Giants top Rockies in 9th for second straight night

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Giants top Rockies in 9th for second straight night

May 7, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Mike Fontenot made a big play with his glove in the top of the ninth inning. Then he came through with his bat.Just another routine day for Team Torture.Fontenot's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth drove in Aaron Rowand and lifted the Giants to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, the second walk-off win at AT&T Park in two nights for the defending World Series champs."It's like last year - there's magic inside," Fontenot said after the first game-ending RBI of his career. "It can definitely get us going. To get a chance to come back home and pull off two walk-off wins is huge for us."Fontenot has delivered repeatedly for the Giants since being moved to the No. 3 slot in the batting order after Pablo Sandoval broke his right hand in late April.After the Rockies scored twice in the seventh to tie it 2-all, San Francisco reliever Brian Wilson struck out Ian Stewart to start the ninth. Pinch-hitter Seth Smith followed with a sharp liner up the middle that appeared headed for a hit until Fontenot raced over from shortstop and caught the ball at the edge of the outfield grass.That was big because the next two Colorado hitters reached base before Wilson (2-1) got Dexter Fowler to ground out.Fontenot then gave the Giants their second consecutive win over the NL West-leading Rockies."It's similar to last year," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We don't do anything easy."Rowand and Freddy Sanchez hit back-to-back singles off Felipe Paulino (0-3) to begin the ninth-inning rally. After a pitching change, Franklin Morales threw a wild pitch that sailed over the head of catcher Chris Iannetta and advanced both runners. On the next pitch, Fontenot hit a deep fly to right that easily scored Rowand.It's the third straight game the Rockies have lost in walk-off fashion. Colorado also lost to San Francisco on Friday when Sanchez hit an RBI single off Paulino in the ninth."It's frustrating in that it was so similar to last night and the two prior days in Arizona," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We had opportunities to get the hit to put us ahead and right now we're just not getting it."San Francisco turned three double plays in the first six innings and built a 2-0 lead against starter Clayton Mortensen, but had to come through late to send Colorado tumbling to a 1-4 record on its current six-game road trip.The Rockies threatened against Wilson in the top of the ninth. The major league leader in saves a year ago, Wilson retired the first two batters, then gave up a single to Iannetta and walked pinch-hitter Jason Giambi. Fowler grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.Mortensen, called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs to make the start, ran into trouble early.Rowand drew a four-pitch walk in the first, took second on Sanchez's single and scored two batters later on Buster Posey's groundout.The Giants added an unearned run in the fifth. Sanchez came through again with an RBI double that drove in Miguel Tejada after he reached on a throwing error.Giants starter Madison Bumgarner kept the Rockies off balance early and got plenty of help from San Francisco's defense, which turned double plays in the third, fifth and sixth. Posey also threw out Fowler trying to steal in the fourth to end another potential threat.Colorado broke through in the seventh. Alfredo Amezaga and Carlos Gonzalez singled, and a throwing error by Bumgarner loaded the bases before Todd Helton hit a two-run single.That chased Bumgarner, winless in seven starts this season."I don't care if I don't win a game all year as long as we win," said Bumgarner, who had five strikeouts and two walks.The Rockies loaded the bases again in the eighth with two outs, but Javier Lopez got Helton to ground out weakly to first.NOTES: To make room for Mortensen, the Rockies placed RHP Esmil Rogers on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat muscle strain. ... San Francisco LHP Barry Zito threw on flat ground for a second consecutive day but there is no date set for when he'll begin throwing off a mound. Zito has been on the DL since April 17 with a mid-foot sprain. ... INF Mark DeRosa (left wrist) and OF Andres Torres (Achilles' strain) will both make one more appearance in the minors and could rejoin the Giants as soon as Tuesday. ... The three double plays were the most by the Giants since they had four against Pittsburgh on May 7, 2008. ... Mortensen's previous seven starts all came in the American League with Oakland.

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

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USATSI

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

SAN JOSE – The Barracuda struck for three power play goals, including the game-winner in the second period by Joakim Ryan, in overcoming the Grand Rapids Griffins at SAP Center on Sunday night, 4-2.

San Jose’s victory evens the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series at one game apiece.

Grand Rapids erased a 2-0 hole to tie the game in the middle frame, but less than a minute after Matt Ford knotted the score at 2-2 with a rocket from the circle on a Griffins power play, Ryan’s blast from just inside the blue line at 15:28 staked the Barracuda a lead they would keep for the rest of the night. 

The Barracuda finished 3-for-5 on the power play, after going 0-for-6 in a Game 1 loss on Saturday.

“The power play was a lot better tonight,” Ryan said. “We got set up more. We were able to get shots through from the point.”

One of those shots came early, when defenseman Julius Berman beat goalie Jared Coreau from long range just 3:35 into the game with San Jose on a man advantage. Later in the first, on another power play, Ryan Carpenter found open ice in the slot and redirected a Tim Heed pass at 10:44 for his team-leading eighth of the playoffs.

“Coming out, we wanted to get the first goal tonight,” Carpenter said. “For Bergman to get that first goal was huge for us.”

Ryan and Carpenter both attributed the power play success to winning faceoffs, which is something coach Roy Sommer wanted the club to focus on after it dropped the series opener, 3-1.

Winning faceoffs often is an indication of a team’s compete level, and that, too, was lacking for the Barracuda in an opener in which Sommer said his team played “dumb and slow.” 

Sunday was a much better performance.

“Whenever we’ve had a bad start, or a bad game, the next day these guys have responded,” said Sommer, whose club is the top seed in the Western Conference. “They’ve done it all year.”

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three games, with Game 3 going Wednesday. The primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins posted a 25-11-2 record in their own building in the regular season.

The Barracuda, though, should be a confident group on the road. Against San Diego in the second round, San Jose won all three games in Southern California after splitting the first two at home.

“It’s going to be a hell of a series,” Sommer said. “It’s probably going to go the duration, I imagine. Both teams are kind of feeling each other out and kind of have a pretty good idea of what the other guys are doing now.”

Ryan said: “Honestly, I think they are the team in the league that plays the most like us. I felt like last night they did a better job of taking the game to us. I thought we came out better tonight, and we battled harder, competed more, won more pucks. They’re a really good team, it’s going to be a battle the rest of the series, for sure. They’re not going to lay down.”

Barclay Goodrow’s empty netter with 1:06 left in regulation was the only goal in the third period.

The Barracuda outshot the Griffins, 40-35, including a 20-11 advantage in the first period.

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

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CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley's 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left and the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. They were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.