Giants Vs. Padres: Pads Avoid Sweep With 6-3 Victory

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MLB Trade Rumors: Giants Out On Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Broxton

With the San Francisco Giants still looking for some help in the bullpen before the trade deadline, CBS Sports' Danny Knobler is reporting that two possible options are no longer in the Giants wheelhouse in Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez and Royals closer Jonathan Broxton.

Per Danny Knobler on Twitter:

Rodriguez couldn't get out of the inning in both of his last save opportunities against Philadelphia, giving up six combined runs in two separate 0.2 inning outings, leading to two blown saves and two 7-6 losses to the Phillies. As for Broxton, he's been rather solid for the struggling Royals this year, rocking a 2.27 ERA along with 23 saves in 27 opportunities.

Nevertheless, the Giants don't see either as a viable option, which means they'll have to look elsewhere. San Francisco was said to have some interest in Indians closer Chris Perez a few days ago, though there hasn't been any talk of it since.

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Giants Vs. Padres, Final Score: Lincecum Rocked, Giants Fall 6-3

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Jesus Guzman hit a two-run and three-run home run as the San Diego Padres avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Chase Headley hit a solo home run and Will Venable added a two-run double for the Padres, who had dropped three of four coming into Wednesday's action. Jason Marquis (4-5) won his third straight start as he gave up three runs -- one earned -- on three hits with a walk and eight strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

Ryan Theriot and Melky Cabrera each drove in a run for the Giants, who had won four of five prior to Wednesday's setback. Tim Lincecum (4-11) was handed the loss for giving up five runs on seven hits along with three walks and eight strikeouts over just 4 2/3 innings.

Headley gave the Padres the lead in the first with a solo homer in the first, but the Giants got it back in the bottom of the inning when Gregor Blanco singled, stole second, moved to third on a sac bunt and came home on Cabrera's sac fly.

San Diego went on top for good in the fourth as Guzman singled and Everth Cabrera walked. After Jason Marquis struck out for the second out of the inning, Venable smacked a double to left-center to score both runners for a 3-1 lead.

Guzman's two-run shot in the fifth made it a four-run game and he added his solo shot to start the eighth for a 6-1 lead.

A wild pitch from Marquis and RBI single by Theriot in the eighth got the Giants within three, but Huston Street, who got the final out of the eighth with runners on the corners, worked around a two-out double from Brandon Belt in the ninth to pick up his 17th save of the season.

Game Notes

Despite the loss, the Giants have still won six of nine against the Padres this season...The Giants host the Dodgers for three games starting on Friday...The Padres play three games in Miami beginning on Friday...Marquis improved to 6-5 in 15 games (14 starts) against the Giants...Lincecum fell to 10-5 in 21 starts against the Padres.

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Giants Vs. Padres: Tim Lincecum Eyes Series Sweep

(Sports Network) -- Strong pitching has helped propel the San Francisco Giants into first place in the National League West. With Tim Lincecum appearing to get his act back together as well, the team could be even tougher to beat down the stretch.

Lincecum will attempt to continue his excellent work since the All-Star break and lead the Giants to a series sweep of the San Diego Padres when the division rivals conclude a three-game set this afternoon at Candlestick Park.

The season's first half was an absolute nightmare for Lincecum, the 2008 and 2009 NL Cy Young Award recipient and four-time All-Star who entered the break with an ugly 3-10 record and 6.42 earned average after being shelled for 14 runs and 16 hits in just 6 2/3 innings in back-to-back road losses to Washington and Pittsburgh to begin July.

He's been back in top form since, however, firing eight shutout innings and striking out a season-best 11 batters in a no-decision against Houston on July 14 and following up with seven sharp frames to beat Philadelphia six days later. Lincecum held the Phillies to two runs and five hits that night to notch only his second victory since April.

The slightly built righty also has a history of success against San Diego, having compiled a 10-4 record with an outstanding 2.03 ERA in 20 career starts. Lincecum bested the Padres by yielding only one unearned run and three hits through eight innings in an April 28 outing at AT&T Park, where the Giants have now won six in a row following Tuesday's 3-2 decision over the Friars.

