Cain carries Giants to bounce-back win in Atlanta

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Cain carries Giants to bounce-back win in Atlanta

Aug. 17, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
ATLANTA (AP) -- Matt Cain dominated for eight innings.The San Francisco Giants were barely hanging on at the end.Cain threw five-hit ball to snap his three-game losing streak, but the Giants narrowly avoided another loss to Atlanta in the final at-bat, preserving a 7-5 victory over the Braves on Wednesday night.
NL WEST WATCH: D'Backs' win streak ends with loss to Phillies
After Cain turned over a 7-1 lead, the Braves scored four runs and had the tying run at the plate. Brian McCann struck out swinging against Jeremy Affeldt."I think we won," manager Bruce Bochy quipped. "Just when you think you have a chance to cross your legs for a second, we're facing the tying run up there."The Giants broke it open with four runs in the fourth, one of them driven in by Cain (10-9) on a sacrifice fly. But he did his best work on the mound, striking out nine and giving up only an unearned run in the first on Chipper Jones' bases-loaded walk.Cain started working out of the stretch exclusively, even while retiring the last 18 hitters he faced."Mechanically, in the windup, I wasn't quite going right," he said. "So I switched to the stretch to try to keep stuff a little more in line and found that good rhythm and just tried to stay with it."San Francisco pounded All-Star Jair Jurrjens (12-5), taking advantage of a pitcher who wasn't sharp in his first start coming off the disabled list. He surrendered eight hits and five runs in six innings."I felt good," Jurrjens insisted. "I just left some pitches up. I was a little rusty."The Braves won the first two games of the series, rallying for three runs in the ninth for a 5-4 victory Monday, then pulling out a 2-1 win in 11 innings on Tuesday. They nearly did it again, closing to 7-5 on Martin Prado's two-run double after Giants shortstop Orlando Cabrera dropped Michael Bourn's soft blooper behind the mound to extend the inning.Affeldt got McCann on a 3-2 pitch."You don't want to go down without a fight," Atlanta's Freddie Freeman said. "At least we gave them a little scare at the end."Once the Giants pushed their margin above three runs, Atlanta was in trouble. San Francisco improved to 32-0 when leading by at least three runs, the majors' only undefeated team in those situations.The win came at a good time for the struggling Giants, who've been plagued by injuries and were knocked out of first in the NL West with a stretch of only five wins in 18 games. They closed to 2 12 games behind Arizona in the division race and with five games of wild card-leading Atlanta.The Giants broke open a 1-all game in the fourth. Aubrey Huff led off with a double, Nate Schierholtz singled and Cabrera brought home the go-ahead run with the third hit in a row. Brandon Belt walked to load the bases, and Eli Whiteside pushed the lead to 3-1 with another run-scoring single.Back-to-back drives to the warning track made it 5-1. Cain hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, and Cody Ross followed with a liner that was caught in front of the left-field wall, allowing Belt to trot home.Jurrjens wasn't exactly fooling the Giants even when his teammates caught the ball. Schierholtz hit one to the track in right that was hauled in by Jose Constanza.San Francisco closer Brian Wilson wasn't available to pitch after flying to Florida to have his ailing right elbow checked out. It's nothing serious, but Bochy gave Wilson a second night off to rest his arm.The way Cain pitched, it looked like the Giants would be just fine without the bearded one.Then came the ninth."We've had a couple heartbreakers at the end the last two nights here," Cain said. "It just seemed like everything accumulated. It was really nice to get everybody relaxed and go out there and have fun, so we can just carry that over into the rest of the week."San Francisco jumped ahead in the first on back-to-back doubles by Mike Fontenot and Pablo Sandoval. The Braves tied it up in the bottom half, taking advantage of a miscue by Sandoval at third base.With two runners on and one out, Sandoval fielded Dan Uggla's grounder and attempted to tag Bourn running toward third. Bourn dodged the glove, and Sandoval's throw to first was too late to get Uggla, either. It was the first of three errors by the Giants.Cain struck out Freeman with the bases loaded before Jones walked to bring home the tying run.Jurrjens was pitching for the first time since Aug. 1, having gone on the disabled list because of a strained right knee. He hasn't been the same dominating pitcher he was before making the All-Star team, giving up at least four runs for the fourth time in his last five starts. That happened only once in his first 16 appearances."Right now, I just need to go to the bullpen and get my pitches back," Jurrjens said. "I've got to get a feel for them again."The Giants added to their lead in the ninth with two more sacrifice flies off Scott Linebrink. Sandoval picked up his second RBI and Huff brought home the other run.NOTES: Braves RHP Peter Moylan is scheduled for another bullpen session Thursday as he continues his recovery from back surgery. ... Whiteside left the game in the seventh because of dizziness. He smashed his face into the dirt when thrown out attempting a steal to end the fourth. ... The Giants tied a San Francisco record with four sacrifice flies, last done in 1988. ... The Giants beat the Braves for the first time in six meetings this season. ... The series finale pits San Francisco's Tim Lincecum (11-9) against Atlanta's Mike Minor (2-2). Lincecum is 6-3 in nine career appearances against the Braves, while Minor will be facing the Giants for the first time.

