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Giants top D-Backs, boost division lead to two games

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants are looking a lot like a playoff team in the season's final week. They're darn close to getting there, too -- and San Diego is helping with that.

Juan Uribe matched a career best with his 23rd home run and the first-place Giants increased their NL West lead over the Padres to two games with a 4-2 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

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"We're close," said Pablo Sandoval, who hit a key two-out double in the sixth. "Five more games. We have to play hard. Don't get comfortable."

The Padres lost 5-2 at home to the Chicago Cubs, leaving San Diego 1½ games behind Atlanta in the wild card. San Francisco's victory eliminated the Colorado Rockies from playoff contention and gave the Giants a magic number of four to clinch their first playoff berth since 2003.

San Francisco's players and coaches could hear the crowd cheering on the Cubs.

"This game puts us in first place two games up. If we win tomorrow we're even closer to winning the division," pitcher Jonathan Sanchez said.

Uribe hit a tying solo drive leading off the fourth. He also had 23 home runs in 2004 with the White Sox.

Sanchez (12-9) struck out six in six innings to reach 200 K's in a season for the first time in his career. Sanchez retired Chris Young on a called third strike to start the sixth. Sanchez joined Tim Lincecum as the first Giants righty-lefty combo to have 200 or more strikeouts since Juan Marichal and Ray Sadecki in 1968.

Sanchez didn't know about his total until pitching coach Dave Righetti gave him the ball.

"That's a lot of strikeouts," Sanchez said with a grin. "I don't know my stats."

Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz hit a go-ahead single in the sixth inning for San Francisco after the double by Sandoval, whose two hits were a good sign for the Giants considering his recent struggles.

Mike Fontenot added an RBI single in the third right after Andres Torres' leadoff triple. Pat Burrell singled in a run in the seventh for the Giants, who kicked off their final homestand of the year by winning for the sixth time in eight games and 17th in 25.

San Francisco ends the regular season with three games against the Padres this weekend that likely will decide the division champion -- if it doesn't happen earlier.

Sanchez has been San Francisco's most reliable starter of late, going 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA over his past six starts. He allowed three hits and two runs and walked four Tuesday.

The lefty ran into trouble in the second but kept the damage to a minimum. After Adam LaRoche's leadoff single and a strikeout of Tony Abreu, Sanchez walked Miguel Montero and intentionally walked Cole Gillespie to load the bases. That brought up pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who hit a sacrifice fly to put Arizona ahead 1-0.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy had a reliever warming up in the bullpen just in case. But Sanchez settled down and found his groove.

"That's the reason they're in first place. They get themselves out of tough situations," Young said.

Kelly Johnson homered in the third for the D-backs.

When Johnson's one-out single in the eighth put runners on the corners for Arizona, Bochy turned to closer Brian Wilson.

"He can handle it," Bochy said. "That's a nice luxury to have as a manager to have a closer who can get five outs."

The All-Star right-hander retired the final five batters for his majors-leading 46th save in 51 chances -- and his sixth in seven when going five outs.

"You know they're going for it when they bring the closer in for five outs," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said.

Lopez (7-15) went 5 2/3 innings and lost after winning his previous two starts.

Two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum was moved up to pitch Wednesday night for San Francisco. That way the Giants ace is available for a one-game playoff Monday against the Padres if needed -- or perhaps on short rest in Sunday's regular-season finale against San Diego.

The Giants hope to have second baseman Freddy Sanchez back from a shoulder strain Wednesday.

Sanchez underwent an MRI exam during Monday's day off that revealed a mild strain in his right shoulder. He also received an injection in the shoulder.

Notes

  • Sanchez and Lincecum join Philadelphia's Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels as the only set of teammates with 200 or more strikeouts this season.
  • Uribe's home run was No. 150 of his career.
  • Wilson is two saves shy of Rod Beck's single-season Giants record of 48 set in 1993.
  • The D-Backs scratched rookie RHP Daniel Hudson from his Friday start against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and will shut him down for the year. An MRI showed a strain in the middle finger on his pitching hand. LHP Zach Kroenke will pitch in his place.
  • Arizona manager Kirk Gibson isn't ruling out 3B Mark Reynolds -- who missed his third consecutive game with a sore thumb -- getting another start before season's end.
  • D-Backs OF Justin Upton, who has appeared in only four games this month because of left shoulder irritation, is likely done for the season. He will still take some live batting practice.
  • Fontenot started in Freddy Sanchez's spot.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Pablo Sandoval and Juan Uribe, who contribute key hits in San Francisco's comeback, celebrate another Giants victory.  (AP)
Pablo Sandoval and Juan Uribe, who contribute key hits in San Francisco's comeback, celebrate another Giants victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
San Francisco