With the teams deadlocked at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Brandon Belt drew a leadoff walk off Padres reliever Joe Thatcher and Angel Pagan followed with a single before both runners advanced on a passed ball by catcher Yasmani Grandal. Brandon Crawford then delivered a base hit up the middle to plate Belt and give San Francisco its ninth triumph in its last 11 contests.

"It feels good, obviously," Crawford said afterward. "I've been coming through lately in clutch situations and getting RBI's, and to do it at home and in the bottom of the ninth is even better."

Pagan contributed on the defensive end as well, coming up with a diving catch on a line drive off the bat of Carlos Quentin with one out and Chase Headley on first. The center fielder then threw to first to double off Headley and keep the score tied.

"A fabulous catch by Pagan, no doubt about it saved the game," admitted Padres manager Bud Black. "One of the best games I've seen in a long, long time."

The win extended San Francisco's lead over second-place Los Angeles in the NL West to 2 1/2 games after the Dodgers lost to St. Louis on Tuesday, and improved the Giants to a sensational 31-16 at home this season.

On a down note, San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval was forced to exit Tuesday's tilt in the third inning after straining his left hamstring, an injury that could land the 2012 All-Star on the disabled list.

"It's really a bad break," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "He's been locked in at the plate and it's a really tough loss."

The Padres, who have now lost in 10 of their last 12 visits to AT&T Park, will try to avoid the sweep behind Jason Marquis this afternoon. The journeyman righty hasn't been bad since joining the team in June, amassing a 3-5 record and a 3.79 ERA in nine appearances, and comes in off back-to-back winning performances.

Marquis started his streak by tossing six innings of two-run ball to down the Dodgers on July 15, then benefited from ample run support in last Friday's assignment against Colorado. The veteran was touched for five runs (3 earned) and nine hits over five innings in that one, but still wound up on the good end of a 9-5 decision.

The 33-year-old has faced San Francisco once previously this year, allowing four runs (2 earned) and nine hits over six innings in an 8-3 Padres' loss at Petco Park on June 7. For his career, Marquis is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) against the Giants.

The Giants took two of three bouts from the Padres in a series held in San Francisco in late April and are 6-2 against San Diego this season.

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Pablo Sandoval Injury: MRI Confirms Hamstring Strain, Will Wait Until Friday For DL Decision

Just when he was starting to look to get into a serious groove, San Francisco Giants infielder Pablo Sandoval will miss at least the next few games after an MRI on Wednesday revelaed a left hamstring strain for Kund Fu Panda.

Per CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly on Twitter:

There isn't anyone of the current roster that could replace his offensive production at the plate, though this could be the opportunity Brandon Belt needs to keep him in the lineup day-in and day-out. Aubrey Huff could provide some relief, but don't expect much production from him at all. This will also mean a lot of a Joaquin Arias/ Brandon Crawford duo on the left side of the diamond as well.

Sandoval injured himself Tuesday night by doing the splits while making a beautiful double-play at first base. He is currently batting .299 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI.

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Giants Vs. Padres, Final Score: Brandon Crawford Walks Off For 3-2 Giants Win, Lose Pablo Sandoval To Injury

After the 7-1 drubbing the San Francisco Giants laid on the San Diego Padres Monday night, Tuesday's matchup was much more like a Pads-Giants battle of old. It went down to the wire once again as Brandon Crawford's walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Black and Orange by the score of 3-2 at AT&T Park, though San Francisco unfortunately lost Pablo Sandoval to injury.

The Giants offense got it started in the first inning with an RBI groundout from Melky Cabrera, followed by a Pablo Sandoval RBI double to make it 2-0 early. The Padres tied it up with a pair of ribbies from Jesus Guzman and Edinson Volquez, than the injury bug bit the Giants once more.

While stretching to make a double play in the third inning, Pablo would injure his left hamstring and come out of the game. Brandon Belt would come in, whom was getting some off time as part of his current slump at the plate. It was only Pablo's third start there this season. He's set to have an MRI on Wednesday.

