Giants rally from three-run deficit, beat Indians 4-3

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Giants rally from three-run deficit, beat Indians 4-3

June 24, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Andres Torres came back from a rare day off better than ever.He snapped out of a lengthy batting slump with a home run and two singles, though it was his speed that really made the difference.Torres scored the deciding run from third base on Aubrey Huff's long foul out in the sixth inning, and the Giants overcame another erratic start by pitcher Jonathan Sanchez to beat the Cleveland Indians 4-3 on Friday night.Before breaking out against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, Torres had been hitless in 14 at-bats and was batting just .097 over his previous 13 games."It just seemed like his head was clear," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "More than anything just having his energy back (helped). He just seemed like he was more himself today."
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Torres bails out Sanchez
Torres' big day helped the Giants rally from three runs down and win their major league-leading 16th one-run game at home. San Francisco has won three straight following a season-high five-game losing streak.It's Torres' third multihit game this month."I just tried to calm my mind," Torres said. "Sometimes I have a lot of stuff going and I'm just trying to learn how to relax myself and things like that."The Giants managed only six hits but took advantage of two errors by Cleveland first baseman Carlos Santana to score three unearned runs off Carrasco."Unfortunately we didn't play good defense behind him," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I was impressed how he did not crumble. He kept his composure and kept going after hitters."It was a tough night all around for the Indians, who lost outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to a broken left thumb after he was hit by a pitch from Sanchez in the fourth.
RATTO: Sanchez could be making room for Zito
Sanchez allowed only two hits but walked six and hit a batter with a pitch in what may be his final start in San Francisco's rotation. The left-hander, who struck out six, has failed to make it out of the fifth inning in each of his last two starts and has only one win since May 12.With left-hander Barry Zito scheduled to come off the disabled list in the next few days, manager Bruce Bochy may be forced to make a move. Before the game Bochy said that Zito will pitch the second game of San Francisco's doubleheader in Chicago on Tuesday but was noncommittal beyond that."We'll stay open-minded," Bochy said. "It's fair to say Jonny's searching right now. I can see it. He's fighting it. It's not that he's getting hit. He's just beating himself with these walks, and he knows it. I think it's affected his confidence a little bit."What we end up doing, I don't know. We may keep throwing him out there or we may back him off a little bit. Having Zito back will give us that option."Santiago Casilla (1-1) pitched 1 1-3 innings for the win and combined with Jeremy Affeldt, Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson for 4 1-3 hitless innings to complete the two-hitter in the first meeting between the two teams since 2008. Wilson pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.Carrasco (7-4) allowed only six hits and struck out four in his second career complete game but couldn't overcome Cleveland's defensive shortcomings. It's only Carrasco's second loss in his last eight starts."I pitched good but we had a couple errors," Carrasco said. "Nothing you can do about it. I just tried to stay aggressive and keep pitching consistently. Every pitch was working today, especially my fastball."Sanchez walked two of the first three batters he faced before Santana's two-run double to the gap in left-center.Sanchez came back to strike out the side in the second and pitched a perfect third but had control problems again in the fourth when he hit Choo with a pitch and knocked the Indians' outfielder out of the game.Choo, who had hit safely in 20 of his previous 26 games, was hit on his right hand on the 2-1 pitch and fell face first to the dirt as a team trainer rushed out to check on him. He was eventually helped to his feet and paused momentarily along the first base line before walking off the field.Lou Marson walked and Jack Hannahan followed with an RBI single to drive in pinch-runner Shelley Duncan and make it 3-0.Sanchez walked the bases loaded in the fifth, ending his night.Cleveland managed only one baserunner the rest of the game. Santana walked to lead off the eighth but was picked off.Torres hit a 3-2 pitch from Carrasco into the stands above the 25-foot brick wall in right field leading off the fourth.San Francisco then took a 4-3 lead after scoring three times in the sixth with the help of two errors by Santana.Santana threw wildly to second base on pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz's grounder, then bobbled Emmanuel Burris' infield dribbler, allowing Chris Stewart to score. Pablo Sandoval added a sacrifice fly and Torres hustled home on Aubrey Huff's deep foul out down the third base line.NOTES: Torres' home run was only the 14th at home by the Giants this season, tied with the Los Angeles Angels for fewest in the majors. ... Bochy plans to notify Major League Baseball this weekend of his choice to replace Jim Riggleman on the bench for the All-Star game. Riggleman abruptly resigned as manager of the Washington Nationals on Thursday amid a contract dispute with management. ... San Francisco C Eli Whiteside has a tight quad and was given the night off. Whiteside has started 19 games since Buster Posey sustained a season-ending injury on May 25. ...

