Giants vs. Astros: Sandoval's Extra Inning Bomb Saves Giants 6-4

With a sour taste left in their mouths after the Atlanta series, the San Francisco Giants are looking to turn the page and start their sprint to the finish with a three game set against the Houston Astros. For more on the Black and Orange, check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants vs. Astros, MLB Scores: Pablo Sandoval's 11th Inning HR Saves Giants From Series Sweep 6-4

The San Francisco Giants came into Sunday's match up with the Houston Astros desperate for a victory after losing the first two of the series with MLB's worst team. They had a call-up on the mound facing a former Giants prospect, and took extra innings to finally secure the win with a Pablo Sandoval home run in the 11th inning, winning by the score of 6-4. 

Brandon Belt made a big impact with a three run shot to start the game off for the Giants, his fifth of the season. The Astros answered in the second, playing small ball against call-up Dan Runzler while earning all three runs back and then some, effectively knocking him out of the after only one and 2/3 innings pitched and four earned runs to his name. Mike Fontenot's sacrifice fly in the fourth would tie up the game, and despite multiple chances for the Giants to score, including a bases loaded situation in the eighth, they couldn't come up with anything. 

But it was Pablo Sandoval playing the hero for the Black and Orange, sending a towering shot to center field in the top of the 11th plating Cody Ross, and putting the Giants up for good. Pablo and Belt were the only Giants with multiple hits today as the Panda went 2-6, while Belt went 4-5 (and still might not get to play tomorrow). Pablo is still unable to bat right handed due his his strained shoulder though. 

Steve Edelfsen made his first appearance of the year for the Giants, pitching one and 1/3 innings of relief with no hits and two strikeouts. Edelfsen took Brian Wilson's spot in the lineup while he's on the DL. 

With the win the Giants move to 68-60 on the year, only 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West. Full box score can be found here

The G-Men start an important 12-game home stand on Tuesday against the San Diego Padres, with everyone's favorite Padre Mat Latos (6-12 3.83 ERA) on the bump to take on Matt Cain (10-9 2.86 ERA) for the Giants. First pitch is set for 7:15 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.  

For more on the Giants, mosey on over to McCovey Chronicles and get in on the action!

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Giants vs. Astros Preview: Worst Team in Baseball About to Sweep Defending Champs

If there is a rock bottom to be found by the San Francisco Giants this season, this might be it. Stuck in a seemingly 2-200 losing streak, barely getting men into scoring position let alone bringing them in, the defending champions of baseball are nine innings away from being shut out by the worst team in baseball, the Houston Astros. Yes, the same Astros sporting a team half full of rookies, that sold off their cornerstone players in a fire sale, and the team that is 42 games below .500. 

With Jonathan Sanchez still mending his ankle, Dan Runzler (1-2 6.64 ERA) will get the start for the Black and Orange, his first non-relief appearance for them all year. Runzler usually seems to be quite a polarizing player; he either has his stuff that day, or he doesn't. Hopefully he does today. 

Facing Runzler will be Runzler's former teammate, Henry Sosa. Sosa came to the Astros in the Jeff Keppinger trade from the Giants farm system, but is making starts for the rookie-heavy Astros, ironically getting the chance to beat his old teammate/team, while likely handing them an embarrassing sweep along the way. 

Fist pitch is set for 11:05 am. 

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Giants vs. Astros, MLB Scores: Giants Fall 7-5, Continue Losing Streak

Whenever the San Francisco Giants seem to take a step forward, they immediately take two steps back. Case in point was Saturday night's game, finally finding some offense but eventually falling to the Astros by a score of 7-5 at Minute Maid Field. 

Madison Bumgarner (L 7-12) got shelled for seven runs in his six and 2/3 innings pitched, allowing 11 hits with one walk and five strikeouts. He gave up two home runs, one of which was an inside the park job by Jose Altuve to start of the game.

As for the Astros Jordan Lyle (W 2-7) he didn't allow an earned run in his five innings of work, scattering seven hits along with two walks and five strikeouts for the youngest player in baseball. 

By the time the Giants offense did get going, they were already in 5-0 hole. Cody Ross' 2 RBI single got them on the board, follwed by an Aubrey Huff homer in the seventh, his twelfth of the year. Pablo Sandoval would start a rally in the ninth with a two RBI double, but couldn't keep it going against Mark Melancon, earning his 13th save on the year. 

With the loss the Giants move to 67-60 on the year. Full box score can be found here

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Giants vs. Astros Preview: Giants Look For Offense Against Jordan Lyles

It's been 18 straight innings now that the San Francisco Giants haven't plated a run, even in the offensively friendly confines of Minute Maid Park. They'll be sending Madison Bumgarner out on the mound today, but the real question of today's game will be if they can muster any semblance of a functioning offense against the Houston Astros' Jordan Lyles.

