Giants tie game late, top Padres 6-2 in extras

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Giants tie game late, top Padres 6-2 in extras

July 14, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- All-Star closer Heath Bell was working on a franchise-record stretch of 99 games and 102 at-bats without allowing a home run when he made one costly mistake on an 0-2 pitch.Aubrey Huff led off the ninth inning with a tying drive into the right-field seats, and the San Francisco Giants went on to a 6-2 victory over the struggling San Diego Padres in 12 innings on Thursday night. RELATED: Vote in Giants Madness
Mike Fontenot brought in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the 12th, and the NL West-leading Giants piled it on against the last-place Padres.The bullpen collapse extended the Padres' losing streak to six games, tying their season high.Bell was trying to preserve a 1-0 win for Aaron Harang, who threw seven strong innings in his second start back from a stint on the disabled list, but Huff hit his ninth homer."Huge for us. We're looking at a 1-0 loss there," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We needed something like that to save us and he did with the home run."Until Huff's shot, Bell hadn't given up a homer since San Francisco's Juan Uribe went deep on April 19, 2010."I didn't know until someone told me it was last year against these guys and then I remembered it was Uribe," Bell said. "He tattooed one to left field."I threw a breaking ball inside, and then I tried to go down and in," Bell said. It was a pretty good pitch but I think Huff was maybe expecting it. He saw it real well and he just lifted it up. That's why he's good. He can just kind of throw his bat down there and flip it out of here. As soon as I saw him hit it, I knew it was going to go 10 to 15 rows deep."It was Bell's second blown save in 62 chances dating to last year and second in 28 opportunities this year."That's a big hit right there, off one of the best closers in the game," Giants starter Madison Bumgarner said. "To put us back in the game right there, that was a big-time hit."Giants All-Star closer Brian Wilson came on with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 12th for his 27th save in 31 chances. He allowed Will Venable's sacrifice fly, then walked Chris Denorfia to load the bases before getting Jason Bartlett to ground out.Cody Ross started the winning rally in the five-run 12th with a leadoff walk against Luke Gregerson (2-3) and was replaced by Emmanuel Burriss, who stole second. Gregerson then walked Brandon Crawford and committed an error trying to field Eli Whiteside's bunt, loading the bases. Miguel Tejada fouled out and Andres Torres struck out before Fontenot walked on four straight pitches.Pablo Sandoval added a two-run single, and Nate Schierholtz and Huff each drove in a run with a base hit. All five runs that inning were unearned.Santiago Casillas (2-1) threw two perfect innings for the win.The Padres, the lowest-scoring team in the NL, dropped 13 games behind the defending World Series champions and 13 games under .500.The Padres had scored only two runs in their last 44 innings before the All-Star break. Their losing streak includes consecutive shutouts at Los Angeles, including a game in which the Dodgers didn't get their first hit until there were two outs in the ninth inning.Harang held the Giants to five hits while striking out four and walking one. In his previous start, Harang handed a no-hit bid to the bullpen after six innings before the Dodgers won 1-0 after getting two hits with two outs in the ninth.Whiteside tied his career high with three hits.The Padres had three consecutive hits off Bumgarner for a run with two outs in the third. Denorfia singled to right, advanced on Jason Bartlett's base hit to center and scored on Chase Headley's single to left.Bumgarner allowed seven hits in six innings, struck out four and walked none.NOTES: San Diego State football coach Rocky Long threw out the ceremonial first pitch, to Padres manager Bud Black, an SDSU alum. ... The Padres wore 1983 throwback brown uniforms as a tribute to Hall of Fame manager Dick Williams, who died July 7. There was also a video tribute and a moment of silence. Williams managed the Padres from 1982-85, including reaching the World Series for the first time in franchise history in 1984. Williams managed the Oakland Athletics to back-to-back World Series titles and also led the Boston Red Sox to the 1967 World Series. ... Headley left in the eighth with a bruised left ankle.

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

OAKLAND -- Briante Weber’s 20 days with the Warriors came to an end Saturday night, creating a roster opening expected to be filled by veteran point guard Jose Calderon.

“We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after a 112-95 victory over Brooklyn.

Calderon is in the process to be bought out by the Lakers, after which he will become a free agent. Once he clears waivers, the Warriors, according to multiple sources, will be waiting to offer a physical examination and a contract.

Though Warriors president/general manager Bob Myers stopped short of identifying Calderon by name, his insinuations late Saturday night line up with what was learned from league sources.

“You find that in the playoffs, experience matters,” Myers told CSNBayArea.com.

“I don’t want to diminish (Weber’s) contribution and say he’s not capable,” he added. “He could help a team. But I think sometimes you go with experience when going into the playoffs.”

