Mike Leake

Giants vs. D-Backs lineups: Jeff Samardzija looks to continue hot streak

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USATSI

Giants vs. D-Backs lineups: Jeff Samardzija looks to continue hot streak

Just a week after winning a four-game series in Phoenix, the Giants play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Oracle Park to wrap up a midweek two-game series.

One of the Giants top prospects could potentially make his MLB debut, as the organization called up Mauricio Dubon on Tuesday afternoon. Dubon has been slashing .323/.391/.485 in 112 plate appearances across the minor leagues since coming over in a trade with the Brewers for Ray Black and Drew Pomeranz.

Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the Giants, and the Shark has been on a tear of late. Since July 1, Samardzija is 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA and an outstanding 0.86 WHIP.

The 34-year-old has faced the D-Backs 20 times in his career, compiling a 4-5 record with a 4.33 ERA.

Opposite Samardzija will be Mike Leake, who was dealt to Arizona on at the MLB trade deadline from the Seattle Mariners. The former top-10 pick briefly was a Giant himself, acquired in 2015 in exchange for Adam Duvall and Keury Mella. 

[RELATED: Giants' Johnny Cueto set for final Triple-A start before likely return]

Leake has a favorable record inside China Basin, as he is 6-1 with a 3.06 ERA in 10 games at Oracle Park.

Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. PT with Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming on the My Teams app.

Arizona Diamondbacks (66-66)
LF Jarrod Dyson
CF Ketel Marte
2B Eduardo Escobar
1B Christian Walker
3B Jake Lamb
RF Adam Jones
SS Nick Ahmed
C Alex Avila
RHP Mike Leake (9-10, 4.77 ERA)

San Francisco Giants (65-66)
RF Mike Yastrzemski
1B Brandon Belt
3B Evan Longoria
LF Alex Dickerson
C Stephen Vogt
CF Kevin Pillar
SS Brandon Crawford
2B Donovan Solano
RHP Jeff Samardzija (9-10, 3.44 ERA)

Former Giants pitcher gives up Pujols' 3,000th career hit, 'He’s been a joy to watch and a joy to compete against'

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AP

Former Giants pitcher gives up Pujols' 3,000th career hit, 'He’s been a joy to watch and a joy to compete against'

SEATTLE — Albert Pujols was going to get a toast in the clubhouse regardless. Still, he wanted to make sure his 3,000th hit came after a win.

“I was really excited, but at the same time you still have a game you need to play and you still need to focus to win that game,” Pujols said. “That’s what I told those guys. Let’s go win that game so it can taste a little better.”

Pujols became the 32nd member of the 3,000-hit club with a broken-bat single in the fifth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night. He added another hit in the ninth inning to pass Roberto Clemente on the career list, a two-run single that also ensured the Angels would walk away with a victory.

“I think he knows how important it is for our club to continue to put pressure on teams to score runs,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “Those two runs were big, obviously.”

Pujols got No. 3,000 in his sixth attempt to join the exclusive list after getting to 2,999 career hits. Pujols got just enough of Mike Leake’s pitch to find the outfield grass and add another accolade to a likely Hall of Fame career. He received a standing ovation from the crowd in Seattle after reaching first base and being congratulated by his teammates.

The slugger made his career out of hitting the ball out of the yard, but reached the milestone by throwing his bat at a sinker that was probably out of the strike zone. Pujols didn’t make great contact but was strong enough to loft the ball over the infield and into right.

His two-run single in the ninth inning scored Mike Trout and Justin Upton with hit No. 3,001.

“It was fun that it turned into a little bit of a battle before he got a hit. Congratulations to him,” Leake said. “He’s a competitor at every second that he’s on the field. He’s been a joy to watch and a joy to compete against, for sure.”

The 38-year-old Pujols joined Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez as the only major leaguers with 3,000 hits and 600 homers. He’s the first player to reach 3,000 hits since Adrian Beltre last year against Baltimore.

Pujols became the second Dominican to reach the mark after Beltre. With Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki stepping away this week for the remainder of the 2018 season, Beltre is the only active player with more hits than Pujols.

“I’m aware of the legacy and the people that I tie and am on the same page right now,” Pujols said. “But at the end of the day it’s about winning a championship. Nothing would be more special than in September and October and playing in the playoffs and bringing a championship back to the city of Anaheim.”

And it may be a while before another player joins the club. The next closest player to 3,000 is Miguel Cabrera, who is more than 300 hits away. After Cabrera is Robinson Cano, nearly 600 hits shy of the mark.

“Three-thousand hits is a lot. I think the players that have played this game understand how hard it is to stay healthy and be that productive over that length of time,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s pretty special to get there.”

Pujols’ accomplishment came in a victory thanks to the pitching of Garrett Richards, who took a shutout into the seventh inning. Richards (4-1) scattered four hits and had eight strikeouts in his first start against Seattle since late 2015.

