Giants lean on Lincecum for series win over Twins


Giants lean on Lincecum for series win over Twins

June 23, 2011MINNESOTA (32-40) vs.
GIANTS (40-34)Coverage begins at 12 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area(AP) -- Joe Mauer's first visit to San Francisco has been upstaged by fellow catcher Eli Whiteside.The suddenly surging Whiteside could help Tim Lincecum end his struggles as the Giants look to take two of three from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park.Whiteside has been seeing most of the work behind the plate with 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey likely out for the rest of the season with a broken leg suffered last month. He had been hitting .190 coming into this series before responding with back-to-back two-hit games, a homer and four RBIs.Whiteside had a two-run triple and run-scoring single Wednesday as San Francisco (40-34) snapped a five-game skid with a 5-1 win, ending Minnesota's season-high eight-game run.
REWIND: Battery leads Giants to 5-1 victory over Twins
He also caught Ryan Vogelsong, who continued his storybook season by retiring the first 12 batters. The one-time journeyman gave up a run and three hits over seven innings, improving to 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA."He pretty much ate us up through most of the part of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The guy was pretty nasty."Whiteside next is expected to catch Lincecum (5-6, 3.39 ERA), who's winless this month and been wild lately.The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 0-2 in four June starts with a 7.59 ERA - a figure reduced by nearly two runs after a 5-2 loss to Oakland on Friday.
REWIND: Godfrey outpitches Lincecum, A's top Giants 5-2
Lincecum gave up three runs and five hits over six innings, but also walked five and struck out seven. He had been 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Giants' cross-bay rival."I'm trying to fool hitters, mess with their heads, but that doesn't work very well when you're not throwing strikes," said the right-hander, who's issued 12 bases on balls in 15 innings over his last three games.Lincecum, who has alternated wins and losses in his last four interleague games, has never faced the Twins (32-40).Despite Wednesday's defeat, the Twins have won 15 of 18, and trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by 7 12 games.
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"We can't be too down," said Nick Blackburn, who lost for the first time since April 28. "You're not going to win every game you play. As much as this team's been through already this year, I don't think we're going to let one game ruin it for us."Mauer went 0 for 4 Wednesday and is 3 for 20 with two RBIs since coming back from an absence of more than two months due to bilateral leg weakness.Brian Duensing (4-6. 4.82) will try to build off the first interleague win of his career for Minnesota in the finale.Duensing was charged with two runs and seven hits through six innings, struck out five and walked one in the Twins' 6-5 victory over San Diego on Friday.The left-hander was given a 5-0 lead in the first inning, keyed by an RBI single from Mauer in his first game since April 12. Duensing, though, struggled with his control while throwing 106 pitches."I was kind of fighting myself a lot," he told the Twins' official website. "My release point was off and I had a few mechanical issues. But overall I'm happy with the result. I hadn't been throwing well lately so to go at least six and give the team a chance to win is a positive."Duensing will be making his first appearance against San Francisco.

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game


Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

SACRAMENTO -- Faced with demotion, you have two options, sulk or come out swinging. Willie Cauley-Stein chose option two Friday evening at Golden 1 Center.

After starting all 14 games to begin the season, Cauley-Stein found himself relegated to the second unit against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 7-footer looked energized by the move and made one play after another as the Kings came away with the 86-82 victory.

“I felt free - period,” Cauley-Stein said following the win. “Both offensively, defensively. I’m quarterbacking on defense. I’m getting to make plays on offense. I just feel liberated. I feel like it’s unlocking.”

The third-year big began the 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back double-doubles, but hadn’t notched double-figures in rebounds since. Over his previous eight games, the Kings’ starting center was averaging just 4.3 boards per game.

Against Portland, Cauley-Stein played sparkling defense, hit 9-of-17 from the floor for a team-high 22 points and hit the glass for 10 boards. He skied above the Blazers bigs for a rebound with 3.4 seconds remaining and his second free throw attempt sealed the win for a Kings team in desperate need of a win.

“Willie’s a hell of a player, obviously,” veteran big Kosta Koufos said. “He’s really athletic, he’s a special talent.”

Koufos and Cauley-Stein made a devastating defensive duo for Sacramento. Both bigs showed on the high pick-and-roll and avoided fouling the Blazers high-powered guards.

“That’s a crazy defensive lineup right there, me and Kosta play really well together,” Cauley-Stein said. “I’ve been waiting for that lineup since we started.”

Damian Lillard scored 29 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field and 5-for-14 from long range. C.J. McCollum knocked down 8-of-15 from the floor, but he missed all four of his 3-point attempts as Sacramento closed out and pressured the shooter all night long.

Cauley-Stein wasn’t the only starter to find himself on the bench to start the game. Dave Joerger turned to a dual point guard backcourt, using De’Aaron Fox and George Hill side-by-side, while bringing rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in with the second unit.

Playing off the ball for long stretches, Hill responded to the move with 14 points and five assists in 27 minutes. Fox had a quiet offensive night, but his defense on both Lillard and McCollum was inspired.

“We can both attack and he’s a great shooter so that really helps me,” Fox said of Hill. “He’s a mentor on the court. It’s a lot easier to play with him then to watch him play.”

Sacramento held Portland to just 37 percent shooting overall and 28 percent from behind the arc. They pressured the Blazers in the backcourt and slowed the game to screeching halt.

With the win, the Kings snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 4-11 on the season. They jumped a plane for Portland following the game where they’ll face the same Trail Blazer team Saturday in a rare back-to-back against the same team.

The Kings likely be without the services of shooting guard Buddy Hield, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Hield limped into the locker room on crutches following the victory and the initial indications point to him missing the rematch.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach


A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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