Greinke outduels Bumgarner as D'backs blank Giants


Greinke outduels Bumgarner as D'backs blank Giants


SAN FRANCISCO -- On a night when Zack Greinke said he didn't have his best stuff the Arizona Diamondbacks ace more than made up for it by hitting his spots.

Greinke pitched eight innings of two-hit ball and Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0 on Saturday night.

The Diamondbacks reduced their Magic Number for clinching a playoff berth to six as they won for the 20th time in 25 games and for the ninth straight time on the road.

The Giants have dropped four straight, seven of their last eight and 15 of their last 20. They will need to win at least half of their remaining 12 games to avoid their second 100-loss season in franchise history.

Greinke (17-6) struck out eight and gave up one walk as he moved into a three-way tie for the major league lead in victories with Clayton Kershaw and Zach Davies.

Asked if he felt the best he has all season, Greinke said "not stuff-wise but location-wise yes.

"Pretty good command, the changeup I haven't had that good command of lately, and the fastball command was better than it's been in the past."

Goldschmidt homered with two outs in the top of the first with David Peralta aboard on a leadoff single. His 34th homer came on the first pitch he saw from Madison Bumgarner (3-9), a 92-mph fastball the Giants ace left over the middle of the plate. Goldschmidt drove the ball well into the bleachers in left center field, a shot estimated at 438 feet by Statcast.

"As good as Madison is, you can't spot him strikes, so I was trying to get something that was in the middle of the plate and try to hit it hard," Goldschmidt said.

Bumgarner struck out six and allowed two runs, seven hits and a walk in seven innings. He lost his fifth straight decision and is winless in last seven starts.

He left the field to a standing ovation.

"This year just hasn't worked out for us and it's frustrating for everybody," Bumgarner said. "The stadium is still pretty full and it's still an awesome place to play."

The Giants got just one man in scoring position, when Mac Williamson went to second on shortstop Kristopher Negron's two-base throwing error.

Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his 38th save.

"When Greinke is on and hitting the edges, he's real tough," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

Greinke was also 2 for 3 with two doubles, but gave his manager a fright on the basepaths. Greinke slid headfirst into third base during the fifth inning, getting tagged out on a fielder's choice.

Manager Torey Lovullo would rather Greinke be more cautious down the stretch.

"I wanted to go out there and drag him off the field," Lovullo said. "Tell him to never do that again."

The Giants celebrated Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda's 80th birthday on Saturday with an on-field ceremony and a video tribute. Fellow Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Gaylord Perry were on hand.

The Giants will exercise their 2018 club option for LHP Matt Moore. The 2013 All-Star has struggled this year, going 5-14 with a 5.39 ERA.

Diamondbacks: OF J.D. Martinez was back in the lineup after missing Friday's game with neck stiffness. Manager Torey Lovullo said Martinez started experiencing discomfort on Wednesday night but played the next day and hit a home run against Colorado. Martinez was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts on Saturday.

Giants: RF Hunter Pence is day to day with back spasms he developed after diving for a fly ball in Friday's game, Bochy said. Pence was out of the starting lineup on Saturday and is questionable for Sunday's game. He expects to have the three-time All-Star back in the lineup after a day off on Monday. ... OF Gorkys Hernandez is day to day with a left wrist sprain. Hernandez is doubtful for Sunday's game too, Bochy said.

Diamondbacks: RHP Taijuan Walker (9-7, 3.32 ERA) will pitch Sunday's series finale. Walker is 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA over his last four starts and is 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA in his last three road starts. He's 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA in five career starts against the Giants.

Giants: RHP Chris Stratton is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA over his last five starts. He's 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts against the Diamondbacks.

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.

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.