Giants' surge maintains Wild Card standing

Giants' surge maintains Wild Card standing

SAN FRANCISCO -- The emotionally charged atmosphere at AT&T Park on Friday night resembled that of a postseason game, which it essentially was for the San Francisco Giants.

Forced into must-win mode by victories for the Mets and Cardinals, the teams surrounding San Francisco in the National League Wild Card race, the Giants stunned the Los Angeles Dodgers with seven runs in the sixth inning, including three on Brandon Belt's home run, and proceeded to a 9-3 triumph.

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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.

Crawford, Lopez share Giants' Willie Mac Award

Crawford, Lopez share Giants' Willie Mac Award

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Crawford, who seemed born to be a Giant, and Javier Lopez, considered part of the club's heart by nickname and through his performance, were named co-winners of the Willie Mac Award on Friday during a pregame ceremony.

This marked the third time since the award's inception in 1980 that voting among teammates, manager Bruce Bochy and his coaching staff, the athletic training staff, fans and McCovey himself resulted in a tie. Right-hander Mark Leiter and outfielder Mark Carreon split the award in 1995, six years before right-hander Mark Gardner and catcher Benito Santiago shared the distinction in 2001.

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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 send rookie Blach to oppose Kershaw

Giants send rookie Blach to oppose Kershaw

In his final tuneup before the 2016 postseason, Clayton Kershaw returns to AT&T Park on Saturday -- a place where he's enjoyed a considerable amount of success throughout his nine-year career.

The left-hander is 10-3 with a 1.30 ERA while pitching in San Francisco. And he'll look for similar results as the Dodgers aim to obstruct the Giants' postseason pursuit. The Giants enter the day a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot.

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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

Anthony Castrovince

Tiebreaker scenarios for Wild Card berths

As the 2016 season winds down, the six division winners have been decided. However, the two Wild Card races are completely up in the air, and there is a good chance we end up seeing at least one tiebreaker game played on Monday, Oct. 3.

Here is a breakdown of the likeliest tiebreaker scenarios for the American and National League Wild Cards. Keep in mind that any regular-season games previously canceled by weather will be played if the outcome will determine postseason berths, seeding or home-field advantage.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants show emotion in 7-run inning vs. Dodgers

Giants show emotion in 7-run inning vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Conor Gillaspie leaped with his hands raised in the air and screamed. Moments later, Madison Bumgarner was doing the same thing, clenching his fists and shouting as the noise inside AT&T Park amplified.

A couple of at-bats later, Brandon Belt was trotting around the bases after hitting a three-run homer as part of a breakout seven-run sixth inning. Manager Bruce Bochy said before the Giants opened their final series of the season Friday that these games felt like the playoffs. And that was evident while San Francisco's crowd reached a deafening volume during the Giants' 9-3 win over the Dodgers -- a victory that kept the club one game ahead of the Cardinals for the second National League Wild Card spot with two games remaining.

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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.

Nunez unlikely to play before postseason

Nunez unlikely to play before postseason

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy stated the obvious after Eduardo Nunez injured his right hamstring at San Diego on Sunday: "That's something we don't need now."

In two months since being acquired before the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Nunez had become an increasingly important piece to San Francisco's success, batting .338 with 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored in 19 games before sustaining the injury. But it is now uncertain if the club's third baseman will play another game this year.

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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.

Giants capitalize on errors, tighten Wild Card race

Giants capitalize on errors, tighten Wild Card race

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants got everything they needed Thursday night. They reclaimed some of their lost offense, received a strong performance from starter Johnny Cueto and recorded a much-needed victory with a 7-2 decision over the Colorado Rockies.

Cueto's deft bunt single and an accompanying throwing error by Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado accounted for two runs in San Francisco's three-run, sixth-inning outburst that broke a 2-2 tie.

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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.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

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

Cueto hustles to support strong mound work

Cueto hustles to support strong mound work

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Cueto's deceptively fast afterburners may have been the key to the Giants' 7-2 win over the Rockies on Thursday night.

Coming to the plate with a one-run lead and two runners on base in the sixth inning, Cueto laid down a picture-perfect sacrifice bunt and sprinted feverishly down the first-base line, forcing an off-balance Nolan Arenado to heave an errant throw to the Rockies' bullpen. Two runs scored thanks to the blunder, and Cueto, who was making his first start since straining his left groin Sept. 20, was standing on second base with a comfortable advantage.

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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.

Helpful friends point out fan's foul ball miss

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Helpful friends point out fan's foul ball miss

The Giants topped the Rockies on Thursday night, 7-2, keeping their one game lead for the NL's second Wild Card spot. It was a good win -- and one that may have short-circuited Hunter Pence. But if we're talking personal battles, one Giants fan was not quite as lucky as his favorite team.

