Day baseball as Giants go for series win at PNC

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Day baseball as Giants go for series win at PNC

April 28, 2011

GIANTS (11-12) vs.
PITTSBURGH (11-13)

Coverage begins at 9:00 A.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- A series with the Pittsburgh Pirates would appear to be a good chance for the San Francisco Giants to shake out of their offensive slump.

That hasn't been the case yet.

The Giants look to bounce back from their first shutout loss of the season and avoid a seventh loss in eight games when they finish this three-game set against the Pirates on Thursday afternoon at PNC Park.

RELATED: MLB scoreboard
San Francisco (11-12) has totaled 14 runs with a .198 batting average and one homer while dropping five of six. The Giants swatted 12 homers while winning six of their previous seven.

Their current struggles continued Wednesday, when they mustered six hits - all singles - in a 2-0 loss to Pittsburgh (11-13). San Francisco won Tuesday's series opener 3-2, but scored all three of those runs on plays that didn't involve hits.

REWIND: Giants blanked in loss to Pirates

The Giants are 0 for 17 with runners in scoring position in this series.

Pablo Sandoval is one of San Francisco's few recent offensive bright spots. He's collected three hits in this series, and is batting .349 with four homers and nine RBIs in 13 road games.

Sandoval is also batting .375 with 11 RBIs over his last 16 games versus Pittsburgh.

Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00 ERA) is slated to get his first start in almost seven years Thursday and take the mound against his former club for the first time.

A member of the Pirates from 2001-06, before stints in Japan and the minors, Vogelsong joins the rotation to replace Barry Zito - currently on the disabled list with a right foot injury.

Vogelsong has made two relief appearances this season, yielding three hits in 4 2-3 scoreless innings. He hasn't started a game since a Pirates loss at Philadelphia on Sept. 29, 2004.

The Giants aren't worried about Vogelsong's pitch count.

"Like anybody, we'll keep an eye on him when he gets in the middle of the game and go from there," pitching coach Dave Righetti told the team's official website. "But there is no certain number."

Vogelsong is 5-12 with a 6.27 ERA in 52 career appearances - 18 starts - at PNC Park. His ERA is the highest all-time for any pitcher who's thrown at least 75 innings at the park.

Pittsburgh has won three of its last five games, thanks largely to the pitching staff's 2.35 ERA during that stretch.

The Pirates will give Jeff Karstens (2-0, 3.94) a third spot Thursday start in place of the injured Ross Ohlendorf (right shoulder), who isn't expected back until next month.

Pittsburgh has won both of Karstens' starts in 2011, as he's yielded seven runs over 10 1-3 innings. The right-hander got credit for the win with a solid performance Saturday, when he yielded two runs in six innings of a 7-2 victory over Washington.

Karstens has not faced the Giants since Sept. 7, 2008, when he surrendered eight runs - five earned - in three innings of an 11-6 loss.

Instant Replay: Sharks' streak snapped by Sens in final minute

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USATSI

Instant Replay: Sharks' streak snapped by Sens in final minute

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – Chris Kelly scored with a little more than a minute left in regulation, pushing the Senators to a 4-2 win over the Sharks at SAP Center on Wednesday night.

On the deciding goal, Justin Braun misplayed a puck at the defensive blue line, and Kelly raced ahead on a partial breakaway before chipping it through Martin Jones at 18:54.

San Jose outshot Ottawa 37-17 for the game, and out-attempted the Senators 78-36, but lost for just the second time in their last eight games (6-2-0).

Ottawa won its fifth straight against San Jose, improving to 1-1 on its four game road trip.

Despite a lopsided advantage in shots and shot attempts throughout the night, the Sharks trailed 2-1 to start the third period. Brent Burns got the equalizer in a four-on-four situation, though, ripping a wrist shot from the top of the circle through Mike Condon at 6:30.

The Sharks had the better of the scoring chances in the first period, but it was Ottawa that claimed a 2-0 lead after the opening stanza.

