June 5, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ryan Vogelsong, the one-time mop-up man, has found a home with the San Francisco Giants. He's throwing as if he wants to make it permanent.Vogelsong pitched eight fantastic innings and Andres Torres singled home the tiebreaking run, leading the Giants over the Colorado Rockies 2-1 Sunday in a series highlighted by dominant pitching."Until this year I was always the guy who came in when the game was lopsided either way and usually when we were behind by a lot," Vogelsong said. "To be counted on to win games, it's awesome, just a great feeling. It's a role you need to do and not just hang out and be a sideshow."Freddy Sanchez also drove in a run for the Giants, who won their fourth in five games. Miguel Tejada had two hits.Chris Iannetta homered for the Rockies, who are 4-12 in their last 16 games and have not won back-to-back games since May 16-17.Vogelsong (4-1) matched his career high with eight innings, giving up a run on four hits. He walked one and struck out seven. He's allowed one run or less in each of his past six starts. Brian Wilson worked the ninth for his 17th save in 19 chances.Until this year, Vogelsong hadn't pitched in the major leagues since 2006. He spent three years in Japan and shuffled between three organizations last season."It was a long road for him but he never gave up," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He kept grinding to get back to the major leagues. That's one of the best stories I've seen since I've been in the game."With Barry Zito beginning his minor league rehab assignment in San Jose on Monday night, the rotation could get a little clogged up."Voggy is not going anywhere," Bochy said. "He's going to pitch every fifth day. We might have to get a little creative here. We're just starting to talk about it now."Matt Lindstrom (0-1) walked pinch-hitter Pat Burrell to open the eighth inning, and pinch-runner Emmanuel Burriss was sacrificed to second by Vogelsong. Burriss went to third on a wild pitch and scored easily on Torres' tiebreaking single.The teams combined for 10 runs in the three-game series."Got to hit, that's all I've got," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You give up two runs, you should win. It's that simple. We gave up six runs in the series but we only scored four."Rockies starter Jason Hammel retired 17 of his first 18 batters. He allowed one run and two hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out four."It's hard knowing he's out there working so hard for us," Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "To not score any runs for him is difficult. It's tough to lose a game like that."One pitch after Vogelsong thought he caught him looking at strike three for the final out of the fifth, Iannetta hit his eighth home run, a shot that easily cleared the left-field fence."I snap a little and get it out of the way," Vogelsong said. "In tight games you have to go back out and pitch. I just slammed my glove down a few times and said a few things you probably don't want to write."Hammel carried a no-hitter into the sixth. He got the first two outs but walked Torres. Tejada ended the no-hit bid with a hit-and-run single and Sanchez followed with his RBI single."He lost command there for a brief moment but because of what's not taking place for us offensively, that's all it takes," Tracy said. "It comes back to we didn't hit. We were 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts with our 2-3-4 hitters. It's not the first day we've had to deal with this. It's what is holding this team up."Hammel has thrown one career complete game - a loss at Los Angeles in July 2009.NOTES: Giants 1B Brandon Belt was placed on the 15-day disabled list and replaced on the roster by INF Conor Gillaspie. ... Rockies OF Dexter Fowler was out of the starting lineup with a sore abdomen. ... Giants C Buster Posey visited the clubhouse for the first time since undergoing surgery on his left leg. ... Hammel needs two strikeouts to match Bruce Ruffin (319) for 14th on the Rockies' career list. ... Torres was picked off first base in the eighth after getting picked off at second Saturday.
The Warriors will play their second game of the season on Friday night in New Orleans.
But that doesn't mean they are done talking about the 29-point loss to the Spurs on Opening Night.
"We played a team that just came in and beat the crap out of us, frankly," Kerr told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce on Thursday. "They're the one team I would say, when you're adding a lot of new parts and pieces like we are, you either don't want to play the Spurs on Opening Night or you do. The reason you don't want to play them is because of what happened the other night -- they're gonna execute, they know who they are, they got all that continuity from the roster that they've had for years.
"The reason you do want to play them is because they'll expose your weaknesses right away. I don't really care that much about the loss to be honest with you. I felt bad for the fans, who had to suffer through that. But as far as our team goes, even though it was embarrassing and humiliating and nobody slept very well that night, it really opened up every weakness that we had. And it'll sharpen our focus, and we'll be able to work on a lot of things based on that game."