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Giants shrug off Cardinals' disputed victory

Giants shrug off Cardinals' disputed victory

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants didn't seem to dwell over the St. Louis Cardinals' controversial 4-3 victory over Cincinnati on Thursday that kept them a game behind San Francisco in the National League Wild Card race.

Television replays showed that Yadier Molina's game-winning hit should have been ruled a ground-rule double that would have kept Matt Carpenter on third base. Instead, Carpenter scored the winning run, which stuck when the Reds did not request a review. The Giants therefore had to win to stay ahead of St. Louis, and did so with a 7-2 decision over Colorado.

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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 goes absolutely bonkers in dugout

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Hunter Pence goes absolutely bonkers in dugout

Up, 3-2, in the sixth inning against the Rockies on Thursday night, the Giants were looking for some insurance runs. Johnny Cueto, a man who is a joy to watch every time he steps up to home plate, laid down a bunt that ended up scoring two runs on an errant throw by Nolan Arenado. We're not sure if it was the two-run bunt, Cueto or just Hunter Pence being Hunter Pence ... but Hunter Pence lost it.

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Giants' skateboard dog reappears to help team rally

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Giants' skateboard dog reappears to help team rally

With the Giants battling both the Mets and Cardinals for a Wild Card spot and time running out, every game is critical. But as San Francisco fell behind early against the Rockies on Thursday, things looked grim. The team needed a spark. They needed a hero. And then, like the answer to a prayer, he emerged.

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Giants will have Shark in bullpen vs. Dodgers

Giants will have Shark in bullpen vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy seized upon Jeff Samardzija's suggestion that he could perform in relief during this weekend's series against the Dodgers, declaring Thursday that the right-hander will indeed be available out of the bullpen.

Bochy indicated Saturday would be the most sensible day to use Samardzija, since that's the day he would throw his between-starts bullpen session. Samardzija (12-11) struck out a career-high 11 while working two batters into the seventh inning in San Francisco's 2-0 loss Wednesday to Colorado.

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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 silenced by Rockies but hold Wild Card ground

Giants silenced by Rockies but hold Wild Card ground

SAN FRANCISCO -- After the Reds held off a late Cardinals rally Wednesday night, the Giants were in prime position to extend their lead on St. Louis in the National League Wild Card standings. But Tyler Chatwood had other plans.

The Rockies' right-hander threw eight scoreless innings and Nolan Arenado knocked in the go-ahead run in the fourth as Colorado outlasted San Francisco, 2-0, at AT&T Park. The Giants' loss coupled with a Mets win moved the club 1 1/ 2 games behind New York for first place in the NL Wild Card race. San Francisco remained a full game in front of St. Louis, in the lead for the second spot.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

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.

Shark hopes to patrol the postseason waters

Shark hopes to patrol the postseason waters

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeff Samardzija is eager to make at least one more start. However, he has no idea whether his next outing will occur in a languid Cactus League exhibition next March or an intense postseason showdown next week.

Such is the uncertainty regarding the Giants' season, which returned to the doldrums with Wednesday night's 2-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Samardzija struck out a season-high 11, but San Francisco's offense returned to somnolence for the right-hander, who has been backed by two runs or fewer in 10 of his 14 starts since the 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.

Let's watch Willie Mays pull off 'The Catch' again

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Let's watch Willie Mays pull off 'The Catch' again

It's always nice to do a great thing and be compared to someone who did a similarly great thing in the past. Although, it's probably even better to be that person who produced that original great thing in the first place.

Willie Mays produced his original, tremendous moment 62 years ago today -- simply known as, "The Catch." There have been many imitators over the years -- in both the Majors and the Minors -- but none have topped this iconic moment:

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

62 years ago, Mays made catch that still dazzles

Teammate with best seat in house still marvels at skill he showed that day

62 years ago, Mays made catch that still dazzles

Joey Amalfitano was a bonus baby with the New York Giants in 1954, which meant he had to spend the entire regular season in the big leagues even if he appeared in only nine games. Even if he had only five at-bats, all five coming in the final week of the regular season.

No, Amalfitano didn't play a very big role in the Giants' march to the National League pennant. 

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

Can Cueto dominate the Rockies again?

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Can Cueto dominate the Rockies again?

In his last outing on Sept. 20, Johnny Cueto was dealing against the Dodgers until leaving in the sixth inning with a groin issue. Thankfully for the Giants, his setback wasn't long term and he'll toe the rubber at AT&T Park on Thursday night for a huge game against the Rockies. After losing Wednesday night, 2-0, San Francisco enters Thursday a game up on the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot (and 1 1/2 games behind the Mets for the No. 1 designation).

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Giants back Moore to maintain Wild Card position

Giants back Moore to maintain Wild Card position

SAN FRANCISCO -- Buster Posey and Hunter Pence hit solo homers as part of an offensive onslaught and Matt Moore was almost untouchable on the mound, as the Giants kept pace in the National League Wild Card race with a 12-3 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night.

