Giants score on two errors and a balk to win 1-0

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Giants score on two errors and a balk to win 1-0

June 25, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Even for a team that regularly wins close games, the San Francisco Giants couldn't remember an inning like they had Saturday.Two errors. A slip on the bases. And a balk that happened so fast some didn't even see it.Tony Sipp balked home the only run with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, giving the Giants a 1-0 win over the error-prone Cleveland Indians on Saturday for their fourth straight victory."We've had some weird ways to win," said Giants bearded closer Brian Wilson, who pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save in 25 chances. "That one's definitely up there."Sipp slightly flinched his left arm before even throwing a pitch to Emmanuel Burriss, allowing Miguel Tejada to score from third and gift-wrapping San Francisco's major league-leading 17th one-run victory at home. There also were two errors in the inning by second baseman Cord Phelps that spoiled a strong start by Justin Masterson (5-6).Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he completely missed the play in live action. Burriss knew immediately, stepping out of the batters box and signaling repeatedly. The Indians knew it and did not protest home plate umpire Bob Davidson's call."It was just a mental lapse," Sipp said. "Went up for the set, didn't see the sign that I had in mind. I was supposed to stay set until I actually got a sign that I liked but I started moving too early and paused. Put my hand up a little bit and was going to try to keep going with my hands and just step off, but by that time they had already caught it."The Indians didn't do much else all day.Matt Cain (7-4) pitched seven-plus innings of four-hit ball in another strong outing for San Francisco's right-hander. He struck out six and walked one to keep the offensively challenged Giants close."Those are the ones that are tough to lose," Cain said, "but great to win."A day that began with bad news for the Indians ended even worse.Cleveland right fielder Shin-Soo Choo said he will likely have surgery on his broken left thumb after it was hit a night earlier by a pitch from Jonathan Sanchez. Suddenly, the Indians, who began the day with a one-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central, are losing their grip.By no fault of Masterson, everything started to unravel in a wild seventh.Even the Giants almost blew it.Nate Schierholtz hit a ball into the left-center field gap to start the inning, hustling around second to try for a triple only to slip halfway between the bases. He was tagged out easily in a rundown.Then Tejada reached on a throwing error by Phelps that pulled first baseman Jack Hannahan off the bag. Two batters later, Cain hit a chopper up the middle that Phelps couldn't corral for his second error.Sipp entered and walked Andres Torres on eight pitches to load the bases. Before he even threw another pitch, Sipp flinched his left arm ever-so slightly on the rubber and was called for a balk to give the Giants a 1-0 lead."It's not frustrating," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "You shouldn't put yourself in that spot. We put ourselves in that spot by making the two errors and the walk."Making things even worse for the Indians, they squandered an opportunity to answer back with a baserunning gaff.Pinch-runner Adam Everett was tagged out in a rundown between third and home on a groundball with one out in the eighth. Michael Brantley, standing on second, didn't advance to third - and he might've scored on a passed ball later in the inning on a pitch by Javier Lopez.For most of the day, Cain was untouchable.After allowing leadoff singles to Brantley and Phelps in the first, Cain retired 14 straight batters with a dominating fastball that had pinpoint control. The streak ended with an inside pitch that hit Austin Kearns with two outs in the fifth, about the only time either starting pitcher lost his rhythm.Masterson exited after 5 2-3 innings, allowing the one unearned run on four hits. He struck out five and walked two, but his team gave him little support.The closest Cleveland came to getting a run off Cain came in the sixth, when Brantley doubled leading off. Cain induced two quick groundouts, walked Carlos Santana and then got Grady Sizemore to pop out to first.NOTES: Indians 1B Matt LaPorta (sprained right ankle) will join the team in Cincinnati on Friday and take batting practice. ... The Giants placed Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left biceps. LHP Barry Zito, who hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt, was activated. ... The announced crowd of 42,130 was San Francisco 36th consecutive sellout to start the season.

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Report: Shanahan 'almost certain' to accept 49ers' offer

Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is reportedly “almost certain” to accept the 49ers’ offer to become head coach.

Shanahan is the lone remaining candidate among the six individuals who interviewed with 49ers executives Jed York and Paraag Marathe. The 49ers plan for a second interview with Shanahan and a job offer, a source told CSNBayArea.com. Shanahan is expected to accept the 49ers’ offer, reports Michael Silver of the NFL Network, citing sources familiar with both parties.

