Giants

Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return

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USATSI

Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return

Almost nothing can be learned from a rehabbing veteran's box score in the minor leagues. That was reinforced a couple of years ago when a Dodgers A-ball team crushed Giants ace Madison Bumgarner as he tried to get a feel for his signature cutter.

So throw out the five runs that Johnny Cueto was charged with Tuesday night in Modesto. Look only at the number "60," which is how many pitches Cueto threw in his second appearance for the San Jose Giants.

The big-league training staff had hoped to see Cueto get above 55, and he appeared to have another solid night of work as he inched closer to the majors. Cueto gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three.

His next stop will be Triple-A Sacramento for two more starts.

Cueto is lined up to pitch Monday in Sacramento, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters in Chicago that he should be back in the big leagues around Sept. 8. For over a year, Cueto has targeted the first week of September. 

The right-hander is now nearly 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery and has had no setbacks. He was coming along so smoothly that the Giants discussed taking away one of the rehab starts and getting him back early, although plenty in the organization preferred caution.

[RELATED: Yaz starring for Giants after big-league chance]

The original path was two starts for San Jose and two for Sacramento, and Cueto is halfway through the schedule that'll soon get him back with the Giants.

Giants' Tyler Beede continues rough nights giving up more home runs

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USATSI

Giants' Tyler Beede continues rough nights giving up more home runs

It's always a good time when Madison Bumgarner pinch-hits for the Giants, and there was a bit of added flavor Tuesday. After Bumgarner drew a walk from Cole Hamels, Logan Webb entered to run for the staff ace. 

It was an interesting moment, but one Bruce Bochy didn't want to see so early in the first game at Wrigley Field. Bumgarner was hitting because Tyler Beede had thrown 91 pitches in four innings and was done for the night. 

In a game the Giants would go on to lose 5-3, Beede gave up three solo homers to the Cubs in his four innings. He has allowed 11 homers over his last six starts, giving up 25 earned runs in 27 1/3 innings. 

"It's execution of pitches, the pitch quality, making mistakes. That's the key to pitching," manager Bruce Bochy told reporters when asked about the home run issue. "Sometimes it gets away from you and it gets over the heart of the plate. That's what happens to him. He's making great pitches at times and then makes that mistake. He's just not getting away with them. Those are good hitters, they're going to take advantage of them. That's the hump he's got to get over, is being consistent on every pitch."

The first homer Beede allowed Tuesday was a prime example of the recent trend of mistakes. It was a fastball that was located, well, just take a look:

That one was hit out by Nicholas Castellanos. The next two were off the bat of Anthony Rizzo, and while they weren't as dead-center as the first one, they were both mistake pitches. Rizzo hit a fastball that was down and in but in his sweet spot, then blasted a changeup two innings later. 

“I don’t want to continue to feel like if I make a mistake, it’s going to leave the yard," Beede told reporters, including Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News. "But it seems to be the way things are going as of right now.”

The staff discussed Beede's rotation spot after his last rough start, but when the Giants got to Phoenix a day later, Bochy announced that Beede would face the Cubs. The team was in a tough spot with the rotation, but there's a bit more breathing room if the Giants again want to discuss giving Beede a chance to step back.

[RELATED: Cueto close to making return to Giants]

Shaun Anderson made a rehab appearance for Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday and should be ready to return if needed. On a longer timeframe, Johnny Cueto is also lined up to slide into the rotation spot. Cueto made a second rehab appearance for the San Jose Giants on Tuesday and now will make two starts for the River Cats. 

Giants vs. Cubs lineups: Abiatal Avelino starts at shortstop vs. Cole Hamels

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AP

Giants vs. Cubs lineups: Abiatal Avelino starts at shortstop vs. Cole Hamels

Shortstop Brandon Crawford has played 114 of the Giants' 125 games this season. On Tuesday, he's taking the day off. 

Giants manager Bruce Bochy is using right-handed bat Abiatal Avelino against Cubs left-hander Cole Hamels. Crawford is batting just .173 in August and certainly could use a breather. 

Avelino, on the other hand, has hit .285 with 12 home runs in Triple-A for the Sacramento River Cats. The 24-year-old also has stolen 15 bases this season. 

Bochy is wheeling out a right-handed heavy lineup against Hamels, with just two lefties in the order -- Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Belt. 

[RELATED: Yaz starring for Giants after getting big league chance]

Here are the full lineups for Tuesday's game. You can follow the action on NBC Sports Bay Area or by downloading and streaming on the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 4 p.m. PT with first pitch at 5:05.

San Francisco Giants (63-62)
Donovan Solano, 2B
Mike Yastrzemski, LF
Buster Posey, C
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Austin Slater, RF
Brandon Belt, 1B
Abiatal Avelino, SS
Tyler Beede, RHP (3-7, 5.77)

Chicago Cubs (66-58)
Jason Heyward, CF
Nic Castellanos, RF
Kris Bryant, 3B
Anthony Rizzo, 1B
Javier Baez, SS
Kyle Schwarber, LF
Jonathan Lucroy, C
Tony Kemp, 2B
Cole Hamels, LHP (6-4, 3.69 ERA)