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Posey, club mulling season-ending hip surgery

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- Repairing the hip issues that have hampered Buster Posey all season will require surgery, which would end the six-time All-Star's season early, Posey confirmed Tuesday night.

Speaking after the Giants' 6-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field, Posey said that though there has been "ongoing dialogue" between him, club management and doctors about the possibility of season-ending surgery, nothing is decided or scheduled. Posey is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

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NEW YORK -- Repairing the hip issues that have hampered Buster Posey all season will require surgery, which would end the six-time All-Star's season early, Posey confirmed Tuesday night.

Speaking after the Giants' 6-3 loss to the Mets at Citi Field, Posey said that though there has been "ongoing dialogue" between him, club management and doctors about the possibility of season-ending surgery, nothing is decided or scheduled. Posey is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday.

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"We're trying to make the decision that makes sense, for a multitude of reasons," Posey said. "Whenever we do this, we're hopeful it gets me to the point where it's just not something that's there."

Posey said he's known he'd require an operation to repair his labrum and remove bone spurs since before the All-Star break. He first felt affects of the injuries in mid-May and has played through them since, to diminished results. Posey is hitting .286/.360 with a career-low .386 slugging percentage through 103 games. He's hit just five home runs, and none in his last 43 games. Twenty-three of those have come since receiving a cortisone injection in the area last month: Posey is hitting .283/ .340/.315 in those contests.

"He's been battling this all year," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's been a warrior through this, dealing with it, but sometimes it comes to a point where you have to do something about it. That's what we're talking about now."

By having the surgery now, the Giants and Posey believe he could be ready to return by Opening Day 2019. And that's increasingly becoming the goal, with San Francisco fading further in the National League playoff picture. Their loss Tuesday pushed the Giants to eight games back in the NL West, and 7 1/2 behind the Cardinals and Rockies for the second Wild Card.

"Where we are in the standings makes it difficult," Posey said.

Posey said there are no plans for him to play more first base in the meantime, though major surgery would likely impact his long-term outlook behind the plate. Posey, 31, is signed through 2021 with a club option for 2022.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans emphasized in a text message that since the club has not finalized a decision on when Posey will have the surgery, addressing any issues beyond that would be premature. Thus, Evans did not address the possibility of moving Posey to first base, where he has averaged 24 starts per season since 2012. "We will address [that] in greater detail as we receive more info," Evans said.

Bochy told the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday afternoon that a decision could come "really soon," but did not offer a time frame when questioned by reporters Tuesday night. Posey also said there was no deadline for a decision.

"Obviously, if something is done sooner, you have more time to make sure something is fully healed," Bochy said.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

San Francisco Giants, Buster Posey

Stratton rolls into 7th, but Giants fall late in NY

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- For six full innings Tuesday night at Citi Field, Chris Stratton used a mechanical adjustment discovered at Triple-A to blank the Mets. Had the night ended then for Stratton -- starting for the first time since a two-plus week demotion to Sacramento -- the effort would've been an unspoiled positive step toward turning around his season. And perhaps it still will.

But the right-hander will have to look for moral victories after what unfolded in the final innings of what became a 6-3 loss, pushing the Giants further out of the National League playoff picture. The defeat dropped San Francisco eight games back of Arizona in the NL West, and 7 1/2 behind Colorado and St. Louis for the second Wild Card.

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NEW YORK -- For six full innings Tuesday night at Citi Field, Chris Stratton used a mechanical adjustment discovered at Triple-A to blank the Mets. Had the night ended then for Stratton -- starting for the first time since a two-plus week demotion to Sacramento -- the effort would've been an unspoiled positive step toward turning around his season. And perhaps it still will.

But the right-hander will have to look for moral victories after what unfolded in the final innings of what became a 6-3 loss, pushing the Giants further out of the National League playoff picture. The defeat dropped San Francisco eight games back of Arizona in the NL West, and 7 1/2 behind Colorado and St. Louis for the second Wild Card.

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"The season started off well and it's been a little frustrating for the last two months or so," said Stratton, who had allowed 17 earned runs in his past 10 innings before being optioned. "It's something to build off of today, but I definitely have to continue to improve."

The adjustments Stratton made with the RiverCats were physical, suggested by special instructor Ryan Vogelsong. During a side session two weeks ago before a road game in Nashville, Vogelsong taught Stratton a new way to keep his front side closed during his delivery. Before that, Stratton had been opening his front hip "too quickly," causing him to lose his fastball command and making his pitches flatten in the zone.

The early returns against New York were plain to see: Stratton scattered three hits and struck out four with no walks over six shutout innings, the righty cruising until back-to-back hits from Jeff McNeil and Wilmer Flores opened the seventh. Stratton then conferenced with manager Bruce Bochy on the mound, cradling a 2-0 lead. Bochy allowed Stratton, whose ERA had ballooned to 5.52 in recent weeks, to face Michael Conforto and Austin Jackson, who tied the game with a sac fly and an RBI single, respectively.

Video: SF@NYM: Stratton coaxes 4-6-3 double play

The Mets then scored four runs in the eighth off Tony Watson, who coughed up a three-run homer to Conforto that blew the game open.

"He was throwing the ball well. He was getting outs. In our situation, we're trying to get him as far as we could," Bochy said. "It was good to see him get back on track tonight."

