Giants offense comes alive, pours it on in much-needed win over Twins

Giants offense comes alive, pours it on in much-needed win over Twins


SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants busted out of their offensive slump without a couple of key players.

Buster Posey led the way.

Posey had three hits and four RBIs, Hunter Pence added three doubles and scored three times, and the Giants beat the Minnesota Twins 13-8 on Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

Eduardo Nunez also had three hits and scored three times while rookie Austin Slater had three hits and a career-high four RBIs to help the Giants win for the fourth time in 12 games.

"The way we swung the bats, especially with runners in scoring position ... everybody did something," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Any time you sit regulars like that and you get a win and come from behind, that's nice. Those guys needed at-bats and had big days for us."

San Francisco had been held to two runs over the first two games of the series before setting season highs for hits (17) and scoring. The Giants also had a San Francisco record-tying eight doubles despite Bochy holding shortstop Brandon Crawford, center fielder Denard Span and second baseman Joe Panik out of the starting lineup.

Posey, who entered the day with the fourth-best batting average in the majors, had an RBI groundout in the first, a run-scoring single in the fifth and a key two-run double in the seventh.

Kelby Tomlinson singled and scored twice in a rare appearance batting leadoff for San Francisco. Slater, who made his major league debut on June 2, had a bases-loaded triple in the ninth.

"Today was a good game offensively," said Posey, who raised his average to .347. "Hopefully we're going in the right direction. When we were able to get the lead, it seemed like guys were taking good, aggressive swings after that."

Pence bounced back after striking out three times Saturday and again in his first at-bat Sunday. He had an RBI double in the seventh and in the ninth. The veteran right fielder had been 7 for 51 before breaking out against the Twins.

Josh Osich (1-1) retired three batters for the win.

Eduardo Escobar and Byron Buxton homered for Minnesota. Matt Belisle (0-1) got two outs and was charged with four runs and four hits.

"We had a lead late," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Unfortunately a walk in the seventh turned into a disastrous seventh and we couldn't control them after that."


Reliever Sam Dyson didn't have the best of luck during his Giants debut. The former Texas closer failed to retire a batter in the ninth and was charged with three runs, two earned. Posey committed an error in the inning.

"He got a couple groundballs we couldn't handle," Bochy said. "He just had some bad luck unfortunately for him. He'll be fine. His stuff was really good. He just hadn't pitched in a while and I expected some rust."


San Francisco's offensive outburst spoiled the major league debut of Twins left-hander Nik Turley. The 27-year-old Turley, who spent 10 years in the minors, gave up four runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.

"I honestly can't remember what it felt like at the start," Turley said. "A lot of nerves. Sometimes it was hard for me to control what I wanted to do with my body."


Giants: Madison Bumgarner threw 30 pitches off a mound before the game and looked good, according to Bochy, who said that the left-hander could face hitters next weekend when the team plays in Colorado. It was Bumgarner's second time throwing off a mound since suffering a separated left shoulder and bruised ribs in dirt bike accident on April 20.


Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.18 ERA) pitches the opener of a four-game series against Seattle in Minnesota on Monday.

Giants: LHP Ty Blach (4-3, 3.64 ERA) makes his 10th start since replacing Bumgarner in the rotation when San Francisco opens a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.


Former Giants infielder Kelby Tomlinson quickly finds new home in NL West


Former Giants infielder Kelby Tomlinson quickly finds new home in NL West

SAN FRANCISCO -- Farhan Zaidi plans to overhaul the Giants’ 40-man roster, which means plenty of additions but also a number of familiar faces signing elsewhere.

Two players who were taken off the roster before the new president of baseball operations arrived already have found new homes.

Kelby Tomlinson, a longtime backup infielder, signed a minor league deal with the Diamondbacks, per Chris Cotillo of Casey Kelly, who made a cameo in the Giants’ rotation last season, announced on his Instagram page that he'll play in South Korea next season. 

Tomlinson played in 273 games over parts of four seasons with the Giants before they outrighted him off the roster in October to clear a 40-man spot. He had a .265/.331/.332 slash line while playing all over the infield and occasionally filling in as a left fielder.

Tomlinson was a bit of a fan favorite, and his specs became a rallying cry on social media when he contributed. He also was a favorite of Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who called him Tommy Ball this season. 

[RELATED: How Giants prospect Abiatal Avelino fits Zaidi player prototype]

Zaidi likely will add more versatility to the roster this offseason, but the Giants already have two players who had passed Tomlinson on the depth chart. Alen Hanson is a good bet for the Opening Day roster next season, and Abiatal Avelino saw some time in September. 

Kelly, a former top prospect, filled in for the Giants late in the year and had a 3.04 ERA in seven appearances. The 29-year-old will play for the LG Twins in the KBO next season. 

Why Mike Krukow believes Giants won't trade Madison Bumgarner in offseason

Why Mike Krukow believes Giants won't trade Madison Bumgarner in offseason

Since they're never in the headlines and are such an obscure team, the Yankees made the first big waves of the MLB offseason by trading top prospect Justus Sheffield to the Mariners in a package for James Paxton.

Though this trade was between two American League teams, it affects the Giants in multiple ways. It essentially eliminates the Yankees as suitors in a possible Madison Bumgarner trade, and it sets the bar on what the Giants could ask for in return for their ace.

"I think there's a lot of teams out there that would love to have him [Bumgarner]. Atlanta, I think, would sit at the top of the list," Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow said Tuesday on KNBR. "I don’t think he’s going to get moved. I really don't. I don't think Bumgarner's going anywhere." 

Recent decline in velocity, as well as batters hitting him harder and harder, show the Giants might need to explore trading Bumgarner sooner than later. But Krukow believes if the Giants do make the move, it will be closer to the trade deadline of the 2019 season.

The biggest barometer for him, however, was the 2018 trade deadline.

"I think if they were gonna move guys, in regards to Bumgarner, they would have done it last year when teams had two years of control,” Krukow said. “But once it got past that, I think his chances got slimmer and slimmer.” 

[RELATED: Zaidi says 'Everything has to be on the table']

Bumgarner is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2019 season, when he will be 30 — the same age as Paxton. With his team-friendly eight-year, $58.06 million deal coming to an end, the Giants essentially have three options: 1) Re-sign Bumgarner this offseason. 2) Trade Bumgarner this offseason or at the trade deadline in 2019. 3) Play out the 2019 season with the hopes they can re-sign him during the offseason. 

The last two seasons, when the left-hander has dealt with injuries from a dirt bike accident and a line drive to his hand in spring training, Bumgarner has made just 38 total starts. He's gone 10-16 with a 3.29 ERA over that span.

Giants fans differ on what the team should do, but the majority lean toward San Francisco securing the postseason hero. 

And so does Krukow. 

"Just like any other Giants fan, I don't ever want to see the guy ever wear another uniform,” he said. “I just don't think it's gonna happen this winter.”