SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Pablo Sandoval #48 of the San Francisco Giants celebrates at home plate after hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on September 20, 2012 in San Francisco, California. The home run was Sandovals second of the day. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Giants Vs. Rockies: Pablo Homers Twice, Giants Sweep With 9-2 Win

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Final Score: G-Men Homer Past Colorado 9-2, Sweep Series

It was a gorgeous day for baseball at AT&T Park on Thursday afternoon, one ripe for the long ball in China Basin. And behind three home runs from the Black and Orange the Giants swept the Colorado Rockies by the score of 9-2.

Pablo Sandoval is heating up after hitting two homers on the day, a solo shot in he first batting right handed and a three-run blast in the fourth, his 10th and 11th of the season. Buster Posey would go back-to-back with Pablo in the fourth with a solo shot of his own, his 23rd of the season.

Marco Scutaro added a pair of RBI doubles, while a Rockies error and wild pitch would plate another two runs for San Francisco.

Barry Zito (W 13-8) had another strong outing, limiting Colorado to just two runs on 10 hits and one walk while striking out six. He's making a strong case for making the postseason rotation down the stretch. George Kontos, Guillermo Mota, Clay Hensley and Brad Penny took care of the rest, allowing three combined hits over the last 3.1 innings of the game.

With the win the Giants' magic number moves to four. They'll host the San Diego Padres for a three game set this weekend at AT&T Park.

Full box score can be found at SI.com.

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Starting Lineups: Buster Posey At First Base, Joaquin Arias At Shortstop

The San Francisco Giants made a few minor tweaks to their lineup on Thursday as they go for a series sweep of the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park.

The same quintet will be atop the Giants lineup as Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence will be in the first five sports. Posey will be at first base as Hector Sanchez catches Barry Zito, Xavier Nady will be in left field and Joaquin Arias as shortstop as Gregor Blanco and Brandon Belt get some time off.

Your San Francisco Giants:

1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Buster Posey 1B
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Hector Sanchez C
7. Xavier Nady LF
8. Joaquin Arias SS
9. Barry Zito P

Colorado Rockies:

1. Josh Rutledge 2B
2. Jordan Pacheco C
3. Carlos Gonzalez LF
4. Wilin Rosario 1B
5. Chris Nelson 3B
6. Andrew Brown RF
7. Tyler Colvin CF
8. Jonathan Herrera SS
9. Jorge De La Rosa P

First pitch is set for 12:45 pm. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Game Preview: Barry Zito Eyes Series Sweep Thursday

The San Francisco Giants have been on cruise control against the Colorado Rockies in this series, taking the first three games with ease. Now they look to lock up the series sweep on Thursday with Barry Zito taking the hill.

Zito (12-8, 4.21 ERA) has been locked in as of late as San Francisco has won his last eight starts, a streak dating back to Aug. 2. He earned his fourth straight win after allowing just one run in 6 2/3 innings of work en route to a 3-2 victory over Arizona on Saturday.

Colorado will counter with Jorge De La Rosa, making his season debut for the Rockies tonight. He hasn't pitched in the majors since May 24, 2011 when he suffered an elbow injury bad enough to require Tommy John surgery. He's 7-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 career starts against San Francisco.

The Giants have won five straight against the Rockies at home.

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. Rockies, Final Score: Pablo Sandoval's 3-Run HR Paces G-Men 7-1

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Matt Cain pitched eight solid innings of one-run ball as the San Francisco Giants downed the Colorado Rockies, 7-1, in the third installment of a four-game series at AT&T Park.

Cain (15-5) scattered four hits and fanned eight while walking four to earn his fifth straight positive decision. Jose Mijares finished off the rout with a perfect ninth inning.

Pablo Sandoval popped a three-run home run among his three hits, while Gregor Blanco went 3-for-4 with a two-run single for the Giants, who have won the first three games of this set. Brandon Belt and Buster Posey each added an RBI in the victory.

DJ LeMahieu knocked in the lone run with a sacrifice fly for the Rockies, who lost for the fifth consecutive game. Tyler Chatwood (4-5) took the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits in four innings.

San Francisco jumped on top in its first at-bat with three runs. Angel Pagan began the inning with a solid single back up the middle and Marco Scutaro followed with a double down the line in left field before Sandoval smashed an opposite-field, three-run bomb over the wall in right field.

"He put a good swing on a pitch and I think he definitely needed that," Cain said of Sandoval's home run.

Colorado finally dented Cain for a run in the fifth as Chris Nelson started the frame with a single and Charlie Blackmon followed with a base knock, which allowed Nelson to go first-to-third. LeMahieu then lofted a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Nelson to cut the deficit to two.

