Torres lifts Giants past D'backs to fifth straight win

467746.jpg

Torres lifts Giants past D'backs to fifth straight win

May 11, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Andres Torres spent the better part of the last few weeks watching his teammates celebrating on television.When it was finally his turn, he wasn't about to miss out on all the fun.Torres delivered the go-ahead RBI double, Aubrey Huff hit a tying home run and the San Francisco Giants rallied from three runs down for a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night."It feels great now to be a part of it again," said Torres, who returned from the 15-day disabled list a day earlier after a strained left Achilles forced him to do a rehab stint at Triple-A Fresno. "I feel healthy again, and I'm glad I can do my part."
GIANTS INSIDER NOTES: Sparkplug Torres is back
Miguel Tejada hit a run-scoring single and then doubled with one out in the sixth to chase Diamondbacks starter Armando Galarraga (3-3), setting the stage for another Giants comeback.He scored on Torres' double to right-center field off reliever Juan Gutierrez to give San Francisco a season-high fifth straight win. The Giants (20-16) improved to four games over .500 for the first time this season."The one thing I have to say is I have to do something for this team," said Tejada, who finished with three hits and started to break out of his season-long slump. "They put a lot of confidence in me, and I have to produce."
VIDEO: Miguel Tejada postgame
He did.So did most of the Giants in another all-around effort.Jonathan Sanchez (3-2) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Three relievers kept the Diamondbacks scoreless before Brian Wilson pitched out of jam in the ninth for his 12th saveThe Giants didn't wait as long to come back this time.After wins in the final at-bat in three of the previous four games, San Francisco fell behind again before squeaking out runs and leaning on its bullpen.Tejada came through with the one-out double in the sixth. Then Gutierrez came in and got pinch-hitter Pat Burrell to fly out to left before Torres' double put San Francisco ahead 4-3."We had a ton of chances early," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had chances to keep them from scoring, too. It's disheartening but you have to keep plugging."Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo kept Arizona scoreless over the next two innings. Wilson briefly made things interesting in the ninth - as usual - when Xavier Nady hit a leadoff double.Gerardo Parra walked and Henry Blanco struck out trying to bunt. Russell Branyan grounded out to first, and then Torres caught Kelly Johnson's flyball against the center-field wall for the final out.The bullpen's effort was just the kind of pick-me-up that worked so well for the World Series champions last season. And it was a much-needed boost for the starting pitcher again."That's kind of our way, I think," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If you look at what we did last year, it was somebody different it seemed like coming up with the big game-changing contribution."
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
Sanchez struggled with his control again but managed to minimize the damage.Johnson had a leadoff double in the first inning, and Stephen Drew drove him in two batters later with a grounder to first base. Blanco had an RBI single in the second and a solo homer to left in the fourth, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.That seemed to be a comfortable cushion for Galarraga, although no lead seems to be enough against these Giants lately.Tejada showed signs of busting out his slump with a run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth. After loading the bases with a walk to Sanchez, Galarraga threw a wild pitch that went to the backstop and scored Aaron Rowand from third.Huff started the fifth with a solo homer over the right-field wall, tying the score at 3. The home run was Huff's fourth of the season.Galarraga left after 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits and striking out four. Arizona has lost three straight games and four of its last five."I walked the pitcher, I threw the wild pitch," Galarraga said. "The only good swing was the home run. It was down but in the middle of the plate."Notes: Giants C Buster Posey left in the seventh after taking consecutive foul balls from Kelly Johnson off his mask. Bochy will give Posey Thursday off with a day game, and Posey said he was fine after undergoing precautionary tests for a concussion. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito threw off the mound before the game for the first time since he sprained his right foot in a start April 16. He threw about 10 minutes and will have another bullpen session later this week. ... Gibson said RHP Josh Collmenter will make his first start in the majors Saturday against the Dodgers. Collmenter was brought up from the minors a couple weeks ago and has pitched only in relief.

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Dodgers infielder weighs in on Harper's errant helmet throw

Before the right hooks and haymakers, there was the helmet toss.

A very bad helmet toss.

As he made his way to the mound after getting hit by a pitch on Monday afternoon, Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper attempted to throw his helmet at Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. He missed by a wide margin.

Observers took notice, including Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner.

"What was worse, Harper's helmet throw or 50 Cents first pitch? Heads up in the #McCoveyCove," Turner tweeted shortly after the brawl between the Giants and Nationals.