Playing without a slew of regulars after Monday's 13-inning marathon, the Giants managed just five hits against Steven Matz, Corey Oswalt and Seth Lugo. After Evan Longoria connected for a two-run home run off Matz in the first, 18 of the next 19 Giants were retired. Only a misplay by Jose Bautista with two outs in the ninth -- on a ball generously ruled a RBI single for Austin Slater -- kept the Giants from scoring two or fewer runs for the fifth time in seven games.

Video: SF@NYM: Slater drives in Longoria with a single

• 'Mayor' Slater to honor grandfather for Players' Weekend

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Longo goes long ball: Stratton had a lead to surrender because of Longoria, who provided an early jolt with the type of hit that hasn't come often for the Giants recently. Longoria's 389-foot shot off Matz was his first home run since Aug. 5, and San Francisco's first big fly in 46 innings.

Video: SF@NYM: Longoria crushes a 2-run home run in the 1st

FLASH THE LEATHER, AGAIN
For the second consecutive night, the Giants used a string of highlight-reel defensive plays to keep the Mets largely off the bases early. Starting at shortstop for just the 10th time this season, Alen Hanson dove to his left to rob Kevin Plawecki of a would-be base hit in the second.

Video: SF@NYM: Hansen takes away a hit from Plawecki

Hunter Pence then made the play of this series an inning later, ranging to the track in left center to make an over-the-shoulder catch on Matz's long drive. Pence lost his cap in the process.

Video: SF@NYM: Pence loses hat, makes tough grab at track

HE SAID IT
"Before, I couldn't feel when my front side was going quick. Today I could feel it. That's the difference with the one-pitch adjustments and rolling through a couple innings. … Overall, having that feeling and knowing what it feels like helps you make that adjustment." -- Stratton

UP NEXT
Bochy expects a slew of regulars back in his lineup -- including, perhaps, catcher Buster Posey, though the All-Star is considering season-ending hip surgery -- on Wednesday to face Noah Syndergaard (8-3, 3.40) at Citi Field. Brandon Belt, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford should return as well, after all earned the day off Tuesday following Monday's 13-inning marathon. Right-hander Casey Kelly (0-1, 1.69) will make his second start of the season for San Francisco, with first pitch set for 4:10 p.m. PT.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

San Francisco Giants, Evan Longoria, Chris Stratton

'Mayor' Slater wears grandfather's influence

Giants' outfielder to honor family member, who was mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., for Players' Weekend
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- When the Giants take the field Friday to commence Players' Weekend against the Rangers, they'll do so with a litany of notable nicknames on the back of their specialty, alternate uniforms. Some will be funny, like the one chosen by Hunter Pence ("Underpants" -- "just say my name fast," Pence explains). Some will be worn with a nod to pop culture, like Tony Watson's ("Tone Ranger"). Others still will be considered classics: Madison Bumgarner ("Mad Bum"), Evan Longoria ( "Longo") and Jeff Samardzija ("Shark") chief among them.

But none of the Giants' nicknames touches as many bases as Austin Slater's, whose "Mayor" moniker comes in honor of a distinguished American life. Slater's teammates first began calling him "Mayor" not because he has an outsized personality, like former Reds first baseman Sean Casey, also nicknamed "The Mayor," famously does. The name stuck when teammates learned Slater was related to Ed Austin, who was the mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., from 1991-1995. Austin was Slater's maternal grandfather.

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NEW YORK -- When the Giants take the field Friday to commence Players' Weekend against the Rangers, they'll do so with a litany of notable nicknames on the back of their specialty, alternate uniforms. Some will be funny, like the one chosen by Hunter Pence ("Underpants" -- "just say my name fast," Pence explains). Some will be worn with a nod to pop culture, like Tony Watson's ("Tone Ranger"). Others still will be considered classics: Madison Bumgarner ("Mad Bum"), Evan Longoria ( "Longo") and Jeff Samardzija ("Shark") chief among them.

But none of the Giants' nicknames touches as many bases as Austin Slater's, whose "Mayor" moniker comes in honor of a distinguished American life. Slater's teammates first began calling him "Mayor" not because he has an outsized personality, like former Reds first baseman Sean Casey, also nicknamed "The Mayor," famously does. The name stuck when teammates learned Slater was related to Ed Austin, who was the mayor of Jacksonville, Fla., from 1991-1995. Austin was Slater's maternal grandfather.

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:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

"I would say we're pretty similar, personality-wise," Slater said. "He was a big part of my life growing up."

Slater remembers Austin as his grandfather, the septuagenarian who'd attend travel games in his "normal get-up" of button-down collared shirts, midsummer sun be damned. They'd run errands together, a young Slater in tow when Austin's constituents would greet him at the grocery store. Slater chuckles when realizing his life in the public eye began long before his Major League debut.

• All you need to know about Players' Weekend

"I don't enjoy the spotlight, but it's a part of my life. That's kind of how he approached it, too, not that he didn't excel in it," Slater said. "It didn't matter what he had going on, he'd stop and talk to them. That's something I tried to carry over into my life."

