Battery leads Giants to 5-1 victory over Twins

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Battery leads Giants to 5-1 victory over Twins

June 22, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ryan Vogelsong was just hoping to earn a spot with a major league club the last five seasons.Now he's close to making another team: The National League All-Stars.Vogelsong added another gem to his storybook season, helping the San Francisco Giants end a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.A little-known righty this spring, the only All-Star team Vogelsong could ever recall making was in Little League and joked that it was "by default." Giants manager Bruce Bochy will head the NL team for the defending World Series champions and pick some of the reserves, so Vogelsong's chances are looking sharp."This guy's done everything he could to go there at this point," Bochy said.
URBAN: Vogelsong redefining 'quality start'
Vogelsong (5-1) allowed three hits and one run in seven innings in the latest stellar outing for the journeyman turned ace. He would lead the majors with a 1.86 ERA if he qualified with enough innings pitched, which he could do with his next start.Vogelsong went almost five years between major league victories, bouncing from the minors to Japan and back. He was a non-roster invitee to spring training and was called up when Barry Zito was injured in April.All he has done since has been spectacular."To be on the All-Star team at the major league level has never been anywhere close to a chance for me," Vogelsong said. "It would be amazing."San Francisco's struggling offense finally came alive.Eli Whiteside had a triple, single and three RBIs to hand Nick Blackburn (6-5) his first loss in almost two months and end the Twins' eight-game winning streak. Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson combined to pitch two scoreless innings in relief, a night after Minnesota tied a major league record by starting the game with eight consecutive hits off Madison Bumgarner.But it was Vogelsong who finally quieted Minnesota's bats.
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Vogelsong, Whiteside heroes
"He pretty much ate us up through most of the part of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The guy was pretty nasty."Vogelsong retired the first 12 batters with ease - two soft flies to center were the only ones that left the infield. Michael Cuddyer ended the streak with a single leading off the fifth.There were plenty of distractions to shake Vogelsong's rhythm, too.A fan sitting along the left-field line took a foul ball in the stands away from Giants outfielder Cody Ross in the sixth inning. As Ross reached into the stands, the man put his glove in front of the outfielder and caught the fly by Casilla.The umpires didn't call interference, and the Twins were held scoreless in the inning. The man and a female companion were escorted to another section for their safety.Former Giants slugger and home run king Barry Bonds was sitting behind home plate for most of the game. Bonds received a standing ovation from those around his section when he left at the start of the seventh inning, taking pictures, smiling, and waving to the crowd - all things he did little of when he was a player.With all the commotion in his eyesight, Vogelsong allowed two singles to start the inning before he struck out Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes. Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit an RBI infield single that Crawford bobbled at shortstop, allowing Minnesota to trim the lead to 3-1."I just keep saying it's just mental," he said. "It's being able to focus and concentrate in situations when I couldn't before."NOTES: Romo limped off the mound at the end of the seventh, holding his right knee and grimacing but said he would be available to pitch Thursday. ... Zito will likely make his first start back when San Francisco plays a doubleheader at the Chicago Cubs next Tuesday. Zito, coming off a two-hit shutout for Triple-A Fresno, hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt. ... Twins 1B Justin Morneau will have a cast removed from his left wrist on Friday. ... Twins closer Joe Nathan and DH Jim Thome are expected to rejoin the club in Milwaukee on Friday after finishing rehab stints.

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

Rewind: Klay drops 60, finds a zone most never experience

OAKLAND – The shots kept falling, splashing through the net from all over the court, jumpers from 20 feet, from 25, from 30, layups from one side of the bucket, then the other. Klay Thompson was tap-dancing all over the Indiana Pacers.

It didn’t seem logical that a self-respecting NBA team like the Pacers would allow one man to put on a personal showcase, with them as the victims.

That’s precisely what Thompson did Monday night, before the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, pouring in 60 points – more than he has ever scored in a game, more than anyone in the NBA his scored this season – in a 142-106 crushing of Indiana.

“Klay did do a good job of moving without the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, he was moving and they were finding him.

“We needed to get more help, and we didn’t. He lit us up.”

In scoring 60 points in only 29 minutes – he exited with 1:22 left in the third quarter and did not return – Thompson found a zone above even the most ethereal zones. He happened upon a place even the most hallowed most NBA players never get the privilege of experiencing.

“That’s a feat I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” said Stephen Curry, the reigning scoring champion as well as back-to-back MVP.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Kevin Durant, the four-time scoring champ who also has an MVP trophy to his name. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

With Thompson raining shots, his teammates standing and clapping and boogieing to the roar of the crowd, the Pacers were helpless witnesses to their own dismantling. As Thompson sizzled, and their defense fizzled, one thing became clear: There would be no double-teaming of the hottest shooter in the NBA this season.

How do you double-team Thompson, who plays mostly without the ball, when he’s sharing the court with Curry and Durant? You don’t. You take your chances and hope. And if Thompson is stroking it, you’re in trouble.

The Pacers tried numerous defenders on Thompson and none was up to the challenge. The Warriors, smelling the Pacers’ futility, went after them with a vengeance.

“You could see that once he got hot, Steph was looking for him and Draymond (Green) and KD and Andre (Iguodala) and Zaza (Pachulia), they were all looking for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.

“I’ve said this before, but I really believe the strength of our team the last few years offensive is the number of guys that can pass and make plays. What’s really gratifying as a coach is when you see that type of unselfishness.”

By the time Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, took the assignment, trying to cool Thompson, it was well into the third quarter, much too late. Thompson had made 21 of his 33 shots, including eight of his 14 launches from beyond the arc. He had become the first player in the shot-clock era (beginning in 1954-55) to score 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes.

He had hung the Pacers on a wall.

“I will celebrate this tonight,” said Thompson, whose previous career-high was 52 points. “It’s a feat I never really thought I would be able to do growing up.”

Asked if could have scored 80 points, Thompson barely skipped a beat.

“Maybe. I think I could have,” he said. “And maybe one day I will have the opportunity. 60 points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that.”

His teammates were beyond satisfied. They were delighted. Enchanted. Durant scored 20 points and was agape at Thompson’s performance. Curry had 13 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers and was unusually demonstrative in recapping Thompson’s night.

“We just kept feeding him and feeding him, and he was knocking down some unbelievable shots,” Durant said.

“It was just so much fun to watch,” Curry said. “We appreciate that entertainment value as his teammates to see what he was able to do tonight. It was crazy.”

This was Thompson, taking full and extravagant advantage of both his own shooting skill as well as the benefit of teammates too lethal for any defense to ignore.

All of which left the other 29 teams around the NBA watching and wondering where on earth do they turn if any Thompson or Curry or Durant enters a zone.

This is quite the quandary, and it’s precisely what the Warriors had in mind when they hired Durant.

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

Instant Replay: Klay erupts for career-high 60, Warriors destroy Pacers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.

Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.

So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.

Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.

With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.

Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.

TURNING POINT:
When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.

They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.

The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.

INJURY UPDATE:
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.

ROSTER NOTE:
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.

WHAT’S NEXT:
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.