Giants lean on Lincecum for series win over Twins

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Giants lean on Lincecum for series win over Twins

June 23, 2011MINNESOTA (32-40) vs.
GIANTS (40-34)Coverage begins at 12 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area(AP) -- Joe Mauer's first visit to San Francisco has been upstaged by fellow catcher Eli Whiteside.The suddenly surging Whiteside could help Tim Lincecum end his struggles as the Giants look to take two of three from the Minnesota Twins on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park.Whiteside has been seeing most of the work behind the plate with 2010 NL Rookie of the Year Buster Posey likely out for the rest of the season with a broken leg suffered last month. He had been hitting .190 coming into this series before responding with back-to-back two-hit games, a homer and four RBIs.Whiteside had a two-run triple and run-scoring single Wednesday as San Francisco (40-34) snapped a five-game skid with a 5-1 win, ending Minnesota's season-high eight-game run.
REWIND: Battery leads Giants to 5-1 victory over Twins
He also caught Ryan Vogelsong, who continued his storybook season by retiring the first 12 batters. The one-time journeyman gave up a run and three hits over seven innings, improving to 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA."He pretty much ate us up through most of the part of the game," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The guy was pretty nasty."Whiteside next is expected to catch Lincecum (5-6, 3.39 ERA), who's winless this month and been wild lately.The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 0-2 in four June starts with a 7.59 ERA - a figure reduced by nearly two runs after a 5-2 loss to Oakland on Friday.
REWIND: Godfrey outpitches Lincecum, A's top Giants 5-2
Lincecum gave up three runs and five hits over six innings, but also walked five and struck out seven. He had been 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA against the Giants' cross-bay rival."I'm trying to fool hitters, mess with their heads, but that doesn't work very well when you're not throwing strikes," said the right-hander, who's issued 12 bases on balls in 15 innings over his last three games.Lincecum, who has alternated wins and losses in his last four interleague games, has never faced the Twins (32-40).Despite Wednesday's defeat, the Twins have won 15 of 18, and trail AL Central-leading Cleveland by 7 12 games.
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"We can't be too down," said Nick Blackburn, who lost for the first time since April 28. "You're not going to win every game you play. As much as this team's been through already this year, I don't think we're going to let one game ruin it for us."Mauer went 0 for 4 Wednesday and is 3 for 20 with two RBIs since coming back from an absence of more than two months due to bilateral leg weakness.Brian Duensing (4-6. 4.82) will try to build off the first interleague win of his career for Minnesota in the finale.Duensing was charged with two runs and seven hits through six innings, struck out five and walked one in the Twins' 6-5 victory over San Diego on Friday.The left-hander was given a 5-0 lead in the first inning, keyed by an RBI single from Mauer in his first game since April 12. Duensing, though, struggled with his control while throwing 106 pitches."I was kind of fighting myself a lot," he told the Twins' official website. "My release point was off and I had a few mechanical issues. But overall I'm happy with the result. I hadn't been throwing well lately so to go at least six and give the team a chance to win is a positive."Duensing will be making his first appearance against San Francisco.

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

49ers GM Lynch speaks with Harbaugh about Michigan prospects

PHOENIX – John Lynch’s draft preparation as a first-year NFL general manager prompted him to make a phone call Monday to Jim Harbaugh.

“I talked to an old 49ers coach yesterday,” Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was great. He has a lot of players who are draftable. (He) gave me a lot of great information, and it was entertaining, as it always is with Jim.

“He just said, ‘Fired up for you, man,’ then we started talking about his players. He had to go to a meeting and I had to go to a meeting, so it was quick.”

Before Lynch could quiz Harbaugh about some of the Wolverines’ draft-eligible prospects, Harbaugh had a brief chance to catch up with his brother, John, the Baltimore Ravens head coach.

“It was fun because right when we called, his brother was right there,” Lynch said.

“So John came over and before I could get on the phone, John and Jim were talking. I said, ‘Hey, you’re cutting into my time, give me the phone.’ We had a good time.”

Michigan’s top prospects are safety Jabrill Peppers, who won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most-versatile player, and edge rusher Taco Charlton.

Lynch said does not ask “lazy questions” of any college coach about his former players. Instead, he’s looking at specifics, such as what position a player is better suited to play at the NFL level.

Harbaugh, who was let go after the 49ers' 8-8 season of 2014, enters his third season at his alma mater after two seasons with 10-3 records.

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.