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Suarez hits bump as Giants fall to A's

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Suarez has been rolling in the past month, with the rookie southpaw becoming a key cog in the Giants' rotation. But he ran into a hot A's club on the day before the All-Star break, as the A's handed Suarez and the Giants a 6-2 loss on Sunday at AT&T Park.

The Giants will head into the break suffering a home series loss for the first time since April -- they had gone 10-0-2 in their last 12 home series -- after dropping two of three to the A's. They still own the third-best home record in the National League (31-19) and remain within striking distance in the NL West.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Andrew Suarez has been rolling in the past month, with the rookie southpaw becoming a key cog in the Giants' rotation. But he ran into a hot A's club on the day before the All-Star break, as the A's handed Suarez and the Giants a 6-2 loss on Sunday at AT&T Park.

The Giants will head into the break suffering a home series loss for the first time since April -- they had gone 10-0-2 in their last 12 home series -- after dropping two of three to the A's. They still own the third-best home record in the National League (31-19) and remain within striking distance in the NL West.

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But the offense managed just two runs -- the 36th time this season the Giants have been held to two runs or fewer -- and again did not provide much for Suarez, who has received three or fewer runs of support in 12 of his 16 starts this season.

"If you're giving up four or five [runs], hopefully you can get out there and put some runs on the board," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't have a lot of threatening going on today. That was frustrating."

Video: OAK@SF: d'Arnaud drills a solo homer to center

Suarez entered the day having allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last six starts -- sporting a 2.00 ERA during that stretch -- and one run in each of his last four outings. His 3.75 ERA prior to Sunday was the second lowest by a Giants lefty before the All-Star break since 1958. But the A's rocked him with a four-run fourth inning that consisted of a walk, four consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly.

"They're a tough lineup," Suarez said about an A's offense that ranks fifth in the AL in runs. "They're aggressive. They're patient as well. It's tough to pitch them. You've got to change your sequences and things like that."

Suarez lasted five innings, his shortest outing since June 13 in Miami, allowing four runs and striking out five. He only gave up four hits, but all of them did damage. After issuing a one-out walk to Jed Lowrie, Suarez gave up singles to Mark Canha, Stephen Piscotty, Matt Olson and Matt Chapman, the last three knocking in a run as the A's circled the bases. Jonathan Lucroy tacked on a sacrifice fly to give the A's a 4-1 lead.

Video: OAK@SF: Chapman rips an RBI single to right

Suarez said he left some pitches up, but some ground balls just got through. Chapman's hit snuck under the dive of Kelby Tomlinson at second, which could have been an inning-ending double play and kept the deficit at a run. Instead, it added a run and kept the inning going.

"He's been throwing so well," Bochy said. "It started with a walk. That's haunted us in this first half. Those walks have been scoring. The kid's been throwing well, so he just had a bump in the road there in the fourth inning."

The Giants' two runs, both against starter Sean Manaea, were an RBI single by Gorkys Hernandez in the second and a solo homer by Chase d'Arnaud in the sixth that cut into the deficit.

Video: OAK@SF: Hernandez singles to right, plates Crawford

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Bochy said the Giants never threatened, but they did put the leadoff man on base in the eighth against A's reliever Lou Trivino, who threw 36 pitches Friday, when Alen Hanson walked. But the next batter, Pablo Sandoval, bounced into a double play, and the Giants went quietly in the inning.

SOUND SMART
In the 36 games in which the Giants have scored two or fewer runs, they are 7-29. When they score three or more runs, they are 43-19.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Tomlinson tracked down a shallow pop fly in the top of the seventh inning off the bat of Marcus Semien, sliding to make the catch and end the inning.

Video: OAK@SF: Tomlinson tracks down fly ball in center

HE SAID IT
"I'd say more than anything is just get consistent with putting runs on the board. It stalled again today. ... We need to drive the ball a little bit more. We only have six home runs this month. ... That's what we're missing as much as anything is some power -- not just home runs. We're not driving the ball like I think we can. We're going to have to get some guys hot." -- Bochy

UP NEXT
After the All-Star break, the Giants will head across the Bay Bridge to the Coliseum on Friday for another three-game set against the A's. Dereck Rodriguez will get the start for San Francisco. First pitch for Friday's game is at 6:35 p.m. PT in Oakland.

Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

San Francisco Giants, Andrew Suarez

With Shark on DL, Rodriguez opens 2nd half

Samardzija (shoulder) could return July 25 vs. Seattle
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Dereck Rodriguez is first in line to pitch when the Giants resume the regular season Friday against the Oakland A's. That doesn't mean he's San Francisco's ace.

Here's the order of the Giants' starting rotation following the All-Star break, as manager Bruce Bochy announced after San Francisco's 6-2 Interleague loss to Oakland: Rodriguez, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Andrew Suarez. Jeff Samardzija, who went on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder, could pitch the fifth game of the season's second half -- July 25 at Seattle -- if he's healthy by then.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Dereck Rodriguez is first in line to pitch when the Giants resume the regular season Friday against the Oakland A's. That doesn't mean he's San Francisco's ace.

Here's the order of the Giants' starting rotation following the All-Star break, as manager Bruce Bochy announced after San Francisco's 6-2 Interleague loss to Oakland: Rodriguez, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Andrew Suarez. Jeff Samardzija, who went on the 10-day disabled list Sunday with inflammation in his right (throwing) shoulder, could pitch the fifth game of the season's second half -- July 25 at Seattle -- if he's healthy by then.

