Chris Stratton

Giants place Joe Panik on DL, promote Triple-A All-Star

Giants place Joe Panik on DL, promote Triple-A All-Star

SAN FRANCISCO -- Chase d'Arnaud thought he would be spending the next few days preparing for the Triple-A All-Star Game in Columbus, Ohio. Instead he'll be preparing to help the Giants off the bench. 

D'Arnaud, a 31-year-old with big league experience for five other organizations, was called up Saturday morning to take Joe Panik's roster spot. Panik had an MRI on his strained groin in the morning and the Giants are waiting for a timetable of how long their second baseman will be out. 

For now, Alen Hanson will get the majority of the starts at second, with d'Arnaud and possibly Austin Slater seeing time against left-handers. D'Arnaud wasn't too bummed about missing his All-Star assignment. 

"I'll take this over that," he said. "My wife was stressing about taking Jagger, our one-year-old, on his first flight to Columbus. She was relieved."

The Giants cleared a 40-man spot by putting Hunter Strickland on the 60-day DL, clearing the way for d'Arnaud to take a job usually held by Kelby Tomlinson. The veteran was hitting .292 for the River Cats with 14 doubles and 12 homers. He can be used all over the infield and has played outfield for the River Cats, as well. Manager Bruce Bochy anticipates using d'Arnaud as a pinch-runner, too. He is one of the fastest players in the organization. 

"He's got pretty good instincts and feel on the bases," Bochy said. "As you saw in spring training, he doesn't hesitate."

In another move, the Giants sent Chris Stratton to Triple-A to open a rotation spot for Jeff Samardzija, who had a long DL stint with a sore shoulder. Stratton is 8-6 but is coming off a rough stretch and has a 4.93 ERA. Bochy said he had a long talk with Stratton about some adjustments he can make in Triple-A. 

"He's pitched some big games here for us, important games here that we felt we had to win," Bochy said. "He came through for us. He'll be back up here."

Belt, Hundley power Giants past Dodgers to avoid sweep in LA

Belt, Hundley power Giants past Dodgers to avoid sweep in LA

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LOS ANGELES — The Giants sure know how to clinch a happy flight. 

This was a road trip that should have been better, but at the very least, the players made sure they didn’t have any depressing travel experiences. They beat Max Scherzer on getaway day in Washington D.C. and won a 16-inning game on the final day in Miami. Before flying back to San Francisco for a 10-game homestand, they toppled the Dodgers 4-1 to avoid a sweep and finish the trip at 5-5. 

After scoring two-or-fewer runs in 11 consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, the Giants got to four in the first three innings Sunday. Here’s how it all went down … 

—The Giants had just two hits in five innings against lefty Caleb Ferguson. Luckily, one was a two-run homer from Nick Hundley and the other was a two-run homer from Brandon Belt. Hundley’s homer was his eighth, giving him twice as many as Buster Posey. Belt’s homer was his team-leading 12th, and first since having his appendix removed. 

— Chris Stratton gave up plenty of loud outs, but got through it. He ended up allowing just one run on three hits in six innings. The Giants have won six of Stratton’s last seven starts. 

— Quietly, Will Smith has been outstanding. He lowered his ERA to 0.96 after striking out Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal and getting Yasiel Puig to fly out to right. 

Stratton throws six shutout innings, Panik gives Giants instant spark in win over Phillies

Stratton throws six shutout innings, Panik gives Giants instant spark in win over Phillies

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SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants had a full, healthy lineup on the field for … two innings. 

Brandon Belt was removed before the top of the third because of a stomach illness, but the Giants wouldn’t need their best hitter to top the Phillies. Chris Stratton threw six shutout innings, Joe Panik reached base four times, and the Giants cruised to an easy 4-0 win, getting a bit of revenge for a sweep in Philadelphia last month. 

Here are the details… 

— Stratton got five strikeouts on his curveball, a pitch that appeared to abandon him for much of a rough May. Per Inside Edge, Stratton allowed an MLB-worst slugging percentage of .875 on breaking balls in May. The curveball was much better Friday and helped him put Phillies away as he got ahead in counts. This was his longest outing since May 4. 

— Panik walked in his first plate appearance, singled in his second, walked in his third, and singled again in his fourth. He grounded out to second in his final plate appearance. 

— Gorkys Hernandez went 101 feet to rob Odubel Herrera of at least a double in the fourth. Let this become a theme: That’s a catch Giants center fielders haven’t made very often the last two or three years. 

— Sam Dyson struck out the side in the eighth on 12 pitches. His ERA is down to 2.39. It appears he is next in line for the ninth should something happen with Hunter Strickland, even with Mark Melancon now back. 

— Gregor Blanco once again replaced Mac Williamson defensively in the late innings. Tomorrow’s roster move is going to be very, very interesting.