Lincecum sharp, Sandoval stays hot in Giants' win


Lincecum sharp, Sandoval stays hot in Giants' win

July 9, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Lincecum made sure he won't have to be asked about being an All-Star with a losing record.Lincecum labored through six innings to win for the second time in his past eight starts and Pablo Sandoval had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 20 games as the San Francisco Giants beat the New York Mets 3-1 Saturday night.The win sends Lincecum (7-7) to the All-Star game with a .500 record instead of as the first starter with a losing mark since Gil Meche in 2007."Yeah but they're still going to ask me why I'm a 7-7 All-Star," Lincecum said. "Regardless they're going to be questions about that."Lincecum was selected to the NL team by manager Bruce Bochy in a move that appeared to be as much a reward for what he had done in the past as it was for how he pitched in the first half this season.The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was 1-3 with a 4.91 ERA in his past eight starts, but managed to limit the Mets to one run in six innings.Lincecum retired the first two batters every inning, but failed to set the Mets down in order even once. He avoided damage after allowing one run in the first inning, but the extra work drove up his pitch count and he was pulled after six innings with 114 pitches. He allowed four hits and four walks, with six strikeouts."Just getting through those innings was a battle for me," Lincecum said. "Just getting out of them was good enough for me."Nate Schierholtz and Aubrey Huff drove in runs in the first inning off Chris Capuano (8-8) to help assure that the World Series champion Giants would go into the All-Star break in sole possession of first place in the NL West for the first time since 2003. San Francisco has a two-game lead over Arizona with one game left before the break."It's encouraging," Bochy said. "We still have one game before the break, but it's nice to try to wrap things up on a good note.Santiago Casilla pitched a perfect seventh, Javier Lopez got five outs and Sergio Romo struck out Scott Hairston with a man on first for his first save since 2009.Hairston hit a go-ahead homer in the ninth inning against All-Star Brian Wilson the previous night. That was his 12th longball all time against the Giants, his most against any team. With Wilson unavailable after pitching the past three days, Romo fanned Hairston on three straight sliders."When they say it takes a different animal to be a closer they're right," Romo said. "The adrenaline you get out there is an incredible rush. I haven't had too many opportunities in my career to be in that position. For me the feeling afterward is borderline heart attack."The Mets lost for just the second time in seven games and failed in their second attempt to move a season-high four games over .500New York's only run came when Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy hit consecutive doubles with two outs in the first. That snapped a streak of 16 straight scoreless innings for the Mets against Lincecum.But San Francisco answered with two in the bottom half for the only first-inning runs Capuano has allowed in 17 starts this season. Capuano had been the only pitcher in the majors with at least five starts who had not allowed a first-inning run.But after giving up a double to Sandoval and a walk to Pat Burrell to load the bases with one out, Capuano was unable to escape. Schierholtz hit a ball up the middle to shortstop Ruben Tejada, who tried to tag Burrell to start an inning-ending double play.But Tejada missed the tag and his throw to first was late, allowing Miguel Tejada to score on the infield hit. San Francisco added a second run on Huff's groundout 2-1."They weren't exactly tailor made," Capuano said. "They were a little bit in between. They were tough turns."That was all the Giants could muster in six innings off Capuano, who allowed two runs, four hits and four walks to end a three-start winning streak."Capuano made good enough pitches to get out of the jam," manager Terry Collins said. "I thought he threw the ball good. They should not have scored."Sandoval added an RBI groundout in the seventh off Bobby Parnell to make it 3-1.NOTES: San Francisco LHP Jonathan Sanchez (left biceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session before the game and will likely face hitters on the day off in San Diego next Wednesday before making a rehab start. ... Mets 3B David Wright (back) could start playing rehab games next week and would likely need 30 to 40 ABs in the minors before being ready to be activated.

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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