Kemp's homer drops Giants two games back

Kemp's homer drops Giants two games back

SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Kemp launched a three-run home run deep over the center-field fence and Mike Foltynewicz continued his mastery of the Giants this year as the Braves halted San Francisco's brief winning streak with a 3-1 victory Saturday.

"It always feels good to put your team up, especially coming in here," Kemp said. "It's good to quiet the crowd a little bit. They get riled up when they're up. But if you can get on the board and get them down, they'll back off you a little bit. Folty pitched an excellent game. We gave as many runs as he needed and he did his thing."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Belt hopes to return quickly from neck stiffness

Belt hopes to return quickly from neck stiffness

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt was scratched from the Giants' starting lineup Saturday because of neck stiffness. The first baseman pinch-hit during the club's 3-1 loss to the Braves, but said he isn't sure what his status is moving forward.

Belt said his neck "locked up" on him Thursday night when he turned over in his sleep. He felt good enough to play through the pain Friday and went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. But Belt said he couldn't even take a full swing while warming up Saturday.

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Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy placed on 15-day disabled list

Suarez recalled from Triple-A Sacramento, gets start vs. Braves

Peavy placed on 15-day disabled list

SAN FRANCISCO -- Expected to start in place of Matt Cain, Jake Peavy was put on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a lower back strain. Albert Suarez was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento and started in the Giants' 3-1 loss to the Braves.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy did not know the cause of Peavy's injury, but said before Saturday's game that the right-hander's back "flared up" on him while the team was in Los Angeles.

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Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner brings strong history vs. Braves to finale

Bumgarner brings strong history vs. Braves to finale

Given what has transpired over the six years that have followed, it's funny to remember the Braves entered Game 4 of the 2010 National League Division Series hopeful to take advantage of a young pitcher making his first postseason start. That was the night the Legend of MadBum began to unfold as Madison Bumgarner completed six strong innings and helped push the Giants another step closer to a World Series title.

Bumgarner will attempt to improve the Giants' postseason hopes and extend his success against the Braves as he opposes Aaron Blair on Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. San Francisco's ace has posted a 4.20 ERA in five August starts, but he has allowed one run or fewer in five of his past seven starts against Atlanta.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants strike early, cruise to win over Braves

Giants strike early, cruise to win over Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- Creating offense in the first inning has been a particularly difficult task for the Giants this year. That changed Friday, as Brandon Belt and Joe Panik tallied a pair of run-scoring base hits in the bottom of the first that set the stage for a 7-0 win over the Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.

San Francisco entered the series opener with the fewest runs (44) in the first inning in the Majors this season. But after Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford hit consecutive infield singles with two outs, the Giants finally came through. Belt launched a base hit to center field to score Posey, and Panik lined a ball down the left-field line to score two more. Angel Pagan then added a two-run home run in the second, and thanks to seven scoreless frames from Jeff Samardzija, the Giants cruised to just their third series-opening victory since the All-Star break.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Crawford's glove shines in victory over Braves

Crawford's glove shines in victory over Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija said he just played according to the game plan Friday night, allowing myriad Atlanta Braves batters to hit the ball to Brandon Crawford's area of the field.

That plan continues to work for the Giants, as the shortstop seamlessly made a defensive stop on every ball that came his way in San Francisco's 7-0 win at AT&T Park.

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Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pipeline preview: Reynolds is hitter to watch

Pipeline preview: Reynolds is hitter to watch

Here's a look at top prospects to watch in Sunday's Minor League action:

Hitter to watch: Bryan Reynolds (Giants' No. 4), Augusta at Rome (2 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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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 fan gives dad a big hug after foul ball mishap

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Giants fan gives dad a big hug after foul ball mishap

It's every dad's dream: taking your kid to the ballpark, letting him see his favorite team up close, then putting the cherry on top by snagging a souvenir to bring home. And during the Giants' 7-0 win over the Braves on Friday, one dad was so close to pulling it off. Conor Gillaspie fouled one off over the third-base dugout, and the ball bounced right toward our hero -- but alas, he couldn't handle the hop, and the ball bounced away.

His son, however, didn't care about any of that. He just wanted to make sure dad was OK.

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Giants hope energy from Moore's gem carries over

Giants hope energy from Moore's gem carries over

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy innocently smirks now when asked how important each upcoming series is. He echoed what he's continued to say throughout August when questioned last Sunday about his club's then-upcoming three-game set with the National League West-leading Dodgers.

"I say this so many times, and we'll say this every series from this point on," Bochy said after the Giants' 2-0 loss to the Mets. "You're getting down toward to the end, to the stretch run; that's the way you got to look at it. It's an important series; the one after that is going to be important, too."

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Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore's near no-no leads Giants over Dodgers

Moore's near no-no leads Giants over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- In the biggest game of the year for the Giants, Matt Moore delivered the best game of his life. He fell one out shy of a no-hitter Thursday, broken up by Corey Seager's soft single to right with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but beat the Dodgers, 4-0, to snap his club's four-game losing streak. The decision prevented the Giants from being swept in this showdown series and trimmed their deficit behind the first-place Dodgers to two games in the National League West.

