Sloppy defense costs Giants sweep of Tigers

495078.jpg

Sloppy defense costs Giants sweep of Tigers

July 3, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers capped a feel-good day with some sadness.Magglio Ordonez hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning and Detroit went on to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Sunday.The Tigers found out at least four of them were All-Stars before the game, but no one was in the mood to celebrate the win or the selections because pitching coach Rick Knapp was fired soon after the final out."Mixed emotions, obviously," manager Jim Leyland said. "We just felt like it wasn't working."Rick Porcello (7-6) gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings in a much-needed performance for Detroit's suddenly shaky rotation. He became the fifth pitcher since 1919 to have three wild pitches and hit three batters in a game."A little bit wild, but his stuff was much better," Leyland said.Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth, getting a lead-saving catch from left fielder Ryan Raburn. All-Star Jose Valverde closed the game for his 20th save in as many chances.Jeremy Affeldt (1-2) took the loss after third baseman Miguel Tejada's throwing error extended the seventh inning. Ordonez took advantage with a single off Santiago Casilla that put Detroit ahead 4-3.Brandon Inge gave the Tigers a three-run lead in the eighth with a two-run, two-out triple.Detroit had lost two straight and four of five, falling out of first place in the AL Central."It was a big win because good teams don't get swept," said Brennan Boesch, who hit a game-tying homer in the fourth.The NL-West leading Giants had won nine of 11."You can see why they're the world champions," Leyland said.San Francisco appeared to have a shot to retake the lead in the eighth inning when Aaron Rowand drove a ball to left-center, but Raburn sprinted and fully extended to snatch the ball."From my angle I didn't think Raburn had a chance, but he made a great diving catch," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If he doesn't make that, we take the lead and then we have a different bullpen strategy."Porcello gave up a double on his first pitch, then allowed only one more hit before Brandon Crawford's RBI groundout in the fourth inning. Detroit tied it in the home half with Boesch's solo homer off the foul pole in right.The Giants went ahead in the fifth on Porcello's wild pitch and Cody Ross' RBI single gave them a 3-1 lead.Detroit cut into the deficit when Miguel Cabrera hit a single to left and Ross mishandled it, allowing Boesch to score on the error.Tejada had a chance to keep the Tigers scoreless in the seventh, but his throw across the diamond in the dirt wasn't scooped up by first baseman Pablo Sandoval on what should've been the third out of the inning."The error really hurt us because we had a chance to get out of that," Bochy said. "This was a tough one to lose. It would have been a big boost to sweep this team.San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, a first-time All-Star, allowed three runs - two earned - on four hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings.NOTES: Bochy picked three of his pitchers - Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Vogelsong - to be All-Stars and another one, Brian Wilson, was selected by the players. ... Detroit's Alex Avila was voted an All-Star by the fans, Cabrera and Justin Verlander were picked by the players, Valverde was a manager's selection, and Victor Martinez has a chance to be voted in as the Tigers' fifth player. ... San Francisco matched a season high with three errors. ... Porcello joined Victor Zambrano (2003), Joe Niekro (1985), Pete Broberg (1971), Rip Collins (1923) as the pitchers since 1919 to have to hit at least three batters and have at least three wild pitches in a game. ... Sandoval extended his career high hitting streak to 14 games. ... The Tigers recalled LHP Adam Wilk from Triple-A Toledo and optioned RHP Brayan Villarreal to the Mud Hens.

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

After another Giants clunker, Bochy tells players 'enough is enough'

SAN FRANCISCO — A few minutes after yet another missed opportunity at the plate Sunday, a voice came over a speaker in the press box at AT&T Park and announced a 524th consecutive sellout. It nicely summed up this current stretch of Giants baseball. 

The seats are emptier than they used to be at first pitch, and they were just about abandoned in the ninth inning of an 8-2 loss, but for the most part the fans are still showing up in droves. One woman brought a toaster by the dugout Sunday morning and asked players and coaches to sign it, hoping to recapture the magic from across the bridge. Another, Bryan Stow, made his first appearance of the season at AT&T Park, met with Bruce Bochy, and said he hoped to see a win. As Matt Moore started warming up, a band set up on top of the visiting dugout to play hits that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. 

For a while, AT&T Park was rocking. And then, as has happened so often this summer, the game started. 

The Giants turned in another epic clunker in a season full of them. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games and 21 of 26, but it’s worse than the raw numbers. On most nights, some in the organization have noted privately, they are simply boring. It’s one thing to lose, it’s quite another to do it in this way. 

