Sunday, June 19, 2016

Giants sweep Rays, run win streak to eight

 Joe Panik's RBI single in the eighth broke a 1-1 tie to lead the Giants to a 5-1 win over the Rays Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field with 17,361 watching.
The win earned the Giants (44-26) a sweep of the three-game series with the Rays (31-36), who have now lost four consecutive games.
Gregor Blanco singled off Xavier Cedeno to start the eighth and advanced to second onDenard Span's sacrifice bunt. Panik then singled to right to drive home Blanco. Buster Posey added an RBI single off Tyler Sturdevant and Conor Gillaspie chipped in with a two-run double off Sturdevant to give the Giants a four-run cushion.
Jake Odorizzi started for the Rays and got a no-decision after holding the Giants to one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings. Brandon Belt's solo home run in the fourth was the only blemish on his line. Meanwhile, Jake Peavy held the Rays to one run on four hits while striking out eight in six innings en route to a quality start and a no-decision.
Rays hitters went 0-for-11 on Sunday, which translated to a 4-for-49 stretch with runners in scoring position in their last five games.
"Good to be getting out of here," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "That was just kind of a series of us not getting it done whatsoever. Big hit eluded us, we had baserunners all over the place the first two innings and to come out of that with a run -- especially in the first. We have to be able to capitalize on that and we did not."
Jake Peavy overcame a lack of command and poor defense in the first three innings. The Giants had three errors during that span and also let the leadoff man get on each time. But Peavy settled down and went toe-to-toe with Odorizzi, pitching six, one-run innings.
"We were just trying to minimize damage," Peavy said. "Obviously, the game didn't start as we would have liked it...We were able to make pitches, turn it around." More >
Big Belt: The Giants were trailing 1-0, and Odorizzi was rolling through the first three innings. But Brandon Belt came up big in his second at-bat, blasting a home run over the bleachers down the right field line. It was his second homer of the series, and tied the game 1-1.
A clean two: Odorizzi has struggled in the first two innings this season. Entering Sunday's game, the Rays' right-hander had allowed 33 earned runs on the season and 20 of those had scored in the first two innings of the game. Sunday he successfully navigated the first two frames unscathed, posting zeros in both.
Broken open : A pitcher's duel was quickly turned into a rout in the top of eighth inning. The Giants put together four hits and a walk to score four runs against Cedeno and Sturdevant. Gillaspie broke it open with a two-out, two-run double to make it 5-1. Panik had a big hit in the inning as well. More >
"Just getting big hits, timely hits...It's been pitching keeping us in the game and giving us a chance," Bochy said. "We're not scoring a lot of runs, but we're getting the timely hits when we need them, doing some little things right."
Big league: The Giants had no outs in the fifth and runners on second and third whenTrevor Brown lofted a shallow fly ball down the right-field line. First baseman Logan Morrison took off after the ball and managed to make an over-the-shoulder catch. The Rays' first baseman quickly pivoted and threw to the plate, preventing Matt Duffy from scoring from third. Odorizzi then struck out Blanco and Span to end the threat
"I thought Jake was outstanding. Really, really well-pitched ballgame. Got into a jam, got out of the game. Very impressive outing. Gave us every single opportunity to win." --- Cash, on Odorizzi.
"Bochy is the best going in the game right now. I feel fortunate to have been raised to a certain extent by him and to watch and learn so much at an early age. And to come back full circle as older guy. ... He's calm amid the storms, but he's as fiery as any guy in here. And that's what makes him great." -- Peavy, on playing for Bochy.
Evan Longoria homered against the Giants on Saturday. The homer represented his first against the National League team. That leaves the Dodgers, Phillies, and Nationals as the only opponents he's never homered against.
Gillaspie had a two-run double in the eighth to extend the lead. He hadn't had a hit in his previous 24 at-bats before that moment.
The Rays challenged an out call in the second when Desmond Jennings appeared to dodge the tag by Belt. After a delay of 1 minute 42 seconds, the call on the field was overturned.
The Rays challenged a safe call in the fifth when Angel Pagan stole second. A review of 2 minutes and 14 seconds followed and the verdict came back: call stands.
Rays: Drew Smyly (2-7, 4.75) will make his 14th start after striking out a career-high 12 batters on Wednesday against the Mariners. The left-hander feels good about regaining the feel for his off-speed pitches. When he's got all of his four pitches working he's especially tough. Of note: He's surrendered eight home runs in his last five starts, a span covering 28 innings.
Giants: Madison Bumgarner (8-2, 1.91 ERA) is 7-0 in 10 starts dating back to April 25. The San Francisco ace will take the hill for the surging Giants against the sputtering Pirates, who had lost 4 of 18 games going into Sunday's game against the Cubs. It will be the first of four games at PNC park, starting at 4:05 p.m. PT. on Monday.

