Cain takes hard-luck loss; Giants fall 2-1 to Phils

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Cain takes hard-luck loss; Giants fall 2-1 to Phils

Aug. 6, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The toughest matchup for Cole Hamels might've come against teammate Cliff Lee.Hamels pitched a seven-hitter for his first win in two weeks and the Philadelphia Phillies won their season-high ninth in a row, beating the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Saturday.Hamels made a pair of first-inning runs hold up as the Phillies, with the best record in the majors, defeated the Giants for the third straight day.Two days after Lee threw a shutout, Hamels (13-6) blanked the Giants until Pablo Sandoval's two-out home run in the ninth inning. Hamels struck out five and faced five batters more than the minimum while dominating the defending World Series champs.RATTO: No wine for Bochy as Giant bats stay silent
Hamels had only one victory in his previous four starts and lost to San Francisco 2-1 on July 27 despite pitching into the eighth inning and allowing only two runs and six hits.He was even stronger in the rematch and got better results."I was one out away from a shutout," Hamels said with a grin. "Cliff just got one. We're all trying to compete against each other."Hamels, who hadn't won since July 22, faced the minimum through three innings, then gave up back-to-back singles in the fourth. He quickly worked out of the jam, striking out Carlos Beltran on three pitches before Sandoval grounded into a 4-6-3 double play in the first pitch.San Francisco didn't get another runner until the seventh, and had two on with two outs in the eighth but failed to score each time.All but three of the 27 outs recorded by the All-Star left-hander were made by the infield. Philadelphia also backed Hamels with two double plays in a game that took 2 hours, 14 minutes.
Giants Insider gallery: Anatomy of a Brawl
"Any time you can win a series it's big and any time you can win on the road it's big," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We know how good the Giants can be but at the same time if we play the way we're capable of playing and stay relaxed and focused ... that works for us."The game was far less testy than Friday night's 9-2 Phillies win, which included the ejection of three players following a bench-clearing brawl in the sixth inning.Matt Cain (9-8) allowed only three hits over eight innings but took the loss, his second straight. San Francisco has dropped eight of nine since taking two of three games from the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.Jimmy Rollins doubled high off the wall in right-center leading off the game, and after Chase Utley drew a one-out walk and Howard struck out, Hunter Pence hit a bloop single to right to drive in Rollins.Utley tried to take third on the play and appeared to be out following a strong throw by Nate Schierholtz, but Sandoval bobbled the ball, allowing Utley to reach safely. Three pitches later he scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0."We got to him early but after that he was tough," said Ryan Howard, who struck out three times before singling in the ninth. "He got into some situations where it could have gone bad, and Cole got into some situations where it could have gone bad, but they got out of them."The Giants are hitless in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position in the three games against the Phillies this weekend. Over its last 16 games, San Francisco is batting .157 (16 for 102) with runners in scoring position.It got so bad that first baseman and crowd favorite Aubrey Huff was booed loudly by the home crowd after grounding out to Hamels."We had more hits than they did, we just couldn't get the big hit," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You don't win the World Series unless you can beat good pitching. Right now we're not doing that."Before the game, Bochy said he expects to hear soon from Major League Baseball about penalties for Friday's bench-clearing brawl.San Francisco reliever Ramon Ramirez and catcher Eli Whiteside were both ejected along with Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino.Victorino was booed during pregame introductions and every at-bat by the sellout crowd at AT&T Park, but there were no other lingering effects from the fight.Cain nearly matched Hamels, retiring 20 of the final 22 batters he faced after giving up both Philadelphia runs in the first. The right-hander struck out eight and walked two."I made a couple of mistakes early," Cain said. "The way Hamels was throwing the ball, that was enough."NOTES: Friday's winning pitcher, Vance Worley, is the first Phillies rookie to win six games over a seven-game stretch since Bob Walk in 1980. ... Phillies 3B Placido Polanco left the game with soreness in his left hip. ... Philadelphia has an NL-best 28-11 record during day games. ... Giants reliever Sergio Romo has retired 30 consecutive batters, the longest streak in the majors. ... Philadelphia homered in its previous eight games, the team's longest streak since 2009. ... RHP Tim Lincecum (9-9) has six straight quality starts against the Phillies and will try to stop the Giants' slide when he opposes RHP Roy Oswalt (4-6) in Sunday's series finale. Oswalt will be making his first start since going on the disabled list with lower back inflammation on June 24. He was activated following Saturday's game. LHP Juan Perez was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make room.

