Lincecum looks to continue success vs. Cards


Lincecum looks to continue success vs. Cards

June 1, 2011

GIANTS (29-25) vs.
ST. LOUIS (33-23)

Coverage begins at 5:00 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games, but they're hoping the beginning of a new month brings more consistency.

What they'll definitely be getting to open June is a major challenge at the plate.

Tim Lincecum gave up six earned runs in five starts last month and has won five of his six career starts against St. Louis, patterns of success the Giants ace looks to continue Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals (33-23) won eight of nine from May 16-24 to go from 1 12 games out of first place in the NL Central to 3 12 games in front.

Three losses in five games nearly became four in six Tuesday against San Francisco (29-25), but St. Louis didn't let a late 3-1 deficit get in its way. Doubles from Jon Jay, Albert Pujols and Allen Craig tied the score at 3, then Skip Schumaker's infield single plated Craig and lifted the Cardinals to a 4-3 win.

REWIND: Giants bullpen blows late lead, Cards win

"It's a good win, a comeback win against a very good bullpen," said Schumaker, who had been 2 for 19 since returning from the disabled list before his big hit. "It's very meaningful."

Piecing together consecutive victories won't be easy against Lincecum (5-4, 2.22 ERA), particularly if Matt Holliday is again not in the starting lineup. Holliday returned to the lineup Monday after not starting since May 22 because of a strained left quadriceps, but he was limited to pinch-hitting duties Tuesday.

Lincecum, meanwhile, went 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA in May, capping it with a pair of victories. He pitched a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over Oakland on May 21, then gave up three runs over seven innings Friday in Milwaukee, going from a likely loss to a 5-4 win thanks to rookie Brandon Crawford's seventh-inning grand slam.

Despite completing a strong month, Lincecum's velocity was down against the Brewers. The staff ace, though, says he's fine physically.

"Nothing's hurt or anything," Lincecum told the Giants' official website. "I felt like I was laboring through most of the game, for the most part. Sliders were flat. Fastball was down (in velocity). Changeup was not really diving or anything."

The two-time Cy Young Award winner was 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA against the Cardinals before giving up four runs over 5 1-3 innings in a 5-1 loss Aug. 21 at Busch.

Pujols, who made his second start of the season at third base Tuesday, is 5 for 14 lifetime versus Lincecum.

Jake Westbrook (5-3, 5.19) gets the ball for St. Louis seeking his fourth consecutive victory. After giving up one run over 15 innings in wins over Philadelphia and Kansas City, the right-hander wasn't nearly as sharp Friday in Colorado, but allowing three runs over five innings proved to be good enough in a 10-3 victory.

Westbrook is 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last three home starts after opening 0-2 with an 18.41 ERA.

He wasn't sharp at all in the Cardinals' 5-4, 12-inning loss at San Francisco on April 8. But despite giving up eight hits - including homers to Pat Burrell and Miguel Tejada - and walking four over 5 2-3 innings, he only surrendered three runs.

Giants rookie Brandon Belt will likely miss a few days after being hit in the wrist with a pitch in the seventh inning Tuesday. That could put the struggling Aubrey Huff back at first base Wednesday, but manager Bruce Bochy said he may give him a second straight day off.

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.