Rockies' homer ends Giants' winning streak

Rockies' homer ends Giants' winning streak

DENVER -- Daniel Descalso's two-run homer in Saturday night's sixth inning enabled the Colorado Rockies to inch ahead and helped them claim a 5-3 victory over the San Francisco Giants, ending the defending World Series champions' eight-game winning streak.

San Francisco's Yusmeiro Petit pitched capably for five innings in his first start of the season and nearly escaped the sixth inning with a 2-2 tie. Then Brandon Barnes beat out the back end of a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder he hit. Up came Descalso, who lined a first-pitch changeup over the right-field barrier.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Crawford emerges as impact bat

Shortstop's clutch hitting has defending champs rising in NL West

Crawford emerges as impact bat

DENVER -- Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford always felt he belonged in the big leagues.

Now, at the age of 28, in his fourth full big league season, he knows it.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Veteran Hudson seeks back-to-back victories

Veteran Hudson seeks back-to-back victories

Giants right-hander Tim Hudson (2-3, 4.01 ERA) will look for his second win in as many starts when San Francisco closes out a four-game series with the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field. Righty Chad Bettis (0-0, 5.73 ERA) will take the hill for the Rockies.

Hudson stifled the Dodgers in his last outing, twirling 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-0 win Tuesday. He gave up just five hits, while walking two and striking out two.

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants outlast Rockies for eighth straight win

Giants outlast Rockies for eighth straight win

DENVER -- A remarkable display of two-out hitting carried the San Francisco Giants to their eighth consecutive victory, a 10-8 decision Saturday over the Colorado Rockies in the first half of a day-night doubleheader.

Victimizing Rockies starter Jordan Lyles (2-5) -- who left in the fifth inning with a sprained toe on his left foot -- and reliever Yohan Flande, the Giants scored all of their runs from the fourth through sixth innings. Each came with two outs as Giants hitters went 9-for-12 in those situations. San Francisco's 4-5-6 hitters, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford, combined to drive in seven runs.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strickland pitches in as 26th man for twin bill

Strickland pitches in as 26th man for twin bill

DENVER -- Hunter Strickland departed from Sacramento for Denver on Friday afternoon, an hour or two before he and a handful of Sacramento Rivercats were scheduled to receive their 2014 World Series rings.

Strickland wasn't concerned. He knows that he'll eventually get his ring. The right-hander figured that a summons to the big leagues -- even for a 24-hour assignment such as Saturday's, to bolster the Giants' roster for the day-night doubleheader against Colorado -- was worth the wait.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Gregor Blanco strikes out, advances to third on error

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Gregor Blanco strikes out, advances to third on error

Generally, pitchers can safely regard a strikeout as a positive outcome for an at-bat -- worst case scenario, the batter ends up on first base after a wild pitch, but a K removes 99 percent of possible defensive/fluky baseball shenanigans. We say "99 percent" because, as the Rockies proved Saturday against the Giants, one should never underestimate the power of baseball shenanigans:

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After Vogey's gem, Giants hang on vs. Rockies

After Vogey's gem, Giants hang on vs. Rockies

DENVER -- Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong tossed six scoreless innings, and San Francisco poured on enough offense late, helping the Giants to an 11-8 win in Friday's series opener at Coors Field.

Vogelsong (3-2) held the Rockies to two hits and struck out five. The Giants led, 1-0, before Brandon Belt launched a two-run, 475-foot homer into the upper deck in the sixth off Kyle Kendrick (1-6). The Giants had five hits, including Buster Posey's two-run double, in a four-run seventh.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Belt smashes upper-deck homer at Coors Field

Belt smashes upper-deck homer at Coors Field

DENVER -- Those who witnessed Brandon Belt's long-distance home run Friday probably described it in superlatives, logically enough. "Awesome," they might say. "Crushed." Not to mention "spectacular, titanic, gargantuan."

But only Belt really knew how it felt to drive a baseball into Coors Field's upper deck, a feat that San Francisco's first baseman accomplished in Friday's sixth inning as the Giants outscored the Colorado Rockies, 11-8.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Vogelsong defies history at Coors Field

Giants righty pitches six shutout innings after three rough starts there

Vogelsong defies history at Coors Field

DENVER -- Any lingering doubts about Ryan Vogelsong's latest surge in performance dissolved Friday night in Coors Field's rarefied atmosphere.