J. Uribe
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Arizona

K. Johnson
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

Related Video

Arizona Diamondbacks
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Stephen Drew, SS3000122 .277
Ryan Roberts, LF4010001 .206
Kelly Johnson, 2B3121110 .284
Chris Young, CF4000023 .258
Adam LaRoche, 1B4110012 .261
Tony Abreu, 3B4000011 .238
Miguel Montero, C3010100 .274
Cole Gillespie, RF2000121 .232
   a- Gerardo Parra, PH1000010 .259
Rodrigo Lopez, P1001001 .079
    Mike Hampton, P0000000 .000
   b- Brandon Allen, PH1000010 .273
    Jordan Norberto, P0000000 .000
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Esmerling Vasquez, P0000000 .000
Totals30252411  
a-struck out for Gillespie in the 9th
b-struck out for Hampton in the 7th
Batting
2B - Ryan Roberts (4, Romo)
HR - Kelly Johnson (26, Sanchez)
SF - Rodrigo Lopez (1)
RBI - Kelly Johnson (70), Rodrigo Lopez (1)
CS - Stephen Drew (5, 2nd base by Sanchez/Posey)
Team LOB - 6
Arizona Diamondbacks
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Rodrigo Lopez (L,7-15) 5.2833221 5.03
Mike Hampton 0.1000010 0.00
Jordan Norberto 0.1011110 6.16
Blaine Boyer 0.2200000 4.34
Esmerling Vasquez 1000020 4.70
IBB - Sandoval by Rodrigo Lopez
WP - Rodrigo Lopez (2), Jordan Norberto (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Rodrigo Lopez 93-59, Mike Hampton 6-4, Jordan Norberto 11-5, Blaine Boyer 13-7, Esmerling Vasquez 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rodrigo Lopez 10-5, Blaine Boyer 2-0
Batters Faced - Rodrigo Lopez 27, Mike Hampton 1, Jordan Norberto 2, Blaine Boyer 4, Esmerling Vasquez 3
San Francisco Giants
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Andres Torres, CF5110032 .268
Mike Fontenot, 2B3111101 .286
Aubrey Huff, 1B3000111 .289
    Cody Ross, LF0000000 .264
Buster Posey, C4000003 .313
Pat Burrell, LF4021000 .250
    Eugenio Velez, PR0000000 .173
    Sergio Romo, P0000000 .000
    Javier Lopez, P0000000 .000
    Brian Wilson, P0000000 .000
Jose Guillen, RF3000002 .261
    Ramon Ramirez, P0000000 .000
   a- Travis Ishikawa, PH-1B1010000 .269
Juan Uribe, SS4121002 .248
Pablo Sandoval, 3B3120100 .266
Jonathan Sanchez, P1000012 .125
   b- Nate Schierholtz, PH-RF2011010 .247
Totals33410436  
a-singled for Ramirez in the 7th
b-singled for Sanchez in the 6th
Batting
2B - Juan Uribe (23, Lopez), Pablo Sandoval (34, Lopez)
3B - Andres Torres (8, Lopez)
HR - Juan Uribe (23, Lopez)
SH - Jonathan Sanchez (7)
RBI - Mike Fontenot (25), Pat Burrell (61), Juan Uribe (84), Nate Schierholtz (17)
2-OUT RBI - Pat Burrell (26), Nate Schierholtz (8)
Team LOB - 9
San Francisco Giants
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jonathan Sanchez (W,12-9) 6322461 3.15
Ramon Ramirez (H,5) 1000020 3.04
Sergio Romo (H,19) 0.1100010 2.28
Javier Lopez0100000 2.40
Brian Wilson (S,46) 1.2000020 1.86
IBB - Gillespie by Jonathan Sanchez
WP - Jonathan Sanchez (15)
Pitches-Strikes - Jonathan Sanchez 91-57, Ramon Ramirez 13-7, Sergio Romo 6-5, Javier Lopez 1-1, Brian Wilson 26-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jonathan Sanchez 4-7
Batters Faced - Jonathan Sanchez 24, Ramon Ramirez 3, Sergio Romo 2, Javier Lopez 1, Brian Wilson 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37449
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Eric Cooper, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Chad Fairchild