Cain's solid start buoyed by Pence's big night

Cain's solid start buoyed by Pence's big night

SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Cain was the biggest beneficiary of Hunter Pence's comeback performance, yielding two hits in six innings Monday night as the Giants ended their seven-game losing streak with a 3-0 decision over the New York Mets.

Pence drove in two runs and started a double play by making a tumbling catch of Ruben Tejada's fly ball to the right-field bullpen in the sixth inning. His effort complemented Cain's, as the right-hander, who has overcome elbow surgery and a strained flexor tendon, threw 66 strikes in 95 pitches during his first start at AT&T Park since last July 9.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. 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.

Pence provides charge with great play, RBIs

Right fielder makes tremendous catch, fires home for double play

Pence provides charge with great play, RBIs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants right fielder Hunter Pence returned to the lineup in style Tuesday night, playing a big part in a 3-0 victory over the Mets.

Pence, who somewhat surprisingly got the start for San Francisco after missing 30 games with left wrist tendinitis, knocked in the Giants' first run with a groundout in the third inning.

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Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy looking for season's first win in rubber game

Peavy looking for season's first win in rubber game

The San Francisco Giants turn to right-hander Jake Peavy to try to take the finale of a three-game series against the New York Mets at AT&T Park on Wednesday afternoon, opposed by Mets All-Star Jacob deGrom.

Peavy made his third start of the season Friday after missing more than two months with lower back and hip discomfort, allowing three hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings in a 2-1 loss to the Nationals.

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Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Bumgarner should start All-Star Game for NL

Giants manager Bochy has unique opportunity to give his own pitcher the ball

Bumgarner should start All-Star Game for NL

SAN FRANCISCO -- Madison Bumgarner should be the starter for the National League against his American League counterparts next Tuesday in the 86th All-Star Game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. It's as simple as that.

Bruce Bochy, his manager with the Giants, is managing the NL team and can use his own discretion to make that selection.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MadBum, Crawford, Panik named All-Stars

Giants ace, pair of first-timers join Posey at Midsummer Classic

MadBum, Crawford, Panik named All-Stars

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 2015 All-Game promises to be a memorable one for the Giants.

That's not just because the Giants have an ample contingent of four players. Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik were named Monday to join starting catcher Buster Posey on the National League squad -- which, of course, will be led by San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy.

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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.

Heston strong, but Giants lose 7th straight

Heston strong, but Giants lose 7th straight

SAN FRANCISCO -- Johnny Monell hit a two-run double in the ninth inning and Jon Niese outdueled Chris Heston as the New York Mets beat the San Francisco Giants, 3-0, Monday night at AT&T Park.

Monell, a former Giants catcher who appeared in eight games for San Francisco in 2013, ripped a 3-2 slider to right field off Santiago Casilla to break a scoreless tie. Niese, who had allowed four earned runs in 21 career innings at AT&T Park coming into the game, fired eight scoreless frames, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out four.

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Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Oliver Macklin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Bochy agonized over final NL All-Star spots

Bochy agonized over final NL All-Star spots

SAN FRANCISCO -- It's not easy filling out the roster of an All-Star team, Bruce Bochy said after the reserves and pitchers for his National League squad were announced on Monday.

"Who did I upset this time?" Bochy, the manager of the defending World Series champion Giants, said while seated behind the desk in his office at AT&T Park. "What are they saying out there? I only get nine picks and three of them had to go to teams that didn't have reps. So I don't get as many picks as some people may think."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Posey wins fan vote as NL's All-Star catcher

Giants backstop headed to third Midsummer Classic

Posey wins fan vote as NL's All-Star catcher

WASHINGTON -- Buster Posey joined a select group of Giants by being named the National League's starting catcher for the July 14 All-Star Game at Cincinnati.

Posey, who received 9,909,608 votes to 7,524,572 for St. Louis' Yadier Molina in final balloting totals announced Sunday, earned his second All-Star start and thus became the seventh Giant since 1970 to gain election on multiple occasions. Posey joined Barry Bonds (12), Will Clark (four), Matt Williams (three), Jeff Kent (two), Willie Mays (two) and Kevin Mitchell (two).

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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.

Homer, ejections mar Giants' road-trip finale

Homer, ejections mar Giants' road-trip finale

WASHINGTON -- Off the bat, Wilson Ramos thought he caught all of his sixth-inning solo home run. After seeing a replay of the shot -- his eighth of the year -- the Nationals catcher realized the ball barely found the right-center-field seats. Either way, the home run proved the difference in Washington's 3-1 win over San Francisco on Sunday, which completed a three-game sweep of the World Series champions.

"Next time I hit it," Ramos said, "I need to hit it harder and run a little bit more hard."

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Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. 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.

