Kurz's Instant Replay: Giants 9, Rockies 3


Kurz's Instant Replay: Giants 9, Rockies 3


SAN FRANCISCO Battery mates Matt Cain and Buster Posey led the way as the Giants cruised to a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon.

Posey continued his recent tear by going 2-for-4 with one walk, including a two-run homer in the third inning. Cain, who was just 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA in his last nine starts before Saturday, was effective in 7 13 innings of work in picking up his 11th victory. He gave up just two runs, both earned.

The Giants broke out of their home scoring slump in a big way, after they had scored just a total of two runs in their last 27 innings here, batting .144 in the process. That included Friday night, when they were held to just three hits against Colorado in a 3-0 defeat.

The Giants will remain in at least a tie for first in the N.L. West with Los Angeles when the day is over, as the Dodgers play in Miami later on Saturday.

Starting pitching report

Cain went 7 13 innings, surrendering two earned runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in lowering his ERA under three (2.99). He tossed 90 pitches, 62 of which were strikes.

With the win, Cain is now tied with teammate Tim Lincecum for third-most wins in the majors since the start of the 2009 season (50). When he gets at least three runs of support, Cain is a perfect 10-0 this season and 68-9 in his career.

Colorados Drew Pomeranz lasted four innings before Josh Roenicke replaced him in the bottom of the fifth. Pomeranz allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits and one home run to Posey. He struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches (45 strikes) in suffering his seventh loss of the season against just one win.

Bullpen report

Jose Mijares came on in relief of Cain with one out in the seventh and two men aboard. He retired Carlos Gonzalez before giving way to Sergio Romo, who got Henderson to fly out to center. Brad Penny closed out the game and allowed one unearned run in the ninth. Eric Young flied out with two men on base to end the game.

Roenicke surrendered four runs, all earned, and five hits after relieving Pomeranz in the fifth inning. He walked two and failed to record a strikeout. Mike Ekstrom and Rex Brothers each pitched an inning for Colorado, with Brothers surrendering an earned run in the eighth.

At the plate

Posey launched his team-leading 19th home run, just the Giants 18th at home, in the third inning with Melky Cabrera on base to give San Francisco a 4-0 lead.

In addition to his 7 13 innings of work on the mound, Cain helped his own cause with a two-out RBI single in the second inning to give the Giants a 2-0 lead at the time.

In fact, every one of the Giants starting nine had at least one hit, including newcomer Hunter Pence. The new right fielder hit a two-out RBI double in the fifth inning for what was just his seventh hit since a trade with Philadelphia.

Angel Pagan and Joaquin Arias both tripled in the game, giving the Giants 38 three-baggers this season. That trails only Colorados 40.

For Colorado, DJ LaMahieu hit his first career home run to lead off the eighth inning against Cain, but the game was effectively out of reach by then.

In field

Along with his proficient afternoon at the plate, Posey gunned down Jordan Pacheco trying to steal in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, with Cain in his first precarious situation of the afternoon, Brett Pill snagged a Carlos Gonzalez liner with two on and one out and nearly doubled off Josh Rutledge at first.


The Giants recorded their 141st straight sellout on a sun-splashed, perfect afternoon for baseball in the lower 70s with a light breeze.

Up next
The Giants and Rockies will meet in the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday, again at 1:00 PST, as Barry Zito (9-8, 4.19 ERA) will face Colorado right-hander Alex White (2-6, 5.75 ERA).

Zito will be making his 17th career start against Colorado, and is 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 18 total outings. He threw a complete game shutout over the Rockies on April 9 at Coors Field. He earned the win in his last start vs. St. Louis last Tuesday allowing two earned runs in 6 23 innings of a 4-2 Giants win.

White had a no decision against the Dodgers in his last start after tossing four shutout innings in a 3-1 Rockies win on Tuesday.

Sharks Notes: DeMelo will play soon; Couture sick


Sharks Notes: DeMelo will play soon; Couture sick

SAN JOSE – Dylan DeMelo may finally be coming to a San Jose Sharks game near you.

The 23-year-old defenseman, who has yet to play in any of the first six games, will likely make his season debut shortly coach Pete DeBoer indicated on Monday.

“That’s something we discuss every day,” DeBoer said. “We like him, we’re very comfortable with him. We’d have no problem putting him in. I know Bob [Boughner] has no problem playing him, and not worrying about playing him against anybody out there. It’s a nice luxury to have. 

“We can get to the point where it’s too many games where he’s sitting out. We’re getting close to that. We’re going to have to get him in soon here.”

DeMelo has not played for the Sharks since the final game of the 2015-16 regular season on April 9. He served as the seventh defenseman in the playoffs, but the Sharks dressed the same six blueliners throughout their run to the Stanley Cup Final.

