Cain's strong start wasted in Giants' 3-1 loss

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Cain's strong start wasted in Giants' 3-1 loss

Sept. 7, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants know time is running short on defending their World Series title.Aaron Harang threw seven strong innings and Cameron Maybin had two hits and an RBI as the San Diego Padres dealt a big blow to the Giants' fading playoff hopes with a 3-1 victory Wednesday night.The Giants, who have 19 games left, came into the game trailing NL West-leading Arizona by six games. San Francisco has dropped three of four and six of 10."We have to win," Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain said. "That's all we have to do, is win."San Francisco was going for a sweep of the three-game series against a club it had beaten six of the previous seven games at Petco Park.But Cain, who is 8-19 lifetime against the Padres, had little to show for allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. After he allowed Will Venable's leadoff homer in the first, he settled down and retired 11 consecutive batters before he issued two walks. Cain didn't allow another hit until Maybin's two-out double in the sixth."He did a great job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He gave up the leadoff homer and then he dealt. He keeps grinding out there for us."Cain (11-10) struck out seven and walked three as he made his 200th career start.San Francisco rookie Brett Pill homered for a second straight game after he hit a home run Tuesday night in his first major league at-bat."It's kind of frustrating when we can't really do anything for Matt," Pill said.Venable scored twice, while Maybin doubled and tripled in a run in the ninth.The Padres got clutch defensive plays by Venable and Maybin.The first was by Maybin, who made a long running catch while crashing into the wall in left-center field to rob Justin Christian leading off the game. Maybin hit his forehead on the padded wall and was on the ground for about a minute before he got up and stayed in the game."I kind of face-planted dead square," Maybin said. "Luckily, I was able to make a play and keep the early momentum because those guys take advantage."Venable threw out Pill at home in the seventh when the rookie tried to score on a medium fly ball to right by pinch-hitter Pat Burrell."It's one of those things that you have to go for it," Bochy said. "It took a perfect throw. Those are the things you look back on and they hurt."Said Harang: "The guys made some good plays from the first hitter of the game that kind of set the tone. It showed the intensity and excitement level that was going to happen."San Diego, last in the NL West at 62-81, won for the second time in 13 games overall."That's the kind of intensity we have to bring day in and day out, no matter where we are in the standings," Maybin said.Harang (13-5) broke a two-start losing streak by allowing one run and four hits in seven innings. Harang, who struck out three and walked three, is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in three starts this season against the Giants, all at Petco Park.Heath Bell got the final four outs for his 36th save in 40 chances. Bell replaced Chad Qualls in the eighth and threw one pitch to retire Carlos Beltran on a line drive to right with a runner on first and two outs.Venable led off the Padres' first with his seventh homer to right. It also extended his season club record for leadoff homers to five.The home run was the third allowed by Cain in his last 20 starts. Overall, Cain has given up only eight homers."Everything was feeling all right," he said. "I was trying to get ahead of guys and get early strikes."Pill tied the game with a homer leading off the fifth. Pill joined John Bowker as the only two players in franchise history to homer in their first two major league games.Pill homered off Wade LeBlanc on Tuesday night in his first major league at-bat, a two-run shot in the second inning of the Giants' 6-4 win.The Padres took a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Jesus Guzman singled in Maybin, who reached on a two-out double.Notes: Cain has pitched 203 innings this season, the fifth straight season he has reached the 200-inning mark. ... Bowker homered in his major league debut on April 12, 2008, and again the next day. ... Padres manager Bud Black said after the game that INF Logan Forsythe would undergo surgery on his left knee on Thursday. Forsythe has not played since Friday with an inflamed patellar tendon in his right knee. But Black said Forsythe's left knee, surgically repaired in the offseason, starting bothering him midway through this season. ... After a day off, Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (12-12, 2.75 ERA) will attempt to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time this season in four starts (0-2, 1.86) on Friday to open a six-game homestand. LHP Clayton Kershaw (17-5, 2.45) pitches for the Dodgers. ... LHP Cory Luebke (5-8, 3.29) will start for the Padres on Thursday at Arizona, facing NL wins leader RHP Ian Kennedy (18-4, 2.96).

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO — The rain stayed away Tuesday after an initial delay of just over an hour. Once the first pitch was thrown, the Giants you watched over the previous week pulled a similar disappearing act. 

