Giants manage just four hits in finale, drop three of four at Chase Field

Giants manage just four hits in finale, drop three of four at Chase Field

PHOENIX — Aaron Hill stood in the visiting clubhouse of a park he long called home, smiled, and pointed out that the Giants have 158 games left. 

“Didn’t we sweep them one year and they went out and won the World Series?” he asked. 

Hill’s Diamondbacks did, in 2012, taking three straight games from a Giants team that then went to Coors Field and watched Barry Zito throw a shocking shutout in the season's fourth game. This series left a similarly bitter taste, as the Giants dropped three of four in strikingly similar fashion. 

On Thursday they again jumped out to a lead, only to see the Diamondbacks charge forward with another stretch of seven unanswered runs. A second straight night of that led to a 9-3 loss for the Giants, who managed just four hits in a park where that’s hard to do.

“You’re trying to limit the damage,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “When they scored, they put up crooked numbers. When we scored, we put up one. We’ve had success here by answering back and scoring lots of runs. Their guy (Robbie Ray) had good stuff, but still, we scored early and it got away from us. It comes down to pitching better.”

Jeff Samardzija couldn’t have thrown any better in the first couple of innings. He had five strikeouts, and he followed that with an easy third. In the fourth, David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt hit solo homers to tie the game. Samardzija wasn’t particularly bothered by that inning, but the sixth inning ticked him off. 

Peralta drew a leadoff walk ahead of the dangerous Goldschmidt, who singled. Samardzija tried to sneak a fastball past Jake Lamb and it ended up bouncing onto the pool deck in right-center field. A 3-2 Giants lead turned into a two-run deficit.

“The sixth inning bothers me,” Samardzija said. “We were going heating in. We had thrown a few in there and had success. It ran back over the plate and he got good wood on it.”

Samardzija gave way to the bullpen, and Ty Blach — pitching for the second time in an unfamiliar short-relief role — couldn’t keep the game close. Blach gave up three runs with two outs in the eighth, walking a pair before two hits to left that gave Hill, an infielder his whole career up until Wednesday, trouble. 

“They’ve got to bring their closer in (for the next inning) and there are two outs and nobody on, and they put up a crooked number,” Bochy said. “We’ve got to clean it up and stay away from that.”

--- Bochy said Buster Posey will get a planned day off Friday, with Nick Hundley catching Matt Cain. Hunter Pence will also get a day off. The Giants had planned to rest Pence more often this season and they are reacting in part to four very long games (they weren’t thrilled by the pace of play this week). Jarrett Parker will start in right and Hill, who homered early Thursday, seems headed for his first career start in left. 

“It’s about getting in there and getting experience,” he said. “I’m comfortable. But it’s a new position … I want to see those line drives and hard fly balls.”

Hill came up just short on a diving attempt in the eighth Thursday. He got turned around a bit on an RBI double to the warning track. 

The Giants are hopeful that Denard Span (hip) can start Friday. If not, Gorkys Hernandez will get another day. 

--- Hunter Strickland was stretched out on Thursday, getting five outs. Bochy knew he wouldn’t have Strickland this weekend. The reliever and his wife, Shelley, are expecting their first child. Steven Okert will replace Strickland while he’s on paternity leave. 

Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's


Dodgers lose Justin Turner to broken wrist after getting hit by pitch vs A's

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles third baseman Justin Turner's broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman.

Turner arrived at the Dodgers spring training facility with a cast over his wrist Tuesday morning and was scheduled to see a hand specialist for an estimate of the time he could miss.

"We know that it's not a surgery thing, it's just essentially time," Roberts said. "That's the initial thought. That could change but that's what I've heard."

Turner hit .322 with 21 homers and 71 RBIs last year and was a first-time All-Star. He had 14 RBIs against the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series and was voted MVP.

The Dodgers appear poised to move Logan Forsythe from second base to third in Turner's absence and have Enrique Hernandez and Chase Utley share time at second.

"It obviously makes a lot of sense to have Logan over there a lot more at third, and to kind of put together some guys at second base, and leave Chris (Taylor) in center field," Roberts said.

Backup catcher Austin Barnes also could see time at second base.

Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts


Giants' outfield picture becoming clearer after latest round of roster cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants moved closer to setting their opening day roster on Monday when they made a significant round of cuts to their spring training roster. 

A total of 15 players were reassigned or optioned, bringing the total to 31 players remaining in camp. Many of the players cut Monday entered the spring competing for jobs. 

In the outfield, Mac Williamson and Austin Slater were optioned to Triple-A and Chris Shaw was reassigned to minor league camp. Williamson had a huge spring and was the likeliest of the trio to push for an opening day spot, but he'll start his year in the minors. Steven Duggar was not among the cuts, and he remains an option to make the team, with the Giants also looking at Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Jarrett Parker for backup spots. Hernandez and Parker are out of minor league options. 

Tyler Beede was optioned and Andrew Suarez was reassigned to minor league camp, leaving three players vying for the final two rotation spots. Ty Blach and Chris Stratton have been the favorites all along, although both struggled the last time out and Derek Holland has had a strong spring. 

Both backup catchers -- Trevor Brown and Hector Sanchez -- were reassigned, along with Orlando Calixte, who saw time in the big leagues last year. Joan Gregorio, Jose Valdez, Justin O'Conner and Kyle Jensen were also reassigned. Chase d'Arnaud, who appeared to be making a strong push, was on the list, too, leaving Josh Rutledge as the only competition for Kelby Tomlinson for the final infield spot. 

Finally, Derek Law and Roberto Gomez were optioned to Triple-A. Josh Osich remains and appears the frontrunner for a bullpen job. Julian Fernandez, the Rule 5 pick, also remains in camp. 

The Giants break camp on Friday.