Sharks

Day baseball as Giants go for series win at PNC

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Day baseball as Giants go for series win at PNC

April 28, 2011

GIANTS (11-12) vs.
PITTSBURGH (11-13)

Coverage begins at 9:00 A.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A series with the Pittsburgh Pirates would appear to be a good chance for the San Francisco Giants to shake out of their offensive slump.

That hasn't been the case yet.

The Giants look to bounce back from their first shutout loss of the season and avoid a seventh loss in eight games when they finish this three-game set against the Pirates on Thursday afternoon at PNC Park.

RELATED: MLB scoreboard
San Francisco (11-12) has totaled 14 runs with a .198 batting average and one homer while dropping five of six. The Giants swatted 12 homers while winning six of their previous seven.

Their current struggles continued Wednesday, when they mustered six hits - all singles - in a 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh (11-13). San Francisco won Tuesday's series opener 3-2, but scored all three of those runs on plays that didn't involve hits.

REWIND: Giants blanked in loss to Pirates

The Giants are 0 for 17 with runners in scoring position in this series.

Pablo Sandoval is one of San Francisco's few recent offensive bright spots. He's collected three hits in this series, and is batting .349 with four homers and nine RBIs in 13 road games.

Sandoval is also batting .375 with 11 RBIs over his last 16 games versus Pittsburgh.

Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to get his first start in almost seven years Thursday and take the mound against his former club for the first time.

A member of the Pirates from 2001-06, before stints in Japan and the minors, Vogelsong joins the rotation to replace Barry Zito - currently on the disabled list with a right foot injury.

Vogelsong has made two relief appearances this season, yielding three hits in 4 2-3 scoreless innings. He hasn't started a game since a Pirates loss at Philadelphia on Sept. 29, 2004.

The Giants aren't worried about Vogelsong's pitch count.

"Like anybody, we'll keep an eye on him when he gets in the middle of the game and go from there," pitching coach Dave Righetti told the team's official website. "But there is no certain number."

Vogelsong is 5-12 with a 6.27 ERA in 52 career appearances - 18 starts - at PNC Park. His ERA is the highest all-time for any pitcher who's thrown at least 75 innings at the park.

Pittsburgh has won three of its last five games, thanks largely to the pitching staff's 2.35 ERA during that stretch.

The Pirates will give Jeff Karstens (2-0, 3.94) a third spot Thursday start in place of the injured Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder), who isn't expected back until next month.

Pittsburgh has won both of Karstens' starts in 2011, as he's yielded seven runs over 10 1-3 innings. The right-hander got credit for the win with a solid performance Saturday, when he yielded two runs in six innings of a 7-2 victory over Washington.

Karstens has not faced the Giants since Sept. 7, 2008, when he surrendered eight runs - five earned - in three innings of an 11-6 loss.

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

BOX SCORE

NEWARK, N.J. — Martin Jones made 28 saves for his first shutout of the season and 16th overall in the San Jose Sharks' 3-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night.

Melker Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored and Justin Braun had two assists to help the Sharks open a five-game East Coast trip.

Keith Kinkaid, the top goalie for New Jersey with Cory Schneider on injured reserve, stopped 30 shots as the Devils' three-game winning streak came to an end.

The Devils couldn't muster a strong push in the later stages against the rested Sharks. It was New Jersey's second game two nights following a 5-4 overtime victory in Ottawa. And it showed against the Sharks, who played a solid road game, pressed their advantage and solidly supported Jones.

Karlsson scored the lone goal of the opening period at 14:11 on a close-in shot following a slick behind-the-net setup pass from Tomas Hertl.

The shots were 13 for each team in the evenly played period. The Devils came close on several occasions as former Shark Mirco Mueller and Blake Coleman both hit the crossbar and Jones robbed Drew Stafford on a dead-on drive from the slot.

Pavelski and Donskoi got second-period goals as the Sharks steadily tightened their grip on the game.

Pavelski tipped in Braun's point shot at 5:49. Joe Thornton got the second assist, his 1,395th point, to pass Luc Robitaille for 21st on the career list.

Donskoi backhanded a rebound shot with 1:10 left in the period in which the Sharks outshot the Devils 11-6.

The remaining drama centered on Jones' shutout bid.

NOTES: The Devils placed Schneider on injured reserve Friday with a lower-body injury and recalled Scott Wedgewood from Binghamton of the American Hockey League to serve as Kinkaid's backup. ... Mueller, a healthy scratch in three of the previous four games, returned for the Devils to face the Sharks, the team that drafted him in the first round, for the first time. He was dealt to New Jersey over the summer.

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

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AP

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.