Denard Span

The Dodgers lost again

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The Los Angeles Dodgers lost their 11th straight game early this morning, falling 8-6 to the San Francisco Giants. It was their 16th in their last 17 games. It’s almost getting comical now. Well, maybe not to Dodgers fans, but to everyone else it’s certainly somethin’.

As I alluded to in the recapsand as NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic describes here — this was a weird one, significantly delayed by rain and lightning, which are things that don’t typically delay games in San Francisco. But the rains feel and the lightning flashed and this game didn’t get finished until after 2AM California time. This despite the fact that the game actually got underway just before 8PM. Problem was, they only got in one at-bat before the second two-hour plus delay. For the record, Curtis Granderson struck out facing Giants starter Chris Stratton. The delay ended Stratton’s night. He tossed five pitches. After the game he jokingly told reporters that “everything was working” last night. He could’ve said “I was just trying to make pitches. I made five of them and that was enough.”

As for the bulk of the game, Denard Span and Hunter Pence powered the Giants offense. The Dodgers were once again brutalized by their bullpen, with six relievers appearing in the game for L.A., three of which allowed runs to score. Not that their starter, Kenta Maeda, was much better. He allowed four runs in three innings of work.

It all adds up to the Dodgers’ longest losing streak since 1944. And yet another day of anxiety for Dodgers fans, wondering if and when this will ever stop.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 8, Dodgers 6: This game ended a little over an hour before I started these recaps and the San Francisco and L.A. writers covering the game were still at the ballpark, awake and beefing about whatever writers beef about. Good times! The delay was due to rain and lightning that twice hit AT&T Park last night, causing the game not to get started until super late. The teams stuck it out, however, because the forecast doesn’t look all that better for today and tomorrow and the Dodgers didn’t want to give up their travel day on Thursday. As it was, they gave up their 11th straight game, extending this death spiral. Denard Span — batting third — hit a homer into McCovey Cove and drove in three. Hunter Pence — leading off — had three hits and scored twice. Between the two delays the teams ended up having to use 15 pitchers combined and 40 players overall. What a night.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Nolan Arenado hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning and drove in four on the evening in what seems like a preview of the NL Wild Card game. After their 13-game winning streak, the Diamondbacks have dropped three of four.

Indians 11, Tigers 0: That’s 19 straight for Cleveland, which took a 5-0 lead by the second inning — three of those coming on a bases loaded triple from Francisco Lindor — and never looked back.  Carlos Carrasco tossed six shutout innings. Lindor knocked in four on the night. Jose Ramirez hit a long two-run homer and drove in three. It’s getting ahead of things to say the Indians will make the World Series — and the way they’re playing now it looks silly to say the Dodgers will make it — but if they both do, know that Cleveland has closed 15 and a half games in the standings between them and L.A. in 17 days and now stand four games behind for the best record in baseball which would, in turn, determine home field advantage in the World Series.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3: The Orioles are scuffling again, and are likely playing their way out of Wild Card contention. Ryan Goins hit a solo home run, Marco Estrada was solid and Darwin Barney had two hits and an RBI. He also did this on a double, advancing to third on a throwing error:

Yankees 5, Rays 1: This one was played in Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma, so the “visiting” team won. Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer in a five-run fourth inning made possible by Trevor Plouffe’s two-out error. The Yankees closed to within three games of Boston in the AL East and now have a four-game lead over Minnesota for the top AL Wild Card spot. The Rays are all but done, falling four back of the Wild Card with 17 to play and with five teams ahead of them.

Pirates 7, Brewers 0Steven Brault allowed one hit over six shutout innings, striking out six, and left with a 6-0 lead, two runs of which came off of his own bat with an RBI single. Nice night at the office. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte each hit two-run shots. Milwaukee falls to 2.5 back of the idle Cubs and two back of the idle Cards in the NL Central.

White Sox 11, Royals 3: Jose Abreu hit for the cycle on Saturday, hit two homers on Sunday and had four hits last night, falling a homer short of another cycle. He also walked. Adam Engel hit a three-run homer as the Chisox won easily.

Rangers 5, Mariners 3: In the second inning Delino DeShields reached on bunt single and then scored from first base on a Shin-Soo Choo double, running through the third base coach’s stop sign to do it. In the fourth inning he hit a home run. In closing, Delino DeShields is a land of contrasts.

Watch: Pablo Sandoval snaps 0-for-39 streak with a home run

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It’s only been two months and change since the Giants signed Pablo Sandoval to a minor league contract, and already they’ve seen the best and worst he has to offer. Sandoval replaced a concussed Brandon Belt in August and promptly slashed .288/.329/.394 through his first 18 games with the club. By the end of the month, his surge at the plate fizzled into an 0-for-39 streak, during which he managed just four walks and a single run scored over 11 consecutive games.

On Friday, the Giants caught a glimpse of the old Sandoval again. He ripped into a 1-2 changeup from the White Sox’ Lucas Giolito, sending it a projected 413 feet into the right field bleachers for a three-run homer in the fourth:

One four-RBI performance does not a comeback make, however, and Sandoval still has a long way to go if he wants to prove he can return to the .300+ average, 20+ homer production he maintained during his peak years with the Giants in 2009-2011. The answer, according to club manager Bruce Bochy, might have something to do with the two off days he gave the third baseman on Wednesday and Thursday.

I’ll take the blame a little bit,” Bochy told reporters following Friday’s win. “I probably should have rested him a little bit more. We went through a tough part of the schedule, the doubleheader, playing in Florida and getting in late — he’s the one guy that didn’t get a break or miss an inning. It might have caught up with him.

The home run not only snapped Sandoval’s skid, but kickstarted an impressive rally from the 56-87 Giants, who added another six runs to their eventual 9-2 win. Buster Posey stole home in the sixth, followed by a sac fly from Sandoval and a seventh-inning RBI double by Brandon Crawford. Denard Span went deep in the ninth with his 11th homer of the year, while Nick Hundley sprinkled a pair of runs to cap the win with a two-run single off of Juan Minaya. With the win, the Giants are 2-8 in their last 10 games and sit a cool 21 games out of playoff contention.