Mike Jacobs hit his fourth homer of the series and Roger Kieschnick added a two-run shot to lead the Aces to a 7-3 victory over the River Cats on Sunday evening at Raley Field.

With the River Cats needing a victory Monday against Reno in the final game of the regular season to advance to the Pacific Coast League playoffs against the Las Vegas 51s after losing to the Aces 7-3 Sunday at Raley Field, Scarsone approaches his occupation with a similar minimalist efficiency.

Needing only a double to hit for the cycle in the seventh inning on Sunday, Pablo Sandoval worked a full count against Brewers reliever Alfredo Figaro – and took a pitch in the dirt for ball four. The show of restraint was less than exciting, but in the spirit of the weekend for the Giants’ offense, it kept the line moving.

While they were stumbling through June and July, the Giants kept thanking their torrid start to the season for keeping them in contention, and repeating that they still had time enough to turn things around. Now, as the calendar flips to September, we may be seeing why.

Buster Posey took a couple of shots on foul balls last night, including one off the right arm catching in the first inning, and so gets a day off in Sunday’s Giants series finale against the Milwaukee Brewers.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Before leaving the mound with two outs in the eighth inning on Saturday night, Jake Peavy had some words for the Giants infielders as they gathered around him on the AT&T Park mound.

Alden Carrithers’ bases-loaded groundout in the eighth inning scored the go-ahead run, and closer Jeremy McBryde got the final three outs as the River Cats edged the Reno Aces 5-4 on Saturday night at Raley Field. The River Cats are one win away from the Pacific Northern Division title.

In just his second start after joining the Giants, right-hander Jake Peavy took a perfect game into the seventh inning Aug. 2 in New York – only to come away with a loss when the Mets scored four times off of him in the seventh.

Elk Grove High School senior Nick Madrigal can play in the majors now, according to former big-league shortstop David Eckstein. That’s a bold statement about someone who is 17 years old and just 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds. Eckstein understands what it takes to make misconception about size in baseball disappear. Eckstein, just 5-6, was the 2006 World Series MVP with the St. Louis Cardinals.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Friday was an all-around good offensive night for the Giants, but the night had by Joe Panik did not get lost in the 13-2 win or 19-hit barrage. Panik went 4-for-6 and scored two runs batting in the second spot. The rookie raised his average to .312 on the season, and he’s batting .391 in August -- the third-highest mark among all major-league hitters.

Mike Jacobs hit two home runs and Garrett Weber added another as the Reno Aces downed the River Cats 7-5 on Friday night at Raley Field. The River Cats now trail the Aces by a game in the Pacific Northern Division.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Yusmeiro Petit’s career numbers are not those of a pitcher destined for a lofty place in baseball lore. Entering his start Thursday with the Giants, the 29-year-old right-hander had a 17-24 record across seven major-league seasons, with a 4.84 ERA and more games pitched in relief (63) than started (50). He has played for five different MLB organizations, and pitched in 2011 in the Mexican League.

Pitcher Yusmeiro Petit set a record for retiring consecutive hitters, then when the streak ended, he helped the Giants to another victory at AT&T Park.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rookie second baseman Joe Panik is batting second for the Giants today against the Colorado Rockies. It’s a temporary move, manager Bruce Bochy said -- at least for now. Michael Morse is getting a day off, and Bochy wanted to bump Hunter Pence down to fifth to lengthen the lineup a little.

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.

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.

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