Giants offense quiet again in 5-2 loss to Nats


Giants offense quiet again in 5-2 loss to Nats

WASHINGTON (AP) Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run single in the eighth to seal the Washington Nationals' 5-2 win against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday. He was even more proud of the play he made a half-inning earlier.Rodriguez threw out pinch-runner Darren Ford trying to steal after reliever Tyler Clippard issued a walk to open the eighth with the Nationals leading 3-2. After the play, the next two Giants went down in order and Rodriguez gave his team two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning."That's like if I hit 4 for 4, to be honest with you," Rodriguez said of his defensive play. "Throwing a guy out late in the game like that, that's a game-saving play right there."To cut the rally right there is good for us. That's why I always take a lot of pride in my defense."Before Rodriguez's clutch contributions, Washington's offense had trouble capitalizing on its chances. The Nationals scratched out a lead despite going 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position over the first seven innings, and they stranded a runner on third base four straight times between the second and fifth.Jordan Zimmermann (2-4) made the runs Washington did get hold up. Zimmermann allowed two runs and six hits over six innings, walked two and struck out four to end his three-game losing streak. He threw 107 pitches, the most since he returned from his August 2009 Tommy John surgery late last season."I try to get stronger as the game goes on, and I felt fine the whole game," Zimmermann said. "I still felt strong at the end."Drew Storen pitched the ninth for his fifth save in five chances to give the Nationals their third win in four games.Alex Cora had a double, a single and an RBI for Washington, his first multihit game of the season."It was pitching and defense," Cora said. "Zimmermann did a great job, Pudge came up big and we did enough offensively to get the W."The Giants' only runs came in the second inning. Miguel Tejada reached on an infield single and advanced to third on Mike Fontenot's double off the right-field wall. Nate Schierholtz hit a blooper that landed on the left-field line between left fielder Laynce Nix and shortstop Ian Desmond and scooted toward the stands, giving Schierholtz a two-run double.Matt Cain (2-2) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, struck out five and walked three. He also threw one costly wild pitch with the bases loaded in the third inning, allowing Rick Ankiel to score and tie the game 2-all.Despite their troubles with runners in scoring position, the Nationals scored a single run in the second, third and fourth innings, starting with Cora's RBI double to the right-field corner.Washington took the lead in the fourth. With runners on second and third, Jerry Hairston hit an RBI groundout.In the fifth, the Nationals squandered a chance to add to the lead. Jayson Werth led off with a single that went through Schierholtz's legs when he attempted to field it on the hop, and Werth went to third on the error. He was stranded there as Cain struck out Nix and got the next two batters to pop out to first.Rodriguez gave Washington a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Danny Espinosa walked to lead off the inning, and after Desmond singled they advanced on a double steal and scored on Rodriguez's single to center.Still, Rodriguez's throw earned the most accolades"That was a great game Pudge played today," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "That was unbelievable. That guy Ford is about as fast as it gets in the league, and it was a changeup he threw him out on."In his 21st major league season, Rodriguez is splitting time behind the plate with rookie Wilson Ramos but he still has the skills to impress his teammates."It's fun to watch him play when he comes to life," said Werth, who was 3 for 4. "It reminds me of the young Pudge Rodriguez, when I used to watch him play back in the day. He's still got a lot to offer. He's an icon of the game, and it's a privilege to play with him."Rodriguez laughed when told of Werth's comment."I'm still the same guy," Rodriguez said. "Pudge, that's me."NOTES: It was the 500th home game for the Nationals since moving to Washington in 2005. The team has a 238-262 home record during that span. ... Espinosa was rested, though he pinch-hit for Nix in the eighth and finished the game at second base. Espinosa and Ankiel are the only Nationals to appear in every game this season. ... San Francisco placed 3B Pablo Sandoval (broken bone in his right wrist) on the 15-day disabled list and called up 3B Ryan Rohlinger from Triple-A Fresno before the game.

Sharks erase three-goal deficit, but fall to to Golden Knights in OT

Sharks erase three-goal deficit, but fall to to Golden Knights in OT


The Sharks used a huge second period to storm back and tie it up in Vegas vs. the Golden Knights. But, their luck turned in overtime.

