Cain masterful, Giants sweep again

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Cain masterful, Giants sweep again

May 12, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Matt Cain didn't have much time to react at the ball coming straight for his head. The San Francisco pitcher tried to twist out of the way but hit the dirt within seconds, clutching his right hand in pain.It was the most damage the Arizona Diamondbacks inflicted on Cain all afternoon.Cain stayed in the game and finished his best outing in nearly a month, Nate Schierholtz added three hits and made an outstanding defensive play and the Giants beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 Thursday to complete a perfect homestand."Matty's so tough," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "He could have come out of that game but he wanted to stay in. He just kept going out there throwing up zeros."
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
Cain (3-2) scattered seven hits over 7 2-3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk to win for the first time since April 15. He retired 17 of 18 hitters during one stretch and left to a rousing ovation from the sold-out crowd at AT&T Park after giving up back-to-back hits with two outs in the ninth.Cain might not have made it that far had the pitch from Arizona starter Daniel Hudson missed a little more inside.Cain, who was trying to put down a sacrifice bunt, tried to get out of the way but was hit on the back of his hand and immediately dropped to his knees as manager Bruce Bochy and trainer Dave Groeschner rushed out from the dugout.Plate umpire Bill Miller ruled the ball hit Cain's bat and was a foul. After getting checked out, Cain stayed in the game and got the bunt down, moving Eli Whiteside from second to third. Andres Torres followed with a double and Aubrey Huff's RBI single made it 3-0."Those are the ones where you really don't have a whole lot of options to get out of the way," Cain said. "The bat and my hand probably saved my face."
URBAN: Cain deals with pain
Whiteside doubled twice to help the surging Giants go 6-0 at home. They swept Colorado and then Arizona to extend their season-high winning streak to six games.Gerardo Parra, Xavier Nady and Justin Upton had two hits apiece for Arizona, which has lost four straight.The Diamondbacks scored twice in the eighth and had the tying run at third base with one out in the ninth before Javier Lopez recorded the final two outs for his first save in nearly five years."I feel like we got outplayed this series, I got outmanaged and they swept us," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "Those guys are the world champions and they showed it this series. We've got to just pick ourselves up."Schierholtz, making his 10th start of the season, made big plays in the field and at the plate to give the Giants an early boost. He singled in Cody Ross in the second for a 1-0 lead, then threw out Parra at second base after he singled off the wall in right the next inning.Schierholtz, who grounded out with the bases loaded in the third, also beat out an infield single in the sixth but was stranded at third.The Giants tacked on two more and Cain made it stand up with his best outing in nearly a month. He left after giving up back-to-back singles with two outs in the eighth."That's definitely the homestand we needed," Cain said. "I got those guys in a little bit of a pickle in the eighth and the bullpen really didn't worry about it."Reliever Jeremy Affeldt got Stephen Drew to hit a sharp grounder to first, but the ball glanced off Huff's glove for a hit. Parra easily scored from third to end the shutout bid.Upton followed with an RBI single off Ramon Ramirez to cut the gap to 3-2, but Ramirez got Russell Branyan to ground out wit the tying run at second.Ryan Roberts singled leading off the ninth for Arizona and took third on Chris Young's pinch-hit single. Lopez, working in the closer role while Brian Wilson rested after pitching five straight games, struck out Kelly Johnson and then got Parra on a swinging strikeout to end the game. It was Lopez's first save since Sept. 12, 2006.NOTES: Giants C Buster Posey was held out of the starting lineup after taking two foul balls off his mask on Wednesday night. "There are no concerns or issues," Bochy said. "We're just being a little careful." ... Giants RHP Santiago Casilla, on the DL since April 6 with an inflamed right elbow, is scheduled to start for Class-A San Jose on Friday. Bochy said the plan is for Casilla to throw 20-25 pitches, then be stretched out to two innings in his next outing. ... Parra's error on Torres' fly ball in the third was his first of the season. ... The Giants have sold out each of their 15 home games. ... This is San Francisco's first undefeated home stand of five games or more since May 25-30, 2004. ... Upton leads Arizona with 10 multi-hit games. ... Drew, who had two hits and an RBI, is batting .385 with runners in scoring position.

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

Green: Wins over Cavs, OKC and Rockets 'our best week of the season'

It may have helped that they had been at home for roughly three weeks.

It surely was to their benefit that the NBA schedule provided three days without a game before they confronted perhaps one of the most rigorous weeks of the season.

The Warriors, however, still had to do the work. They still had to finish.

