SAN FRANCISCO -- The events of the past two nights have made this statistic look as astounding as ever: In 58 games last season after the All-Star Break, Buster Posey, the Giants’ catcher and former MVP, hit two home runs.

The River Cats batted around in a six-run eighth inning to beat the host Nashville Sounds 8-5 Wednesday night.

Four hours before the first pitch Tuesday, Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum emerged from the home dugout at AT&T Park and made his way down the left-field line, where under the supervision of pitching coach Dave Righetti, he began what amounted to a brief bullpen session, starting with the basics.

Four hours before the first pitch Tuesday, Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum emerged from the home dugout at AT&T Park and made his way down the left-field line, where under the supervision of pitching coach Dave Righetti, he began what amounted to a brief bullpen session, starting with the basics.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nothing has been made official, but there’s a good chance Giants catcher Hector Sanchez’s season is over. Sanchez visited noted concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins in Pittsburgh this week and was told not to do any baseball activities for three weeks, then return for a re-evaluation.

For much of this season, Madison Bumgarner has seemed nearly incapable of having a strong start at AT&T Park. For seven innings Tuesday night, though, it was the backdrop for what appeared to be shaping up as the biggest individual moment of the Giants left-hander’s career.

SAN FRANCISCO -- As Justin Morneau’s looping line drive to right field landed just inside the foul line, ending Madison Bumgarner’s bid for perfection in the eighth inning Tuesday night, it elicited a collective groan of dismay from the crowd at AT&T Park, 41,050 audibly upset seeing a shot at history fall short.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following last night’s loss to the Colorado Rockies, the Giants are now 5-14 in their last 19 games against left-handed starters. They see another one tonight in the Rockies’ Jorge De La Rosa, who’s won 13 games with a 4.21 ERA for a last-place Colorado team.

Nick Buss and Alden Carrithers each had four hits as all nine River Cats finished with at least two in a 20-1 win Monday night over the host Nashville Sounds.

In a series opener between first-place teams, the host Nashville Sounds scored a season high in routing the River Cats 14-2 Sunday night.

For those in a sellout crowd who were unaware, the announcement came over the O.co Coliseum public address system shortly before the first pitch Sunday: The A’s, for the first time since 2005, were playing host to ESPN and the network’s “Sunday Night Baseball” national telecast.

The A’s did get one bit of positive news Sunday. An MRI on All-Star third baseman Josh Donaldson showed no structural issues in his right knee after he tweaked it Saturday night. Donaldson could be available, depending how the knee feels, when the A’s open a three-game series in Houston on Monday.

Sunday afternoon, the A’s placed left-hander Sean Doolittle on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right intercostal muscle. Doolittle, who has 20 saves and leads American League relievers in opponents’ on-base percentage, felt tightness in his right side during the ninth inning Saturday night and underwent an MRI before Sunday’s game.

OAKLAND -- It has been a busy day already for the A’s on the injury front.

Only the slimmest of margins separated the A’s and Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night. It was the difference between a harmless high fastball and a fateful wild pitch, the delivery from Angels reliever Joe Smith with two outs in the eighth inning of a tie game that clipped off the webbing of catcher Chris Iannetta’s outstretched glove and away as A’s center fielder Coco Crisp sprinted home from third base.

Sacramento may not remember that Doug Carson was the first player from this region taken in the first Major League Baseball draft, but what he has done in the fight against breast cancer will never be forgotten.

Deck McGuire, who had lost his last three starts, pitched 62/3 strong innings as the visiting River Cats defeated the Memphis Redbirds 6-3 on Saturday to split the four-game series. McGuire allowed one run (earned) on four hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

OAKLAND -- The A’s emerged from Saturday night with a 2-1 win and tied once again with the Angels atop the A.L. West, but not without a bit of concern. Sean Doolittle felt some discomfort in his right side while pitching the ninth and was evaluated by trainers after closing out the win.

BATTING

OAKLAND -- The A’s are facing a left-hander in the Angels’ C.J. Wilson for the second day in a row, which means manger Bob Melvin experienced the odd feeling of filling out the same lineup for the second day in a row.

OAKLAND -- The standings suggested it, as did the charged atmosphere at the Coliseum on Friday night. But just for good measure, after nailing down the A’s 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels, closer Sean Doolittle confirmed it:

A’s right-hander Sonny Gray experienced three firsts in his start against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night, and the first two weren’t good. He allowed two home runs in an outing for the first time as a major leaguer. Odder still, both home runs came on curveballs – a pitch that, according to Brooks Baseball, Gray had never surrendered a homer on while in the majors.

Sacramento’s Nick Buss led off the game with a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Shane Peterson, but the visiting River Cats went scoreless the rest of the night in a 4-1 loss to the Memphis Redbirds on Friday.

The A’s have played .500 ball since acquiring pitcher Jon Lester; wouldn’t they have loved to have had Yoenis Cespedes’ bat the past three weeks?

OAKLAND -- The A’s today activated outfielder Craig Gentry from the disabled list and optioned reliever Dan Otero to Triple-A Sacramento, a move timed to tonight’s opener of a big series against the Los Angeles Angels.

Sacramento starter Drew Pomeranz suffered his first Triple-A loss as the visiting River Cats fell to the Memphis Redbirds 7-1 on Thursday night. Pomeranz (3-1) allowed six runs, all earned, on seven hits in 52/3 innings.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Wednesday that when his team plays the Los Angeles Angels this weekend, he expects the games to be “seriously, to an extent, emotional.” But the A’s had already made a stronger statement about their significance the day before, when they announced their starting pitchers for the series.

