Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win


Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto kept his promise to Dusty Baker.Baker asked Cueto to aid his tired bullpen by throwing a complete game. Cueto agreed to do it."Dusty asked me for a complete game this morning. I said, 'I will'", Cueto said.Cueto pitched a three-hitter, Joey Votto added a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 9-0 win on Sunday.Todd Frazier hit his first career home run and Drew Stubbs had a career-high four hits as the Reds rebounded from being swept by the New York Mets in four games to post three consecutive wins for the first time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers June 13-15.Cueto (7-4) missed the first month of the season with irritation in his upper right arm and needed 7 1-3 innings to qualify for the National League ERA lead. He went into the game with a 1.88 ERA and lowered it to 1.72 with his first shutout since beating Pittsburgh 9-0 with a one-hitter on May 11, 2010.Cueto's complete game was his third of the season, but he lost the other two. Cueto had one walk with six strikeouts while allowing just one baserunner past first base."I have been working on my mechanics," said Cueto, who has added an exaggerated body turn to his delivery. "I wasn't turning as much today. The three-run lead helped too."The New York Mets and extra-innings games took a toll on the Reds' bullpen."We were swept by the Mets and came back to sweep the Giants," Baker said. "Johnny gave us what we needed. He was masterful. He works hard. He competes. You see him out running line to line. He didn't get any hits, but works on his hitting and bunting. He is trying to be a better base runner."San Francisco left-hander Barry Zito lost his third straight after a stretch in which he won three in a row as the Giants were swept for the fifth time this season and first since losing three straight at Oakland June 17-19.For the second consecutive game, the Reds grabbed a first-inning lead. Stubbs, Edgar Renteria and Votto all singled to produce one run. After Zito's wild pitch, Brandon Phillips hit a sacrifice fly, and Jay Bruce singled up the middle for a 3-0 lead.Baker gave Votto a day off Monday and the reigning MVP responded. He is 10 for 25 since with four home runs and nine RBI."Joey's been swinging the bat better, Jay Bruce picked up some RBIs," Baker said. "They are doing the things we've been talking about with runners in scoring position."The Reds led 5-0 after the first inning on Saturday.Frazier, in the ninth game of his career and eighth after being recalled from Triple-A Louisville on July 22 for the second time this season, hit a 1-1 pitch from Zito 368 feet over the left field fence for a 4-0 lead with one out in the fourth inning. The Reds made it 5-0 on Bruce's sacrifice fly in the fifth.Frazier picked up three baseballs this week from his first hit, RBI and home run."I've got them all out of the way. I'm good to go," Frazier said.Zito (3-4) allowed eight hits and five runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He also threw a wild pitch.The Reds broke it open in the seventh on Votto's 414-foot, three-run homer to center field on a full-count pitch from Guillermo Mota.The Reds capped the scoring with Stubbs' double and Votto's RBI single in the eighth.The sweep came after veteran Miguel Cairo challenged his teammates to do the little things after the loss to the Mets on Thursday afternoon.The speech left an impression on the rookie Frazier."I look up to the veterans on this team. Like Miguel was saying the other day, we'll be OK, when we put it all together."NOTES: San Francisco optioned rookie SS Brandon Crawford to Triple-A Fresno before the game to make room on the roster for newly acquired SS Orlando Cabrera. ... After their six-game road trip, the Giants return home for their second 10-game homestand of the season. After the first of their two 10-game homestands, the Reds leave for a six-game trip to Houston and Chicago. ... Phillips extended his hitting streak to 10 games (15 for 42, .357), the team's longest current streak. ... Carlos Beltran's seventh-inning single snapped a stretch of 11 consecutive hitless at-bats. Beltran is 2 for 17 in four games with San Francisco.

Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win


Notes: 'Carr to Crabtree was special' in Raiders win

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree was a non-factor in last week’s loss to Kansas City, an aberration of the highest order this season.

It proved to be just a one-game lull.

Crabtree was an offensive catalyst yet again Sunday in a 33-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He had eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown, including a long bomb that changed the game.

Quarterback Derek Carr went big on 3rd-and-5 late in the second quarter, sending a perfectly-arched ball down the right sideline that Crabtree caught over his shoulder at full gallop for a 56-yard gain that set up the Raiders’ second touchdown in five minutes.

Crabtree got it, again on third down, using a quick slant just beyond the goal line.

He refused to speak with the media again, but those around him were again wowed by his impact on the game, especially when Jaguars corner shadowed and largely shut Amari Cooper down.