Vogelsong continued his ascent, blanking the Colorado Rockies on two singles for six innings as the Giants roared to an 11-8 triumph. In his last four starts, he's 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA while combining with Chris Heston to buffer the club from the absences of Matt Cain and Jake Peavy.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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

Tracy Ringolsby

Vet, rookie shore up Giants' rotation

Vogelsong, Heston star in filling holes created by injuries to Peavy, Cain

Vet, rookie shore up Giants' rotation

DENVER -- Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum are the headliners in the Giants rotation.

It is the Ryan Vogelsongs and Chris Hestons, however, who are the difference makers.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Umpire exits game after line drive hits hand

Umpire exits game after line drive hits hand

DENVER -- Umpire Paul Nauert left Friday night's Rockies-Giants game after being hit on the right hand by a Brandon Belt seventh-inning line drive.

Nauert was the second-base umpire, positioned to the shortstop side of the infield, when Belt's liner hit him. Belt ended up with a single. The runner at second, Buster Posey, had to stay there by rule because there was no runner at first base at the start of the play.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants relievers don't pine for starting roles

Giants relievers don't pine for starting roles

DENVER -- The Giants' plan to use all relievers in Saturday's second half of their day-night doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies begged a question: Though Yusmeiro Petit will start the game for the Giants, did any of his bullpen mates wish they could get the ball at the game's outset instead?

None of the Giants quizzed sounded especially envious of Petit.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

World Series champ Giants look the part

San Francisco's shutout sweep of Dodgers highlights team's surge

World Series champ Giants look the part

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants are performing as if they were caught in a time warp. Every day seems like October.

Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if so, it's only slight. The club that has won three of the past five World Series, including last year's, owns a 19-8 record since April 21 -- the best in the Major Leagues during that span.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Double-threat MadBum, Giants get sweep

Double-threat MadBum, Giants get sweep

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner supported himself with a home run and distinguished himself with a 6 1/3-innings effort Thursday as the San Francisco Giants completed their three-game shutout sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 4-0 victory.

The defending World Series champions lengthened their winning streak to six games while improving to 7-2 this season against the Dodgers. The Giants last blanked Los Angeles in a three-game series June 25-27, 2012.

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Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

MadBum HRs off Kershaw; Statcast tells you why

3 reasons why fastball from LA lefty landed in the seats

MadBum HRs off Kershaw; Statcast tells you why

Clayton Kershaw has faced more than 5,700 hitters over his eight-year career, but never once had he allowed an opposing pitcher to hit a home run -- never, that is, until Thursday, when Madison Bumgarner crushed a first-pitch third inning fastball into the AT&T Park seats for the first run in what would be a 4-0 Giants win. Let's start by giving fair credit to Bumgarner, who now has seven homers to his name, third among active pitchers behind Yovani Gallardo (12) and Travis Wood (9).

But all due respect to the outstanding Bumgarner, this is the defending NL MVP and three-time Cy Young winner we're talking about in Kershaw. How in the world does the best pitcher in baseball give up a homer to his opposite number, even one who can swing the bat like Bumgarner? Let's dig into Statcast™, which calculated the distance of the homer at 415 feet with an exit velocity of 105 mph, and the other tools at our disposal to point out three reasons how that ball ended up in the stands.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MadBum hits 415-foot HR off Kershaw

Giants' ace is first pitcher to homer off Dodgers' lefty

MadBum hits 415-foot HR off Kershaw

SAN FRANCISCO -- After the Giants' 4-0 victory Thursday over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Madison Bumgarner restrained himself. That contrasted with a very significant third-inning moment, when he simply let it rip.

His swing, that is.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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

Lyle Spencer

MadBum, Kershaw a compelling rivalry

MadBum, Kershaw a compelling rivalry

SAN FRANCISCO -- Clayton Kershaw didn't call the shot, but he might have unwittingly hinted at it four weeks ago. Before they hooked up the first of three times this season, on April 22 at AT&T Park, Kershaw acknowledged that Madison Bumgarner had one advantage in their classic confrontations: his dangerous right-handed bat.

Bumgarner, the Giants' ace, brought that edge to living color with one swing in Thursday's matinee at AT&T Park. His mammoth, 415-foot homer launched a 4-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep and brought San Francisco to within 1 1/2 games of Los Angeles in the National League West.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy not rushing back to Majors

Right-hander happy to begin rehab stint with Class A Advanced San Jose on Friday

Peavy not rushing back to Majors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jake Peavy wants to go back to work. But the Giants' right-hander knows that there's no hurry.

