Giants shoot for sweep of Diamondbacks


Giants shoot for sweep of Diamondbacks

June 16, 2011

GIANTS (39-29) vs.
ARIZONA (37-32)

ARIZONA (AP) -- Domination in head-to-head matchups is what's keeping the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants ahead of the surprising Arizona Diamondbacks.

San Francisco goes for its sixth straight win and eighth in nine games over Arizona in the finale of their three-game series in the desert Thursday night.

The Giants have a 2 12-game lead over the Diamondbacks (37-32), and a 12-inning, 6-5 loss April 17 at Chase Field is all that stands in the way of San Francisco (39-29) being unbeaten against Arizona this year.

"The last five games against them they have made the plays when it has counted," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We have been in the games and they have responded better than we have."

The Giants haven't been blowing out the Diamondbacks. None of the eight games in the season series has been decided by more than three runs, including San Francisco's 5-2 triumph Wednesday.

REWIND: Bumgarner gets run support, Giants beat D'Backs

Bill Hall - acquired earlier in the week to replace the injured Freddy Sanchez - singled home the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and scored in the ninth on Eli Whiteside's triple. That gave Madison Bumgarner the win after he came in with the fifth-worst run-support average in the majors at 2.65.

"We didn't exactly blow them out but we got enough for him. That's what it's all about," said Pat Burrell, who added a run-scoring triple.

Willie Bloomquist and Chris Young homered for Arizona, which increased its season total to an NL-high 80.

URBAN: Giants' GM finds another scrap-heap gem

A good pitchers' duel could be on tap Thursday when the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong (4-1, 1.81 ERA) faces off against the Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy (7-2, 3.23).

Vogelsong may not have been happy with his last start, but he also may be the only one associated with the Giants who wasn't.

The right-hander was effective Saturday against Cincinnati despite failing to come away with a decision. He gave up two runs while scattering a season-high eight hits in six innings, and San Francisco won 3-2 on pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz's walk-off single.

"I'm not really happy with the way I threw, but the results turned out all right," Vogelsong told the team's official website.

Vogelsong is 3-1 with a 0.99 ERA over his last seven starts. He's 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in four road games this year, but is looking to win at Chase Field for the first time since Aug. 17, 2004, with Pittsburgh.

Kennedy has fared much better on the road than at home for Arizona in 2011.

In eight starts in Phoenix, the right-hander is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA. When he takes the ball away from home, Kennedy is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA.

Pitching on the road didn't help Saturday in Miami, when he was tagged for five runs and three homers among five hits in eight innings. Despite those numbers, he got credit for a 9-5 win. The five runs were the most allowed by Kennedy since April 13, when he yielded a career-high nine in a loss to St. Louis.

"The offense took care of it and I tried to get innings as much as possible," Kennedy told the Diamondbacks' official website. "I was really, really happy that (Gibson) let me go into the eighth."

Kennedy is 1-1 with a 1.99 ERA in three home outings against San Francisco. He gave up two hits and walked two in eight shutout innings Sept. 6, but the Diamondbacks fell to the Giants 2-0 in 12 innings.

A's officially agree to two-year contract with Santiago Casilla


A's officially agree to two-year contract with Santiago Casilla

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Oakland A’s agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Santiago Casilla on a two-year contract through the 2018 season, the club announced today.  To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated outfielder Brett Eibner for assignment.  The A’s also announced that they agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Ross Detwiler and outfielder Alejandro De Aza on minor league contracts with an invite to spring training.

Casilla went 2-5 with 31 saves, a 3.57 ERA and .235 opponents batting average in 62 relief appearances with San Francisco last year.  He ranked sixth in the National League in saves but had nine blown saves, which tied for the most in the majors.  The 36-year-old right-hander struck out a career-high 65 batters in 58.0 innings.  He walked just 19 average his average of 2.95 walks per nine innings was the second lowest mark of his career.  Casilla allowed just 1-of-18 (5.6%) inherited runners to score and held first batters faced to a .228 batting average and .267 on-base percentage.

Casilla returns to the Oakland organization as he was originally signed by the A’s as out of the Dominican Republic on January 31, 2000.  He made his Major League debut with Oakland in 2004 and was 6-4 with four saves and a 5.11 ERA in 152 relief appearances from 2004 to 2009.  Casilla was released following the 2009 season and spent the next seven seasons with the Giants.  He went 32-22 with 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA in 414 games with San Francisco.  Casilla saved a career-high 38 games in 2015 and he ranks sixth on the Giants career saves list.  The 13-year veteran is 38-26 with 127 saves and a 3.19 ERA in 566 career appearances.

Eibner began the 2016 season with Kansas City and hit .231 in 26 games over two stints with the Royals before he was traded to Oakland for Billy Burns on July 30.  He batted .165 in 44 games with the A’s and combined for a .193 batting average, six home runs and 22 RBI in 70 games in his Major League debut.

Detwiler was acquired by the A’s from Cleveland in a minor league deal July 17 and combined for a 2-4 record and a 6.10 ERA in 16 games, including seven starts.  He was also 6-4 with a 4.40 ERA in 16 games, including 15 starts, with Triple-A Columbus and Nashville.  De Aza spent the entire 2016 season with the New York Mets and hit .205 with six home runs and 25 RBI in 130 games.  He is a .261 career hitter in 810 games in nine Major League seasons with Florida (2007, 09), Chicago-AL (2010-14), Baltimore (2014-15), Boston (2015), San Francisco (2015) and New York-NL (2016).

Oakland A's media services

Report: Gutekunst remains with Packers, withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Report: Gutekunst remains with Packers, withdraws from 49ers' GM race

Green Bay executive Brian Gutekunst, who was widely considered a favorite for the 49ers’ vacant general manager position, has reportedly decided to remain with the Packers.

Gutekunst has signed a new contract to remain with the Packers, according to reports from ESPN and the NFL Network.

Gutekunst, 43, is in his 18th season with Green Bay and his first as director of player personnel. He interviewed with the 49ers on Jan. 5.

Gutekunst becomes the second Packers executive in two days to withdraw from consideration for the 49ers job. On Thursday, director of football operations Eliot Wolf decided to remain with Green Bay with a new title and an increase in salary. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wolf withdrew his name from consideration when it became apparent he would not get the job.

The race for the general manager position appears to be down to two known candidates: Minnesota assistant general manager George Paton and Arizona Cardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough. One source described the situation as "fluid."

Two years ago, Paton and Falcons coach Dan Quinn, the boss of presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, were reportedly connected as part of a possible general manager-coach team. Paton and Quinn know each other from their time together with the Miami Dolphins. Paton and Shanahan interviewed with the 49ers on the same day – both in Atlanta.

McDonough is a highly respected talent evaluator who was believed to have Shanahan at the top of his list all along for coaches with whom he wanted to work, according to sources.