Giants use suicide squeeze in 11th to win 4-3

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Giants use suicide squeeze in 11th to win 4-3

July 17, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDSAN DIEGO (AP) Chris Stewart drove in the go-ahead run with a suicide squeeze in the 11th inning, then pounced on a bunt moments later to start a slick double play that helped the San Francisco Giants hold off the San Diego Padres 4-3 on Sunday.Emmanuel Burriss, who entered as a pinch-runner in the ninth, reached on a one-out single off Chad Qualls (4-3) in the 11th. Burriss stole second and continued to third on catcher Kyle Phillips' throwing error.With the infield in, Qualls pitched out on his first delivery to Stewart, who stayed in the game after pinch-hitting in the ninth. But on a 3-1 count, Stewart laid down a perfect bunt to easily score Burriss.The Giants stole six bases, two by Burriss, to tie a San Francisco record.Javier Lopez (5-1) pitched two innings for the win and Brian Wilson wriggled out of a jam in the 11th for his 28th save in 32 chances.Wilson walked his first two batters and Phillips tried to advance them with a bunt in front of home plate. Stewart quickly popped out of his crouch and fired to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who relayed to first for a 2-5-4 double play that fired up the Giants' infield.Logan Forsythe walked before Wilson retired Alberto Gonzalez on a game-ending grounder.San Francisco, which has won seven of its last nine games, took three of four in the series. It was the eighth time the clubs have played each other in the last 11 games.The Padres have lost eight of nine.San Diego's Orlando Hudson hit a two-run, go-ahead single in the sixth inning to take advantage of a mistake by catcher Eli Whiteside.With one out in the sixth and Everth Cabrera at the plate, Matt Cain threw a pitch in the dirt that Cabrera swung at and missed for strike three. But plate umpire Marvin Hudson ruled that Whiteside didn't catch the ball. While Cabrera took off for first base, Whiteside held up his glove, indicating he had caught the ball, while he argued with Hudson.By the time Whiteside threw to first, Cabrera beat the throw on what was officially ruled a passed ball.Cameron Maybin followed with a single and the Padres loaded the bases when Ryan Ludwick was hit on the hand by Cain's fastball. Hudson then singled in two runs to put the Padres ahead 3-2.The Giants tied the game in the seventh when Whiteside reached on a fielder's choice, stole second and scored on Andres Torres' single.Cain allowed three runs - one earned - and three hits over six innings. The All-Star right-hander struck out nine and walked two.The Padres scored an unearned run in the first after Will Venable led off with a walk and went to third on a fielding error by second baseman Mike Fontenot on Cabrera's grounder. Venable scored one out later on Ludwick's sacrifice fly.San Francisco tied the score at 1 in the second after consecutive singles by Nate Schierholtz and Aubrey Huff to start the inning followed by Cody Ross' sacrifice fly.Schierholtz had a run-scoring single in the sixth for a 2-1 lead.Padres starter Mat Latos gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings.NOTES: Cain is 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA in his last nine starts. ... Padres SS Jason Bartlett was placed on the paternity leave list. San Diego recalled Cabrera from Triple-A Tucson. ... Padres 3B Chase Headley missed his second straight game with a strained right calf.

Crawford strains right groin in eighth inning of Giants' 2-1 loss to Dodgers

Crawford strains right groin in eighth inning of Giants' 2-1 loss to Dodgers

SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Crawford was always going to miss the final two games of this series to attend the funeral of his sister-in-law. The Giants are now hoping an MRI result shows that Crawford won’t miss any time beyond his three days on bereavement leave. 

Crawford pulled up with a right groin strain as he rounded first on a base hit in the eighth. After jogging a bit in the outfield, he was pulled from the game. 

“It tightened up,” Crawford said. “I haven’t really felt anything like that before. I’ve never really had anything like this before. It just felt tight. I didn’t feel a pop or anything, and from what I hear, that’s good news.”

Crawford’s liner off Kenley Jansen sent Buster Posey from first to third. Cody Bellinger's throw went into third and Crawford was busting it for second when his leg shut down. He said he could feel the pain in his groin as he tried to run it off. 

“(Trainer Dave Groeschner) told me it wasn’t a great idea to try and push it,” Crawford said. 

Ordinarily, the Giants would send Crawford for an MRI on Wednesday, but he is flying down to Los Angeles for two days of services. Crawford originally told manager Bruce Bochy that he could be back in time for Friday’s game, but the Giants — already playing without Denard Span and with a short bench — were planning to put Crawford on the bereavement list and call up an extra position player. 

Eduardo Nuñez moved over to short in the ninth and he’s Crawford’s primary backup. Christian Arroyo, called up Monday, can also play the position. The Giants have Kelby Tomlinson and Orlando Calixte on the 40-man and one of them is likely to join the team Wednesday. 

--- Arroyo and Bellinger are two of the NL West’s top prospects, and they got their first big league hits on the same night. Arroyo got a first-pitch fastball at the letters from Clayton Kershaw and roped it into left field. 

