Giants squeeze by Rockies for 11-inning victory

Giants squeeze by Rockies for 11-inning victory

DENVER -- On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Coors Field did not disappoint. The ballpark's first game, played on April 26, 1995, was a 14-inning affair resulting in a Rockies win. Saturday night, the Giants and Rockies went to 11, with the Giants stealing the win on a run-scoring safety-squeeze bunt by Joe Panik.

Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau fielded the bunt and threw home, but the throw was too late to catch Nori Aoki, who slid home with the deciding run. The 5-4 Giants victory evened the series and set up Sunday's rubber match.

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Jack Etkin and Owen Perkins are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bochy has faith in McGehee's track record

Bochy has faith in McGehee's track record

DENVER -- The Giants were up against double trouble in the series opener in Colorado on Friday night. The Rockies had a relentless doubles attack, knocking seven two-baggers among their 15 hits for the night. And the Colorado defense turned three double plays against San Francisco -- a season high for the Giants.

The double play has been something of a nemesis for the Giants this season, and they entered play Saturday tied with the Padres for the lead in the National League with 18 GIDPs. It has not gone without notice that Casey McGehee had hit into a most-in-the-Majors seven himself, in just 46 at-bats.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants to lean on Lincecum in series finale in Denver

Giants to lean on Lincecum in series finale in Denver

Rockies left-hander Tyler Matzek and Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum will face each other for the second time this season wen the two clubs wrap up their weekend series on Sunday. Both pitchers were involved in the decision April 15 at San Francisco, when the Rockies won, 4-2.

Matzek needs to be more efficient if he is to pitch deeper into games. Nonetheless, he has avoided big innings. In his last start, Tuesday against the Padres, Matzek threw just 44 of 85 pitches for strikes in five innings. He also pitched into the fifth on 84 pitches, 40 strikes, on April 10 against the Cubs.

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Jack Etkin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants impressed with Heston's composure after outing

Giants impressed with Heston's composure after outing

DENVER -- The Giants learned a lot about rookie Chris Heston when he was called up to fill Matt Cain's spot in the rotation and he responded with three starts of six innings or more while allowing one earned run or less.

They may have learned even more about him seeing him face his first adversity of the season when he was touched up for six runs on 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings at Coors Field in Friday's 6-4 loss to the Rockies.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants unable to pick up shaky Heston

Giants unable to pick up shaky Heston

DENVER -- The Rockies overcame three Giants' leads to win their series opener, 6-4, on Friday. A three-run sixth put the Rockies ahead for good. The rally included run-scoring doubles by DJ LeMahieu and pinch-hitter Rafael Ynoa.

Eddie Butler pitched six innings and ended up with the win. The Rockies' 15-hit attack included seven doubles and a third-inning homer by Charlie Blackmon.

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Jack Etkin and Owen Perkins are contributors to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trio of Giants stars make progress in rehab

Pence plays soft toss, while Peavy and Cain inch toward return

Trio of Giants stars make progress in rehab

DENVER -- Three key Giants are making progress in their rehabilitation from early injuries.

Hunter Pence played some soft toss and swung off a tee in the indoor batting cage before the opening game of the Giants' three-game series in Colorado.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants sweep Dodgers with back-to-back walk-offs

Giants sweep Dodgers with back-to-back walk-offs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Justin Maxwell's one-out single Thursday shattered a 10th-inning deadlock and gave the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers, completing a three-game sweep for the defending World Series champions. It was the second straight walk-off victory for the Giants in the series.

With the score tied, 2-2, Angel Pagan launched San Francisco's winning surge by singling on a full-count pitch from Juan Nicasio, the Dodgers' sixth reliever. One out later, after Pagan stole second base, Brandon Belt drew an intentional walk before Maxwell whistled his hit past third base.

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

Pagan's aggressiveness leads to Giants' victory

Outfielder swipes second base, scores winning run in walk-off

Pagan's aggressiveness leads to Giants' victory

SAN FRANCISCO -- Justin Maxwell applied the finishing touch to the Giants' 3-2, 10-inning victory over the Dodgers on Thursday, but it was Angel Pagan who applied the pressure.