The NL West leaders responded with three in the home portion of the inning to make it 6-1. Sandoval began things with a single to right and Hunter Pence beat out an infield hit two batters later to put runners on the corners. Belt ripped an double to right, scoring Sandoval, and Blanco followed with a two- run single to bring in Pence and Belt.

"The way that guy pitches and you stake him to a 6-1 lead, you put yourself in a pretty bad position," Rockies manager Jim Tracy admitted of Cain.

An RBI single by Posey in the sixth extended the Giants' lead to 7-1. Mijares went through Tyler Colvin, Nelson and Blackmon in order in the ninth.

Game Notes

Scutaro (1-for-4) matched his career-best for hits in a season with 174 ... San Francisco improved to 61-19 when scoring first and 68-19 when scoring more than four runs in a game ... Cain improved to 15-7 in 28 career starts against the Rockies. His 15 wins against Colorado are his highest total against any team in MLB ... The Giants are 17-2 in games started by Cain when scoring three-or-more runs.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could The Giants Land Josh Hamilton?

With the suspension of Melky Cabrera, the San Francisco Giants have a proverbial question mark in their outfield alongside Angel Pagan and Hunter Pence moving forward. They could resign him, but they could also look elsewhere, and there's a very big free agent outfielder hitting the market this offseason in Josh Hamilton.

ESPN's Buster Olney mentioned on Twitter about where Hamilton might land on Wednesday, with the San Francisco Giants named as a likely landing spot.

Of course this is all speculation, but the prospect of a Hamilton, Pence, Pagan outfield is almost worth drooling over. You could further speculate a resigning of Cabrera to a "I'm sorry for cheating" discount to be an All-Star Game MVP fourth outfielder, but let's stick with Hamilton.

Put him in either left or center field, he'll cover ground well at AT&T. He could also add to the pedigree set by Barry Bonds as a true left-handed power bat the short porch in right field is made for. Bringing along his .304 career average and almost guaranteed 100-plus RBI a year would go a long way in keeping pace with the Los Angeles Red Sox Dodgers as well.

Sure, there is always the spectre of substance abuse that follows Hamilton, but Giants fans are very supportive of their players and could be a great place for him to thrive for the next chapter of his career. Plus, the Black and Orange clubhouse is one of the loosest in the league, which could prove to be another draw to the Bay for Hamilton.

Is Brain Sabean and the rest of the Giants braintrust going to pony up what should prove to be a lot of dough to nab Hamilton long-term? That's yet to be seen. But if you could solve your outfield problem with a perennial All-Star, I'd say that's a tire worth kicking during the offseason.

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Melky Cabrera Suspension: MLB Won't Ban Giants Slugger From NL Batting Title

Major League Baseball will not interfere with San Francisco Giants slugger Melky Cabrera and his high possibility of winning the NL Batting Title as he serves his 50-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs.

Cabrera owns a .346 batting average, seven points higher than Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen on 501 plate appearances on the year. That's one fewer than the required amount, but under section 10.22(a) of the Official Baseball Rules, he would be eligible to win the batting title with an extra at-bat added to his average as long as it remained higher than any other qualified batter.

Giants catcher Buster Posey is currently third in the race with a .333 average.

Commisioner Bud Selig was rather nonchalant about it, considering that MLB has no say in the matter, as it is based upon stats instead of votes:

"We'll see how it all plays out," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday after taping an episode of "CenterStage" for the YES Network. "We generally don't interfere in that process. We'll take a look at it at the end of the year."

One thing MLB could during the offseason is change the requirements so something like this doesn't happen again. The league won't be able to change the outcome this year, at least not at this point in the season, but would likely want to avoid this fiasco in the future.

Cabrera finished the regular season with a .390 OBP along with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs. He was also the All-Star Game MVP.

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Starting Lineups: Gregor Blanco Back In LF

The San Francisco Giants are looking to lock up another series win at AT&T Park Wednesday night against the Colorado Rockies. With the Dodgers losing game one of their double header, they can take two (or more) off their magic number with a W tonight.

The quartet of Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey will once again lead off the top of the Giants order, while Hunter Pence and Brandon Belt will be fifth and sixth. Gregor Blanco returns to the starting lineup in left field, batting seventh, followed by Brandon Crawford and pitcher Matt Cain.

