Giants stymied by Lester as Cubs muscle up

Giants stymied by Lester as Cubs muscle up

CHICAGO -- When Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto last squared off, it was Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and the Cubs won on Javier Baez's eighth-inning home run. On Tuesday, the Cubs didn't wait that long to connect against the Giants right-hander.

Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward homered in the first and second innings, respectively, and Anthony Rizzo added a two-run shot in the fourth to give Lester all he needed and power the Cubs to a 4-1 victory Tuesday night over the Giants.

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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.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

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

Blisters hamper Cueto in loss to Cubs

Blisters hamper Cueto in loss to Cubs

CHICAGO -- Putting a finger on Johnny Cueto's pitching problems became much easier after he explained himself Tuesday night.

Cueto repeated he had no excuse for yielding the unseemly total of three home runs in the Giants' 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. But he did offer a reason: the blisters on the index and middle fingers of his throwing hand, which limit his ability to impart late movement on his deliveries.

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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 hoping for better result vs. Cubs

Moore hoping for better result vs. Cubs

Matt Moore's last start against the Cubs was excellent. He went eight innings, struck out 10 batters and allowed two hits and two runs (one earned) in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. If he has his way this time, though, his start will end with a win.

Moore (2-4, 5.37 ERA) will be back on the mound Wednesday as the Cubs and Giants play the third of a four-game set at Wrigley Field. After a couple of shaky outings April 22 and May 2, Moore has started to regain his form, allowing a combined six runs in his last three starts. However, the man he'll square off with Wednesday might be on an even better run.

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Scott Chasen is a reporter with MLB.com based in Chicago. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Posey remains potent as defender

Posey remains potent as defender

CHICAGO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said catcher Buster Posey, the National League's reigning Gold Glove winner at his position, is just as good this season.

Bochy cited Posey's throwing during his pregame address Tuesday, one day after the four-time All-Star threw out Chicago's Javier Baez on an attempted steal of second base. Baez initially looked destined to pull in safely, having gotten a good jump. But Posey's flat, hard throw retired Baez without a fuss.

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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.

Panik provides pop in move to leadoff spot

Second baseman hits HR, two doubles filling in for Span

Panik provides pop in move to leadoff spot

CHICAGO -- After watching Joe Panik drill a home run and a pair of doubles in the Giants' 6-4 victory Monday night over the Cubs, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy knows exactly how to use his second baseman in Tuesday's rematch against the reigning World Series champions.

Don't change a thing.

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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.

Gregorio looking to rack up more K's

Gregorio looking to rack up more K's

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

Hitter to watch: Jesse Winker (Reds' No. 3), Louisville at Pawtucket (6:05 p.m. ET on MiLB.TV)

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Solo HR streak carries Giants at Wrigley

Solo HR streak carries Giants at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- Joe Panik, Brandon Belt and Justin Ruggiano continued the Giants' trend to pepper teams with solo home runs on Monday night. The trio each hit a leadoff homer in the first, fifth and eighth innings, respectively, to power the Giants to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs and get a little payback in the first meeting between the two teams since the National League Division Series.

Ty Blach got the win in his seventh start subbing for injured Madison Bumgarner, although the Cubs made it interesting with a four-run eighth. The lefty cruised through seven innings and had a 6-0 lead, then gave up a leadoff single to Jason Heyward in the eighth, and Javier Baez followed with his seventh home run. Pinch-hitter Ian Happ tripled to chase Blach, and Ben Zobrist greeted Derek Law with another two-run homer.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Giants making turn toward postseason run

With win Monday, San Francisco has won 8 of its last 10

Giants making turn toward postseason run

CHICAGO -- This has been as tough of a start to the season as Bruce Bochy can remember, both on the field and off the field, but that doesn't mean it won't be business as usual for the Giants in August and September.

Maybe even October.

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

Baseball falls out of ivy after Ruggiano's homer

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Baseball falls out of ivy after Ruggiano's homer

As far as ballparks are concerned, few have as much character as Wrigley Field. It's one of the most historic baseball cathedrals still in operation, for sure. 

Part of its strong sense of individuality comes from the bricks and ivy that adorn the outfield wall. Ivy is thick, and can sometimes obscure whatever's nestled inside it. It's happened quite a few times, actually, the ivy just eating up a baseball as if it were ravenous and past its feeding time. 

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Giants giving Span rest for ailing thumb

Giants giving Span rest for ailing thumb

CHICAGO -- Center fielder Denard Span is expected to miss at least a couple of games with discomfort and inflammation in his left thumb.

Span said the ailment resulted from being frequently jammed by inside pitches that he hit awkwardly or fouled off.