Pagan scored the run that concluded San Francisco's three-game sweep of its archrival. He singled off Juan Nicasio to open the 10th, then put himself in scoring position by stealing second base one out later. That prompted an intentional walk to Brandon Belt to set up a potential double play, but Maxwell superseded that strategy by singling past third base as Pagan raced across home plate.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Giants' sweep shows character of champions

World Series winners return to form against Dodgers

Giants' sweep shows character of champions

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's an odd-numbered year, and we all know that generally doesn't bode well for the even-keel Giants of San Francisco, World Series champions in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

But before you rush to judgment and dismiss these guys on the basis of numerology and a sluggish start, consider that they still have the same manager in Bruce Bochy, the same superstar field leader in Buster Posey and a skilled, capable cast of athletes with a history of doing great things when it matters most.

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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.

Panik caps eventful 9th with walk-off vs. Dodgers

Panik caps eventful 9th with walk-off vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik's bases-loaded sacrifice fly snapped a ninth-inning tie Wednesday night and lifted the San Francisco Giants to their second straight victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, a 3-2 decision.

With the score knotted, Buster Posey began San Francisco's winning rally with a one-out single off Chris Hatcher, who grazed Justin Maxwell with his next pitch. With the left-handed-batting Brandon Belt due up, lefty J.P. Howell relieved Hatcher. Belt's single to left loaded the bases for Panik, whom the Dodgers tried to counter by employing a five-man infield. Panik rendered the strategy moot with his first-pitch drive to medium-deep right-center field, scoring pinch-runner Gregor Blanco.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Kershaw, MadBum labor, but remain on point

Lefties slated to meet again Monday after earning no-decisions in battle of aces

Kershaw, MadBum labor, but remain on point

SAN FRANCISCO -- The only drawback with being as great as Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner is found in the implausibly high standards they set for themselves. Living up to that greatness is an ongoing challenge.

Neither left-hander was at the peak of his powers on Wednesday night at AT&T Park, but each made progress in that direction before the Giants seized a 3-2 decision from the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth inning on Joe Panik's winning sacrifice fly.

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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.

Panik keeps cool, delivers winner vs. Dodgers

Despite delays in ninth, five-man infield, Giants infielder tallies walk-off

Panik keeps cool, delivers winner vs. Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik employed a football analogy to describe the extended delay preceding his game-winning plate appearance Wednesday night.

"Honestly, my first reaction was, 'Now I know what an NFL kicker feels like getting iced at the end of a game,'" said Panik, who split the uprights by launching a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to give the Giants a 3-2 triumph. "I felt like I was standing at home plate for a while."

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

Dodgers dispute lack of interference call in 9th

Giants' Blanco makes contact with 3B coach before scoring winning run

Dodgers dispute lack of interference call in 9th

SAN FRANCISCO -- The intense ninth inning of Wednesday's 3-2 walk-off win by the Giants left a bad taste in the mouth of Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Speaking after the game, Mattingly was clearly still upset about a non-call in the final frame that helped set up Joe Panik's game-winning sacrifice fly.

With the game tied, one out and runners on first and second, Giants first baseman Brandon Belt roped a single into left field. As pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco rounded third base, he bumped Giants coach Roberto Kelly's midsection before returning to the bag.

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Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mays in hunt for Greatest Living Player, Franchise Four honors

Bonds, McCovey, Posey also leading in team balloting

Mays in hunt for Greatest Living Player, Franchise Four honors

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants legend Willie Mays ranks among the leaders in the early balloting for Greatest Living Player in baseball's Franchise Four campaign.

The Franchise Four vote enables fans to select the quartet of most significant players in each team's history, as well as top figures in other categories.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Giants' Heston impressive in first three starts

San Francisco right-hander uses command, control to dictate game

Giants' Heston impressive in first three starts

Pitching injuries in the first week of the season provided an opportunity for Giants right-handed starter Chris Heston. Due to Matt Cain's right arm injury and the bad back of Jake Peavy, Heston was called on to start against the D-backs in San Francisco's first series of the year. His strong Spring Training results put him in a position to be called upon to help the Giants' depleted rotation.

