Day baseball as Giants, Lincecum go for sweep


Day baseball as Giants, Lincecum go for sweep

July 20, 2011

L.A. DODGERS (42-55) vs.
GIANTS (57-41)

Coverage begins at Noon on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball. Their performance at the plate, however, leaves much to be desired.

While he's not the biggest name on the market, newly acquired Jeff Keppinger may be able to boost the club offensively.

Seeking a seventh consecutive win over their archrival for the first time in 73 years, the Giants could have Keppinger in the lineup for his debut as they try for a three-game sweep of the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers in an enticing matchup of aces Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday.

San Francisco (57-41) defeated Los Angeles 5-3 on Tuesday behind a home run and three RBIs from recently recalled Brandon Belt and eight solid innings from Madison Bumgarner.

URBAN: Busy day and another win for Giants

Manager Bruce Bochy's starters rank third in the majors with a 3.23 ERA, but his offense is among the bottom third in nearly every offensive category, including runs per game (3.68), homers (64) and average (.244).

"Without being harsh, this group just isn't getting it done," Giants general manager Brian Sabean said before Tuesday's victory. "We need to somehow extend the lineup any way we can, and we think (acquiring Keppinger) is an upgrade."

With infielders Freddy Sanchez and Miguel Tejada on the disabled list, San Francisco got Keppinger from Houston for two Double-A pitchers on Tuesday. Keppinger, who homered twice in his last three games with the Astros and is batting .307, is expected to hit second for the Giants.

"I get to go to a team that's in contention," Keppinger said. "This will be the first time I've ever actually been on a team that's been in first place or even with a winning record. It's definitely exciting and that's what you want when you play this game."

URBAN: Keppinger deal solid if unspectacular

The Giants, who have outscored the Dodgers 30-16 during their six-game winning streak in the series, haven't won seven in a row since a 12-game run Oct. 2, 1937-July 4, 1938, when they played in New York and the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

San Francisco has a good chance to extend its run with Lincecum (8-7, 2.99 ERA) on the hill.

Since compiling a 9.39 ERA over his first three starts in June, Lincecum has thrived, going 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA while striking out 45 over his last six outings spanning 37 innings.

The right-hander wasn't at his best during Friday's 6-1 win at San Diego, but earned the victory after allowing one run, three hits and three walks in six frames.

"He didn't quite pitch as efficient as he'd like, but overall it's a good job," Bochy said. "His command wasn't quite as sharp, but he found a way to give us six solid innings."

Lincecum has also frustrated the Dodgers of late, limiting them to five earned runs over the last three meetings. He is 3-0 with a 2.83 ERA in five career home starts against Los Angeles.

The Dodgers (42-55) counter with Kershaw (10-4, 2.88), who also has flourished in this matchup. He's compiled a 1.62 ERA in nine career appearances - eight starts - against the Giants, his second-lowest mark versus any NL team.

The left-hander has been superb over his last five starts overall, going 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA. He gave up four unearned runs and five hits in seven innings of Friday's 6-4 win at Arizona.

Kershaw might need to carry a Dodgers team that has scored a combined six runs while batting .173 during its current four-game skid.

"It's kind of the same story for us," manager Don Mattingly said. "The one big hit, or the one big out we need, we're not getting."

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip

Sharks win second straight, beat Devils to start road trip


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.


Sharks: At the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Devils: Host Ottawa on Friday night.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


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.