Lyles (1-7 5.31 ERA) is the youngest player currently in the majors, and his numbers show he still has some learning to do. He gave up seven earned runs in his last two outings back-to-back, giving up three long bombs to the Dodgers in his last start against the Dodgers. He is getting near the 170 innings pitched limit the Astros have placed on their young gun, a precaution put in effect by the team to protect his arm. If there was any pitcher anywhere on Earth that the Giants would like to face right now, It might be Lyles. 

As for Madison Bumgarner (7-11 3.49 ERA), he was in Lyles place last year as one of the youngster players in baseball, and had his fare share of growing pains as well; mostly just a complete lack of run support though. Bummy is coming off of a no decision against the Braves after pitching seven innings of two run ball, only to watch his win turn into a Brian Wilson loss against the Braves last week. Giants starters have a 1.72 ERA this road trip thus far, and one win to show for it.

First pitch is set for 4:05 pm PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.  

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Giants vs. Astros, MLB Scores: Giants Blanked By Astros 6-0

Houston, TX (Sports Network) – J.B. Shuck drove in a pair of runs and Wandy Rodriguez posted eight scoreless innings as Houston took down San Francisco, 6-0, in the first of three between the clubs.

Carlos Corporan collected three hits, scored twice and knocked in a run for the Astros, who have won three in a row. Brian Bogusevic homered and scored twice.

Rodriguez (9-9) scattered five hits and walked two, but fanned eight and added a two-run single for the victory. It was a stellar performance despite a report in a Houston newspaper which cited sources that said Rodriguez, fellow starter Brett Myers and shortstop Clint Barmes had been placed on waivers.

Ryan Vogelsong (10-3) allowed four hits and five runs — only two earned — over seven full frames in defeat as the Giants lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Astros broke through in the third. Corporan’s double followed a Barmes leadoff walk, and both came in on Shuck’s one-out double.

Vogelsong worked out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth by striking out J.D. Martinez looking, but failed to remain unscathed in the sixth thanks to some shoddy defense.

After the first two batters were retired, Bogusevic reached on a Mark DeRosa fielding error before Barmes was plunked. Corporan’s base hit scored Bogusevic, and he reached second when right fielder Nate Schierholtz failed to field the ball cleanly. Rodriguez followed with a two-run single but was thrown out at second to end the rally.

“I just tried to make contact and I hit it pretty good,” Rodriguez said.

Bogusevic added a solo homer into the bullpen in right center in the eighth, and Jeff Fulchino shut the door in the ninth.

During his outing, Rodriguez only allowed two baserunners to reach second — Aubrey Huff in the second and DeRosa on a double in the eighth. Huff was thrown out at the plate on a Mike Fontenot single to end the second, while DeRosa was stranded.

“We’re not hitting, and it’s hard to score runs when you’re not getting into scoring position,” cried Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

Game Notes

For Rodriguez, those were his first RBIs this year…He also became the seventh pitcher in Astros history to record at least nine wins in the first seven years with club, joining Joe Niekro, Larry Dierker, Roy Oswalt, Nolan Ryan, Don Wilson and Mike Scott…Prior to the game, the Giants placed catcher Eli Whiteside on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion and recalled catcher Hector Sanchez from Triple-A Fresno…The last time San Francisco was blanked in two straight games came on May 22-23, 2010 at Oakland. The Giants dropped a 1-0 decision in Atlanta on Thursday.

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Giants Injury Update: Eli Whiteside Placed on Seven Day DL With Concussion, Hector Sanchez Recalled

The revolving door that is the San Francisco Giants disabled list just had a new entry as catcher Eli Whiteside has been placed on the seven day DL with a concussion, according to John Shea via Twitter.

Whiteside suffered the concussion during an attempted steal on Wednesday, face planting feet before second base, slamming his head against the ground. Eli would claim to be ok, mentioning some dizziness along with some raspberries on his face, but after further tests it was decided that he did indeed suffer a concussion and will need some time off because of it.

To fill the gap behind the plate, the team recalled catcher Hector Sanchez from Triple-A Fresno, and will serve with Chris Stewart as the two active catchers on the roster. Pablo Sandoval has experience behind the plate as well, but would be an absolute emergency for Kung Fu to slap on the pads.

The earliest Whiteside could return is next Thursday.

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Giants Injury Update: Beltran to Resume Baseball Activities, Wilson, Sanchez May Throw Friday

The San Francisco Giants are finally starting to get healthy. Well, sort of.

