One down -- Beltran slugs Giants past D'backs


One down -- Beltran slugs Giants past D'backs

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Matt Cain sensed a different energy around the San Francisco Giants with August in the rear view at last.A vibe much like that of the 2010 club that propelled itself into the postseason with a stellar September.Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead, two-run homer among his four hits, Cain calmly recovered from a rough first inning and the Giants beat the first-place Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night to snap Arizona's season-best nine-game winning streak.Cody Ross hit a two-run homer and made a nice play with his glove as the reigning World Series champions pulled within five games of Arizona in the NL West race. San Francisco figures it must take the series to stay in the chase for a chance at defending its division title.
RATTO: Playoff atmosphere returns, Giants thrive
"That's the energy we needed, the way we needed to start off September," Cain said. "This is the time to do it, obviously. We only have a month left."The Giants began last September with a four-game division deficit behind San Diego, which gives this group hope of pulling off another unlikely run.Jeff Keppinger added an RBI double off Joe Saunders (9-12) for the Giants, who denied the D-backs brass a trip to the barber shop. San Francisco won a series opener for the first time in its last 13 chances since taking Game 1 on July 18 against the rival Dodgers.Cain (11-9) won for only the second time in seven starts, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first with minimal damage.Whether this crucial victory will help save San Francisco's season remains to be seen."This is fun as a ballplayer. You want to be in a situation where every game is meaningful, every game is worth something," Beltran said. "I heard they played well in September. We're looking forward to that."
It is Tim Lincecum (12-11) vs. 17-game winner Ian Kennedy on Saturday night in a marquee pitching matchup. Lincecum has two NL Cy Young awards, Kennedy is vying for this year's honor.Arizona won't be pulling out those razors this time.First-year general manager Kevin Towers and team president Derrick Hall vowed to shave their heads if the club's win streak reached 10 - a little friendly bet they had going with manager Kirk Gibson."We made some mistakes which were very uncharacteristic of the way we have been playing baseball," Gibson said. "We walked six people tonight and we gave them some added opportunities. They outplayed and outpitched us tonight. We'll be back tomorrow."The D-backs beat both Cain and Lincecum in consecutive games during their trip here a month ago. That after Arizona dropped three games all by one run at AT&T Park from May 10-12.This one wasn't close.Beltran added an RBI single in the fifth and singled again in the seventh to match his career high with four hits. It was his 20th career four-hit game and first since June 30, 2007, at Philadelphia while with the Mets.The slugger finally produced the way the Giants hoped he would when they acquired him in a July 28 trade from New York, showing the power stroke that has defined his 14-year big league career. The six-time All-Star recently spent a stint on the disabled list with an injured right hand and wrist.
VIDEO: Cody Ross postgame
Ross, one of those castoffs and misfits who shined last September and during an improbable championship run, connected in the seventh. Then, he made a spectacular diving catch on Justin Upton's sharply hit fly to start the eighth. Ross caught the ball in fair territory and slid face-first into the dirt in foul territory.Ross also snapped an 0-for-16 stretch with his fifth-inning double.Cain appeared to be in trouble right away but wound up going eight innings, allowing two runs and five hits. After striking out Ryan Roberts to start the game, he allowed Aaron Hill's single, a walk to Upton then Miguel Montero's RBI double. Chris Young drew a free pass one out later to load the bases for Gerardo Parra, but Cain retired him on a fly ball to left."We had a good opportunity in the first inning to score two runs but we didn't," Montero said. "We had the opportunity but we couldn't make it happen. Today was a little rough for us."Santiago Casilla gave up a single to Parra in the ninth before striking out pinch-hitter Geoff Blum to end it.Keppinger's double off the left-field wall in the third tied the game at 1, then Beltran followed with his 17th home run. Keppinger has eight RBIs in his last nine games.Beltran hit just his second clout in 21 games since joining the Giants. He came into the game in an 0-for-11 funk and was hitless in his previous three games. He also had been unsuccessful in his last eight at-bats with runners in scoring position and was 2 for his last 20 with chances to drive in runs."We had some big hits, the longball, two-out hits," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've been missing that for a while. Better late than never."
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
Saunders fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Giants, all the losses this year. He never found a rhythm with a sellout crowd of 40,948 on their feet cheering on a night fog swirled above the outfield in the early innings and wind whipped the ballpark flags right off the bay.The Giants are the only NL West team Saunders is yet to beat. Hill added a sacrifice fly in the fifth for Arizona's other run.Pat Burrell was back in the San Francisco lineup and playing left field after he missed 43 games with a strained right foot. He struck out and walked twice before being replaced.NOTES: These teams meet for three games at Chase Field in the season's final week. ... Beltran tripled in the first. The homer was No. 297 of his career. He is batting .500 (14 for 28) with a homer, three triples, a double and four RBIs in seven games against Arizona this season. ... Lincecum is 0-1 in two starts vs. the D-backs this season despite a 1.20 ERA. He has allowed two earned runs and seven hits with 17 strikeouts and five walks over 15 innings. The loss came here Aug. 2. ... Kennedy beat Cain on Aug. 1 during his stretch of seven straight winning starts. ... The Giants are 45-9 when scoring four or more runs.

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.