Arroyo comes up clutch again, lifts Giants past Cardinals in extras


Arroyo comes up clutch again, lifts Giants past Cardinals in extras


ST. LOUIS -- San Francisco Giants rookie Christian Arroyo has already had some memorable big league moments. He added perhaps his biggest on Saturday night.

Arroyo's two-run double broke a scoreless tie and the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in 13 innings.

Arroyo's double off the wall in left field scored Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford and came on the 12th pitch he saw from Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist (0-1). Posey, Crawford and Eduardo Nunez had singled to load the bases, giving the Giants their first runners in scoring position in the game.

"He (Siegrist) did a great job for a lefty throwing at the inside part of the plate with authority," Arroyo said. "I just kind of went into battle mode and tried to stay as free as I could and not get locked up."

Mac Williamson followed with a sacrifice fly to score Nunez.

Giants starter Jeff Samardzija threw eight innings, scattering five hits and striking out eight. He threw 75 of his 105 pitches for strikes.

"He's pitching right now," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's got four pitches going and with command. First pitch strikes and quality strikes."

It was the fourth straight start that Samardzija didn't surrender a walk. He has 36 strikeouts during that span.

"I thought my fastball was there tonight, when I needed a strike, a quality strike, I could go to my fastball," Samardzija said. "The curveball too, I could throw my curveball for a strike and it just gave me another dimension."

Hunter Strickland (1-1), Derek Law and Josh Osich pitched in relief for the Giants, who won for the seventh time in eight games.

Mark Melancon earned his eighth save after allowing a run to score on a single by Stephen Piscotty.

The game was delayed by rain for 42 minutes after the 10th inning.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez pitched nine innings for the first time in his career, but fell victim to lack of run support. Martinez gave up two hits, struck out five and needed just 93 pitches to get through nine innings.

"This was probably his best start of his career and part of that was his trust in his defense and making pitches in the bottom," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He used everything, changeup was good and breaking ball was good. He had it all tonight it was just a shame we couldn't do anything with it."

Matt Bowman and Trevor Rosenthal each pitched a scoreless inning in relief for the Cardinals, who dropped their fourth straight.

Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the ninth with a double, but was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple, thwarting the best chance either team had of scoring in regulation.

Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong left the game after three innings with left elbow discomfort. He was replaced by Greg Garcia.

Before the game the Cardinals traded first baseman Matt Adams to the Atlanta Braves for minor leaguer Juan Yepez and cash considerations. The Cardinals activated Piscotty from the 10-day DL.

Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the second inning. Molina is hitting .444 (12 for 27) in his career against Samardzija.

Crawford ran all the way from his shortstop position into medium right-center field to make a sliding catch on a popup by Dexter Fowler leading off the bottom of the first.

Denard Span made a leaping grab against the center field wall to rob Aledmys Diaz of an extra base hit in the bottom of the 10th.

Giants: IF Conor Gillaspie (back spasms) started a rehab at Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, going 1 for 3.

Cardinals: OF Jose Martinez (groin) will start a rehab Sunday at extended spring training and Single-A Palm Beach.

Giants: RHP Matt Cain (3-1, 4.04 ERA) became just the 12th pitcher in franchise history to reach 2,000 innings pitched during his last outing. His 7.62 ERA at Busch Stadium is the highest in any ballpark where he has made multiple starts.

Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (3-3, 5.31 ERA) is coming off his best start of the season with seven shutout innings against Chicago on Sunday. He will tie Al Hrabosky for 11th on the franchise games pitched list (329) and is 5-7 with a 3.27 ERA in 14 career games against San Francisco.

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

Starting to rev things up, Hunter Pence has big night at plate and in left

PEORIA — Jeff Samardzija spent a couple minutes after Thursday’s start talking to reporters about how deep he thinks the Giants lineup can be. It’ll be a hell of a lot deeper if Hunter Pence keeps hitting like this. 