Sidelined since April 17 with back pain, Peavy's thrilled to begin his Minor League injury rehabilitation stint with Class A Advanced San Jose on Friday.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Lincecum in vintage form against Dodgers

Lincecum in vintage form against Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Bruce Bochy said that Tim Lincecum had "a lot of confidence and swagger right now," that wasn't a clip from the archives. The Giants' manager made that remark Wednesday, on a glorious night for the Giants.

They watched Lincecum awaken echoes of the past, albeit without his once-dazzling fastball, as he allowed three hits in seven innings to hasten the Giants' second straight shutout of the Dodgers, this time by a 4-0 score.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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, Freak push Giants' win streak to 5

Posey, Freak push Giants' win streak to 5

SAN FRANCISCO -- Conjuring the magic he displayed during his Cy Young Award-winning years, Tim Lincecum allowed three hits in seven innings to lead the Giants to their second straight shutout victory over the Dodgers, a 4-0 verdict on Wednesday night. San Francisco lengthened its winning streak to five games while improving to 6-2 this season against its archrival.

Buster Posey went 3-for-4 with a homer and scored twice to back Lincecum (4-2), who won his fourth consecutive start at AT&T Park, a streak he last built from July 4-Aug. 1, 2009. Lincecum has allowed one run in his last 27 innings at home, including a current stretch of 22 shutout innings in a row.

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Ken Gurnick and Chris Haft are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy relishes Giants-Dodgers rivalry

Duffy relishes Giants-Dodgers rivalry

SAN FRANCISCO -- Some players dismiss the Giants-Dodgers rivalry as a diversion meant largely for fans. Don't tell that to Matt Duffy.

The Giants' rookie infielder, who received a start Wednesday night at third base in the second game of a three-game set between the National League West foes, relishes the rivalry as much as any orange- or blue-clad zealot in the stands.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Hudson leads combined shutout vs. Dodgers

Hudson leads combined shutout vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson ended a mini-slump with an effectively stubborn 6 1/3-inning performance, and Buster Posey delivered a key run with a third-inning single Tuesday night as the San Francisco Giants outdueled the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-0.

Hudson (2-3) allowed nine runs and 21 hits in 12 innings spanning his previous two outings. But the 39-year-old stopped trouble before it started by permitting just one leadoff hitter to reach base as the Giants trimmed the Dodgers' National League West lead to 3 1/2 games.

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Ken Gurnick and Chris Haft are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pence makes a signature catch in home debut

Pence makes a signature catch in home debut

SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Pence's catch of Adrian Gonzalez's sixth-inning drive to right-center field on Tuesday night might not have been the stuff of legend and bobbleheads, as his grab against Washington in last October's National League Division Series became.

But it probably was one of the most discussed events among those who witnessed the Giants' fifth victory in seven games this season over the Los Angeles Dodgers, a 2-0 verdict.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.

Humble Hudson gets untracked

Humble Hudson gets untracked

SAN FRANCISCO -- Perhaps the individual least impressed with Tim Hudson's performance Tuesday night was Hudson himself.

Hudson rebounded from a couple of subpar games to pace the Giants to their Major League-high sixth shutout of the season, a 2-0 decision over the Dodgers. He surrendered five hits in 6 1/3 innings, a welcome contrast from the nine runs and 21 hits he yielded in 12 innings during his previous two starts.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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

Lyle Spencer

Giants showcasing adaptability

Pitching, defense continue to thrive for San Francisco at AT&T Park

Giants showcasing adaptability

SAN FRANCISCO -- Judging by their home/road splits, you might conclude that the Giants have developed a split personality. It's actually more a case of this being a highly adaptable troupe of athletes capable of adjusting virtually overnight from one style to another without missing a beat.

Returning home after clobbering the Reds with 30 runs in the last three games of a four-game series in Ohio, the reigning World Series champions were back in customary AT&T Park form on Tuesday night: airtight and outta sight.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ishikawa's return will require a difficult decision

Ishikawa's return will require a difficult decision

SAN FRANCISCO -- Travis Ishikawa's impending eligibility for activation from the disabled list will force the Giants to confront what likely will be a difficult decision.

Ishikawa is on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento that ends Saturday. He said he has recovered from the strained back that has sidelined him all season. The Giants could find a way to delay making a roster move involving the first baseman/left fielder, but they'll eventually have to trim a member of the seven-man bullpen or shed a backup position player to make room for him. Neither move would be a comfortable one.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, 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.