D'Backs tag Cain for five runs in 6th, win 5-2

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D'Backs tag Cain for five runs in 6th, win 5-2

August 1, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Ian Kennedy watched Cody Ross' leadoff home run sail into the seats in left field and quickly told himself to regroup.After that, Arizona's ace dominated the defending champs.Kennedy struck out seven in eight innings to win his fifth straight start and the Diamondbacks beat the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Monday night in a matchup of the NL West's top two teams.Kennedy (13-3) moved into a share of the NL lead for wins with Phillies ace Roy Halladay and Dodgers All-Star Clayton Kershaw. Kennedy's big night also helped Arizona pull within one game of the World Series champion Giants in the division race."I think this series is very important," Kennedy said. "You want to stay close. You don't want to let them creep away."The Giants, who dropped their fourth straight after being swept in Cincinnati over the weekend, have been alone in first place in the West since June 25. They couldn't do enough on an off night by All-Star Matt Cain (9-7).
Giants Insider gallery: 6th inning dooms Giants
Ross and Aubrey Huff each hit solo home runs for San Francisco, Ross leading off the first and Huff on an 11-pitch at-bat in the seventh, but Kennedy still has allowed three or fewer runs in seven of his eight career starts against San Francisco.Kennedy allowed six hits, two runs and walked one. After Ross' homer, he retired 10 straight and 17 of 19 before Carlos Beltran's sixth-inning triple. J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 25th save in 29 chances, getting pinch-hitter Aaron Rowand on a game-ending liner to right with two runners on."It was nice to come in and get Game 1," D-backs leadoff man Willie Bloomquist said. "Hopefully, it kind of sets the tone for the rest of the series that we beat one of their horses today and our guy pitched pretty dang good, too."Beltran, San Francisco's newly acquired slugger, went 2 for 4 in his home debut and received a warm standing ovation from the sellout crowd at AT&T Park when he batted in the first inning. Beltran grounded into an inning-ending double play in the eighth with two runners aboard and his team trailing by three runs. Beltran had gone 2 for 17 in his first four games since the New York Mets traded him last Thursday. The Giants are 1-4 since Beltran arrived.Shortstop Orlando Cabrera, another Giants newcomer, went 1 for 4.The Diamondbacks have high expectations for a new guy of their own - and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt quickly showed why.Hours after Arizona announced it had purchased the contract of the promising infielder from Double-A Mobile, he delivered a sharp single to right field in the second inning against Cain in his first major league at-bat.Goldschmidt, batting seventh in the lineup, will get the ball as a souvenir, too, after Beltran retrieved it and threw to the infield.The 23-year-old Goldschmidt batted .306 with 30 home runs and 94 RBIs in 103 games for Mobile. At the time of his promotion, he led all minor leaguers in home runs and RBIs and ranked third with 82 walks.Cain was tagged for five runs in the sixth inning, the first time he has given up five in an inning since doing so in the bottom of the first on Sept. 11, 2008, at San Diego. The right-hander has only allowed more than five runs once this year."We made some good pitches. We just didn't get those couple of groundballs to go at guys," Cain said.The Giants kicked off an important 10-game homestand with another tough loss for their second four-game losing streak of the year. Five games is the team's longest. San Francisco, outscored 20-5 while being swept by Cincinnati, has had three games trimmed off its lead in as many days. The Giants managed just a .184 batting average during their 2-4 trek through Philadelphia and Cincinnati.
RATTO: In the stretch run, Zito is an afterthought
Kennedy certainly kept them in check."He's been outstanding," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He did exactly what this club needed tonight and pretty much commanded the game."Arizona won for only the third time in the last 13 meetings between the rivals and is 3-7 in this year's series. The D-backs won at AT&T Park for the first time in four tries in 2011."They've owned us," Kennedy said. "We've got to keep this momentum."San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy is looking for someone to take hold of the leadoff spot, and Ross might be making his case after his first audition. He had two hits with the homer and scored a run. Ross started in center field in place of the struggling Andres Torres.NOTES: It was Ross' second career leadoff homer and first since 2008 with Florida. ... The Giants placed struggling LHP Barry Zito on the 15-day DL with a recurrence of his earlier right foot sprain that landed him on the DL previously. Zito lost his third straight start Sunday at Cincinnati. San Francisco needed to make room for the return of LHP Jonathan Sanchez, who will start Friday night against the Phillies. ... Giants LHP starter Madison Bumgarner celebrated his 22nd birthday.

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is reportedly “almost certain” to accept the 49ers’ offer to become head coach.