The lineup had no answer for Jon Lester, who threw a 99-pitch complete game and led the Cubs to a 4-1 win in two hours and five minutes. On the other side, the Cubs bashed three homers off Johnny Cueto, who still hasn’t found that 2016 groove. 

Here are five things to know from Wrigley, where tarp management is no longer a problem … 

--- Cueto gave up three homers for the first time since joining the Giants. It started with Kyle Schwarber’s 470-foot blast onto Sheffield that the Cubs said was the first to reach the street since 2014. The pitches Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo crushed had one thing in common: All were left right over the heart of the plate. 

--- Cueto became just the fourth Giants pitcher in the last 15 years to strike out at least eight but also give up three homers. Jeff Samardzija did it earlier this season against the Diamondbacks.

--- Addison Russell started a double play on Brandon Crawford in the second inning that gave Crawford a taste of what it’s like to hit a ball up the middle against the Giants. A year ago, Russell led NL shortstops in the SABR Defensive Index, which is a chunk of Gold Glove voting. This year, he leads the NL with nine Defensive Runs Saved; Crawford is at four. Personally I think Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart is the second best defensive shortstop in the NL, but Russell is certainly the guy who is the biggest threat to Crawford winning a third straight Gold Glove. 

--- The Lester Yips thing gets talked about quite a bit … but it should probably be talked about more. It’s simply incredible that one of the best pitchers in the world refuses to throw to first. Lester didn’t even move off the mound when Buster Posey hit a slow roller in the second, forcing his catcher to make a much tougher play. In the seventh Posey hit a similar ball and this time Lester had no choice; he fielded the ball and threw underhanded to first.

--- Josh Osich did not shave his mustache, he simply grew the rest out until he had a beard. It’s the smarter way to go. This way Osich still has the stache in his back pocket if the team needs some luck. He pitched a scoreless eighth, striking Schwarber out with a nasty slider.

 

Raiders OTA observations: Conley, rookies must earn their stripes

Raiders OTA observations: Conley, rookies must earn their stripes

ALAMEDA – Rookies have been immersed in the Raiders system most of this month, but still have a lot to learn before training camp begins this summer.

There’s significant work ahead this spring during OTAs and mid-June’s mandatory minicamp, and young players will do so from the second and third teams. Even the highly touted ones.

First-round draft pick Gareon Conley played slot cornerback with the second unit and outside cornerback on the third during Tuesday’s OTA open to the media. It’s a position the slick, speedy cover man will vacate posthaste, but the Raiders prefer rookies earn their stripes.

“All of our young guys are going to earn their way,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We have a good football team. We’re going to let them earn their way. We’ll let them compete. We’re early in the competition, so we’ll just go through the offseason and continue to get (Conley) involved and get him reps. These guys will ascend and take their positions as they earn it. We’re really happy with the way he’s started.”

The Raiders didn’t feature a single rookie on their first units Tuesday. Second-round safety Obi Melifonwu, fourth-round offensive tackle David Sharpe and middle linebacker Marquel Lee were featured on the second unit.

Here are some other observations from Tuesday’s OTA sessions.

-- Del Rio said Marshall Newhouse had the inside track to be the team’s starting right tackle. The versatile veteran worked there with the first team, joining a front five otherwise intact from a season ago.

-- Second-year pro Connor Cook, who switched from No. 8 to No. 18 this offseason, ran the second offensive unit. E.J. Manuel worked with the third team.

-- Inside linebacker Ben Heeney worked on a side field with a trainer during Tuesday’s practice, as he continues to rehab from surgery to repair an ankle broken early last season. Jelani Jenkins also did side work after practicing on Monday.

Cory James and Tyrell Adams worked with the first unit at inside linebacker.

-- Veteran running back Marshawn Lynch was limited to individual drills for a second straight day as the Raiders ease him back into football activity.

-- Offensive lineman Austin Howard is working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, and only practice during individual drills.

-- Cornerback Sean Smith had offseason surgery, but was a full participant in Tuesday’s session.

-- Third-round defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes remains away from the Raiders complex due to an NFL rule preventing players from schools still in session to work with their teams. He won’t re-join the squad until training camp. Undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow is in a similar spot, but will return next week.

-- Edge rusher Shilique Calhoun played last season at 250 pounds, but looks decidedly bigger now. He told the team website he’s up to 270 pounds.