While Weber is 24, with limited NBA experience, Calderon is 35 and has 12 seasons in the league, including three playoff appearances with two different teams. Moreover, Calderon is a career 41.1-percent 3-point shooter.

Calderon has played sparingly this season and has appeared only once, for five minutes, over the last nine games. In November, his most active month, he played in 11 games, averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 45.0 from beyond the arc.

Not that this made releasing Weber any easier. He had, in a short span of time, become popular with his teammates. Though Weber declined postgame interview requests, Stephen Curry spent a few minutes consoling and encouraging him.

Kerr struggled a bit in announcing that the team was releasing Weber, though the move was made by the front office in consultation with the coaching staff.

“We are making the decision thinking it’s the best thing for the team,” he said. “We make every decision based on that.

Weber played two minutes Saturday, scoring four points on 2-of-3 shooting. He logged a total of 46 minutes spread over seven games.

“He’s a good kid, did everything we asked of him,” Myers said. “But sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions. Sometimes you’re not even right, but you make the best decision you can at the time.

“But he’s got a future in the NBA. He’ll have options. That’s the best thing about his situation. He’ll be able to choose what’s best for him.”

Sharks Jones, Tierney find more success in Vancouver in 4-1 win

Sharks Jones, Tierney find more success in Vancouver in 4-1 win

VANCOUVER – One of the more appealing NHL road cities, Vancouver dazzles with its beautiful mountain scenery and walkable downtown avenues.

The Sharks undoubtedly relish those aspects of their trips to British Columbia, but more importantly they’ve enjoyed them on a professional basis, too. San Jose won its 10th straight game at Rogers Arena on Saturday, 4-1, kicking off the final push to the playoffs with a victory coming out of the bye week.

“I think we definitely got better as the game went on, and that’s what you’re looking for,” said Mikkel Boedker, who was one of four Sharks’ goal scorers. “We came out with the win.”

Two Sharks in particular have enjoyed their recent excursions into Vancouver. 

Martin Jones was the best player on the ice, making 35 saves in his hometown. He was relied upon early as the Sharks predictably struggled to get their legs underneath them in what was their first game since last Sunday.

Jones made an impressive stop on Loui Eriksson in the first period, and in the second he stopped Jannik Hansen from point blank range with the Sharks holding a 1-0 lead. Later in the second, it was saves on Alex Edler and Hansen again that preserved San Jose’s 2-1 lead at the intermission. Vancouver was outshooting the Sharks 30-16 after 40 minutes, but trailed.

The Sharks rewarded their goalie with scores by Boedker and Logan Couture on the power play to make the final few minutes of the third period relatively easy.

“When [Jones] plays like that it gives us confidence, and we’ve just got to stick with it and keep creating chances, and we did that tonight,” said Boedker, who snapped a 19-game goal drought.

“[Jones] was our best player tonight,” coach Pete DeBoer said.

Jones improved to a perfect 4-0 in Vancouver, all in a San Jose sweater, with a 1.25 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. He spent the bye week in the area, and had several supporters in the stands.

“It’s always fun playing in front of friends and family,” Jones said. “Happy to get the win here.”

Chris Tierney is another player who seems to thrive in Vancouver. He notched a pair of assists and centered the team's most effective line, after getting his first career two-goal game here earlier this month.

His new line, featuring wingers Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward, opened the scoring in the second period, with Hertl finishing off a pass from Tierney after Ward’s breakaway attempt crept just wide of the net. Later, Tierney got a secondary assist on Patrick Marleau’s second period goal, restoring the Sharks' lead at 2-1.

“They did a good job. I thought some of those guys had our better legs early,” DeBoer said of his third line. “It took some of our veteran guys a little longer to get into it.”

Tierney, who was scoreless in eight straight games since his last time at Rogers Arena on Feb. 2, said: “I thought we generated some good chances. I think we can get better, too. We kind of talked on the bench throughout the game of what we can kind of do to improve and where each other is going to be on the ice, but it felt good playing with those guys. It’s easy to create offense with them.”

In seven career games in Vancouver, Tierney has four goals and three assists for seven points.

“Something about the Vancouver air, or Canadian air,” he said. “I always feel good when I play here.”

After dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to Boston in their final game before the break, the Sharks had a five-point lead over the rest of the division headed into a week off. Saturday’s win pushes the lead back up to five points again on Anaheim and Edmonton, and they now have games in hand on both of those teams, too.

It all adds up to a good start in what is the final stretch before the postseason, and a quest for a division title. Overall, the Sharks are 3-0-3 in their last six games, and have just one regulation loss in their last 11 (5-1-5).

“It’s huge, that’s what you play the regular season for,” said Boedker, when asked about the Sharks padding their lead. “You keep trying to gain as many points as you can, and lately we’ve had some overtime losses, but we keep gaining points.”