April 20, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
DENVER (AP) Jorge De La Rosa overcame a shaky start to pitch seven sharp innings and Ty Wigginton tied a career high with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, as the Colorado Rockies beat the San Francisco Giants 10-2 on Wednesday.De La Rosa (3-0) didn't appear to be bothered by a nagging blister on his middle finger that's plagued him at times this season. He gave up two runs and four hits to help the Rockies salvage the finale of the three-game series against the surging Giants.Wigginton, hitting .214 entering the game, showed signs of breaking out of his offensive funk by lining a three-run homer to left off Matt Cain (2-1) in the second inning and bringing in another on a ground out in the fifth. It's the ninth time Wigginton has driven in four runs in his career.Cain was far from his best, wrestling with his command as he lasted just 4 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits.
URBAN: Giants' bad day could have been worse
The righty had been so crisp and efficient in his last three outings, giving up just three runs in 19 innings.Cain's clunker was against a team he has typically dominated, too. In four starts last season, he went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA.Buster Posey had both RBIs for the Giants, one on a single in the first and another with a grounder in the sixth.That's all the damage San Francisco could manage against De La Rosa, who was on the ropes in the opening frame but worked his way out of trouble and never looked back. He picked up his third win to tie Jhoulys Chacin for most on the staff.Pinch hitter Ryan Spilborghs added a late three-run homer, backup catcher Jose Morales contributed an RBI double and Seth Smith had a pair of RBI singles as Colorado had a season-high scoring output.Cain certainly didn't have his usual overpowering command, giving up four runs in the second inning.The big blow was Wigginton's milestone homer, the third baseman's first with the Rockies and the 1,000th hit of his career. Despite his slump, Wigginton was in the lineup due to Ian Stewart's recent demotion to Triple-A Colorado Springs.Cain hardly had the same stuff as in his appearance at Coors Field last September, when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before allowing an infield single.The Giants jumped on Colorado in the first inning yet again, scoring a run on Posey's bloop single to left. That gave them 10 runs in the opening frame during the three-game series.The damage could've been even more extensive after Aaron Rowand led off the game with a double and Freddy Sanchez drew a walk. But Aubrey Huff, who reached on a fielder's choice, was thrown out at third by Carlos Gonzalez on Posey's RBI hit and Cody Ross hit a fly ball to end the inning.This was Ross' first appearance of the season after straining his right calf in the final week of spring training. The MVP of the NLCS last season finished hitless in four plate appearances.The Giants were without Pablo Sandoval, who was a late scratch after straining his right triceps during batting practice. He was hitting well, too, homering in four of his last six games.Before the contest, Colorado held a moment of silence to remember Rockies president Keli McGregor, who died on this day a year ago during a business trip in Utah. He was 48.The picture of health, McGregor passed away of what was later ruled a viral heart infection. Three of his four children threw out the first pitch to Todd Helton, Spilborghs and Troy Tulowitzki.A local ball park in Denver also renamed its field in his honor."It's a wonderful tribute and a strong suggestion of what this man was all about," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.NOTES: Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (broken finger) has started throwing off a slope. Cook has been on the DL since slamming the digit in a door early in spring training. "He's making strides," Tracy said. ... To make room for Ross, the Giants optioned INF Brandon Belt to Triple-A Fresno. Belt turned 23 on Wednesday. ... The Rockies moved to 7-1 in day games this season. ... Tulowitzki was 3 for 5 with two doubles.
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.”
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.”