Giants fall to D'Backs 6-1, tied atop NL West

506097.jpg

Giants fall to D'Backs 6-1, tied atop NL West

August 2, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Paul Goldschmidt has spent two days in the major leagues and he already feels at home. That's what a home run against one of baseball's top pitchers can do for the psyche.Goldschmidt hit his first career homer, a two-run shot off Tim Lincecum that helped the Arizona Diamondbacks move into a tie for first place in the NL West with the Giants by beating San Francisco 6-1 on Tuesday night."To come up here in this environment and do what he's done is a huge lift for us," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's become part of our team. You have to be awed by it. He's shown great character by the way he's controlled his emotions."Justin Upton added a two-run home run as the Diamondbacks won their fourth straight to grab a piece of the division lead for the first time since June 24. Ryan Roberts had two hits and drove in a run.Goldschmidt sounded like the calmest player in the clubhouse when he spoke about his first two days in the bigs."It was nice to get the win," he said. "Any time you get a hit or have a good at-bat it will help your confidence. I just got a couple of pitches to hit."Goldschmidt, who led all minor leaguers in home runs (30) and RBIs (94) when he was called up Monday, said he looked back to previous experiences to keep him levelheaded."I look back to the minors, college, even high school," he said. "That pressure, at that time, was just as big as it is now."Daniel Hudson (11-7) outdueled the two-time Cy Young Award winner Lincecum to snap a two-game slide against the Giants and win for the eighth time in his last 10 decisions. He allowed one run on six hits over eight innings. He walked one and struck out five."It's a lot of fun but at the same time there's a long way to go," Hudson said. "The division goes through San Francisco and we have a lot of games left with the Giants."Lincecum (9-9) lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on three hits, all in the fifth. He walked three and struck out eight."I lost it there for a while," Lincecum said. "But overall, with the exception of that one pitch, I thought I pitched pretty good."Pablo Sandoval had three hits, including an RBI double, for the Giants, who matched their season-high five-game losing streak.Hudson set down nine of the first 10 hitters he faced, with Orlando Cabrera's bunt single leading off the third the lone batter to reach safely. Cabrera was caught stealing 2-6-3-4-8. Bryan Shaw pitched the ninth to finish it.Lincecum took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before Roberts singled ahead of Goldschmidt's deep drive into the left field bleachers."He worked early in the game but that was a great effort by him," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff and his velocity was good."Upton's 22nd home run, a two-run shot off Ramon Ramirez, were the first runs scored against the Giants' bullpen since the All-Star break, a span of 18 innings. Upton extended his hitting streak to 14 games with the homer.Roberts added an RBI double and Gerald Parra an RBI single in the ninth against Javier Lopez.The Diamondbacks have won 12 of 17 games to make up 4 12 games on the Giants.NOTES: Giants INF Freddy Sanchez underwent surgery on his torn right labrum in Arizona and will likely be ready by spring training. ... RHP Ryan Vogelsong will start Wednesday's game against the Diamondbacks. His eight wins are a career high. He is 1-1 with a 2.81 ERA against Arizona in eight appearances, two starts. ... RHP Jason Marquis will make his first start for Arizona. He threw a five-hit shutout against the Giants while with the Washington Nationals this year. He's 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA lifetime against SF. ... The five Giants currently on the disabled list have a combined .289 average against Marquis. Cabrera (.333) is best. Carlos Beltran is at .150. ... OF Cody Ross made his second straight start as the leadoff hitter. Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he's one of several candidates to lead off. ... Diamondbacks C Miguel Montero has reached base safely in his last 14 games.

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

Fultz a perfect fit, but do Kings have assets required to trade up?

It’s lonely at the top, which is where Markelle Fultz sits on almost every 2017 NBA Draft board. The Brooklyn Nets should be set for the next decade with a big time scoring point guard. Instead, it’s the Boston Celtics who have no choice but to take Fultz with the No. 1 overall selection after a savvy trade that sent veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for a stack of picks and players back in 2013.

Fultz can do it all. He’s deadly from the outside, he can take you off the bounce and he has elite passing skills to boot. In a draft packed with star potential, specifically at the point guard position, the freshman from Washington stands out well above the rest.  

It would take a major shake up at the top for Fultz not to have his name called first on draft night, but there are plenty of very talented players sitting on the board behind him. Here is a deeper look at the potential top overall selection.

The Positives:
Fultz has tremendous size, length and athleticism for an NBA point guard. He measured in at 6-foot-5, 195-pounds with a 6-foot-10 wingspan and has a frame built to take on muscle. At just 19-years-old, he is already well defined physically and has plenty of room to grow and get stronger.

A crafty, high-end scorer, Fultz changes speed and direction well and has an advanced Euro-step for a young player. He averaged 23.2 points in 35.7 minutes a night for the Huskies while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 41.3 percent from three. He can score from all three levels, finish well above the rim and play through contact.