The San Francisco Giants on Wednesday became the first team since 1986 to win a protest filed with Major League Baseball, and will now get to resume a rain-shortened game the Chicago Cubs thought they had won.

With two outs and nobody on in the top of the third inning Wednesday, New York Mets leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson hit a soft chopper off A’s starter Jeff Samardzija toward where an opposing third baseman would normally have fielded it for a routine third out – only nobody was there.

OAKLAND -- It became almost a running joke earlier this season how little run support Jeff Samardzija was getting with the Chicago Cubs, especially when the right-hander had a 1.68 ERA through 11 starts but a 1-4 record to show for it. Wednesday, Samardzija’s new team scored five runs on his start day -- a total they’ve reached only three times in their last 10 games -- but it went for naught in an 8-5 A’s loss to the New York Mets.

OAKLAND -- With the Mets starting a right-hander today in Zack Wheeler, an off-day tomorrow for the A’s and at least one regular hurting, the A’s lineup has a different look for today’s series finale against New York.

Bud Selig had some unflattering words for the O.co Coliseum on Tuesday in his last official scheduled visit to the A’s home stadium as the commissioner of Major League Baseball.

OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp’s two-out, bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning on Tuesday night gave the A’s a three-run lead in what had been a 1-1 game. But to a team that had lost five in a row, and an offense that has struggled to come up with clutch hits recently, manager Bob Melvin said it "felt like about 10 runs at the time."

Shane Peterson hit a two-run homer, Colin Walsh had a two-run single, and Jose Martinez collected three hits to lead the River Cats past the Oklahoma City RedHawks 7-4 Tuesday night at Raley Field.

OAKLAND -- The A’s will skip right-hander Jason Hammel’s next turn in the rotation, lining up Sonny Gray, Jon Lester and Scott Kazmir to start the three games this weekend against the Los Angeles Angels, whom they’re battling for the division. But manager Bob Melvin stressed today that despite Hammel’s struggles since arriving in Oakland, the right-hander remains one of the A’s five starters.

The River Cats suffered their third straight loss, 7-0 to the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Monday night at Raley Field. Sacramento is clinging to a two-game division lead.

Tickets for the five potential River Cats home playoff games are on sale at the Raley Field ticket office and ticketmaster.com.

Ruben Sosa had a bases-loaded triple in a five-run fourth, and Rudy Owens allowed one run over eight innings to lead the Oklahoma City RedHawks over the River Cats 7-2 Sunday night at Raley Field.

Speedy Phillies center fielder Ben Revere stood on first base after leading off Sunday’s game with a single off Tim Lincecum, and behind the plate, Giants catcher Andrew Susac knew Revere would be running. Revere at the time had converted 34 of his 38 stolen-base attempts, while last week in Kansas City, Mo., the Royals had stolen six bases against Lincecum, most with Susac behind the plate.

The Giants had a special pregame visitor to their clubhouse Sunday when fan Bryan Stow was wheeled in by third base coach Tim Flannery.

Even while winning a home series for the first time since July 11-13 and recording their first back-to-back wins at AT&T Park in nearly two months, the Giants couldn’t escape Sunday without some bad news. Second baseman Joe Panik left the 5-2 win over the Phillies after dislocating his left pinkie finger in the eighth inning, and neither he nor manager Bruce Bochy could say when Panik will play next.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Catcher Hector Sanchez had to come out of his rehab game with Triple-A Fresno last night after taking another foul tip off the mask -- the same scenario that landed him on the concussion DL on July 26 in the first place. It’s a setback in his recovery, and manager Bruce Bochy said Sanchez was due to return to San Francisco today to be evaluated again by team doctors.

Note: DL-disabled list; R-released; SUS-suspended; REH-rehabilitation assignment; TIA-temporary inactive list.

Jesus Guzman’s sacrifice fly brought in the go-ahead run in a five-run ninth inning to lead the Oklahoma City RedHawks to a 7-2 victory over the River Cats on Saturday night at Raley Field.

With all the new faces and turnover in the Giants’ clubhouse over the past two months, Joe Panik may seem like an established presence in comparison. In fact, Panik hasn’t been in the majors two months. But his contributions since his June 21 call-up have been enough to make an impression.

Frank Demaree was 22 when the Chicago Cubs purchased him from the Sacramento Senators midway through the 1932 season, but the Winters High School graduate played in only 23 games as the Cubs won the National League pennant.

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Giants stranded Michael Morse on third base following a leadoff triple in the second inning Saturday, it stirred memories of their recent issues with clutch hitting. When they left Pablo Sandoval and Morse standing at first and second base in the fourth, after they’d reached on a leadoff single and walk, you could almost hear the grumbling across a sold-out AT&T Park.

While the Giants let a handful of scoring chances go for naught in their 5-3 loss to the Phillies on Friday night, the botched squeeze play in the sixth inning may have drawn the most attention.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy could sense where the question was going and didn’t even wait for it to finish. Was the Giants’ 10-inning, 5-3 loss on Friday night one of the most difficult this season for the manager to swallow?

Assuming the Giants’ rotation stays the same the rest of the season, Madison Bumgarner should make four of his remaining eight starts at home including a Sept. 12 start against the Dodgers and the regular-season finale against the Padres – at which point the Giants would like to be doing more than just playing out the schedule.

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