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.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' 4-1 loss to Cubs

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CHICAGO — The rain stayed away Tuesday after an initial delay of just over an hour. Once the first pitch was thrown, the Giants you watched over the previous week pulled a similar disappearing act. 

The lineup had no answer for Jon Lester, who threw a 99-pitch complete game and led the Cubs to a 4-1 win in two hours and five minutes. On the other side, the Cubs bashed three homers off Johnny Cueto, who still hasn’t found that 2016 groove. 

Here are five things to know from Wrigley, where tarp management is no longer a problem … 

--- Cueto gave up three homers for the first time since joining the Giants. It started with Kyle Schwarber’s 470-foot blast onto Sheffield that the Cubs said was the first to reach the street since 2014. The pitches Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo crushed had one thing in common: All were left right over the heart of the plate. 

--- Cueto became just the fourth Giants pitcher in the last 15 years to strike out at least eight but also give up three homers. Jeff Samardzija did it earlier this season against the Diamondbacks.

--- Addison Russell started a double play on Brandon Crawford in the second inning that gave Crawford a taste of what it’s like to hit a ball up the middle against the Giants. A year ago, Russell led NL shortstops in the SABR Defensive Index, which is a chunk of Gold Glove voting. This year, he leads the NL with nine Defensive Runs Saved; Crawford is at four. Personally I think Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart is the second best defensive shortstop in the NL, but Russell is certainly the guy who is the biggest threat to Crawford winning a third straight Gold Glove. 

--- The Lester Yips thing gets talked about quite a bit … but it should probably be talked about more. It’s simply incredible that one of the best pitchers in the world refuses to throw to first. Lester didn’t even move off the mound when Buster Posey hit a slow roller in the second, forcing his catcher to make a much tougher play. In the seventh Posey hit a similar ball and this time Lester had no choice; he fielded the ball and threw underhanded to first.

--- Josh Osich did not shave his mustache, he simply grew the rest out until he had a beard. It’s the smarter way to go. This way Osich still has the stache in his back pocket if the team needs some luck. He pitched a scoreless eighth, striking Schwarber out with a nasty slider.

 

Raiders OTA observations: Conley, rookies must earn their stripes

Raiders OTA observations: Conley, rookies must earn their stripes

ALAMEDA – Rookies have been immersed in the Raiders system most of this month, but still have a lot to learn before training camp begins this summer.

There’s significant work ahead this spring during OTAs and mid-June’s mandatory minicamp, and young players will do so from the second and third teams. Even the highly touted ones.

First-round draft pick Gareon Conley played slot cornerback with the second unit and outside cornerback on the third during Tuesday’s OTA open to the media. It’s a position the slick, speedy cover man will vacate posthaste, but the Raiders prefer rookies earn their stripes.

“All of our young guys are going to earn their way,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We have a good football team. We’re going to let them earn their way. We’ll let them compete. We’re early in the competition, so we’ll just go through the offseason and continue to get (Conley) involved and get him reps. These guys will ascend and take their positions as they earn it. We’re really happy with the way he’s started.”

The Raiders didn’t feature a single rookie on their first units Tuesday. Second-round safety Obi Melifonwu, fourth-round offensive tackle David Sharpe and middle linebacker Marquel Lee were featured on the second unit.

Here are some other observations from Tuesday’s OTA sessions.

-- Del Rio said Marshall Newhouse had the inside track to be the team’s starting right tackle. The versatile veteran worked there with the first team, joining a front five otherwise intact from a season ago.

-- Second-year pro Connor Cook, who switched from No. 8 to No. 18 this offseason, ran the second offensive unit. E.J. Manuel worked with the third team.

-- Inside linebacker Ben Heeney worked on a side field with a trainer during Tuesday’s practice, as he continues to rehab from surgery to repair an ankle broken early last season. Jelani Jenkins also did side work after practicing on Monday.

Cory James and Tyrell Adams worked with the first unit at inside linebacker.

-- Veteran running back Marshawn Lynch was limited to individual drills for a second straight day as the Raiders ease him back into football activity.

-- Offensive lineman Austin Howard is working his way back from offseason shoulder surgery, and only practice during individual drills.

-- Cornerback Sean Smith had offseason surgery, but was a full participant in Tuesday’s session.

-- Third-round defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes remains away from the Raiders complex due to an NFL rule preventing players from schools still in session to work with their teams. He won’t re-join the squad until training camp. Undrafted rookie Nicholas Morrow is in a similar spot, but will return next week.

-- Edge rusher Shilique Calhoun played last season at 250 pounds, but looks decidedly bigger now. He told the team website he’s up to 270 pounds.