• Shop for Players' Weekend gear

Many north Florida locals remember Austin, who died in 2011, for other reasons. His resume is extensive: Austin played football and earned a degree from Duke University in the 1940s, then served as a paratrooper in the Army's 101st Airborne Division. After law school, he was named the first Public Defender for Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit and rose to State Attorney, serving for 16 years in that role. A career Democrat, Austin switched to the Republican Party during his tenure as mayor. He's been credited with revitalizing the city's downtown neighborhoods behind several urban renewal initiatives during his four years in office, and helping bring the NFL's Jaguars franchise to the city.

"He lived a great life," Slater said. "A really interesting guy."

Stratton recalled, Law optioned
To make room for Tuesday's starter Chris Stratton, the Giants optioned right-hander Derek Law to Triple-A Sacramento. The move comes a day after Law was recalled from Sacramento to provide depth in the Giants' taxed bullpen, which he did admirably in Monday's 13-inning win over the Mets. Law worked the final two innings of the Giants' 2-1 victory, earning his first win of the season.

Video: SF@NYM: Law retires Vargas to lock down 13-inning win

The right-hander owns a 7.43 ERA in seven appearances at the big league level this season.

"He understands the situation that we're in. He gives us flexibility, having options," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's good to see him come up and have some success, get a win and pitch two big innings in a row. In all honesty, he's had some hiccups when he's been up before."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

San Francisco Giants, Austin Slater

Giants win in 13th on Mets' defensive blunder

San Francisco snaps losing streak after New York fielders collide, drop popup
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- So unlikely to pull them from the depths of a suffocating team-wide slump was the ball that sent the Giants to a 2-1, 13-inning win over the Mets late Monday at Citi Field that when Brandon Crawford hit it, manager Bruce Bochy turned away. Derek Holland cursed in frustration. Derek Law's head sank.

Of the few that held out hope was Andrew McCutchen, who peeked back as he jogged down the third-base line. From that over-the-shoulder view, he witnessed the bizarre: Crawford's pop to shallow left plopped out of Amed Rosario's glove, caromed off Dominic Smith's mitt and tumbled safety to the outfield grass. By then, McCutchen only needed two steps to cross home plate, after which he "laughed all the way to the dugout."

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NEW YORK -- So unlikely to pull them from the depths of a suffocating team-wide slump was the ball that sent the Giants to a 2-1, 13-inning win over the Mets late Monday at Citi Field that when Brandon Crawford hit it, manager Bruce Bochy turned away. Derek Holland cursed in frustration. Derek Law's head sank.

Of the few that held out hope was Andrew McCutchen, who peeked back as he jogged down the third-base line. From that over-the-shoulder view, he witnessed the bizarre: Crawford's pop to shallow left plopped out of Amed Rosario's glove, caromed off Dominic Smith's mitt and tumbled safety to the outfield grass. By then, McCutchen only needed two steps to cross home plate, after which he "laughed all the way to the dugout."

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"Everybody's eyes were about as big as the big-eyed emoji on your phone," McCutchen said, of when he returned to the Giants' ecstatic bench. "It was pretty crazy. Everybody was pretty stunned."

Adding to their elation was the fact that the dropped popup -- officially an error for Smith, who collided with Rosario to pry the ball loose -- allowed the to Giants' salvage a 4-hour, 20-minute series opener in Queens in the bizarrest of ways despite their offensive plight, which had reached a dire point.

Video: SF@NYM: Hanson ties game with bloop double to left

Just one National League team has scored fewer runs since the All-Star break. The Giants have not homered in 44 innings. They remain 3-for-their-last 35 with runners in scoring position. The only reason they were alive in the 13th was because Alen Hanson tied the game six innings before with one of their softest hits of the year. Balls like Crawford's, off losing pitcher Tyler Bashlor, fall for hits just two percent of the time.

But on this night, it did. And San Francisco is back in the win column because of it.

"I turned around, to be honest. I did. I turned around. I'll be honest, I missed it, because I was assuming it was going to get caught," Bochy said. "It's good to get a break because we really had our struggles there."

Video: SF@NYM: Crawford leaps for game-saving snag in 11th

It wasn't the only break the Giants received. Two innings earlier, Jose Reyes nearly sent San Francisco to its fifth straight loss when he shot a 94-mph line drive -- a hit nearly 80 percent of the time -- off reliever Reyes Moronta that appeared primed to score the winning run from second. But it sailed right into Crawford's glove, keeping the Giants alive on night they squandered rallies in the fifth, seventh and 11th.

All the while, their bullpen continuously provided more chances. Law's two scoreless frames capped a six-reliever, eight-scoreless-inning effort by the Giants' relief corps. Of the notables: Sam Dyson induced a double play to wiggle out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth, Tony Watson used another twin-killing to escape the seventh and Law worked around two walks in the 12th. They combined with Holland (five-plus innings, one run) to outlast a strong start from Zack Wheeler.

Video: SF@NYM: Wheeler dazzles with 10 K's over 7 innings

Afterward, the dominant emotion in the Giants' clubhouse was relief.