Vogelsong, Bochy tossed in loss to Nats

Vogelsong, Bochy tossed in loss to Nats

WASHINGTON -- The intensity of yet another tight ballgame, combined with the irritation caused by a long losing streak, created a toxic combination for the Giants as manager Bruce Bochy and right-hander Ryan Vogelsong were thrown out of Sunday night's series finale against the Washington Nationals within seconds of each other.

The discontent reflected the Giants' overall mood after their 3-1 loss concluded an 0-6 trip that dropped them dangerously close to the .500 mark (42-41).

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Arroyo on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Brice fans 21 in 12 shutout frames; Conley allows one run in 13 innings

Arroyo 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 Miami Marlins have been known to develop young pitching over the years. They've certainly gotten some help from the farm system this season, with prospects like Jose Urena and Justin Nicolino contributing to the rotation in 2015.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

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NL ASG starters' highlight-reel plays

If you thought July 4 was full of fireworks, just wait until July 14 in Cincinnati when baseball's biggest stars converge on Great American Ball Park for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game. 

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Bumgarner victimized by Nationals' fireworks

Bumgarner victimized by Nationals' fireworks

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals displayed their own set of fireworks in the batter's box and defeated the Giants, 9-3, in Saturday's Independence Day matinee at Nationals Park.

Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner was on the mound when the Nationals scored three runs in the first inning on homers by Michael Taylor and Bryce Harper. By the time Bumgarner left the game, he had allowed six runs over five-plus innings.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. 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.

Mental errors plague Giants in July 4 loss

Mental errors plague Giants in July 4 loss

WASHINGTON -- Examples of the Giants' recent futility were as omnipresent as American flags during San Francisco's 9-3 loss to the Nationals on Saturday at Nationals Park. Madison Bumgarner yielded three instant runs. Meanwhile, the offensively somnolent Giants mustered only one hit over the first six innings. They've averaged 3.2 runs per outing during their five-game losing streak, but stimulating the offense will be difficult to accomplish while corner outfielders Nori Aoki and Hunter Pence remain sidelined.

In this Fourth of July setback, however, Gregor Blanco's performance typified San Francisco's recent run more than any other facet. He displayed sincere effort as well as carelessness in back-to-back innings. In such mixtures, the latter tends to leave a stronger, more bitter taste.

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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 try to pick off Harper using center fielder

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Giants try to pick off Harper using center fielder

During Saturday's game against the Nationals, the Giants experimented with a rather unique pick-off move. Bryce Harper had a bit of a lead off second base, so they tried to get him out … using center fielder Gregor Blanco.

For something as odd as this to work, it would require Blanco to sneak into the infield as smoothly as a ninja cat. However, that's not quite what happened. 

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Homer the only blemish as Peavy loses return

Homer the only blemish as Peavy loses return

WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Gio Gonzalez and right-hander Jake Peavy found themselves in a pitchers' duel Friday night at Nationals Park. When it was over, Gonzalez won the battle as the Nationals edged the Giants, 2-1.

After the Giants took a 1-0 lead in the seventh inning on a Buster Posey home run, the Nationals answered back in the bottom of the inning, thanks to a two-run homer by Clint Robinson.

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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. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Peavy 'terrific' in return from disabled list

Giants righty allows two-run homer as only blemish in 6 1/3 innings

Peavy 'terrific' in return from disabled list

WASHINGTON -- While Giants right-hander Jake Peavy pitched before a sellout crowd Friday night at Nationals Park, his true audience consisted of teammates, manager Bruce Bochy, San Francisco's coaching staff and wherever club officials were gathered.

Peavy believed he had to prove to everybody associated with the Giants that he remained capable of winning for them, particularly since a strained back sidelined him after his initial pair of starts this season. Peavy absorbed the decision in the Giants' 2-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, but performed well enough to indicate he can bolster the starting rotation during the season's second half, which happens to begin Saturday with game No. 82.

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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 add Lollis, Osich, put Hudson on DL

Broadway sent to Triple-A; Ishikawa, Bochy designated for assignment

Giants add Lollis, Osich, put Hudson on DL

WASHINGTON -- The Giants made a flurry of roster moves Friday to fill their ever-changing needs, which primarily stem from injuries.

Needing more versatility in the outfield, the Giants purchased the contract of Ryan Lollis, a career Minor Leaguer, from Triple-A Sacramento. Gone is first baseman-left fielder Travis Ishikawa, who was designated for assignment.

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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.

Cain ready to build on positives of debut

Velocity, command expected to improve with more innings

Cain ready to build on positives of debut

MIAMI -- Matt Cain conveyed his usual mound presence Thursday afternoon: square-shouldered, square-jawed and commanding. He and the Giants are convinced that the pitches to match his demeanor soon will come more frequently and effectively.

