Day baseball as Cain takes the mound vs. Maya


Day baseball as Cain takes the mound vs. Maya

June 8, 2011

WASHINGTON (27-34) vs.
GIANTS (34-27)

Coverage begins at 12 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- It's not surprising Matt Cain would prefer to have a lead when he's on the mound.

The San Francisco Giants are struggling to comply at home, but could be in for an improved effort at the plate.

Cain may get some solid backing as he attempts to win consecutive starts for the first time this season when the Giants conclude this three-game series with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Cain (4-4, 3.64 ERA) is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in five starts at AT&T Park, but he might have a better record if the offense could have provided more than eight total runs of support.

Production from the lineup at home has been an issue for San Francisco (34-27), which owns a .233 average while scoring 2.88 runs per game to rank near the bottom of the league in both categories. The club averages 4.09 runs on the road.

The offense sputtered at home again Tuesday, collecting five hits in a 2-1 loss to Washington (27-34) after taking the series opener 5-4 in 13 innings a night earlier.

REWIND: Nats edge Giants, setting up rubber match

Cain didn't need much assistance from his teammates Friday, yielding one run and four hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings of a 3-1 home victory over Colorado. He didn't get any runs of support in his two previous outings, losing both.

Getting enough backing seems to put the right-hander at ease on the mound.

"I think most starters feel that way, if you get a two- or three-run lead, that's set in our mind that we want to keep that lead," said Cain, who is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA in four home starts against the Nationals, but hasn't faced them there since a Giants' victory May 12, 2009.

He's lost his last two games against them in Washington, compiling a 6.39 ERA while working with three total runs.

Aubrey Huff is one of the Giants struggling at home, hitting .192 while getting one of his eight homers and eight of his 32 RBIs. He's 2 for 10 with two RBIs in this series after going 0 for 10 when San Francisco dropped three of four in the nation's capital from April 29-May 2.

The Giants are batting .196 against the Nationals this year while being outscored 17-10.

They might be in a favorable position to improve on that since Washington is giving the ball to Yunesky Maya (0-1, 8.00), who is still searching for his first career win.

The right-hander is facing San Francisco for the first time, and he's 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA in seven starts over two seasons. The Nationals are winless when he's taken the mound.

The Cuban right-hander struggled again in his latest outing Friday, giving up four runs and six hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 4 1-3 innings of a 4-0 loss at Arizona.

Maya is getting desperate to get his first victory.

"It worries me a little bit," Maya told the team's official website through catcher and interpreter Ivan Rodriguez. "I want to win badly. That's one of the things I'm always thinking about. When I pitch, I want to win my first major league game. I realize that is not the right way to think. I have to come out the next time and do a good job."

The Nationals have dropped 11 of 15 on the road since last winning consecutive games there May 10-11 at Atlanta.

LeBron joins 30,000-point club with buzzer-beater vs Spurs


LeBron joins 30,000-point club with buzzer-beater vs Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — LeBron James has joined the NBA's 30,000-point club.

James became the seventh player with 30,000 career points when he hit a jumper with one second left in the first quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers' game against the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

James was recognized by the arena before the second quarter and got a standing ovation from Spurs fans. James patted his heard and said "thank you so much."

James needed seven points Tuesday to get there. He missed his first two midrange jumpers before making two driving layups and a 20-footer. He hit the milestone jumper over Danny Green from 19 feet out.

The 33-year-old James joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928), Kobe Bryant (33,643), Michael Jordan (32,292), Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Dirk Nowitzki (30,808) on the list.

At 33 years and 24 days, James is the youngest to reach the mark. Bryant was 34 years and 104 days when he got there.

The 14-time All-Star has averaged 27.1 points since breaking into the league as an 18-year-old in 2003.

Warriors have four All-Stars for second consecutive season

Warriors have four All-Stars for second consecutive season

OAKLAND -- The Warriors on Tuesday captured their first repeat of the season. For the second consecutive year, they’re sending four players to the All-Star Game.

Forward Draymond Green and guard Klay Thompson were announced as reserves for the game scheduled for Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. They join Warriors teammates Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who were voted in as starters.

It’s the ninth time four players from one team were selected, but the first time it has happened in consecutive seasons.

The same four players made the team last season, when the Warriors went on to win the NBA Finals, but the format was strictly Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference.

Though reserves are still determined by a vote among coaches, the roster format has been altered this season. The top voting leaders in each conference -- Curry in the West, LeBron James in the East -- choose from the pool of available players, irrespective of conference affiliation. Those voted starters are first off the board.

With so many talented forwards migrating to the West -- including newcomers Paul George and Carmelo Anthony moving to Oklahoma City -- Green on Tuesday morning voiced some trepidation about being selected as reserve.

“It’s something that you want,” he said after shootaround. “It’s something I’d be excited about. But I do know it’s a tough pool.

“I want to be an All Star, one of the top guys in the league. But I’m here to win championships.”

Green is fourth on the Warriors in scoring, averaging 11.3 points, but leads them in rebounds (7.9) and assists (7.6). Despite missing seven of the team’s 47 games, he is making his third consecutive appearance in the All-Star game.

Thompson, who has played in all but one game this season, is making his fourth consecutive appearance in All-Star game. Third on the Warriors in scoring, at 20.6 points per game, he is having his most efficient season, shooting 48.6 percent from the field, including a league-leading 45.3 percent from deep.

Here is the full list of All-Stars:

Starters: Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins
Reserves: Jimmy Butler, Russell Westbrook, LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond Green, Karl-Anthony Towns, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard

Starters: Kyrie Irving, DeMar DeRozan, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid
Reserves: Kyle Lowry, Kristaps Porzingis, Kevin Love, Bradley Beal, John Wall, Al Horford, Victor Oladipo