Giants fall short after Cain's struggles

Giants fall short after Cain's struggles

NEW YORK -- The Mets' dream April, in which they challenged home run records and pitched their way up the Major League leaderboards despite little from Matt Harvey, is over. They put a fitting cap to it Saturday, rocketing two more homers behind a gutsy Jacob deGrom performance on their way to their eighth straight victory, a 6-5 win over the Giants at Citi Field.

Michael Conforto led the way by doubling, singling, homering and driving in three, in the process completing a torrid two-week stretch that's seen him cement his spot as one of the brightest young hitters in baseball.

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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.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

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

Baseball celebrates life of trailblazer Irvin

Hall of Famer and former Negro League player died in January at 96

Baseball celebrates life of trailblazer Irvin

Though you can't see or touch me, I'll be near,
And if you listen with your heart -- you'll hear,
All of my love around you soft and clear.

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- Monte Irvin was remembered with an inspirational "Celebration of Life" on Saturday morning at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, in the community where the Hall of Famer, Negro Leaguer, war veteran and New York Giants trailblazer grew up. Those apt verses from a poem were on the back of a program given to attendees whose lives he touched before his passing on Jan. 11 at age 96.

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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.

Giants' early slips prove too costly vs. Mets

Cain unable to escape first two innings unscathed; Belt makes baserunning flub

Giants' early slips prove too costly vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- The Giants rallied ferociously in Saturday's final three innings against the New York Mets, who outlasted San Francisco to win, 6-5. Yet Giants manager Bruce Bochy dwelled primarily on the game's first three innings in his postgame analysis.

San Francisco brought the potential tying or winning runs to the plate in each of the last three innings. However, Bochy said, "the first two innings were the difference in the game," referring to the span when New York furnished a 4-0 lead for the formidable Jacob deGrom. Bochy ultimately broadened his summary to include the Giants' half of the third inning, when they scored three runs yet, in his view, squandered a chance for more.

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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 to oppose Thor in New York finale

Bumgarner to oppose Thor in New York finale

San Francisco's Madison Bumgarner is accustomed to facing an opponent's No. 1 pitcher. The New York Mets' starting staff is so talented that any of three hurlers -- Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard -- might fit the description of an ace. As it turns out, Syndergaard will challenge the Giants and Bumgarner in Sunday's series finale at Citi Field.

A caveat must be added in this case: "Weather permitting." Forecasts calling for a 100 percent chance of rain were already being discussed Saturday. If showers indeed wash out this one, postponing the Mets' quest for a ninth straight victory and a series sweep, fans will be denied one of the better pitching matchups of the young season.

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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.

Span reflects on time with Nats, joining Giants

Span reflects on time with Nats, joining Giants

Giants center fielder Denard Span started the 2016 season on time. Some didn't think he would after what he went through with the Nationals last year.

The Nats had to use four people at the leadoff spot because Span missed a lot of time due to back tightness and abdominal and hip problems. Some even wondered if he would get a multi-year deal once he became a free agent this past offseason. It didn't help that he had hip surgery in September. But agent Scott Boras helped Span get a three-year, $31 million deal with San Francisco.

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Bill Ladson has covered the Nationals/Expos for MLB.com since 2002 and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants add Mazzaro, send down Broadway

Tomlinson to get more playing time as Panik recovers from groin injury

Giants add Mazzaro, send down Broadway

NEW YORK -- To ensure they have enough fresh pitchers, the Giants selected the contract of right-hander Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned right-hander Mike Broadway to the same club before Saturday's rematch against the New York Mets.

Broadway yielded the final six runs in the Mets' franchise-record-setting 12-run third inning Friday night. He proceeded to pitch two scoreless innings, sparing Giants manager Bruce Bochy the task of summoning one or maybe two more relievers and thus taxing the bullpen's collective manpower. Unfortunately for Broadway, he spent himself in the process as his ERA climbed to 11.81.

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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 unravel as Mets post 12-run inning

Giants unravel as Mets post 12-run inning

NEW YORK -- There were singles and doubles and even a grand slam. One hit glanced off a fielder's glove. Another cleared the left-field fence. The rest found patches of outfield grass.

The resulting 12-run third inning not only sent the Mets to their seventh straight victory, a 13-1 bludgeoning of the Giants at Citi Field on Friday, but also created a chunk of history in the process. The Mets sent 15 batters to the plate against Giants pitchers Jake Peavy and Mike Broadway, who retired three of them and allowed the other dozen to score. It was the largest single-inning offensive output in Mets franchise history, surpassing an 11-run inning in 2006.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

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.

Walks worsen rough night for Peavy, Giants

Walks worsen rough night for Peavy, Giants

NEW YORK -- The Giants' almost-comical margin of defeat in Friday night's 13-1 loss to the New York Mets indicated that San Francisco never had a chance to win this series opener at Citi Field.