Nearly pitching the Giants' first no-hitter over the Dodgers in 101 years (by Rube Marquard), Moore (8-10) walked three and struck out seven in 8 2/3 innings. He was removed immediately after Seager's hit, having thrown a career-high 133 pitches. Right-hander Santiago Casilla threw just one pitch to retire Justin Turner on a foul popup.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

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.

Nearly throwing no-hitter 'just fun' for Moore

Nearly throwing no-hitter 'just fun' for Moore

LOS ANGELES -- Giants left-hander Matt Moore was denied baseball immortality Thursday, but not satisfaction.

One out away from recording the 18th no-hitter in the franchise's illustrious pitching history, Moore lost his place in the pantheon of Mathewson, Marichal, Cain and Lincecum when Los Angeles rookie Corey Seager blooped a single to right field. Moore had barely retreated to the dugout when Santiago Casilla retired Justin Turner on one pitch to end the Giants' 4-0 victory. For Moore, however, the joy had just begun to wash over him.

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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 gives his defensive all to preserve no-no

Span gives his defensive all to preserve no-no

LOS ANGELES -- Any no-hitter has that one play, maybe two. The balls that should have been hits. Matt Moore's bid for history stalled on its final obstacle in Corey Seager, but it still had those moments in a pair of catches in left-center from Denard Span.

Span's excellent grabs in the second and ninth innings gave Moore that chance at a no-hitter and played a major part in a 4-0 Giants win.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pence day to day with tight right hamstring

Pence day to day with tight right hamstring

LOS ANGELES -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence left Thursday night's 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers after five innings with a tight right hamstring.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy rated Pence's playing status as day to day.

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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

Tracy Ringolsby

Moore gives SF boost in giant spot

One-hitter snaps skid, helps club gain ground on rival Dodgers

Moore gives SF boost in giant spot

LOS ANGELES -- With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Thursday, Giants manager Bruce Bochy ambled out to the mound at Dodger Stadium, took the ball from left-hander Matt Moore, and knew his club had a keeper with the pitcher it acquired from Tampa Bay to give its roster a boost down the stretch run.

Moore had just lost his bid to become the first Giants pitcher to toss a no-hitter against the Dodgers since Rube Marquard, 101 years ago when both teams called New York home, on Corey Seager's bloop single to right field.

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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.

Slater among top prospect performers Thursday

Brewers' No. 2 prospect notches first multi-homer game for Sky Sox

Slater among top prospect performers Thursday

Lewis Brinson seems to be enjoying life in the Brewers' organization.

The No. 18 overall prospect (Brewers' No. 2) has done nothing but rake since he was acquired from Texas before the non-waiver Trade Deadline and that theme continued Thursday night with a pair of homers in Triple-A Colorado Springs' 5-0 win over Oklahoma City.

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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.

Bochy: Back not a factor in Posey's slugging

Bochy: Back not a factor in Posey's slugging

LOS ANGELES -- Buster Posey remains virtually as good a hitter as ever. Just not for power.

The Giants' four-time All-Star catcher entered Thursday's series finale against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a .293 batting average, which would be the lowest figure among any of his six full seasons (excluding the injury-shortened 2011 campaign). Posey has been more consistent in recent weeks, recording a .329 average (24-for-73) with 13 RBIs in his previous 20 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.

Giants still showing fight despite rough stretch

Giants still showing fight despite rough stretch

LOS ANGELES -- When a hitter crushes a pitch on a two-strike count, that doesn't necessarily mean he employed a two-strike approach.

Brandon Crawford proved this in the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 victory Wednesday night over the San Francisco Giants. Lining reliever Joe Blanton's 0-2 delivery toward the right-field wall, Crawford briefly appeared destined to buoy the reeling Giants with a three-run homer. However, Dodgers right fielder Josh Reddick caught up with the drive and snared it a step in front of the barrier.

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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 drops duel as Giants' slide continues

Cueto drops duel as Giants' slide continues

LOS ANGELES -- Rich Hill proved to be worth the wait, beating out Johnny Cueto in a pitchers' duel and handing the Dodgers a 1-0 win over the Giants on Wednesday night. Los Angeles now holds a season-high three-game lead in the National League West.

Sidelined with a blister since his acquisition from Oakland at the Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, Hill threw 81 pitches before getting pulled following the sixth inning. The veteran lefty struck out three and allowed five baserunners, all reaching on singles. Justin Turner's fourth-inning home run and three scoreless innings from the L.A. bullpen, culminating with Kenley Jansen's perfect ninth for save No. 37, assured that Hill would walk away with a win.

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Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Dodgers on Wednesday.

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 goes full 'Happy Gilmore' with running swing

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Cueto goes full 'Happy Gilmore' with running swing

Johnny Cueto is a man of many talents: pitcher, lover, friend, equestrian, wearer of various hats, shaker of various groove things. He is not, alas, a hitter -- in nine-plus seasons spent almost entirely in the National League, Cueto's put up a .108/.135/.110 slash line, with just one extra-base hit.