They still had to beat the team that had roughed them up 22 days earlier, and then squelch another squad coming into Oracle Arena on a wave of emotion and, finally, take to the road and get back at a team that handed them a loss in Oakland.

Done, done and done. And in such a fashion that forward Draymond Green referred to it as “our best week of the season.”

In putting away the Rockets 125-108 on Friday in Houston, the Warriors closed out the traditional worker’s week with a 3-0 record against three teams they could see in the postseason. They’d already routed the defending champion Cavaliers 126-91 on Monday and struck down the Thunder 121-101 on Wednesday.

“It’s three good teams in a row,” Kevin Durant told reporters in Houston. “We definitely wanted to come out and make a nice statement, and I think we did that.

“We always can get better. We can’t relax against Orlando, Miami and Charlotte, teams that can creep up on you and have been playing well lately.”

The Magic, Heat and Hornets -- all dreadful to mediocre -- are the kinds of teams that force the Warriors to compete. They don’t stir the senses like the Cavs or the Thunder or the Rockets, three teams with credentials that demand attention from a Warriors team that sometimes cruises against lesser competition.

So this week was not just about winning games. These weren’t just wins, they were emphatic statements, profound evidence that the team remodeled last summer around the addition of Durant is coming together in the heart of the season.

The defense was tight, with Cleveland shooting 35.2 percent, OKC 42.2 percent and Houston 20.0 percent from beyond the arc, which is the only place that matters for the Rockets.

The Warriors resorted to one of their signature turbocharged third quarters to separate from the Rockets. Shooting 61.9 percent and scoring 9 points off Houston turnovers, the Warriors outscored Houston 37-22 in the third, stretching a five-point halftime lead to 20 going into the fourth quarter.

The Warriors now have an NBA-best differential of plus-250 points in the third quarter this season.

“It’s just something that we put an emphasis on,” Green said. “Coming out and getting off to a good start in the second half. Not coming out flat and giving another team life or letting them go on a run and then trying to make it up. And once we go on our run, we can get rolling pretty well and make it tough on other teams.”

That was the case this week, as the Warriors topped 50 percent from the field in all three victories.

Durant scored 32 points against Houston and averaged 31 points over the last three games. Stephen Curry put in 24 points and averaged 22.7 for the week. Green, meanwhile, averaged 12.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 3.7 blocks.

“It was our best week of the season because we’ve gotten better each time we’ve stepped on the floor this week,” Green said. “And that’s what’s most important. It’s not about blasting these three teams. It’s about getting better, and trying to reach our end goal. In order to do that, you have to get better each and every time you step on the floor.

“We did that these three games, so that’s the most important thing. That’s why it’s been a good week, not because of the margin of the wins that we had.”

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

Instant Replay: Warriors ground Rockets, run win streak to six games

BOX SCORE

The Warriors avenged yet another loss Friday night, rolling into Houston and laying a 125-108 beating on the Rockets at Toyota Center.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Kevin Durant totaling 32 points to lead the way. Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, Klay Thompson with 16, Draymond Green with 15 and Zaza Pachulia added 10.

The Warriors (37-6) suffocated Houston’s high-powered offense, which is predicated on 3-point shooting, holding the Rockets to 20 percent (7-of-35) beyond the arc. The Warriors forced 15 turnovers, off which they scored 19 points.

Backup center Clint Capela scored 22 points to lead Houston (33-13). MVP candidate James Harden was held to 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3-point distance.

Having beaten the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the Warriors this week evened the ledger against two elite teams. They lost to Houston on Dec. 1 in Oakland, 132-127, in double overtime that accounted for one of only three losses at Oracle Arena.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

The entire starting lineup played well, but Durant proved too much for anything the Rockets threw at him.

Durant’s line: 32 points (12-of-19 shooting from the field, including 2-of-7 from deep, 6-of-7 from the line), seven assists, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-25 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After Houston trimmed their lead to five (64-59) with 11:39 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 23-8 run, punctuated by a 28-foot 3-pointer by Curry to go up 87-67 with 5:58 left in the quarter.

The Warriors led by 20 entering the fourth quarter, and the Rockets got no closer than 15 over the final 12 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: C/F David West (L thumb fracture) was listed as out.

Rockets: F Ryan Anderson (flu) was listed as questionable but upgraded to available. He was in the starting lineup, but played only nine minutes before leaving for good.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Sunday in Orlando, where they face the Magic at Amway Center. Tipoff is scheduled for noon Pacific.