More accurately, the Giants didn't give themselves a chance.

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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.

Bochy expects tight division race all season

Bochy expects tight division race all season

NEW YORK -- The Giants' results during their first time through National League West competition didn't surprise manager Bruce Bochy.

Entering Friday, San Francisco and Los Angeles formed the only two-way tie atop the standings in any of the Major League's six divisions. Only two games separated fourth-place Colorado from the West co-leaders. The Oakland A's were the only fourth-place club saddled with a smaller deficit (1 1/2 games).

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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.

Pagan fighting off age, one workout at a time

Year removed from nagging knee pain, Giants veteran looks strong as ever

Pagan fighting off age, one workout at a time

SAN FRANCISCO -- Angel Pagan plays the equivalent of a doubleheader almost daily. Maybe that's why he has the strength to excel for the Giants in the half of the twin bill he spends on the field.

On Monday, when Pagan contributed a pair of run-scoring hits to San Francisco's 5-4 triumph over San Diego, he asked reporters seeking his postgame reaction to keep their questions to a minimum. He wasn't being rude. Pagan simply had a pressing engagement, which became subject to a scheduling crunch resulting from the game's three-hour, 47-minute duration.

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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.

Suarez among top prospect performers Thursday

Pirates prospect continues to impress while Boston outfielder stays hot at the plate

Suarez among top prospect performers Thursday

With Jameson Taillon's impressive start to the 2016 season, you would never suspect that he hadn't pitched competitively since '13.

The Pirates' No. 4 prospect (No. 51 overall) improved to 2-0 on Thursday, firing seven innings of one-run ball for Triple-A Indianapolis in a win against Norfolk. Taillon scattered five hits and issued two walks in the outing, which was his longest of the season for the Indians.

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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.

Giants outslug Padres en route to sweep

Giants outslug Padres en route to sweep

SAN FRANCISCO -- The entire San Francisco offense got into the fun Wednesday afternoon, as the Giants completed their sweep of the Padres with a 13-9 victory at AT&T Park. All nine starters either scored a run or drove one in, and the Giants set a season high with the 13 runs.

Brandon Belt, Matt Duffy and Hunter Pence led the way with three hits apiece. Belt finished a homer shy of the cycle and recorded five RBIs. The offensive onslaught was enough to make a winner out of right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who allowed five runs on five hits while striking out seven over 5 2/3 innings.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Belt spearheads 'shifty' offense with 5-RBI day

First baseman among handful of Giants who take advantage of Padres' shift

Belt spearheads 'shifty' offense with 5-RBI day

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt said he didn't pay much attention to the shift. Matt Duffy said it was the first time he tried to beat it.

Either way, the approach worked as Belt recorded three hits and drove in five runs and Duffy added three hits, including a triple, in the Giants' 13-9 victory over the Padres on Wednesday at AT&T Park to complete a three-game sweep of their National League West rivals.

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Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bickford among top prospect performers Wednesday

Indians' No. 3 notches three extra-base hits, Rangers' No. 29 prospect strikes out 11 in one-hit shutout

Bickford among top prospect performers Wednesday

Bobby Bradley is on a roll right now, and his hot hitting continued on Wednesday.

Baseball's No. 90 overall prospect (Indians No. 3) helped Class A Advanced Lynchburg to a 12-6 win over Winston-Salem by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Bradley's three-run homer was part of a 10-run fifth inning for the Hillcats, who erased a 4-1 deficit.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Posey given breather in advance of off-day

Posey given breather in advance of off-day

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey has excellent offensive numbers against Andrew Cashner, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy still decided to give his All-Star catcher a breather against the right-hander in Wednesday's finale vs. the Padres.

"I could have pushed him, but I'd like to give him a couple of days off," Bochy said before the Giants' 13-9 win.

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Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cueto dazzles with shutout for 100th victory

Giants right-hander strikes out 11 in reaching milestone

Cueto dazzles with shutout for 100th victory

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto made sure that his 100th career victory was 100 percent his.

Cueto dominated the Giants' 1-0 victory Tuesday over the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park, from striking out the side in the third and seventh innings to pitching out of jams in the first, fourth and fifth.

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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 get just enough to back Cueto's shutout

Giants get just enough to back Cueto's shutout

SAN FRANCISCO -- Denard Span broke an offensive logjam Tuesday night with a fifth-inning RBI double as the San Francisco Giants handed a superb Johnny Cueto his 100th career victory with a 1-0 decision over the San Diego Padres.

Reaching triple digits would have made this a memorable game for Cueto (4-1) under any circumstance. But he put a little something extra in it by striking out 11 in his 13th career complete game and seventh shutout. Cueto yielded seven hits and stranded four runners in scoring position.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. 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.