Ozuna goes boom as Marlins beat Rockies

Marcell Ozuna picked an opportune time to heat up at home. The 25-year-old center fielder blasted a three-run homer that powered the Marlins to a 3-0 win over the Rockies on Sunday at Marlins Park.
Ozuna, who had three hits on the day, had been 2-for-27 in his last nine home games. With two outs in the sixth inning, Ozuna delivered a no-doubt, three-run shot off Miguel Castro, who entered for rookie Tyler Anderson.
The Marlins have taken the first three in their four-game series with the Rockies, and at 37-32 are five games over .500 for the first time since May 8, 2014 (20-15). Combined with the Mets' loss to the Braves, Miami is now in second place in the National League East.
Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler struck out six and walked six over six innings, but he allowed just two hits. The Rockies stranded seven with the Miami starter on the mound. 
"This was one that probably felt closer to 120 [pitches]," Koehler said. "Normally with 90 pitches, you're fighting to go back out there, and you probably wouldn't even ask me if I was going back. But today was a grind from the beginning. Not the best I've thrown the baseball, but I was able to make some big pitches when I needed to."
Outside of a six-run, five-hit inning during Saturday's 9-6 loss, the Rockies have had five hits in 26 innings at Marlins Park.
"We'll get it right offensively," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We've struggled here [in Miami] to score runs. That's certainly been the case this series. Koehler has thrown the ball well against us several times."
Ozuna leaves no doubt: After taking a 95-mph fastball for ball two in the sixth inning, Ozuna was ready for more heat from Castro on a hitter-friendly 2-0 count. Castro again fired a 95-mph fastball that Ozuna was on time for and crushed for a three-run homer to left-center. The blast broke the scoreless gridlock. Statcast™ projected the shot at 421 feet with an exit velocity of 109 mph. Ozuna paces the club with 13 home runs, one more than Giancarlo Stanton.
"Walt goes with the righty there, understanding [Ozuna] had a couple hits off the lefty. We had the right guy there at the right time," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "That was good. The other guy I look at in that situation was [Derek Dietrich's] at-bat and then Martin [Prado]'s hit. He had been hitting the ball good all day, and that hit kind of puts their guy in harm's way of [Christian Yelich] and Marcell. I thought that was a big hit." More >
Did his part: The left-handed Anderson fashioned his second solid start in as many Major League outings when he held the Marlins to four hits and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings. The last of Anderson's 102 pitches -- the most he has thrown in any professional game -- was an 88-mph cutter that struck out Yelich. Pushing Anderson's pitch count at this point would be problematic. He missed last season with a left elbow stress fracture he suffered late in 2014, plus had some shoulder fatigue during the comeback. He also missed the early part of this season with an oblique issue. So manager Walt Weiss replaced Anderson with Castro.
"You always want to stay in there and finish, but you've got to have faith in Castro -- Castro has done a heck of a job, and you expect him to come in and do well," Anderson said. "Sometimes it doesn't go that way.
"I felt good. I was throwing more balls than I would have liked to at that point, so I could see where they're coming from [with the decision to pull him]. As a competitor, whether you can or not, you always think you can stay in there. I was feeling good."
Koehler effectively wild: When Koehler issued an intentional walk to Daniel Descalso with two outs in the sixth inning, it was the right-hander's sixth free pass of the game. That set a personal high in 101 big league starts. The walk, however, didn't hurt him, because Koehler struck out Brandon Barnes, stranding runners on first and second and keeping the game scoreless. In his career, Koehler has walked at least five 10 times, with five this season. In six innings, Koehler gave up just two hits to go with his six walks. He also struck out six.
"He's a guy for me that's effectively wild," Mattingly said. "You're never quite sure what you're getting, where it's gonna be. He threw good sliders, the curveball got maybe [Carlos Gonzalez] twice and [Charlie] Blackmon early on. He was getting big outs with a lot of different stuff. He's a guy that's effectively wild all over the strike zone."
Painful growth: Castro, obtained from the Blue Jays as part of the deal that sent away shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, had a 1.50 ERA in six appearances before going to the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. His 10-game re-entry has been challenging and unpredictable. Six outings have been scoreless. The other five? Try seven runs and 11 hits, including two homers, in three innings. The first two pitches to Ozuna missed badly up and in, and his 95-mph fastball was ripe for a homer.
"You could tell the first slider he threw to Ozuna, it got away from him, arm side," Weiss said. "That happens from time to time with Castro. The stuff is electric, but you've got to get in good counts." More >
"It bounced off and I was like, 'Oh.' I was thinking there was no way he could put enough on the ball. He was back, almost on his knees, I think. When I saw it, I was like, 'He may have a shot right here.' That's one of those plays it should be on [highlight] shows. That's not only a good play, but a big play. You never know, if the guy gets on, a lot of things can happen from that point. It was huge." -- Miami closer A.J. Ramos, on a play catcher Jeff Mathis made, throwing out Trevor Story after he struck out in the ninth. Mathis had to retrieve the ball and complete a difficult throw to first.
The Marlins' defense had another game without an error. In fact, the club has committed just two errors in June, the fewest in the Majors. Since May 30 over their last 19 games, the Marlins have made just two errors.
Rockies: After struggling for six starts, lefty Jorge De La Rosa (3-4, 7.61 ERA) went to the bullpen to find his mechanics before returning with five scoreless innings against the Yankees in a June 14 start. He'll face the Marlins at 5:10 p.m. MT on Monday
Marlins: Paul Clemens, a non-roster invitee in Spring Training for the Marlins, will make his first big league start since Sept. 28, 2013. He was with the Astros facing the Yankees that day. The right-hander gets the nod at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday in the series finale with the Rockies. Clemens was 6-4 with a 4.30 ERA at Triple-A New Orleans before having his contract selected.