San Jose lost in overtime to Vegas, 5-4. 

The Sharks are now 11-9-1 on the season.

Quakes announce hiring of new head coach: 'We are an ambitious club'


Quakes announce hiring of new head coach: 'We are an ambitious club'

SAN JOSE - The San Jose Earthquakes announced Friday that the club has hired Mikael Stahre (Michael STAR-eh) as head coach. Stahre brings 11 years of head coaching experience in top European leagues to San Jose. Chris Leitch and Alex Covelo, who spent the final four months of the 2017 season as head coach and assistant coach, respectively, will return to their roles as technical director and director of methodology.

"After a thorough evaluation process, we are excited that Mikael will be joining our club," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli. "What stood out with Mikael are not only the cups his teams won and his consistency over the past 10+ seasons, but also his ability to identify with our players, our coaching staff and most importantly our goals."

"I would like to take this occasion to thank Chris [Leitch] for his dedication to the club," continued Fioranelli. "We would not be where we are today without the contributions of Chris and Alex [Covelo] on the coaching staff. I look forward to working with him as he resumes his role as technical director. We are a special club with special people."

Stahre, 42, comes to San Jose after one year as the head coach of BK Hacken in the Swedish top-flight Allsvenskan. During his lone season with the club, Stahre led the team to a 14-6-10 record, a +14 goal-differential, the third-fewest goals allowed in the league (28) and a fourth-place finish. Stahre elevated Hacken from 10th place in 2016 with an 11-12-7 record to a top-four finish for the first time since 2012.

"We are very excited to bring Mikael in to lead us forward and build on the momentum of this past season," said Earthquakes President Tom Fox. "We are an ambitious club and believe his extensive experience and track record will bring a strong presence to our locker room and will put us firmly on the path to success."

Stahre, from Stockholm, Sweden, began his coaching career in 2007 with FC Vasby United of the Swedish third-tier. Under his guidance, FC Vasby finished in second place with a 15-5-6 record and the third-best offense in the league, earning promotion to the second-tier Superettan. He remained with the club for one more year, finishing mid-table despite possessing the youngest team in the league, before moving to AIK in 2009.

"I am very proud to be the new head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes and for the opportunity to work with Jesse Fioranelli and the other members of the organization," said Stahre. "I'm going to give everything I have to the Quakes and I am very excited about being a part of the future of the club."

Inheriting a team that had finished in fifth place the year before, Stahre led AIK to a league championship in his first season. The club went 18-5-7 with a league-low 20 goals allowed in 30 games, marking their first Swedish title since 1998. That same year, AIK won the Swedish Cup, comparable to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with a perfect 5-0 record in single-elimination play.

After winning the double, Stahre had a stint with Panionios in Greece before moving back to Sweden to take charge of IFK Goteborg ahead of the 2012 Allsvenskan season. Stahre again quickly led his side to silverware, with IFK winning the 2012-13 Swedish Cup. In 2013, IFK rose from a mid-table club to third place (16-8-6), ranking among the league-leaders in goals for (49, t-4th) and goals against (31, 3rd). IFK made another jump the following year, finishing second with a 15-4-11 record and a +24 goal-differential. He also gave increased opportunity to youth players such as 18-year-old forward Gustav Engvall and 20-year-old fullback Ludwig Augustinsson. The duo finished No. 1 and No. 2 in Newcomer of the Year voting and have both gone on to represent the Swedish National Team, who are bound for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

After his three successful seasons with IFK, Stahre's next challenge was to take over Dalian Aerbin (Yifang), who had just been relegated from the Chinese Super League to League One. In his first season in China in 2015, Stahre led Dalian Aerbin to a third-place finish with a 17-6-7 record and the league's second-best goal-differential (+24), narrowly missing out on promotion. He remained with the team for half of the 2016 season, exiting after a 10-6-2 start to the campaign, and returning to Sweden to take over Hacken in January of 2017.

In addition to his many years of coaching First Team football, Stahre also has experience at the youth level. He served as head coach of the Hammarby U-19s from 1994-97 and the AIK U-19s from 1998-2005, leading AIK to the junior national championship in 2004.

The assistants on Stahre's coaching staff will be announced at a later date.

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