Pablo's first-inning bomb lifts Giants past D'backs

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Pablo's first-inning bomb lifts Giants past D'backs

April 15, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

PHOENIX (AP) Matt Cain has picked up right where he left off in a superb postseason.The right-hander had his third strong outing in three appearances this season and Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run homer to lift the San Francisco Giants to their third straight victory, 5-2 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.Cain (2-0) allowed one run on four hits in six innings - plus two batters. The right-hander threw six scoreless innings, then gave up a popup double down the right field line to Stephen Drew and hit Melvin Mora to end his night in the seventh. Drew later scored, just the third run charged to Cain in 19-plus innings this season."He's really, I think, grown so much over the past year and a half," manager Bruce Bochy said of a pitcher that he believes now ranks among the best in the National League. "He's carried what he did in the postseason to this year, that's mixing up pitches, quality strikes. He's got a good changeup going and good poise out there."Cain threw 21 1-3 innings without allowing an earned run in the Giants' postseason run to the World Series title."I definitely go back to the postseason where I mentally was and try to use that to my advantage," he said.Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said Cain "throws at least three pitches and throws them at any count.""He is very unpredictable," Gibson said. "He knows he can pitch and he knows he is good. He comes right at you with good stuff. We aren't the only guys he has beat up on."Sandoval's third homer of the year, on a changeup in the middle of the plate off Daniel Hudson in the first inning, provided all the offense the Giants needed. Sandoval also walked and scored in the first of Miguel Tejada's two doubles."I just tried to get a good pitch to hit," Sandoval said, "get relaxed at the plate and get a good pitch you can hit."Bochy said Sandoval has secured the No. 5 spot in the batting order against right-handed pitchers.Hudson (0-3) matched his career high with 10 strikeouts but allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits and three walks in six innings. He has received one run of support in his three starts this season.Brian Wilson came on with runners at first and second and two outs in the ninth. He gave up an RBI single to Willie Bloomquist before getting slumping Kelly Johnson to pop out for his third save in four tries.With one out in the first, Freddy Sanchez singled off the glove of third baseman Melvin Mora, then Buster Posey singled up the middle to bring up Sandoval. With two outs, on a 1-0 pitch, the still big - but not as big as before after an offseason conditioning program - hit a towering shot over the swimming pool in right field to put the Giants up 3-0.San Francisco added one in the fourth when Sandoval drew a leadoff walk, Brandon Belt singled and Tejada doubled down the left field line. Cain followed with a low liner to right fielder Justin Upton, who made the catch and threw home as Belt was held at third. Upton had two singles off Cain.The Giants scored an unearned run in the fifth. After Aubrey Huff walked and Posey singled, San Francisco went with a double-steal. Catcher Miguel Montero threw wild to third allowing a runner to score and make it 5-0.After Cain departed in the seventh, left-hander Jeremy Affeldt fanned Montero but walked pinch-hitter Xavier Nagy to load the bases. Bloomquist's RBI sacrifice fly off reliever Ramon Ramirez ended the shutout.NOTES: Giants RHP Tim Lincecum is donating 25,000 to the Bryan Stow Fund to benefit the San Francisco fan critically injured in an attack following the season opener at Dodger Stadium on March 31. ... Bloomquist stole his seventh base of the season. ... Hudson got his third hit in five at-bats. ... Johnson robbed Sanchez of a hit with a sliding catch behind first base to start the fifth. ... Johnson was 0 for 5 to fall to .157 for the season. ... The Giants lead all NL West teams with 151 home runs at Chase Fields.

Kelly benched Kaepernick to see if Gabbert could provide spark

Kelly benched Kaepernick to see if Gabbert could provide spark

CHICAGO – The 49ers on Sunday had the second-worst passing day in the 71-season history of the organization.

Coach Chip Kelly made the move at the beginning of the fourth quarter to bench quarterback Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert as the 49ers sunk to new depths with a 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears on a cold, snowy day at Soldier Field.

Kelly said he made the move because it was clear to him that Kaepernick was not coping well with the inclement conditions. Kaepernick completed just one of five passing attempts for 4 yards through three quarters. He was sacked five times for minus-25 yards.

Kelly was asked afterward if Kaepernick would regain his starting job for next week’s game against the New York Jets.

