Giants blow two leads, lose to Padres 5-3 again

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Giants blow two leads, lose to Padres 5-3 again

July 5, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Heath Bell made the ninth inning a little more interesting than the San Diego Padres would prefer for the second straight game, and even he had to take a moment on the mound to chuckle at the coincidence."Apparently I wanted to face the same guys," Bell said.As long the result is the same, the Padres have no problem with all the drama.Bell rallied to get the final two outs to keep pace for the major league lead with 26 saves, and the Padres held on to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3 again Tuesday night.Cameron Maybin had three hits and three RBIs, and Anthony Rizzo drove in two runs to power the Padres past the NL West-leading Giants by the same score two days in a row."Every game is different, but this is nothing new to Padres-Giants games," said San Diego manager Bud Black, whose team was eliminated from playoff contention at AT&T Park on the final day last season.Maybin's triple highlighted a three-run sixth inning off Matt Cain (7-5), who lost for the first time in more than a month. San Diego has won seven of nine.Tim Stauffer (5-5) allowed three runs in six innings for his third straight victory. He allowed three hits and walked one.The Padres again used a formula that the defending World Series champions have replicated so many times: strong starting pitching, timely hitting and a bullpen with a flair for the dramatic that doesn't budge.Miguel Tejada and pinch-hitter Pat Burrell started the ninth with singles. Chris Stewart's sacrifice bunt moved them to third and second.Then San Diego's All-Star closer struck out Andres Torres and got Brandon Crawford to fly out to right field. The Padres improved to 33-0 this season when leading after eight innings."I actually thought I was better today," Bell said, smiling. "I'll take it."San Diego again quieted a fast San Francisco start with its own dose of powerful pitching.Torres scored from first on a hard-hit single by Crawford that second baseman Orlando Hudson couldn't corral in the first inning, backpedaling into right field and losing the ball trying to toss it back to the infield. Aaron Rowand's two-out single later in the inning gave San Francisco a 2-0 lead.The Padres answered back in the second when Ryan Ludwick singled and Hudson followed with a double. Ludwick scored on a groundout by Rizzo and Hudson scored on a fielding error by Crawford at short, tying the score 2-all.Cain helped his own cause with a single up the middle in the fourth that drove in Tejada to put San Francisco ahead 3-2. Tejada was hit by a pitch and would've easily been caught stealing if not for shortstop Jason Bartlett mishandling the throw, allowing Tejada to move to third and Cain a chance for his third RBI of the season.Cain, who hadn't lost since May 29 at Milwaukee, seemed to be in complete control. After a two-out walk to Hudson in the sixth, he started to unravel.Maybin smacked a ball into the left-center gap for a two-run triple, and Rizzo followed with an RBI single to give San Diego a 5-3 lead. Backed by a strong bullpen, that was more than enough for the Padres."It kind of came down to that one pitch and I didn't make that pitch," Cain said. "It cost us the game."About the only hiccup before the ninth came when Torres drew a 16-pitch walk off Chad Qualls in the seventh. He stole second uncontested, move to third on a groundout and was tagged out at home trying to score on a wild pitch.Qualls pumped his fist and slammed the ball to the ground afterward."That cannot happen," Torres said. "I was going to go but then I stopped. But if I had gone right away, I could have made it. I thought I had a shot."NOTES: Tejada was at second base for the first time in his 15-year major league career, moving over from short to start in place of the injured Emmanuel Burriss (sore right knee). Burriss grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. ... Three fans sitting near the Padres dugout were hit by a wayward bat from Giants slugger Pablo Sandoval in the first inning. One woman was struck in the head and taken to a hospital as a precaution, a Giants spokesman said. Two men received treatment in the eyebrow and shin and stayed at the game. ... Another fan interrupted the game for about 2 minutes in the eighth inning, running onto the field and taking his shirt off. The man gave himself up without incident. ... Sandoval extended his career-high hitting streak to 16 straight games with a single in the third.

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

PHOENIX — Bruce Maxwell homered twice against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, and his reward was a demotion to the minors.

Awkward timing, for sure. But the news itself wasn’t much of a shock to the A’s catcher, who knew he was the odd man out in a three-man roster battle. The A’s like the left-right platoon behind the plate. Stephen Vogt, who like Maxwell hits left-handed, wasn’t going anywhere. Josh Phegley is back healthy after knee surgery and has the advantage of being a right-handed hitter.

“I mean, I could have come out here and hit 1.000 and I probably still would have been in the same situation,” Maxwell said. “I can’t really do much about it. I try not to worry about it. At the end of the day everybody wants to play in the big leagues, but if the opportunity is not there you can’t stress about it.”