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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 may open gaming coffee shop

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Pence may open gaming coffee shop

Last week, Hunter Pence and his wife Alexis were on the #AskGaryVee YouTube show and podcast, where they answered a few questions about life in baseball and revealed a crucial fact about themselves: They are both huge nerds. Now, we say that affectionately.

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Adjustments have led to big May for Nunez

Adjustments have led to big May for Nunez

ST. LOUIS -- The Giants took two out of three games from the Cardinals at Busch Stadium this weekend, and left fielder Eduardo Nunez played a big role in all three games.

Nunez had a two-run double in the ninth inning of Friday's win and a game-saving outfield assist in the ninth inning of Saturday's 13-inning victory. On Sunday, he belted a solo home run in the eighth of the Giants' 8-3 loss to extend his hitting streak to eight games.

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Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Quinn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

Quinn makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous seven days. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

This week's Prospect Team of the Week features our first two repeat performers, an organization hitting the list for the first time and the youngest player to make the team so far this year.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homers not enough, as Cain hit hard in loss

Homers not enough, as Cain hit hard in loss

ST. LOUIS -- Insistent that what he showed early this season was not an indication of a precipitous career decline, Adam Wainwright, in leading the Cardinals to an 8-3 win over the Giants on Sunday, delivered further evidence to rebuff such assumptions on Sunday. The Cardinals' win also helped them halt a four-game losing streak and avoid being swept at Busch Stadium by San Francisco for the first time since 1998.

Once two of the most dominant right-handers in the game, Wainwright and Matt Cain each sought to build off strong starts. Only Wainwright did. Cain, stung by Randal Grichuk's bases-clearing double in the second and a two-run homer by Matt Carpenter in the fifth, let things get away early.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Sunday.

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

Reynolds notches five hits for San Jose

Giants' No. 3 prospect drives in four runs

Reynolds notches five hits for San Jose

Bryan Reynolds came up just short of a cycle, but he still put together quite a day at the plate as Class A Advanced San Jose topped Modesto, 12-8.

The Giants' No. 3 prospect collected a career-high five hits as he finished 5-for-6 with four RBIs and a run scored.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shark matches Cards ace with superb start

Shark matches Cards ace with superb start

ST. LOUIS -- Jeff Samardzija figured he was going to have to be good Saturday against Carlos Martinez and the St. Louis Cardinals, but he ended up being even better than that.

Samardzija scattered five hits over eight scoreless innings, striking out eight and not walking anyone for the fourth consecutive outing. He matched Martinez, the Cardinals' ace, zero for zero in his eight-inning outing to keep the Giants in the game as the visitors eventually pulled out a 3-1 win in 13 innings at Busch Stadium.

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Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arroyo's hit gives Giants win in epic duel

Arroyo's hit gives Giants win in epic duel

ST. LOUIS -- In a game where the Giants had already outlasted Carlos Martinez, rookie third baseman Christian Arroyo capped a 12-pitch at-bat against Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist with a two-run double to help San Francisco steal a 3-1, 13-inning win at Busch Stadium on Saturday.

The Giants went 12 innings without advancing a runner into scoring position, the first team to do so since 1990. But when they finally did, they capitalized. A string of three successive one-out singles by San Francisco put Siegrist in a pickle, and he couldn't get out of it against Arroyo. The 21-year-old fouled off seven pitches before lining a changeup off the wall to plate the game's first two runs.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Saturday.

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

Statcast of the Day: Arroyo delivers in extras

Statcast of the Day: Arroyo delivers in extras

Giants No. 2 prospect Christian Arroyo added another memorable moment to his young career Saturday night at Busch Stadium, breaking a scoreless tie against the Cardinals in the 13th inning with a two-run double in San Francisco's 3-1 victory.

Not only did the 21-year-old third baseman come through in a clutch situation, he did it against a pitch that has proven challenging for him early in his big league career. Arroyo smashed an 83.6 mph changeup from Cardinals reliever Kevin Siegrist off the wall in left-center to put the Giants ahead.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Span's return giving Giants a big boost

Span's return giving Giants a big boost

ST. LOUIS -- Denard Span had to argue his case for cutting his rehab stint in the Minors short, but the San Francisco Giants center fielder has proven to be right.

The 33-year-old leadoff hitter has been a catalyst for the Giants' offense since his return after missing 17 games with a sternoclavicular joint strain. Going into Saturday's game, he was hitting .382 (13-for-34) with a double, triple, two home runs and six RBIs in seven games since coming off the DL.

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Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gearrin bucks convention with off-day wedding

Giants reliever on quick nuptials: 'We just decided we didn't want to wait'

Gearrin bucks convention with off-day wedding

ST. LOUIS -- Most weddings are planned months in advance with celebrations and a honeymoon immediately following the big day. But for Giants right-hander Cory Gearrin's nuptials, things could not have been more different. Not only was a date selected just two weeks prior, but the couple also made the unconventional choice to tie the knot in the middle of the season.