Your San Francisco Giants:

  1. Angel Pagan CF
  2. Marco Scutaro 2B
  3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
  4. Buster Posey C
  5. Hunter Pence RF
  6. Brandon Belt 1B
  7. Gregor Blanco LF
  8. Brandon Crawford SS
  9. Matt Cain P
Colorado Rockies:
  1. Dexter Fowler CF
  2. Josh Rutledge SS
  3. Carlos Gonzalez LF
  4. Wilin Rosario C
  5. Tyler Colvin 1B
  6. Chris Nelson 3B
  7. Charlie Blackmon RF
  8. DJ LeMahieu 2B
  9. Tyler Chatwood P
First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Game Preview: Matt Cain Eyes Series Win On Wednesday

The San Francisco Giants took the first two games against the Colorado Rockies this week at AT&T Park and will try to wrap up another series victory against an NL West foe on Wednesday with Matt Cain on the mound.

Cain (14-5, 2.93 ERA) has had Colorado's number as of late, owning a 6-1 record with a 3.00 ERA in his last nine starts against them. At AT&T Cain gets even better, going 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA in his last five starts against Colorado at home. Cain tossed five innings of one-run ball in his last start against Arizona in the Giants' 6-2 win.

Colorado will counter with Tyler Chatwood (4-4, 5.65). He received no decision after allowing four runs in just 3.2 innings against San Diego in his last start, and is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA with a save in three games against the Giants. He earned the win in his only appearance in San Francisco on Aug. 10, allowing just three hits in five innings of the Rockies' 3-0 victory. Chatwood is 0-1 with an 8.49 ERA so far in three September starts.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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MLB Standings: Giants, Athletics Holding Strong In Playoff Race

Both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics are running out of regular season games, but are looking to hang on down the stretch and move on to the postseason.

After their 6-3 win on Tuesday night, the Giants have extended their lead to a season-high 8.5 games over the Los Angeles Dodgers with 14 games left on the schedule. Their magic number to clinch the NL West is down to seven.

As for the Athletics, they've dropped two straight after their 12-2 loss to the Tigers on Tuesday night, with two more stops against the Yankees and Rangers left on their schedule. They hold a half-game lead over the Orioles in the AL Wild Card Race, and are three games back of Texas in the AL West.

You can check out the entire standings here.


NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
San Francisco 85 63 .574 0 Won 2
Los Angeles 76 71 .517 8.5 Lost 1
Arizona 73 74 .496 11.5 Won 2
San Diego 71 77 .479 14 Lost 1
Colorado 58 89 .394 26.5 Lost 4

(updated 9.19.2012 at 8:10 AM PDT)



American League Wild Card Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Oakland 84 63 .571 0 Won 2
Baltimore 84 64 .567 0.5 Won 3
Los Angeles 81 67 .547 3.5 Won 2
Detroit 78 69 .530 6 Won 1
Tampa Bay 78 70 .527 6.5 Lost 2
Seattle 70 79 .469 15 Lost 3
Boston 68 81 .456 17 Won 2
Toronto 66 79 .455 17 Won 1
Kansas City 66 81 .448 18 Lost 2
Cleveland 61 87 .412 23.5 Lost 1
Minnesota 61 87 .412 23.5 Won 1

(updated 9.19.2012 at 8:10 AM PDT)


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Giants Vs. Rockies, Final Score: Tim Lincecum's Strong Start Leads Giants To 6-3 Win

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Xavier Nady produced two RBI singles and Tim Lincecum pitched masterfully, as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Colorado Rockies, 6-3, in the second contest of a four-game series at AT&T Park.

It appears Lincecum (10-14) has been saving his best for the home stretch. The right-hander struck out six and did not allow a run in 6 1/3 innings. He has given up just 11 earned runs over his last six starts.

"I feel like I'm getting back to (where I was) but there's that fine point where you feel like you're going out there and everything is just kind of working by itself," said Lincecum. "I haven't reached that point yet. I still feel like I'm grinding a little but those harder situations are getting easier to get out of."

Marco Scutaro added three hits, scored twice and drove in a run as the Giants took one step closer to capturing the NL West title -- cutting their magic number to seven.

The Giants touched up Jeff Francis (5-6) early and chased him from the game after five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits and lost for the second time in as many starts.

Wilin Rosario hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth for the Rockies, who have lost 11 of 13.

Nady came through with clutch base hits in both the second and sixth innings. Hector Sanchez hit a two-out double in the second and Nady stroked a line drive to center to give the Giants an early 1-0 lead. After Hunter Pence drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third, he came around to score in the sixth on Nady's ground ball single through the left side of the infield, making it 3-0.

The Rockies were able to load the bases in the seventh, which led Giants manager Bruce Bochy to go to his bullpen. Jeremy Affedlt relieved Lincecum and on his first pitch induced pinch-hitter Jason Giambi in to an inning-ending double play.

Josh Roenicke pitched the bottom half of the frame and gave up a leadoff single to Scutaro, who moved to second on a wild pitch. Scutaro advanced to third on a Pence groundout and sprinted home on another wild pitch from Roenicke to make it 4-0.

