Sandoval, Fontenot power Giants to series win


Sandoval, Fontenot power Giants to series win


SAN FRANCISCO -- Mark DeRosa was slated to start at second base because Freddy Sanchez was given his first night of the season off to rest his slightly sore right shoulder.

Mike Fontenot, hitless in 2011, ended up starting at second base because DeRosa's twice-surgically repaired left wrist started barking shortly before game time.

Make that previously hitless.

Fontenot spanked an RBI double early in the game and added a tie-breaking solo homer in the sixth Wednesday, helping the host Giantsreattain a .500 record by beating the Dodgers 4-3 in the rubber match of a three-game series at AT&T Park.

"I just wanted to get Fontenot into the game," DeRosa said with a sly smile. "You know me; always thinking about the team."

Relayed those comments, Fontenot couldn't help but laugh.

"I already thanked him," he said. "I needed the help."
So did Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez, who walked off the mound trailing 3-2 after the top of the sixth following a two-out, tie-breaking double by Aaron Miles.Moments later, Pablo Sandoval tied it back up with a towering one-out drive into the left-field bleachers off Dodgers lefty Ted Lilly. One out later, Fontenot matched his home-run total of a year ago with an equally impressive shot into the right-field arcade area.
"It says a lot about him," Giants skipper Bruce Bochy said of Fontenot, who said he didn't know he was starting until about 15 minutes before the first pitch. "He's a pro."VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
"It's not how you want it written up," Fontenot said of the late notice, "but sometimes you've gotta just go with it."And sometimes you've got to just let it go, "it" being pitches out of the strike zone. That's been an emphasis this season for Sandoval, a switch hitter who batted .227 with one home run in 141 at-bats against lefties in 2010 but entered Wednesday's series finale with a team-high .388 clip against southpaws this season."I've been working hard all year on seeing more pitches, not chasing, waiting for something I can drive," said the slimmed-down Panda. "Not just from the right side, either. From both sides."
Relievers Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo, Jeremy Affeldt and Brian Wilson kept the Dodgers at bay thereafter, combining on three innings of two-hit work without a walk to give the Giants their fourth win in six home games since opening the season with a desultory 2-4 road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego.
"It's huge to come back and win the series after dropping the opener the way we did," Bochy said. "Winning any series any way is big, and we were able to do that twice here, so we're pretty happy about that."
Fontenot was one of three Giants with two hits on the night; right fielder Aubrey Huff went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly to open the scoring in the first inning, and struggling rookie first baseman Brandon Belt went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Make that previously struggling. Belt has three hits and a pair of walks in his past two games since snapping out of a funk that had an impatient fan base suggesting a trip to Triple-A might be what the doctor ordered.Instead, Belt and hitting coach Hensley Meulens have been spending some time doctoring Belt's swing, focusing on keeping his front (right) side closed to avoid "flying open" too early."It might take a few more games to get totally comfortable, but I think I figured a little something out," Belt said. "We tried a lot of things, but basically I just went back to doing what I was doing last year."Said Bochy: "This kid, he's been tested, but he can hit. When it's all said and done, he's gonna be fine."
Miles had three hits for the Dodgers, who got a solo homer from Rod Barajas in the fourth inning.Asked about his dinged-up infielders, Bochy characterized the decisions to sit Sanchez and DeRosa as cautionary. DeRosa who sent a steady stream of line drives into the bleachers during batting practice, felt the wrist flare up while doing some last-minute work in the indoor batting cage but downplayed the issue, saying it felt similar to a tweak that prompted a brief respite during spring training."I'm not concerned about it," he said.
The Giants are far from concerned about Wilson, who struggled in his first two outings of the year but struck out all three batters he faced to pick up his first save of the season Tuesday night.On Wednesday he snapped Miles' bat on a groundout to shortstop to open the ninth, got James Loney to pop out in foul ground halfway down the left-field, and struck out Jamey Carroll to start Tony Bennett's triumphant serenade of the sixth sellout crowd of San Francisco's six-game homestand."Back-to-back nights," Bochy said. "That's the last box we needed to check off with Willie."

Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally


Instant Analysis: Slow start dooms Kings, burnt by Suns despite late rally


Opportunity lost. The Sacramento Kings had a game handed to them on a silver platter Monday night in Phoenix and they couldn’t take advantage. Playing for a new head coach and without their star point guard, the Suns manhandled the Kings early and held them off late to come away with the 117-115 win and pick up their first win of the season.

Garrett Temple is known for his defensive prowess, but on Monday night in Phoenix, he was an offensive juggernaut. With the Kings falling behind early, the veteran wing hit 6-of-8 from long range to post 23 and keep the Kings in the ballgame late. He had a look at 3-ball to win it at the buzzer, but came up short.

It took Bogdan Bogdanovic less than a quarter to get comfortable with the NBA game. Phoenix drafted the rookie with the 27th pick back in 2014, but they abandoned their efforts to bring him over from Europe. He lit the Suns up 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting in the first half, but struggled to get it going after the break.

With Bogdanovic manning the two, fellow rookie De’Aaron Fox put on the jets at the point guard spot. Fox attacked Phoenix on both ends of the floor, finishing with 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Skal Labissiere scored 17 points and grabbed four rebounds off Joerger’s bench. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points, four assists and four rebounds, while rookie Justin Jackson chipped in a career-best 10 points.

Buddy Hield couldn’t buy a bucket early, but his defense fueled his offensive in the second half. Hield grabbed a career-high five steals and added 14 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

Sacramento’s Marquese Chriss did damage against his hometown team. The second-year forward dropped in 19 points and six rebounds before fouling out late. 

Devin Booker added 22 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Mike James finished with 18 points and seven assists starting in place of the exiled Eric Bledsoe and rookie Josh Jackson came off the bench to score 15.


Temple caught fire and the Kings kept feeding him. Not known for his offense, the veteran wing went off in a wild game at the Talking Stick Resort Arena


Phoenix put the Kings on blast to start the game, outscoring the Kings starters 36-17 in the first 12 minutes of action. Dave Joerger went to his bench in the second and the combination of Fox, Bogdanovic and Labissiere went to work. The trio helped cut the Suns lead from 21 in the first quarter to eight before the half. They stole the momentum of the game.


Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic returned from a sprained right ankle to make his NBA debut. Labissiere tweaked his right ankle in the fourth quarter, but was able to walk off under his own power and returned to the game late.


The Kings return home to host DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans Thursday at Golden 1 Center. They’ll stick around Sacramento to face the Washington Wizards on Sunday before heading back out on the road for three games.

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

Draymond defends Bell's garbage time alley-oop off backboard to himself

With just under three minutes to go and the Warriors leading by 25 points, Steve Kerr put the end of the bench into the game.

Somehow, with the game in control, rookie Jordan Bell found a way to produce the highlight of the night.

After Bell got a piece of Dwight Powell's shot, JaVale McGee batted the ball ahead. With no one in front of him, the rookie tossed the ball off the backboard and threw down a dunk. The sequence left his Warriors teammates flabergasted. But Bell may have broken an unwritten rule about showboating in a blowout game.

After the game, Draymond Green was not having it with possible criticism of Bell.

"Listen man, when you get on the basketball floor, I don't care if you get out there with two minutes to go up 25 or with two minutes to go down 25, somebody is evaluating you. So you gotta play the game just like it's tied up or if you're up four or if you're down four. You gotta play the game the same way. Somebody is evaluating you. So if you want to throw it off the backboard, feel free and dunk the ball. He got an And One. It was a great play. So, I got no message for him. Do what you do. Play basketball. That's what he did. I don't get all up into the whole 'Ah man, they're winning by this much, that's bad.' Says who? Dunk the ball. What's the difference between if he threw it off the backboard and dunked it as opposed to grabbing it and dunking it? It's a dunk," Green told reporters in Dallas after the Warriors' 133-130 win.

Green was then asked what he thought of the play, regardless of game situation.

"Great play. Great play. Amazing. Did you see it? It was dope. He got an And One too. He missed the free throw though. We gotta talk about that. That's my message for him. Make the free throw," Green said.

Kerr reportedly apologized to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle after the game. Green commented on that.

"Steve's the coach. I'm not. That's not my problem," Green said.

Draymond wasn't the only member of the Green family defending Bell. His mom, Mary Babers-Green was on Twitter defending the rookie.