Sports briefs: Giants get pitcher to complete trade

The Giants are hoping the second piece of their trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates is just as good — if not better — than the first. The Giants acquired minor-league right-hander Steve MacFarland from the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the Matt Morris-for-Rajai Davis trade. MacFarland is 3-2 with a 4.80 ERA in 39 games, including one start, for Class A Hickory of the South Atlantic League.

Astros ax Garner, GM

Just two years removed from the franchise’s first World Series trip, the manager and general manager were fired. No, it isn’t the Chicago White Sox making the changes, it is the Houston Astros. Manager Phil Garner and general manager Tim Purpura was fired by the Astros (58-73), who are tied with Pittsburgh for last in the NL Central, nine games back. Bench coach Cecil Cooper was named interim manager, while team president Tal Smith will temporarily serve as GM. “We had really fallen into a pattern of so-so ball. We were never able to put together the run, like we made in the previous two seasons. I think there were a number of reasons for that,” Garner said.

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