After a slow start to the spring, Pence is charging. He had three hits against the Padres: a triple that bounced off the top of the wall in right-center, a hard single up the middle, and a double to center. The more encouraging plays for the Giants happened in left field. Pence chased down a drive to the line in the third inning, leaving the bases loaded. He opened the fourth by going the other direction and gloving a fly ball to left-center. 

"A good game for Hunter, both ways," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's getting more comfortable out there. You can see it with the jumps he's getting right now. It takes a little while when you change positions, but I think he's going to be fine out there."

The Giants appear set to have Austin Jackson and Pence atop the lineup against left-handed starters, and that duo could see plenty of time early. Seven of the first nine games are against the Dodgers, who have four lefty starters. 

--- Evan Longoria had a double off the right-center wall on Wednesday after missing a week with a sore ankle. He had a single the same way in his second at-bat Thursday. More than the at-bats, Longoria has impressed with his soft hands and steady arm at third. The ankle looks fine, too. 

“My ankle feels pretty good,” Longoria said. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue going forward.”

--- It’s been a quiet spring for Andrew McCutchen, but we saw the wheels tonight. McCutchen easily stole second after a two-run single in the fifth. When Evan Longoria bounced one to the left side, shortstop Freddy Galvis tried to go to third for the lead out, but McCutchen beat that throw, too. He got up and put his hands on his hips, as if to say, "Why'd you even try that?"

--- Samardzija allowed three homers in a six-batter span in the third. He allowed three homers in an inning in his previous start, too, but he said he’s not concerned. Samardzija deemed it a sequencing issue. He’s working in a new changeup and threw it in situations he normally wouldn’t; Eric Hosmer took advantage of a floating one, crushing it to deep, deep right for the third homer. 

--- With a runner on, Brandon Belt put down a perfect bunt to foil the shift. Belt does that every spring, particularly against NL West teams, but rarely during the regular season. Maybe this will be the year?

Belt later crushed a homer to deep right. That had to feel good for a number of reasons. Belt is fighting a cold and he learned earlier in the day that his college coach, Augie Garrido, had passed away.

Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential


Josh Osich goes back to his roots looking to unleash all the potential

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For most pitchers, spring training is a time to experiment and add a pitch or two. Josh Osich is using this month to go the other direction. 

Osich spent the offseason watching film of his 2015 season, when he looked like he might one day be the closer in San Francisco, and decided that he needed to get back to his roots. That means the curveball, which he tried so hard to mix in last year, is now far back in the cupboard. The four-seam and two-seam fastballs are once again the focus, with an emphasis on changing eye levels more than he did a year ago. The changeup and cutter will round out his arsenal for the most part. 

Osich’s raw stuff is still as good as just about any lefty reliever in the league, and he hopes to take advantage of that while putting a rough 2017 season in his rearview mirror. He had a 6.23 ERA last season and 1.73 WHIP.

“It’s just one of those learning years,” Osich said. “I tried to live at the bottom of the zone and I was, but I was actually below the zone. So then I would fall behind and need to throw a strike and that’s when guys would hit me.”

Osich, 29, had a 2.20 ERA and 1.12 WHIP during that 2015 season that he keeps going back to. He walked eight batters in 28 2/3 innings, a far cry from the 27 he walked in 43 1/3 last year. While watching the 2015 version of himself, Osich saw that his hands were higher, and that’s something he’s working to replicate. He’s also trying to slow his pace to the plate. So far, the results are nothing but encouraging. Osich allowed one hit and struck out one in a 2 1/3 inning appearance on Wednesday night. Manager Bruce Bochy let him extend himself to keep the good vibes going. 

In six appearances this spring, Osich has allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings. He has seven strikeouts and one walk. 

“O, it just seems like he’s got confidence,” Bochy said. “He’s kept it simple, he’s not tinkering with different pitches. He’s throwing more strikes, and more than anything he’s just trying to pound the strike zone now with quality strikes. That’s all he has to do. You look at him and he’s hitting 95 with a couple of good off-speed pitches. That works here.”