Giants start off road series in St. Louis with huge comeback win

Giants start off road series in St. Louis with huge comeback win


ST. LOUIS -- Not much has gone right on the road for the San Francisco Giants this season. They are now on a positive streak.

Eduardo Nunez doubled in two runs in the ninth inning and San Francisco rallied to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 on Friday night. The win improves the Giants to 7-15 away from San Francisco, including two straight. They have won six of seven overall.

"It's been a while, and now we have a couple of them," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You look how it came together - some good two-strike hitting by (Brandon) Crawford, and then Nuney with the big hit."

The Giants scored four times in the ninth in their previous road game to pull out a 6-5 win at the New York Mets on May 10.

The Cardinals dropped their third straight and fourth of six. It's their fourth three-game skid of the season.

Bryan Morris (2-0) pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out two, to pick up the victory. Mark Melancon earned his seventh save.

The Giants scored twice off Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh (0-2) in the ninth to take the lead. It was Oh's second blown save of the year.

"First of all, there was nothing that went well," Oh said through an interpreter. "First thing letting the leadoff go on the base and then second was a miss-pitch against Nunez. The first pitch was pretty weak."

Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford singled ahead of Nunez, who hit his 10th double of the season to left center.

It was a back and forth game with the Giants overcoming a 2-0 deficit with a three-run seventh. Dexter Fowler replied with a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning but the Giants scored once in the eighth and won it in the ninth.

"It could have been a disheartening loss, but the boys kept battling," Bochy said. "A great way to start the trip."

San Francisco has a three-game set in St. Louis before playing four at the Chicago Cubs.

Giants starter Matt Moore entered with a 10.50 ERA in four road games, but went six innings and gave up two runs and five hits. He walked three and struck out five.

"We've lost a lot of games on the road and not because they've been 1-0 or 2-0," Moore said. "It's one of those things that doesn't have to be said."

Michael Wacha got his first start in 11 days. He allowed four hits over six innings, struck out five and walked three.

EARLY EXIT: St. Louis manager Mike Matheny was ejected during the seventh inning. He yelled at home plate umpire Nic Lentz as he removed reliever Matt Bowman and as he left he was tossed. It was Matheny's second ejection of the season.

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Missouri Gov. Eric Grietens and University of Illinois football coach Lovie Smith were both in attendance.

HOLY MATRIMONY: Giants RHP Cory Gearrin got married at San Francisco city hall Thursday afternoon to Maddi Reynolds. Gearrin arrived early Friday morning to join his team.

ROSTER MOVE: The Cardinals recalled IF Jhonny Peralta (upper respiratory condition) from the 10-day DL and optioned rookie Magneuris Sierra to Double-A Springfield. Peralta singled as a pinch hitter in the seventh.


Giants: IF Conor Gillaspie (back spasms) began a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sacramento.

Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty (hamstring strain) was removed from a rehab assignment game Thursday after two innings as a precaution after he tweaked his knee. He was projected to rejoin St. Louis this weekend.


Giants: Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 5.26) is looking for his second consecutive victory after dropping his first five decisions, including his first four starts.

Cardinals: Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.88) has won his last three starts after beginning the season 0-3.

No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers


No. 79? No. 53? Before they were stars, Giants wore random numbers

SCOTTSDALE — A couple of veterans walked past a clubhouse TV earlier in camp and saw that the Giants and Padres were tied heading into the bottom of the 10th of an exhibition game. The Padres infielders were just standing around, and there was not yet a new pitcher on the mound. 

“It’s that time when No. 99 comes in to pitch,” one of the players joked as he headed home for the day.

A few seconds later, a big left-hander took the mound. He was, in fact, wearing No. 99, and in his inning on the mound he would face a No. 74 (Aramis Garcia) and No. 78 (Steven Duggar). This is the norm for spring training, when dozens of players — including teenagers and journeymen still hanging around the low minors — get into every game. That leads to action between numbers you would never see in a normal game. The Giants had 60 players in camp, plus 10 coaches and staff members with numbers. Throw in their 10 retired numbers and the unofficially retired ones (25, 55, etc.) and, well, there aren’t a whole lot of choices left. 