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In determining the sequence of starters for the season's resumption, Bochy and pitching coach Curt Young considered factors such as days of rest or whether a particular pitcher faced Oakland this past weekend.

Such elements made Rodriguez an obvious choice to receive the first start following the All-Star break. The rookie right-hander hasn't pitched since last Wednesday, when he worked three shutout innings of relief against the Cubs. The Giants don't want his arm to become petrified, hence the need to get him back on the mound sooner than later. Moreover, since the A's didn't see him this past weekend, the Giants might have mystery on their side when he pitches.

From then on, the common sense becomes even more common. Bumgarner is Bumgarner, and Cueto is Cueto. They need to pitch. Then comes Suarez, who allowed four runs and four hits in five innings Sunday but is healthy, unlike Samardzija.

Samardzija went on the DL for the third time this season, less than 24 hours after he struggled to harness his usual stuff during his performance Saturday against the A's. He allowed two runs and three hits in four innings but struck out only one and could not maintain his usual fastball velocity.

Expected to be San Francisco's No. 3 starter, Samardzija was sidelined for 53 days during his first two stints on the DL. He's 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA in 10 starts.

"He's such a competitor," Bochy said Sunday. "He wants to be out there. He willed his way through four innings yesterday. The early part of the inning was the toughest part for him, trying to get loose. Then he got to where he was letting it go at times, but he's still not quite right. So maybe these 10 days are going to help him and get him back in the form he needs to be in."

Bochy said undergoing surgery has not been mentioned as a possible course of action for Samardzija, 33, though he did receive a cortisone shot and is undergoing treatment.

Bochy added that Samardzija might throw off a bullpen mound toward the end of this week's All-Star break to evaluate his progress.

Infielder Kelby Tomlinson was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to fill the roster vacancy Samardzija created. Tomlinson started at second base in Sunday's Interleague series finale against Oakland and went 0-for-2.

On Matheny: Bochy expressed his support for Mike Matheny, who was relieved of his duties Sunday as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals.

"I'm always surprised," Bochy said. "The team is doing fairly well. He's won every year there. I think the world of Mike. We're good friends. He's a good man. He's a good manager. He'll manage again. I don't know the situation over there to say anything about it. I really respect Mike as a person and as a manager. He did a great job."

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, Dereck Rodriguez, Jeff Samardzija

USA outslugs World in 8-homer Futures Game

Diaz only 2nd player in game's history to go deep twice
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Nobody told the players in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that the T-Mobile Home Run Derby wasn't taking place until Monday night.

Box score

WASHINGTON -- Nobody told the players in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game that the T-Mobile Home Run Derby wasn't taking place until Monday night.

Box score

The two sides combined for eight home runs -- doubling the previous Futures Game record -- as the Team USA outslugged the World, 10-6, on All-Star Sunday at Nationals Park.

Yusniel Diaz, the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect, became only the second player in the 20-year history of the Futures Game to go deep twice, but it wasn't enough as the U.S. bashed its way to its second straight win and eighth in the past nine years. 

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

Seven players homered overall in the game, and the eight long balls were more than had been hit in the previous five Futures Games comined, but the decisive run came on a Brendan Rodgers strikeout as Jo Adell (No. 36 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 and the Angels' No. 1 prospect) scored on a wild pitch.

Taylor Trammell (No. 34 overall, Reds' No. 3) earned MVP honors, going 2-for-2 with a home run and a triple.

Video: WLD@USA: Trammell launches a 438-foot homer

"You look at the game, the way it went down, there wasn't much of a difference," World manager David Ortiz said. "It was back-and forth-type of game. To me, that's a good sign to know, as a baseball fan like I am right now, that the future of the game is in great hands."

U.S. Team starter Mitch Keller (No. 12 overall, Pirates' No. 1) showed his stuff in a perfect opening frame.

Video: WLD@USA: Keller K's Basabe, retires the side in order

His offense rewarded him with a two-out rally against World Team starter Jesus Luzardo (No. 20 overall, Athletics' No. 1) in the bottom of the inning as Rodgers (No. 6 overall, Rockies' No. 1) doubled to left field, scoring the game's first run on a single by Rays prospect Nate Lowe.

Justus Sheffield (No. 39 overall, Yankees' No. 2) took the mound for the second inning for the USA, promptly giving up the lead as Seuly Matias (Royals' No. 3) launched a 93.8 mph fastball over the right-field wall, his leadoff homer tying the game.

Video: WLD@USA: Matias puts the World on the board with a HR

Hunter Greene (No. 18 overall, Reds' No. 2) came out firing after relieving Sheffield with one out and a man on base in the third. The right-hander's first pitch clocked in at 100.9 mph, which he followed up with pitches of 102.4, 101.9 and 102.3 mph; unfortunately, the last one was sent soaring over the fence in right-center by Luis Alexander Basabe, the White Sox's No. 13 prospect.

"He's not trying to homer, he's trying to put the ball in play," Ortiz said. "This guy's mindset, at this early stage in his career, he's in the game. It's something that impressed me a lot."

The two-run home run gave the World Team a 3-1 lead, which Luzardo and Bryan Mata (Red Sox's No. 4) held through the third.

Greene threw 19 fastballs during his 27-pitch outing; every one of them registered between 100.0 and 103.1 mph.

