Belt homers in Giants' split squad win over Indians


Belt homers in Giants' split squad win over Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Grady Sizemore looked like his old self, diving for a ball, bumping into the outfield fence and hustling for an extra-base hit.The three-time All-Star played five innings of the Cleveland Indians' 8-5 loss to a San Francisco Giants split squad on Saturday night in his toughest test since having microfracture surgery on his left knee in June."I got a lot more action and it was a good test," Sizemore said. "I feel fine."Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong worked 4 2-3 innings in a different type of impressive comeback. The right-hander is vying for a roster spot after pitching three years in Japan and another in the minors.Vogelsong has already traveled a long road. Sizemore's journey likely will include some additional time in extended spring training.Indians manager Manny Acta said there's no timetable on when Sizemore might be activated. Acta said the outfielder needs plenty more at-bats to get ready. When he does join the team, Acta said the 28-year-old will not be the ironman who played in all but nine games over four seasons from 2005-08."He won't be an everyday player for a while," Acta said. "He has no restrictions and is progressing, but it's natural to need some time off."Sizemore raced back on a wind-aided drive by Eli Whiteside that went over his head in center for a triple, bumping into the wall before recovering the ball."It was a ball I should have had," Sizemore said, "but I always say that. It kept carrying."The two-time Gold Glove winner said he didn't think twice about diving for a bloop that landed just beyond his outstretched glove for a single, nor about racing to second and sliding in with a double."It's easier to run and dive and go full speed and slide than to pull up," he said. "Everything went well."He was surprised when Chad Huffman pinch-ran for him after he had legged out the double."I didn't question it, though," Sizemore said. "I know what (Acta) was thinking."Vogelsong gave up a two-run homer to Shin-Soo Choo and a solo shot to Carlos Santana, but struck out five and was encouraged overall."I'm excited, not just because I'm here and have a chance, but because things are starting to click," Vogelsong said. "This was the best stuff I've had all spring."Vogelsong said that at age 33, he was able to shake off the homers and get back on track."It is a concentration factor," he said. "Years ago, I would be in a groove, lose it, and not be able to get back. I kept failing, failing, failing. It got more frustrating."It is hard to explain, but towards the end of last year, I began feeling more comfortable. That's why I went and pitched winter ball and it continued. I feel better each time out."Vogelsong doesn't know if there's room on the Giants' roster for him, but said he won't worry about it."I'm happy that I'm throwing well, giving it my best shot," he said. "Things have a way of working out."Indians starter Josh Tomlin, named to the rotation on Friday, gave up eight hits and five runs over five innings, including two-run homers by Brandon Belt and Roger Kieschnick.NOTES: RHPs Jess Todd, Justin Germano and Frank Herrmann, competing for a spot in Cleveland's bullpen, each worked one scoreless inning. ... Giants RHP Jeff Suppan got a four-inning save, allowing two runs. ... Belt, Kieschnick and four other Giants all had two hits.

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights


ANAHEIM -- Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday night.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. John Gibson stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced after giving up his fifth goal. Anaheim had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

Four goals came in the third period. First, Anaheim pulled within one when Ondrej Kase stole the puck from behind the net and quickly fed Getzlaf, who fired it past Dell.

One minute later, the Sharks answered when Thornton's slap shot went in.

Boedker's second goal gave San Joe a 5-2 lead, and Karlsson's goal on goalie Ryan Miller made it a runaway.

The Ducks first found the net in the final minute of the second period, but that took a two-man advantage and a bit of luck.

Rakell was camped a few feet below the crease when he snapped a shot. San Jose's Justin Braun stuck out a stick, but it deflected the puck off the back of Dell's arm and into the net.

It was Rakell's team-high 17th goal this season.

San Jose appeared to take a commanding 3-0 lead on a power play in the second period. Boedker fired a shot from the top of the right circle that whistled past Gibson.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Anaheim's No.1 line turned the puck over. Thornton snapped it out to Labanc, who popped free for a breakaway. He beat Gibson on his short side for his fifth goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a nifty give-and-go when Tomas Hertl skated down the far side and sent a pass through the legs of Anaheim's Brandon Montour and right to Vlasic in front of the net.

Vlasic snapped it past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season.


Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.

Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles


49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.