Panik mode: 3B, Mac HR power win vs. Bucs

Panik mode: 3B, Mac HR power win vs. Bucs

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants strolled into PNC Park on Monday afternoon as the National League's hottest team. They left Pittsburgh's North Shore on Thursday afternoon with a 5-3 win over the Pirates, a four-game series victory and a trail of smoke still flowing behind them.

San Francisco rolled past Pittsburgh for its 11th win in 12 games. The Giants are a season-high 20 games over .500, six games ahead of the second-place Dodgers. They've won 30 of their past 39 games, the best record in baseball since May 11.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Team effort has Giants rolling

Williamson, Suarez among players to step up as San Francisco wins 11 of past 12

Team effort has Giants rolling

PITTSBURGH -- To verify the Giants' excellence, which continued with Thursday's 5-3 victory over the Pirates, consult a list. Any list.

One such list is the lineup, which seemed suited more for Sacramento's Raley Field than Pittsburgh's PNC Park. Giants manager Bruce Bochy concluded the team's two-city, seven-game trip by starting five players who began the season at the franchise's Triple-A affiliate. One of them, right-hander Albert Suarez, earned the win; another, right fielder Mac Williamson, amassed a career-high three hits, including an impressive sixth-inning homer and a third-inning RBI single.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy, red-hot Giants welcome Phillies

Peavy, red-hot Giants welcome Phillies

This weekend's series between the Giants and Phillies is a tale of teams headed in opposite directions since May.

The Giants are the hottest team in baseball since posting a 17-18 record through May 10. They are 30-9 since, which is the best record in the Majors. The Phillies posted a 24-17 mark through May 18, which was the third-best record in the National League. But they are just 7-26 since, which is the worst record in baseball in that stretch.

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Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans must start voting now to get in all 35 ballots

Final-week stretch crucial to deciding who will be in starting lineups

Fans must start voting now to get in all 35 ballots

The 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot is down to its final week, and here are 10 important things to know as you continue deciding starters for the 87th All-Star Game presented by MasterCard on July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego.

1. Simple All-Star math: 7 x 5 = 35 ballots cast. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET next Thursday. Fans can submit up to five ballots per any 24-hour period, so Friday is the start of an important window to make sure you use 'em and don't lose 'em.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beede among top prospect performers Thursday

Top Twins prospect dominant over eight scoreless; Yankees' No. 2 continues to show off power

Beede among top prospect performers Thursday

Jose Berrios was absolutely dominant in Triple-A Rochester's 2-0 win over Columbus. Berrios (Twins' No. 1) is the No. 15 overall prospect, and after his electric outing, it's very clear why he's so highly regarded.

The 22-year-old needed just 88 pitches, 60 strikes, to throw eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out nine.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy nominated for Bob Feller Award

Peavy nominated for Bob Feller Award

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander Jake Peavy, who reserves the same intensity for supporting humanitarian ventures that he brings to pitching, has been named the Giants' nominee for the 2016 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.

The award honors a current Major Leaguer, a U.S. Navy chief petty officer and a baseball Hall of Famer who possess the values, integrity and dedication to serving Americans displayed by Feller, the Hall of Fame right-hander who died in 2010.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants erase Pirates' big lead for victory

Giants erase Pirates' big lead for victory

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants followed a different path to a familiar destination Wednesday night at PNC Park. Overcoming a rare ineffective starting pitching performance, San Francisco rode its bullpen and a middle-innings comeback to a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh.

The Giants are 29-9 since May 11, a successful stretch built firmly on the foundation of their rotation. But Jeff Samardzija exited after allowing six runs in three innings, tied for the shortest start of his career. That left the Giants bullpen to hold the line, which it did for six scoreless innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Relievers lay down the Law in Giants' comeback

Relievers lay down the Law in Giants' comeback

PITTSBURGH -- It was difficult to tell whether Derek Law's pitching or his fan base left more of an impression Wednesday night.

Law blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth and fifth innings to launch the sequence of six shutout innings compiled by Giants relievers in San Francisco's 7-6 triumph.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants sign top Draft pick Reynolds

Giants sign top Draft pick Reynolds

PITTSBURGH -- Maintaining their quick pace of securing their recent Draft selections, the Giants on Wednesday announced the signing of their second-round pick, Vanderbilt University center fielder Bryan Reynolds.

Losing their first-round choice as compensation for signing free-agent right-hander Jeff Samardzija in the offseason, the Giants nevertheless obtained what they considered to be a first-round-worthy talent in Reynolds.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto not thinking about All-Star nod chances

Cueto not thinking about All-Star nod chances

PITTSBURGH -- It seems ridiculous to consider that Giants right-hander Johnny Cueto won't be named to the National League squad for the July 12 All-Star Game at San Diego.