Rosario's two-run homer in the eighth made it a two-run ball game but the Giants got two back in the bottom half off a run-scoring triple from Angel Pagan, who then crossed the plate on a single from Scutaro.

The Rockies got a two-out RBI single from Matt McBride in the top of the ninth to bring them within three, but Sergio Romo retired Dexter Fowler on a ground ball to end the game.

"They just pecked at us and pecked at us," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "They built a four-run lead, we hit the home run, and then gave two back."

Game Notes

Scutaro extended his hitting streak to eight games ... The Giants have won 14 of their last 20 games ... Dating back to 2011, the Rockies have lost 25 of their last 34 games against the Giants.

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Giants Vs. Rockies: Tim Lincecum Eyes Second Straight Win Over Colorado

The San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies continue their four-game series on Tuesday night as the Black and Orange are looking to wrap up the NL West as quickly as possible with their magic number down to eight.

San Francisco will send out Tim Lincecum (9-14, 5.09 ERA), who continues to show improvement from his rocky start to the season. The two-time Cy Young winner has lost just one of his last five starts, but is 0-3 with a 4.84 ERA in his past four outings at AT&T Park. He earned his ninth victory of the year in his last outing after six innings of three-run ball against the Rockies at Coors Field.

Colorado will counter with Jeff Francis (5-5, 5.68), making his second straight start against Lincecum. He allowed five runs in the first inning before getting yanked in the third on Wednesday, and is 0-3 with a 10.95 ERA in his last three starts versus the Giants.

As the Giants continue to rack up the wins, Buster Posey and Marco Scutaro continue to rack up hits. Posey is hitting .400 with 13 RBIs in his last 16 games, bumping him to a .451 average in 14 games against the Rockies this year. As for Scutaro, he has a .349 average since leaving the Rockies on July 27. He's also batting .372 with eight RBIs in 10 games against Colorado this year.

As for the second-place Dodgers, they begin a three-game set with the first-place Washington Nationals this evening, hoping to hang on to the shred of a chance they have in the NL West race.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.

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Giants Beat Rockies 2-1, NL West Title Eight Wins Away

The San Francisco Giants utilized excellent pitching to beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1 on Monday night at AT&T Park. The Giants pitching staff held the Rockies to four hits, with starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner leading the way. Bumgarner did give up five walks, but struck out six and wiggled his way out of trouble on several occasions. Bumgarner stranded several baserunners in scoring position and ended up with his 15th win of the season.

The Giants struck first in the bottom of the third inning. Brandon Crawford tripled to deep center field, and he scored on a passed ball to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin of the Rockies helped bring Colorado back into it with a double to shallow right center field, with Josh Rutledge bringing Chacin home on a triple to a similar spot.

After Chacin left the game before the sixth inning, Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey both managed singles that allowed Hunter Pence to single in the go-ahead run. From that point on, the Giants bullpen allowed no hits in the final three innings.

The Giants are now up eight games in the NL West over the Los Angeles Dodgers, with the magic number of wins for Los Angeles to clinch being eight.

Talk about the game with Giants fans at McCovey Chronicles and with Rockies fans at Purple Row.

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Giants Vs. Rockies, Game Preview: Madison Bumgarner, Jhoulys Chacin Face Off (Again)

With the Colorado Rockies visiting AT&T Park for the last time this season, the San Francisco Giants are looking to continue their success against them and tighten their strangle hold on the NL West behind Madison Bumgarner Monday night.

Bumgarner (14-10, 3.32 ERA) hasn't earned himself a win since August 20; an eight inning, one-run performance against the Dodgers in L.A. Since then he's given up at least four runs in each of his starts, never making it out of the seventh inning. He's taken three losses and a no decision, watching his ERA has go from 2.83 to 3.25 over that span. Bumgarner is 2-0 in three starts against Colorado this year.

The Rockies will counter with Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 4.86 ERA), whom Bumgarner faced in his last outing in Colorado on Sept. 11. Chacin made it through just four innings in that start, allowing four runs on six hits en route to a no decision. Chacin is 3-3 with a 2.72 ERA in his last seven games against San Francisco, starting six of them.

On the Giants injury front, Gregor Blanco is questionable on Monday with his sore shoulder, though Angel Pagan is likely to return after leaving mid-game on Sunday with some back stiffness. Xavier Nady is also very close to returning to action after dealing with a hamstring issue, and could start in left field on Monday.

San Francisco's magic number to clinch the NL West is now down to nine.

First pitch is set for 7:15 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and LNBR 680 AM.

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