“There’s no getting around it,” Bochy said after the sweep. “I’ve been through some tough stretches here and this is as tough as any stretch I’ve seen. For some reason the baseball gods are really testing us here and (testing) this group. It’s not that they’re not coming out ready or trying, but enough is enough.

“At some point, we’ve got to find a way to get this thing turned around.”

Even a slight pivot would be welcomed by the faithful. There were scattered boos Sunday, the latest in a growing trend. This is a fan base that has seen the highest highs, but rarely in franchise history have the lows been this low. 

The crowd no longer turns to the rally lights that were used so often in an awful April, but the noise still grows with each new rally. And then, every single time Sunday, the Giants killed off any hope. 

In the second inning, a Brandon Belt bunt single and Brandon Crawford bloop put two on, but a pair of rookies flied out. 

In the third, the bases were loaded ahead of Buster Posey. He flied out to bring one run across, and there were still runners on the corners for Belt, who leads the team in homers. On a 2-2 count, Hunter Pence inexplicably took off for second. He was caught, the inning was over, and the two-run Mets lead was intact. Bochy said he did not send Pence. 

In the sixth, there were two on with no outs for Posey. Both runners bolted to stay out of a double play. Posey popped up to first -- for a double play.

“He’s not a guy that strikes out, so I’m pretty confident sending runners with Buster,” Bochy said. “We can’t keep laying back. We’re trying to force the issue a bit and stay out of double plays.”

In the eighth, the Giants loaded the bases for Posey and Belt. Posey grounded out. Belt struck out for the third time. 

“We’re getting guys out there,” Bochy said. “We’re not doing enough damage.”

Matt Moore’s damage was self-inflicted. He twice gave up homers to the guy — Rene Rivera — hitting in front of the pitcher. Moore said he has stopped throwing his cutter the past three starts and tried to get his four-seamer going, but the Mets were teeing off. Moore gave up five runs on seven hits. He was pulled in the fifth, left to think about mechanics that still aren’t right. 

“The cutter is a little bit different of a pitch and at times it can take away from the four-seam fastball location-wise, and command of the four-seam was starting to go down the more I threw (the cutter),” Moore said. “I’m anxious to get back to it, but the foundation has got to be throwing the four-seam fastball. I need to execute where they’re carrying through the zone, not running or cutting.”

Moore said his confidence is fine and his problems are not physical. Others can no longer say that. Austin Slater, a rare bright spot in this five-win month, was pulled with a tight hip flexor. He was headed for an MRI. 

Slater is too young to be one of the players Bochy approached after the game. He said he talked to a few, though, passing along that “enough is enough” message. Moore, last in the National League in ERA (6.04), was not one who needed a reminder. 

“I’m sitting on a six right now with not a lot of wins and not enough team wins when I’m throwing,” he said. “It’s been 'enough' for me for the last couple of months.”

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants get swept by Mets at home

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants get swept by Mets at home

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mets spent the first half of this week in Los Angeles, where they got swept by the Dodgers and outscored 36-11. Their beat writers publicly wrote an end to any thoughts of the postseason. The fan base renewed the calls for manager Terry Collins to be fired. 

That’s where they were. And then they flew to San Francisco. 

AT&T Park continues to be a place where others get healthy, and this weekend it was the Mets. The Giants lost 8-2 on Sunday, getting swept by a similarly disappointing team. They have lost 12 of their last 13 games. 

There’s not much more to be said about it, but I did anyway. Here are five things to know from the day a relief pitcher got an at-bat but it would have been far too cruel to text your friends … 

—- Matt Moore’s line: 4 1/3 innings, seven hits, five earned runs, three walks, five strikeouts. Through 16 starts, he has a 6.04 ERA and 1.61 WHIP. He ranks last among qualified NL starters in ERA. Only Matt Cain (1.73) has a worse WHIP. Good times. 

—- Mets righty Rafael Montero entered with an 0-4 record and 6.49 ERA. He gave up one run in 5 2/3 innings. Good times. 

—- With runners on the corners and two outs in the third inning, Brandon Belt strolled to the plate. He leads the team in homers. Hunter Pence tried to steal second for some reason and he was caught, ending the inning and keeping Belt from batting in a two-run game. Good times. 

—- With two on and no outs in the sixth, the Giants sent the runners to make sure Buster Posey didn’t hit into a double play. Posey popped up softly to first and Joe Panik was doubled off of second. Good times. 

—- One last bit of bad news: Austin Slater was removed from the game with a tight right hip flexor.