In his lone season in college, Fultz showed that he is not only a legitimate scoring threat, but he is a willing passer and an unselfish teammate. While Lonzo Ball is considered the true pass first point guard of the draft, Fultz had a higher assist rate (35.5 to 31.5) and lower turnover rate (13.4 to 18.2) than the star guard from UCLA.

Fultz rebounds well for his position, averaging 5.7 rebounds per game at Washington. He also has potential as a defender, posting 1.6 steals and 1.2 blocks, although he is a work in progress on that end of the floor.

Known as a high-character kid and tireless worker off the court, Fultz has the entire package. He can also play the lead or shooting guard spot, which will come in handy if the Celtics decide to pair him with All-Star Isaiah Thomas in the backcourt.

The Negatives:
9-16 is a concern. Great college players should be able to will their team to victory, even if the talent around them is suspect. Washington was certainly worse off without Fultz down the stretch, losing their last six while he sat with a knee injury.

Shot selection and sloppy ball handling was also an issue this season. In Fultz’ defense, he played with a group that lacked overall talent and those issues might eventually disappear when he’s added to a roster that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals.  

Fultz is a quality chase down defender, but he fell asleep on plenty of plays or didn’t show a consistent fight on the defensive end. Lack of focus allowed for plenty of back cuts. He also showed an inconsistent effort fighting through screens.

He’s a work in progress on the defensive end, like most young players coming into the league. Most of these issues can easily be coached out of him at the next level.

Projection:
Fultz has an advanced feel and tons of room to expand his game. On the court, he resembles another former Husky in Brandon Roy. Fultz is much further along than Roy was at the same age, but possesses both the ability to score from anywhere on the court, as well as rebound and set up his teammates.  

It’s hard to imagine the Celtics passing on Fultz with the top overall selection, but if they do, teams will scramble trying to move up to select him. He would fit perfectly in the Kings starting backcourt alongside sophomore Buddy Hield, but Sacramento lacks the assets to move from five to one, Fultz’ likely landing spot.

 

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

Early offense, six strong from Cueto lift Giants past Braves in finale

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The blisters on Johnny Cueto's middle and index fingers that limited his effectiveness in his last few starts haven't yet completely healed.

But the two-time All-Star is learning to pitch with them.

Cueto threw six strong innings and Brandon Crawford drove in three runs as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-1 on Sunday.

Cueto (5-4) bounced back from his roughest stretch as a Giant. He was 0-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his previous four starts.

"They're not bothering me like they were before," Cueto said through a translator. "I'm just getting used to it but I have to continue pitching until they get better."

The Giants won their third straight home series and posted their 11th victory in 18 games overall.

Crawford's two-run single highlighted a four-run second against R.A. Dickey (3-4) that made it 6-0.

Matt Kemp had three hits for Atlanta. But the Braves couldn't get much going against Cueto, who allowed one run on six hits and a walk. Cueto struck out eight, including five in a row at one point.

"He did what he needed to do to get us out," Kemp said. "We had chances to score runs and we didn't. I think in this series we really didn't do a good score of scoring runs."

Dickey allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on six hits and five walks in six innings.

"This can be a challenging place to throw because of the wind because it swirls so much," Dickey said.

Eduardo Nunez and Gorkys Hernandez each had two hits for the Giants. Joe Panik tripled to start the second-inning burst.

Cueto had two productive at-bats, bunting a runner to second in the second inning and driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third.

"It's always nice to have a lead and I thought Johnny was the sharpest he'd been this year," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "Hopefully it's something he can build on. The changeup was working really well and his command of the fastball was really good."

Posey was 0 for 2 with two walks. He hasn't struck out in 55 consecutive plate appearances.

FUN FACTOR:
The Giants scored the game's first run when Nunez came around from third when a knuckleball glanced off catcher Kurt Suzuki glove in the bottom of the first. The play was ruled a passed ball. Asked if he had any empathy for the plight of his counterpart, Posey said "Yes, no question. It's not fun to hit, it doesn't look fun to catch, either."

FANCY FIELDING:
Hernandez made a diving catch in the gap in left-center robbing Emilio Bonifacio of an extra-base hit with one out in the seventh inning.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Braves: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth for pinch-hitter Jace Peterson. Phillips fouled a ball off his foot in his last at-bat in the third.

Giants: LHP Madison Bumgarner will start his throwing program on Friday, manager Bruce Bochy said. Bumgarner will start out playing catch and make five rehab starts. The 2014 World Series MVP suffered a separated left shoulder in a dirt biking accident. "The progress is happening," Bochy said. "I think he sees light at the end of the tunnel." ... Slumping rookie INF Christian Arroyo was out of the lineup on Sunday and his playing status appears uncertain. Arroyo, who turns 22 on Tuesday, is 0 for 19 in his last five games. "I'll talk to him, about what his situation is," Bochy said. "I'm definitely planning on giving him a couple of days" off.

UP NEXT:
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran will make his first career start against the Angels in Anaheim on Monday. He is 3-9 with a 5.63 ERA in 15 career interleague starts.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore will face the Nationals for the second time in his career. He was with Tampa Bay when he gave up two runs in five innings against Washington in 2012.