I saw that start, and I liked the way Heston pitched. He lasted six innings, picking up the win, while not allowing an earned run on three hits. He walked two, struck out five and hit one batter.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Maxwell makes most of start with catch, big hits

Giants outfielder slams knee while making sliding grab, triples, homers vs. Dodgers

Maxwell makes most of start with catch, big hits

SAN FRANCISCO -- Justin Maxwell's performance Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers was so rewarding that even pain brought him satisfaction.

Maxwell, who started in right field to give the Giants a right-handed-hitting presence against Dodgers lefty Brett Anderson, delivered a multifaceted effort in San Francisco's 6-2 triumph. Prompting amazement with his sliding catch of Yasiel Puig's foul fly ball, he bracketed that play with helpings of offense, tripling and scoring on Brandon Crawford's deft bunt single in the second inning before crushing a two-run homer off Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez in the eighth.

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

Behind Lincecum, Giants end Dodgers' win streak

Behind Lincecum, Giants end Dodgers' win streak

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants received six solid innings from Tim Lincecum and scratched together enough offense to emerge with a 6-2 victory Tuesday night over the archrival Los Angeles Dodgers, halting the National League West leaders' seven-game winning streak.

Lincecum yielded one run and five hits in six innings while outclassing Los Angeles starter Brett Anderson, who surrendered four of the Giants' runs and nine hits in four innings.

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

Crafty pitching boosted by Giants' stellar glovework

Crawford's flip highlights four double plays turned to back Lincecum

Crafty pitching boosted by Giants' stellar glovework

SAN FRANCISCO -- With the Giants having lost nine of their last 10 games and the Dodgers owning a seven-game winning streak entering Tuesday night's series opener between the longtime rivals, surely an overwhelming force would be necessary to reverse each team's fortunes.

Actually, nothing extraordinary was required for the Giants to engineer a 6-2 victory that, at least temporarily, altered each team's momentum. All it took were the basics: pitching and defense.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

In pitched battle, Bumgarner and Kershaw to take their cuts

Marquee mound matchup made extra special with aces batting against each other

In pitched battle, Bumgarner and Kershaw to take their cuts

SAN FRANCISCO -- For the fourth time, the game's elite lefties -- the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and the Giants' Madison Bumgarner -- are set to square off on Wednesday night at AT&T Park. As if this entree needed any extra spice, it's the first time a reigning league Most Valuable Player (Kershaw) has engaged a reigning World Series MVP (Bumgarner) on the mound.

The Dodgers and Giants, rivals forever, keep finding new ways to hold us captive.

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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.

Pence unlikely to return by end of month

On DL with broken arm, outfielder hasn't resumed full-time baseball activities

Pence unlikely to return by end of month

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy discounted the possibility of right fielder Hunter Pence recovering from his fractured left forearm in time to rejoin the lineup May 1, which has been the most optimistic estimate mentioned for his return.

Bochy said Tuesday that activating Pence from the disabled list by that date appeared "less likely."

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

Inbox: Should Giants have upgraded rotation in offseason?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers San Francisco fans' questions

Inbox: Should Giants have upgraded rotation in offseason?

With the Giants having the best top brass in baseball, how concerned were they about our starting pitching at the beginning of the year, given starters' ages and injury histories? Knowing what we know now, would our offseason pursuit of starting pitchers have been a little more serious? Also, how much do we miss the Panda [Pablo Sandoval]?
-- Bob B., Riverside, Iowa

I think the front office genuinely wanted to upgrade the starting pitching. You'll recall that early in the offseason, they seriously pursued Jon Lester. Later, they supposedly offered James Shields roughly the same amount of money that he eventually took from the Padres. I don't understand why so many free-agent pitchers spurn the Giants and the opportunity to perform at AT&T Park, where they can lower their ERAs by up to a full run. Of course, by joining the Padres, Shields went to another pitchers' park. And, at the risk of contradicting myself, I wonder whether the Giants could have explored the market more intently for second- and even third-tier starters -- the Aaron Harangs of the world, for instance.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Don't count out these Giants