“Michael Crabtree made some incredible plays today for us,” Crabtree said. “…Throughout the game he came up big for us and I thought he play really, really well for us. Obviously our quarterback is a good player. He did a good job for us hooking up with different receivers, but today Carr to Crabtree was special.”

King shows speed: Raiders punter Marquette King doesn’t have to run much. Players at his position usually don’t, except as a last resort when chasing a return.

King ran forward this time, prompted by a uncharacteristically poor Jon Condo snap. He didn’t have room to punt so he took off running, converting a 4th-and-24 with a 27-yard run down the sideline. It was a move that showed great athleticism, one he

“I just picked the ball up and started running,” King said. “After I passed the orange sticks, I got a little light-headed and realized ‘I’m really running the ball right now.’ It’s been since high school that I ran from the punting formation. I came in as a wide receiver for Fort Valley State and was really good at punting so they stuck with me.”

King ran out without getting hit – a plus in the coaches minds – and extended a drive that ended with a game-icing touchdown from Latavius Murray.

Too many field goals: Sebastian Janikowski had four field goals on Sunday night, which isn’t always a positive sign for the Raiders offense. They let too many touchdown-scoring chances escape, which bothered offensive players despite the fact they scored 33 points.

“When we’re in the red zone, we want points,” Murray said. “That’s most important, but we need touchdowns over field goals. We have a lot of work to do and we’ll keep striving to get seven points over three.”

Winning turnover battle: The Raiders forced three turnovers against Jacksonville and didn’t give up any.

David Amerson had an interception. So did Reggie Nelson. Andre Holmes recovered a punt muffed by Rashad Greene. That’s a recipe for success, something that’s become common for this Raiders team.

They’ve forced three turnovers without coughing it up three times this season. They’ve ended up with a plus turnover ratio six times in seven games.

Notes: Raiders LB Bruce Irvin recorded his fourth forced fumble of the season against Jacksonville, which are the most by a Raiders since Nick Roach equaled that total in 2013. …DE Khalil Mack had his second sack in as many games, and now leads the team with three. … Nelson nabbed his second interception this year and has 32 since 2007, a total that leads all active safeties. …RB Latavius Murray has five touchdowns in seven games, the highest total in that span since 2005. … The Raiders are 4-0 on the road, a mark that hasn’t been matched since 2000.

Kaepernick: 'I have to be better'


Kaepernick: 'I have to be better'

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s second start of the season played out in similar fashion to his first appearance of the season a week ago in Buffalo.

Again, Kaepernick had more success running, and the 49ers’ last-ranked pass offense came in under its season average.

“I have to be better,” Kaepernick said following the 49ers’ 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before a sparse and largely disinterested gathering at Levi's Stadium.

Kaepernick completed fewer than 50 percent of his attempts for a second week in a row. He hit on 16 of 34 attempts for 143 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“That’s not going to win in the NFL,” Kaepernick said. “We have to be able to do better on that and ultimately, we have to string this together as a team and play well as a team for 60 minutes to get wins.”

Kaepernick made his second start after replacing Blaine Gabbert, who started the 49ers’ first five games of the season. The club has now lost six consecutive games, the franchise’s longest losing streak since 2008.

Kaepernick rushed for a team-high 84 yards on nine attempts, but the 49ers’ offense sputtered after a strong start. The 49ers scored touchdowns on two of their first four possessions, before closing shop for the day.

“I think it was up and down,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said of Kaepernick’s performance. “I wish there was one thing that you could just put your finger on and say, ‘Hey, it’s this.’ He obviously kept some things alive and kept some drives alive with his legs.

“They were playing a little bit more man coverage than we thought. Coming into the game they hadn’t played that much man, but they started off playing a lot of man. So, obviously, he can beat them (scrambling) when they are playing man coverage and everybody is locked up and now there is nobody responsible for the quarterback.”

The 49ers opened the game with a five-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Later in the first quarter, the 49ers cashed in quickly after Gerald Hodges’ interception. Kaepernick found running back Shaun Draughn in the front left corner of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass.

“It comes down to execution, not shooting ourselves in the foot and making plays,” Kaepernick said. “On our two touchdown drives, we had players making plays on the field and we have to be able to continually do that throughout the game because defenses are talented. Things are going to be close and we have to be able to make those plays and that’s ultimately what’s going to be the difference in these games.”

Now, the 49ers head into the bye week with a 1-6 record. The 49ers face the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 6.

“It’s not a position we want to be in,” Kaepernick said. “We work hard every week, we go through our preparation, we’re on top of everything but we have to go out and execute better. Where our record is right now, we have a bye week coming up. We can get some corrections, get some people healthy, come back and try to make a home stretch run.”