Madison Bumgarner was solid once again, lasting seven innings of six-hit ball with nine strikeouts. San Diego's Edinson Volquez was just as good, also lasting seven innings though allowing just three hits with eight strikeouts.

The Padres were looking to strike in the eighth though a terrific diving grab from Angel Pagan followed by a terrific relay to double off the runner at first closed that door, but opened another to start the winning rally. After a walk and a single from Belt and Pagan, A passed ball advanced the runners. Than it was Brandon Crawford's turn, slapping a single to center, driving in the winning run.

Santiago Casilla would get the win, while San Diego's Joe Thatcher would take the loss.

After wrapping up yet another series, San Francisco goes for the sweep on Wednesday as Tim Lincecum takes the bump to square off as Jason Marquis. First pitch is set for 12:45 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Vs. Padres: Madison Bumgarner, Edinson Volquez Square Off

(Sports Network) - The San Francisco Giants have been one of the toughest teams in the majors at home this season. With Madison Bumgarner set to take the mound, the task the visiting San Diego Padres will face this evening appears even more daunting.

San Francisco improved to 30-16 at AT&T Park with a 7-1 triumph over the Padres in Monday's opener of this three-game series, tied with Texas for the second-best home winning percentage in the major leagues. The win was the fifth in a row for the Giants at home as well, and the current National League West leaders are now a sizzling 8-2 overall since the All-Star break.

The Giants set the tone early, scoring four times off San Diego's Clayton Richard in the bottom of the first inning. Buster Posey later put the game out of reach with a three-run homer in the fifth, helping back another solid performance from starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong.

Vogelsong yielded just one run and four hits while striking out six over seven innings of work, improving to 8-4 on the season and lowering his earned run average to 2.26, the third-best mark in the NL.

Posey also had an RBI single in San Francisco's big first inning and finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored, giving the All-Star catcher a .545 average and 15 RBI over his last eight contests.

"He's been doing it all for us at the plate and behind the plate as always, handles this staff great," Vogelsong said of Posey.

Melky Cabrera and Ryan Theriot also went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for San Francisco, which maintained its 1 1/2-game advantage on Los Angeles for the NL West's top spot.

Richard surrendered all seven San Francisco runs and was reached for nine hits before exiting after five innings.

San Diego had won seven of its last eight road tests and five of its last six games overall prior to Monday's defeat, but has now dropped nine of its past 11 matchups at AT&T Park.

Success could be tough to come by again tonight, as Bumgarner has been usually terrific when pitching at his home venue this season. The talented left-hander owns a 7-1 record along with a spectacular 1.81 ERA in his eight AT&T Park assignments, and has permitted two runs or fewer in winning each of his last four starts there.

Bumgarner also leads the Giants staff with 11 victories in 2012, though he's coming off a hard-luck loss at Atlanta this past Thursday. The 22-year-old held the Braves to just three hits and struck out eight over seven innings, but was touched for three runs (2 earned) in a 3-2 setback.

The former first-round pick has won both of his previous starts against San Diego this season, including an Apr. 29 matchup at AT&T Park in which he fired 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball. For his career, Bumgarner is 3-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 10 meetings (9 starts) with the Padres.

Edinson Volquez will oppose Bumgarner this evening and enters off his best showing as a Padre, with the offseason acquistion tossing a one-hit shutout to best Houston last Thursday. It was his first victory since June 30 and lowered his season ERA to 3.34.

Volquez hasn't been quite as effective pitching away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park, however. In eight road starts this season, the right-hander is 3-3 with a 4.17 ERA, compared to a 2.84 mark in home games.

The 29-year-old will be facing the Giants for the first time this season and has gone 2-1 with a 6.63 ERA in four career starts against San Francisco.

The Giants took two of three bouts from the Padres in a series held in San Francisco in late April and are 5-2 against San Diego this season.


Giants Vs. Padres, Final Score: Buster Posey's 4 RBI Lift Giants To 7-1 Win

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Buster Posey hit a three-run home run and drove in four as the San Francisco Giants pounded the San Diego Padres, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game set.

Melky Cabrera and Ryan Theriot each went 3-for-4 with two runs scored for the Giants, who have won eight of their last 10 games. Ryan Vogelsong (8-4) gave up just one run on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts over seven innings to get the win.