Shohei Ohtani was lustfully booed by Seattle fans in his first game in the Pacific Northwest. The Mariners believed they had a shot at landing the Japanese star last offseason, only to see him choose a division rival. He showed what they missed out on with two hits, including a two-out RBI double after Pujols’ 3,000th hit, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead.

Leake (3-3) lost for the third time in four starts. He threw 5 1/3 innings and matched a season-high with four walks.

REACHING 3,000

Pujols is the second player to collect his 3,000th hit in Seattle after Rafael Palmeiro’s double in 2005 at Safeco Field. Like Pujols, Palmeiro’s hit came in the fifth inning.

OHTANI UPDATE

All signs are that Ohtani will return the mound for the Angels on Sunday. Scioscia said Ohtani’s bullpen session on Friday went well and as long as there aren’t any issues when he’s re-examined on Saturday he’s expected to start the series finale in Seattle.

ROSTER MOVES

The Angels placed C Martin Maldonado on bereavement list and selected the contract of C Juan Graterol from the minors. LHP JC Ramirez was transferred to the 60-day DL.

UP NEXT

Angels: Lefty Tyler Skaggs (3-2) allowed only two earned runs in his last start but was tagged with the loss against the New York Yankees. Skaggs has a 4.81 ERA in seven career starts vs. Seattle.

Mariners: Lefty Marco Gonzales (3-2) goes for his second straight victory. Gonzales allowed two earned runs in six innings in his last start against Cleveland.

New pitchers joining AL West don't make it easy for A's

New pitchers joining AL West don't make it easy for A's

SEATTLE — Mike Leake certainly wasn’t the biggest-name pitcher to enter the American League West in the past couple of days, but he means an awful lot to the postseason hopes the Mariners cling to.

The A’s gave the right-hander a rude welcome in the first inning Friday night, then they let him get all too comfortable in his Seattle debut. Leake lasted seven innings and held Oakland to just the two runs in a 3-2 Mariners victory that sent the A’s to their fourth consecutive loss.

With the postseason out of reach this season, the A’s are at least catching a glimpse of the shifting pitching landscape in the AL West. They got their first look at Leake in a Mariners uniform. A week from Sunday, if things hold with the Astros’ rotation, they’re likely to face their one-time postseason nemesis in Justin Verlander at the Coliseum.

Houston swung a headline-grabbing trade with Detroit to acquire the one-time MVP and Cy Young winner Thursday, just before the deadline to get players on a team’s roster and have them be eligible for the postseason.

The A’s will see lots of these guys in the coming seasons — Leake is signed through 2020 and Verlander through 2019. Then again, comparing Leake to Verlander is apples and oranges when it comes to awards and track records.

Leake entered Friday night having posted a 7.32 ERA over his previous eight starts. And the A’s looked primed to extend his misery. They opened the game with three consecutive hits — singles by Marcus Semien and Matt Joyce and a double from Jed Lowrie — in a two-run rally that put them up early.

But in a troubling recent trend, the A’s went silent with the bats after their one scoring outburst. They have begun this six-game road trip 0-4, and over those four games, they’ve put up runs in just four of 36 innings.

“We score a couple and then in the third, we get first and second with nobody out and hit into a double play,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Then after that, (Leake) started finding the corner a little bit more than the middle of the plate. He has a lot of movement on all his pitches and we knew that going in. We made him throw the ball over the middle of the plate in the first three innings, and then he got better after that.”

Seattle picked up a game on Minnesota for the AL’s second Wild Card spot. They trail by 3 1/2 games, but they also need to leapfrog four teams to catch the Twins. The Mariners hope Leake can help buoy a starting rotation that’s without Felix Hernandez and James Paxton probably until the middle of the month.

The A’s didn’t mount much after their two-run first. In the seventh, Matt Chapman’s double and a wild pitch from Leake put the tying run at third with one out. But Leake then struck out Boog Powell on a curve and then got Marcus Semien to chase a slider for strike three.

“They showed they were going to be pretty aggressive today,” Leake said. “So I had to make a pretty quick adjustment. I started locating my fastball. … One thing that’s been difficult for me is being able to put guys away. The fact I was able to do that tonight was nice.”

The silver lining for the A’s was Sean Manaea’s outing. He went 6 2/3 innings, his longest start since July 27, and allowed three runs. He also walked three and plunked Robinson Cano with a pitch, but Melvin was encouraged by Manaea’s stuff. His fastball, lacking its zip throughout August, touched 93 miles per hour and his secondary pitches were crisp too.

“The velocity was there, he had a sharp slider, which he hadn’t had for a while. Good changeup,” Melvin said. “… I think as far as his stuff goes, it’s the best we’ve seen in a while.”