Despite the Giants' 5-4 loss to Miami that concluded the Marlins' first three-game home sweep of San Francisco since Aug. 9-11, 1999, Cain showed enough promise during his five-inning outing to indicate that better days await him. Making his first start since last July 9, before elbow surgery and a strained flexor tendon sidelined him, Cain absorbed the decision while allowing five runs and seven hits in five innings.

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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 swept by Marlins in Cain's debut

Giants swept by Marlins in Cain's debut

MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez made a triumphant return to the mound, displaying his electric assortment of stuff during six effective innings and contributing a home run to help the Marlins outlast the Giants, 5-4, on Thursday afternoon.

Having weathered Tommy John elbow surgery, Fernandez allowed three runs and seven hits in his first outing since May 9, 2014. The right-hander walked none and struck out six, reflecting his solid command and energizing the Marlins Park crowd of 32,598.

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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. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Casilla to get time to rest tired arm

Romo, Lopez options to fill closer's role

Casilla to get time to rest tired arm

MIAMI -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday that he intends to "back off" using right-hander Santiago Casilla for two or three days in the belief that the closer has a tired arm.

"Just a little tired," Bochy said.

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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 sign infielder Fox as int'l free agent

Sources say the two sides agree to a signing bonus of $6 million

Giants sign infielder Fox as int'l free agent

The Giants are on the verge of adding another athletic infielder to their Minor League system, coming to terms with shortstop Lucius Fox of the Bahamas on a bonus of $6 million, according to industry sources.

Fox, who turned 18 today, ranked No. 3 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#TBT: Baseball's greatest pitching duel

Marichal put on one of the most memorable performances in MLB history

#TBT: Baseball's greatest pitching duel

The mention of the San Francisco Giants' encounter against the Milwaukee Braves on July 2, 1963, seemed to amuse Willie McCovey.

"You're bringing it back to life?" said the Hall of Fame first baseman.

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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 rally in Miami, but fall on walk-off

Giants rally in Miami, but fall on walk-off

MIAMI -- A mistake-filled night by the Marlins ended in dramatic walk-off fashion on Wednesday, when Justin Bour belted a three-run homer in the ninth inning that lifted Miami to a 6-5 victory over the Giants at Marlins Park.

Miami committed a season-high three errors, including one by Bour at first. But in the ninth inning off Santiago Casilla, Bour lined a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right to give the Marlins their fourth walk-off win of the season, and first since May 23 against the Orioles. Miami had been 0-42 when trailing after eight innings.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. 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.

Posey takes foul off mask, passes concussion test

Posey takes foul off mask, passes concussion test

MIAMI -- Giants catcher Buster Posey said that he could play as soon as Thursday after absorbing the shock of a foul tip and being forced to leave Wednesday night's 6-5 loss to the Marlins in the fifth inning.

Posey said that felt "off" after he was hit squarely in the chin after Miami's Marcell Ozuna nicked a Chris Heston pitch straight back during a fourth-inning at-bat. Asked if "off" meant "sluggish," Posey said, "Yeah, I'd say that's accurate. Just not as sharp as usual."

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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.

Cain glad to reach end of 'long road'

Cain glad to reach end of 'long road'

MIAMI -- No matter how Matt Cain performs Thursday, he'll be pitching again, which is what matters most.

Cain, the Giants' three-time All-Star right-hander, will make his first regular-season appearance since July 9, 2014, when he starts the series finale against the Marlins. The 30-year-old right-hander finally has recovered sufficiently from a flexor tendon strain that sidelined him this year, which followed surgery last August to remove bone chips and spurs from his throwing elbow.

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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.

Casilla 'way off' in rare blown save

Casilla 'way off' in rare blown save

MIAMI -- Given Santiago Casilla's 20 saves in 24 chances this year, there's usually a plausible explanation for his occasional shortcomings. Thus, the reason given for his ninth-inning lapse Wednesday, which featured Justin Bour's game-winning home run that gave the Marlins a 6-5 triumph over the Giants, was easy to accept: He's human.

That might not placate Giants fans, but manager Bruce Bochy tried to receive Casilla's mistakes with the same calm he displays after the closer's successes.

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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 pitchers' return won't cause issue after all

Lincecum injury, Hudson's departure for personal reasons create openings for Cain, Peavy

Giants pitchers' return won't cause issue after all

MIAMI -- Somewhat remarkably, the composition of the Giants' five-man starting rotation, which recently loomed as a compelling issue, solved itself.

The Giants' chief decision-makers, including manager Bruce Bochy and baseball operations czar Brian Sabean, had wondered how the rotation would absorb Matt Cain and Jake Peavy when they were prepared to leave the disabled list. That's no longer an issue, though the solution's likely to be temporary.

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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.