"More times than not, that ball's going to get caught. But crazy game of baseball, anything's possible and could happen," McCutchen said about the game-winning play. "We had plenty of opportunities, and we didn't come through a lot of times. Let games get away from you like that, more times than not, you lose the game. So for us to be able to get he win like we did, with the opportunities that we had, we avoided a big one there for us."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Summoned from Triple-A Sacramento on Monday to help a bullpen taxed by a demanding weekend sweep in Cincinnati, Law found himself in "exactly the type of situation I want to be in." By that, he meant a high-leverage one, as he was tasked with preserving a 1-1 game in the 12th. Citing "excitement," Law then walked two to push the winning run into scoring position with two outs. He stranded both runners there by getting Austin Jackson to pop out on a 2-1 slider following a conference with pitching coach Curt Young.

"He was saying, 'Slow it down,"' Law said. "I can get excited, especially late in games. If we're up or tied, I get really excited. He said, 'Pitch to your strengths and make your pitch.' And I kind of harnessed that."

Video: SF@NYM: Law retires Vargas to lock down 13-inning win

SOUND SMART
When the Giants finally cracked Wheeler for a run in the seventh, they broke through on a Hansen bloop double that left the bat at 66.5 mph -- their softest hit in more than three weeks and their third-softest extra-base hit of the season. The RBI double landed between three fielders down the left-field line. It left the bat with a hit probability, per Statcast™, of just nine percent.

FLASH THE LEATHER
Though they committed two errors, the Giants also turned a trio of impressive defensive plays. Two came in the fourth, one that went as designed and another other that, well, worked out anyway. The textbook play actually came second, when McCutchen raced 75 feet to intercept a Wilmer Flores line drive headed for the right-center field gap. That ended the inning.

Two batters before, Evan Longoria appeared prime for an error when he could not glove a Rosario chopper. But his misplay did not result in misfortune -- the ball bounced straight up off his glove and back to him, allowing him to recover and make an aesthetically pleasing play.

Video: SF@NYM: Longoria recovers to retire Rosario in 3rd

Much later, in the bottom of the ninth, Joe Panik ranged to the right of second base to glove a sharp grounder from Devin Mesoraco. Panik's athletic play sent the game to extras.

Video: SF@NYM: Panik slides for tough backhanded play in 9th

HE SAID IT
"I feel horrible, but you can't do anything about it anymore. All I can do is come back tomorrow and just keep working my butt off and that's pretty much it. It sucks, especially the way this year has been going, but there's nothing I can do about it now but just turn the page and continue to work and just get better." -- Smith, a natural first baseman who recently converted to left field

Video: SF@NYM: Rosario nabs Hernandez on overturned call

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Giants appeared primed to threaten in the top of the 10th, when Gorkys Hernandez beat out a grounder to short to begin the frame. But the Mets challenged first-base umpire Chad Whitson's call, and umpires reversed it after a 1-minute, 6-second review. Mets reliever Jerry Blevins retired the next two batters in order to end the frame.

Video: SF@NYM: Rosario nabs Hernandez on overturned call

UP NEXT
After a two-start stint at Triple-A where Ryan Vogelsong helped him pinpoint a mechanical flaw, right-hander Chris Stratton (8-7, 5.52 ERA) will re-enter the Giants' rotation when this series continues from Citi Field on Tuesday. Looking for his first win since June 17, Stratton will oppose Steven Matz (5-10, 4.60). First pitch is set for 4:10 p.m. PT.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

San Francisco Giants

Giants plan to activate Rodriguez on Friday

Law called up, Black optioned in bullpen shuffle; Samardzija will begin rehab at Double-A
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

NEW YORK -- After testing his balky right hamstring without issue, Dereck Rodriguez appears set to resume his impressive rookie season in the coming days. The Giants are planning to activate the right-hander to start Friday's series opener against the Rangers, which will also mark the beginning of a nine-game homestand.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced the plan Monday after Rodriguez threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session at Citi Field.

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NEW YORK -- After testing his balky right hamstring without issue, Dereck Rodriguez appears set to resume his impressive rookie season in the coming days. The Giants are planning to activate the right-hander to start Friday's series opener against the Rangers, which will also mark the beginning of a nine-game homestand.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced the plan Monday after Rodriguez threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session at Citi Field.

View Full Game Coverage

"He's on his way," Bochy said.

Unbeaten in 11 starts dating back to early June, Rodriguez has been sidelined since tweaking his right hamstring during the Giants' benches-clearing brouhaha with the Dodgers last week. He was placed on the DL a day after the skirmish with a Grade 1 strain.

Video: Justice discusses Rodriguez's hamstring injury

Giants catcher Nick Hundley (fined) and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig (suspended two games) were both disciplined for the altercation, which started in the seventh inning of an eventual 2-1 Giants win at Dodger Stadium. Rodriguez was the only player injured in the tussle.

Because of the off-day that directly followed, Rodriguez's speedy return means he'll end up missing two starts.

The 26-year-old has been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season, surging his way into the National League Rookie of the Year Award discussion behind a 6-1 record and 2.25 ERA in 14 games (12 starts). He paces all qualified NL rookie starters in ERA, FIP (3.09), WHIP (1.00), home runs allowed per nine (0.45) and fWAR (1.8).

Roster move
The Giants made a move to reinforce their bullpen prior to Monday's 2-1 win in 13 innings over the Mets, swapping right-hander Derek Law and Ray Black. Law, who has spent parts of the past three seasons with the Giants, was recalled from Triple-A Sacremento for the fourth time this season.