But Cueto has been left off the team in previous seasons when his first-half performance seemed to dictate a trip to the Midsummer Classic. So he tempered his enthusiasm when he was asked about representing the Giants in his first year with the club.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arroyo among top prospect performers Wednesday

Nationals' No. 2 fills out stat sheet in win; top Pirates prospect unhittable once again

Arroyo among top prospect performers Wednesday

Trea Turner can do it all, and he put the bulk of his skill set on display in Triple-A Syracuse's 6-4 win over Pawtucket on Wednesday. Turner, hitting .292 in 67 games, drew two walks and went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBIs.

The Nationals' No. 2 prospect (No. 9 overall) brought in a run when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the second inning, then later delivered the game's decisive blast, a two-run double in the top of the ninth.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto, Giants cruise after huge 4th inning

Cueto, Giants cruise after huge 4th inning

PITTSBURGH -- Backed by the Giants' biggest offensive performance of the year, Johnny Cueto continued his dominant stretch against an opponent that's too often seen him at his best. San Francisco tallied a season-high 22 hits, Cueto fired 6 2/3 strong innings and the Giants beat the Pirates, 15-4, on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

A night after being shut out by Jeff Locke and three Pirates relievers, the Giants gave Cueto plenty of breathing room. San Francisco broke out against Pittsburgh spot starter Wilfredo Boscan in the fourth, putting up seven runs and batting around before recording an out. Angel Pagan delivered the biggest hit, a first-pitch grand slam to center field, and Conor Gillaspie followed with a two-run homer deep into the right-field seats.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pagan's grand slam sends Giants off on romp

Pagan's grand slam sends Giants off on romp

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants sent forth a hail of base hits and an avalanche of runs Tuesday night in their 15-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. But don't overlook the lightning bolt.

That was Angel Pagan's fourth-inning grand slam, the highlight of a seven-run outburst. It was the Giants' most prolific scoring inning of the season, which served as the genesis for one of their biggest offensive outputs in recent years.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Posey in tight race for starting ASG catcher

Posey in tight race for starting ASG catcher

PITTSBURGH -- Consider this another close play at the plate.

In the latest National League All-Star Game voting update, Giants catcher Buster Posey is in a tight contest for a starting position in next month's All-Star Game, trailing St. Louis' Yadier Molina by just a fraction of the total votes cast in online fan balloting.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Belt K's against catcher Kratz, makes fun of himself

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Belt K's against catcher Kratz, makes fun of himself

In the ninth inning of the Giants' 15-4 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night, catcher Erik Kratz came in to pitch. The 36-year-old -- throwing everything from 86-mph fastballs to 82-mph changeups to 52-mph what's-its? -- held San Francisco scoreless.

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Martinez brings heat as California League All-Star

Martinez brings heat as California League All-Star

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. -- Bobby Bradley may not have won the Midway Classic Home Run Derby on Monday, but he certainly showed the most power in Tuesday's California-Carolina League All-Star Game.

The Indians' No. 3 prospect, who ranks 84th on MLBPipelline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, showed off his prodigious power in the third inning. Bradley connected with a 93-mph fastball from Ryan Castellani (Rockies' No. 16 prospect) and launched it over Lake Elsinore's 36-foot wall in right field, helping lead the Carolina League to a 6-4 victory.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole among top prospect performers Tuesday

Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect flirts with no-hitter, Yankees' No. 2 notches first pro multi-homer game

Cole among top prospect performers Tuesday

Once the calendar switched to June, Conner Greene became dominant. The Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect twirled seven scoreless frames Tuesday for Class A Advanced Dunedin in a 6-0 shutout of Brevard County and is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA through three starts in the month.

Greene gave up three hits, walked a pair and struck out seven in his longest start of the year. The seven strikeouts were also a season-high for the right-hander, who recently added a slider to his repertoire.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants hope for Duffy's quick return

Giants hope for Duffy's quick return

PITTSBURGH -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy expressed his belief in third baseman Matt Duffy's importance to the club without explicitly saying so.

Bochy's lofty opinion of Duffy came through Tuesday when it was pointed out that Duffy, who'll be sidelined for at least two weeks, could be idled for up to three weeks, which would lead into the All-Star break. Thus, it was suggested to Bochy that Duffy, who officially went on the disabled list Tuesday with a strained left Achilles, might as well remain inactive through the July 11-13 All-Star break.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner outdueled by Pirates' Locke

Bumgarner outdueled by Pirates' Locke

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates skidded into PNC Park early Monday morning after a tough road trip through New York and Chicago. Having lost five straight and 17 of its last 22 games, Pittsburgh was in desperate need of a complete game -- not the type Jeff Locke threw in Miami three weeks ago, but the kind of all-around performance he led in the Bucs' 1-0 win over Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.