The 49ers continued to work Tuesday evening on the process of narrowing down the general manager choices, a source said. Shanahan is expected to play a role in the select the team’s next GM, sources said.

On Tuesday, Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner removed their names from consideration for the vacant coach and general manager positions. The 49ers fired Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke after the 49ers' 2-14 season.

One source said Cable and Kirchner believed the 49ers were using them as leverage to hire Shanahan. Cable interviewed with 49ers co-chair Denise DeBartolo York over the phone on Tuesday, NFL Network reported.

The 49ers are allowed to interview Shanahan for a second time after the Falcons’ NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. The 49ers are prohibited from hiring or making a formal contract offer to Shanahan until the Falcons' season has concluded.

The top remaining candidates for the general manager job are believed to be Green Bay executives Brian Gutekunst and Eliot Wolf, Arizona's Terry McDonough and Minnesota's George Paton.

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

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AP

Wilcox embracing challenge, will change the way Cal looks on field

BERKELEY — With more than a half-century without a Rose Bowl berth, tougher academic standards than most Pac-12 schools and lackluster fan support in a pro-sports focused market, there are plenty of hurdles for a football coach at California.

Coach Justin Wilcox took the job for the Golden Bears because he embraces those obstacles and he wants players who feel the same way as he seeks to rebuild a program that has one winning record in the past five years and no conference championships since 1958.

"When you come here, there are challenges," Wilcox said at his introductory news conference Tuesday. "You don't come here and go through school and just go through the motions. You'll be challenged in the classroom, challenged on the football field and learn to interact in a dynamic society. I believe in that and that helps guys grow."

Wilcox faces many hurdles in his new job replacing the recently fired Sonny Dykes less than three weeks before national signing day. He has to put together a coaching staff, evaluate the players already on campus and try to keep together, and even add to, a recruiting class that committed to a different staff.

Athletic director Mike Williams fired Dykes after four seasons on Jan. 8 because he wanted a coach committed to Cal instead of flirting with other jobs and needed someone who could excite a fan base that often stayed away from Memorial Stadium in recent years as the Bears teamed porous defenses with sometimes exciting offenses while posting a 19-30 record.

Williams had five finalists for the job but chose a former Cal assistant with a defensive background and familiarity with the Pac-12 as an assistant for seven years at three schools in the conference.

"He truly gets this place, he truly gets coaching in the West," Williams said. "He came in and was very organized and thoughtful. He knew what he wanted to do and who he wanted to hire. ... It's a special place and I think he'll treat it as a special place."

While Dykes flirted with job openings at Houston and Baylor this past offseason in part because of his concern about increased academic standards for recruits, the Bears hope Wilcox is someone who wants to stick around after more than a decade of being on a self-described "windy" path as a top defensive coach.

The former Oregon defensive back began his coaching career in 2001 as a graduate assistant at Boise State. He spent three years as linebackers coach under Jeff Tedford at Cal from 2003-05 when the Bears nearly ended their Rose Bowl drought during a 10-win season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback in 2004.

Wilcox has spent the past 11 years as a defensive coordinator with stops at Boise State, Tennessee, Washington, Southern California and finally Wisconsin, where he helped the Badgers field a top 10 defense and win the Cotton Bowl.

Wilcox has worked and played for many successful coaches, including Tedford, Chris Petersen, Dan Hawkins, Mike Bellotti, and Paul Chryst.

"I've been extremely fortunate to work for and with people I learned so much from," he said. "Each step along the way, I've seen it done a lot of different ways. I'm not trying to be any of those people. I always try to take pieces and make it my own."

Wilcox has begun putting together his staff, having hired former Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin as offensive coordinator and longtime Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood to fill that role on the Bears.

The Bears will look very different under Wilcox than Dykes. Wilcox said he will recruit tight ends as Cal moves from the spread "Bear Raid" offense that relied on four receivers almost exclusively to a more balanced offense with tight ends and more power concepts.

While he will delegate most of the offensive responsibilities to Baldwin, Wilcox said he will be more involved on defense where he wants to find players who can fit into his base 3-4 system.

Cal ranked 125th in total defense, 127th in scoring defense and 122nd in yards per play out of 128 FBS teams last season on the way to a 5-7 record.

"Every second is critical right now," Wilcox said. "I will not sacrifice the long-term good of the program for what everyone wants which is certainty. Things will happen quickly. I understand the recruits have some anxiety about the situation and there's emotions involved. That's totally understandable. I'd feel the same way."