Black, a 28-year-old rookie, was optioned Sunday night after appearing in four of the past six games. San Francisco's bullpen was tasked with covering 13 innings over the weekend, when the Giants were swept in a three-game series in Cincinnati.

Video: SF@SD: Law retires Hosmer to cap Giants' one-hitter

"We need some help in the bullpen," Bochy said. "We've been using Black a lot, so this is to give him a break, too."

Law owns an 8.74 ERA in six appearances at the Major League level this season and a 4.54 mark in 31 games at Triple-A. He pitched the final two innings and got the win on Monday, walking two in a scoreless outing.

Around the horn
Pivoting in their plans slightly, the Giants are now slotting injured righty Jeff Samardzija to begin his rehab assignment with Double-A Richmond on Wednesday.

Samardzija was originally scheduled to start at Triple-A Sacramento, but it'll be a shorter commute from New York to Bowie, Md., where the Richmond Flying Squirrels are set to play that day, than it would've been to Fresno, Calif., where the Sacremento River Cats will be.

Video: OAK@SF: Samardzija returns to DL with shoulder issue

On the DL since July 15 with right shoulder tightness, Samardzija has experienced discomfort in his throwing shoulder for most of the year. He's been limited to 10 starts, going 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA overall. This is his third DL stint of the season.

Bochy said right-hander Chris Stratton will be recalled from Triple-A to start Tuesday. The assignment will mark his 20th start of the year for the the Giants and first since Aug. 3. Stratton credited Ryan Vogelsong for helping him make a mechanical adjustment during his last stint in the Minors, as Stratton allowed just two runs in 13 innings across two starts for the River Cats.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

San Francisco Giants, Dereck Rodriguez

Giants' nicknames for Players' Weekend

MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Giants will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Giants will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Brandon Belt: "BOB"
Ty Blach: "THE PREACHER"
Ray Black: "BLACKOUT"
Madison Bumgarner: "MAD-BUM"
Brandon Crawford: "DJ BC RAW"
Johnny Cueto: "EL JUCHO"

Video: Get ready, 2018 Players' Weekend is August 24-26 Chase d'Arnaud: "CHEETAH"
Sam Dyson: "PSSST"
Steven Duggar: "DUGG"
Julian Fernandez: "BILLETE"
Alen Hanson: "EL CHAMAQUITO"
Gorkys Hernandez: "CAZADOR"
Derek Holland: "LAST NAME"
Nick Hundley: "HUNDO"
Pierce Johnson: "P.J."
Derek Law: "D-LAW"
Evan Longoria: "LONGO"
Andrew McCutchen: "ZOOM"
Mark Melancon: "MEL"
Reyes Moronta: "EL TIBU"
Joe Panik: "J.P."
Hunter Pence: "UNDERPANTS"
Buster Posey: "BUSTER"
Dereck Rodriguez: "D-ROD"
Jeff Samardzija: "SHARK"
Pablo Sandoval: "PANDA"
Will Smith: "SMITTY"
Austin Slater: "MAYOR"
Hunter Strickland: "STRICK"
Andrew Suarez: "ANDY"
Tony Watson: "TONE RANGER"

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.

San Francisco Giants

New Giants lineup struggles against Reds

Suarez handed an early lead, but Reds score 7 in 3rd
Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Not even a bold new lineup could shake up the Giants' offense as they fell to the Reds, 11-4, on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.

After scoring just one run in each of the first two games of the series, the Giants doubled their scoring total for the series -- but largely after capitalizing on Reds defensive miscues.

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CINCINNATI -- Not even a bold new lineup could shake up the Giants' offense as they fell to the Reds, 11-4, on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep at Great American Ball Park.

After scoring just one run in each of the first two games of the series, the Giants doubled their scoring total for the series -- but largely after capitalizing on Reds defensive miscues.

View Full Game Coverage

Giants manager Bruce Bochy shifted Brandon Belt to the leadoff spot for the first time in his career to help the team get out of a funk that included just 16 runs in their previous seven games. However, things did not work out well, as Belt went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, and the Giants were quickly buried by the Reds' seven-run third inning.

Video: SF@CIN: Duggar rips a double to left in the 2nd

Things did go the Giants' way early, as they were able to take their first lead since Wednesday in the second inning. With Nick Hundley on first base, Steven Duggar shot a hard liner to left field, where Dilson Herrera badly misread the ball. After taking a step in, Herrera had to back up and leap for the tailing ball and could not come up with it. Hundley then scored on Gorkys Hernandez's sacrifice fly.

But the Giants could not keep the momentum going with a single batter reaching over the next four frames. They could barely get contact on Reds starter Luis Castillo, who struck out seven batters over those four innings and nine on the game. Meanwhile, the Reds chased starter Andrew Suarez with seven runs (five earned) in the third, which seemingly deflated the offense further.

Video: SF@CIN: Castillo lays down sac bunt, reaches on error

"I think you look at the velocity, and I don't know who throws harder in the National League on the average," Bochy said. "He's throwing 97 and had a great changeup. The slider had a remarkable ball-strike ratio going. He was throwing strikes, and that changeup has a lot of diving action on it. We had a hard time laying off it. He was on top of his game."

