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Bumgarner, Stewart propel Giants past Rockies 9-1

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Bumgarner, Stewart propel Giants past Rockies 9-1

Sept. 16, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
DENVER (AP) -- A late-season surge by Madison Bumgarner is helping to fuel the San Franciso Giants' last-ditch playoff push.Bumgarner allowed one unearned run in seven strong innings and hit a two-run double, leading the Giants past the Colorado Rockies 9-1 on Friday night for their sixth straight win.Brandon Belt, Cody Ross and Chris Stewart all homered for the Giants, who closed within six games of NL West leading Arizona with 11 games remaining. The defending World Series champions also gained ground in the NL wild card race, getting within five games of the Atlanta Braves."We've got to win every game and hope that they don't to have a chance, but everybody is playing relaxed right now," said Bumgarner. "We've got a good vibe in the dugout and a lot of the pressure that seemed to be on everybody is gone."
URBAN: Without Pressure, Giants are flourishing
Added Giants manager Bruce Bochy: "I've been saying this for the last week - we're hanging by a thread. But we're still alive. We're coming out every day trying to win ball games and hopefully get some help."There was one glitch on this otherwise hopeful night for the Giants.Ross, whose fifth-inning solo shot was the 100th homer of his career, left the game with a strained right hamstring in the sixth. He suffered the injury while running to first base after hitting an RBI single.Bochy said after the game that the team expected Ross to miss about a week but remained hopeful he could return for final week of the season."I'm optimistic that it's not as bad right now as I thought, but it is going to take some time," Ross said. "I want to come back as fast as I can and I'll do anything I can to speed it up."
RELATED: Ross exits Giants game early with leg injury
Bumgarner (12-12) allowed six hits in winning his career-best fifth straight. He dropped his ERA in that span to 1.04."This kid is just getting better and better," Bochy said. "He's been on a good roll, really hitting his spots with all his pitches. He's got to feel good about how it's gone for him, especially with the rough start that he had."Alex White (2-2) gave up six runs on nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. White, who has struggled to keep the opposition in the ballpark, gave up two of the Giants' three homers. He has allowed 11 home runs and has an ERA of 8.46 in five starts since coming to the Rockies as a key part of the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland."It's frustrating," White said. "It's time for this not to happen. There's nothing to do but keep working."Belt gave the Giants a 2-0 lead in the fourth when he connected for his second homer in as many days. He drove White's first pitch over the center field fence following Aubrey Huff's one-out single.The Giants went up 3-0 in the fifth when Ross drove an 0-1 offering from White into the Rockies' bullpen behind the right-centerfield fence for his 14th of the season.Colorado got on the board in the fifth when third baseman Pablo Sandoval bobbled Dexter Fowler's grounder for an error, allowing Willin Rosario to score from third base.But the Giants broke the game open with a three-run sixth, with all the runs coming with two outs.Brandon Crawford began the rally by drawing a walk. White hit Chris Stewart with a pitch and Bumgarner then doubled off the centerfield wall, scoring Crawford and Stewart.Ross lined a base hit to left, scoring Bumgarner, but began limping noticably as he ran to first base. The team said Ross strained his right hamstring, and was replaced by pinch runner Andres Torres.With Aaron Cook making his first relief appearance in eight years in the seventh, the Giants added three more runs on Stewart's two-run homer and Crawford's RBI single.Notes: Cook had made 184 consecutive starts for the Rockies since his last relief appearance on Sept. 27, 2003. ... Rookie left-hander Eric Surkamp will be going for his third victory in four outings when he starts for the Giants on Saturday against Rockies. It will be Surkamp's first appearance against the Rockies. He'll be opposed by fellow rookie Drew Pomeranz, a winner in his major league debut for Colorado last time out. ... INF Hector Gomez joined the Rockies on Friday after being recalled from the team's Double-A affiliate in Tulsa, where he hit .235 with 14 home runs and 50 RBIs. ... The Giants' winning streak is the longest since a seven-game run from June 22-28.

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

Doing due diligence, Giants send Evans, Shelley to scout Shohei Otani in Japan

SAN FRANCISCO — A couple of weeks ago, a Giants official expressed amazement about how little was known about the desires of Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani.

“Teams know just about as much as you guys (in the media),” he said. 

The Giants are hoping that changes this week. General manager Bobby Evans and assistant GM Jeremy Shelley have traveled to Japan to take a look at the 23-year-old, who reportedly will come over to play in Major League Baseball next season. 

“There’s going to be a lot of attention on him and it’s part of the scouting process every club goes through,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s doing our due diligence, as you say.”

Otani is a rare prospect, a potential ace on the mound and lineup-altering bat in the outfield. He has 47 homers in just over 1,000 professional at-bats, and this season he’s batting .341. As a hard-throwing pitcher with a wipeout breaking ball, Otani has a 2.57 career ERA for the Nippon Ham Fighters. He had a 1.86 ERA last season with 174 strikeouts in 140 innings. 

Because he’s said to be coming over at such a young age, Otani will sacrifice the chance to sign a massive contract. The CBA limits him to collecting money from a team’s international bonus pool, and the Giants are limited to $300,000. Still, some other big-market teams are in the same boat, and despite their lack of pool money and poor season, the Giants surely believe they have plenty to offer. 

It’s not known what Otani is looking for, but perhaps he wants to play in a big city to make up some of his lost earnings? Perhaps he wants to play on the West Coast, closer to his home country, or in a region with a big Japanese population? Perhaps he’s just a big Buster Posey fan? The Giants intend to find out, and to be in the bidding. 

It’s possible that Otani has seen the way Bochy uses Madison Bumgarner as a pinch-hitter, but Bochy said he can’t imagine using a true two-way player. 

“I don’t think it would work,” he said. “You’re talking more of something that might work in the American League. That’s a lot of throwing and wear-and-tear.”

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

Giants lineup: Sandoval shifts to third, Hundley catching Moore vs Rockies

After playing first base the last three game, Pablo Sandoval is manning third base against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Colorado Rockies:
1. Charlie Blackmon (L) CF
2. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
3. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
4. Trevor Story (R) SS
5. Ian Desmond (R) LF
6. Gerardo Parra (L) RF
7. Mark Reynolds (R) 1B
8. Jonathan Lucroy (R) C
9. Tyler Chatwood (R) RHP

San Francisco Giants:
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Joe Panik (L) 2B
3. Denard Span (L) CF
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B
7. Jarrett Parker (L) LF
8. Nick Hundley (R) C
9. Matt Moore (L) LHP