Bumgarner stellar in winning duel vs. Dodgers

Bumgarner stellar in winning duel vs. Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Performing like the staff ace that he is acknowledged to be, Madison Bumgarner subdued the Los Angeles Dodgers' offense for 7 2/3 innings Saturday night to help the San Francisco Giants prevail, 2-1.

Run-scoring singles from Buster Posey and Denard Span helped the Giants back Bumgarner, who limited a Dodgers lineup lacking Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger to five hits. The Dodgers hold a one-game lead over the Indians for the best record in baseball and own a 4 1/2-game lead over the Nationals for home-field advantage in the National League.

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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.

Joshua Thornton 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.

After rough start, Hernandez finishing strong

After rough start, Hernandez finishing strong

LOS ANGELES -- The Giants will spend the offseason placing as much of this season as possible in the proverbial rear-view mirror. Few players will be in the driver's seat for jobs next year. Gorkys Hernandez is among the few who could be steering himself back onto the Opening Day roster.

The diligent Hernandez has proven to be a capable reserve outfielder. His value was readily apparent Saturday, when he rapped three hits and scored both of the Giants' runs in a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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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.

Stratton set for Dodger Stadium debut

Stratton set for Dodger Stadium debut

Clayton Kershaw, who's virtually certain to start the Dodgers' postseason opener, will begin tuning up for October when he opposes the Giants in Sunday's series finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PT.

Besides those basics, little needs to be said about a Kershaw outing against the Giants. Everybody realizes what's likely to unfold. Kershaw is 21-9 with a 1.62 ERA in 40 games (39 starts) against the Giants, including 3-1, 1.73 in four starts this year.

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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 plan home appearance for Cain

Giants plan home appearance for Cain

LOS ANGELES -- Matt Cain will receive a proper farewell from the Giants in the form of a pitching appearance during next weekend's season-ending home series against San Diego.

This is expected to be Cain's final week in a Giants uniform. His eight-year, $139.75 million contract expires at the end of this season. The Giants are virtually certain to pay Cain a $7.5 million buyout instead of the $21 million option they have on his services for 2018.

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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.

Samardzija takes loss as Dodgers clinch

Samardzija takes loss as Dodgers clinch

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers clinched a fifth consecutive National League West title Friday night, as Cody Bellinger set a National League rookie record with his 39th home run, a three-run shot, in a 4-2 win over the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

• Dress for success: Get NL West champions gear

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

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

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

Osich has strong showing against Dodgers

Osich has strong showing against Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Josh Osich walked to the Dodger Stadium mound during the fifth inning of Friday night's 4-2 loss to relieve Jeff Samardzija and make his first appearance in 10 days.

Given his lengthy layoff, Osich could have been expected to stumble. In fact, he threw a wild pitch with one of his first pitches, advancing Dodgers baserunners to reach second and third.

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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.

Course of the Horse: Cain reflects on career

With future in SF uncertain, righty shares thoughts on postseason, perfect game, mentoring young pitchers

Course of the Horse: Cain reflects on career

SAN FRANCISCO -- During the 13 seasons that Matt Cain has worn a jersey with San Francisco written across his chest, The City steadily has crept into his heart.

Cain very likely is spending his final days with the Giants, who open a three-game series Friday at Dodger Stadium. Club management almost surely won't pick up the $21 million option on his 2018 contract, reflecting his decline in status from staff ace to seldom-used reliever and spot starter.

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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.

Spend a day following Hunter and Lexi Pence

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Spend a day following Hunter and Lexi Pence

If you're like us, you're probably curious what it's like to spend a day with Hunter Pence and his wife, Lexi. You know plenty about Pence on the diamond and all of his antics, but what about the man himself? And what type of hobbies do he and Lexi enjoy in their spare time?

OK, maybe you know a lot about that too -- he and Alexis are devoted Game of Thrones enthusiasts, even putting together episode recaps with members of opposing teams. But what about everything else?

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Panik continues torrid hitting against Rockies

Strong finish bodes well for next year's offense

Panik continues torrid hitting against Rockies

SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik, the ultimate team player, was anticipating a rare opportunity to be properly selfish.

An eighth-inning offensive uprising by the San Francisco Giants left Panik two batters away from making his fifth plate appearance in their 4-0 victory Wednesday afternoon over the Colorado Rockies. After tripling in the first inning, doubling in the third and singling in the seventh, Panik needed a home run to complete the cycle. He didn't get his chance, as Kelby Tomlinson lined into an inning-ending double 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. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore, bullpen solid as Giants shut out Rox

Moore, bullpen solid as Giants shut out Rox

SAN FRANCISCO -- Should the Colorado Rockies miss qualifying for the postseason, their season-ending tale of woe likely will include their 4-0 loss Wednesday to the San Francisco Giants. The outcome sealed a two-game series win for the Giants.