After allowing six runs in one-plus inning in his previous outing against the Dodgers, Moore showcased why the Giants acquired him before the non-waiver Trade Deadline. Taking the ball to open San Francisco's final homestand of the season, the left-hander surrendered one run in 7 2/3 innings while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

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.

Offense comes up big in Giants' win vs. Rockies

Offense comes up big in Giants' win vs. Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO -- Take one glance at the box score from the Giants' 12-3 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night and it's easy to identify how a breakout performance like that occurs.

The heart of the club's batting order was productive. The two-through-five hitters combined for 11 hits and seven RBIs, setting the stage for the club's best offensive performance of September.

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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.

Giants get infielder Beckham from Braves

Minor League SS Rodriguez goes to Atlanta; Williamson put on 60-day DL

Giants get infielder Beckham from Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- With third baseman Eduardo Nunez hobbled by a strained right hamstring, the Giants acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.

The Braves received Minor League shortstop Rich Rodriguez in return. The Giants also promoted catcher Tony Sanchez to the Major League roster. They designated Matt Reynolds for assignment and placed Mac Williamson on the 60-day disabled list (strained left quad) in corresponding roster moves.

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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.

Padres' comeback hurts Giants' playoff standing

Padres' comeback hurts Giants' playoff standing

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants still can qualify for the postseason, though their 4-3 loss Sunday to the San Diego Padres captured many of their second-half woes.

San Francisco generated a fraction of the offense it produced Saturday, when the club amassed nine runs and 12 hits. This time, the Giants mustered seven hits and scored only in the third inning.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

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 saddened by Fernandez's passing

Giants saddened by Fernandez's passing

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants' reaction to Sunday's death of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez reflected how people within organized baseball empathize and identify with one another, though they might not know each other well.

None of the three Giants approached about Fernandez -- manager Bruce Bochy, catcher Buster Posey and left-hander Madison Bumgarner -- had much contact with Fernandez except for crossing paths in the 2013 or 2016 All-Star Games. Bochy selected Fernandez for the 2013 game. Posey caught him in both Midsummer Classics. Bumgarner joined Fernandez on this year's NL All-Star pitching staff.

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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 rebound in 10th to gain Wild Card tie

Giants rebound in 10th to gain Wild Card tie

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants won a game in which Madison Bumgarner allowed three home runs and the bullpen blew a save.

However, San Francisco did enough things right to claim a 9-6 victory and a share of the lead in the National League's crowded Wild Card race Saturday, as Denard Span's two-run homer punctuated a three-run, tiebreaking outburst in the 10th inning.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

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.

Nunez picks up Posey with hustle, great grab

Nunez picks up Posey with hustle, great grab

SAN DIEGO -- Eduardo Nunez proved that his speed can help the Giants defensively, too, as he made a startling and spectacular play Saturday to record an out that briefly appeared elusive.

Leading off San Diego's half of the third inning in San Francisco's 9-6, 10-inning victory, Carlos Asuaje lifted a foul popup behind home plate. Giants catcher Buster Posey couldn't locate the ball, which all but disappeared against the gray early-evening sky.

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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 fall behind Mets in Wild Card with loss to Padres

Giants fall behind Mets in Wild Card with loss to Padres

SAN DIEGO -- While interested observers were dwelling on the San Francisco Giants' faulty relief pitching, their offense was starting to go bad. Now it's downright sour, as Friday night's 7-2 loss to the San Diego Padres demonstrated.

Facing erratic right-hander Edwin Jackson, who at times possesses superlative stuff yet entered the game with a 6.00 ERA in 19 appearances, the Giants mustered four hits and both of their runs off him in six innings. San Francisco has scored 12 runs in its past seven games and ranks last in the National League with 23 runs in September.

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Carlos Collazo is a reporter for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @CarlosACollazo.

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.

Fifth inning goes awry for Reynolds, Giants

Fifth inning goes awry for Reynolds, Giants

SAN DIEGO -- To say that Friday night's fifth inning didn't proceed as planned for the Giants was an understatement.

They scored twice in the top of the inning to shave the difference to one run. Then came the Padres' half of the fifth, which didn't end until they scored four runs to seal their 7-2 triumph over San Francisco.

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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 top Padres, maintain hold on WC spot

Giants top Padres, maintain hold on WC spot

SAN DIEGO -- The Giants finally benefited from those lucky breaks they've claimed to be missing in recent weeks, as Angel Pagan's eighth-inning bloop single broke a scoreless tie Thursday and propelled San Francisco to a 2-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park.

The win moved the Giants one-half game ahead of the idle Cardinals and kept them tied with the Mets in the National League Wild Card spots. San Francisco and New York -- which beat Philadelphia in 11 innings Thursday -- are both 81-72 with nine regular-season games left to play.

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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.

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