In the preseason, DeMelo – who would have to clear waivers in order to be reassigned to the Barracuda – beat out Mirco Mueller for the seventh job on the Sharks. He signed a two-year contract extension in the offseason.

A former sixth round pick of the club in 2011, DeMelo had a breakthrough season in 2015-16, playing in 45 games and establishing himself as an NHL defenseman. He finished the season with two goals and two assists for four points and an even rating.

* * *

While the Sharks shook up their forward lines at Monday’s skate, the top power play unit remained the same. Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are still together and will try to work out the kinks to their game.

The Sharks are 3-for-20 on the power play, with just one of those coming on a five-on-four.

“We’re not shooting the puck enough, that’s the big thing,” Couture said. “We’ve got to shoot the puck, get traffic. We always have a guy in front of the net and we’ve been getting away from that.”

* * *

Couture has managed five points (2g, 3a) through the first six games, all while battling a persistent cold that he just can’t shake. It’s obvious he’s dealing with some sort of sinus issue when hearing him speak the past few days.

“It’s like a month, it won’t go away,” Couture said. “It’s crazy.”

* * *

Breaking with standard practice, the Sharks opted to stay in Detroit the night after Saturday’s game, rather than immediately flying home on the team charter.

The Sharks were a miserable 1-8-1 in their first home game after a multiple-game road trip last regular season, with their lone win coming against Edmonton in a shootout, so DeBoer figured he would try something different this year.

“When we sat down in the summer and looked at areas to improve, our record coming back from road trips was not good last year,” he said. “We looked at opponents when we came back, our travel schedule. We’re just looking for answers to fix some of the areas that maybe we weren’t real good at last year.”

Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand

Sharks shuffle up their lines ahead of homestand

SAN JOSE – When the Sharks signed free agent forward Mikkel Boedker in the summer, head coach Pete DeBoer immediately pictured him on a line with Logan Couture and Joonas Donskoi, saying a couple weeks ago that it looked good when he wrote it down “on a napkin.”

DeBoer apparently went through a few more napkins on the flight home from Detroit on Sunday, a 3-0 shutout loss to the Red Wings on Saturday surely on his mind.

The Sharks resumed practice on Monday with four entirely new lines, including Boedker up with the Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Couture centered Donskoi and Joel Ward, while Tomas Hertl was in the middle of the third line with Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto. Chris Tierney skated as fourth line center with the remaining wingers.

“It’s not a panic situation or anything, I think you’re always looking for ways to get the most out of your group,” DeBoer said. “Our four-line game hasn’t been where I want it to be.”

Getting more out of Boedker is apparently part of the motivation for shuffling things up, as the newcomer has just four shots on goal through six games, with one point (a goal against Columbus on Oct. 15).

Playing with Thornton and Pavelski could help in that regard, just as it helped players such as Hertl last season.

“He’s got to shoot the puck more…and he knows that,” DeBoer said of Boedker. “I’m not concerned about him, but the nice thing about playing with those two guys is they push you to go to the areas where you have to score. Hopefully that gets him going.”

Boedker said: “It’s two of the best [players] in the league, so it’s going to be a lot of fun. Just got to listen and do the things they expect me to do, and make sure that I do them to the highest level.”

The line changes spreads out the Sharks’ speed a little more evenly among their scoring lines. They looked slow in losses to Detroit and the Rangers, especially.

“[Boedker] can bring some things to that line that Tomas maybe doesn’t,” DeBoer said. “Tomas has a great skill set, but this guy can back people off with his speed.”

Hertl will skate at center for the first time since early last January, although he saw plenty of time there in training camp when Thornton and Couture were competing in the World Cup. Last season, he had 15 points (4g, 11a) in 37 games before moving to the Thornton line full time on Jan. 9, where he took off.

The 22-year-old has three points (2g, 1a) in six games this season as a left wing.

“I think Hertl can play anywhere,” DeBoer said. “His game is at that point in his career and he’s a good enough player now that not only can he play anywhere, but I think he can make other people better around him.”

While the line changes will give the Sharks a new look on paper, Couture believes the bigger issue with the team – going back to the third period of Thursday’s 3-2 loss in Pittsburgh – is its compete level. 

“It’s compete and battle and playing the right way that we need to worry about,” he said. “We didn’t play well in Detroit, there’s no way around that. … We just didn’t compete, [and] that’s a frustrating thing, but it’s an easy thing to fix.”

The head coach echoed Couture’s estimation.

DeBoer said: “We have to realize how desperate a team we were last year every night, and the teams that we’re playing are out to hunt us based on our success last year. If we don’t have that desperation level, it’s going to be tough to win.”

The Sharks open a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Anaheim, and host the Blue Jackets and Predators later this week.