Turner is referring to a ceremonial first pitch thrown by rapper 50 Cent prior to a Mets game in 2014.

Harper mentioned the helmet when addressing the situation after the game.

"I was trying to go after him, with the helmet or with myself, just doing what I needed to do keep it going, I guess," Harper told reporters.

 

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

Fight Notes: Harper thought this was over; Giants collide; Posey avoids it

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Nationals visited AT&T Park for the first time after the 2014 postseason series, Bryce Harper took to Instagram to compliment the city. “Nothing like SF! #BayArea” he wrote underneath a photo of the Bay Bridge. 

Harper, a Las Vegas kid, has always seemed to enjoy facing the Giants. He hasn’t hit well at AT&T Park, but he was a star in their 2014 matchup and he praised Brandon Crawford on Twitter during this year’s WBC. The greeting Monday was not a friendly one. 

Harper was retired three times by Matt Moore. The first pitch he saw from Hunter Strickland left a dent on his hip and set off a wild brawl. 

Strickland denied any intent. Harper seemed confused by the timing of the payback pitch. 

“It’s so in the past, it’s not even relevant anymore,” he said of their 2014 series, according to Dan Kolko of MASN. “They won the World Series that year. I don’t think he should even be thinking about what happened in the first round. He should be thinking about wearing that ring home every single night. I don’t know why he did it or what he did it for, but I guess it happens.”

The Giants were not surprised when Harper reacted the way he did. Now they’ll wait for Strickland to get hit with a suspension, and Harper is looking at a layoff, too. 

“You never want to get suspended or anything like that, but sometimes you’ve got to go and get him,” Harper said. “You can’t hesitate. You either go to first base or you go after him. And I decided to go after him.”

Strickland, about an hour after the fight, said he’s not sure what will happen in terms of discipline. 

“That’s their decision and obviously I’ll take whatever consequences come with it and we’ll go from there,” he said. 

Any action by the league is unlikely to impact this series. Even if suspensions are handed down swiftly, players can appeal. Harper and Strickland may not be alone. Several players jumped into the fray aggressively and at least one non-active Giant — Hunter Pence — was right in the middle of the scrum. At the very least, he could be facing a fine for trying to help his teammate. 

“It doesn't look good when a guy gets hit but also on their side, the guy throws his helmet,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Strickland’s got to stand his ground. There’s no choice there. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen (with suspensions).”

One player who won’t face discipline: Madison Bumgarner, who is also on the DL but wisely stayed away from this one, even if it probably killed him to do so. 

--- The biggest hit didn’t come from Strickland or Harper. It was Jeff Samardzija and Michael Morse coming together in the middle of the field. Both players said they were fine. 

"I was just trying to get in there to break everything up," Morse said. "We lost the game, that's what's most important."

Ahhh, yes, the Giants lost 3-0. Bochy seemed particularly peeved that Strickland chose the eighth inning of a 2-0 game to exact revenge, and you can bet some teammates weren't thrilled. We'll see if there's anything more to this Tuesday. There was a lot of adrenaline flowing, but some of these guys might not be feeling so spry when they wake up in the morning. Bochy said he had not heard any reports of players getting injured, but he also admitted that he didn't see most of the collisions and had no idea what happened with Morse and Samardzija, who had a world-class reaction, by the way.  

--- As with the incident with the Dodgers a couple weeks ago, Buster Posey stayed out of this one. Smartly. 

"After it happened I saw Harper point and the next thing you know he's going out after them," Posey said. "Those are some big guys tumbling on the ground. You see Michael Morse, as big as he is, and he's getting knocked around like a pinball."

Posey is not alone in staying away from these scrums where 250-pound dudes are flying at knees and ankles. Brandon Crawford can often be found on the outside, as well. It's smart, but I think something else was at play here today. Posey understands that the Giants are fighting for every scrap at this point. Every loss digs the hole that much deeper, and this happened with two outs in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game, against a team with a poor bullpen. I'd imagine there was some serious annoyance there. 

--- How angry was Strickland? It took three guys, three big guys, to drag him into the dugout: Pence, Mac Williamson, and George Kontos. 

"I was pretty fired up to be honest with you, but that’s just adrenaline," he said. 

--- Baseball fights are rather silly, but at least you get some phenomenal photos.