MLB schedule makers serve Giants rare opportunity

MLB schedule makers serve Giants rare opportunity
June 6, 2014, 6:00 pm
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We have the best fans in the league. They show up every day no matter what the score is.
Hector Sanchez

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have the best record in all of baseball through 60 games, and they're facing a favorable schedule in the immediate future.

With the league's best home record and 20 of their next 25 games inside the friendly confines of AT&T Park, the Giants are out to extend their 8.5-game division lead on the second-place Dodgers.

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"It's good to be back," Angel Pagan said after a 5-2 road trip and prior to opening a 10-game homestand on Friday night. "We were only gone a little more than a week, but it felt like a month."

The Giants are 19-9 (.679) in San Francisco, winning six of their last seven and 17 of their past 26 games. And they've dropped just one home series all year -- their first of the season against the Diamondbacks in early April.

"If we can get ahead of teams early and get this crowd behind us, that's a winning formula," said Javier Lopez, who was unaware the Giants have scored an MLB-best 47 first-inning runs this year.

But playing 25 of 35 games at home leading up to the All-Star break is a double-edged sword; the Giants have 10 more away games than home games after the break. 

Still, the players -- who have won four straight series and stand a season-best 18 games over .500 -- say they aren't feeling pressure to stockpile wins before a tough second half.

"You can't look that far ahead," Pagan said. "We're taking it one game at a time, trying to win series." 

Lopez agreed, "but I think the guys have seen that we'll be on the road for a lot of September."

With three of the final four series of the season coming on the road against division opponents, it will be key for the Giants -- who are on pace for 105 victories this year -- to build their cache of victories. It's unlikely that 92 total wins will be good enough to claim the NL West, as it was last year.

No matter how the games go, the Giants are happy to be back on the shores of McCovey Cove for another reason.

"We have the best fans in the league," Hector Sanchez said. "They show up every day no matter what the score is."

Asked his favorite part about playing in San Francisco, Pagan didn't hesitate: "The atmosphere."

It's Orange Friday at AT&T Park, and the Giants expect to extend their MLB-best regular season sellout streak to 275 games.


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