Giants

Giants experience downside of the shift in lopsided loss to Braves

Giants experience downside of the shift in lopsided loss to Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants did not take batting practice on Wednesday or run through any pregame drills on the field, but even with a six-hour workout they probably would not have practiced the play that helped put them in a deep hole. 

Jeff Samardzija should have been out of the second with the game still scoreless, but the Giants botched what looked to be an inning-ending double play. Ozzie Albies hit a one-hopper back to the mound and Samardzija spun to throw, but there was a shift on, and third baseman Evan Longoria, playing short, did not cover the bag. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, playing where a second baseman usually would, also did not cover. 

After a 9-2 loss, Samardzija called it a "freak thing," "unfortunate" and something the Giants hadn't really worked on. 

"I turned around and really just saw center field," Samardzija said. "I tried to lead one of them to the bag and obviously at that point it was too late. There are a lot of great things about the shift, but sometimes it does get guys out of position."

The Braves ended up with two on and one out, and Dansby Swanson blasted a flat cutter into the left-field seats for a three-run homer a few batters later. Freddie Freeman made it 6-0 two pitches after that with a solo shot to right-center. Samardzija mixed a costly wild pitch into the rally, too. 

Manager Bruce Bochy said the miscommunication in the shift was something the staff and players would discuss. 

"They're not set up like that very often, but it's all about communication and knowing who has got it," Bochy said. 

[RELATED: Bochy mixes up pregame routine looking for better starts]

In Cincinnati or Denver, perhaps the Giants would have rallied. But this being Oracle Park, the rest of the night was a slow crawl to loss No. 27.

All six runs on Samardzija's line went down as unearned. He said he was happy with the way he battled after the early mistakes. But that second inning was all it took. 

"You've got to be on your game the whole time and can't give them extra chances, and if you do, you've got to shut the door," Samardzija said. 

Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss

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Giants present spunky new lineup vs. Rockies, but it's not enough in loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was a different look on Wednesday afternoon, and for three innings it was a pretty spunky one.

Bruce Bochy went with lefties -- mostly not the familiar ones -- atop the lineup and the Giants had some success against tough right-handed pitcher German Marquez, who nearly no-hit them earlier this year. It wasn't enough to overcome a grand slam given up by Jeff Samardzija, but as Bochy desperately searches for solutions at Oracle Park, perhaps he has stumbled onto something. 

Brandon Belt hit leadoff and the plan is for that to continue for a few more games, at least. Mike Yastrzemski hit second and scored in the first before doubling while leading off the fifth. Pablo Sandoval had an RBI double and solo homer while hitting third. Alex Dickerson had an RBI double in the two-run first and later drew a walk. Stephen Vogt, batting fifth, had hits in his first two at-bats. 

This is not at all what the Giants planned. Belt hit leadoff one time in his career before Tuesday. Yastrzemski and Vogt started the season in Triple-A and Dickerson was with the Padres. Sandoval, who has turned into Bochy's most dangerous hitter, ended a nervous spring thinking he would get mostly pinch-hit at-bats. 

But for about an hour there Wednesday, the lineup looked somewhat dangerous and worked Marquez hard. Bochy said he could take a look at that lefty-hitting group again depending on the matchups. 

"We had some great at-bats," he said. "We hit a lot of balls hard. I thought it was one of our better days offensively even though we only scored three runs."

The Giants will wait and see what they have in Yastrzemski and Dickerson, and while Vogt has seen more time of late, he won't be supplanting Buster Posey. Belt is the one with easily the tightest hold on a starting job, but Sandoval may not be far behind now given his play. He has started 13 games in June and isn't slowing down. The homer tied him with Kevin Pillar for the team lead at 10, and the double left the bat at 114.7 mph, a season-high for the Giants. The OPS is back above .900. 

[RELATED: Ramos ends slump in a huge way]

"He's got his rhythm and timing right now," Bochy said. "He's seeing the ball well and it's jumping off the bat."

Sandoval will continue to see time near the top of the order. Given where the team is, the rest of the guys who made up the upper half Wednesday probably should, too. 

Giants vs. Rockies lineups: Alex Dickerson hits cleanup in series finale

Giants vs. Rockies lineups: Alex Dickerson hits cleanup in series finale

Jeff Samardzija already shut down the Rockies at Oracle Park once this season, and he'll look to duplicate that Wednesday afternoon.

The Giants will hand the ball to the right-hander in the series finale against the Rockies, Colorado will counter with German Marquez.

After dropping the first game of the series, the Giants bounced back with a 4-2 win Tuesday night behind Madison Bumgarner's 11-strikeout performance. 

Bruce Bochy's lineup will feature Brandon Belt back at the top, with the red-hot Alex Dickerson batting cleanup behind Pablo Sandoval.

Here are the full lineups for Wednesday's Giants-Rockies game at Oracle Park.

First pitch for Rockies-Giants is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. PT, with pregame coverage beginning at 11:30 a.m. You can follow all the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online and on the MyTeams app.

San Francisco (34-44)
Brandon Belt, 1B
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Pablo Sandoval, 3B
Alex Dickerson, LF
Stephen Vogt, C
Kevin Pillar, CF
Brandon Crawford, SS
Joe Panik, 2B
Jeff Samardzija, RHP (4-6, 4.23 ERA)

[RELATED: Report: Giants' Smith, not MadBum, on Twins' radar]

Colorado Rockies (41-38)
Charlie Blackmon, RF
David Dahl, CF
Nolan Arenado, 3B
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Raimel Tapia, LF
Ryan McMahon, 2B
Tony Wolters, C
Garrett Hampson, SS
German Marquez, RHP (7-3, 4.32 ERA)