Giants

Given another look at fastball, Williamson gets revenge against Kershaw

Given another look at fastball, Williamson gets revenge against Kershaw

LOS ANGELES — Mac Williamson was sent up to pinch-hit when the Giants faced Clayton Kershaw earlier this month, and on a two-strike count, he watched as Kershaw shook off five different signs as he stood on the mound. Kershaw then froze Williamson with a fastball. It was a good lesson for Williamson, a player still trying to find his footing at the big league level.

“He’s a guy you can’t really guess with,” Williamson said. 

The outfielder admits he tends to overthink things. “I’m a perfectionist,” he said Sunday. But given a start against Kershaw, Williamson let his talent — and a little luck — take over. Williamson’s first hit off Kershaw was a bleeder that resulted in an infield hit. His second bounced through the middle of the infield for a single. The third one was the highlight of the day for the Giants. 

Kershaw had a shutout going when he tried to sneak a first-pitch fastball past Williamson in the eighth. He blasted it to dead center. It was the only run for the Giants in a 3-1 loss to the Dodgers. 

“It’s good to see him get those swings off,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That homer was to the big part of the park. It shows how strong he is.”

The Giants have always known Williamson has the strength and raw talent. He hasn’t stuck for a number of reasons, including injuries and that aforementioned tendency sometimes to overthink at the plate. It probably hasn’t helped, either, that the Giants tend to sit him for days at a time and then play him against the Kershaws and Zack Greinkes and Rich Hills of the world. 

Williamson took advantage of the tough assignment on Sunday, joining a small group of Giants who have three hits in a game off Kershaw. 

“Hunter was ahead of me,” he said, smiling. “He beat me to it.”

Pence also had three hits, giving the Giants six from the corners against the best pitcher in the game. It wasn’t enough, but for Williamson, it was something to build off as the offseason approaches. He said it’s a winter he doesn’t plan to take lightly. Williamson’s agents are working to line up a Winter Ball job in the Dominican Republic.

Bumgarner tosses eight shutout innings, drives in run in Giants' win over Padres

bumgarnerpadresusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Bumgarner tosses eight shutout innings, drives in run in Giants' win over Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for his first win of the season, Mark Melancon earned his first save in a year and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-0 on Thursday night.

The Giants won for the fourth time in five games and sent the last-place Padres to their fifth straight loss.

Bumgarner (1-2) struck out eight and walked two in his best start since coming off the disabled list. He also drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly.

The ace left-hander outdueled Tyson Ross (5-5), who gave up one run and four hits in seven innings. He struck out three and walked three.

Bumgarner began the season on the DL with a broken pinkie on his pitching hand sustained in his final spring training start when he was hit by a line drive. He was 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA in three previous outings since being reinstated.

Bumgarner's sacrifice fly scored Pablo Sandoval in the fifth. Sandoval singled leading off the inning and Joe Panik followed with a double.

It was the fourth time in his career Bumgarner made a scoreless start and had the game-winning RBI, tying Stephen Strasburg and Fernando Valenzuela for the most such games by any pitcher in the last 40 years, according to STATS

The Padres' best scoring chance came in the fifth, when Jose Pirela was thrown out at home trying to score from second on Manuel Margot's one-out double to deep right. Giants catcher Buster Posey tagged out Pirela after a perfect relay from Andrew McCutchen and Panik.

San Francisco added two insurance runs in the eighth, when Posey singled through a drawn-in infield after Alen Hanson's leadoff triple against reliever Phil Maton.

Melancon, who started the season on the DL with a right elbow flexor strain, pitched the ninth for his first save since June 20, 2017.

DROUGHT BUSTER:
Bumgarner was winless in six previous starts against the Padres. He was 0-4 with a 4.73 ERA during that stretch.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Padres: OF Wil Myers (left oblique strain) and Maton (right lat strain) were reinstated from the 10-day DL, and RHP Colin Rea (right shoulder strain) was activated from the 60-day DL. . OF Franchy Cordero (right elbow bone spur) was transferred to the 60-day DL and RHP Phil Hughes (right rhomboid strain) was placed on the 10-day DL. . OF Franmil Reyes was optioned to Triple-A El Paso. . RHP Bryan Mitchell (right elbow impingement) had an MRI on Wednesday that showed inflammation in the affected area but no ligament damage, manager Andy Green said. Mitchell is expected to start throwing in four or five days.

Giants: SS Brandon Crawford was reinstated from the paternity list and was in the starting lineup. . INF Kelby Tomlinson was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. . RHP Hunter Strickland (broken right pinkie) will have more X-rays in two weeks to determine if two pins he had surgically inserted on Wednesday can be removed. The 29-year-old reliever was injured when he punched a door in frustration after a blown save against Miami on Monday. . RHP Johnny Cueto (right elbow inflammation) will throw 40 pitches in a rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday. . RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder tightness) threw 73 pitches in his second rehab start with Sacramento.

UP NEXT:
LHP Clayton Richard (6-6, 4.31 ERA) will make his team-leading 16th start for the Padres. He's 5-2 with a 3.04 ERA over his last eight. Giants RHP Chris Stratton (8-4, 4.22) hasn't allowed a run over 13 2/3 innings in two career starts against San Diego.

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

Marlins pitcher Straily, manager Mattingly suspended for throwing at Buster Posey

NEW YORK — Miami pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended for five games for intentionally throwing a pitch at San Francisco’s Buster Posey while warnings were in place for both teams.

Major League Baseball also suspended Marlins manager Don Mattingly for one game Thursday and fined Straily and Mattingly undisclosed amounts.

On Tuesday night in the Marlins’ 6-3 loss in San Francisco, Straily and Mattingly were automatically ejected in the second inning after Straily hit Posey on the left arm with a pitch. Both sides had been warned by plate umpire Andy Fletcher the previous inning after Giants rookie starter Dereck Rodriguez beaned Lewis Brinson as tempers flared for the second straight game. Posey had homered in the first inning.