Giants look to Sanchez to earn series split

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Giants look to Sanchez to earn series split

June 12, 2011CINCINNATI (34-32) vs.GIANTS (36-29)

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(AP) -- The loss of one of the San Francisco Giants' best hitters doesn't bode well for a depleted lineup already struggling to produce.

After another lackluster performance at the plate, the NL West-leading Giants close a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday night.

The Giants (36-29) suffered a 10-2 loss to the Reds (34-32) on Saturday, a day after Freddy Sanchez dislocated his right shoulder while diving for a grounder. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list and was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

Sanchez was one of the few hitters producing for San Francisco. He was batting .289 with 24 RBIs - second-most on the team - and had a club-high 15 doubles.

After placing Sanchez on the DL, things didn't improve much later in the day for the Giants as Tim Lincecum gave up seven runs in four innings in one of the worst starts of his career while the offense sputtered against Mike Leake, who pitched eight scoreless innings.

"That's a good hitting ballclub and you're going to pay for it if you're off. There's not much else to it, really," manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum's struggles.

San Francisco, which has scored nine runs the last five games, ranks near the bottom of the league in runs per game (3.5) and batting average (.240). Before Sanchez's injury, the team was already without catcher Buster Posey, who is out for the season with a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle, and third baseman Pablo Sandoval, sidelined with an injured right wrist.

To fill Sanchez's spot, the Giants signed Bill Hall, who batted .224 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 46 games with Houston.

"We need some depth right now and he gives us that at every position in the infield and outfield," Bochy said. "He has some power, speed, so we're glad to have him."

After failing to do much off Leake, San Francisco might not find it any easier against Edinson Volquez (4-2, 5.74 ERA), who was sharp in his return to Cincinnati's rotation this week, allowing one run in seven innings of an 8-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.

Volquez was the Reds' opening day starter before being demoted to Triple-A Louisville after his ERA rose to 6.35 following a start against Cleveland on May 22.

"He was locating his fastball a lot better. That's the Volquez we knew from before," manager Dusty Baker told the Reds' official website.

The right-hander is 2-1 with an 8.31 ERA against the Giants, and his most recent matchup is surely one he'd prefer to forget. Volquez recorded only two outs in an 11-2 loss Aug. 23, allowing five runs, five hits and three walks.

He'll try to help the Reds win back-to-back games for the third time this month after they dropped 11 of 14 to close out May.

Joey Votto had three hits Saturday, and is batting .385 this month with nine RBIs.

San Francisco will hand the ball to Jonathan Sanchez (4-4, 3.51), who has struggled with his control the last two starts, walking 11 in 10 1-3 innings. He gave up two runs and four hits in five innings of a 2-1 loss to Washington on Tuesday, striking out six.

The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts against the Reds.

Brandon Phillips is 3 for 8 against Sanchez with each hit leaving the park.

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

OAKLAND -- The Warriors-Clippers rivalry, dead for a couple years, was buried 50 points deep Thursday night.

There were, and may always be, occasional fits of temper in which both players and officials will be tested. That surely was the case during the Warriors’ 123-113 victory over LA at Oracle Arena.

But scoring 50 points in 12 minutes, as the Warriors did in the third quarter, is a rather emphatic statement that serves as its own embellishment. It sent the Clippers back home, unable to muster even a half-hearted comeback.

“That was incredible,” Kevin Durant said of third-quarter scoring frenzy.

“That’s a lot of points,” Klay Thompson said. “It’s that the most we’ve had all season?”

Well, yes, it is. The Warriors’ previous high for points in a quarter was 45, also against the Clippers, on Jan. 28.

So this was astonishing even to the Warriors, the highest-scoring team in the NBA for three seasons running. This is the Warriors’ fourth 50-point quarter in franchise history and their first since March 1989. They made nine 3-pointers, tying a franchise record for triples in a quarter.

Fifties are rare, period; the last one by any team in the NBA was on March 25, 2014, when the Lakers dropped 51 in a quarter against the Knicks.

“I had no idea we scored that much,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 20 in the quarter -- 17 in the final 3:37 before halftime. “Obviously, coming back from 12 down to having a double-digit lead, it all started with the defensive end and finding transition.”

