SAN FRANCISCO – If this is the way this season is going to go – if the Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers are going to battle each other down to the last pitch of every game – then what a season this will be.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy has shown faith in Pablo Sandoval, opting not to drop Sandoval out of the third spot in the order despite the third baseman’s .164 average going into Wednesday. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did not show the same faith in Sandoval’s hitting abilities right now when he walked Hunter Pence to get to Sandoval with two outs and a runner on second in the seventh inning of a 1-1 game on Wednesday night.

Those who stayed awake long enough to see Hector Sanchez hit a walk-off single shortly after midnight late Tuesday in the Giants’ 3-2, 12-inning win over the Dodgers may also have noticed an interesting exchange between Sanchez and reliever Santiago Casilla the inning before.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will go with 13 pitchers for the time being after they activated reliever Jeremy Affeldt from the disabled list and optioned outfielder Juan Perez to Triple-A to make room on the 25-man roster.

It’s safe to say Michael Morse is a hit after his first week of games at AT&T Park.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants and Dodgers started playing on Jackie Robinson Day and finished on April 16, when Hector Sanchez shot a single off the glove of a diving Justin Turner into center field to score Brandon Crawford from third base and give the Giants a 3-2 win in 12 innings.

Even after every momentum swing, dramatic hit and terrible relief performance in an 11-inning game, the Oakland Athletics still were unshakably confident somebody would pull them through.

Marking the 67th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier, the Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Commissioner Bud Selig for the strides the sport has taken in minority opportunities over the past two decades.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A No. 42 jersey hung in every locker in the Giants’ clubhouse this afternoon, as Major League Baseball continues its tradition of honoring Jackie Robinson on the anniversary of the day he broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

John Jaso came up big again as a pinch-hitter with a home run against Los Angeles Angels closer Ernesto Frieri, a year and five days after doing the same thing to Kevin Jepsen at Angel Stadium — a place where Jaso just loves to hit.

When Yankees closer Mariano Rivera retired at the end of last season, it marked the exit of the final player to wear number 42, which Major League Baseball retired in 1997 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Bruce Bochy joked that after Brandon Crawford’s walk-off home run against Rockies left-hander Rex Brothers gave the Giants a 5-4, 10-inning win on Sunday, he told Crawford that the shortstop’s days off from now on will come against right-handed pitching.

Tony Perez was on the road with the Cincinnati Reds in 1966 when he got the call that his first child was on the way. There was no discussion about leaving the team to attend Victor's birth, no such thing as paternity leave.

Another well-pitched game for the Oakland Athletics came with a price.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants have a decision to make soon with reliever Jeremy Affeldt nearing his return from the disabled list.

It certainly wasn’t at the forefront of Michael Morse’s mind when the Giants’ left fielder stepped to the plate with two on and two outs in the fifth inning Thursday night, or when Morse was rounding second and clapping his hands after doubling off the wall in right-center to drive in both runners.

Here in the home clubhouse at AT&T Park, eight pairs of baseball cleats sit at the bottom of Pablo Sandoval's dressing stall.

A momentary lack of focus turned out to be just enough to wipe out Matt Cain's best outing of the year and keep the former Giants ace winless in three starts.

The chance was there in the first inning for Seattle to take advantage of Oakland's Sonny Gray, with the middle of the Mariners order coming to the plate.

Felix Hernandez walked in from the bullpen and threw his first pitch to a standing ovation after warming up with Aloe Blacc's song "The Man" playing over the stadium speakers.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he feels his offense is deep enough this season that he can afford to rest hot hitters like Angel Pagan and Buster Posey on a given night and still run a competitive lineup out on the field. Still, Friday night probably wasn’t what he had in mind.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants bade a ceremonial farewell to Candlestick Park before playing the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday at AT&T Park, then turned in a 4-hour, 10-minute game complete with fog, swirling winds and seagulls swarming the air above center field in the seventh inning.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants’ lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Colorado Rockies doesn’t include either Angel Pagan or Buster Posey, with manager Bruce Bochy saying he wanted to give both players a night off.