Instant Replay: Sharks allow six to Stars, losing streak now at five

Instant Replay: Sharks allow six to Stars, losing streak now at five

BOX SCORE

DALLAS – Entering the game with their longest regulation losing streak of the season, and playing against what should have been a tired opponent that is already out of playoff contention, the Sharks were obliterated by the Stars on Friday at American Airlines Center, 6-1.
 
From the drop of the puck, the Sharks looked like they had no interest in competing against a Dallas team that had played in Chicago on Thursday night, and had already beaten San Jose earlier in the week.

The loss stretched the Sharks’ losing streak to five, and it is the longest in more than six years when they dropped six in a row from Jan. 3-13, 2011. After enjoying a nine-point lead on the rest of the Pacific Division on March 14, the Ducks can tie San Jose in points with a win over Winnipeg later on Friday.
 
Adam Cracknell, who paced the Dallas offense with a hat trick, opened the scoring with his first of three goals. He drove the puck to the net while fighting off Brenden Dillon, and Micheal Haley inadvertently kicked the loose puck through Aaron Dell at 8:30 of the first period.
 
Prior to that score, it took the Sharks more than seven minutes to register their first shot.
 
San Jose escaped down just 1-0 at the first intermission, but it quickly got worse. Brett Ritchie was left open by Dillon and whipped in a pass from Tyler Seguin at 1:58, and then Dallas’ third goal really set off coach Pete DeBoer.
 
Joe Pavelski lost a defensive zone draw, and Brent Burns inexplicably vacated the front of the net, where Jamie Benn was wide open. Benn had all kinds of time to freeze Aaron Dell and slip through his 25th goal at 5:19.
 
DeBoer called timeout at that point, and was as visibly upset at his bench as he has been in his two seasons as head coach, barking away at the stunned Sharks skaters.
 
It didn’t help. Cracknell made it 4-0 off of a rush less than two minutes after the timeout, and although Joe Thornton got one back on the power play, the Stars scored two more times in the third period. 
 
Dell misplayed a puck on a Sharks power play, sliding it right to Cracknell for a breakaway in which he finished off a hat trick at 4:59. Just 21 seconds later, John Klingberg converted a two-on-one with Jason Spezza – who had three assists on the night – to make it a 6-1 Dallas lead.
 
The five-game winless streak is their worst since they went 0-6-1 from Dec. 1-12 last season.
 
San Jose has just five goals in its last five games.
 
The Sharks had Jannik Hansen back for the game, after the recent addition had missed the last two games with a head injury. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, though, was not able to finish the game, for reasons that were not immediately clear.
 
Special teams 
 
Thornton’s goal was his first on the power play all season, as the Sharks went 1-for-2. Dallas was 0-for-2.
 
Cracknell’s shorthanded goal was the fourth the Sharks have allowed this season.
 
In goal
 
Dell suffered his worst game of the season, and his NHL career, allowing six goals on 29 shots. He played all three games against Dallas, stopping 48 of 50 shots in the first two.
 
Kari Lehtonen, who shut out the Sharks with 30 saves on Monday in a 1-0 win, made 20 saves on Friday. He has played in 10 straight games.
 
Lineup
 
Timo Meier came out of the lineup for Hansen, while Danny O’Regan was reassigned to the Barracuda earlier in the day.
 
Burns snapped out of his seven-game scoreless streak with an assist on Thornton’s goal, but still has no goals in his last 15 games.
 
Dallas’ Tyler Seguin was skating in his 500th career NHL game.
 
