Giants fall to D'Backs 6-1, tied atop NL West

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Giants fall to D'Backs 6-1, tied atop NL West

August 2, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Paul Goldschmidt has spent two days in the major leagues and he already feels at home. That's what a home run against one of baseball's top pitchers can do for the psyche.Goldschmidt hit his first career homer, a two-run shot off Tim Lincecum that helped the Arizona Diamondbacks move into a tie for first place in the NL West with the Giants by beating San Francisco 6-1 on Tuesday night."To come up here in this environment and do what he's done is a huge lift for us," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's become part of our team. You have to be awed by it. He's shown great character by the way he's controlled his emotions."Justin Upton added a two-run home run as the Diamondbacks won their fourth straight to grab a piece of the division lead for the first time since June 24. Ryan Roberts had two hits and drove in a run.Goldschmidt sounded like the calmest player in the clubhouse when he spoke about his first two days in the bigs."It was nice to get the win," he said. "Any time you get a hit or have a good at-bat it will help your confidence. I just got a couple of pitches to hit."Goldschmidt, who led all minor leaguers in home runs (30) and RBIs (94) when he was called up Monday, said he looked back to previous experiences to keep him levelheaded."I look back to the minors, college, even high school," he said. "That pressure, at that time, was just as big as it is now."Daniel Hudson (11-7) outdueled the two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum to snap a two-game slide against the Giants and win for the eighth time in his last 10 decisions. He allowed one run on six hits over eight innings. He walked one and struck out five."It's a lot of fun but at the same time there's a long way to go," Hudson said. "The division goes through San Francisco and we have a lot of games left with the Giants."Lincecum (9-9) lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits, all in the fifth. He walked three and struck out eight."I lost it there for a while," Lincecum said. "But overall, with the exception of that one pitch, I thought I pitched pretty good."Pablo Sandoval had three hits, including an RBI double, for the Giants, who matched their season-high five-game losing streak.Hudson set down nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, with Orlando Cabrera's bunt single leading off the third the lone batter to reach safely. Cabrera was caught stealing 2-6-3-4-8. Bryan Shaw pitched the ninth to finish it.Lincecum took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Roberts singled ahead of Goldschmidt's deep drive into the left field bleachers."He worked early in the game but that was a great effort by him," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff and his velocity was good."Upton's 22nd home run, a two-run shot off Ramon Ramirez, were the first runs scored against the Giants' bullpen since the All-Star break, a span of 18 innings. Upton extended his hitting streak to 14 games with the homer.Roberts added an RBI double and Gerald Parra an RBI single in the ninth against Javier Lopez.The Diamondbacks have won 12 of 17 games to make up 4 12 games on the Giants.NOTES: Giants INF Freddy Sanchez underwent surgery on his torn right labrum in Arizona and will likely be ready by spring training. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong will start Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks. His eight wins are a career high. He is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA against Arizona in eight appearances, two starts. ... RHP Jason Marquis will make his first start for Arizona. He threw a five-hit shutout against the Giants while with the Washington Nationals this year. He's 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA lifetime against SF. ... The five Giants currently on the disabled list have a combined .289 average against Marquis. Cabrera (.333) is best. Carlos Beltran is at .150. ... OF Cody Ross made his second straight start as the leadoff hitter. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he's one of several candidates to lead off. ... Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero has reached base safely in his last 14 games.

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”

 

 

Sharks' Thornton not concerned with his offensive numbers

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Sharks' Thornton not concerned with his offensive numbers

ANAHEIM – When you have a guy on your roster that just broke into the NHL’s top 25 in scoring, it’s probably difficult to tell him how to play the game.

Still, Joe Thornton is not putting up offensive numbers he’s accustomed to. Through 26 games, Thornton has just two goals and 14 assists for 16 points. Somewhat shockingly, both of his goals have come into an empty net, meaning he has yet to beat a single goaltender with a shot with nearly one-third of the schedule already in the books.

Coach Pete DeBoer remarked on Friday morning, “I think every coach that he’s ever played for would like him to shoot more.”

But has DeBoer told Thornton, who has 27 shots, to shoot more?

“I haven’t recently,” he said. “We’ve had conversations like all coaches do about it, but I pretty much let him play his game. I think most of the conversations we have are about other parts of the game.”

"For me, he does so many things so well for us that we’re not piling on that he needs to score or shoot more. He’s got to play his game, and the offense will come. He stirs our offensive drink, so to speak, and he does it well. I’m not worried about the fact that he doesn’t have goals, no.”

There’s reason to believe Thornton will pick up his production. In fact, his start this season is nearly identical to last year, when he had 15 points (3g, 12a) through 26 games. Over the final four months he up 66 points after Dec. 15, tied for Sidney Crosby for the most in the NHL.

The alternate captain indicated the Sharks’ short summer, combined with his playing for Team Canada in the World Cup, might have taken a toll on his 37-year-old body.

“Going deeper in the postseason I think, it just starts a little bit different – plus the World Cup started earlier. You just kind of jam it in,” he said. “I feel good lately, and hopefully [I’ll] continue it.”

Not surprisingly, the famously laid back Thornton isn’t concerned with the fact he doesn’t have any non-empty netters yet.

“They’ll eventually go in. It’s no secret I’m more of a pass-first guy,” he said. “When you don’t expect it, that’s when they usually come. I haven’t been squeezing my stick or anything.”

“It comes at the strangest times. For whatever reason, you get hot for little stretches of time. I’ve never been one to worry too much.”