. He is the same after seven shutout innings or three poor ones. Bochy smiled when asked about the Zobrist at-bat, which ended in a strikeout looking. 

"How 'bout that?" the manager said. "He won that at-bat. It seems like the advantage goes to the hitter, seeing all those pitches. He kept his focus and got a called strikeout and here he is pitching in the eighth inning."

After needing 13 pitches for one out, Blach got the next 23 on 81 pitches. Bochy thought Blach tired a bit in the eighth, but the deep effort allowed Bochy to mix and match in the bullpen, and ultimately he found the right mix. Hunter Strickland and Mark Melancon closed it out and got Blach his second win.

--- From last night, Joe Panik's huge night helped give Blach an early lead. With the help of Ron Wotus and his shift charts, he also put on a show defensively.

--- We're trying something new right after the final pitch: Here are five quick takeaways from the 6-4 win.

--- The options game sent Kelby Tomlinson back to Triple-A on Wednesday when the Giants activated Melancon, but his latest stint in Sacramento comes with a twist. Tomlinson started his third consecutive game in center field on Monday. The Giants are getting a bit more serious about their longtime plan to make Tomlinson a super-utility player. 

“Tommy is a valuable guy in the majors and if we can give him some experience in the outfield, it gives you more flexibility and versatility,” manager Bruce Bochy said. 

This is not Tomlinson’s first foray into the outfield. He did work there in the offseason after the 2015 season and he has played 25 big league innings in left field the last two seasons. This is Tomlinson’s first real experience with center field, and while in the past he has said that the transition isn’t as easy as some might think, Bochy is confident Tomlinson can figure it out. He certainly has the speed to be a semi-regular in the outfield, and the Giants aren’t exactly brimming with quality center field options behind Denard Span, who is dealing with his second injury of the season. 

“It’s a little different now,” Bochy said when asked about Tomlinson’s past experiences in the outfield. “He’s in Sacramento doing it, and knowing there’s a possibility we could need help in the outfield.”

If the switch doesn’t come in handy this season, it could in 2018. Bochy compared Tomlinson’s infield-outfield ability to Eduardo Nuñez, who has found regular playing time in left but is a free agent after the year. 

--- Hunter Pence did some light running in the outfield before Monday’s game. Bochy said Pence is still about a week away from being an option.

--- Bochy has said it a few times now when asked about the standings, so it’s officially a new motto for a team that got off to a brutal start: “We’ve put ourselves in a great situation for a great story.”

--- They're starting to get a little grumpy around here with their team hovering around .500. Perhaps the Cubs thought they could fool a few on the way out of Wrigley.