Giants erupt in ninth, stun Dodgers in series opener

Giants erupt in ninth, stun Dodgers in series opener


LOS ANGELES — There was nothing new about what Clayton Kershaw did Monday night, but there was a twist at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw dominated through eight innings but the Dodgers could not hand the ball to Kenley Janson, who is on the DL with a heart issue. The Giants took full advantage, scoring four in the top of the ninth for a stunning 5-2 win in the first game of an important series. 

Nick Hundley’s single with two outs and the bases loaded flipped the lead and the Giants kept tacking on, once on a Gorkys Hernandez single, once on a Dodgers error. When they were done, they were back to .500 at 60-60, and just four back of the Dodgers. They are five games behind the Diamondbacks. 

Here’s what you need to know from a wild night at Dodger Stadium … 

--- Kershaw allowed just one run, but Dave Roberts turned to Scott Alexander in the ninth. With one out, the Giants got singles from Chase d'Arnaud and Buster Posey. Two batters later, Austin Slater was drilled, loading the bases. That's when Hundley came through. 

--- Brandon Crawford was removed in the fifth, a few minutes after a nasty collision with Gorkys Hernandez. The two ran into each other while chasing a Kershaw pop-up that went for a double. Crawford hit in the top of the next inning, but didn’t take the field after that. He appeared to hit his head when he ran into Hernandez. 

--- Madison Bumgarner did his part to make this matchup a solid one. In six innings, he allowed two earned on seven hits, repeatedly working out of traffic. Bumgarner struck out four and walked two. One of the runs scored on a bloop with two outs, the other on a Justin Turner homer. 

--- Steven Duggar wasn’t all that impressed with Kershaw, apparently. The rookie had an infield single in his first at-bat and smoked a single to right his second time up, coming around to score two batters later. He struck out the third time up. 

--- Ray Black’s first appearance against the Dodgers was a dominant one. He got Joc Pederson to ground out and then blew Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig away. 

--- It’s a small thing, but Kershaw runs out grounders harder than half the position players in the National League.

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

Ali Thanawalla

Giants to increase minimum pay for minor leaguers before most of MLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- MLB commissioner Rob Manfred stepped up to the podium Tuesday in Arizona and spent nearly every second of his half hour press conference talking about the Houston Astros. 

The cheating scandal has taken over the sport, and for good reason, but once this all passes, there are other important issues on players' minds. First and foremost for prospects and older minor leaguers is one familiar to any worker. They want to be paid what they believe is fair, and this season the Giants will take a step in that direction. 

The organization will raise the pay for minor leaguers across the board a year ahead of similar raises that will go into place across the sport for the 2021 season. According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman, who first reported the raises, the raises will add up to more than $500,000 per year for the franchise. 

That's right around the MLB minimum for just one player, so this is an issue that is far from settled from a minor leaguer's perspective. But the raises are a start, and one the Giants have been contemplating for a while. President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said he has wanted to do this, and the organization was headed in this direction even before he came on board. 

"There was a lot of momentum, a lot of support from ownership, from the business operations side, so it was really a consensus that had been built," Zaidi said. "There was some momentum behind it before I came into the organization. Just from a personal standpoint, I'm excited that we're able to do it.

"It does a lot of good for the organization and I think it's the right thing to do."

MLB already was set to raise Triple-A minimum salaries from $502 a week to $700, with Double-A going from $350 to $600 and Single-A going from $290 to $500. The Giants are raising the Triple-A salaries a tad higher, to $750, and will add housing allowances, per The Chronicle. 

The Giants became the second team to do this, joining the Toronto Blue Jays, who instituted raises last season. Later Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Chicago Cubs will have increases of at least 50 percent this season. 

Minor league pay is a problem that is headed for courts and has caught the attention of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who tweeted late last year that he would demand that MLB pay minor leaguers "a living wage." It makes little sense that MLB could approve raises but make players, many of whom have offseason jobs to get by, wait until 2021 to see a change in their paycheck, but Zaidi said the Giants were talking about moving the timetable up before they found out MLB was planning any raises at all. 

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The Giants have put significant resources into making life easier for their players, with a new $50 million facility now in place at Scottsdale Stadium and another one for minor leaguers being built a few miles away. Players would tell you they still could do more, though, and Zaidi said there could be further raises down the line. 

"I don't know that the adjustment that we've made for 2020 is an endpoint," he said. "I think we'll continue to evaluate it. We're going to be looking to get feedback from players on how it's helping. It's a quality of life issue, a convenience issue, a time issue. Just getting a better sense of all that is something we'll continue to evaluate."

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

Giants' Mike Krukow has no sympathy for Aubrey Huff, says he 'blew it'

You can add Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow to the list of people who have no sympathy for Aubrey Huff after the former first baseman was informed that he would not be welcome at Oracle Park for the celebration of San Francisco's 2010 World Series championship team this coming August.

"I think that Aubrey Huff blew it, and I think him not being included is something he needs to take to heart," Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "I don't think it's going to affect the invitation in 20 years should he compose himself a little more responsibly on social media. He had a chance to represent the Giants away from the community, even though he's not under contract, I think it's a contract you sign for life ... I just think he's been irresponsible and he's paying a price for it.

"The one thing that never really gets discussed: In every contract you ever sign with a professional team, is they have a clause in there where they talk about how you as a player have to comport yourself in an appropriate manner. Those are words that when you sign your contract, they’ll stop the discussion and point to it and say ‘Do you understand this?’ The whole idea is to create a positive image in the community on behalf of the Giants."

The Giants are in Scottsdale, Ariz. for spring training, and several players were asked about the team's ruling on Huff. Buster Posey deferred "to the people that make the decisions," while Pablo Sandoval insisted that he "won't be sad" that Huff won't be at the World Series reunion. Krukow feels similarly.

"Me personally? No," he responded when asked if he'll miss Huff on Aug. 16.

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As San Francisco and Krukow have made clear, there's a give and take to that whole "Forever Giant" thing.