Outfielder Carlos Beltran is set to resume baseball activities, but doesn’t necessarily know when he will be ready. The earliest he could come off the DL is Tuesday, but likely will still need some more time before he’s fully ready to return.

Starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez will throw off of flat ground on Friday to test his injured ankle. He suffered the injury fielding a play in his last outing in Atlanta, and hopefully will make his Sunday start as scheduled. If not, Dan Runzler will likely replace him, setting up a duel between former Giants prospect Henry Sosa who came to Houston in the Jeff Keppinger trade.

Lastly, closer Brian Wilson may play some catch on Friday to test out his aching right elbow, but nothing has been set in stone. The team isn’t going to force Wilson into anything, and take as much time as needed for their All-Star closer to get healthy.

For more on the Giants, check out McCovey Chronicles.

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Giants vs. Astros Preview: Ryan Vogelsong, Wandy Rodriguez Take the Bump for Game One

It's been a magical, almost incomprehensible season for the San Francisco Giants' Ryan Vogelsong, going from Minor League nobody to Major League All-Star over the course of a few months. And with the schedule starting to wind down, Vogelsong's starts are growing with importance with every passing game, with none more important than Friday's match up with the Houston Astros

Vogelsong (10-2 2.47 ERA) is coming off of another solid outing against the Marlins, keeping the fish to two runs on four hits along with two walks and eight strikeouts in his seven and 2/3 innings of work. It marks the seventh quality start in his last 10 outings, with hopefully another one coming this evening. Vogelsong, along with the rest of his teammates, will be facing the Astros for the first time this season, and at a time when they've all but given up on their 2011 campaign. 

One of the lone bright spots that didn't get traded in Houston's fire sale was starter Wandy Rodriguez (8-9 3.50 ERA), who is coming off a loss to the Dodgers earlier this week, getting worked for five runs on six hits in six innings pitched. The Astros are 10-12 in his 22 starts, with Wandy sporting a 7-6 record along with a 2.97 ERA in his 17 starts since April 30. He's had only face the Giants three times in his career, two of which were last season, and is 1-2 with a 5.17 ERA against the Black and Orange.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 pm PT this evening with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM. 

For more on the Giants, check out McCovey Chronicles to get your fix of everything Black and Orange. 

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MLB Standings Update: Giants Trail D'Backs in NL West, For Now

With a three game set down in Houston, the San Francisco Giants are looking to make up some ground in the NL West. At the same time, the Arizona Diamondbacks head to Atlanta to take on the Braves, trying to separate themselves from the defending champs. These two teams are on a unstoppable collision course to decide the NL West, a place the Giants are familiar with after chasing down the Padres in 2010. 

The Giants have one of the easiest schedules (on paper) in the league from here on in, with the only team above .500 left to play is, of course, the D'backs. They will play six times before the end of the regular season, with a playoff berth essentially hanging in the balance between the two three game series. September will be a month of all intra-divisional matchups for both teams, as the Dodgers, Padres, and Rockies all look to finish with a high note to their rather disappointing seasons


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 69 55 .556 0 Lost 2
San Francisco 67 58 .536 2.5 Lost 1
Colorado 58 67 .464 11.5 Won 1
Los Angeles 56 67 .455 12.5 Won 1
San Diego 56 70 .444 14 Won 1

(updated 8.19.2011 at 11:13 AM PDT)


 

As for the Wild Card, the Braves have a pretty good strangle hold on it at this point, but a quick losing streak can turn that around and in a hurry. 


National League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 73 52 .584 0 Won 1
San Francisco 67 58 .536 6 Lost 1
St. Louis 66 58 .532 6.5 Won 1
New York 60 63 .487 12 Won 1
Cincinnati 60 64 .483 12.5 Lost 1
Washington 59 63 .483 12.5 Won 1
Pittsburgh 58 64 .475 13.5 Lost 1
Colorado 58 67 .464 15 Won 1
Florida 57 67 .459 15.5 Lost 2
Los Angeles 56 67 .455 16 Won 1
San Diego 56 70 .444 17.5 Won 1
Chicago 54 70 .435 18.5 Lost 2
Houston 40 84 .322 32.5 Won 2

(updated 8.19.2011 at 11:13 AM PDT)


 

It's going to be a dogfight from here on in, so get comfortable, get your popcorn ready, and get glued to your favorite television screen. 

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Giants vs. Astros, Series Preview: G-Men Out To Right The Ship At Minute Maid Park

With a sour taste left in their mouths after the Atlanta series, the San Francisco Giants are looking to turn the page and start their sprint to the finish with a three game set against the Houston Astros. For more on the Black and Orange, check out McCovey Chronicles.

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