Losing twice to the Giants, last-place occupants in the National League West, certainly wasn't in the Rockies' plans. But it happened, and so they left AT&T Park with a one-game lead for the second Wild Card spot over Milwaukee, who lost to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

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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.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Wednesday.

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

Belt, out with concussion, takes part in drills

Belt, out with concussion, takes part in drills

SAN FRANCISCO -- First baseman Brandon Belt, who has undergone most of his recovery from concussion symptoms in private, ran light sprints and performed agility exercises in short left field at AT&T Park before Wednesday's game.

Belt, who last appeared in a game on Aug. 4, won't return this season. However, manager Bruce Bochy welcomed the sight of his increased activity -- "more for his peace of mind as he heads to the offseason."

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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.

Pence helps Giants hurt Rox's Wild Card hopes

Pence helps Giants hurt Rox's Wild Card hopes

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Colorado Rockies' grip on a postseason berth slipped somewhat Tuesday night as Hunter Pence's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth inning lifted the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 victory. Colorado's fourth loss in six games trimmed its lead to a game over Milwaukee, a 1-0 winner over Pittsburgh, for the National League's second Wild Card spot.

"Right now is not a good time to sit and complain or cry about a game you end up losing," Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "You have to keep moving forward and keep your head up. We're still in postseason if the season finished today. We're in the driver's seat. The guys behind you have more pressure than us. … If you keep pushing and playing hard, eventually you'll get wins."

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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.

Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Tuesday.

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

Melancon plans to return strong next season

Melancon plans to return strong next season

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right-hander Mark Melancon expects to experience a relatively typical offseason despite undergoing surgery on his valuable throwing arm.

And once Melancon picks up a baseball around mid-December, when he usually begins his throwing program, he'll prepare mentally and physically with the likelihood of resuming his role as the Giants' closer, which is what the club intended when they signed him to a four-year, $62 million deal last offseason.

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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.

Hundley's impact could carry over to next year

Hundley's impact could carry over to next year

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will undoubtedly spend time evaluating their needs this offseason to turn the tide after a tough 2017.

One bright spot to the nearly complete campaign: They've found a productive pairing, thanks to All-Star Buster Posey and Nick Hundley, whom the Giants signed to a one-year, $2 million contract over the offseason.

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Jonathan Hawthorne 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.

Panda, strong Stratton lift Giants over D-backs

Panda, strong Stratton lift Giants over D-backs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Continuing to prove himself as a serious candidate for a 2018 rotation spot, Giants right-hander Chris Stratton pieced together another strong outing Sunday against the surging D-backs. He spun six innings of two-run ball, while Pablo Sandoval backed him up with three RBIs to help the Giants break a four-game losing streak in a 7-2 win.

"They did a terrific job to support Stratton," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Stratton after the pitcher allowed five hits and struck out four. "He's on a nice roll. He just pitches a beautiful game. His stuff is crisp. Location was good. A solid six innings. Good to see this offense do some little things to help in that ballgame."

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Giants on Sunday.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the D-backs on Sunday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

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

Giants honor Vogelsong in pregame ceremony

World Series hero retired as a member of the club

Giants honor Vogelsong in pregame ceremony

SAN FRANCISCO -- A moment Ryan Vogelsong says was six years in the making took center stage Sunday. Dressed in his No. 32 home jersey, Vogelsong took the mound, tipped his hat to the crowd and fired three warmup pitches with his son, Ryder, by his side to officially retire as a Giant.

Manager Bruce Bochy emerged from the San Francisco dugout to take the ball from Vogelsong. The cheers of "Vogey" only intensified as Vogelsong shook hands with starter Chris Stratton and again waved to the crowd.

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Jonathan Hawthorne 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.

Sandoval homers as righty for 1st time since '14

Sandoval homers as righty for 1st time since '14

SAN FRANCISCO -- Not much has clicked for Pablo Sandoval offensively in the last month. Before Sunday, he had two hits in his last 57 at-bats. His slump encompassed a streak of 39 hitless at-bats, the longest such slump of his career.

But the player they call "Panda" finally had something to cheer about in the Giants' 7-2 triumph over the D-backs.

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area and covered the Giants on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner edged by Greinke's dominance

Bumgarner edged by Greinke's dominance

SAN FRANCISCO -- Whenever Zack Greinke takes the mound at AT&T Park, he defaults to his dominant form. That trend continued Saturday, when Greinke spun eight innings of two-hit ball to lower his career ERA in San Francisco to 1.37. Paul Goldschmidt delivered all the offense Greinke needed with a two-run homer in the first to power Arizona to a 2-0 triumph.