If Duggar makes the Opening Day roster, he’ll get an upgrade from his lineman’s number. Ditto for Garcia, who could be Buster Posey’s backup as soon as next season. Still, a taste of big league action doesn’t guarantee a normal number in camp, when young players regularly find themselves back at the end of the line. 

Ryder Jones wore 83 in camp last year and 63 in the big leagues. When he showed up this year, with 150 big league at-bats under his belt, he was told that he would have to wait until the end of the spring to upgrade. Players with more service time (think No. 2 Chase d’Arnaud or No. 19 Josh Rutledge) get priority, at least until all the cuts are made. Jones said he has a few numbers in mind for his next stint in the big leagues, but he won’t be picky. 

“Anything under 40 works,” he said, smiling. 

The steady climb toward single digits happens to just about everybody. Long before Brandon Crawford’s became @bcraw35, he wore 79 in his first camp. He moved up to 53 after that and Mike Murphy flipped that to 35 when Crawford became the big league shortstop. Hunter Pence doesn’t remember his first spring training number with the Astros, but he knows it was in the low eighties. Joe Panik wore 66 the first time he spent a spring at Scottsdale Stadium. “I was an offensive lineman,” he joked. Tyler Beede, now on the cusp of his big league debut, got promoted from 63 to 32 when he arrived last spring, only to swap to 38 this year because of some in-season shifting. When Pablo Sandoval arrived last summer, Steven Okert switched from 48 to 32.

Then there are those who have only known one jersey. Posey was a can’t-miss prospect when he arrived and doesn’t remember wearing anything other than 28. Brandon Belt was a top-25 prospect when he came to camp for the first time, and he’s been 9 since that day. Madison Bumgarner wore 40 in his first big league camp because he had already made his big league debut, but somewhere in the team archives, there are probably a few photos of a 19-year-old Bumgarner wearing something else. 

“The previous spring I came up to pitch a few times,” Bumgarner said. “I’m pretty sure I had a different number every time I came over and I’m pretty sure it was always in the eighties.”

There were seven Giants in the eighties this spring. Duggar was one of two top prospects — Chris Shaw inherited Crawford’s old 79 — to come close, and he didn’t mind one bit. He’s not thinking too far ahead, even though he could be a big leaguer in eight days. 

“I’ll take anything if I’m in the big leagues,” he said. “I’ll take No. 112 if that’s what they give me.”

Will Clark says Steven Duggar can play 'Gold Glove center field right now,' trusts the bat too


Will Clark says Steven Duggar can play 'Gold Glove center field right now,' trusts the bat too

Will Clark won his first and only Gold Glove at first base for the Giants at age 27 in 1991. It was Clark's sixth year in the major leagues. 

Steven Duggar won't have to wait that long to win the biggest hardware for his defense in Clark's eyes. 

"He can play Gold Glove center field right now in the big leagues. He can flat out go get it in center field," Clark said on the Giants' prospect Tuesday on KNBR. "He can definitely, definitely play a Gold Glove center field." 

Clark, who now serves a role in the Giants' front office after playing in five straight All-Star Games for his former team from 1988-92, has watched Duggar closely for more than just this spring training. When asked about his feelings on the 24-year-old, Clark made them clear right away. 

"I've seen Steve parts of the last two seasons in the minor leagues and I am definitely a Steven Duggar fan," Clark said. 

The question with Duggar has always been his bat. He has elite speed, gets great jumps in center field and everyone from Bruce Bochy to Buster Posey has praised his ability to track down fly balls. 

"His thing is, how quick is he going to make the adjustment in the big leagues with the pitching. I know there's a lot of people that are asking that question right now," Clark. 

Count The Thrill as one of the leaders in Camp Duggar. He joined many others in complimenting his glove left and right. But what he has to say about the Clemson product's bat is what puts him over the top. 

"He's succeeded at each level he's been at," Clark pointed out. "He will do it at the major league level and I'm kind of staking my reputation on that."

This is confidence -- to say the least -- coming from someone who was a .303 lifetime hitter and bashed 284 home runs in 15 seasons. 

Over three years in the minor leagues, Duggar is a .292 career hitter with a .384 on-base percentage and .427 slugging percentage. Duggar started off scorching hot this spring with the Giants, but has cooled down with the Cactus League soon coming to a close. In 16 games, Duggar is slashing .250/.353/.545 and has shown more pop with four home runs.