Video: WLD@USA: Greene K's Matias swinging in the 3rd inning

"I want someone to look at that and tell me if you see that in the Major League All-Star Game," U.S. manager Torii Hunter said. "You won't see it, I promise."

Team USA battled back in the fourth against Lewis Thorpe (Twins' No. 11), getting a pair of two-run blasts from Danny Jansen (Blue Jays' No. 6) and Ke'Bryan Hayes (No. 92 overall, Pirates' No. 3). Hayes -- the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes -- snapped the tie game with his shot, vaulting the U.S. Team back on top by two runs.

Then again, on this day, a two-run lead didn't feel like much of a lead at all.

Matt Manning (No. 47 overall, Tigers' No. 2) recorded two quick outs in the fifth, but like so many other pitchers Sunday, that third out proved to be more difficult.

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Fernando Tatis Jr. (No. 3 overall, Padres' No. 1) reached on a two-out single, setting up Diaz's two-run blast to right-center. The No. 85 overall prospect pulled the World Team even again with his blast, the third for his squad and fifth overall between the two teams in the first five frames.

"I gave up one and I was pretty mad, but after watching the rest of the game, that's just the kind of game it was," Manning said. "That's an All-Star lineup. In the Minors, I may get one of those guys a day. To get nine of them at one time is tough, but that's how it's going to be in the big leagues."

Trammell broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with -- what else -- a solo home run. The 20-year-old, who plays in the Class A Florida State League, launched a 2-2 fastball from Kieran Lovegrove (Indians) to right-center, giving Team USA a 6-5 lead.

This lead vanished quickly, too.

Diaz belted a two-out solo shot off Shaun Anderson (Giants' No. 7) to tie the game at 6 in the seventh inning. It was the second homer of the game for Diaz, who joined Alfonso Soriano as the only players in the game's 20-year history to go deep twice. Soriano hit two homers in the inaugural game back in 1999.

"Those are Minor Leaguers hitting balls like big leaguers," Ortiz said. "That is impressive. I saw balls hit today that I swear, I was watching a Major League Baseball player."

Video: WLD@USA: Ortiz on his lineup, talent on World team

Adell opened the bottom of the seventh with a double, moved to third on a passed ball and scored when Rodgers' third strike went to the backstop, giving USA a one-run advantage. That lead swelled to three nine pitches later as Peter Alonso (Mets' No. 2) won a battle with Adonis Medina (No. 74 overall, Phillies' No. 2), crushing a 3-2 fastball down the left-field line. The two-run homer gave Team USA a 9-6 lead.

To nobody's surprise, the World Team threatened to tie the game in the following inning, using a walk and an Alonso error to bring the tying run to the plate with nobody out. But Kyle Wright (No. 25 overall, Braves' No. 2) entered the game and restored order, getting a fly ball and a double play to preserve the three-run cushion.

"That was clutch, man," USA pitching coach LaTroy Hawkins said. "We needed him to go in there and throw strikes and he did that."

Dylan Cease (No. 40 overall, White Sox's No. 4) and Luis Ortiz (Brewers' No. 4) finished off the World Team with a scoreless ninth.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Shark's short start takes bite out of weary 'pen

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was only one defeat, and a respectable one at that. But the Giants' 4-3 loss Saturday night to the Athletics at AT&T Park was the kind of setback that will tax their pitching staff, and thus spoil their season, if they repeat it too often.

Starter Jeff Samardzija must prove capable of lasting longer into ballgames. He worked four innings against the A's, one inning short of his workload from his previous outing July 7 against St. Louis. The right-hander allowed the leadoff batter to reach base safely in each inning and never could find a proper rhythm.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- It was only one defeat, and a respectable one at that. But the Giants' 4-3 loss Saturday night to the Athletics at AT&T Park was the kind of setback that will tax their pitching staff, and thus spoil their season, if they repeat it too often.

Starter Jeff Samardzija must prove capable of lasting longer into ballgames. He worked four innings against the A's, one inning short of his workload from his previous outing July 7 against St. Louis. The right-hander allowed the leadoff batter to reach base safely in each inning and never could find a proper rhythm.

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"It's a process right now," said Samardzija, who has spent much of the season on the disabled list with shoulder trouble. "Didn't warm up quite the way we wanted to, but you go out there and do what you're going to do with what you got. I'm not making any excuse."

Video: OAK@SF: Samardzija strikes out Fowler in the 4th

Derek Holland again provided stellar relief, striking out five in two shutout innings. But the fact is that Holland's virtually a career-long starter. How long he can sustain his excellence out of the bullpen is anybody's guess.

It can be done, however. Saturday's decision went to Yusmeiro Petit, who thrived for the Giants in multiple roles during their 2014 World Series-winning season. Petit blanked his former teammates for 2 2/3 innings, striking out three.

Video: OAK@SF: Holland strikes out 5th consecutive batter

It's easy to excuse Tony Watson (2-3), whose lapses have been rare. Summoned in the seventh to protect a 3-2 lead, Watson yielded pinch-hitter Mark Canha's two-run homer that put the A's ahead for good. But the Giants must find a way to keep Watson and right-handers Sam Dyson and Reyes Moronta fresh. Each of them ranks among the National League's top 15 in appearances through Saturday. For any of them to maintain their current pace through the summer could be hazardous to their health.

Weaving rookie Ray Black and veteran Mark Melancon into the late-inning fabric would be one solution. Melancon has made four consecutive scoreless one-inning appearances, but hasn't yet pitched in back-to-back games. Black, whose fastball velocity routinely approaches triple digits, struck out the only two batters he faced.