Up next
 
The Sharks conclude their road trip Saturday in Nashville, their only appearance there in the regular season. In the first two games of the season series in San Jose, the Sharks won on Oct. 29, 4-1, but dropped a 3-1 decision on March 11.

A's spring training Day 39: Melvin applauds team's hitting approach

A's spring training Day 39: Melvin applauds team's hitting approach

MESA, Ariz. — Gaudy run totals in spring training usually don’t mean a whole lot once the regular season hits.

For A’s manager Bob Melvin, it’s the manner in which the A’s are going about things offensively that’s encouraging to him.

Oakland jumped on another opponent early, scoring five runs in the first Friday and rolling to an 8-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Granted, Chicago scratched starter Carlos Rodon in the morning and had to piece the game together with its bullpen.

But that only takes so much luster off the way the A’s are going about their business right now. They’ve won four in a row, and over their past five games they’ve racked up 71 hits and are averaging more than eight runs per contest in that span.

“The good thing is it’s contagious throughout the lineup,” Melvin said. “In the first inning alone we had four situational at-bats and four situational plusses. That’s something Bushy (hitting coach Darren Bush) really has been stressing all spring. We’ve had a lot of games where we just pass it on to the next guy, and if we’re gonna be successful this year, that’s what we’re gonna have to do is get contributions throughout the lineup.”

It’s interesting to watch how Melvin utilizes Matt Joyce. Early on he said he prefers the right fielder batting third when he’s in the lineup. But Joyce also is drawing starts at leadoff, as he did Friday, and the No. 2 spot. Increasing on-base percentage is a big need for the A’s, and Joyce entered Friday tied for the Cactus league lead with 10 walks.

He singled to spark a five-run first that included RBI singles from Trevor Plouffe, Yonder Alonso, Mark Canha and Chris Parmelee.

ELITE COMPANY: Melvin threw out some big-time names when asked who young third baseman Matt Chapman reminds him of.

One was Melvin’s former Giants teammate, Matt Williams, a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glover.

“The defense, Matty was as good as anybody I've seen over at third base,” Melvin said. “The power, there are a lot of similarities. That’s probably the best comp I could think of.”

Melvin also mentioned current Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who has won four consecutive Gold Gloves and posted back-to-back 40-homer seasons.

Not a bad couple of guys to be compared to.

“That’s exciting,” Chapman said. “It’s always nice to have people speak well of you. Those are two guys that I’m aware of how good they are.”

NOTEWORTHY: It was another start Friday where Kendall Graveman seemed to be on auto pilot, retiring hitters with ease and holding the White Sox to one run over seven innings. All the more impressive was that A’s hitters put together some very long half-innings, where Graveman had to make sure he stayed loose.

He simply took it as a good challenge to prepare for all those cold night games at the Coliseum. Named the A’s Opening Night starter just a day earlier, Graveman also used this start to focus on his cutter, being that his sinker has been locked in.

“It was good to have some innings where you have to sit for a while and go back out there,” Graveman said.

His ERA is 2.29 through five starts. He has one more tune-up before the April 3 opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

HEALTH UPDATES: Outfielder Jaff Decker continues to progress from his oblique injury. Now the key is whether he can return to games in time to make a final push for the 25-man roster. Alejandro De Aza appears to be his biggest competition to be the fifth outfielder, if the A’s end up carrying five.

“It just depends on when he gets in a game,” Melvin said of Decker. “I mean, he’s done enough obviously to make a big impression on us. But whether or not he’s even healthy enough at the end, we’ll see.”

ODDS AND ENDS: Ryon Healy swatted his fifth homer of the spring, a two-run shot, in the second inning. Entering Friday evening, Healy was tied for the major league lead in RBI (16) with Boston’s Pablo Sandoval. … Plouffe is on a recent tear and has lifted his average to .395. … Parmelee, a non-roster outfielder, is impressing in under-the-radar fashion. The left-handed hitter is batting .367. … Melvin is having a heck of a time getting switch hitter Jed Lowrie at-bats from the right side. He purposely switched things up to have Lowrie face the lefty Rodon on Friday, only to have Rodon get scratched. The A’s face lefties each of the next two days, and Melvin also mentioned sending Lowrie over to face minor league lefties if need be.