Sandoval powers Giants to second win over Rox


Sandoval powers Giants to second win over Rox


DENVER (AP) Facing San Francisco's remarkable rotation is doubly difficult when the Giants are staked to a big, early lead like they've been the last two nights at Coors Field.Jonathan Sanchez gave up two hits over 6 1-3 innings one night after Tim Lincecum flirted with a no-hitter and the Giants beat Colorado 6-3 Tuesday night, spoiling Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez's return from the disabled list.San Francisco's offense, which spotted Lincecum a five-run first-inning cushion in an 8-1 win, gave Sanchez (2-1) a four-run lead to work with thanks to Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer before the lefty even stepped foot on the mound."It's great when you start the game 4-0," Sanchez said. "You can just go out there and pitch, throw the ball and see what happens."Just as they did the night before, when Pat Burrell's three-run first-inning homer highlighted a 5-0 lead Lincecom had before he walked out to the mound."It would be nice to not spot them four runs," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "It's a tough uphill battle for us, especially with the pitchers that they have."
VIDEO: Cody Ross postgame
Aubrey Huff also went deep for the Giants, who go for the sweep Wednesday when Matt Cain faces Jorge De La Rosa after cutting their four-game deficit in the NL West in half by taking the first two games of the series."He didn't have that 98 mph fastball he had last year," Huff said of Jimenez. "Obviously, coming off the DL he's probably just feeling it out a little bit. Still had some great offspeed stuff tonight. Pablo jumped on him but he pitched well after that. After that first inning he kind of settled down."Sanchez gave up three runs, two of them earned, on two hits over 6 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four, stifling the heart of Colorado's batting order, which finished 0-for-12.Sanchez allowed only one hit through the first six innings one night after Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh. Dexter Fowler led off the first with a double but the Rockies went hitless after that until Ty Wigginton singled with one out in the seventh, putting runners at first and second.
VIDEO: Darren Ford postgame
Ramon Ramirez replaced Sanchez and struck out Chris Iannetta before walking pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera to load the bases for Fowler, who doubled home two runs to make it 6-3. Ramirez then whiffed Ryan Spilborghs on three straight sliders to end the threat.Javier Lopez pitched a perfect eighth and Brian Wilson got the final three outs for his fifth save in six chances.The Giants have won nine of 12 since starting out 1-4.Jimenez (0-1) went on the DL after an awful season opener, the culprit a cut cuticle on his pitching thumb that prevented him from getting oomph on his heater and spin on his breaking pitches. The Rockies didn't slack off during their ace's absence, jumping out to a 12-4 start.After being dominated by Lincecum, the Rockies said they were glad their own ace was back on the mound Tuesday night.He was rusty, however, and once again the Rockies found themselves playing catch-up against a very good pitcher - Sanchez hasn't allowed more than three earned runs over his last 11 starts dating back to Aug. 30 of last season, forging a 1.75 ERA over that span.Jimenez's second pitch plunked Aaron Rowand, who came around to score on Buster Posey's single before Sandoval deposited an 84 mph slider into the Rockies' bullpen in right-center for a three-run homer, his fifth.
NEWS: Rowand leaves game with bruised forearmJimenez allowed just two more singles through five innings. He walked two and struck out six."My velocity was a little bit off. It's not like I'm going to come back throwing 100 mph right away," said Jimenez, whose fastball topped out at 94 mph but found better control when he dialed it back.Jimenez was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth and Seth Smith's sacrifice fly scored Wigginton."Looked like he settled down after the first inning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff, I thought Pablo hit a good pitch. Our guys fought hard that first inning, turns out to be the difference."Huff's two-run homer off Jose Morales made it 6-1 in the seventh."It's an important game," Tulowitzki said of the series finale. "You don't want anyone coming in here and sweeping you. At the same time, it is April still."
Notes: Rowand suffered a bruised left forearm when he was hit by Jimenez and left the game after three innings, replaced by Darren Ford. He's day-to-day. ... To make room for Jimenez, the Rockies sent 3B Ian Stewart, mired in a 2-for-26 start, down to Triple-A Colorado Springs to get more at-bats.

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

Warriors' Durant exhibits entire scoring arsenal vs Blazers

OAKLAND – In the final preseason game on the schedule, at his new home of Oracle Arena, Kevin Durant entered the highlight zone.

The team’s newest superstar exhibited his entire scoring arsenal, dropping 3-pointers, soaring in for dunks and swishing mid-range post-ups.

The most impressive dunk came with 9:02 left in the quarter, when Durant took a pass from Draymond Green and finished the fast break by taking off from about 10 feet and throwing it down.

[POOLE: Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers]

The most impressive trey came with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter, when Steph Curry came down in transition, slipped a pass to Durant, who threw it in from 32 feet.

Durant scored 14 points in the third quarter, 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-of-5 from deep.

Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one block.

Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers


Instant Replay: Curry, Durant light it up in win over Blazers


OAKLAND – The preseason ended Friday night with the kind of offensive fireworks the Warriors expect to carry into the regular season.

Stephen Curry scored 35 points and Kevin Durant poured in 28 points as the Warriors overcame an early 16-point deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 107-96 at Oracle Arena.

Ian Clark added 17 points to bolster the scoring of Curry and Durant.

With the exception of the first five minutes, the Warriors starters sparkled, outscoring Portland 84-50 over the next 31 minutes and leading by as much as 21.

The Warriors finished the preseason with a 6-1 record.

Damian Lillard, playing two miles from his old neighborhood, led Portland with 20 points. CJ McCollum added 16.


Simply put, that would be Curry and Durant.

Curry’s line: 35 points (12-of-21 from the field, including 8-of-13 from beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), four rebounds and two assists. He scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters. He played 28 minutes and finished plus-17.

Durant’s line: 28 points (11-of-21, 5-of-8, 1-of-2), seven rebounds, six assists and one blocked shot. He scored 14 points in the third quarter. Durant played 31 minutes and finished plus-2.


Draymond Green didn’t score much, only 4 points, but his put his fingerprints on this game in just about every other way. He hauled in a game-high 11 rebounds, passed for six assists, adding a steal and a blocked shot. He played 26 efficient minutes, finishing plus-15.

Ian Clark still is trying to nail down a spot in the rotation and he made another impressive argument on his behalf. Coming off the bench with 4:09 left in the first quarter, he took two shots and made them both, including a 3-pointer. Playing both guard positions, Clark had 17 points (7-of-11, 3-of-6), two assists, one rebound and one block.


Warriors: C JaVale McGee (L knee strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Damian Jones (R pectoral surgery) was listed as out.

Blazers: C Meyers Leonard (lower back soreness) and G Shabazz Napier (L ankle sprain) were listed as questionable. Leonard entered in the third quarter. Napier did not play. C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) was listed as out.


The Warriors open the season Tuesday, Oct. 25, when the San Antonio Spurs visit Oracle Arena.