After a loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday night, the Pirates fell three games below .500 and 15 behind in the National League Central. Manager Clint Hurdle said the best thing Pittsburgh could do to "shake things up" amid the rough stretch was to put together a game like Monday's -- and it would have to start on the mound. Locke took care of that, firing 6 2/3 innings without allowing a walk, an increasingly rare quality start in a struggling Pirates rotation.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pagan just misses incredible HR-robbing catch

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Pagan just misses incredible HR-robbing catch

Gloves, possible sentient beings, don't always do what they want us to do. Sometimes they don't want to let go of a baseball, sometimes they completely forget to do their job and other times they leap off our wrists -- risking it all for one moment of glory.

In the bottom of the fifth inning of Monday's Giants-Pirates game, a glove defied a fielder's wishes once again. Angel Pagan HAD Eric Kratz's home-run ball inside his webbing. It looked like it may be the best catch of the year. But then, no.

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Vogelsong appreciates Giants fans' support

Vogelsong appreciates Giants fans' support

PITTSBURGH -- Despite being unable to pitch and having his face literally rearranged, Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has plenty to savor.

Inactive since being hit in the face by a 92 mph fastball from Colorado's Jordan Lyles on May 23, Vogelsong has been encouraged by the volume of former Giants teammates as well as fans who have expressed concern for his health.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants lose Duffy to DL with Achilles strain

Giants lose Duffy to DL with Achilles strain

PITTSBURGH -- Already prone to inconsistency, the Giants' offense absorbed another setback Monday when manager Bruce Bochy announced third baseman Matt Duffy was bound for the 15-day disabled list with a strained left Achilles.

Bochy revealed the news after the Giants' 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh. It was the fourth shutout defeat of the season for the Giants, who ranked 10th among National League teams with a .398 slugging percentage entering Monday.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Giants have Hall of Famer in Bochy

Manager looks to lead team to 4th World Series title since 2010

Giants have Hall of Famer in Bochy

ST. PETERSBURG -- First inning: Jake Peavy was struggling with his command, the Rays had taken a 1-0 lead against the Giants and had runners on first and third with one out.

Bruce Bochy rubbed his huge hand over his face and almost yawned. Peavy quickly got two outs and the Rays threat was over.

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Hal Bodley, dean of American baseball writers, is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kuiper shares Cleveland's joy over Cavs' title

Kuiper shares Cleveland's joy over Cavs' title

PITTSBURGH -- As a former Cleveland Indians second baseman whose career spanned a portion of the city's professional sports futility, Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper exulted over the Cavaliers' seven-game triumph against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, which ended Sunday.

"Look, I'm a Warriors fan," Kuiper was quick to say Monday. "And I pushed hard for the Warriors to win. But to lose to that team and to that city is fine by me."

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy overcomes rocky start to defeat Rays

Peavy overcomes rocky start to defeat Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake Peavy walked a tightrope Sunday against the Rays, as did the Giants, who had three errors in the first three innings.

In the first inning, a bad pickoff throw by Peavy allowed Logan Forsythe to score before an out had been recorded .

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants sweep Rays, run win streak to eight

Giants sweep Rays, run win streak to eight

ST. PETERSBURG -- Joe Panik's RBI single in the eighth broke a 1-1 tie to lead the Giants to a 5-1 win over the Rays Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field with 17,361 watching.

The win earned the Giants (44-26) a sweep of the three-game series with the Rays (31-36), who have now lost four consecutive games.

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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bickford among top prospect performers Sunday

Bickford among top prospect performers Sunday

Phil Bickford's bat-missing ability was on full display Sunday during his California League debut as he recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts over six innings to lead Class A Advanced San Jose past Rancho Cucamonga, 5-3.

The Giants' No. 3 prospect allowed two runs on two hits and did not issue a walk, throwing 61 of his 83 pitches for strikes in the outing.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panik punctuates rally vs. Rays in SF's 7th straight

Panik punctuates rally vs. Rays in SF's 7th straight

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jaff Decker backed up to the right-field wall like he had a chance to catch the ball that was crushed off Joe Panik's bat. The Giants had struggled to find a big hit most of the day. But they got a two-out hit to tie it in the eighth and won their seventh straight game on Panik's three-run homer in the ninth in a 6-4 win over the Rays.

"For Panik," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before pausing, "it's hard to get a bigger hit than that."

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Corey Long is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rays on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panik knocked down, but gets up again, wins it

Hit in head in 5th, infielder stays in game, delivers tiebreaking homer in 9th

Panik knocked down, but gets up again, wins it

ST. PETERSBURG -- Waiting for his turn in the dugout and eventually the on-deck circle, Joe Panik watched Alex Colome pitch. Panik had never faced the Rays' closer before, but he tried to get a feel for his pitches. A fastball, he saw, and a cutter as an out-pitch.

Panik had already been hit in the head during the fifth inning of Saturday's 6-4 Giants win at Tropicana Field. He collapsed to the ground, but stayed in the game after a drama-filled RBI hit-by-pitch.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.