Astros make it hurt; Giants fall again in Houston

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Astros make it hurt; Giants fall again in Houston

Aug. 20, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
HOUSTON (AP) -- Rookie Jose Altuve and J.D. Martinez are giving the Houston Astros a good look at their future.Altuve hit an inside-the-park drive for his first major league home run, a leadoff shot that sent the Astros over the San Francisco Giants 7-5 Saturday night.
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Altuve had three hits and Martinez homered, doubled and drove in four runs as the Astros matched a season high with their fourth straight win."It's nice to see everyone do well, not just us," Martinez said. "I feel that the guys are starting to jell together and see what everyone can do. What they bring to the table and what their role on the team is. It's nice to see us putting everything together and winning games."Rookie Jordan Lyles (2-7) gave up two runs, both of them unearned, in five innings. Mark Melancon got two outs for his 13th save."I can't say enough about them," Lyles said of his fellow rookies. "The night that Altuve and J.D. had. The monster shot that J.D. had. It's a little bit easier when they put up big innings like that."Astros manager Brad Mills said Lyles did a good job of pitching around the seven hits he allowed.Madison Bumgarner (7-12) was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits in 6 2-3 innings."I felt like it was a battle the whole night trying to get the ball where it's supposed to go," Bumgarner said. "I was trying to fight through it and make pitches. They did a good job tonight of hitting the ball."
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"Just one of those days," he said. "You don't really have anything working. Just have to find a way to get through it. It stinks that I gave up that many runs, especially with our offense scoring five runs."Aubrey Huff homered and Cody Ross and Pablo Sandoval each drove in two runs for the Giants, who have lost three in a row and 16 of 22.Altuve opened the bottom of the first with a drive off the wall in left-center field. Ross came over from center field to track down the ball and relayed to shortstop Mike Fontenot, whose throw to the plate was high and wide.Third base coach Dave Clark put up a stop sign, but Altuve ran through it and scored."As soon as I hit it, I knew it was in the gap," Altuve said. "I just kept running hard. I saw that the center fielder didn't know where the ball was. I just kept running. As I was close to third base, I tried to look up, but Sandoval was blocking me, so I couldn't see. When I realized there was a sign, it was too late."The home run was the first inside-the-parker for the Astros at Minute Maid Park since Adam Everett on Aug. 6, 2003. The last Houston player to hit an inside-the-park shot for his first career homer was pitcher Butch Henry on May 8, 1992, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh.Tony Campana of the Cubs was the last player whose first big league home run was inside the park. He did it Aug. 5 against Cincinnati.The Astros scored four times in the third for a 5-0 lead. Martinez hit a double that drove in Lyles and Altuve, who had both singled. Later in the inning, an error by Bumgarner set up Jimmy Paredes' RBI single and Clint Barmes' sacrifice fly.Ross cut it to 5-2 with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth. Huff hit a solo homer in the seventh.Martinez extended the lead to 7-3 with his fifth homer, a two-run shot that chased Bumgarner.Melancon relieved in the ninth and gave up Sandoval's two-run double before getting two groundouts to end it.NOTES: Giants OF Carlos Beltran, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 8 with a strained right hand, took batting practice from the right side and hit from both sides in the batting cage before the game. ... Houston recalled LHP Wesley Wright from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned RHP Jeff Fulchino to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Houston wore jerseys with "Los Astros" across the front for the first time in team history. ... RHP Henry Sosa (0-2) gets the start in the series finale Sunday against the Giants. San Francisco announced LHP Dan Runzler (1-2) as its starter. It would be Runzler's first start of the season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said LHP Jonathan Sanchez, who has a left ankle sprain, would not start after reporting soreness in his ankle after throwing off a flat surface Friday. ... Bill Doran was the last Astros player to lead off a game with an inside-the-park home run, doing it on April 22, 1987, against Atlanta in the Astrodome.

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

OAKLAND -- The Warriors-Clippers rivalry, dead for a couple years, was buried 50 points deep Thursday night.

There were, and may always be, occasional fits of temper in which both players and officials will be tested. That surely was the case during the Warriors’ 123-113 victory over LA at Oracle Arena.

But scoring 50 points in 12 minutes, as the Warriors did in the third quarter, is a rather emphatic statement that serves as its own embellishment. It sent the Clippers back home, unable to muster even a half-hearted comeback.

“That was incredible,” Kevin Durant said of third-quarter scoring frenzy.

“That’s a lot of points,” Klay Thompson said. “It’s that the most we’ve had all season?”

Well, yes, it is. The Warriors’ previous high for points in a quarter was 45, also against the Clippers, on Jan. 28.