The scoring breakdown: Curry scored 20, Durant 15, Thompson 5, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia 4 each and JaVale McGee 2. The Warriors shot 73.9 percent (17-of-23) in the quarter.

“It all started from our defense, getting rebounds and getting out in transition,” Durant said.

The Warriors forced five LA turnovers in the quarter, off which they scored 11 points. Trailing by 12 at the half, they led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.

The Warriors have defeated the Clippers 10 consecutive times overall. They’ve beaten them 11 straight times at Oracle Arena. The average margin of victory in four games this season is 21.5 points.

This was a matter of how the Warriors responded to the threat posed by LA in the first half.

“I’m not sure what needed to happen,” Draymond Green said. “But I know we took that quarter over. And it was pretty spectacular.”

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

This will come as a sharp blow to Warrior fans who like things the way they are, but they probably can no longer use Scott Foster as an alibi for failure, or a stalking horse for rage.
 
Well, I mean they can, but let’s be honest here – the evidence just doesn’t support it any more.
 
Foster, who no matter what you say is one of the elite officials in the league, has also been cast as a bête noire by all things Golden State. Either he’s imperious, or he’s standoffish, or he makes himself too conspicuous – they’re all standard complaints made of all officials who aren’t otherwise branded as just plain terrible.
 
Only Foster isn’t terrible, given the fact that he has worked a series of NBA Finals, and that remains the gold standard for officiating.
 
But the Warriors bang their heads against the backboard when he works their games, and were on the verge of doing that again Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Foster called third quarter technicals on Andre Iguodala and the Warrior bench, and J.T. Orr called one on Draymond Green, all in the space of 6:34. The Warriors were unhinged, the fans were unhinged, innocent bystanders were being hit with flying hinges throughout the arena.
 
And in that stretch, the Warriors outscored the Clippers, 26-15, en route to a 50-point quarter (the first in two seasons and the third since the turn of the millennium) and another harsh slapdown of what used to be known as the Warriors-Clippers Cavalcade Of Hate, this time 123-113.
 
It isn’t that any more, not close. Truth is, the Warriors have won 10 consecutive games against the Clips, but probably never quite at decisively as this. At the game’s most lopsided stretch, Golden State outscored Los Angeles, 72-33, in a shade over 17 minutes.
 
Because that’s what they do.
 
Only this time, the comeback was not fueled by the existence of the Clippers, who had outplayed them pretty convincingly for the first 22 minutes and change, but with the officials, who as we have said before irk the hell out of them when their number includes Foster.
 
Who, again, is one of the game’s best officials. I think it’s a personality clash, to be frank, in which both sides can take some blame.
 
Truth is, though, when a team can go for 50 in a quarter and still have time to engage in a feud with the officials, it is making a kinky little statement about what they can do when enraged, and how difficult it is to stop them when they have a serious mad-on.
 
Yes, it is probably stretching a point to make this case, especially when the Warriors make 17 of 23 shots (9 of 15 from three) and assist on 13 of the 17 field goals. It is probably minimizing Stephen Curry’s 20-point quarter and his four assists, or Kevin Durant’s 15 and five rebounds, or David West imposing his body between Green and the officials to keep him from getting T’d up again for the second successive game.
 
But we have already established that rivalries are dying at their feet left and right. In the last three years the Clippers have gone from the Warriors’ arch-enemies to a team that has finished an aggregate 44 games behind the Dubs in the standings, making whatever animosity they can still stir 

Against the Clips a curio of a much earlier time. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come and gone, and even the Durant-Russell Westbrook has lost its last bit of elasticity.
 
Oh, there is still Cleveland, but that cannot be resumed for another 14 weeks at the earliest.
 
The Warriors, in short, have run out of opponents, and given that they will manufacture a foe when one does not otherwise exist, Scott Foster may have to serve for the time being, even if he is nothing but an intermittent prop to amuse the customers when the game cannot provide.
 
Though you’d have to think the third quarter Thursday makes that pretty thin oatmeal. The Warriors ate an entire game in 12 minutes, including the officials. They seemed like they got their fill.