"I'm comfortable putting him anywhere, similar to Reyes," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Black. "[It] just seems like he's getting a little more comfortable. I thought he had good poise out there. [There was] a lot of excitement in this ballgame and intensity out there. I thought he handled it well."

Video: OAK@SF: Black strikes out Chapman to escape the 7th

Adding a reliever through trade is another possibility. But it's a remote one, given the Giants' adherence to the projected Collective Bargaining Tax threshold.

Both teams opened their scoring in the second inning -- Oakland on Josh Phegley's sacrifice fly and San Francisco on Alen Hanson's single that followed Steven Duggar's double. One inning later, the A's inched ahead as Stephen Piscotty doubled, advanced to third on Samardzija's wild pitch and scored on Khris Davis' sacrifice fly. The Giants grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning as Gorkys Hernandez and Duggar doubled, followed by pinch-hitter Austin Slater's RBI single.

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar clubs an RBI double over Davis' head

SOUND SMART
With a victory Sunday, the Giants can extend their streak of unbeaten home series to 13. They've won 10 series and split two.

HE SAID IT
"It's over. At some point, you've got to let it go. I know it's frustrating when you don't agree with the call. The whole at-bat, he was frustrated with. Once he went out there and started arguing again, you're going to get thrown out. It can't happen in a game like this. He's a big part of this offense. Changes the game a little bit. Took a left-handed bat off the bench [when Pablo Sandoval entered the game]. I'll talk to him about it." -- Bochy, on first baseman Brandon Belt's fifth-inning ejection

Video: OAK@SF: Belt ejected after arguing between innings 

UP NEXT
The overall statistics that Andrew Suarez will take into Sunday's first-half and series finale are deceiving. Suarez, who'll start the 1:05 p.m. PT encounter for the Giants against the A's at AT&T Park, has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his last six outings. His ERA in that stretch is an even 2.00. This will be quite a matchup of promising left-handers, since the A's will be starting Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.44 ERA). 

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, Jeff Samardzija

Panda harbors dream of playing all 9 positions

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- If anyone is ever to play all nine positions in a game for the Giants, it would be Pablo Sandoval.

He's already pitched and caught, and manager Bruce Bochy is sure he wouldn't mind playing the other positions. In fact, he has talked to Sandoval about it.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- If anyone is ever to play all nine positions in a game for the Giants, it would be Pablo Sandoval.

He's already pitched and caught, and manager Bruce Bochy is sure he wouldn't mind playing the other positions. In fact, he has talked to Sandoval about it.

View Full Game Coverage

"Of course he would want to do it," Bochy said. "There's probably not a position he's going to be a little skeptical of playing."

Sandoval's versatility has been useful for the Giants. Primarily a third baseman, he has been pressed into service this season after Evan Longoria broke his finger a month ago. But he has also made 18 starts at first, two starts at second and pitched a perfect inning in April against the Dodgers in a blowout loss.

Video: Must C Curious: Sandoval tosses perfect 9th inning

Bochy said he talked to Sandoval last season, when the Giants were out of playoff contention, about a nine-position game. The manager added that, despite not having a lot of speed, Sandoval has quick instincts, which may stem from being a catcher earlier in his career.

"The thing he's always had -- he may not be a fast runner -- but he's had quickness," Bochy said. "He may not have the range that some third basemen have, [but a] hard-hit ball to his left or right, he's as quick as anybody is."

That was on display in Friday night's win over the A's, when Sandoval took away a potential go-ahead hit from Jonathan Lucroy in the seventh inning with a diving catch on a line drive, helping the Giants escape a bases-loaded jam with nobody out. Sandoval also dove for third base after making the catch and almost doubled-up Stephen Piscotty, who scrambled back safely.

"That's what you want from your third baseman," Bochy said. "You're looking for long range. That's why they're there. That's more of a reaction position. That's what he does have."

Bochy said he would enjoy watching Sandoval play all nine positions -- something that has only been done five times in MLB history -- though he admitted the outfield might be rough.

"For an inning, you can say enough prayers and hope he'll get you through it," Bochy said.

Bochy on Casilla

The A's designated Santiago Casilla for assignment on Saturday. The Giants have fond memories of the veteran pitcher. In between the eight seasons he spent in Oakland, Casilla pitched seven seasons for the Giants (2010-2016), playing a big role in the back end of the bullpen in the team's three World Series titles.

In 25 postseason appearances with the Giants, Casilla was 1-0 with a 0.92 ERA.

"Santiago did a great job for us," Bochy said. "He helped us win some World Series -- something I'll never forget. He's such a class guy. I'm sure it wasn't easy for the A's to let him go. I have nothing but great memories of the time that I spent with him. I appreciate all he did here."

Eric He is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.

San Francisco Giants, Pablo Sandoval

Duggar leads charge to open Battle of the Bay

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Duggar harmlessly grounded out to the pitcher in his first-bat of Friday's game. But from that 11-pitch at-bat, in which Duggar fell behind 1-2 and fouled off five pitches, it became evident the leadoff hitter was locked in.

The Giants won, 7-1, to capture the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series. Duggar had a hand in five of those runs. In just his fourth career game, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Steven Duggar harmlessly grounded out to the pitcher in his first-bat of Friday's game. But from that 11-pitch at-bat, in which Duggar fell behind 1-2 and fouled off five pitches, it became evident the leadoff hitter was locked in.