“We haven’t had any discussions about anything,” Kelly said. “It was just my decision to make a move to see if we could get a spark and see where we were.

“At that point in the game, we’re down a couple of scores (18 points) and, obviously, we have to throw it a ton. So we just wanted to see if we could get a spark for our team. There were no permanent decisions or anything like that.”

Gabbert did not have much more success in his one quarter of action. He completed four of 10 attempts for 35 yards. He was sacked in the end zone late in the fourth quarter for a safety.

“Yeah, I was surprised,” Kaepernick said of his benching. “It wasn’t something I expected. I’m always prepared and ready to do everything I can to help this team win.

“It’s not about my feelings. It’s about being able to help this team win. This coaching staff didn’t feel like I was, you know, out there being able to help this team win, so they made a change -- whether I agreed with that or not.”

The 49ers stuck with the running game for most of the game. Running back Carlos Hyde gained 92 yards on 20 rushing attempts, while Kaepernick rushed six times for 20 yards.

Kelly took the conservative approach in conditions that were snowy, wet and near freezing. There was no wind. Kelly was asked afterward if he might have been too cautious with Kaepernick.

“No, I was just watching how the ball was coming off his hands and what our chances were of completing it,” he said. “Maybe I was too cautious, but it didn’t look like we were doing much in the passing game.”

Kelly pointed out that the weather did not appear to have much of a negative impact on Bears quarterback Matt Barkley, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 192 yards.

“Both teams played in the same weather, so I don’t look at that as an excuse, in terms of we had the same weather that they had,” Kelly said. “Both teams had to deal with it, and they dealt with it better, especially in the pass game.”

Said Kaepernick, “I think the weather was something that definitely played a factor. We have to be able to do a better job managing that, handing it and being able to throw the ball, still.

“More than anything, it was tougher throwing a wet football. Once again, we have to be better at, being able to handle it.”

The 49ers had just 6 yards of net passing in the game. Kaepernick and Gabbert combined for 39 yards passing. Negative yardage on sacks counts against net passing yardage in the NFL, and the 49ers had 33 yards in sacks.

The 49ers franchise-worst game in passing is minus-10 yards. Quarterbacks Bob Waters and Lamar McHan combined for 63 yards passing against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 6, 1963. The 49ers gave up 73 yards in sacks to account for the negative yardage.

“It was just one of those days,” Gabbert said. “It’s not on any single guy’s shoulders why we didn’t win this football game and why we didn’t execute as an offense.”

Kaepernick had been playing some of the best football of his career entering Sunday’s game. In the 49ers’ 31-24 loss to the Miami Dolphins a week earlier, Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and gained 113 yards rushing.

“We have to continue to keep building, keep progressing,” Kaepernick said. “This is a setback, most definitely, but we have to be able to keep pushing forward.”

On Sunday, the NFL Network reported Kaepernick planned to opt out the final year of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Kaepernick said he is not looking ahead to the offseason.

“Once again, like I’ve said all along, my focus is on the next game,” Kaepernick said. “So my focus has been on the Bears this past week.”

When asked whether he expects to remain the 49ers’ starter, Kaepernick answered, “That’s not my decision. My feelings on it really don’t matter at this point. I’m just going to do everything I can to make sure I’m prepared.”

 

Chip Kelly coached 49ers in Chicago despite father's death

Chip Kelly coached 49ers in Chicago despite father's death

CHICAGO – Paul Kelly, the father of Chip Kelly, passed away on Friday night, the 49ers coach confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Kelly flew from Chicago to New Hampshire late Friday after learning of his father’s death. He returned for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. The 49ers lost their 11th consecutive game, a 26-6 defeat to the Bears.

When asked if he considered not coaching in the game, Kelly told CSNBayArea.com, “My mom wanted me to coach.”

Kelly said the team was making travel plans to send him back to New Hampshire after the game to be with his family, including his mother, Jean.

General manager Trent Baalke informed the 49ers’ players during a meeting Saturday morning in Chicago.

Paul Kelly was a retired trial lawyer and a member of the New Hampshire Bar from 1960 to 2000.

In a 2009 profile on the Kelly family in the Oregonian, Paul Kelly was described as “cerebral, successful and competitive.” The article states that throughout Chip Kelly's childhood, his father preached, “Deeds, not words.”