But not even nearly a decade of futility could stop Johnny Cueto from trying. Facing Rich Hill during Wednesday's Giants-Dodgers game, Cueto didn't back away from a challenge. He stepped in, prepared himself, and then gave us a glimpse into what we can only assume is the future of batting.

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Belt's struggles coincide with Giants' slide

Belt's struggles coincide with Giants' slide

LOS ANGELES -- Brandon Belt's individual struggles reflect the Giants' collective woes.

This isn't to say that Belt's solely at fault for San Francisco's second-half record, which was a Major League-worst 11-24 entering Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. But just as Belt's ascent to All-Star status highlighted the season's first half, his ongoing slump is entwined with the club's woes.

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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's 200th K overshadowed by rough night

Bumgarner's 200th K overshadowed by rough night

LOS ANGELES -- Tuesday had the makings of a successful night for Madison Bumgarner. He fulfilled the primary goal of every starting pitcher by keeping the score close, and he reached a franchise standard for strikeouts that has been scaled by a select few.

But that told only part of the tale that Bumgarner spun against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, the Giants remained competitive under his watch, but he also was scored upon in four of the five innings he worked. Speaking of those five innings, the Giants surely hoped that the man they consider their ace would have lasted longer in their 9-5 loss in the opener of a three-game showdown.

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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 stumble out of gate in Los Angeles

Giants stumble out of gate in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES -- Recent trends in the National League West continued Tuesday night, as the streaking Dodgers beat the slumping Giants in the opener of their showdown three-game series at Dodger Stadium, 9-5, extending L.A.'s division lead to two games.

Rookies Andrew Toles (three RBIs) and Rob Segedin homered for the second consecutive game, while Adrian Gonzalez also drove in three runs -- two on a tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the fifth inning off losing pitcher Madison Bumgarner (12-8), who allowed a season-high five earned runs in five innings.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

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.

Blanco lands on DL with right shoulder injury

Blanco lands on DL with right shoulder injury

LOS ANGELES -- Ailing virtually all season, Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco finally yielded to the pain Tuesday and went on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury.

The Giants purchased the contract of outfielder Gorkys Hernandez to fill Blanco's roster spot. Blanco's DL assignment is retroactive to 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.

Slater among top prospect performers Monday

Dodgers No. 2 prospect flirts with no-hitter; Giants' No. 22 stays hot with multi-homer game

Slater among top prospect performers Monday

Since beginning his season in early May, Jose De Leon has been making a strong case for a late-season promotion to the Major Leagues.

The Dodgers' No. 2 prospect took another step towards achieving that goal on Monday, when he struck out 10 hitters over seven scoreless innings to pace Triple-A Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of New Orleans. He carried a no-hit bid into the seventh inning before surrendering a leadoff single to Marlins No. 11 prospect J.T. Riddle. It was the only hit the right-hander allowed in the contest. De Leon also induced eight ground-ball outs while throwing 66 of his 88 pitches for strikes.

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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.

Sharp Shark pays for lone mistake as Giants blanked

Sharp Shark pays for lone mistake as Giants blanked

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yoenis Cespedes smashed a two-run home run to left field in the seventh and Noah Syndergaard pitched eight shutdown innings as the Mets earned a series split and beat the Giants, 2-0, at AT&T Park.

Cespedes's blast to left field was just the second hit Giants right-hander Jeff Samardzija allowed Sunday night, but it proved to be the difference. The hit came after Curtis Granderson ended Samardzija's no-hit bid with a double to left field and punctuated the six-year veteran's return to the Mets lineup. Cespedes has hit three home runs in his first three games since returning from the disabled list.

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Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Mets on Sunday.

Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

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

Samardzija flashes no-hit stuff in hard-luck loss

Samardzija flashes no-hit stuff in hard-luck loss

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Jeff Samardzija simply put it, if he can "keep throwing up zeros," the Giants will continue to have a legitimate shot to win each game that he's on the mound.

The AT&T Park scoreboard featured several zeros Sunday, as Samardzija pitched six scoreless innings while toying with a no-hitter. But one pitch got away from him, and Yoenis Cespedes drove a 1-0 splitter 417 feet, according to Statcast™, over the left-field fence to give the Mets a 2-0 win.

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Justin Wise is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Slater on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Slater 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.

The Yankees have gotten both younger and better in the past month. They traded their best hitter (Carlos Beltran) and two best relievers (Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller), then installed three rookies in their lineup and two more in their rotation. After playing .500 ball through July, New York is in the midst of its best month (11-8) of the season and has climbed within four games of a Wild Card berth.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

The winner of the Giants' dog costume contest is ...

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The winner of the Giants' dog costume contest is ...

Throughout baseball history, there have been all manner of great promotions: novelty jerseys, inventive bobbleheads and so, so much food. Occasionally, if we're really lucky, even dogs will get in on the act. We've seen surfing dogs, fedora dogs, even Phanatic dogs. But in San Francisco on Sunday, the Giants created the Platonic ideal of the ballpark promotion -- the promotion to which all others will be measured from now til the heat death of the universe. It had fashion. It had dogs. It was the Dog Days of Summer, and it was everything.

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