Torres slams Giants to 7-3 win over Cardinals


Torres slams Giants to 7-3 win over Cardinals

ST. LOUIS (AP) Andres Torres was so excited about his first career grand slam, he nearly passed Madison Bumgarner on the way to second base.Bumgarner stuck out an arm for the stop sign and Torres applied the brakes in time, giving the National League's worst offense a big boost in the San Francisco Giants' 7-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday."I wasn't thinking, just running," Torres said. "When I saw it was out I felt great."Bumgarner won his second straight after losing his first six decisions and also played a big role at the plate in 90-degree heat with high humidity. The 21-year-old left-hander is from Hickory, N.C."This feels like home, it's what I grew up playing in," Bumgarner said. "I like this weather, it feels good to get out there and sweat a little bit."Kyle McClellan (6-2) was knocked out after four innings in the worst outing of his first season in the Cardinals' rotation, missing a chance to tie for the major league victory lead. Albert Pujols hit his ninth homer and Allen Craig doubled twice with an RBI.Cody Ross also homered for the Giants, who are last in the National League in runs even after this outburst and had been shut out twice the previous four games. Bumgarner, 4 for 19 at the plate, doubled and scored on Miguel Tejada's hit in the third, then walked on a full count ahead of Torres' second homer of the season in a five-run fourth."Walking the pitcher there killed me," McClellan said. "I get him out, that changes everything. Just all in all, not a good game."Bumgarner (2-6) scattered six hits in seven innings and struggled only in the third when he gave up three straight hits and both runs. It's his seventh straight outing of six or more innings with three or fewer runs allowed, with a 2.12 ERA during that stretch."He's pitched well enough to have a much better record. He knows it," manager Bruce Bochy said. "For a young kid he's got great poise, he doesn't get caught up in the elements."Torres, the Giants' leadoff man, doubled his season RBI total when he drove an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall in the fourth and also doubled. San Francisco won easily despite going 1 for 18 after the grand slam and leaving the bases loaded in the fifth after three straight walks from Miguel Batista.Torres matched his career high for RBIs with what he believed to be his first grand slam since winter ball in Puerto Rico in 2004 or 2005.Matt Holliday singled in four trips after missing six starts with a quadriceps injury and is hitting .344, tied for the National League lead with teammate Lance Berkman, who was 0 for 4.The Cardinals dropped to 9-2 in starts by McClellan, who has yielded a team-high nine homers. McClellan was behind in the count to eight of the first 10 hitters and both of his walks came in the Giants' five-run fourth that made it 7-2.Manager Tony La Russa said McClellan tweaked his hip in the first inning. McClellan initially said he had not been injured, but later said he had landed awkwardly."It raised some concern," McClellan said. "There's nothing wrong."Aaron Rowand bruised his right hip when he landed on the ball diving into second base on a pickoff attempt in the fifth and was taken out in the bottom of the inning. The team said he was day to day.Pujols hit his 99th career homer at 6-year-old Busch Stadium - and first at home since April 23 - off Ramon Ramirez in the eighth and had an RBI single in the third for his second multi-RBI game in the last four. Only seven players have 100 or more homers in their current stadium."He crushed the ball on the home run," La Russa said. "He's hit the ball a lot better than his average."NOTES: Ross' homer ended an 0-for-14 slump. ... Attendance of 40,849 was the Cardinals' second shutout of the season. ... Ryan Theriot doubled in the third and has a 13-game hitting streak, tied for the longest active streak in the NL with the Giants' Buster Posey, out for the season with a broken ankle. ... McClellan allowed nine homers in 75 1-3 innings as a setup man last year, and has allowed nine in 67 2-3 innings this year.

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

Five mistakes that will haunt Giants after 77th loss of 2017

SAN FRANCISCO — If the Giants were in a different situation, Tuesday night’s loss was the kind that really would sting for a few days. As is, it was simply loss No. 77 in a stunningly bad season. 

