DENVER -- Though he eventually took the loss when the Giants fell, 11-3, to the Rockies on Thursday night, starter Ryan Vogelsong found poetic justice. He entered the game with an ERA of 7.14 at Coors Field as a starter (six starts), and in the first inning he yielded a two-run shot to Carlos Gonzalez that nearly hit the concourse in left field.
Then, with his team down, 4-0, in the top of the third, Vogelsong drove the first pitch he saw from Chris Rusin into the Rockies' bullpen for his own two-run, 391-foot shot, notching his first career home run in parts of 11 big league seasons over 16 years and cutting the lead in half.
DENVER -- In the middle of the Giants' 11-3 loss to the Rockies on Thursday, Cody Hall had a career highlight, coming out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh inning. It was his Major League debut, and though he left the game with a 10.80 ERA, it was a dream come true.
"It didn't go the way I wanted it to, but at the same time, I executed some pitches," Hall said. "It's nice to get that first one out of the way."
DENVER -- For two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, the satisfaction of returning to form on the mound will have to wait until next year, as he underwent season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his left hip on Thursday morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Marc Philippon at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colo.
"I'm glad we did something here," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said on Thursday afternoon. "It's going to give Timmy a little peace of mind to get this behind him."
DENVER -- On the Giants' bus, en route from Dodger Stadium to LAX as Wednesday turned into Thursday, there was an admission that the Giants had a major challenge ahead of them to return to the postseason this year.
"And," one of the veterans proclaimed, "we have the talent to get the job done."
After taking the series opener on Thursday, the Rockies improved to 8-5 against the Giants on the season and 4-3 at Coors Field. They'll try to secure a series split with their ace, Jorge De La Rosa, toeing the rubber on Friday.
De La Rosa is coming off six shutout innings in Pittsburgh on Sunday, when he allowed four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He went 2-2 with a 2.87 ERA in six August starts.
LOS ANGELES -- Finished yelling at umpire Mike Winters, Giants manager Bruce Bochy calmly deleted an item from the list of his team's shortcomings for skeptics to cite.
If the Giants miss qualifying for the postseason, their subpar performance in one-run games inevitably will be considered a factor. All three of the defeats the Los Angeles Dodgers pinned on them in this series, which concluded with Wednesday's 2-1 setback, fit in that category. The Giants fell to 16-21 in one-run games, including nine defeats in their last 10 games of this sort.
LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley's first home run as a Dodger was the difference as reigning National League MVP Clayton Kershaw tied a career high with 15 strikeouts in a six-hit, 2-1 win Wednesday night that gave the Dodgers a sweep of their three-game showdown series against the division-rival Giants at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers, who have won eight of their last nine games, have a season-high 6 1/2-game lead over the Giants, who have lost five straight. The teams play one more series in San Francisco the last week of the season.
LOS ANGELES -- By this time next week, second baseman Joe Panik hopes to have resumed being a member in good standing in the San Francisco Giants' lineup.
Panik, whose presence the Giants sorely miss, will gauge his recovery from lower back inflammation by launching his injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday against Reno. Since the Minor League season is scheduled to end Monday, Panik ideally will regain a semblance of his all-around skills over the weekend. In a perfect scenario, he would play two or three games with the River Cats before rejoining the Giants in Phoenix for their three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks starting Monday.
LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke outdueled fellow Cy Young candidate Madison Bumgarner and slumping Joc Pederson homered as the Dodgers defeated the Giants on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, 2-1, extending their division lead to 5 1/2 games.
The Dodgers have won seven of their last eight, while the Giants have a four-game losing streak.
LOS ANGELES -- The Giants went away mad, or at least perplexed, from Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night.
That's a lot better than going away dejected or depressed, which is how they easily could have felt after absorbing their second straight one-run loss, a 2-1 victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers that increased the slope on San Francisco's uphill climb toward a postseason berth.
LOS ANGELES -- The Giants added five players Tuesday, seizing upon the arrival of September and, with it, the carte blanche to expand active rosters. But the biggest surprise of all may have been the lone subtraction: reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell, who was designated for assignment.
San Francisco's other moves involved reinstating right-hander Tim Hudson and center fielder Angel Pagan from the 15-day disabled list, recalling catcher Hector Sanchez and right-hander Cody Hall from Triple-A Sacramento and purchasing the contract of infielder Nick Noonan from Sacramento.