The Giants won, 7-1, to capture the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series. Duggar had a hand in five of those runs. In just his fourth career game, the 24-year-old went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs.

View Full Game Coverage

Manager Bruce Bochy praised the youngster's performance Friday.

"He was in the middle of everything today," Bochy said. "All of the rallies, got the big hit to break it open, and the first at-bat was a good at-bat. He looks like he's comfortable already from the get-go; he's throwing out some good at-bats, playing good defense. Just a really nice ballgame by him."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar lines a 2-run double to right in 7th

Ranked the Giants' No. 3 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Duggar faced his biggest moment since his Major League callup Sunday in the seventh inning. Trailing, 2-1, the A's brought in a left-hander to face Duggar with the bases loaded. Down 0-2 in the count, the center fielder ripped his second double of the game, putting the Giants up 4-1.

"I was locked in, ready to go," Duggar said. "I had a feeling they were going to go to that lefty in the 'pen when I was in the hole if the bases were loaded. I just tried to mentally prepare for that and just tried to make the most of that situation."

Buster Posey capped the five-run inning with a double and his second RBI of the game.

Video: OAK@SF: Posey rips RBI double down third-base line

Starter Madison Bumgarner (3-3) threw six-plus innings of one-run ball to earn the win. He allowed three hits, struck out five and walked three, two of which came in a laborious seventh inning. The Giants have won four of his last five outings.

Video: OAK@SF: Bumgarner tosses 6-plus innings of 1-run ball

Not only did the Giants win, they seem to have found their leadoff hitter of the future. It's something Bochy said he is going to think about.

"The thing you like about Steven is he's a patient hitter," Bochy said. "He usually sees a lot of pitches, battles up there, he's got some pop, too. And then he gives you the speed, he can steal a base or take the extra base. I think that [leading off] is going to be his role."

Duggar is comfortable in the leadoff spot. It's where he hit in his ascent through the Giants' farm system, and where he's hit in three of his four Major League starts thus far.

"I think up here the emphasis is just to get on base," Duggar said. "Work a good at-bat to lead off the game. Just try to find a way on because the guys behind me are All-Stars, they swing. Just try to get on base, make something happen and score some runs."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar races home on wild pitch in the 7th

On Friday, Duggar showcased his entire skillset. He was poised at the plate, he manufactured runs with his speed and he played terrific defense. It was everything the Giants were hoping to see from the highly touted July callup.

"I'm glad he's here," Bumgarner said. "I've been waiting, I think a lot of people have. We're all excited to have him here and see what he can do."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reyes Moronta entered Friday night's game in the seventh inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. The right-hander exited to a standing ovation after escaping from the jam that Bumgarner induced by allowing a leadoff single and issuing consecutive walks, both on full counts.

"Unbelievable job right there," Bumgarner said. "It was a tough spot to put somebody in and he did as good of a job as you can do, especially in a one-run game. I think that was the big momentum shifter. I think that particular inning won the game for us."

Video: OAK@SF: Moronta induces groundout, leaves bases full

Bochy agreed.

"You always look at a point in the game that could be the turning point and that certainly was," Bochy said. "Bum threw a great ballgame but a base hit, walk, and then he walks the next guy. At that point he's coming out and we've done that a few times to Moronta, put him in a tough situation. But he handles it so well, that's going beyond, not to give up a run. He has that kind of stuff and poise, and that's the turning point in the game, really."

Video: OAK@SF: Bochy talks Duggar's night, Moronta in win

Moronta has not allowed a hit in 12 straight appearances and lowered his ERA to 1.76 with a scoreless frame Friday.

"I just go out there and the first thing I think is to do my job," Moronta said through translator Erwin Higueros. "Try to throw strikes and let the ball find the strike zone."

Bumgarner was the first person to greet Moronta at the dugout steps, a formal handshake followed by an appreciative hug. A bevy of Giants came next.

Asked what Bumgarner said when he met him in the dugout, the right-hander smiled.

"He just hugged me."

SOUND SMART
Posey entered Friday's game 1-for-17 in his career against Edwin Jackson. It was the fewest hits among all pitchers he has faced at least 16 times. Posey collected his second career hit off Jackson, an RBI single in the sixth inning.

Video: OAK@SF: Posey plates Duggar with a single to left

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Duggar manufactured the first run of the game by leading off the fourth inning with a double. He advanced to third on Brandon Belt's groundout and scored when Jackson balked.

"My front spike just caught the dirt," Jackson said. "It's a first. I guess when you play this long there's a first for a lot of different things, but that's the first time that I've had that happen where someone is on base and a run gets brought in."

Video: OAK@SF: Duggar comes home on balk for game's 1st run

HE SAID IT
"He competes and he's not afraid when he goes out there. He's picked me up more than once this year. It's nice to be able to keep battling, making pitches and not give in and just try to just throw a strike in that situation. I saw him down there; I knew depending on what was happening, he was getting close. Like I said, I didn't give in and kept trying to make pitches and we made some good ones." -- Bumgarner, on his confidence in Moronta

UP NEXT
Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 6.42 ERA) will get the nod for the Giants on Saturday in the second game of the Bay Bridge Series at AT&T Park. Last Saturday, in his first start in 35 days, the right-hander went five innings and allowed three earned runs. Samardzija will be looking to get ahead of batters early; he threw first-pitch strikes to only 12 of the 23 batters he faced in his last outing. The A's will counter with veteran Brett Anderson (1-2, 5.75 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @MartinOppegaard.

