Cahill set to battle defending AL champ Texas


Cahill set to battle defending AL champ Texas

April 29, 2011

TEXAS (15-10) vs.
A's (12-13)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on CSN Plus

OAKLAND (AP) -- The Texas Rangers' pitching staff has struggled to help the team win consistently since a red-hot start. C.J. Wilson, though, hasn't had a problem earning victories lately and throwing to Mike Napoli seems to be helping.

The left-hander will try to win his third straight start with Napoli behind the plate, but he might have to outduel the Oakland Athletics' Trevor Cahill during Friday night's opener of a seven-game road trip.

The Rangers (15-10) had a 2.22 ERA while winning nine of their first 10 games this season, but have a 5.25 ERA while dropping nine of 15. Their pitchers had a solid performance for most of Thursday's series finale with visiting Toronto before giving up three runs in the ninth inning of a 5-2 defeat.

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While his teammates have experienced their ups and downs, Wilson (3-0, 3.51 ERA) has done enough to win his last two outings. He hasn't allowed more than four runs in any game this season and has pitched into the seventh inning in each of his last four.

Wilson has struck out 19 in his past two starts and received help from the Rangers hitters, who have provided 14 runs of support. He gave up a pair of solo homers over his first six innings Sunday against Kansas City before allowing two to score in his final frame during an 8-7 win.

Wilson escaped that seventh inning without any further damage thanks to his season-high 10th strikeout.

Napoli caught that final strike and Rangers pitchers are 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA during his six starts behind the plate this season.

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"He calls a good game and works well with the pitchers," manager Ron Washington told the team's website.

Facing the A's (12-13) could help Wilson as he was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts against them in 2010. Oakland has also been shut out three times in its last seven games and scored a combined five runs during a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels to open this week.

Cliff Pennington helped his team earn its only win in that three-game set, 2-1 on Wednesday. He scored the go-ahead run in the 10th inning after his fly ball went off an outfielder's glove for a leadoff triple.

REWIND: A's narrowly avoid sweep against Angels

"We got a break to win the game," manager Bob Geren told the team's website. "I thought really it was our game the whole way."

Even with Napoli as his catcher, Wilson might have to pitch better than Cahill (3-0, 2.30), who is also trying to win a third straight start. The right-hander has allowed one run in four of his five outings this season and in each of his consecutive wins.

Cahill gave up a season-high seven hits Saturday in Seattle but retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced in a 9-1 win.

He is 6-2 with a 2.56 ERA in nine career starts against Texas but was tagged for seven runs over four innings during a 16-9 home loss Sept. 26, the day after the Rangers clinched their first AL West title in 11 years.

Cahill could get some help if Josh Willingham returns from tightness in his back, which has caused him to miss the past two games. The A's also got some good news with outfielder Coco Crisp (left quad tightness) not expected to go on the disabled list.

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates


SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.