Giants back home for series with struggling Rockies

Giants back home for series with struggling Rockies

June 3, 2011

COLORADO (26-29) vs.
GIANTS (31-25)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants are glad Aubrey Huff snapped out of his slump in emphatic fashion.

That may also be a source of comfort for Matt Cain.

Huff looks to continue his success against the Colorado Rockies and give Cain some rare support in the opener of a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday night.

Huff is hitting .233 with eight homers and 30 RBIs this season. However, four of those home runs and seven RBIs have come in the last two games - both victories. It's a reminder of his .290 average, 26 homers and 86 RBIs in 2010, when he played a pivotal role in the Giants' run to their first World Series title in 56 years.

The first baseman went 4 for 5 with a career-high three homers Thursday, also matching a career best with six RBIs as the Giants (31-25) beat NL Central-leading St. Louis 12-7 to take three of four from the Cardinals.

REWIND: Huff's big night gives Giants win over Cardinals

Huff is batting .326 with seven homers in his last 25 games against Colorado (26-29).

"When Huffie gets going, he can carry the team. He did it last year," said Freddy Sanchez, who added a homer and four RBIs Thursday. "He's getting that confidence back and his swing is back.

"I don't think it's any coincidence that he's getting it going and we're getting going."

Cain (3-4, 3.88) will hope Huff, Sanchez and the Giants have some hits left in their bats after getting no runs of support while losing his last two starts. That's nothing new for Cain, for whom San Francisco has scored two runs or fewer in 78 of his 143 outings since the start of 2007.

The right-hander has a 3.58 ERA in four home starts, but has gotten five total runs of support in those games and has a 1-1 record to show for it.

Cain is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three career home starts against the Rockies.

The Giants are 5-3 in the season series, including sweeping a three-game series at AT&T Park from May 6-8.

The Rockies are looking to begin June with consecutive victories after winning 3-0 at Los Angeles on Wednesday following a woeful 8-21 record in May.

"It's a new month, a new start for us." left fielder Carlos Gonzalez told the team's official website.

Colorado has dropped 11 of 14 on the road and is 1-2 on its current nine-game trip against NL West rivals, which concludes with three games at San Diego.

Juan Nicasio (1-0, 0.00) gets a second turn in the rotation after a dazzling major league debut in Saturday's 15-4 rout of St. Louis. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed one unearned run and scattered six hits in seven innings to earn the win and show why he's considered one of the Rockies' top pitching prospects.

"I'm excited because it's my second start in the big leagues, but I'm going to just try to make my pitches," Nicasio told the team's official website through an interpreter. "I'm not worried about what team I'm pitching against, just what I need to do.

"I'm going to try to make my pitch down in the zone. I always try to do that, throw down in the zone."

Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have struggled against the Giants this season, batting .207 and .185, respectively.

Tulowitzki is 17 for 51 with four homers, four doubles and a triple off Cain, but Gonzalez is 3 for 25 with seven strikeouts.

The two sluggers combined to go 3 for 20 in the Rockies' last series at San Francisco.

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.