Baggs' Instant Replay: Padres 6, Giants 3

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Baggs' Instant Replay: Padres 6, Giants 3

BOX SCORE
SAN FRANCISCO Just when you thought Tim Lincecum was generating some honest to goodness momentum It was not a happy Timmy day for Lincecum at AT&T Park Wednesday afternoon. He was all over the map as well as the strike zone while giving up two homers and five runs before getting the hook in the fifth inning. The Giants offense, despite some late life, was dead for too much of the afternoon in a necrotic, 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.Lincecum stopped more than his personal momentum that hed gathered with quality starts against the Astros and Phillies. He also snapped the Giants six-game home winning streak.For the third consecutive series, the Giants won the first two games but failed to polish off the sweep.The Giants are 6-15 in Lincecums starts.Starting pitching reportLincecums woes were familiar enough: He threw too many pitches in the early innings, he got tagged while going through the lineup for a second time, his velocity slipped like a bad transmission and he left fastballs in the crush-me zone.Lincecum (4-11) was electric enough at the outset. He struck out five of the first nine batters he faced, but even then he struggled to put the ball where he wanted it. He hit a batter, walked another and served up a solo home run to Chase Headley.Lincecum couldnt maintain a tie in the fourth, when the Padres loaded the bases on two dinky singles and a walk. Will Venable cashed in two with a two-out double that fell just beyond the reach of Angel Pagan in center field.But if Lincecum was a tad unlucky in the fourth, he was just plain bad in the fifth. His offspeed pitches were easy takes in the dirt and he continued to miss with his fastball. Carlos Quentin singled and Lincecum threw a 3-1 fastball that Guzman punished for a two-run home run. It was just an 89 mph, do-nothing pitch straight down the middle. Guzman wouldve been fined for not hitting it 350-plus feet.Lincecum then walked John Baker on six pitches, ending his afternoon. He has failed to complete five innings in three of his last five starts.The right-hander gave up five runs (all earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out eight. He threw two wild pitches, gave up two home runs and threw a whopping 102 pitches. At least he didnt balk.Lincecum now sports a 5.88 ERA.Bullpen reportJeremy Affeldt, Brad Penny and George Kontos combined to allow just one run Guzmans homer off Penny in the eighth in 4 13 innings.At the plateThe Giants wouldve made Henry Ford proud of their run manufacturing skills in the first inning. Gregor Blanco laced a single, stole second base, took third on Ryan Theriots sacrifice bunt and scored the tying run on Melky Cabreras sacrifice fly to left field.But the Giants didnt get another hit until Angel Pagan hit a two-out double in the seventh. In fact, embarrassingly enough, they didnt hit a ball OUT OF THE INFIELD between Cabreras sacrifice fly in the first and Pagans double in the seventh.Jason Marquis used his sinker to keep them grounded the rest of the time. But the Giants made some noise in the eighth after Brandon Belt reached on shortstop Everth Cabreras sloppy throwing error. Joaquin Arias hit an infield single and took second on Marquis wild pitch, which also scored Belt. But Arias was thrown out at third base on Eli Whitesides ground ball when Cabrera made an athletic stop in the hole and threw to third base.The baserunning mistake minimized what could have been a huge inning. Nate Schierholtz hit a pinch single off lefty Joe Thatcher and Ryan Theriot collected an RBI single off another specialist, right-hander Luke Gregerson. But Cabrera got too greedy while taking huge hacks at Huston Streets offerings. Cabrera, unable to tie the game with one swing, struck out.In fieldA day after making one of the greatest catches of the season to start a double play, Pagan came up jut short on a play that would have saved Lincecum two runs in the fourth inning.The Giants defense was an asset otherwise, especially as Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford combined for a 3-6-3 double play in the seventh. Jeremy Affeldt also picked a runner off first base.AttendanceThe Giants announced 41,871 paid for a not-so-happy Timmy Day.Up nextThe Giants take a day off Thursday before beginning a three-game showdown series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Itll be Matt Cain (10-3, 2.75) against a pitcher to be determined, followed on Saturday by Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75) vs. right-hander Chad Billingsley (5-9. 4.15). Ryan Vogelsong (8-4, 2.26) matches up with left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-6. 3.14) in Sundays series finale.

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

Giants trade Chris Heston to Mariners

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Faced with a crowded depth chart and a need for a roster spot, the Giants shipped right-hander Chris Heston to Seattle on Wednesday night.

The Mariners announced the deal shortly after 7pm PT on Wednesday.

Heston, who made 31 starts and threw a no-hitter for the Giants in 2015, would have been designated for assignment had a deal not gotten done. The Giants will receive a player to be named later. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for closer Mark Melancon, who signed Monday. 

Heston, 28, filled in after injuries to veterans in 2015 and posted a 3.95 ERA and 12 wins, one of which was a no-hitter in New York. He was a first-half savior for an unhealthy staff, going 9-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 18 starts before the All-Star break. The long season caught up to Heston down the stretch, and the Giants filled their rotation that December with free agents Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. 

Heston made just four appearances in 2016 after being moved to the bullpen. It was a transition that didn't quite take, and he ended up back in the minors, making 14 starts for the River Cats as he worked to regain some of the velocity that was lost when he dropped 15 pounds during offseason workouts. An oblique injury led to Heston being put on the 60-day DL in June and ultimately ended his season. 

This represents a needed fresh start for Heston, who was hopelessly blocked in the Giants’ system. The Giants acquired Matt Moore at the deadline and Ty Blach and Matt Cain will compete for the final rotation spot. Veteran Albert Suarez and top pitching prospect Tyler Beede are among the starters who had jumped ahead of Heston. In Seattle, he joins a team in need of starting depth, and he should get a shot to return to a big league rotation.

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Kuiper has been told to expect many boring ninth innings from Melancon

Over the last three seasons, nobody has registered more saves than new Giants closer Mark Melancon.

The three-time All-Star is 131 for 141 in save opportunities over that span.

Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper spoke with Nationals broadcaster F.P. Santangelo about what Melancon brings to the table.

"Mike (Krukow) and I both talked to F.P. and he basically said, 'He's boring. The ninth inning is boring.' And we were like, 'Really? Wow. We haven't seen that in awhile.' So a boring ninth inning would be good for everybody," Kuiper said on KNBR 680 on Wednesday. "Our fans, it would certainly be good for our manager and pitching coach because those two guys had to wear it."

[RELATED: Dusty Baker: 'I hate losing Melancon,' Giants have more resources than Nats]

The Giants blew 30 saves in 2016 -- the most in baseball -- and Giants GM Bobby Evans made it very clear from the moment the season ended that adding a closer was the team's top priority.

San Francisco is confident assimilating Melancon won't be an issue.

He looks like one of those guys who will fit into the clubhouse immediately," Kuiper said.