San Francisco has championship pedigree going despite difficult start to 2015 season

Don't count out these Giants

If you're inclined to write off the San Francisco Giants two weeks into the regular season, here's some free advice from your friendly columnist:

You should know better.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scuffling Giants can't pick up Hudson vs. D-backs

Scuffling Giants can't pick up Hudson vs. D-backs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jeremy Hellickson ended a streak of 11 winless starts Sunday and received offensive support from Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings as the Arizona Diamondbacks tamed the San Francisco Giants, 5-1.

Hellickson lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing one run and eight hits. Since recording his previous victory while pitching for Tampa Bay at Oakland last Aug. 6, Hellickson went 0-6 with a 5.67 ERA in 11 starts entering this game.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants hoping to turn things around soon

Reigning World Series champs fall to 4-10 after losing series to D-backs

Giants hoping to turn things around soon

SAN FRANCISCO -- Given the Giants' performance thus far, observing Monday's first scheduled off-day of the season will be considerably preferable to playing another game.

"If there's any time we needed a day off, it's now," right-hander Tim Hudson said.

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

Giants leaning toward Vogelsong or Petit to start

Giants leaning toward Vogelsong or Petit to start

SAN FRANCISCO -- After further contemplation, Giants manager Bruce Bochy opted for the conventional solution and likely will name either Ryan Vogelsong or Yusmeiro Petit to fill in for Jake Peavy in the starting rotation.

"That's the way we're leaning," Bochy said Sunday.

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

A Giants balldude took a foul ball for the team.

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A Giants balldude took a foul ball for the team.

Last week, Giants balldude Mark Madden became the stuff of balldude legend, casually snagging line drivves, doling out souvenirs and generally elevating the act of balldude-ing to an art form. 

But the Balldude Gods did not look kindly upon such hubris, and they exacted their revenge on the entire San Francisco balldude community during Sunday's Giants-D'backs game.

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Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

Giants end losing skid behind dominant Heston

SAN FRANCISCO -- Receiving impressive pitching from Chris Heston and brief but effective flurries of offense, the San Francisco Giants snapped their eight-game losing streak Saturday by subduing the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1.

"He's a good pitcher," D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said of Heston. "He pitched well tonight. He didn't make too many mistakes. He worked ahead in the count a lot; that was maybe the biggest thing. He had the one walk, but there wasn't too many hitters' counts. He mixed up his slider and his fastball so you couldn't really lock in on one pitch. He did a great job tonight."

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heston shows poise in win on ring day

Rookie pitcher turns in third straight strong start, beats D-backs again

Heston shows poise in win on ring day

SAN FRANCISCO -- On a day that was largely devoted to commemorating accomplishments, Chris Heston forged a historic trail of his own.

Heston lasted 7 2/3 innings to help the Giants defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-1, and end an eight-game losing streak. Moreover, he set a standard that has eluded literally hundreds of his predecessors.

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

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

World Series champs receive jewelry featuring Golden Gate Bridge, trophies

Flash, class highlight Giants' third ring ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO -- For those who believe that the Giants' recent success has been a gift from heaven, Saturday's ceremony featuring distribution of the 2014 World Series championship rings included a fitting touch.

The first batch of rings -- which included those given to executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean and manager Bruce Bochy -- arrived courtesy of four skydivers who parachuted into AT&T Park's outfield.

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

Crawford's homer helps Giants reverse course

Scuffling shortstop launches two-run shot as SF ends losing streak

Crawford's homer helps Giants reverse course

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Brandon Crawford's turn came to receive his 2014 World Series ring during Saturday's pregame ceremony, he was introduced as the Giants' RBI leader in last October's postseason.

Then he delivered a reminder of how he achieved that feat.

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