Brewers serve Giants walk-off loss on squeeze

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Brewers serve Giants walk-off loss on squeeze

May 28, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

MILWAUKEE (AP) Jonathan Lucroy's first game-ending hit in his career at any level went all of about 25 feet.Lucroy's pinch-hit, bases-loaded suicide squeeze scored Ryan Braun with one out in the ninth, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a wild 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday."I've had go-ahead hits in the eighth and stuff, but I've never had a walkoff, winning hit like that," Lucroy said. "Never in college, nothing. I'm glad it worked out for us today."Lucroy's well-executed bunt was out of the reach of pitcher Guillermo Mota. Braun easily scored and Lucroy began pumping his fists halfway down the line."I'm not that good a bunter," the second-year catcher said. "I saw him kind of give up on it, and I just started yelling and screaming. I hit first base, then I started getting punched in the kidneys by somebody. It was a fun time."Milwaukee is 7-1 on this homestand and 20-7 overall at Miller Park this season, the best home mark in the NL. The Brewers have won 14 of 18, and in different ways - none weirder than this one."It says a lot about our team, how we face adversity," Lucroy said. "We just do anything we can to win. We can hit home runs to beat you. Today, I got the squeeze that way. We find different ways to beat people. With the way our team's pitching, I think we can give anybody a run for their money."Braun and Prince Fielder opened with consecutive singles off Mota (2-2) in the ninth. Casey McGehee's groundout moved them to scoring position and Lucroy came up after Yuniesky Betancourt was intentionally walked."I've never been part of a squeeze walkoff. That was awesome," Fielder said. "It's just real exciting, if he misses the bunt, everything is messed up. But Lucroy, he got it down. That was awesome. That's a lot of pressure."Carlos Gomez hit an inside-the-park home run and McGehee added a sacrifice to make it 2-0 early, but the Giants rallied with two runs in part because of a McGehee error in the eighth.John Axford (1-1) pitched the ninth, working around a two-out single by Emmanuel Burriss.Milwaukee squandered Randy Wolf's impressive outing after an error led to two runs in the eighth for the Giants. Wolf didn't allow a hit until the fifth and pitched into the eighth, leaving two on and one out for reliever Kameron LoeLoe got Freddy Sanchez to hit a grounder, but McGehee, at third base, booted it, allowing Andres Torres to come home. Pat Burrell followed with a run-scoring single that tied it 2-all."They battled," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Down two runs, and they found a way to tie and had a good opportunity."
URBAN: Giants still favorites without Posey
In the bottom of the inning, the game was delayed 12 minutes after home plate umpire Mark Wegner tore the calf muscle in his right leg and needed to be helped off the field.Gomez made it 1-0 in the bottom of the first after a sharp grounder to right.Right fielder Cody Ross had taken a poor angle to the ball and it rolled under his glove to the wall while Gomez sped around third and easily home for his third homer this year.The right-field corner of Miller Park is obscured from view and there were no conclusive TV replays of why Ross couldn't quickly get the ball back to the infield, where he also missed a cutoff throw."It should not be an inside-the-park home run," Ross said. "What happened was I went down to go get it and I whiffed, and it got by me. Error. That's it."It was Milwaukee's first inside-the-park home run since Rickie Weeks' effort on Aug. 7, 2010, against the Astros and 23rd in franchise history.Jonathan Sanchez, who has struggled with walks all season, had one to Braun cost him in the fourth.Braun stole second and reached third when catcher Eli Whiteside's throw hopped past Burriss, the shortstop. After Sanchez walked Prince Fielder, McGehee's sacrifice fly made it 2-0.It'd stay that way until San Francisco's late rally, but Milwaukee found a way to win again with another aggressive play."I like games like that," Roenicke said. "Hopefully we're in a position where we can do that a few times."NOTES: Adrian Johnson will replace Wegner on the crew on Sunday. ... Giants 2B Freddy Sanchez is one hit away from 1,000. ... The Giants activated RHP Santiago Casilla (inflamed elbow) and optioned LHP Dan Runzler to Triple-A Fresno. ... Brewers LHP Zach Braddock (sleep disorder) will pitch in a rehab assignment for three days at Triple-A Nashville beginning Monday. ... Brewers RF Corey Hart was out of the starting lineup after being ill following Friday night's game. ... Giants LF Burrell struck out in the first, then slammed his bat so hard into the ground it shattered. ... With 42,512 in attendance, it was Miller Park's sixth sellout this season.

