June 22, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ryan Vogelsong was just hoping to earn a spot with a major league club the last five seasons.Now he's close to making another team: The National League All-Stars.Vogelsong added another gem to his storybook season, helping the San Francisco Giants end a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.A little-known righty this spring, the only All-Star team Vogelsong could ever recall making was in Little League and joked that it was "by default." Giants manager Bruce Bochy will head the NL team for the defending World Series champions and pick some of the reserves, so Vogelsong's chances are looking sharp."This guy's done everything he could to go there at this point," Bochy said.
URBAN: Vogelsong redefining 'quality start'
Vogelsong (5-1) allowed three hits and one run in seven innings in the latest stellar outing for the journeyman turned ace. He would lead the majors with a 1.86 ERA if he qualified with enough innings pitched, which he could do with his next start.Vogelsong went almost five years between major league victories, bouncing from the minors to Japan and back. He was a non-roster invitee to spring training and was called up when Barry Zito was injured in April.All he has done since has been spectacular."To be on the All-Star team at the major league level has never been anywhere close to a chance for me," Vogelsong said. "It would be amazing."San Francisco's struggling offense finally came alive.Eli Whiteside had a triple, single and three RBIs to hand Nick Blackburn (6-5) his first loss in almost two months and end the Twins' eight-game winning streak. Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson combined to pitch two scoreless innings in relief, a night after Minnesota tied a major league record by starting the game with eight consecutive hits off Madison Bumgarner.But it was Vogelsong who finally quieted Minnesota's bats.
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Vogelsong, Whiteside heroes
"He pretty much ate us up through most of the part of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The guy was pretty nasty."Vogelsong retired the first 12 batters with ease - two soft flies to center were the only ones that left the infield. Michael Cuddyer ended the streak with a single leading off the fifth.There were plenty of distractions to shake Vogelsong's rhythm, too.A fan sitting along the left-field line took a foul ball in the stands away from Giants outfielder Cody Ross in the sixth inning. As Ross reached into the stands, the man put his glove in front of the outfielder and caught the fly by Casilla.The umpires didn't call interference, and the Twins were held scoreless in the inning. The man and a female companion were escorted to another section for their safety.Former Giants slugger and home run king Barry Bonds was sitting behind home plate for most of the game. Bonds received a standing ovation from those around his section when he left at the start of the seventh inning, taking pictures, smiling, and waving to the crowd - all things he did little of when he was a player.With all the commotion in his eyesight, Vogelsong allowed two singles to start the inning before he struck out Danny Valencia and Luke Hughes. Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit an RBI infield single that Crawford bobbled at shortstop, allowing Minnesota to trim the lead to 3-1."I just keep saying it's just mental," he said. "It's being able to focus and concentrate in situations when I couldn't before."NOTES: Romo limped off the mound at the end of the seventh, holding his right knee and grimacing but said he would be available to pitch Thursday. ... Zito will likely make his first start back when San Francisco plays a doubleheader at the Chicago Cubs next Tuesday. Zito, coming off a two-hit shutout for Triple-A Fresno, hasn't pitched in the majors since he sprained his right foot on April 16 fielding a bunt. ... Twins 1B Justin Morneau will have a cast removed from his left wrist on Friday. ... Twins closer Joe Nathan and DH Jim Thome are expected to rejoin the club in Milwaukee on Friday after finishing rehab stints.
Colin Kaepernick still does not have an NFL team.
The Baltimore Ravens, who were linked to Kaepernick after praise from head coach John Harbaugh, have reportedly signed David Olson, according to nfldraftdiamonds.com.
Olson, who played at Stanford and Clemson, most recently took snaps for the Kansas City Phantoms of the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF).
"He’s a great guy," Harbaugh said on Thursday about Keapernick, who remains an unrestricted free agent. "He’s a guy right now that’s being talked about. We’ll just see what happens with that. Only speculation right now. He’s a really good football player and as I said at the owners' meetings, I do believe he’ll be playing in the National Football League this year."
Starting quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to miss time due to a back injury.
The Raiders will release Austin Howard, one of their big free-agent signings from the 2014 offseason. The offensive lineman was informed of his release just before training camp, according to a league source.
Howard confirmed the separation on social media with an early Friday morning post:
Howard was scheduled to make $4.9 million in base salary this season, with $2.4 million in dead money against the salary cap. The Raiders can afford the cap hit, but will enjoy the slowing salary cash flow in 2017.
Howard inked a five-year, $30 million contract with the Raiders early in the unrestricted free agent signing period. Howard played right guard in his first season, but moved to tackle in the following two years. He made 39 starts in three seasons in silver and black, mostly at right tackle.
Howard played 2016 under duress. He worked through an ankle issue early that year and had offseason shoulder surgery that impacted him throughout the Raiders offseason program.
He regained health recently after missing the offseason program, but the Raiders chose to part ways with the veteran and focus on other options at right tackle. Marshall Newhouse has pole position in the competition, but Vadal Alexander will challenge him for a starting spot. Rookie forth-round pick David Sharpe will also compete.
The crop of talent left Howard with too-high a salary entering a tight position battle, and expendable.
The Raiders will have two spots available on their 90-man roster following the release of Howard and running back Taiwan Jones.
Here is Howard's full Instagram post:
OAKLAND!!! A lifetime of memories have been made these past three years, and I am grateful for every single one of them. Unfortunately my time with the #Raiders has come to an end. To my OL dawgs, love y'all boys. #RaiderNation appreciate all your support, you guys are like none other. I came to Oakland my first year with a start of 0-10... through hard work and dedication we built a team that had more success it had in years, and thus we turned this group of players into a play-off bound and elite team. Starting on this Offensive line for the majority of that time is something that I'll never forget. One thing I can say is that no matter the situation, no matter if it was battling through injury, or political scrutiny that this business demands, I left it all out the for my teammates and always had and will always have their back. I will always be proud of that. Thank you to Mr. Davis and the Raiders organization/coaches that allowed me this opportunity. Thank you to my family, especially my parents, siblings, my friends, my agent Kevin Robinson, and last but DEFINITELY not least my beautiful wife Larissa who has been with me since the beginning, and through the thick and thin and has SELFLESSLY been the REAL reason that I've been able to do my job on the field for the passed seven seasons, for all your love, support, encouragement and prayers! To my baby girl, Daddy loves you and couldn't imagine this life without you! Having an opportunity and blessing to share all of this with you has been the biggest gift of all...As upsetting as it is, that "business" gets in the way of a good thing, I know that this is not the end of my NFL journey. Looking forward to what God has planned for me next... #DoubleSevens #NotDone #SomethingBigComingNext #NFL #DontBlink #Challenge #ImUpForIt #MovingForward #TrainsComin #GodIsGood #WatchThis #Oakland #YearEight #SeeYouSoon #UNI #Panthers