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

Team USA dominates Puerto Rico to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

LOS ANGELES -- Marcus Stroman tossed six hitless innings, Ian Kinsler slugged a two-run homer and the United States routed Puerto Rico 8-0 on Wednesday night to win its first World Baseball Classic in four tries.

Stroman dominated the tournament's highest-scoring team. Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games after outscoring the opposition 55-26. The U.S. territory finished runner-up for the second time, having lost to the Dominican Republic in the 2013 final.

Stroman, who was named the tournament's MVP, avenged his shakiness in the Americans' 6-5 loss to Puerto Rico during pool play. The right-hander from the Toronto Blue Jays retired the side on three grounders to open the game. In all, he gave up one hit, struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches.

He allowed just three balls past the infield until Angel Pagan's double in the left-field corner leading off the seventh, when Stroman departed to a standing ovation, having staked the Americans to a 7-0 lead.

Stroman walked Carlos Beltran leading off the second, but the defense helped him out. Yadier Molina hit the ball to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who started a double play before Stroman struck out Javier Baez to end the inning.

The U.S. pounded out 13 hits and finished with a 6-2 record while making the final for the first time in front of 51,565 at Dodger Stadium.

Kinsler homered off an 0-1 pitch from Seth Lugo into left-center field in the third, scoring Jonathan Lucroy, who singled leading off.

Lugo of the New York Mets allowed four runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked four in four innings. The right-hander won his first two starts of the tournament, including in the second round against Stroman and the U.S.

In that game, Stroman gave up six consecutive singles in a four-run first inning and took the loss against Puerto Rico last Friday in San Diego.

The Americans made it 4-0 in the fifth on RBI singles by Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen.

Fans wore flags of both countries as capes and decorated their faces in team colors. Puerto Rico boosters pounded cowbells, tooted horns and blew whistles early on before their team fell behind 4-0.

Fans were on their feet chanting "U-S-A" when the Americans loaded the bases in the seventh with two outs. They were rewarded with Crawford's two-run single that chased J.C. Romero, extending the lead to 6-0.

The U.S. tacked on another run on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI single off Hiram Burgos past diving shortstop Francisco Lindor.

Burgos' wild pitch moved runners to second and third before he walked Lucroy to load the bases a second time. Kinsler flied out to end the inning.

The Americans led 8-0 in the eighth on McCutchen's RBI single with two outs.

The U.S. defeated two-time champion Japan, while Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands to reach the final.

The three games at Dodger Stadium drew 109,892.

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

Instant Replay: Kings blown out by Bucks, Antetokounmpo at home

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Milwaukee Bucks are where the Sacramento Kings hope to be in two seasons - young, athletic and on their way to the playoffs. Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center, the visiting team jumped all of the Kings early on their way to a 116-98 win. 

The Greek Freak didn’t let up on his fellow countryman, Georgios Papagiannis. Giannis Antetokounmpo went at the Kings from the opening tip, finishing the night with 32 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block.  

Former Kings Jason Terry and Spencer Hawes heard boos every time they touched the ball. Unfortunately for Sacramento, they hit almost every shot they took, combining for 19 points on 6-for-9 shooting.

Greg Monroe added 15 points and five rebounds. Mirza Teletovic finished with 13 points off the bench and Khris Middleton hit 3-for-6 from long range to score 13. 

Rookie Buddy Hield put on a shooting clinic. The 22-year-old shooting guard dropped in 8-of-16 from the field on his way to 21 points and four rebounds

Darren Collison set up his teammates from the opening tip. The veteran point guard dropped in 10 points and a team-high seven assists, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

Garrett Temple stepped up his scoring, chipping in 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting and chipped in three rebounds in the loss. 

Willie Cauley-Stein stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists and four blocks. 

Arron Afflalo started at the small forward position and added 12 on 5-of-9 shooting. Tyreke Evans came off the bench, posting 18 points in 20 minutes of action behind Afflalo.

Skal Labissiere managed to shake off a rough first half to drop in eight points and grab eight rebounds, and fellow rookie Georgios Papagiannis picked up four points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes off Dave Joerger’s bench.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Antetokounmpo was as advertised and more. The 6-foot-11 forward gave the Kings fits from start to finish on his way to another huge performance.

TURNING POINT

The Bucks blew up in the first half, scoring 69 points on 61.4 percent shooting from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. This game was over before the teams headed in for the break.

INJURY UPDATE 

Kosta Koufos and Ty Lawson both missed the game for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is out with a right hamstring thickness tear, but is expected back soon. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles. 

WHAT'S NEXT 

The Kings hit the road again following the game against Milwaukee. They will face the Golden State Warriors on Friday evening at Oracle Arena, followed by a stop in Los Angeles on Sunday to visit the Clippers.