In the game's aftermath, a lot of the focus was centered around the idea that the Warriors missed Andrew Bogut's presence on the defensive end.
The Warriors surrendered 21 offensive rebounds and acknowledged they miscommunicated many times within their scheme.
"Every team that you put together is gonna be different," Kerr explained. "Obviously, we had to move Andrew (Bogut) in order to get Kevin Durant. Even Boges himself said, 'Hey, if I'm the GM, I'd do that, too' ... we were really lucky to get Zaza (Pachulia) and David West, and they're gonna play huge roles on our team, but they're different players.
"It's our job as coaches to figure out what works best and the players have to get to know one another. And they'll get more comfortable as they go. We should be a very good defensive team. We won't have that shot blocking at the rim but we'll have a lot of other really good components to work with and we'll figure it out."
Kerr also discussed the team's mentality in regards to the regular season. Is 74 wins possible?
"I think that record is impossible to break. I don't care who we have on our team. What we did last year to break the 72-win record was incredible. I don't think that record will ever be broken, but of course, we're gonna be asked about it because we've got Kevin Durant.
"It's unfathomable for any team to win 74 games ... anybody who predicted that we were gonna win 74 games, doesn't get the NBA. It doesn't work that way ... it's not even something that enters our mind.
"The most important thing for us is to win when it matters in June. We didn't do that last year, so that's the focus."
SACRAMENTO -- Basketball was supposed to take a back seat Thursday night at the Golden 1 Center. After countless failed attempts to build a new arena in Sacramento, the Kings were almost allowed to leave twice. But a new building comes another 30-plus year lease, cementing NBA hoops in the capital of California until at least the midway point of the century.
The evening was supposed to be a celebration of an accomplishment that many believed would never happen. And then a basketball game broke out.
No one expected the Kings to compete with the San Antonio Spurs. Gregg Popovich’s club won 67 games last season and were fresh off a smackdown of the Golden State Warriors in the season opener on Tuesday.
But this isn’t the 2015-16 Sacramento Kings that would routinely yield 110 points to their opponents. This is Dave Joerger’s club and they are grinders.
The end result was a loss, but one that you can live with. 102-94 doesn’t tell the whole story. For much of the night, the Kings were the best team on the floor.
“I consider this a good loss,” DeMarcus Cousins said. “I’m ready for the next one.”
There are moral victories when you are two games into an 82 game schedule and you go toe-to-toe with one of the best in the league. The mood in past seasons would have been somber in the Kings locker room, but that is not what it felt like on Thursday evening.
“The scary apart about it is we’ve still got so much more room to improve,” Cousins said. “In the past, you usually walk in here and guys are sulking and pissed off. (Tonight) it’s like okay, let’s get onto the next one. We know we made some mistakes. We know we broke down, but we’re on the right path right now.”
That path is built on a defensive identity and the Kings are building chemistry at a shocking rate. With five new rotational players and three new starters, Sacramento’s roster is still learning how to play together.
“As a group, we were pretty good defensively, we communicate with each other, so we’re always going to have a chance every night,” veteran shooting guard Arron Afflalo said.
When you play the Spurs, your margin for error is almost nill. The game turned on a turnover here and a mistake there and that’s something you can’t have when you’re playing a group that has been together for years in the same system.
“Defensively, I think we took a step in the right direction,” Rudy Gay said. “They’re a great team, I think we played great defense. Had a couple of letdowns, but it’s a basketball game. They’re a veteran team playing together. They have a system and they stuck to their system.”
It will go down as the first loss in the history of the Golden 1 Center, but the Kings are showing signs that they might be better than expected.
As for the opening of the building, it went off without a hitch. Both David Stern and Adam Silver were in attendance to see the event. As was Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clay Bennett, former Sacramento Kings All-Star Chris Webber, mayor Kevin Johnson and a bevy of local celebrities.
It was an emotional night all around, even for Cousins who has spent the first six-plus seasons of his career in a Kings uniform.
“It was beautiful, man,” the Kings’ big man said from his locker stall. “As much as this city has been through, as much as they fought, they were more than deserving of this night. I wish we could have sealed the deal with a win, but we got 80 more so we can make it up later.”
The Kings face a young and athletic Minnesota Timberwolves team on Saturday that has given them fits in the past. It’s a new challenge that this team looks better prepared to face this season.