Giants take series from Mets with 4-2 victory

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Giants take series from Mets with 4-2 victory

July 10, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Pablo Sandoval celebrated his first All-Star game selection by hitting an RBI double to extend his hitting streak to 21 games and fellow All-Star Matt Cain pitched six scoreless innings to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 4-2 victory over the New York Mets on Sunday night.Nate Schierholtz added four hits and an RBI after being moved up to the cleanup spot for the Giants, who have won four of five to take a three-game lead over Arizona in the NL West heading into the All-Star break. This is the first time since 2003 that San Francisco enters the break in first place.Cain (8-5) delivered the latest strong pitching performance for the World Series champions. He escaped trouble all night, pitching around four extra-base hits and stranding six runners in scoring position to win for the fifth time in his last six decisions. Cain allowed five hits and three walks, lowering his ERA to 2.06 over his last eight starts.Brian Wilson allowed an RBI double to Justin Turner in the ninth before recording his 26th save in 30 chances.Nick Evans also hit a pinch-hit homer for the Mets, who lost the final two games here to drop their first road series since losing two of three to the Cubs in May. They still finished the first half at 46-45 despite starting the season 5-13.Sandoval got the news earlier in the day that he would be making his first All-Star game appearance as in injury replacement for Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who is on the DL with a hamstring injury. The All-Star selection was the latest accolade in a turnaround season for Sandoval, who lost nearly 40 pounds this offseason after he struggled with his weight and hitting in 2010.Sandoval just missed out on the All-Star game in 2009 despite having a .333 average with 15 homers and 55 RBIs at the break. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel picked his own player, Shane Victorino, instead of Sandoval that year. With San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy making picks, Sandoval got his chance despite missing 40 games with an injured right wrist.Sandoval received a warm ovation in a pregame ceremony and then backed his manager's pick when he doubled in Andres Torres in the third inning to score the game's first run. Schierholtz followed with an RBI single to give the Giants a 2-0 lead.That was all the Giants could manage in six innings off Mike Pelfrey (5-8), who allowed eight hits and two walks. But it proved to be enough because the Mets were unable to capitalize on numerous chances against Cain, leaving runners in scoring position in his final five innings.They wasted a leadoff double by Daniel Murphy in the second, left the bases loaded in the third when Murphy popped up to end the inning, were unable to score after Lucas Duda's one-out triple in the fourth and squandered Turner's one-out double in the fifth. Cain's night ended when he struck out Ruben Tejada on his 118th pitch to end the sixth with Ronny Paulino on second base.The Giants added two runs in the seventh off Jonathon Niese in his first career relief appearance. Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand had RBI singles in the inning.Notes: The addition of Sandoval to the All-Star team gives the Giants five All-Stars for the first time since 1966, when they had six. ... The Mets have set their rotation for after the break, with R.A. Dickey starting Friday against the Phillies, followed by Niese, Pelfrey, Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee. ... The Giants sold out all 44 home games before the All-Star break.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

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Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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