"He's been doing it all for us at the plate and behind the plate as always handles this staff great," Vogelsong said of Posey.

Yonder Alonso drove in the only run of the contest for the Padres, who came into the game having won five of six. Clayton Richard (7-11) was touched for seven runs on nine hits over just five innings to take the loss.

The Giants went on top in the first inning. With one out, Theriot doubled and Cabrera followed with an infield single. Posey then brought home one and Pablo Sandoval followed with a walk to load the bases. Angel Pagan then drew a walk to force in one and Joaquin Arias grounded into a fielder's choice that plated another.

Brandon Crawford then hit a fly ball to left that was initially ruled an out as it appeared that Mark Kotsay caught the ball. Crawford was ruled out and both teams went to their dugouts, but the umpires then huddled and determined that Kotsay trapped the ball. Crawford was awarded a single and Sandoval came home for a 4-0 lead.

In the fourth, the Padres got a run when Alonso's sacrifice fly scored Kotsay, who had singled and moved to third on a Yasmani Grandal double.

Posey, though, put the game away in the fifth when he blasted a shot over the wall in right with Theriot and Cabrera on base.

"Backbreaker was Posey's homer," San Diego manager Bud Black said.

San Diego didn't have a man advance past second base after the fourth inning.

Game Notes

San Diego center fielder Alexi Amarista left the game in the seventh with a jammed left thumb...San Francisco has won five of the seven games against San Diego this season...San Francisco batted 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while San Diego went 0-for-7 and left seven on base.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Giants Interested In Chris Perez?

With Santiago Casilla have some issues filling Brian Wilson's shoes, Guillermo Mota sitting at home as part of a suspension and a few of Fresno's finest remaining in the bullpen the San Francisco Giants are looking for some relief pitching help at this year's trade deadline. And according to a report from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi, the Black and Orange are showing some interest in Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez.

The San Francisco Giants, seeking late-inning help, are interested in Perez, according to major-league sources. The Indians could entertain moving Perez for two reasons - they are deep in relievers, and Perez likely will earn about $7 million next season in his second year of arbitration.

The 27-year old Perez has 26 saves this year with a 3.06 ERA and a 10.4 strikeouts per 9 innings so far. He's set to earn $4.5 million in 2012 which will escalate to around $7 after the season when he's arbitration eligible for the third time. As a super two player he will remain under team control through 2014.

The Giants bullpen has seen it's share of injuries this year, owning a combined 3.41 ERA with 7.8 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 ratios this season. And with the long-term status of Brian Wilson in question after his second Tommy John surgery, Perez could be a solid addition for the G-Men.

As you may recall, Perez had some issues with the fans in Cleveland earlier this year, calling them out for a lack of support for the than first-place club. He certainly wouldn't have that problem if he came to San Francisco, that's for sure.

For more on the Giants, head over to McCovey Chronicles.

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MLB Standings: Giants Maintain Slim Margin Over Dodgers

As August rapidly approaches, the divisional races are starting to tighten up across the league. But that's simply business as usual for the NL West, more specifically the San Francisco Giants, who have a very important week ahead of them as they host a pair of divisional rivals in the Padres and Dodgers at AT&T Park.

San Francisco begins a nine game homestand on Monday with a 1.5 game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West, though host a Padres squad that are 7-3 since the All-Star break despite being 15 games below .500 and 13 games out of first place still. L.A. has a four game set in St. Louis with the Cardinals before flying to the Bay for a weekend set with the rivals at McCovey Cove. After that they will host the Diamondbacks early next week, who remain only six games back of the Giants for first place in the division.

The Giants continue to pick of series victories, but will need to maintain their level of play this week if they want to remain atop the heap.

NL West Standings

San Francisco 53 42 .557 0 Lost 1
Los Angeles 52 44 .541 1.5 Won 4
Arizona 47 48 .494 6 Won 3
San Diego 41 56 .422 13 Won 1
Colorado 36 58 .382 16.5 Lost 1

(updated 7.23.2012 at 9:42 AM PDT)

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