Giants

Giants swept in the desert

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Giants swept in the desert

BOX SCORE
PHOENIX (AP) -- Winning 10 games may seem like a modest goal for a pitcher. Not one who didn't make his first career start until May.Josh Collmenter pitched seven strong innings and Miguel Montero had two RBIs to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.Collmenter (10-10) allowed five hits and two runs for his second win against the Giants this season. Collmenter struck out four and walked one."It's been one heck of a ride this year," Collmenter said.Collmenter made one start with Triple-A Reno and seven appearances out of the bullpen before making his first start on May 14 at Los Angeles.He's had both highs - a 12-inning scoreless streak to begin his career as a starter - and lows - a four-game midseason losing streak - while relying primarily on just two pitches, a fastball and a changeup."I worked on that third pitch (a curveball) to make it a weapon all the time," Collmenter said.Aaron Hill and Colin Cowgill also had run-scoring hits for the Diamondbacks, who have won six of seven heading into a season-ending series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Though Arizona has clinched the NL West title, the Diamondbacks remain a game behind Milwaukee in an attempt to gain home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs."Our intentions are to win out," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We may. We may not. But wherever we have to go on Saturday, that's fine. It's good times. It's fun."J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 45th save.Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton was hit on the front of the helmet by Giants starter Tim Lincecum (13-14) in the first.He initially remained in the game and scored Arizona's second run, but left after the inning for precautionary reasons. Neurological tests on Upton were negative and he is listed day to day."If you're going to get hit in the dome that's probably the best place," Putz said.Carlos Beltran and Andres Torres homered in the sixth for the Giants, who have lost five of six including four straight."It was embarrassing," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Matt (Cain) threw a great game (Friday) and it could have gone either way. But the last two, we were ugly. There is no getting around it. That is not the way we want to finish up."The Diamondbacks took a 2-0 lead against Lincecum in the first. Hill drew a one-out walk and went to second when Upton was hit in the helmet. Both scored when Montero followed with a double into the right-center field gap."We've had good luck when guys hit J-Up this year," Gibson said. "Fortunately he hasn't been seriously injured, but we've done well in those situations."Lincecum said the pitch to Upton affected his original game plan."I was kind of afraid to go in for fear that kind of stuff would happen again," said Lincecum, who approached the plate to check on Upton and also sent a message to the right fielder."I had one of the players send a message over there saying that it was a complete accident and I had no intention of doing that."I just kind of lost it. I was trying to go low and away and it was the complete opposite."Paul Goldschmidt led off the fourth with a double to right and Cowgill made it 3-0 with a one-out double to right field.Hill drove in Gerardo Parra on a ground-rule double in the fifth and scored on a ground out for a 5-0 lead.Lincecum allowed five runs and eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts.Notes: Giants C Chris Stewart was shaken up when a Lincecum pitch bounced up and hit him on the left cheek in the fifth. Stewart finished the inning, but gave way to Hector Sanchez in the top of the seventh. ... Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected by second base umpire Gary Darling in the bottom of the fifth for arguing after Parra stole second. Stewart's throw to Jeff Keppinger easily beat the runner, but Darling ruled the second baseman had missed the tag. Replays were inconclusive. ... The Diamondbacks went over 2,000,000 in attendance. Sunday's crowd was announced at 41,423, raising the total for the three-game series to 132,925 and the season to 2,010,340.

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

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MiLB/Sacramento River Cats

Good news, bad news for Chris Shaw's first week in the Arizona Fall League

Every time the Journey song “Lights” plays throughout AT&T Park, the lyrics When the lights go down in the City ring too true for the Giants’ offense. There’s a power outage in San Francisco. 

The savior to this issue can soon be prospect Chris Shaw, who turns 24 years old on Oct. 20. Shaw, along with five other Giants prospects, is continuing his 2017 season among a multitude of baseball’s best young up-and-comers in the Arizona Fall League. As he takes the field for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Shaw’s bat is far from the top focus for the Giants. 

After playing right and left field at Boston College, the Giants turned Shaw into a first baseman once they selected the 6-foot-4, 235-pound lefty in 2015. This year, the Giants’ front office decided to make a change. As the big league team continued to look for their own answers, Shaw saw himself in left field in 94 of the 125 games he played between Double-A and Triple-A this season. 

“I saw improvements through the course of the year,” Brian Sabean said about Shaw’s outfield defense on The Giants Insider Podcast. “The problem is playing left field in our left field isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to do.” 

The AFL is all about reps in left field for Shaw as the Giants have already said he will get a long look in spring training. He earned that right after a breakout year at the plate.

One week into the AFL though, Shaw’s bat is way behind. Through four games, Shaw is batting a pedestrian .133 (2-for-15), both hits being singles. But even in such a slow start there are positives. 

Shaw has walked three times to only two strikeouts. His only downfall at the plate once he reached Triple-A Sacramento was his on-base percentage fell from .390 in Double-A to .328 at the higher level. With the River Cats, Shaw struck out 106 times, leading the team, while taking his base 20 times.

One week in the desert, Shaw is showing more patience and putting the ball into play more often. The ball simply isn’t finding grass.

In the outfield, every ball Shaw sees -- practice or game -- during the AFL is a step in the right direction for he and the Giants. He is yet to make an error in his short time at the AFL. The big lefty will never be a guy to make the spectacular play, but if he improves his instincts with the glove and improves his eye at the plate, the Giants can finally have their left fielder of the future. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

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USATSI

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

LOS ANGELES — Shortstop Corey Seager has been left off the Los Angeles Dodgers' roster for the NL Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.

The Dodgers announced Seager's surprise omission due to a back injury on Saturday, several hours before Game 1 at Dodger Stadium.

Los Angeles also dropped reliever Pedro Baez from its roster. Infielder Charlie Culberson and outfielder Joc Pederson were added.

Chicago made only one change from the last playoff round, adding reliever Hector Rondon and removing reliever Justin Wilson.

Seager complained of back soreness during the Dodgers' NL Division Series clincher in Arizona on Monday, and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year didn't participate in team workouts this week. Still, manager Dave Roberts said Friday that he was very optimistic that Seager would play in the NLCS.

Seager was an All-Star selection this season while batting .295 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs as a key part of the top of the Dodgers' lineup.

Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor and Culberson all worked out at shortstop Friday for the Dodgers. The versatile Taylor was the Dodgers' center fielder during the NLDS, but he made 96 appearances in the outfield this season and 44 in the infield, including 14 games at shortstop.

Pederson is batting .071 with no homers since July, but the Dodgers could need him in center field if Taylor plays shortstop.

Culberson famously homered to clinch the Dodgers' NL West title in announcer Vin Scully's final home game last season, but the infielder spent most of this season at Triple-A, appearing in only 14 games for the Dodgers.

Rondon was the Cubs' closer in 2014 and 2015, but moved to a setup role last season after Aroldis Chapman's arrival. He appeared in 61 regular-season games this year, going 4-1 with a 4.24 ERA in an up-and-down campaign.

Chicago acquired Wilson in a trade with Detroit on July 31, adding a veteran left-handed reliever who had 13 saves for the Tigers this season. The Southern California native wasn't great in his two months with the Cubs, posting a 5.09 ERA with 19 walks in 23 appearances.

Manager Joe Maddon chose Wilson for the NLDS over Rondon, only to switch it up against the Dodgers.