Cain carries Giants to bounce-back win in Atlanta

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Cain carries Giants to bounce-back win in Atlanta

Aug. 17, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
ATLANTA (AP) -- Matt Cain dominated for eight innings.The San Francisco Giants were barely hanging on at the end.Cain threw five-hit ball to snap his three-game losing streak, but the Giants narrowly avoided another loss to Atlanta in the final at-bat, preserving a 7-5 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.
NL WEST WATCH: D'Backs' win streak ends with loss to Phillies
After Cain turned over a 7-1 lead, the Braves scored four runs and had the tying run at the plate. Brian McCann struck out swinging against Jeremy Affeldt."I think we won," manager Bruce Bochy quipped. "Just when you think you have a chance to cross your legs for a second, we're facing the tying run up there."The Giants broke it open with four runs in the fourth, one of them driven in by Cain (10-9) on a sacrifice fly. But he did his best work on the mound, striking out nine and giving up only an unearned run in the first on Chipper Jones' bases-loaded walk.Cain started working out of the stretch exclusively, even while retiring the last 18 hitters he faced."Mechanically, in the windup, I wasn't quite going right," he said. "So I switched to the stretch to try to keep stuff a little more in line and found that good rhythm and just tried to stay with it."San Francisco pounded All-Star Jair Jurrjens (12-5), taking advantage of a pitcher who wasn't sharp in his first start coming off the disabled list. He surrendered eight hits and five runs in six innings."I felt good," Jurrjens insisted. "I just left some pitches up. I was a little rusty."The Braves won the first two games of the series, rallying for three runs in the ninth for a 5-4 victory Monday, then pulling out a 2-1 win in 11 innings on Tuesday. They nearly did it again, closing to 7-5 on Martin Prado's two-run double after Giants shortstop Orlando Cabrera dropped Michael Bourn's soft blooper behind the mound to extend the inning.Affeldt got McCann on a 3-2 pitch."You don't want to go down without a fight," Atlanta's Freddie Freeman said. "At least we gave them a little scare at the end."Once the Giants pushed their margin above three runs, Atlanta was in trouble. San Francisco improved to 32-0 when leading by at least three runs, the majors' only undefeated team in those situations.The win came at a good time for the struggling Giants, who've been plagued by injuries and were knocked out of first in the NL West with a stretch of only five wins in 18 games. They closed to 2 12 games behind Arizona in the division race and with five games of wild card-leading Atlanta.The Giants broke open a 1-all game in the fourth. Aubrey Huff led off with a double, Nate Schierholtz singled and Cabrera brought home the go-ahead run with the third hit in a row. Brandon Belt walked to load the bases, and Eli Whiteside pushed the lead to 3-1 with another run-scoring single.Back-to-back drives to the warning track made it 5-1. Cain hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, and Cody Ross followed with a liner that was caught in front of the left-field wall, allowing Belt to trot home.Jurrjens wasn't exactly fooling the Giants even when his teammates caught the ball. Schierholtz hit one to the track in right that was hauled in by Jose Constanza.San Francisco closer Brian Wilson wasn't available to pitch after flying to Florida to have his ailing right elbow checked out. It's nothing serious, but Bochy gave Wilson a second night off to rest his arm.The way Cain pitched, it looked like the Giants would be just fine without the bearded one.Then came the ninth."We've had a couple heartbreakers at the end the last two nights here," Cain said. "It just seemed like everything accumulated. It was really nice to get everybody relaxed and go out there and have fun, so we can just carry that over into the rest of the week."San Francisco jumped ahead in the first on back-to-back doubles by Mike Fontenot and Pablo Sandoval. The Braves tied it up in the bottom half, taking advantage of a miscue by Sandoval at third base.With two runners on and one out, Sandoval fielded Dan Uggla's grounder and attempted to tag Bourn running toward third. Bourn dodged the glove, and Sandoval's throw to first was too late to get Uggla, either. It was the first of three errors by the Giants.Cain struck out Freeman with the bases loaded before Jones walked to bring home the tying run.Jurrjens was pitching for the first time since Aug. 1, having gone on the disabled list because of a strained right knee. He hasn't been the same dominating pitcher he was before making the All-Star team, giving up at least four runs for the fourth time in his last five starts. That happened only once in his first 16 appearances."Right now, I just need to go to the bullpen and get my pitches back," Jurrjens said. "I've got to get a feel for them again."The Giants added to their lead in the ninth with two more sacrifice flies off Scott Linebrink. Sandoval picked up his second RBI and Huff brought home the other run.NOTES: Braves RHP Peter Moylan is scheduled for another bullpen session Thursday as he continues his recovery from back surgery. ... Whiteside left the game in the seventh because of dizziness. He smashed his face into the dirt when thrown out attempting a steal to end the fourth. ... The Giants tied a San Francisco record with four sacrifice flies, last done in 1988. ... The Giants beat the Braves for the first time in six meetings this season. ... The series finale pits San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (11-9) against Atlanta's Mike Minor (2-2). Lincecum is 6-3 in nine career appearances against the Braves, while Minor will be facing the Giants for the first time.

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

Padres non-tender former A’s P Ross, former Giants C Sanchez

NEW YORK -- Tyson Ross, an All-Star pitcher for San Diego two years ago, was among 35 players who became free agents when their teams declined to offer them 2017 contracts on Friday.