The Giants went down 4-3 in somewhat familiar fashion, with their offense failing to break through and their bullpen coming up short. But this loss, No. 77, was also about small mistakes, both mental and physical. Let’s count down some of the ways the Giants went down:

--- Gorkys Hernandez, a late addition to the lineup because Hunter Pence has a tight hamstring, dropped a fly ball in deep right in the fourth inning. That cost Jeff Samardzija a run and a few more pitches. Bruce Bochy said Pence likely will be off Wednesday and then return Friday in Arizona. 

--- Bochy pulled Samardzija after just 89 pitches, and it was certainly peculiar in the moment. The thing is, the intention fit in with the reality of this season. Samardzija has carried a heavy load and Bochy was trying to protect his arm a bit. 

“The inning before, he logged some pitches,” Bochy said. “I’ve worked him pretty hard and I’m really looking after him as much as anything. We’re trying to give some guys a break and it didn’t work out. We had some guys lined up in the seventh, eighth, ninth — it just didn’t work out in the seventh.”

--- You can’t really argue with protecting a big-money pitcher in a down year. But Bochy probably wishes he had chosen someone other than Albert Suarez, who was fresher than others but has now given up runs in six of seven appearances. Suarez turned a one-run lead into a one-run deficit. It was more glaring when Kyle Crick entered and pitched 1 1/3 sharp innings. 

--- The Giants still had a chance — it helped that the Brewers took a dominant Josh Hader out of the game just because he’s a lefty and Nick Hundley bats right-handed — and they put two on in the eighth. Denard Span hit a soft single to right and Phil Nevin waved Hundley, who has catcher’s legs. He was out by a mile. Bochy said he was fine with forcing the issue there, although that’s a call Nevin probably wants back. 

Another twist on the play: Bochy could have put speedy Orlando Calixte in for Hundley and then moved Pablo Sandoval over to first in the next inning, with Calixte at third. He didn’t second-guess that decision.

“He was out pretty easily,” Bochy said. “I don’t know if a little more speed would have helped out.”

--- In the bottom of the ninth, Kelby Tomlinson singled. He was promptly caught stealing second with the heart of the order coming up. Again, a decision that went the visiting team’s way. 

Those moments could be defended or second-guessed. On another night, maybe they all work out and the Giants win 3-2, or 6-4. On this night, it was simply a familiar script, and loss No. 77.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-3 loss to Brewers


SAN FRANCISCO — Just when it seemed the Giants were starting to find some continuity in their bullpen, they have taken a couple of steps back. 

Two days after Hunter Strickland imploded late, Albert Suarez gave up the lead. The Giants lost 4-3 to the Brewers in a game that dragged. The Brewers did open the window a bit in the bottom of the eighth and Denard Span bounced a single to right with two outs and two on. Phil Nevin waved Nick Hundley all the way around third and Hundley was thrown out by 10 feet to end the inning. 

Anyway, here are five other things to know … 

—- Just one of Jeff Samardzija’s six innings went 1-2-3, and Bruce Bochy turned to the bullpen after just 89 pitches. Samardzija was charged with two runs, one of them earned. It was a little odd that he came out so early. 

—- Suarez entered in the seventh with a one-run lead and gave up two runs before being lifted. He has allowed a run in six of his last seven appearances. 

—- Brandon Crawford momentarily gave the Giants the lead with a two-run homer, his 11th. He is definitely starting to hit his stride. Crawford has four extra base hits and six RBI on the homestand. 

—- Why is it so hard for the Giants to sign power bats? Well, just ask Eric Thames. He hit a 433-foot blast to lead off the third but ended up with just a triple when it bounced off the top of the bricks in right-center. Per Statcast data, Thames is the first player in the last three years to hit a ball more than 430 feet and not get a homer. He was stranded at third. 

—- Over in Sacramento, a couple of rehab appearances went as planned. Johnny Cueto threw three scoreless innings for the River Cats; he will make at least one more minor league start. Joe Panik was 0-for-2 in five innings; he will join the San Jose Giants on Wednesday for another rehab game.