Giants ride Ford's speed to 3-2 win over Pirates

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Giants ride Ford's speed to 3-2 win over Pirates

April 26, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
PITTSBURGH (AP) As soon as Neil Walker turned his head to make the throw to first, Darren Ford took off.Ford let his instincts take over - and when you have speed like Ford's, of course your instincts will tell you to run. URBAN: Giants Insider notebook -- Speed kills
Ford scored from third on a grounder hit to the second baseman in a drawn-in infield in the 10th inning, helping the San Francisco Giants snap a season-high four-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night."I didn't go at first," Ford said of the ball hit by Freddy Sanchez off of Joel Hanrahan with one out. "Not at first, but he just glanced at me. He didn't stop me as an infielder - he didn't stop me; he just glanced at me. And once he just glanced at me and then lobbed it over to first, I just took off and let my God-given talent just take over."The speedy Ford advanced to third base, when he went from first to third on an errant pickoff throw by Hanrahan (0-1).Ford scored the tying run after entering the game as a pinch runner in the eighth."There's no fear in him; he's not afraid to make a mistake, and that's what you love about him," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said."I tell you what, that was one of the most impressive displays of speed I've seen on a baseball field," Bochy added, referring to the 10th inning run.The Giants scored all their runs on plays that did not involve a hit.Ford, a rookie without a hit in the majors, reached in the 10th when Nate Schierholtz - who led off with a double - was thrown out at third on Ford's sacrifice attempt. But Ford found his way around the bases anyway.First baseman Lyle Overbay's throw home was errant on the scoring play, but the official scorer did not charge an error on the play because it appeared Ford's speed was going to make him safe anyway."I saw him, and he was stopped," Walker said. "I made the play to first - I probably could have thrown the ball a little firmer, but that guy can run."In the eighth, Ford went from first to third on a hit-and-run play with Sanchez up that turned into a single because the shortstop moved to cover second base. He scored two batters later on Buster Posey's sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2.The Giants' first run also came on a sacrifice fly - Aubrey Huff drove in Aaron Rowand in the sixth.Sergio Romo (1-0) earned the win with a perfect ninth.Giants starter Matt Cain was charged with two runs on four hits and a walk with six strikeouts in six innings.After the game, he talked more about Ford's play than his own pitching."A little one-hopper to second, basically you just figure you've run out of luck right there," Cain said. "He saw Walker kind of lobbed it to first and trusted his speed, and it ended up being the game-changer."Cain's only mistake was a 2-2 pitch in the second to Jones, who hit his team-high fourth home to right-center.During the top of the second, Andrew McCutchen saved a run when he covered plenty of ground in making a diving catch on a ball hit by Miguel Tejada into the right-center gap.The Pirates' Charlie Morton - 2-12 with a 7.57 ERA last season - missed a chance at surpassing his win total last season when San Francisco scored in the eighth. Morton lowered his ERA to 3.00 by allowing a run on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts.The Pirates took a 2-1 lead with a two-out run in the sixth. Matt Diaz walked, stole second and scored on Overbay's single.Morton was lifted after Pablo Sandoval singled and Pat Burrell walked to lead off the seventh."Tonight I feel like I did a decent job, but I definitely could have put them away in the seventh today if I was just aggressive and made some pitches," Morton said. "But that's a good team, and they do what they do."Chris Resop came on and got Cody Ross and Tejada to pop out to first baseman Overbay in foul territory, and he struck out pinch-hitter Mike Fontenot in an 11-pitch at-bat.But the bullpen wasn't as good the following inning. Evan Meek allowed consecutive singles to start. After Joe Beimel got Aubrey Huff to pop out with runners at first and third, Posey lifted the sacrifice fly to left off of Jose Veras to score Ford.Notes: Giants LHP Barry Zito will see foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday. Zito, who sustained a mid-foot sprain April 16, had a cast removed from his right foot Sunday. ... The Pirates claimed OF Xavier Paul off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday but did not join the team yet.

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."