So this was astonishing even to the Warriors, the highest-scoring team in the NBA for three seasons running. This is the Warriors’ fourth 50-point quarter in franchise history and their first since March 1989. They made nine 3-pointers, tying a franchise record for triples in a quarter.

Fifties are rare, period; the last one by any team in the NBA was on March 25, 2014, when the Lakers dropped 51 in a quarter against the Knicks.

“I had no idea we scored that much,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 20 in the quarter -- 17 in the final 3:37 before halftime. “Obviously, coming back from 12 down to having a double-digit lead, it all started with the defensive end and finding transition.”

The scoring breakdown: Curry scored 20, Durant 15, Thompson 5, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia 4 each and JaVale McGee 2. The Warriors shot 73.9 percent (17-of-23) in the quarter.

“It all started from our defense, getting rebounds and getting out in transition,” Durant said.

The Warriors forced five LA turnovers in the quarter, off which they scored 11 points. Trailing by 12 at the half, they led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.

The Warriors have defeated the Clippers 10 consecutive times overall. They’ve beaten them 11 straight times at Oracle Arena. The average margin of victory in four games this season is 21.5 points.

This was a matter of how the Warriors responded to the threat posed by LA in the first half.

“I’m not sure what needed to happen,” Draymond Green said. “But I know we took that quarter over. And it was pretty spectacular.”

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

This will come as a sharp blow to Warrior fans who like things the way they are, but they probably can no longer use Scott Foster as an alibi for failure, or a stalking horse for rage.
 
Well, I mean they can, but let’s be honest here – the evidence just doesn’t support it any more.
 
Foster, who no matter what you say is one of the elite officials in the league, has also been cast as a bête noire by all things Golden State. Either he’s imperious, or he’s standoffish, or he makes himself too conspicuous – they’re all standard complaints made of all officials who aren’t otherwise branded as just plain terrible.
 
Only Foster isn’t terrible, given the fact that he has worked a series of NBA Finals, and that remains the gold standard for officiating.
 
But the Warriors bang their heads against the backboard when he works their games, and were on the verge of doing that again Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Foster called third quarter technicals on Andre Iguodala and the Warrior bench, and J.T. Orr called one on Draymond Green, all in the space of 6:34. The Warriors were unhinged, the fans were unhinged, innocent bystanders were being hit with flying hinges throughout the arena.
 
And in that stretch, the Warriors outscored the Clippers, 26-15, en route to a 50-point quarter (the first in two seasons and the third since the turn of the millennium) and another harsh slapdown of what used to be known as the Warriors-Clippers Cavalcade Of Hate, this time 123-113.
 
It isn’t that any more, not close. Truth is, the Warriors have won 10 consecutive games against the Clips, but probably never quite at decisively as this. At the game’s most lopsided stretch, Golden State outscored Los Angeles, 72-33, in a shade over 17 minutes.
 
Because that’s what they do.
 
Only this time, the comeback was not fueled by the existence of the Clippers, who had outplayed them pretty convincingly for the first 22 minutes and change, but with the officials, who as we have said before irk the hell out of them when their number includes Foster.
 
Who, again, is one of the game’s best officials. I think it’s a personality clash, to be frank, in which both sides can take some blame.
 
Truth is, though, when a team can go for 50 in a quarter and still have time to engage in a feud with the officials, it is making a kinky little statement about what they can do when enraged, and how difficult it is to stop them when they have a serious mad-on.
 
Yes, it is probably stretching a point to make this case, especially when the Warriors make 17 of 23 shots (9 of 15 from three) and assist on 13 of the 17 field goals. It is probably minimizing Stephen Curry’s 20-point quarter and his four assists, or Kevin Durant’s 15 and five rebounds, or David West imposing his body between Green and the officials to keep him from getting T’d up again for the second successive game.
 
But we have already established that rivalries are dying at their feet left and right. In the last three years the Clippers have gone from the Warriors’ arch-enemies to a team that has finished an aggregate 44 games behind the Dubs in the standings, making whatever animosity they can still stir 

Against the Clips a curio of a much earlier time. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come and gone, and even the Durant-Russell Westbrook has lost its last bit of elasticity.
 
Oh, there is still Cleveland, but that cannot be resumed for another 14 weeks at the earliest.
 
The Warriors, in short, have run out of opponents, and given that they will manufacture a foe when one does not otherwise exist, Scott Foster may have to serve for the time being, even if he is nothing but an intermittent prop to amuse the customers when the game cannot provide.
 
Though you’d have to think the third quarter Thursday makes that pretty thin oatmeal. The Warriors ate an entire game in 12 minutes, including the officials. They seemed like they got their fill.