San Francisco Giants, Madison Bumgarner, Steven Duggar, Reyes Moronta

Suarez, Rodriguez full go for SF rotation

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to set the order of his starting rotation post-All-Star break, but 25-year old Andrew Suarez and 26-year old Dereck Rodriguez will be pitching with little restriction.

"We're comfortable not skipping them or having to back off at this point," Bochy said of the two rookies. "Now, that could change in a month if they're showing any kinds of signs that they could use a break. There's no plan right now to back off with either one of them."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy has yet to set the order of his starting rotation post-All-Star break, but 25-year old Andrew Suarez and 26-year old Dereck Rodriguez will be pitching with little restriction.

"We're comfortable not skipping them or having to back off at this point," Bochy said of the two rookies. "Now, that could change in a month if they're showing any kinds of signs that they could use a break. There's no plan right now to back off with either one of them."

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Rodriguez threw three scoreless frames in Wednesday's 13-inning game and was rewarded with the win. He'll be available out of the bullpen throughout the Giants' weekend series against Oakland, according to Bochy.

Suarez is set to start the series finale Sunday.

Left-hander Derek Holland has transitioned into the bullpen since the return of Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija. Bochy expects Holland to get some starts after the All-Star break.

"There will be a time when [Holland] does get a start where we think it makes sense to give somebody a break," Bochy said. "That's the value that he gives you. He's ready to help out anywhere. It says a lot about him because he's thrown the ball well whether it's in the bullpen or starting."

Longoria nearing rehab stint
Evan Longoria has been fielding grounders and taking swings. The third baseman is "coming along really nice," per Bochy.

"He took BP in the cage, that's always a great sign," Bochy added. "I would say we're looking at seven to 10 days [from Friday] and then him starting rehab."

Giants add outfield depth
After trading Austin Jackson last week, the Giants signed veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos to a Minor League contract. In his ninth Major League season, Bourjos slashed .205/.239/.364 through 36 games with the Braves and is expected to report to Triple-A Sacramento.

"[He's] still a good athlete," Bochy said. "Can fly, really good defender. He's a right-handed bat who has a knack for scoring runs."

Martin Oppegaard is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @MartinOppegaard.

San Francisco Giants, Peter Bourjos, Evan Longoria, Dereck Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez

Predicting Deadline strategies in NL West

How deals in recent past could foretell moves this month
MLB.com

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

Three weeks from now, the makeup of the five National League West rosters could be decidedly different.

• Catch up on the latest Trade Talk

With the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching, MLB.com went back to the future to look at recent deals made by all five NL West clubs -- and how those moves might impact decision making between now and July 31.

D-BACKS
The deal: On Feb. 20, the D-backs traded Brandon Drury, Anthony Banda and two players to be named later in a three-team deal with the Rays and Yankees to acquire outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League pitcher Taylor Widener.

How it matters for this year's team: Souza strained his right pectoral muscle in Spring Training and has spent most of the year on the disabled list. Now back, he is still looking to regain the form he showed with the Rays. Meanwhile, those prospects turned into Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche, who have been strong in Tampa Bay's system this season.

Video: SD@ARI: Souza hammers a 2-run homer to deep center

What it tells us about the next 19 days: The D-backs are definitely buyers. But the Souza deal is the latest example of a trade that served to drain the farm system. With an already-thin crop of prospects, Arizona is hesitant to part with more inventory. (Plus, the loss of Banda dug into its starting-pitching depth.)

du

DODGERS
The deal(s): Los Angeles acquired Yu Darvish (in 2017), Rich Hill (in '16) and Alex Wood (in '15) leading up to the past three Trade Deadlines.

What it has meant for this year's team: Darvish proved an expensive rental. Hill and Wood are still in the rotation, and they could play an important role in the Dodgers' quest for a sixth straight NL West title. Both have struggled at times this season, but they'll figure prominently if Los Angeles makes another push toward October.

Video: COL@LAD: Hill K's 10 over 6 2/3 innings of 1-run ball

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Clearly, the Dodgers aren't afraid to work out a deal for a big name -- which is why they've been linked to Manny Machado and Zach Britton of the Orioles. They will likely make multiple deals in the coming weeks, finding creative ways to move payroll and stay under the tax threshold.

GIANTS
The deal: Earlier this month, the Giants dealt Cory Gearrin, Austin Jackson and Jason Bahr to the Rangers for a player to be named later.

What it has meant for this year's team: San Francisco lost two pieces from its roster, but both had struggled and neither was going to play much of role in the second half anyway. More than anything, the Giants gave themselves some operating room under the Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

Video: TEX@DET: Rangers acquire Jackson, Gearrin and Bahr

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Without Jackson and Gearrin, the Giants have room to maneuver before they hit the tax threshold. They'll conceivably be more active before the Deadline than many initially thought. Then again, San Francisco always takes an active approach toward the Deadline. They could use an outfield bat -- to upgrade from Jackson. The Giants could use a veteran reliever -- to upgrade from Gearrin. And now they have the financial flexibility to do so.

PADRES
The deal: At last year's Deadline, the Padres sent starter Trevor Cahill and relievers Ryan Buchter and Brandon Maurer to the Royals for Matt Strahm, Esteury Ruiz and Travis Wood.