Gearrin married his wife, Maddi Gearrin, on Thursday, while the rest of the Giants traveled to St. Louis for this weekend's series. Marrying on a travel off-day was not a difficult decision for the pair to make after just getting engaged in January.

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Alaina Getzenberg is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Q&A: Krukow talks playing days, broadcasting

Former pitcher played seven seasons for Giants from 1983-89

Q&A: Krukow talks playing days, broadcasting

Former Major League pitcher Mike Krukow has found joy in his post-playing career, teaming with another former big leaguer, Duane Kuiper, on the Giants' broadcast team. They are among the elite broadcasting duos in the game, but in recent years, Krukow has cut back on his workload.

It's not by choice. It's out of necessity, as Krukow has inclusion body myositis, a slow-developing weakness and wasting of the muscles most apparent in the arms and legs. It has led to his decision to limit his broadcasting to the Giants' home games and contests against National League West teams. But it has not impacted the passion Krukow has for the game.

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

Nunez leads Giants to 9th-inning comeback

Nunez leads Giants to 9th-inning comeback

ST. LOUIS -- Eduardo Nunez ignited one rally and capped the next to help the Giants correct, at least for one night, their troubles on the road, scoring three times over the final three innings to nab a 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

Despite Michael Wacha's six scoreless innings and modest pitch count (86) and the unavailability of setup man Trevor Rosenthal, the Cardinals turned the game over to their 'pen in the seventh. Things got out of hand almost immediately. Nunez opened the inning with a single, and the Giants later capitalized on an error while batting around in their order. In doing so, they flipped a two-run hole into a 3-2 lead.

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Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Friday.

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

Excited to be back, Melancon locks down win

Excited to be back, Melancon locks down win

ST. LOUIS -- Mark Melancon had some jitters in his first game back from the disabled list. The Giants closer even enjoyed them.

Making his first appearance since being activated off the DL on Wednesday, the veteran right-hander closed out Friday night's wild 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium with a scoreless ninth inning for his seventh save of the season.

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Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Giants on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Should Belt try to beat the shift?

Beat reporter Chris Haft answers questions from Giants fans

Inbox: Should Belt try to beat the shift?

It seems opposing teams are shifting their defenses more and more these days, especially against Brandon Belt. From the stands, it seems the more teams employ the shift, the more Belt tries to thread the needle in the overcrowded right side of the infield. I understand he is a natural pull hitter with the bulk of his power available when he does so, but if he would learn to slap a grounder to left field here and there, singles would be abundant, his average would grow and the shift would probably disappear. Am I missing something?
-- Robert N., San Mateo, Calif.

Not totally. I share a similar perception. Many times I'd like to see Belt lay down a bunt toward third base. He'd come close to hitting a double. However, bear in mind that the Giants gave Belt 72.8 million reasons to believe that he's maintaining a sound offensive approach. That figure, of course, is the number of dollars that the Giants will pay him through 2021. Few players receiving that kind of positive reinforcement would dramatically alter their mindset.

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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 to add Bonds to Wall of Fame in July

Giants to add Bonds to Wall of Fame in July

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader whose impact upon the Giants transcended statistics, will be honored with a spot on the club's Wall of Fame on July 8.

Bonds, who had 762 home runs when his career ended following the 2007 season, will become the 49th player to be immortalized with a plaque on AT&T Park's brick King Street wall. Those who receive this distinction must have performed for the San Francisco Giants for at least nine seasons, or for five years with at least one All-Star selection.

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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.

Homestand builds SF's confidence, momentum

Giants work on offensive production, post 5-2 record ahead of road trip

Homestand builds SF's confidence, momentum

SAN FRANCISCO -- Almost lost in the fuss over the Johnny Cueto-Yasmani Grandal heavyweight bout that never developed was one simple fact:

The Giants finished 5-2 on their homestand, building a five-game winning streak that ended with Wednesday's 6-1 defeat at the hands of the 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.

Nunez homers, but Giants can't solve Kershaw

Nunez homers, but Giants can't solve Kershaw

SAN FRANCISCO -- Clayton Kershaw sustained his typical excellence against the Giants with seven dominant innings Wednesday afternoon as the Dodgers recorded a 6-1 victory to avoid a three-game series sweep.

Kershaw, who joined Houston's Dallas Keuchel as the second seven-game winner in the Major Leagues, did not allow a single Giant past first base while yielding three hits. He improved to 20-9 with a 1.62 ERA lifetime against San Francisco, including 12-4 with a 1.29 ERA at AT&T Park, as the Giants' five-game winning streak dissolved.

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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.

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

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