Manager Bob Melvin gave Maxwell the news in the dugout after he exited Oakland’s 11-1 victory, and Melvin certainly couldn’t give Maxwell a justifiable reason for the demotion except that the roster math doesn’t add up.

“Great day to have to do that,” Melvin said sarcastically. “But, he’ll be here at some point. We saw his progression last year, he did a great job for us. There’s nothing he did to suggest he needed to be sent down. It’s just a numbers game for him right now.”

The A’s batted around in a five-run third, knocking Brewers starter Matt Garza from the game after he recorded just seven outs. They tacked on four more in the fourth, with Maxwell going deep to left-center for a two-run homer off Jhan Marinez. In the sixth, he hit a solo shot off Corey Knebel to right-center and also added a run-scoring single to complete his four-RBI day.

Melvin has spoken often of the improving power shown by the 26-year-old Maxwell, who hit .283 with a homer and 14 RBI in 33 games with Oakland last season in his first major league call-up.

“If you look at the power numbers over the years, he’s getting better and better,” Melvin said. “He’s got the chance to be a 20-home run guy in the big leagues.”

NOTEWORTHY: Jharel Cotton held Milwaukee to just a run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He bounced back from a wobbly start against Seattle in which he walked five. On Sunday, his toughest challenge was staying loose as the A’s offense put up two time-consuming rallies. Twice, Cotton had to play catch while his teammates paraded around the bases.

But it sure didn’t affect him, as he struck out seven and walked one in his second-to-last spring training start.

“This one, I was more on the attack, using my fastball more so I can set up my changeup and off-speed pitches,” Cotton said. “I know everybody raves about the changeup, but I need my fastball to be there so I can throw that pitch off the fastball.”

He had an entertaining ongoing battle with six-time All-Star Ryan Braun. He struck out Braun on a cutter in the first, gave up a homer to left in the fourth, then battled back from a 3-0 count to get Braun swinging through a fastball in the sixth.

“I got him twice, he got me once,” Cotton said. “I think I won that battle today.”

HEALTH UPDATE: Daniel Mengden, who has missed all of spring with a broken right foot, is scheduled to get his walking boot removed Monday. Mengden said he’ll stay in Arizona for anywhere from two to four weeks, taking part in extended spring training. The good news for the right-hander: He’s been able to play catch while wearing the boot, so that’s a bit of a head-start for him once he gets full mobility with his foot. There’s no timetable yet for his return.

ODDS AND ENDS: The A’s knocked out 16 hits and recorded double-digit runs for the fifth time this spring. They improved to 16-12. … Alejandro De Aza, fighting for an outfield roster spot, went 2-for-3 with an RBI to raise his average to .300. … With few regulars making the trip to Maryvale Baseball Park, second baseman Max Schrock came over from minor league camp and once again made an impact, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. … John Axford threw a scoreless inning of relief. Frankie Montas handled the final two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and a walk. The hard-throwing prospect is a candidate for the bullpen as a multi-inning guy.

Couture's father: Sharks center dealing with 'ugly injury' after puck to mouth

Couture's father: Sharks center dealing with 'ugly injury' after puck to mouth

After requiring a visit to a local hospital in Nashville due to being struck in the face with a deflected puck on Saturday night against the Predators, Logan Couture was able to fly back with the team to San Jose on Sunday morning.

The severity of his injury is still unknown, although his father, Chet, said on Twitter that it was “an ugly injury sadly.”

Another source close to the situation told CSN the injury is “brutal.”

Couture, who lost several teeth, visited with Sharks medical personnel on Sunday and a further update is expected on Monday. 

Perhaps the best-case scenario is that the injury looks a lot worse than it actually is, such as when Marc-Edouard Vlasic was sidelined for one week when he took a puck to the face from the stick Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere in late December.

Losing Couture for any period of time would be a difficult blow to the Sharks, who have lost their last six in regulation, including Saturday’s 7-2 defeat to the Predators. Couture is third on the team in scoring with 52 points, and has a team-leading 11 power play goals. He entered Saturday’s game with four goals and five assists in his last 10 games, and has arguably been the team’s best player since mid-January.

"You can't replace him, so it would be really tough,” Patrick Marleau said after the game Saturday. “But if that is the case, then guys are going to have to pull up the slack. Definitely we hope he's back sooner.”

Couture was set up just outside the crease in the third period when a Brent Burns point shot late in the second period hit a stick before squarely smacking into the 27-year-old’s mouth. He quickly skated to the dressing room under his own power with just 14 seconds before the intermission.

The Sharks have seven games remaining in the regular season, hosting the Rangers on Tuesday and visiting Edmonton and Calgary later this week. They are tied in points (91) with Anaheim and Edmonton in the Pacific Division.