What it has meant for this year's team: Strahm is cementing himself as an integral part of San Diego's future pitching staff -- though it's uncertain whether that's as a starter or a reliever. He owns a 2.67 ERA in 17 appearances -- including five starts. Ruiz, meanwhile, is the Padres' No. 11 prospect and has held his own as a 19-year-old infielder at Class A Fort Wayne.

Video: SD@SF: Strahm gets McCutchen looking to end the 1st

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Closer Brad Hand was available at last year's Deadline, too, but San Diego set a high price, and he wasn't moved. If the same thing happens in 2018, it's entirely possible we see a repeat of the Deadline deal last summer. Like Cahill, the Padres have a solid righty starting option in Tyson Ross. Like Buchter and Maurer, they have relief weapons available in Kirby Yates and Craig Stammen. If the Friars create a package of multiple pitchers, it could fetch them a nice return -- like it did a season ago.

ROCKIES
The deal: A year ago, the Rockies swung two trades in the span of a week, netting catcher Jonathan Lucroy from the Rangers and reliever Pat Neshek from the Phillies. The key pieces in both trades were young, controllable prospects.

What it has meant for this year's team: Lucroy is with Oakland, Neshek is back with Philadelphia, and Colorado is two prospects lighter. (But the duo did help lift the Rockies to their first postseason berth in eight years.)

What it tells us about the next 19 days: Colorado hasn't yet decided whether it's a buyer or a seller this summer. But general manager Jeff Bridich has established a philosophy for both possibilities. If the Rockies continue to push toward contention, a similar trade or two might be in the works. If they fall too far back in the NL West, they'll look to replenish the prospects they lost at last year's Deadline.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies

Posey keys SF's MLB-high 8th walk-off in 13th

MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- For an example of a team "knowing how to win," as the saying goes, refer to the Giants' 5-4, 13-inning victory Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park over the Cubs, which ended with Buster Posey's two-out RBI single.

Ignoring the apparent inevitability of the game extending to another inning, Brandon Belt drew a two-out walk to prolong the 13th against Cubs right-hander James Norwood, who was in the second inning of his Major League debut.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- For an example of a team "knowing how to win," as the saying goes, refer to the Giants' 5-4, 13-inning victory Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park over the Cubs, which ended with Buster Posey's two-out RBI single.

Ignoring the apparent inevitability of the game extending to another inning, Brandon Belt drew a two-out walk to prolong the 13th against Cubs right-hander James Norwood, who was in the second inning of his Major League debut.

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Batting .194 in nine July games entering Wednesday, Andrew McCutchen summoned the skills that made him a National League Most Valuable Player and smartly slapped his second single of the afternoon.

Video: CHC@SF: Bochy on Posey, bullpen in extra-innings win

Up came Posey, who had collected three RBIs in his previous 27 games. It was the kind of situation that he has thrived in so often during nine Major League seasons. He demonstrated his expertise by driving Norwood's 2-2 fastball to the opposite field. The ball caromed off the right-field wall for what was officially ruled a single, and Belt scored easily.

"It's all about how bad you want it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. Referring to Posey enduring the rigors of catching, Bochy added, "We had the right guy up. Buster wanted to end the game as much as anyone."

All of this was made possible by Dereck Rodriguez, a starter who was installed as a reliever to consume innings. That he did, working three hitless frames to earn the decision. Blessed with his baseball pedigree, the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez felt comfortable occupying a foreign role.

Video: CHC@SF: d'Arnaud launches a leadoff home run to left

"You go after them like any other guy I've faced," said Rodriguez, downplaying the novelty of his performance.

San Francisco secured its Major League-leading eighth walk-off victory while improving to 10-0 with two ties in its past 12 home series.

To set up this triumph, Posey spent the 12th inning studying Norwood. "Nothing more than trying to follow what he did," Posey said. His summary of Norwood: "Good stuff, 97-98 [mph], kind of a crossfire [delivery] with a good split."

Video: CHC@SF: Posey on his walk-off single in the 13th

The confrontation was anything but one-sided. "With two strikes, you're in battle mode at that point," Posey said.

Obviously, Posey won the fight. "He's probably one of the best hitters in baseball with two strikes," Bochy said.

Much earlier, the Giants jumped ahead with a four-run first inning off Cubs starter Mike Montgomery. Chase d'Arnaud's first career leadoff homer began the outburst, which continued with Gorkys Hernandez's two-run double and Steven Duggar's RBI single, his first in the Majors.

Video: CHC@SF: Hernandez plates 2 with a double to right

Chicago ponderously but powerfully pulled even with three home runs, the first two off Giants starter Johnny Cueto. Jason Heyward went deep to open the third inning and Kris Bryant hammered a two-run long ball in the fifth inning, Cueto's last. Javier Baez's seventh-inning leadoff drive tied the score against Giants reliever Tony Watson, whose Major League-high 18-inning scoreless streak dissolved.

Video: CHC@SF: Duggar singles to center for his 1st MLB RBI

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
San Francisco's bullpen excelled before Rodriguez came upon the scene. The Cubs totaled one hit in the final six innings. For the series, Giants relievers allowed two runs in 15 2/3 innings. That's a 1.15 ERA.

Video: CHC@SF: Rodriguez freezes Baez in the top of the 11th

SOUND SMART
Posey recorded his fifth career game-ending hit. His last was on May 12, 2017, when he beat Cincinnati with a 17th-inning homer.

