Giants

Giants send Chris Shaw to Double-A Richmond to start minor league season

Giants send Chris Shaw to Double-A Richmond to start minor league season

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants' outfield surprises weren't limited to the big league level.

Chris Shaw, a former first-round pick who made his MLB debut last season, will start the year with Double-A Richmond after spending the previous two seasons with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats. The assignment was to allow Shaw to play every day, but it certainly shows the significant shift in thinking when it comes to Giants outfielders. 

Two of the four in the Majors -- Connor Joe and Michael Reed -- joined the organization at the end of spring training. Mac Williamson was designated for assignment and it's hard to see the Giants squeezing him in at Triple-A given the Shaw move. Austin Slater is the only familiar name in the Triple-A outfield, joining newcomers Mike Gerber, Anthony Garcia, Henry Ramos and Mike Yastrzemski. 

[RELATED: Where Giants' top prospects will start 2019 minors season]

Shaw, 25, was taken 31st overall in the 2015 draft. He has tremendous power, but has also piled up strikeouts in the minors. Shaw hit 24 homers for the River Cats last season but struck out 144 times and walked just 21. In a September cameo in the big leagues, he hit one very long homer but also struck out 23 times in 54 at-bats. 

The outfielder was not in the mix to make the Opening Day roster, but the assumption all spring was that Shaw would again get regular time in Triple-A. Instead, he's one of four players with MLB experience playing for Richmond, along with pitchers Fernando Abad and Brandon Beachy and first baseman Brock Stassi. 

Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford sitting

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USATSI

Giants vs. Diamondbacks lineups: Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford sitting

The Giants' bats were muy caliente against the Arizona Diamondbacks in their 8-5 victory on Saturday.

On the mound, Madison Bumgarner continued his Chase Field dominance. He allowed four runs and five hits with six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings in the NL West matchup and now boasts a 6-1 record with a 2.58 ERA in his last 12 starts at a location batters thrive in. 

On Sunday, it's Drew Pomeranz who receives starting honors on the bump for the Orange and Black. This is his first start since coming off the injured list after suffering a left lat strain at the beginning of May. His last outing didn't create the best of circumstances -- the lefty allowed seven runs in just 1 2/3 innings against the Reds, ballooning his ERA to 5.93.

The Giants will face D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray, who had a dazzling performance in his last outing against the San Diego Padres on Monday. He allowed just two runs over five frames and reached the 800th-career strikeout mark.

Brandon Belt is out of the lineup for the Giants with Donovan Solano starting at shortstop. Brandon Belt is also out of the lineup with Tyler Austin covering first base.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the MyTeams app.

Here are the lineups for both teams in the finale of a three-game series.

San Francisco Giants (19-25)

Joe Panik, 2B
Donovan Solano, SS
Tyler Austin, 1B
Evan Longoria, 3B
Kevin Pillar, RF
Stephen Vogt, C
Mac Williamson, LF
Steven Duggar, CF

Drew Pomeranz, (1-4, 5.93 ERA)

Arizona Diamondbacks (25-21)

Adam Jones, RF
Ketel Marte, CF
Eduardo Escobar, 3B
David Peralta, LF
Christian Walker, 1B
Wilmer Flores, 2B
Nick Ahmed, SS
John Ryan Murphy, C

Robbie Ray, P (3-1, 3.14 ERA)

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

Madison Bumgarner waiting for results to match improved stuff on mound

PHOENIX -- More than anything else -- the injuries, the rebuilding, the trade rumors -- Madison Bumgarner is frustrated by the losing.

So he was happy on Saturday night after getting backed by eight runs in the Giants' win over the Diamondbacks, but he was also perplexed. 

"It's a weird game," he said.

Bumgarner was referring to his own results. His stuff has taken a noticeable tick up in the last four starts, but he was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings on Saturday and has given up 11 earned in those four appearances. That's certainly not bad by any means, but it's not quite what he expects given how the ball is coming out of his hand. 

"I feel like I'm throwing the ball as good as I ever have," Bumgarner said. "The results not being there is frustrating."

Bumgarner's fastball and cutter again had a little extra zip on Saturday, and he hit 93 mph with eight pitches. He had done it 14 total times in his first nine starts. His fastball averaged a season-high 92.4 mph and his cutter was coming in at 88, but the pesky Diamondbacks kept making him work and eventually knocked him out in the seventh, when Bumgarner hit 93.2 mph with his last fastball of the game. That was his 10th-hardest pitch of the season. 

"Today I felt the best I've felt all year," he said of his command. "And somehow you look at the line and you walk three and give up four runs. It just doesn't match up. That's the frustrating part of the game."

Bumgarner shrugged it off, noting a couple of times how weird baseball can be.

[RELATED: Giants designate Altherr for assignment after one at-bat]

The results will come eventually, but by then he may be pitching in another uniform. There were plenty of scouts at Chase Field on Saturday to get a close eye at Bumgarner, and if the velocity bump sticks around and the command is still there, he could be the biggest name moved before the trade deadline.