Ramirez, Tribe walk off in 10th to sweep White Sox

Jose Ramirez could not escape the mob of teammates that swarmed him behind the mound at Progressive Field. The on-field celebration came after the Indians utility man delivered a walk-off single with the bases loaded, giving the Tribe a 3-2 win in 10 innings over the White Sox on Sunday at Progressive Field.
The win completed a three-game sweep of Chicago by the American League-Central leading Indians, who claimed a pair of walk-off victories in the weekend set. Rajai Davis opened the 10th with a double and scored the winning run when Ramirez pulled a pitch from White Sox closer David Robertson into right field with two outs.
"It's nice to be the home team," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That was a pretty good game played well by both teams."
"We can't get any good luck to go our way," Robertson said. "I sure didn't help myself out by falling behind to Rajai [at 2-0]. That's a costly double to give up."
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco and White Sox lefty Carlos Rodon each turned in solid efforts, but neither figured into the decision.
Carrasco logged 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. The righty gave up an RBI double to Jose Abreu in the first inning and yielded a solo homer to Melky Cabrera in the fourth. Carrasco struck out six and walked four.
Rodon limited the Tribe to two runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings, in which he struck out eight and walked one. Rodon relinquished a sacrifice fly to Mike Napoli in the first inning and a solo home run to Juan Uribe in the fourth.
"Fastball is coming, [it] had some life," Rodon said. "[I] decided to get ahead of guys early on, [I] was falling behind. [I was] a little frustrated, then we found the fastball."
Following Carrasco's exit, setup man Bryan Shaw retired the only two batters he faced in the eighth to strand a runner. In the ninth, Indians closer Cody Allen struck out the side, helping set the stage for the walk-off win.
Another Juan: After missing a handful of games with a minor groin injury, Uribe returned with a three-hit showing on Saturday. Cleveland's third baseman continued his hot hitting on Sunday with a two-out, game-tying solo home run in the fourth. It was Uribe's second long ball in as many games and his fourth on the season.
Lawrie's save: White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie almost single-handedly sent this game into extra innings with his defensive heroics in the ninth. Uribe just missed the Indians' second walk-off homer in three days against Nate Jones and was perched on second whenMichael Martinez ripped a two-out shot between first and second toward right. Lawrie, who robbed Jason Kipnis of a hit leading off the eighth, dove to his left and got up to make the throw to first and get Martinez by a few steps.
"The play Lawrie made," Francona said, "that's a hit. I was thinking he maybe he hit it too sharply where [right fielder Adam] Eaton would have a play at the plate. He ended up catching it. But, we kept putting pressure."
"We tried everything," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "Melky had some nice throws, TA [Tim Anderson] had some nice plays. It's always tough any time you think you're going to get out of it. It's a tough one to lose." More >
Speed rally: Davis used his legs to help the Tribe manufacture its first run. In the opening inning, the Indians outfielder singled to right, moved to second on a bunt hit by Kipnis, stole third and then crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from Napoli. Davis ended the day 4-for-5 with two stolen bases, giving him an AL-high 20 thefts this year.
"He's probably a better basestealer than I realized," Francona said. "We all see his speed, but it seems to me that he's not getting very many stolen bases when there's some indifference. These are stolen bases where [the team knows it's coming]." More >
Playing through pain: Cabrera tweaked his right wrist diving for a Tyler Naquin first-inning line drive to left field in Saturday's loss. He was taken out of the game in the fourth and was listed as day to day, but was back in Sunday's starting lineup. Cabrera homered to give the White Sox a 2-1 lead in the fourth and finished 1-for-4. He also threw out Francisco Lindorat third for the second out in the eighth on Napoli's single to left.
"It was good, the way we played this weekend. We have to continue to do that. That's more important. I think right now we are playing good and we feel good about it. Especially today. It was great game." --Carrasco, on sweeping Chicago
"Lindor and Kipnis were hitting me really hard. This year, I have to continue winning games like I am. And I'll keep giving it hard to them just like they're giving it to me." -- Ramirez, on being mobbed by his teammates
"Everybody is still getting along. Nobody is mad at each other. How many games have we played now? 70? Nobody is at each other's throat, so it's great. It's a good group of guys. We're playing hard. We just need things to turn our way." -- Robertson, on the White Sox 10-26 slide, with a 3-11-1 record over their last 15 series played
Davis stole third base twice on Sunday against Rodon and White Sox catcher Alex Avila. That marked the first time that an Indians player stole third twice in a game since July 9, 2004, when Omar Vizquel accomplished the feat against the A's.
Anderson produced his fourth career multi-hit game and has hit in seven of the 10 he has played at the big league level. Anderson is 9-for-30 over his last six games.
White Sox: Miguel Gonzalez (1-2, 4.74 ERA) makes his 10th appearance (ninth start) for the White Sox as they open a four-game set Monday at Fenway Park at 6:10 p.m.CT. Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 4.89 ERA in eight starts.
Indians: Right-hander Josh Tomlin (8-1, 3.27 ERA) will take the mound for the Tribe at home in the series opener against Tampa Bay at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday. Tomlin has made three starts in June. He has allowed four runs over 19 2/3 innings this month.

