Giants' offense nonexistent, blanked by Astros 6-0

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Giants' offense nonexistent, blanked by Astros 6-0

Aug 19, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
HOUSTON (AP) -- The San Francisco Giants' slump has gotten so bad they are even losing to the Houston Astros.Wandy Rodriguez pitched eight innings and had a two-run single to lead the Astros to a 6-0 victory over the slumping Giants on Friday night.The Giants have lost 15 of their last 21 games including four of the last five."We've talked, and we're working," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You just have to keep going. You always have to think it's just temporary and that you will come out of it, and we will."The Astros have won three straight but their 41-84 record is the worst in the major leagues.The Giants are trying to overcome injuries and had the added problem Friday night of facing Rodriguez when he was in control of all his pitches."He's got that curveball that he can do a lot of different things with," Giants third baseman Mark DaRosa said. "Honestly, he is probably the one pitcher in baseball that can really control his curveball as good as he does."He can pretty much put it where he wants; in, out, upstairs, down and he works in that fastball that always has a little life on it."The Astros were leading 2-0 in the sixth inning when Carlos Corporan hit an RBI single with two outs and Rodriguez followed with a long single down the right field line on the first pitch from Ryan Vogelsong (10-3)."Wandy was absolutely outstanding," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He just threw the ball real well. It's nice to see him be able to use all of his pitches and he was able to keep them off balance, obviously, all night, which was good."Rodriguez (9-9) allowed five hits, struck out eight and walked two. It was his third eight-inning performance of the season."I tried to locate my fastball early in the game and late I used my breaking ball," Rodriguez said.Brian Bogusevic, who hit a walkoff grand slam against Chicago on Tuesday, made it 6-0 with a homer off Guillermo Mota in the eighth.It was the Astro's fourth shutout of the season and their first since June 30 against Texas.Vogelsong had won four of his previous five decisions. He pitched seven innings, allowed four hits, two earned runs and walked four with three strikeouts.The Astros struck first in the third. Clint Barmes walked to start the inning and Corporan doubled before J.S. Shuck doubled down the right field line to make it 2-0.Vogelsong walked the bases loaded in the fifth inning but escaped when J.D. Martinez took a called third strike.Rodriguez escaped a two-on, two-outs close call in the second when Mike Fontenot hit a single to right fielder Bogusevic, who made a clean throw to the plate for the tag on Aubrey Huff.Rodriguez threw 110 pitches, 72 for strikes, and acknowledged he tired in the final two innings."I was honest with him that I was a little tired," Rogriguez said. "I told him I could go back out there but he said it was OK."DaRosa is tired of talking. He wants results."We've had our share of meetings, I mean you can talk all you want; talk is cheap," he said. "Until you go out there and put up some solid approaches find ways to score runs it doesn't matter what it looks like."Notes: San Francisco has a 27-15 record at Minute Maid Park, the best of any major league team. The Giants lead the majors with a 32-0 record in games they led by three or more runs. INF Jeff Keppinger returned to Minute Maid Park for the first time since the Astros traded him to the Giants in July. He popped out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth The Giants have used the DL 21 times this season. The Astros are first in the NL and fourth in the majors with 240 doubles. OF George Springer, the Astros No. 1 draft pick, took batting practice before the game. "I just didn't want to miss the first pitch," he said. He didn't. With family looking on, he drove a fly to deep right field.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on