"He does it every time," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's a very nice feeling when you're putting him out there [that] he's going to give you everything he has, he's going to have a terrific game plan and he's going to execute."

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

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

Moore happy he'll return to Giants in 2018

Team will pick up left-hander's $9 million contract option for next season

Moore happy he'll return to Giants in 2018

SAN FRANCISCO -- A seemingly predictable morning turned into a pleasant surprise for Giants starter Matt Moore on Saturday. Anna Orlando, Moore's girlfriend, was perusing social media when she stumbled on news that the Giants would pick up the 2018 option on his contract.

Moore had already missed a call from his agent earlier in the morning. He quickly picked up the phone to call again. The left-hander, who's posted a 5-14 record with a 5.39 ERA this year, had a $9 million club option for 2018 with a $1 million buyout.

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Jonathan Hawthorne 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 strong, but loses duel with Ray

Samardzija strong, but loses duel with Ray

SAN FRANCISCO -- A.J. Pollock delivered for the third straight game, this time knocking a two-run double in the seventh to give the D-backs a 3-2 win over the Giants on Friday night at AT&T Park.

With two on and one out, Pollock pulled a fastball from Jeff Samardzija down the left-field line and through the Giants bullpen, scoring Daniel Descalso and Ketel Marte before Pollock was thrown out trying to take third. It gave Pollock 10 RBIs in his last three games after back-to-back big nights against the Rockies.

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Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the D-backs on Friday. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

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

Inbox: Will Panda be Giants' starting 3B in '18?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers questions from Giants fans

Inbox: Will Panda be Giants' starting 3B in '18?

Do you think the Giants intend to start Pablo Sandoval at third base in 2018?
-- Gene S., Medford, N.Y.

I doubt anyone knows whether Sandoval can crack the Giants' 2018 lineup. However, I do think he'll receive an invitation to big league Spring Training next year. Since the Red Sox remain responsible for paying Sandoval the $18 million he's guaranteed next season, money won't be an issue. Sandoval's standing with the Giants next season will come down to whether he can revive bat, which has been mostly dormant since the start of 2016. To some extent, he's still shaking off rust, having appeared in three games last 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.

Giants claim Vielma off waivers from Twins

Infielder is career .256 hitter in six Minor League seasons

Giants claim Vielma off waivers from Twins

SAN FRANCISCO -- Always looking to add depth and flexibility, the Giants claimed infielder Engelb Vielma off waivers from the Twins on Thursday.

To make room for Vielma on the 40-man roster, outfielder Michael Morse, who has missed almost the entire season with concussion symptoms, was moved to the 60-day disabled list.

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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 have tough time solving Darvish

Giants have tough time solving Darvish

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cody Bellinger homered and drove in three runs Wednesday as the Dodgers conducted their first dress rehearsal for October in a 4-1 triumph over the Giants.

The Dodgers, who clinched a postseason berth 24 hours earlier, jumped on the Giants and starter Matt Moore (5-14) as Bellinger's RBI triple served as the centerpiece of a two-run first inning. Bellinger then followed Justin Turner's fifth-inning leadoff double with a splash shot into McCovey Cove, his 37th homer of the season, estimated by Statcast™ at 441 feet (his second-longest this season).

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

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

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

Giants pay tribute to former skipper Robinson

Giants pay tribute to former skipper Robinson

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants highlighted their annual African-American Heritage Night promotion Wednesday by honoring their first black manager, Hall of Fame slugger Frank Robinson, who was responsible for changing the clubhouse culture during his brief but eventful San Francisco tenure.

AT&T Park patrons took home bobblehead dolls with Robinson's likeness. He received a video tribute and a commendation from the city's Board of Supervisors.

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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 receive award for work with youth

Community Fund honored along with The Moyer Foundation, PeacePlayers Int'l

Giants receive award for work with youth

"Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they can understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair." -- Nelson Mandela

PRINCETON, N.J. -- Three organizations that speak to youth in a language they understand were recipients of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award on Wednesday morning, including the Giants Community Fund, The Moyer Foundation and PeacePlayers International.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fans grill in McCovey Cove during game

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Fans grill in McCovey Cove during game

A common image of American childhood involves hanging out in the yard or park on a summer afternoon watching the adults grill while listening to the ballgame on the radio. During Wednesday night's Giants-Dodgers game, a group of fans in McCovey Cove did their best to recreate that image ... in a kayak.

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