Teheran spins one-hit shutout to seal sweep

Julio Teheran recorded his first career one-hit shutout as the Braves extended their season-best winning streak to five games and completed a three-game sweep with Sunday afternoon's 6-0 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
Michael Conforto's third-inning leadoff single accounted for the only hit surrendered by Teheran, who retired 27 of the 28 batters he faced, including each of the final 21.. The Braves staked their ace to a two-run lead in the third inning, when Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis recorded two-out RBI singles off Jacob deGrom, who allowed three earned runs and five hits over six innings.
"Coming into this game, I wanted to do my part, and I know the guys have been doing great," Teheran said. "Obviously, I didn't want to be the one that lagged behind now that we're playing well. So, I just wanted to do my part."
En route to losing for the sixth time in their past eight games, the Mets allowed the Braves to extend their lead courtesy of Markakis' sixth-inning leadoff home run against deGrom.Freddie Freeman's RBI double off Antonio Bastardo during a two-run seventh inning highlighted his second four-hit game within the past five days.
"You have to give a little credit to the guy on the mound," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I know how it is here, and it's always our fault and we're not hitting, but that guy pitched pretty good today. It's not always, 'Oh well you guys aren't hitting,' and 'You guys stink.' He was pretty good, so give him a little pat on the back."
A rewarded gem:
 Teheran was in total control as he notched his third career shutout and first since May 20, 2014. The right-hander, who has posted a 1.89 ERA over his past 12 starts, ended his 120-pitch masterpiece with seven strikeouts. He kept his pitches away from the barrel of bats while commanding his fastball and keeping the Mets off balance with an array of sliders, curveballs and changeups.
"I think his stuff is a good matchup against [the Mets]," Braves catcher Tyler Flowers said. "They struggle with soft stuff in the zone. I knew it would be important to have a good feel for that today, which he typically does." More >
Weak supporting cast: Sunday was not deGrom's finest outing of the season, but he pitched well enough to keep the Mets in contention. As has been the case for most of his starts recently, though, the right-hander did not receive any help from the Mets' offense. Over deGrom's last five starts, New York has tallied a combined eight runs. In that span, he has posted a 0-3 record despite a 2.81 ERA. More >
Two-out flurry : After deGrom opened the third inning by hitting Erick Aybar with a pitch, Inciarte, Freeman and Markakis notched three consecutive two-out singles. The Mets' right-hander proved perfect during the fourth and fifth innings, but Markakis ended that stretch by beginning the sixth inning with his second home run of the season. The Braves had provided two runs or less of support in 11 of Teheran's previous 11 starts.
"[Freeman] can get on these tears and carry you," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
'Pen struggles: Following deGrom's departure, Bastardo and Hansel Robles couldn't keep the Mets within striking distance. Bastardo balked in a run in the seventh and then served up a RBI double to Freeman two batters later, while Robles surrendered three singles in the eighth to load the bases before allowing a run to score on a wild pitch. The duo have surrendered seven runs over 14 2/3 innings (4.30 ERA) in the month of June.
"Our bullpen has been absolutely great and all of a sudden now we can't seem to get through an inning," Collins said.
"You knew we had our hands full when we landed [in New York]. Guys did a great job of grinding out at-bats, and I think the plan they had was really good. We just played three really good ballgames. -- Snitker, on his team totaling 15 runs during a three-game series in which the Mets started Matt HarveySteven Matz and deGrom