The Giants finally knocked Castillo out of the game in the seventh inning with another bizarre play. After Duggar hit a second double with two outs, Hernandez hit a routine grounder to shortstop Jose Peraza, but his throw went straight through first baseman Tucker Barnhart's glove. That allowed Duggar to score, and Hernandez came around on Hunter Pence's pinch-hit double.

Video: SF@CIN: Pence smacks an RBI double to left

San Francisco added one final run in the eighth when Joe Panik reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an airmailed throw by Peraza. Chase d'Arnaud scored him on a pinch-hit double, and d'Arnaud even added a clean inning of relief in the eighth -- his first in the Majors.

"It's deflating getting beat up pretty good, but you put a few runs on the board, it's good for the guys. No way around that," Bochy said. "We were stuck on one run, so it was good to get off the schneid there. We scored four and should've had another run or two, but that's always a good thing, I think. It shows at least they're fighting."

Video: SF@CIN: d'Arnaud drills an RBI double to left

SOUND SMART
Belt is the first Giants first baseman to hit leadoff since David Bell on July 6, 2002, and he's their first left-handed first baseman to do so since Mike Aldrete on May 4, 1987. During the San Francisco era, Will Clark has the most starts as the leadoff hitter at first base (28).

"I showed up, and I was in the leadoff spot," Belt said. "[It's the] same as any other spot. It's all the same after you start the game anyway. You go around the lineup and come back up again."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With Joey Votto on the DL, Barnhart, the team's regular catcher, was making just his second start and fifth appearance at first base. Perhaps he needs to invest in a glove of his own because he was borrowing Brandon Dixon's first baseman's glove when Peraza's seventh-inning throw went straight through his glove.

"It was weird," Barnhart said. "I didn't feel it go through my glove. I looked down and I didn't have the ball in my glove and I saw the web was gone. It was just a freak accident for sure. More >

Video: Must C Curious: Ball goes through Barnhart's glove

POSITION PLAYER PITCHING
Bochy has been historically loathe to put a position player in to pitch during blowout games but turned to d'Arnaud in the eighth inning. Although he gave up a hard single to Phillip Ervin, he coaxed easy flyouts from the other three batters to avoid further damage. d'Arnaud was excited for the opportunity and fairly satisfied with his performance.

"Boch asked me a couple innings before if I had done it before, and I told him, 'Yeah,'" d'Arnaud said. "But I said 'yeah' to a lot of things, so he wanted to make sure I was serious when I said, 'Yeah.'"

d'Arnaud made a similar emergency relief appearance with Triple-A Indianapolis in 2014 -- he retired all three hitters but allowed a run to score on a sacrifice fly -- but had not practiced pitching since middle school.

Video: SF@CIN: d'Arnaud induces a flyout to right field

HE SAID IT
"We'll somehow regroup and be resilient. It's what the game is about. You're going to have some series like this unfortunately. You hate to have them in August, you're trying to make up ground. But hey, we're professionals, so we'll put this behind us and find a way to get back on track." -- Bochy

UP NEXT
The Giants open a four-game set against the Mets on Monday as Derek Holland takes the mound at 4:10 p.m. PT at Citi Field. Holland has held opponents to two runs or fewer in five of his past six starts. Most recently he threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers. Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets.

Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt, Chase d'Arnaud, Andrew Suarez

30 guys we want to see win it all

The veterans, or other inspiring players, who have yet to win a title
MLB.com @williamfleitch

One of the best subplots of the Astros' World Series championship last season was Carlos Beltran finally getting a championship ring. While Beltran wasn't a key factor for Houston, seeing the future Hall of Famer, one of the best playoff hitters of all time, win a championship in his seventh postseason was one of the more heartwarming stories in a rather heartwarming October.

Everybody loves to see a vet finally get his title. This got us to thinking: What other old-timers would we love to see win a title who haven't won one yet? Thus, this week at The Thirty, we take a look at the Carlos Beltran on each time: The veteran, or just inspiring story, who you'd most like to see win that elusive championship. Obviously, there's not much hope for some of these guys; the Orioles have already been eliminated, after all. But you never know. These are the players who never got a title … but someday should.

One of the best subplots of the Astros' World Series championship last season was Carlos Beltran finally getting a championship ring. While Beltran wasn't a key factor for Houston, seeing the future Hall of Famer, one of the best playoff hitters of all time, win a championship in his seventh postseason was one of the more heartwarming stories in a rather heartwarming October.

Everybody loves to see a vet finally get his title. This got us to thinking: What other old-timers would we love to see win a title who haven't won one yet? Thus, this week at The Thirty, we take a look at the Carlos Beltran on each time: The veteran, or just inspiring story, who you'd most like to see win that elusive championship. Obviously, there's not much hope for some of these guys; the Orioles have already been eliminated, after all. But you never know. These are the players who never got a title … but someday should.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
Russell Martin

The longtime catcher has been around so long he was drafted by the Expos. Martin has reached the postseason a whopping nine times, but he has never reached the World Series.

Video: TB@BAL: Jones belts a 3-run homer to left-center

Orioles
Adam Jones

We know Jones wants to stay in Baltimore, and he has earned that right … but it sure would be nice to see him in the Fall Classic someday.

Rays
Carlos Gomez

Gomez has played for four teams in the postseason, none of them the Rays.