“I figured he would come at me,” Arroyo said. “I said, ‘Hey man, see a heater and take a good swing at it.’ I just envisioned getting (a big league hit) but I didn’t think it would be off a guy the caliber of Kershaw. In the moment I was excited. That’s something you don’t forget.”

Arroyo’s family won’t forget it, either. His parents and two younger siblings were here and they went nuts as Arroyo rounded first. That’s always a cool moment. 

--- Ty Blach has three big league hits and all of them are off Kershaw. 

“Sometimes you just swing hard and get lucky, I guess,” he said. 

There’s only one active pitcher who has more hits against Kershaw than Blach. That’s Madison Bumgarner, who has taken him deep twice. A year ago, Bumgarner walked into the video room and asked Matt Duffy if he wanted advice on hitting Kershaw. On Tuesday, he gave Blach some advice. 

“Madison before the game came up and said he’s going to throw you up and in because he threw it low and away last (year),” Blach said. “I was looking for a pitch in that vicinity.”

Bumgarner knows Kershaw well. Blach got a fastball up and he knocked it over a drawn-in outfield for a double. 

--- We’re 10 paragraphs into this story without a score. The Giants lost 2-1, but it’s hard to dissect this one too much. When the Dodgers get 25 outs from Kershaw and Kenley Jansen, they’re going to win that game nine out of 10 times. 

Kershaw lowered his season ERA to 2.29. The Giants gave him a little bit of trouble early, but he turned it on in the middle innings. 

“He settled in and he was as tough as he normally is,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “The thing you hope is to create some chances. We had a couple.”

The eventual winning run came across on a strange play in the fourth. With runners on the corners, Adrian Gonzalez hit a bouncer to first. Posey looked Justin Turner back to third and then threw to Crawford at second for one out. Crawford spun and fired a strike home to try and get Turner, who had taken off. The throw skipped in the dirt and Nick Hundley couldn’t handle it. Turner made it 2-1, and that was that. 

Bochy said he had no problem with how that play went down. All the decisions were right, it was just a tough double-play to pull off. 

“I’d like to say I should have made a better throw but I got rid of it as fast as I could and I put as much on it as I could,” Crawford said. 

The Giants were a couple inches behind Turner on Tuesday. On Monday, they were just ahead of him, with Posey picking him off second to end the game. It’s been that type of series between these two.

--- I saw a lot of grumbling on Twitter about Yasmani Grandal pulling balls back into the strike zone in the late innings. Be careful what you wish for, Giants fans. Posey might be the best pitch-framer in the game. Any change that would keep guys like Grandal from fooling umps would hurt the Giants more than most.

 

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

Jazz hold off Clippers in Game 5, take 3-2 series lead

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES -- Gordon Hayward scored 27 points, Utah controlled the paint, and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Tuesday night to take a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Hayward returned after missing most of Utah's win in Game 4 because of food poisoning that caused him to lose weight and energy.

Chris Paul's 3-pointer drew the Clippers within two with 5 seconds left. After George Hill hit two free throws, Paul struggled getting the ball under control near the sideline and couldn't do anything as time expired.

The Jazz made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, including three by Rodney Hood, who finished with 16 points.

Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and J.J. Redick added 26 with injured star Blake Griffin watching from the bench, his right foot encased in a black walking boot.

The Jazz can clinch the series with a victory in Game 6 on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

The Clippers rallied from an 11-point deficit early in the fourth to tie the game. They made 12 of 15 free throws in the final period, but never managed to take the lead.

Paul and Hayward were called for double technical fouls with 40 seconds to go. Paul had already pushed Hayward in the back after they got tied up scrambling for a rebound in front of Utah's bench. Hayward made both shots for a 90-85 lead.

Joe Johnson's step back jumper extended Utah's lead to 92-87.

Neither team shot well, but the Jazz were better at most everything else. They owned a 34-28 edge in the paint, and the team that has done so has won each of the first five games in the best-of-7 series.

Utah outscored the Clippers on second-chance and fast-break baskets.

Utah took the game's first double-digit lead early in the fourth on a 3-pointer by Hood that made it 69-58.

The Clippers clawed back with an 11-0 run featuring five straight free throws by Redick and two consecutive 3-pointers from Paul that tied the game at 69-all.

Suddenly, the quiet crowd was on its feet cheering and Utah called time out.

The Jazz regrouped to take a 77-69 lead. They ran off eight straight, capped by Haywood's 3-pointer after the Clippers' defense shut down Hill inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter with the shot clock winding down.

TIP-INS:
Jazz: Neither team has won by more than eight points so far in the series.

Clippers: Griffin's injured big right toe needs further evaluation before it's decided whether he'll require surgery. ... G Austin Rivers played 17 minutes in his return from a strained left hamstring. He was 0 of 4 and had two points. ... They fell to 1-11 all-time in Game 5 of a playoff series that was tied 2-2.