As the Braves celebrated their second series sweep of the season, their mood was hampered by the revelation that Mallex Smith fractured his left thumb when he was hit by a Bastardo pitch during the seventh inning of Sunday's game. A timetable for return won't be announced until after Smith is further evaluated in Atlanta on Monday. More >
Braves: Bud Norris will take the mound when Atlanta begins a two-game series in Miami on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Braves are carrying a season-best five-game winning streak into Marlins Park, where they claimed a three-game series sweep in April.
Mets: Noah Syndergaard will get the start in the Mets' series opener against the Royals on Tuesday at 7:10 ET after coming two outs shy of his first career shutout against the Pirates on Wednesday. With the exception of the outing he was ejected from on May 28, the right-hander has tossed seven consecutive quality starts.

Taillon takes on Cubs in followup to first-win gem

Right-hander Jameson Taillon, coming off a dominant performance in only his second Major League start, will throw for the Pirates against the Cubs on Sunday at Wrigley Field with a chance to add to his legend.
Filling in for an injured Gerrit Cole on Tuesday at Citi Field, Taillon was exceptional. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 Draft and a top prospect set back by Tommy John surgery and a hernia operation, Taillon carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Mets and scattered two hits over eight scoreless innings for his first big league win. Plenty of celebration ensued for Taillon, a dual citizen whose parents were born in Canada.
"We got a few cold beverages and brought him into the shower because we didn't want to get the carpet wet and doused him," Cole said. "Jared Hughes gave us a nice, solid baritone line of 'O Canada' and we sung it, 25 in unison."
The Cubs have had the Pirates' number so far this season, holding a 7-1 edge in the season series as they shoot for a three-game sweep Sunday, but Pittsburgh has a chance to change that with its top young arm on the mound. Taillon already halted a five-game Pirates losing streak with his latest start.
"On a personal level, it was unbelievable to watch," Cole said. "I would like to say there was nobody as excited as I was, but I'd say he probably was more excited than I was. ... He's an unbelievable dude. What a professional. Let's not forget the [five]-game slide we were in before that. That was huge for the team."
The Cubs, however, have become accustomed to having strong starting pitching regardless of who is on the mound. Their 2.32 ERA from starters is the best in the Majors.
Sunday, they will start right-hander Kyle Hendricks, who is 4-6 with a 3.05 ERA this season. At home this year, Hendricks is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA.
"Everybody is talking about how well we're doing, run differential, all that stuff," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's really controlled by those five [starting pitchers]. Our five guys have really set the tone for everything that's happened."
Things to know about this game
• Sunday could mark the first Major League start for Cubs catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras made his Major League debut in the ninth inning Friday, but Maddon said Contreras will make his first start either Sunday or Monday.
• Pirates manager Clint Hurdle is two wins shy of 1,000 all-time managerial victories. He currently ranks sixth in Pirates history with 464 wins as a manager.
• Pirates closer Mark Melancon, the lone steady presence in an up-and-down Pittsburgh bullpen, has converted each of his last 15 save opportunities dating back to April 27. He has 70 saves since the beginning of last season, the most in Major League Baseball.