Crawford strains right groin in eighth inning of Giants' 2-1 loss to Dodgers

Crawford strains right groin in eighth inning of Giants' 2-1 loss to Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Crawford was always going to miss the final two games of this series to attend the funeral of his sister-in-law. The Giants are now hoping an MRI result shows that Crawford won’t miss any time beyond his three days on bereavement leave. 

Crawford pulled up with a right groin strain as he rounded first on a base hit in the eighth. After jogging a bit in the outfield, he was pulled from the game. 

“It tightened up,” Crawford said. “I haven’t really felt anything like that before. I’ve never really had anything like this before. It just felt tight. I didn’t feel a pop or anything, and from what I hear, that’s good news.”

Crawford’s liner off Kenley Jansen sent Buster Posey from first to third. Cody Bellinger's throw went into third and Crawford was busting it for second when his leg shut down. He said he could feel the pain in his groin as he tried to run it off. 

“(Trainer Dave Groeschner) told me it wasn’t a great idea to try and push it,” Crawford said. 

Ordinarily, the Giants would send Crawford for an MRI on Wednesday, but he is flying down to Los Angeles for two days of services. Crawford originally told manager Bruce Bochy that he could be back in time for Friday’s game, but the Giants — already playing without Denard Span and with a short bench — were planning to put Crawford on the bereavement list and call up an extra position player. 

Eduardo Nuñez moved over to short in the ninth and he’s Crawford’s primary backup. Christian Arroyo, called up Monday, can also play the position. The Giants have Kelby Tomlinson and Orlando Calixte on the 40-man and one of them is likely to join the team Wednesday. 

--- Arroyo and Bellinger are two of the NL West’s top prospects, and they got their first big league hits on the same night. Arroyo got a first-pitch fastball at the letters from Clayton Kershaw and roped it into left field. 

“I figured he would come at me,” Arroyo said. “I said, ‘Hey man, see a heater and take a good swing at it.’ I just envisioned getting (a big league hit) but I didn’t think it would be off a guy the caliber of Kershaw. In the moment I was excited. That’s something you don’t forget.”

Arroyo’s family won’t forget it, either. His parents and two younger siblings were here and they went nuts as Arroyo rounded first. That’s always a cool moment. 

--- Ty Blach has three big league hits and all of them are off Kershaw. 

“Sometimes you just swing hard and get lucky, I guess,” he said. 

There’s only one active pitcher who has more hits against Kershaw than Blach. That’s Madison Bumgarner, who has taken him deep twice. A year ago, Bumgarner walked into the video room and asked Matt Duffy if he wanted advice on hitting Kershaw. On Tuesday, he gave Blach some advice. 

“Madison before the game came up and said he’s going to throw you up and in because he threw it low and away last (year),” Blach said. “I was looking for a pitch in that vicinity.”

Bumgarner knows Kershaw well. Blach got a fastball up and he knocked it over a drawn-in outfield for a double. 

--- We’re 10 paragraphs into this story without a score. The Giants lost 2-1, but it’s hard to dissect this one too much. When the Dodgers get 25 outs from Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, they’re going to win that game nine out of 10 times. 

Kershaw lowered his season ERA to 2.29. The Giants gave him a little bit of trouble early, but he turned it on in the middle innings. 

“He settled in and he was as tough as he normally is,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The thing you hope is to create some chances. We had a couple.”

The eventual winning run came across on a strange play in the fourth. With runners on the corners, Adrian Gonzalez hit a bouncer to first. Posey looked Justin Turner back to third and then threw to Crawford at second for one out. Crawford spun and fired a strike home to try and get Turner, who had taken off. The throw skipped in the dirt and Nick Hundley couldn’t handle it. Turner made it 2-1, and that was that. 

Bochy said he had no problem with how that play went down. All the decisions were right, it was just a tough double-play to pull off. 

“I’d like to say I should have made a better throw but I got rid of it as fast as I could and I put as much on it as I could,” Crawford said. 

The Giants were a couple inches behind Turner on Tuesday. On Monday, they were just ahead of him, with Posey picking him off second to end the game. It’s been that type of series between these two.

--- I saw a lot of grumbling on Twitter about Yasmani Grandal pulling balls back into the strike zone in the late innings. Be careful what you wish for, Giants fans. Posey might be the best pitch-framer in the game. Any change that would keep guys like Grandal from fooling umps would hurt the Giants more than most.

 

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

TIP-INS:
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.