Video: Must C Clutch: Posey belts walk-off homer in the 17th

BELT LOSES ASG FINAL VOTE
Belt remained classy in defeat after Wednesday's announcement that Milwaukee's Jesus Aguilar had won the Camping World All-Star Game Final Vote for the National League.

Without prompting, Belt approached a gaggle of reporters and profusely congratulated Aguilar and Seattle's Jean Segura for capturing the last spots on the NL and AL All-Star teams, respectively. "They definitely deserved it," said Belt, the 2016 NL winner.

Belt also expressed gratitude to the Giants' social media staffers who directed the club's efforts to get out the vote on his behalf. "Without them, I might have had three or four votes," Belt said.

Belt saved special mention for teammates such as Hunter Pence, Derek Holland and McCutchen, who taped videos to support Belt's cause.

"That was one of the coolest things to see, having your teammates behind you," Belt said. "They already have so much stuff to do. To take time out of their schedules to promote me meant a lot."

Always quick with a quip, Belt jokingly remarked, "I was told that Russia interfered with this election."

UP NEXT
Thursday will mark the Giants' first scheduled off-day since June 25, giving them a chance to energize themselves for a three-game weekend Interleague series against their cross-bay rivals, the Oakland A's. Madison Bumgarner (2-3, 3.09 ERA) will receive the starting assignment for the Giants in Friday's series opener, which is scheduled to begin at 7:15 p.m. PT. Edwin Jackson (1-0, 2.45 ERA) will start for the A's.

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, Johnny Cueto, Gorkys Hernandez, Buster Posey

Giants can't capitalize on Holland's strong start

Right-hander strikes out eight in 6 1/3 innings, getting tagged for one run
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Forget for a moment that the Giants collected just three hits Tuesday night and lost to the Chicago Cubs, 2-0. Such performances will remain commonplace for such an erratic offense.

Derek Holland's effort certainly was more inspiring than anything San Francisco's hitters did, besides being more intriguing. The left-hander excelled in his first start since July 1, yielding one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked none and matched a season high with eight strikeouts, reflecting his uncanny command.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Forget for a moment that the Giants collected just three hits Tuesday night and lost to the Chicago Cubs, 2-0. Such performances will remain commonplace for such an erratic offense.

Derek Holland's effort certainly was more inspiring than anything San Francisco's hitters did, besides being more intriguing. The left-hander excelled in his first start since July 1, yielding one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked none and matched a season high with eight strikeouts, reflecting his uncanny command.

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Pitching such as this should not be wasted. Thus, the Giants have a decision to make regarding Holland as the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches.

Do they keep him around as a long reliever? Should they use him as they did against the Cubs -- as a spot starter to keep the existing starters fresh? Or should the Giants shop him before the deadline to pitching-starved clubs needing help at the back end of their rotation?

"We'll talk about it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, referring solely to options that involve Holland remaining with San Francisco. Bochy did add, though, "The way he has thrown the ball, he has value."

Video: CHC@SF: Holland retires the side, fans Baez in 1st

Meanwhile, Holland is ready to do whatever the Giants ask.

"You're not going to hear me complain," he said. "Whatever they call me to do, I'm going to do it. If I have to go back to the 'pen, I'll be perfectly fine with it."

Holland blanked the Cubs until the seventh, when they scored their only runs. Addison Russell lined a one-out double that chased Holland, then broke for third base. Dyson's pitch happened to be wild. Catcher Nick Hundley unleashed an off-target throw that resulted in an error, enabling Russell to score.Victor Caratini's RBI double essentially settled matters.

Video: CHC@SF: Russell scores on a wild pitch, error in 7th 

"I thought Holland was really good," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I know he hasn't been starting a lot, but he was sharp. He had a better than his average fastball. He's normally 91 to 93 [mph]; I saw a lot of 94s. His breaking ball had a lot of depth also, and his changeup. He pitched really well."

The Giants stirred briefly against Cubs starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning, which began with Brandon Belt singling and Andrew McCutchen drawing a walk. Quintana escaped by inducing Hundley's double-play bouncer and Brandon Crawford's groundout.

The game's most encouraging development for the Giants was Ray Black's scoreless ninth inning. The rookie right-hander, who has overcome a series of injuries that would fill a medical textbook, pitched a perfect inning. Black overpowered some of Chicago's top hitters, striking out Willson Contreras and Russell before coaxing Kyle Schwarber's pop-up.

This contrasted with Black's Major League debut on Sunday, when he learned the limitations of his 100 mph fastball as St. Louis' Matt Carpenter clobbered a three-run homer off him.

"First time in the stadium, looking up and seeing all the fans, I got a little bit overwhelmed," Black said. "Tonight I was able to control my emotions a little better."

SOUND SMART
This was the first shutout defeat the Giants have absorbed at home in 2018.

HE SAID IT
"We might have to do something. He's in second place, right? … I'm going to make sure I get plenty of baby oil." -- Holland, who portrayed a wrestler in a video released Monday that promoted Belt's candidacy in the Camping World All-Star Game Final Vote competition. The baby oil is for making Holland's muscles glisten

UP NEXT
Johnny Cueto, making his second appearance since returning from a sprained left ankle, will pitch on one extra day's rest as he starts Wednesday's 12:45 p.m. PT finale vs. the Cubs. Cueto owns a 41-30 record with a 3.34 ERA on five days' rest during his career. The right-hander will be opposed by Cubs left-hander Mike Montgomery, who'll make his 10th start of the season and 28th appearance.

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, Derek Holland