Washington outfielder Ben Revere and Philadelphia outfielder Cody Asche also were cut loose, along with Arizona catcher Welington Castillo and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa; Baltimore pitcher Vance Worley; and Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Louis Coleman.

Milwaukee first baseman Chris Carter and Pittsburgh pitcher Jeff Locke were non-tendered as well; their teams had already designated them for assignment earlier this week.

Teams cut players at the tender deadline to avoid committing to salary arbitration, in which about one-sixth of next season's salary is guaranteed.

Ross, a 29-year-old right-hander, was 13-14 with a 2.81 ERA in 2014 and 10-12 with a 3.26 ERA the following season. He was limited to one major league appearance this year and had surgery in October for thoracic outlet syndrome. Recovery time was expected to be four to six months, and the Padres deemed him too pricy for arbitration after he earned $9,625,000 this year.

Asche, 26, was designated for assignment earlier Friday to clear a roster spot for left-hander David Rollins, claimed off waivers from Texas. Asche hit .240 with 31 homers and 125 RBIs for the Phillies during 371 games in the past four seasons and would have been eligible for arbitration for the first time.

The 28-year-old Revere was acquired from Toronto in January for reliever Drew Storen but strained his right oblique in his first at-bat of the season, left after four innings and went on the disabled list. Revere returned May 6, hit just .217 with two homers and 24 RBIs in 103 games and would have been on track for a raise from his $6.25 million salary.

Castillo batted .264 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs and would have gotten a big raise from his $3.7 million salary.

Isaiah Thomas continues to show Kings he's the one that got away

Isaiah Thomas continues to show Kings he's the one that got away

The one that got away. 
 
There have been plenty of faces that have come and gone over the last decade of futility in Sacramento. But rarely has there been a player that has gone on to become something more than just a standard role player in the NBA. 
 
Isaiah Thomas is the exception.
 
Selected with the 60th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Thomas went from zero to hero in the strike shortened 2011-12 season with Sacramento. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
 
In three seasons with the Kings, the generously listed 5-foot-9 Thomas became known as “The Pizza Guy” in Sacramento due to his commercials for a local pizza restaurant and his ability to deliver in the clutch. With a million-dollar smile and the presence of a man a foot taller, Thomas became the Kings’ most marketable player. 
 
By his third season, he was much more than just a novelty item. Despite his size limitations, Thomas posted 20.3 points and 6.3 assists per game in his final season with the Kings, forming a nice trio with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay under head coach Michael Malone.
 
During the summer of 2014, the Kings, under general manager Pete D’Alessandro, decided to go in a different direction. Sacramento’s regime valued Thomas around the $5 million per season range, although they may not have even gone that high to retain the high-scoring point guard. 
 
When the Phoenix Suns came calling with a 3-year, $21 million deal offer for Thomas, D’Alessandro dealt the fan favorite for Alex Oriakhi (a second round pick that has never played a game of NBA action) and a trade exception. 
 
The Kings went a different direction and basically received nothing for one of their best assets. 
 
Rumors swirled afterwards about Thomas’ departure of discourse was between he and Cousins, but neither has ever substantiated the claims. In fact, both have denied that there was a rift.
 
“That’s all this league is, what people think they know - 99 percent of the time, they don’t know,” Cousins said. “That’s my guy. I’m extremely happy for him. I’m happy for all of the success he’s gotten so far.”
 
To take it a step further, Thomas has even lobbied to have the Kings star center join him with the Celtics.
 
“If he came to Boston, that would be good, really good,” Thomas told the Sporting News over the summer. “The thing is, I’ve got his respect. I’ve always had that."
 
“When I was with him, I didn’t back down,” Thomas added in his conversation with the Sporting News. “I’m a point guard and that was my job. No matter if we did or didn’t get along off the court, on that court we were going to get along, and I was going to hold him accountable. That’s just how it is. It’s how I’ve always been. And he respects me for doing that.”
 
Instead of paying slightly more for Thomas in 2014, Sacramento signed Darren Collison to a 3-year, $15 million deal that summer. The Suns already had two point guards in Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe and after 46 games, they dealt Thomas to the Celtics in a 3-team deal for Marcus Thornton and a future first round pick.
 
Through multiple conversations with management at the time, it was clear that Sacramento’s front office didn’t value Thomas as a starting point guard and they also didn’t believe that he would willingly accept a role as a six-man. 
 
Their valuation of Thomas was wrong. 
 
Fresh off his first All-Star game appearance and back-to-back playoff runs with the Boston Celtics, Thomas has taken his game to even greater heights this season under coach Brad Stevens. 
 
Thomas came into Friday night’s showdown with his former team averaging 26.1 points and 6.3 assists. He ranks ninth in the league in scoring and has the Celtics in the mix for a third straight playoff run. 
 
Sacramento made his life difficult, but the pint-sized point guard still managed to post 20 points and seven assists in the win over the Kings.
 
Thomas, 27, is a free agent at the end of the year and looking to cash in off his stellar numbers. Not only does he bring an ability to hit the big shot, but he’s a leader that has proven that he can take a team to the playoffs. 
 
The move to let Thomas slip through the Kings’ fingers goes down as one of the all-time gaffs in team history. Watching him thrive in Boston is a painful reminder to fans in Sacramento and the fact that the Kings got nothing in return makes it that much worse.