Shanahan is the lone remaining candidate among the six individuals who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe. The 49ers plan for a second interview with Shanahan and a job offer, a source told CSNBayArea.com. Shanahan is expected to accept the 49ers’ offer, reports Michael Silver of the NFL Network, citing sources familiar with both parties.

The 49ers continued to work Tuesday evening on the process of narrowing down the general manager choices, a source said. Shanahan is expected to play a role in the select the team’s next GM, sources said.

On Tuesday, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed their names from consideration for the vacant coach and general manager positions. The 49ers fired Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke after the 49ers' 2-14 season.

One source said Cable and Kirchner believed the 49ers were using them as leverage to hire Shanahan. Cable interviewed with 49ers co-chair Denise DeBartolo York over the phone on Tuesday, NFL Network reported.

The 49ers are allowed to interview Shanahan for a second time after the Falcons’ NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers are prohibited from hiring or making a formal contract offer to Shanahan until the Falcons' season has concluded.

The top remaining candidates for the general manager job are believed to be Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, Arizona's Terry McDonough and Minnesota's George Paton.

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

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AP

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

BERKELEY — With more than a half-century without a Rose Bowl berth, tougher academic standards than most Pac-12 schools and lackluster fan support in a pro-sports focused market, there are plenty of hurdles for a football coach at California.

Coach Justin Wilcox took the job for the Golden Bears because he embraces those obstacles and he wants players who feel the same way as he seeks to rebuild a program that has one winning record in the past five years and no conference championships since 1958.

"When you come here, there are challenges," Wilcox said at his introductory news conference Tuesday. "You don't come here and go through school and just go through the motions. You'll be challenged in the classroom, challenged on the football field and learn to interact in a dynamic society. I believe in that and that helps guys grow."

Wilcox faces many hurdles in his new job replacing the recently fired Sonny Dykes less than three weeks before national signing day. He has to put together a coaching staff, evaluate the players already on campus and try to keep together, and even add to, a recruiting class that committed to a different staff.

Athletic director Mike Williams fired Dykes after four seasons on Jan. 8 because he wanted a coach committed to Cal instead of flirting with other jobs and needed someone who could excite a fan base that often stayed away from Memorial Stadium in recent years as the Bears teamed porous defenses with sometimes exciting offenses while posting a 19-30 record.

Williams had five finalists for the job but chose a former Cal assistant with a defensive background and familiarity with the Pac-12 as an assistant for seven years at three schools in the conference.

"He truly gets this place, he truly gets coaching in the West," Williams said. "He came in and was very organized and thoughtful. He knew what he wanted to do and who he wanted to hire. ... It's a special place and I think he'll treat it as a special place."

While Dykes flirted with job openings at Houston and Baylor this past offseason in part because of his concern about increased academic standards for recruits, the Bears hope Wilcox is someone who wants to stick around after more than a decade of being on a self-described "windy" path as a top defensive coach.

The former Oregon defensive back began his coaching career in 2001 as a graduate assistant at Boise State. He spent three years as linebackers coach under Jeff Tedford at Cal from 2003-05 when the Bears nearly ended their Rose Bowl drought during a 10-win season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback in 2004.

Wilcox has spent the past 11 years as a defensive coordinator with stops at Boise State, Tennessee, Washington, Southern California and finally Wisconsin, where he helped the Badgers field a top 10 defense and win the Cotton Bowl.

Wilcox has worked and played for many successful coaches, including Tedford, Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins, Mike Bellotti, and Paul Chryst.

"I've been extremely fortunate to work for and with people I learned so much from," he said. "Each step along the way, I've seen it done a lot of different ways. I'm not trying to be any of those people. I always try to take pieces and make it my own."

Wilcox has begun putting together his staff, having hired former Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator and longtime Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood to fill that role on the Bears.

The Bears will look very different under Wilcox than Dykes. Wilcox said he will recruit tight ends as Cal moves from the spread "Bear Raid" offense that relied on four receivers almost exclusively to a more balanced offense with tight ends and more power concepts.

While he will delegate most of the offensive responsibilities to Baldwin, Wilcox said he will be more involved on defense where he wants to find players who can fit into his base 3-4 system.

Cal ranked 125th in total defense, 127th in scoring defense and 122nd in yards per play out of 128 FBS teams last season on the way to a 5-7 record.

"Every second is critical right now," Wilcox said. "I will not sacrifice the long-term good of the program for what everyone wants which is certainty. Things will happen quickly. I understand the recruits have some anxiety about the situation and there's emotions involved. That's totally understandable. I'd feel the same way."