Bochy wants explanation for replay decision

Giants manager feels Kemp's catch on Duffy was trapped

Bochy wants explanation for replay decision

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy intends to approach baseball officials to question the legitimacy of a replay review Monday night involving third baseman Matt Duffy and a base hit that wasn't.

Bochy remained certain Tuesday that Padres right fielder Matt Kemp trapped Duffy's eighth-inning, two-out line drive. Replays indicated the ball brushed the outfield grass as Kemp tried to keep it in his grasp. He did, which possibly influenced replay officials. Bochy challenged the ruling, which stood as called and denied Duffy a run-scoring hit, since Joe Panik was aboard after tripling. The Giants nevertheless won, 5-4.

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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 showing increased patience at plate

Belt showing increased patience at plate

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants recently signed Brandon Belt to a six-year contract because they were convinced he would continue to develop as an offensive performer.

So far, at least in one respect, they're correct.

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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 hang on to reward Bumgarner

Giants hang on to reward Bumgarner

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner delivered a typical performance to halt an atypical losing streak Monday night as the San Francisco Giants outlasted the San Diego Padres, 5-4.

The Giants had lost the last three games started by Bumgarner, who personally absorbed the decision in two of those defeats. Never had they dropped four consecutive outings of Bumgarner's. It didn't happen this time, either, as the left-hander struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings while allowing two runs and six hits.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. 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.

Casilla puts in extra work for 100th save

Giants closer records four outs for career milestone

Casilla puts in extra work for 100th save

SAN FRANCISCO -- Since any milestone worth having is worth working for, it seemed fitting that Santiago Casilla took a longer path than usual to secure his 100th career save in the Giants' 5-4 decision Monday over the San Diego Padres.

Casilla recorded the final four outs, exceeding the basic one-inning appearance that has been the staple of closers for decades. It was only the sixth career save of four outs or more for Casilla, who last toiled overtime to secure a save on April 13, 2013, at Chicago.

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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.

Tomlinson adjusting to pinch-hitting role

Tomlinson adjusting to pinch-hitting role

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants utility man Kelby Tomlinson has a tough enough time getting at-bats that it almost seems unfair when he's sent to the batter's box in the most challenging situation any player faces: pinch-hitting.

Yet Tomlinson has looked comfortable in his pinch-hit appearances, though the sample size is small. He has collected two hits in three at-bats, including an RBI single Saturday against Miami.

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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.

Hunter Pence gave MadBum a 'Game of Thrones' mask

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Hunter Pence gave MadBum a 'Game of Thrones' mask

"Game of Thrones" began its sixth season this past weekend on HBO -- in case you don't subscribe to HBO or have access to the internet (in which case, how are you reading this?)

Giants outfielder Hunter Pence, just like the Phillies' Cody Asche  , seems to be a GoT fan … and decided to share his interests with Madison Bumgarner in the form of a replica of Sandor "The Hound" Clegane's dog head mask.

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Giants fall in back-and-forth battle with Marlins

Giants fall in back-and-forth battle with Marlins

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sunday's eighth inning was a study in contrasts as Miami's J.T. Realmuto punctuated a 4-for-4 afternoon with a tiebreaking home run and San Francisco loaded the bases with nobody out yet did not score. The Marlins held on for a 5-4 triumph that denied the Giants a sweep of the three-game series.

Realmuto, who began the game batting .188 (9-for-48), victimized Giants reliever Josh Osich by delivering his first homer of the season to shatter a 4-4 deadlock.

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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

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

Jonathan Mayo

Davis on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Davis on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

A player's first full season in pro ball after being drafted can often be a trying one, as the transition to playing every day at a much higher level can be tough. For two members of this edition of Prospect Team of the Week (April 18-24), it has proven to not be so difficult.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants putting faith in young relief corps

Giants putting faith in young relief corps

SAN FRANCISCO -- Short-term, the Giants' 5-4 loss Sunday to Miami was nothing short of exasperating for them. Long-term, they could derive encouragement from the afternoon's events. A glance at the box score revealed the sources of hope: their youthful relief pitchers.

The first three relievers manager Bruce Bochy summoned were rookies -- left-handers Steven Okert and Josh Osich, with right-hander Derek Law appearing between them. Obviously, the Giants don't believe in nursing their younger players toward maturity. Bochy has reasoned that if they're in the Major Leagues, they're ready to perform, though injuries to right-handers Sergio Romo and George Kontos hastened the recalls of Law and Okert.

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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.

Past Giants All-Stars look to return to Classic

Past Giants All-Stars look to return to Classic

SAN FRANCISCO -- Consider this an expansion era regarding the Giants' annual All-Star Game contingent. That is, their sustained success has resulted in expanded representations of players being selected to the Midsummer Classic.

At least three Giants have been chosen for the National League All-Star squad every year since 2011. Before that, two or fewer Giants made the All-Star team for eight years in a row.

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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.