Cueto quiets Giants' bats, Reds take opener

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Cueto quiets Giants' bats, Reds take opener

June 9, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) On a night when Johnny Cueto had sharp stuff, he was especially tough when the San Francisco Giants mounted a couple of threats.Cueto got two of his season-high eight strikeouts with a runner on third base and less than two outs and threw seven scoreless innings to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday night."He threw an outstanding ballgame," manager Dusty Baker said. "He got out of trouble twice with a runner on third. That's big to do that with strikeouts. He's turning into that kind of pitcher."Jonny Gomes had three hits and an RBI, Brandon Phillips also drove in a run and the Reds as the Reds opened their seven-game West Coast swing with a win.
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Tough luck Bumgarner
But the key was Cueto (3-2), who allowed just four hits and struck out eight - including the side in order in the third inning - in a dominating performance that ended a four-start winless streak."Johnny Cueto has been lights out this year," Phillips said. "I wish his record was better than what it was. We just haven't given him many runs lately. We did a better job today. ... He's becoming one of the best pitchers in the league."Nick Masset pitched a scoreless eighth and Francisco Cordero finished the four-hitter for his 12th save in 14 chances.Miguel Tejada doubled twice, but the Giants managed just two other hits and were shut out for the sixth time this season. San Francisco has been held to one run or fewer in 15 of 63 games this season.The Giants had a few chances to score in this game, twice getting a runner to third base with one out to no avail. With runners on first and third and one out in the fourth, Cueto struck out Cody Ross and got Brandon Crawford to fly out.Then in the sixth, Tejada hit a leadoff double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by No. 3 hitter Freddy Sanchez. The move didn't pay off when Cueto struck out Aubrey Huff on a pitch in the dirt and got Nate Schierholtz to ground out.
URBAN: Giants' Bumgarner blanked but unbowed
That's been a pattern for the Giants, who have scored the fewest runs in the majors this season. The Giants are hitting just .190 in their last six games - being held to five hits or fewer four times."We just have to get this figured out," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's gone on longer than even I thought it would. We just need to get a couple of guys hot and right now we're having a tough time doing that."Cueto needed to be that stingy on a night when the Reds' high-scoring offense managed little against Madison Bumgarner (2-8). Cincinnati's only run off Bumgarner came when Scott Rolen hit a two-out double in the fourth and scored on Gomes' single.The Reds had a chance to add on in the seventh when Gomes reached on a fly ball that fell between Huff, Sanchez and Schierholtz near the right-field line and Edgar Renteria reached on a bunt single. But Ramon Hernandez hit into a double play and Cueto flied out to center to end that threat.Bumgarner allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings, striking out seven in his ninth straight quality start. But for the seventh time in his eight losses this season, the Giants were held to one or fewer runs as he was once again done in by bad luck."We have a good team and they all support me so I'm not going to worry about it," Bumgarner said. "I don't expect them to apologize. Hitting is the hardest thing to do. I think we'll be fine. We're still in it. It's not like we're out of it."Cincinnati added an unearned run in the eighth off Santiago Casilla when Joey Votto doubled with two outs, followed by an intentional walk to Jay Bruce and a walk to Scott Rolen. With Gomes at the plate, a pitch got past Eli Whiteside for a passed ball, allowing Votto to score the second run.Phillips added an RBI single in the ninth for the Reds.Before the game, Renteria was presented his 2010 World Series ring in an on-field ceremony. Renteria was the World Series MVP for the Giants last season before the team decided not to bring him back this year. He went 1 for 4."It was great," Baker said. "They loved it, he loved it, the fans loved it. It was a very classy thing."Notes: Rolen returned to the lineup for the Reds after missing the previous three games with a throat illness. ... Bumgarner has one win in 15 career home starts for the Giants. ... Whiteside threw out Phillips trying to steal second to end the first inning for just the third caught stealing in the last 23 attempts by Giants catchers.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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