Giants muster one run, fall to Schafer, Astros

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Giants muster one run, fall to Schafer, Astros

Aug. 25, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jordan Schafer homered and scored three times, Henry Sosa pitched six strong innings against his former club to earn his first career victory and the Houston Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1 on Thursday night to end a four-game losing streak.J.D. Martinez doubled twice and had two RBIs for the Astros, who stole a season-high four bases and turned three double plays on defense. Houston, which still owns the worst record in the majors at 43-88, has won three of four against the defending World Series champs.Orlando Cabrera drove in San Francisco's only run with an RBI groundout in the third. The Giants, losers of five of seven, fell three games behind first-place Arizona in the NL West.Sosa (1-2) pitched with runners on base every inning but limited the damage with a crisp fastball and slider that baffled the Giants most of the night.
NEWS: Burrell goes 1-for-4 in rehab start
The rookie right-hander, who began the season with the Giants before being shipped to Houston as part of the July 19 trade that sent infielder Jeff Keppinger to San Francisco, allowed only four singles and struck out three in his second straight start against his former team.Sosa got just enough support from his teammates.Schafer singled and scored in the first, walked and scored in the third and then homered off Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong in the seventh. It was Schafer's second home run for the Astros and the fourth of his career. He had gone 148 at-bats since his last home run on June 13, with Atlanta.Wilton Lopez pitched two scoreless innings and Mark Melancon worked the ninth for his 14th save in 18 chances.San Francisco had the potential tying run at the plate in the ninth after Carlos Beltran's leadoff single but Pablo Sandoval hit into a 3-6-3 double play before Aubrey Huff flied out to end it.Vogelsong (10-4) gave up six hits over 7 1-3 innings but lost for the third time in four starts.Since beginning the season 8-1, Vogelsong is 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA over his last four starts. The Giants have scored only one run in the three losses.It was just the latest setback for San Francisco's pitching staff, which has been beset by a rash of injuries lately.The Giants, who have lost the opening game in their last 11 series, have even bigger issues with their offense. They put the leadoff hitter on base in five consecutive innings but hit into three double plays and had two runners caught stealing.Martinez doubled in Schafer in the first, then added a sacrifice fly in the third to score Schafer again, making it 2-0.Houston's rookie left fielder, who began the season with Double-A Corpus Christi, has nine RBIs over his last five games. Martinez also has eight RBIs in four games against San Francisco this season.The Giants, held to two runs or fewer in four of their previous eight games, cut the gap to 2-1 on Cabrera's RBI groundout in the third. They got some help from Sosa, called for a balk after Eli Whiteside singled and was sacrificed to second.Sosa's best work came in his final inning.Cabrera walked to start the sixth and was sacrificed to second, putting the potential tying run on base. Sosa, who had a no-decision against the Giants last Sunday, retired Beltran on a comebacker and then got Sandoval to ground out to third.Schafer made it 3-1 with his two-out homer in the seventh.NOTES: San Francisco's last win in a series opener was on July 18 against the Dodgers. ... Giants closer Brian Wilson played catch briefly before the game but manager Bruce Bochy is unsure if the All-Star closer will be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible next week. "I wouldn't rule it out, but it's going to be tough for him to be ready to go when his time is up," Bochy said. ... LHP Barry Zito (mid-foot sprain) may throw off the mound in Arizona as early as Friday. ... Whiteside was activated from the disabled list. Backup catcher Hector Sanchez was optioned Class-A San Jose to make room. ... The Astros called up LHP J.A. Happ from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Friday. Happ (4-14) had a 1.50 ERA in three starts in the minors. ... The Astros optioned OF J.B. Shuck down to make room for Happ. ... LHP Madison Bumgarner (7-12), who has a 3.51 ERA over four starts in August, goes for the Giants.

Pablo Sandoval admits he did not work hard after signing with Red Sox

Pablo Sandoval admits he did not work hard after signing with Red Sox

In late November 2014, Pablo Sandoval signed a 5-year contract with the Red Sox that includes $95 million guaranteed.

In 2015, he hit just .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBI over 126 games.

Last year, he appeared in just three games before his season came to an end.

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval recently said to ESPN. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

Sandoval underwent season-ending shoulder surgery in early May, but he wasn't going to be the Red Sox's starting third baseman.

[RELATED: Report: Evans 'not aware of any consideration of a reunion' with Pablo]

He lost his job to Travis Shaw.

"Things definitely happen for a reason," Sandoval said. "(The surgery and rehab process) have helped revitalize that fire in me to win again."

Sandoval was a two-time All-Star with the Giants and was named the 2012 World Series MVP.

In 2014, he racked up 26 hits in the playoffs, breaking the single-postseason record.

He's battled weight issues his entire career, but is working hard on his body to keep things under control.

"I have been following a really strict routine that has taken a lot of dedication from my part," Sandoval said. "It has not been easy to wake up every single day at 6:30 in the morning to then head to the gym and start a full day of work.

"But you have to have that kind of dedication if you want to achieve the goals you have set for yourself ... I am not taking anything for granted. I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The Red Sox won the AL East last year and after trading for Chris Sale this week, have the second best odds of winning the 2017 World Series.

"One of the keys for us is going to be Panda," Boston manager John Farrell said at the winter meetings on Monday. "That's not to put it all on him, but here's a left-handed bat who is a proven guy and has every opportunity to make a major impact on our team this year."
 

Three takeaways: Sharks' Couture 'felt fine' after minor surgery

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Three takeaways: Sharks' Couture 'felt fine' after minor surgery

SAN JOSE – Despite controlling most of their game with the Senators, the Sharks dropped a 4-2 decision on a late goal in regulation Wednesday night at home. The three takeaways from the defeat…

1 – Couture looks good despite minor surgery

Logan Couture scored his seventh goal in 10 games, a power play marker in the second period, and didn’t show any ill effects despite having a screw removed from his right ankle on Saturday. He finished with one shot on goal, five attempts and was 4-for-10 in the faceoff circle in a little more than 19 minutes of ice time.

“I felt fine,” he said after the game. “Took me a little while. Just [at the] start of periods it was a little sore, but once the game got going, I felt fine.”

2 – Sharks had their legs despite layoff

The coaching staff’s decision to give the Sharks a full weekend off from practice over the weekend looked like the right move in that the players had their legs for the duration of the game. Ottawa was rarely in its offensive end, and its 17 shots on goal was a season-low in shots allowed for San Jose.

“We never really felt like we were out of it,” Joe Pavelski said. “They get a couple early and [we] never felt overwhelmed. It was just about staying with it, finding that first one, and going. It was important that we got that next one when it was 2-0. We got moving. Felt in control the whole way.”

Justin Braun said: "It takes a second to get back into it, but I thought we did a pretty good job as a team to come out and get on the forecheck right away. First shift we were in there. I thought we had some good chances early.  To hold them to [17 shots] the whole night after a break like that is pretty good."

3 – Stagnating offense

Despite all the time they spent in the Senators’ end, including six power plays, the Sharks only managed to beat goalie Mike Condon twice. The Sharks’ offense still seems like it’s missing something, sitting in 23rd in the league with 2.38 per game.

At some point, some of the Sharks’ depth guys are going to have to start putting the puck in the net. Nearly one-third of the schedule over with, it’s getting to be the time of year where only the results matter.

"I think we did everything but find a way to win,” Pete DeBoer said. “But at the end of the day, moral victories don't count in the standings. I thought we did some good stuff, but didn't find a way to win."