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

Sharks need to 'figure it out pretty soon' after another thrashing

NASHVILLE – Apparently, one wake up call wasn’t good enough for the plummeting San Jose Sharks.
 
Just one day after suffering what was arguably their worst game under coach Pete DeBoer, Nashville put up a touchdown on the Sharks in a 7-2 win, giving San Jose its sixth straight defeat – all in regulation.
 
After getting outscored 13-3 the last two nights, including Friday’s 6-1 loss in Dallas, where do they go from here?
 
“In two years, last year and this year so far, we haven’t had one night like this almost. Now we have back-to-back nights,” Joe Pavelski said. “I think it’s just a reality check. A gut-check time.
 
“It’s on us as players. Bottom line is we haven’t put the effort in that we need to have right now, and it snowballed on us a little bit at times. I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and really take a look in the mirror, refocus a little bit and understand there’s hockey out there, but it’s not going to fix itself.”
 
What has to be fixed immediately is the defensive structure that has been so vital to the Sharks’ success in the Pete DeBoer era. Even when the club was going through stretches of struggling to score, as it was earlier in the season, it was still collecting points in the standings with its ability to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
 
While the game against the Predators was actually a little better in that regard, believe it or not, it was still nowhere near the level it needs to be for the postseason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s absence was partly to blame for that, but the Brent Burns-Paul Martin pair has been a disaster lately. Both have a minus-nine rating during the six-game losing streak, and that number is indicative of how they’ve looked, too.
 
“We’re giving up some goals. It’s a combination of things,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s not good enough to win games, so we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I’ve ever coached has a tough part of the season. This is obviously ours. We’ll regroup, and figure it out.”
 
Burns, who admitted to a “bad read” on Nashville’s second goal when Roman Josi sped around him, said: “It’s a tough league when you’re not executing little things.”
 
The Sharks actually looked strong early, poised to put the Dallas disaster behind them. The first few shifts, they had the puck in the Nashville end.
 
But Tomas Hertl was outmuscled behind the net by Colin Wilson on Colton Sissons’ goal at 4:14, Burns got beat on the second, and the Sharks never recovered. Patrick Marleau’s second period power play goal offered life, but that was extinguished 24 seconds later when James Neal answered with a power play goal of his own. The Sharks never got closer than two goals after that.
 
“When things are going bad, those are the things that are happening,” Burns said of Neal’s response to Marleau’s marker. “So, you’ve just got work through it."
 
Will they be able to work through it with just seven games left in the regular season, though? That this cold spell is happening in late March doesn’t speak well to the Sharks’ chances in the postseason, which begins in just two-and-a-half weeks.
 
Burns said: “Right now we should be just tightening up everything. … We've got figure it out pretty soon.”

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

Sharks forward Haley could face supplemental discipline from NHL

NASHVILLE – Sharks forward Micheal Haley could be in line for supplemental discipline from the league, after earning a match penalty in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 loss in Nashville.
 
After absorbing a borderline hit from behind by Calle Jarnkrok, Haley tracked down the Predators forward and promptly delivered a left jab to Jarnkrok’s face at 12:56 of the final frame, with the Sharks trailing 5-2 at the time.
 
Naturally, there were differing opinions from the two head coaches on the play.
 
Pete DeBoer said: “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth.”
 
Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters: "It's an ugly play. This isn't the wild, wild west. I mean, Calle hit him. We took a penalty. If we start doing that, we're in trouble, so hopefully it gets looked at."
 
Any player who earns a match penalty "shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner has ruled on the issue,” according to league rules.
 
In 54 games this season, Haley has two goals and nine assists for 11 points. His 110 penalty minutes is fifth in the league.
 
Jarnkrok did not return after the punch, but told reporters after the game he felt “OK.”
 
"I feel pretty good," Jarnkrok said. "Obviously, I saw him coming. There were a couple other guys coming, too. I didn't really know what to do. He got in a good punch on me.”