Red Sox
Chris Sale

Sale's going to have a Hall of Fame case to make someday, and having a World Series title would be a handy little feather in his cap.

Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton

After all those years in Miami, a World Series feels like Stanton's due. His next postseason game will be his first.

AL CENTRAL

Indians
Rajai Davis

We'd like to see Davis get a chance to hit another Game 7 homer.

Royals
Blaine Boyer

Boyer has pitched for 12 seasons and for nine teams -- including Boston, St. Louis and Atlanta -- and he has still never appeared in a postseason game.

Tigers
Victor Martinez

Remember: Miguel Cabrera won a title in 2003 with the Marlins.

Video: MIN@KC: Mauer sets Twins' record with 415th double

Twins
Joe Mauer

A World Series is the one thing Mauer hasn't given the Twins.

White Sox
James Shields

Big Game James was much better in his 2008 World Series appearance for the Rays than he was in his 2014 World Series appearances for the Royals.

AL WEST

Angels
Mike Trout

Still waiting for that first postseason win. It looks like Trout will still be waiting this October.

Astros
Gerrit Cole

Well, everyone else has one.

Athletics
Fernando Rodney

It has been 12 years since Rodney was last in the World Series … but it sure would be fun to see a World Series game end with the bow and arrow.

Mariners
Nelson Cruz

Just remember not to put Cruz in right field during a clinching game.

Video: TEX@DET: Beltre ties Winfield with his 3,110th hit

Rangers
Adrian Beltre

The easiest pick on the board. We should call every beloved veteran trying to win a ring before he reaches the Hall of Fame "The Beltre."

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: ATL@NYM: Markakis nets 4 hits, hits key homer in 10th

Braves
Nick Markakis

Markakis has only made the postseason once (2014) in his whole career.

Marlins
Starlin Castro

Castro left the Cubs right before they won one.

Mets
Jose Bautista

Imagine that bat flip in the World Series.

Nationals
Max Scherzer

Like Sale, Scherzer could use the Hall of Fame credentials of a championship.

Phillies
Carlos Santana

So close in 2016. All players on the '11 Rangers and '16 Indians get serious consideration for this list.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
Ryan Braun

The 2011 season was probably supposed to be the one for Braun and the Brewers.

Cardinals
Michael Wacha

Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter (who was a rookie in 2011) all have rings already.

Cubs
Jesse Chavez

This 11-year vet has pitched for nine teams, but never in the postseason. Also almost everybody else on the team has a ring already.

Pirates
Ivan Nova

Nova's rookie year was right after the Yankees won their most recent title.

Video: 2018 ASG: Votto crushes solo homer in the 10th inning

Reds
Joey Votto

Is Votto going to be Beltre in four years?

AL WEST

D-backs
Brad Ziegler

The good news is that Ziegler might pitch until he's 60, giving him plenty of chances.

Video: SF@LAD: Kershaw strikes out 9 over 8 terrific frames

Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw's career is going to feel incomplete without one.

Giants
Andrew McCutchen

Cutch could become quite the mercenary the next few years trying to find the best place to get his ring.

Padres
A.J. Ellis

Any championship team needs the Veteran Backup Catcher.

Rockies
Nolan Arenado

The best way to get the respect often denied Rockies players is to win them a championship.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Giants fall to Reds as Bumgarner loses groove

Ace starter allows six runs (five earned); Panik breaks up no-hitter in sixth
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

CINCINNATI -- Madison Bumgarner was just as stunned as anybody by his vulnerability in the Giants' 7-1 loss to the Reds on Saturday at Great American Ball Park.

Bumgarner has spoiled the Giants for years by delivering masterly efforts nearly every time they need one from him. Striving to preserve their postseason hopes, the Giants needed one against the Reds, and he provided it for three innings, blanking Cincinnati on one hit.

View Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Madison Bumgarner was just as stunned as anybody by his vulnerability in the Giants' 7-1 loss to the Reds on Saturday at Great American Ball Park.

Bumgarner has spoiled the Giants for years by delivering masterly efforts nearly every time they need one from him. Striving to preserve their postseason hopes, the Giants needed one against the Reds, and he provided it for three innings, blanking Cincinnati on one hit.

View Full Game Coverage

However, Bumgarner proceeded to yield a season-high six runs (five earned) over the next three innings. Yet he couldn't determine the source of his trouble, because he said he felt like his usual self.

"Honestly, I wouldn't say it's the best, but it was up there with how I felt today," he said. "It's a funny game sometimes, how it works out that way. The results were definitely not the best."

Bumgarner surrendered a home run to Jose Peraza to lead off the fourth, then Dilson Herrera's homer in the sixth. In between, eighth-hole hitter Brandon Dixon blooped a two-run double in the fourth, though Bumgarner's pitch sawed off his bat near the knob.

Video: SF@CIN: Dixon lofts a 2-run double to right

Two more runs scored on a fifth-inning sacrifice fly as center fielder Steven Duggar's throw home missed the cutoff man and briefly eluded catcher Buster Posey, enabling Scooter Gennett to rush across the plate.

The Giants continued to struggle at the plate, but unlike Bumgarner's performance, this was no anomaly. Entering Saturday, the Giants owned the fifth-lowest OPS in the Majors (.697) and the sixth-fewest total of runs (493).