Mark Stone’s power play goal at 3:42 opened the scoring. A shot by Mike Hoffman deflected off of the skates of Paul Martin and then Burns before Stone found it in front of the net.

Three-and-a-half minutes later Erik Karlsson made it 2-0, wiring a wrist shot through Jones after the Sharks were caught running around in their own end. Jones appeared to be screened by Tom Pyatt on the goal at 7:19.

Condon made some clutch saves later in the period, including a pair on Joe Pavelski, who was denied on a Sharks power play with 4:30 to go and then again at even strength with 1:52 remaining before the break. Pavelski was around the net all night, finding the post on a breakaway in the second period and getting robbed by Condon’s glove early in the third.

The Sharks kept pressuring the Senators in the middle frame, finally breaking through on the power play. A laser from Couture at 8:19 cleanly beat the Ottawa goalie for his seventh goal in the last 10 games.

Couture was playing despite minor surgery on Saturday, when he had a screw from a previous operation that had been bothering him removed from his right ankle.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau had an empty net goal to cap the scoring.

Special teams

The Sharks finished 1-for-6 on the power play, and are 6-for-25 over their last eight games. They generated 11 power play shots against the Senators in more than 10 minutes of power play time.

San Jose surrendered a power play goal against for the fifth time in the last six games, going 9-for-14 over that span. They came through late in the third with 3:58 to go in regulation when Patrick Marleau was issued an interference minor.

In goal

Jones was making his first start against Ottawa as a member of the Sharks, as Alex Stalock played both games last season. He took the loss with three goals allowed on just 16 shots.

Condon improved to 4-1-1 on the year with 35 saves.

Lineup

David Schlemko did not play due to injury, and is day-to-day. Dylan DeMelo played in his third game of the season, all coming within the last two weeks.

Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan returned after missing the previous three games with a finger injury. Goalie Craig Anderson was not with the club for personal reasons, as his wife is battling cancer.

Up next

The Sharks will visit Anaheim for the first time this season on Friday. The Sharks are 1-1 against the Ducks this season, both at SAP Center.

San Jose hosts the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday for its second game in as many nights.

Instant Replay: Warriors in control from start to finish, beat Clippers

Instant Replay: Warriors in control from start to finish, beat Clippers

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES – Shredding the league’s top-rated defense, the Warriors sprinted ahead of the Clippers early and raced to a 115-98 victory before a bipartisan sellout crowd Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, led by 24 points from Klay Thompson, as they defeated Los Angeles for the seventh consecutive time, dating back to March 2015.

Draymond Green scored 22 points, Stephen Curry 19, Kevin Durant 16 and Andre Iguodala 10 as the Warriors (19-3) emphasized ball movement and crisp passing to shoot 48 percent from the field, posting 32 assists on 42 field goals.

Curry consistently disrupted LA’s attempts to create rhythm on offense, as he nabbed seven steals, tying a career-high and also posting the individual high for the NBA this season.

Veteran guard Jamal Crawford scored 21 points to lead the Clippers (16-7), who lost for the fifth time in seven games.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Green provided his usual buoyant energy and dirty work but also turned in a highly efficient scoring night, resulting in a season-high.

Green’s line: 22 points (8-of-10 from the field, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, 3-of-4 from the free throw line), five rebounds, four assists and two steals. He played 32 minutes was plus-25.

TURNING POINT

After a DeAndre Jordan dunk gave LA a 10-9 lead with 6:58 left in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with an 18-3 run to go up 27-13 with 2:38 left in the quarter.

The Clippers got no closer than seven (53-46, 2:21 left in the second quarter) after that, as the Warriors led by 13 at the half and by 16 after three quarters.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Anderson Varejao was a healthy inactive.

Clippers: G Raymond Felton (family matter) was declared out prior to tipoff. Clippers: F Brice Johnson (lower back herniated disc) is listed as out.

ROSTER NOTE

Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors left LA immediately after the game, bound for Utah, where on Thursday night they will play the Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 Pacific.