Samardzija gives up four early runs, Giants drop finale to Rockies

Samardzija gives up four early runs, Giants drop finale to Rockies


SAN FRANCISCO -- Rookie Antonio Senzatela overcame a rocky start for his second straight victory on a rainy afternoon, and the Colorado Rockies won a four-game series in San Francisco for the first time in club history.

Senzatela settled down after a rough first inning, holding San Francisco scoreless on four hits over the next six innings in the Rockies' 4-3 victory Sunday.

Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a homer and Nolan Arenado celebrated his 26th birthday with a two-run double to cap a three-run first inning as the Rockies took three of four.

"We jumped out to the quick lead, we ambushed their guy, and then they jumped on Antonio," Colorado manager Bud Black said. "A lot of young guys would have let it get to them."

Senzatela (2-0) allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings overall. Mike Dunn struck out the two batters he faced in the eighth, Adam Ottavino got another out and Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh straight save this season.

Each team scored three times in the first inning.

Though rain fell throughout the first five innings and resumed briefly in the eighth, San Francisco avoided its first home rainout in more than a decade. The last time rain forced cancellation of a game at AT&T Park was in April 2006.

"It was a little difficult, but you need to find a way to lock in in these conditions," Arenado said. "You have to figure out how to be comfortable when you're uncomfortable."

Blackmon hit the game's third pitch into the right-center stands, extending his club record with his 23rd career first-inning leadoff homer. Colorado began with four straight hits off Jeff Samardzija, capped by Arenado's double.

Samardzija (0-3) struck out eight while allowing four runs in seven innings.

"The balls were in the middle of the plate, especially in the first inning," Samardzija said. "Not to have good stuff out there today was frustrating, and to start out that way makes the rest of the day a lot tougher."

Brandon Crawford had an RBI triple for the Giants, who also got sacrifice flies from Hunter Pence and Nick Hundley.

DJ LeMahieu had a run-scoring single for Colorado in the second.

The Giants traded minor league RHP Clayton Blackburn to the Texas Rangers for minor league INF Frandy De La Rosa and cash. Blackburn made one start for Triple-A Sacramento this season. De La Rosa is hitting .253 over four minor league seasons in the Chicago Cubs' and Rangers' organizations.

Blackmon's shot was his first leadoff homer this season, after having hit a major league-best 10 as the Rockies' first batter of the game in 2016.

Arenado went 2 for 4 on his birthday. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy turned 62 - with the loss, he's now 4-7 on his birthday while guiding the Giants.

Giants: OF Jarrett Parker was placed on the 10-day disabled list a day after breaking his collarbone by slamming into the fence while catching a fly ball. Bochy said Parker, who is hitting .143 in nine games this season, had surgery Sunday and will miss about 8-10 weeks.

LHP Steve Okert, recalled earlier Sunday by the Giants from Triple-A Sacramento to take Parker's place on the active roster, got one out in the eighth inning - retiring the only batter he faced on a comebacker to the mound. Okert, who also was recalled earlier this season but did not make an appearance, was in 16 games for the Giants last season, allowing five runs on 14 hits in 14 innings.

Rockies: After a day off on Monday, Kyle Freeland is scheduled to start Tuesday as Colorado continues its road trip at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Giants: Matt Cain makes the start Tuesday at the Royals to open a seven-day trip. It will be San Francisco's first visit to Kansas City since the 2014 World Series.

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.