The Giants' latest loss dropped them to 0-2 to start a 10-game stretch against sub-.500 teams that currently rank no higher than fourth in their respective divisions. San Francisco responded unfavorably to manager Bruce Bochy's pleas for an offensive revival, being no-hit for 5 2/3 innings by Reds starter Matt Harvey, who entered the game with a 5.19 ERA on the season.

Joe Panik broke up the no-hit bid in the sixth, beating out a shallow grounder to Peraza at shortstop.

Video: SF@CIN: Panik legs out infield hit, ends no-hitter

The Giants trail first-place Arizona by seven games in the divisional standings and now trail St. Louis for the second National League Wild Card spot by the same amount.

"There's no secret formula. We just have to go out there and play better," said first baseman Brandon Belt. "I don't know if we're putting pressure on ourselves. We're losing too many games now, that's for sure. We have to bounce back."

On Saturday, San Francisco created scoring chances but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The third through sixth hitters went 2-for-14 overall, bringing their three-game total to 4-for-52. The Giants appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough in the top of the fourth inning, when Belt batted with runners on second and third with one out in a scoreless tie. But after launching a ball foul, he struck out, and Evan Longoria flew out to end the scoring threat.

Video: SF@CIN: Harvey works out of trouble in the 4th

"[You] do whatever you have to do to put the ball in play and score the run," Belt said. "I didn't do it."

"I don't know what to tell you, but we'll keep working at it and get this offense firing on all cylinders," Bochy said. "It's going to take somebody. Somebody's got to come through and get a hit with men on base and inject some energy and get things going. That's not happening."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Duggar meant well when he heaved a long throw home after fielding Phillip Ervin's sacrifice fly, but Duggar had no play at the plate. Posey couldn't handle his relay, resulting in a throwing error and an extra Reds run as Gennett charged home.

Video: SF@CIN: Ervin plates Peraza, Gennett scores on error

Bochy praised Duggar's effort but added that the rookie should have exercised better judgment.

"I know what Duggar's thinking," Bochy said. "We can't give up another run. We're down. We have to hit the cutoff man, but I want guys trying to make plays, too."

HE SAID IT
"I think we know what we need to do right now. We didn't do it today. We have to come out and do it tomorrow and for the rest of the year." -- Belt

UP NEXT
Left-hander Andrew Suarez will start in Sunday's series finale vs. the Reds, scheduled to begin at 10:10 a.m. PT at Great American Ball Park. He's coming off one of his most impressive outings of the season, against the Dodgers, whom he shut out over six innings of work, allowing two hits while walking three. He'll be opposed by Reds right-hander Luis Castillo, who's slated to make his first career appearance against the Giants.

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.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner

Strickland activated from 60-day DL

Rodriguez hopes to return from disabled list ASAP
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

CINCINNATI -- Hunter Strickland insisted that he will channel his emotions in a more mature manner after his temper caused him to miss approximately two months of the season.

The Giants activated Strickland from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday. Strickland, 29, fractured his right pinkie finger while punching a door in frustration after blowing a save opportunity on June 18 against Miami. Pablo Sandoval was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Strickland on the 40-man roster.

View Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Hunter Strickland insisted that he will channel his emotions in a more mature manner after his temper caused him to miss approximately two months of the season.

The Giants activated Strickland from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday. Strickland, 29, fractured his right pinkie finger while punching a door in frustration after blowing a save opportunity on June 18 against Miami. Pablo Sandoval was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room for Strickland on the 40-man roster.

View Full Game Coverage

During Strickland's absence, left-hander Will Smith settled into the closer's role for the Giants, converting 10 of 12 save chances. 

"Remarkable," Strickland said of Smith. "Missing a whole year last year, and coming back and pitching the way he is has been a huge help for the team."

Meanwhile, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said that he won't hesitate to use Strickland in high-leverage situations immediately, and Strickland said he's ready for the challenge.

"Whenever the team needs me, whenever he calls my name, I'll be ready to go," said Strickland, who owns a 2.84 ERA, 13 saves and a .218 opponents' batting average in 34 appearances this season.

Asked what he learned from this experience, Strickland replied, "Don't ever hit anything. Just try to take the personal emotions for what they are. Obviously, reacting like that has its consequences. This is one I definitely will not repeat."

Rodriguez could return by end of next week
Despite his strained right hamstring, Dereck Rodriguez said that he felt good enough to make what had been his scheduled start on Friday night, when the Giants fell to the Reds, 2-1.

"If I were in the American League, I probably could have pitched," said Rodriguez, who injured himself while trying to separate combatants during Tuesday's Giants-Dodgers confrontation.

Bochy said starting him on regular rest would be "too risky," pointing out that Rodriguez would have to defend his position, cover first base and engage in other movements that would test his hamstring.

However, it's entirely possible that Rodriguez, who has established himself as a National League Rookie of the Year Award candidate, could pitch when he's eligible to return from the disabled list next Thursday or shortly afterward.

"I'll be good by then," Rodriguez vowed.

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.

San Francisco Giants, Hunter Strickland

Longest home runs for every MLB team

Statcast measures farthest blast since 2015 for all 30 clubs
MLB.com