Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants crush A's, split Bay Bridge Series

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants crush A's, split Bay Bridge Series


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach took Madison Bumgarner’s spot in the rotation earlier this season. On Thursday, he did a pretty good Bumgarner impression.

Blach pitched eight strong innings and added a homer in the fifth, the first of his career. The Blach party had plenty of guests. The Giants scored seven runs off Kendall Graveman in the first two innings and roared to an 11-2 win over the A's that tied up this season’s Bay Bridge Series. 

On a day full of changes, there were plenty of positive developments. Here are five things to know …

—- The first three-run homer for the Giants at AT&T Park this season came from … Ty Blach. Dude hits bombs in batting practice and he carried that power over to the game, crushing a high shot to deep center in the fifth to give the Giants a 10-run lead. Blach joined Brandon Crawford, Austin Slater and Hunter Pence as the only Giants with three-run homers this season. 

—- Blach, a big part of next year’s rotation, was just as good on the mound. He allowed just two earned on six hits and one walk. The young lefty has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last four starts, and at least six in each of his last six starts. 

—- Brandon Belt took one out to left-center in the second for his 18th homer of the season, tying his career-high. That’s more than any Giant had last year. Belt is on pace for 27 home runs, which would be the most by a Giant since Hunter Pence hit 27 in 2013. 

—- In his first big league game since April 15, Jarrett Parker had a pair of RBI doubles and a single. Parker had just one multiple-hit game before hurting his shoulder on a play at the wall. Bruce Bochy said Parker’s playing time would be determined by performance. He’s off to a good start. 

—- Ryder Jones 2.0 lived up to the hype. Jones was 1 for 21 in seven games the first time up, but he had two hits in the first two innings Thursday. He scored twice and drove in a run. 

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster


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.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure


Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

Bruce Bochy's minor offseason heart procedure went as planned, the team announced Friday afternoon. 

In a message passed along to beat reporters, Bochy said "the procedure went extremely well and I'm feeling better. I'm grateful for the doctors and want to thank everyone who has reached out with well wishes."

Bochy, 62, had an ablation procedure to help him deal with heart issues that have plagued him in recent years. The operation was his second of the year, but it was considered minor enough that it could be pushed back to the end of the season.

Cleveland's Terry Francona had a similar procedure this year and returned to manage, and Bochy has left no doubt about his future. 

“I don’t want anyone to think this has an effect on my work, or ability to work,” Bochy said last week. “This is something that is not uncommon.”