Giants

Instant Replay: Giants 3, Astros 2

817536.jpg

Instant Replay: Giants 3, Astros 2

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Freshly promoted Marwin Gonzalez's third-inning leadoff double to right field drew an audible groan from the 129th consecutive sellout at AT&T Park. No perfect game this Sunday. But Matt Cain and the Giants did treat their fans to a 3-2 win over the Houston Astros and a series sweep in their last home game until July 23.Starting pitching report:Matt Cain entered Sunday's game with a streak of 28 consecutive Astros retired, dating back to 2011 and including his June 13 perfect game. More of the same from the Giants' horse as he went 1-2-3 in the first and second innings to push his retired batters streak to 34 before Gonzalez's double. Cain had the chance to strand him, but it was his error that brought the Astros within one on the unearned run.Houston earned its next run. Brian Bogusevic knocked a fourth-inning single and Chris Johnson tattooed a ball into the left-center field gap. Bogusevic came all the way around to tie the game, but strong San Francisco defense limited the damage and kept it tied at two.Thanks to his offense, Cain took the mound again with the lead in the sixth inning, and he turned in a shutdown inning of dominant proportion. Facing the heart of the Astros order, he struck out All-Star Jose Altuve swinging on a tight slider, Scott Moore looking on the same slider and J.D. Martinez swinging at a 92-mph outside-paint fastball.Cain was lifted in the seventh inning after Gonzalez's ground ball eluded Brandon Crawford, who was moving to cover second with Bogusevic in motion.It wasn't perfection, but it was enough to leave in line for the win. Cain's final line: six and one-third innings, five hits, two runs, one earned run, one walk, six strikeouts, 108 pitches, 74 strikes and the win.Bullpen report:Jeremy Affeldt entered the game -- and a high-stress situation -- when Cain sputtered in the seventh. Protecting a one-run lead with one away and runners on the corners, Affeldt induced a foul pop out from Carlos Corporan and got pinch-hitter Jason Maxwell -- he of the big ninth-inning double Saturday -- to fly out to right field and end the threat.With the dynamic specialist duo of Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo warming up in the bullpen, Affeldt staying in for the eighth inning and made quick work of Jordan Schafer and Altuve before he hit Moore in the forearm.Bochy was quickly out of the dugout calling on Romo to face the right-handed Martinez. Romo's Frisbee-slider was on point, and Martinez went down swinging to end the inning.Still holding on to the one-run lead, Bochy elected not to start the ninth inning with Santiago Casilla. Instead, it was Javier Lopez who faced Bogusevic. As he had done to each of the two other batters he faced this series, Lopez struck him out.And then it was Casilla time.Fans were audible with their disfavor of Bochy's decision, but Casilla was strong. He struck out Johnson and got Gonzalez to ground out to record his 23rd save of the year -- good for third in the National League -- without a shred of doubt.With the bats:Owners of 23 hits in the first two games of the series, the Giants kept finding space between the lines early Sunday. Gregor Blanco and Emmanuel Burriss each slapped singles between short and third to begin San Francisco's day at the plate. After a wild pitch, Buster Posey stroked a clean single to right-center field to plate Blanco and open the scoring. After loading the bases with one out, though, the Giants could only add one more run when Brandon Belt drew a four-pitch walk that scored Burriss.Two runs for Matt Cain against the Astros? It wouldn't be enough on this Sunday.The Giants were primed to score when Norris walked the first two batters of the fourth inning, but Crawford, Cain and Burriss came up empty with runners in scoring position.Tied at two, Sandoval put the pressure on the Astros with a leadoff double in the fifth inning. The Giants didn't waste any time, as Posey's second RBI single of the game reclaimed the lead.Posey added a seventh-inning single to finish the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs.With the gloves:Matt Cain did well to field Norris' third-inning sacrifice bunt and throw across his body and against his momentum to record the out. But he was tested again when, with two outs and a runner on third, Schafer dropped down a second consecutive bunt. Cain charged this one towards the first-base line, but his on-the-run overhand toss to first dove towards Brandon Belt's feet and couldn't be corralled. Cain's error allowed Gonzalez to score and brought the Astros within one.On the next play, Crawford dove to his right to field Altuve's sharp shot in the hole, rose and fired a one-hop frozen rope to Belt that appeared to beat Altuve by a hair. First-base umpire Lance Barrett saw otherwise and the inning continued...for one more batter.Crawford made another nice play in the fourth inning when, while leaning toward second to keep baserunner Chris Johnson close, Gonzalez hit a ground ball his way. Crawford charged, scooped it up and made the alert play to throw on to Sandoval with plenty of time to cut down Johnson, who made the ill-advised decision to take third on a ball hit a step in front of him.The fine fourth-inning defense wasn't over. Crawford's fielder's choice left Gonzalez on first base, and when he attempted to steal, Crawford slapped down the tag from a rifle throw by Buster Posey and trotted off the field.Attendance:The Giants announced a paid crowd of 42,265, 25,000 of which went home with the coveted Madison Bumgarner bobblehead, complete with the 22-year old's bristly 5 p.m. shadow. Up next:After a travel day Monday, the Giants hit the road for a six-game trip through Atlanta and Philadelphia that begins with Barry Zito (7-6, 4.01) and Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 4.97) going head to head at 4:10 p.m. Coverage begins Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Former Giants infielder replaces Dodgers' star shortstop on NLCS roster

corey-us.jpg
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.

Bochy, Giants issue statement following manager's heart procedure

bochy-bruce-ecu.jpg
AP

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.”