LOS ANGELES -- Infielder Christian Arroyo, the Giants' No. 1 Draft selection in 2013, highlights the seven-player contingent of Giants farmhands that will attempt to sharpen its skills by performing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
Arroyo, 20, entered Tuesday hitting .308 with a .348 on-base percentage and a .471 slugging percentage in 84 games for Class A Advanced San Jose. He's ranked second on MLB.com's list of Giants prospects.
LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez, who homered eight innings earlier, lofted a single to deep left field with the bases loaded and no outs in the bottom of the 14th inning for a 5-4, walk-off Dodgers win over the Giants in their showdown series opener at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.
The Dodgers now lead the Giants by 4 1/2 games, the largest margin since July 16, but manager Don Mattingly's celebration was muted.
Romo contributed 1 2/3 hitless innings of relief, extending his recent surge to one run allowed in his last 19 innings, which span 18 appearances. He has struck out 25 and walked two during this stretch while trimming his ERA from 5.19 to 3.20.
LOS ANGELES -- The Giants gained balance on their bench Monday by acquiring outfielder Alejandro De Aza, a much-needed left-handed batter, along with an undisclosed amount of cash from the Boston Red Sox for Minor League left-hander Luis Ysla.
The deal was engineered before midnight ET Monday, making De Aza eligible for the postseason if the Giants qualify.
LOS ANGELES -- Though Hunter Pence's recovery from a strained left oblique hasn't progressed as quickly as the Giants might have hoped, manager Bruce Bochy insisted Monday that the right fielder has experienced "no setbacks or anything. He's on schedule."
Bochy felt compelled to make this declaration after Pence said that he took 20 "extremely light" swings, including some off a tee. Pence, said Bochy, will repeat this regimen Tuesday.
By Jenifer Langosch and Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cardinals' 10-game road trip came to an end Sunday in San Francisco, where they capped it with a 7-5 victory over the Giants that featured the team's sixth three-homer game of the year.
St. Louis ambushed opposing starter Chris Heston, who allowed three runs before retiring his first batter. Matt Carpenter's leadoff homer preceded later solo shots from Brandon Moss and Mark Reynolds as the Cardinals padded their lead. The Cardinals scored in five innings to keep the Giants from pecking away at the deficit.
SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Giants and Dodgers get together at any stage of the season, it's big. When it is August merging with September and they're within shouting distance of each other atop the National League West, it's bigger than big.
"We're in the hunt," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said following Sunday's 7-5 loss to the Cardinals, who took two of three in the weekend series at AT&T Park. "We're not where we want to be, but there's baseball left.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Lincecum, who was diagnosed with a degenerative hip condition earlier this season, has not made the progress the Giants had hoped and plans to seek a second doctor's opinion, manager Bruce Bochy said Sunday.
Lincecum, who has not pitched since June 27, when he took a line drive to his right forearm, could be activated when rosters expand Tuesday. However, he is far away from returning to the mound, Bochy said.
By Jenifer Langosch and Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Yadier Molina hit a two-run single in the fifth inning and Lance Lynn cruised through seven shutout innings as the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the San Francisco Giants, 6-0, on Saturday afternoon at AT&T Park.
The outcome helped St. Louis keep its division lead to 3 1/2 games, and in the process, San Francisco fell 3 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.
Moss gets triple after new Giants right fielder sees ball carom away
By Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlon Byrd turned toward the outfield wall, drifted back and looked up, waiting to see if Brandon Moss' fly ball would clear the barrier.
The ball hit high off the bricks in right-center field and bounced hard back toward the infield, allowing Moss to get to third base. He eventually came in to score the winning run -- and the first of four scored in the fifth inning -- in the Giants' 6-0 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlon Byrd might have figured that he'd hit another grand slam at some juncture of his career. But he never would have guessed the identity of the pitcher he would victimize.
Byrd's career-long slump against St. Louis starter Michael Wacha lengthened to 0-for-17 Friday night with a first-inning strikeout that stranded two baserunners. It was the eighth strikeout Wacha had recorded against Byrd. But Byrd wiped out the memory of many of those fruitless at-bats by belting a third-inning grand slam that opened the scoring in the Giants' 5-4 triumph over the St. Louis Cardinals.
By Jenifer Langosch and Oliver Macklin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kelby Tomlinson delivered a walk-off single in the ninth inning and Marlon Byrd smacked a grand slam in the third to power the San Francisco Giants to a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at AT&T Park.
After hitting his first career home run Thursday, Tomlinson one-upped himself Friday, lining a 2-2 fastball to center field off the Cardinals' Kevin Siegrist with the bases loaded to pull the Giants to 4 1/2 games back of the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot and keep them 2 1/2 behind the Dodgers in the NL West.