Giants look to keep up winning ways vs. Reds


Giants look to keep up winning ways vs. Reds

June 9, 2011

GIANTS (35-27) vs.

Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Cincinnati Reds are eagerly trying to string some wins together. A weekend in San Francisco might not provide the best opportunity to make that happen.

Looking to build on a winning homestand, the Reds open a four-game set against the NL West-leading Giants on Thursday night.

Though Cincinnati (32-31) lost 4-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, it finished with a 5-4 homestand. The Reds, however, have dropped 14 of 21 since winning five in a row May 13-17.

"We're just fighting to get every win we can, and we just can't seem to be able to catch a nice streak where they seem to come easy," Wednesday's loser Bronson Arroyo told the Reds' official website. "Everything has been difficult. It's not going to get any easier in the next couple of weeks."

After San Francisco, the Reds head to Los Angeles for three games. Cincinnati is 12-16 away from home and lost eight of 10 on its most recent trip against Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

"We're real close," manager Dusty Baker said. "Perhaps we'll turn it around on this road trip. The last road trip, we had a bad one, so we're due for an excellent one."

The Reds did not fare well last season in San Francisco, getting outscored 38-19 while losing two of three Aug. 23-25, and they now face a Giants team that beat Washington 3-1 on Wednesday for its seventh win in 10 games.

Matt Cain struck out 11 for his first complete game of the season, and Brandon Crawford hit a tiebreaking triple in the seventh inning.

San Francisco (35-27) has scored 15 runs but allowed 11 while taking two of three in consecutive series against Colorado and the Nationals.

Trying to follow up Cain's stellar effort with another strong outing of his own, Madison Bumgarner (2-7, 3.42 ERA) takes the mound for the Giants.

The left-hander has a 2.01 ERA over his last eight starts but went 2-4 and received an average of 2.85 runs of support. Bumgarner allowed an earned run in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Rockies on Saturday.

"I've got in a pretty good rhythm the last few starts and it feels good," he said. "I'm getting to where I want to be. I'm making pitches and I feel good."

Bumgarner allowed eight runs and three homers in 2 2-3 innings of his only previous start versus Cincinnati, a 12-11, 12-inning loss Aug. 25.

Joey Votto hit one of his two homers in that contest off Bumgarner and batted .400 (8 for 20) with six RBIs over his last five games versus San Francisco. He's hit .370 with two homers and eight RBIs in seven games this month.

Scheduled Reds starter Johnny Cueto (2-2, 2.27) has not allowed more than three runs in any of his six starts but is 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA over his last four. He surrendered two runs in seven innings of an 11-8, 11-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

The right-hander did not receive a decision after allowing four runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 6-5 loss to the Giants on June 7, 2010.

San Francisco's Freddy Sanchez, 0 for 8 over the last two games, is a .357 hitter (5 for 14) versus Cueto.

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

MESA, Ariz. — Right-hander Raul Alcantara, who could factor in as a starting or long relief option for the A’s, is experimenting with a split-finger fastball this spring.

Alcantara, who made five late-season starts last season in his first big league call-up, threw the pitch for the first time to hitters Tuesday, so he’s still in the infant stages with it. The A’s would like Alcantara to develop a solid third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup, though he does dabble with a curve and cutter too.

“In general, we’re looking for a ball that’s gonna dive, something where the bottom’s gonna fall out,” Oakland bullpen coach Scott Emerson said.

Alcantara, 24, faces crowded competition for the No. 5 starter spot with Jesse Hahn, Andrew Triggs and Paul Blackburn among those also going for it. Claiming the last spot in a seven-man bullpen is a possibility, though the A’s could surely utilize a second left-hander to go along with Sean Doolittle.

Making Alcantara’s case more interesting is that he’s out of minor league options, meaning he would need to make it through waivers unclaimed before the A’s could send him down.

Alcantara throws a hard changeup that clocked 86-87 miles per hour last season. Ideally, Emerson said his splitter would settle in the low 80’s.

Speaking through interpreter Juan Dorado, Alcantara said he’s gradually getting a feel for the new pitch.

“Obviously it’s a little more difficult on the hitters to know that there’s a different pitch,” he said. “They’re used to me throwing a fastball, a cutter and a change, and now implementing a split would just help me out to show them something different.”

CAMP BATTLE: Lefty Ross Detwiler, who re-signed with Oakland in the winter on a minor league deal, offers depth as a potential swing man who can start or relieve. Detwiler went 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA in nine games (seven starts) last season for the A’s. Those numbers look ugly in a short sample size, but Melvin values the veteran beyond what the stats show.

“I think he liked being here and we wanted him back.”

QUOTABLE: “I must be a little behind this year because the guys are hitting me a little harder than they normally do. Healy took me over the batter’s eye three times in a row.” — Melvin, who throws a couple rounds of batting practice every day.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s will hold a pair of two-inning intrasquad games Thursday at the Lew Wolff Training Complex, with both set to start at 11:40 a.m.

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

The San Francisco 49ers Wednesday announced that Tom Gamble is leaving the organization. 

“The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and appreciation for Tom Gamble and his many years of service,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities. Tom is a true professional and we wish him and his family great success in the future.”
“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” said Gamble. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Gamble, who recently completed his 29th NFL season and 10th with the 49ers, returned to the team in January of 2015 as the senior personnel executive and was later named assistant general manager on July 25, 2016. He spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel. Gamble originally joined the 49ers in 2005 and spanned eight seasons with San Francisco including two as the director of player personnel (2011-12). He oversaw both the college and pro personnel efforts of the 49ers. As the 49ers director of pro personnel from 2005-10, Gamble monitored every NFL roster with an emphasis on scouting talent of upcoming pro free agents, while also maintaining continuous depth of personnel on the team’s roster.

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