SAN FRANCISCO -- It’s "Farewell to Candlestick" night at AT&T Park, with a handful of former Giants and 49ers luminaries due in for a pre-game ceremony commemorating the teams’ old home stadium. It made for some fun reminiscences this afternoon from the likes of former Giants manager Roger Craig, who held court with reporters in the dugout after Bruce Bochy’s media session.

Dan Straily pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and Sam Fuld hit a rare home run to help the Oakland Athletics complete a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 6-1 victory Thursday.

The Oakland Athletics brought Jim Johnson into their bullpen when they lost All-Star closer Grant Balfour in free agency.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Even after allowing a leadoff triple to Gerardo Parra and walking Martin Prado to open the first inning Wednesday night, Tim Lincecum said he gave no thought to pitching around Paul Goldschmidt.

As Angel Pagan tells it, the latest step in his maturation as a hitter occurred last summer in Arizona while the Giants’ center fielder was rehabbing from hamstring surgery.

Jim Johnson struggled again. The Oakland Athletics picked up their new closer with a strong finish.

After they finished their seven-game opening trip leading the majors in home runs and top five in scoring, there was some suspicion the Giants’ early offensive surge would last about as long as the return trip to San Francisco and the expanses of AT&T Park.

You could say Tim Hudson owns the Arizona Diamondbacks, if two wins over them in two weeks at two different ballparks is any judge in early April.

Sitting in Minneapolis on an off-day with a .125 batting average, Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick said what he craves more than anything is consistency, which he is not getting at the plate right now.

Hank Aaron is still the home run king to many. Even baseball commissioner Bud Selig has a difficult time seeing it any other way.

The Batkid stole hearts in San Francisco once more, with thousands cheering the young boy at the ballpark for the Giants home opener.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt, who has a live bat through the first eight games of the 2014 season, showed a pretty impressive deadpan as well when a reporter asked him after the Giants’ 7-3 home-opener win Tuesday if his hot start is validation not only for his own expectations but of the team’s hopes for him.

The Oakland Athletics can win a lot of different ways, as evidenced by their two-year hold on the AL West division title.

MINNEAPOLIS-The A's are off Tuesday, after spoiling the Minnesota Twins' home opener on Monday with an 8-3 win. The day of rest couldn't be coming at a better time for shortstop Jed Lowrie.

Michael Morse is counting on a comeback season, and the San Francisco Giants fully expect their new left fielder to bring life to a lineup that sure could use some added power.

Manager Bob Melvin walked into the A’s postgame interview room at O.co Coliseum on Sunday just as a clip of Sam Fuld’s eighth-inning, head-first diving catch in right field was playing on a wall-mounted TV.

Matt Cain gave up a career-worst 23 home runs last season. And in his second start of 2014, he had similar problems keeping the ball in the park against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As closer Jim Johnson entered from the A’s bullpen to pitch the ninth inning Sunday, he heard none of the boos that had accompanied him off the Coliseum mound in his first two appearances in Oakland. Nor did they appear after Johnson issued a leadoff walk and one-out single to bring the tying run to the plate with A’s leading the Seattle Mariners, 6-3.

Jim Johnson spent the first week of the season making adjustments after a pair of surprising results in his new uniform.

OAKLAND -- A pair of hitters the A’s hope to rely on this season are off to slow starts, with Josh Donaldson hitless in his last 18 at-bats -- a career-long stretch -- and Josh Reddick just 2-for-20 to start the year.

Games have already been played for a week all across the majors.

As Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona emerged from his dugout in the sixth inning Wednesday night and began jogging slowly toward the middle of the diamond, A’s second baseman Nick Punto felt resigned.

Everything went right for Madison Bumgarner. He pitched well, the Giants provided him more than enough offense and they played strong defense behind him. The bullpen pitched in, too.

Felix Hernandez has never felt better at the beginning of a season. That certainly bodes well for the former Cy Young Award winner.

One time through the rotation, it appears this might be a new era of Giants baseball. They hit, they run, they light up the scoreboard - and then they hold on for dear life.

OAKLAND -- Friday night’s game between the A’s and Mariners was postponed due to the O.co Coliseum infield being unplayable following overnight rains.

OAKLAND -- It sounds like Ryan Cook’s return to the A’s bullpen is imminent, with manager Bob Melvin saying Cook threw well in a rehab game with Single-A Stockton last night and will likely be in Oakland on Saturday.

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