Godfrey outpitches Lincecum, A's top Giants 5-2

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Godfrey outpitches Lincecum, A's top Giants 5-2

June 17, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEO GIANTS VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
OAKLAND (AP) Conor Jackson wasn't surprised to see Oakland playing small-ball against San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum in the first inning.The way Lincecum has dominated the Athletics in the past, Jackson expected and welcomed the new philosophy of interim manager Bob Melvin.
RATTO: A's Melvin lonely at the top of the bottom
"We don't have guys that are going to hit 50 home runs on this team so we have to manufacture runs any way we can," said Jackson, who had three hits and drove in the first run off Lincecum in Oakland's 5-2 win over the Giants on Friday night. "That's one of, if not the, best pitcher in the game so we had to figure out a way."Lincecum (5-6) had not lost in six previous starts against the A's and pitched a complete game shutout against them earlier this season when the two teams met at AT&T Park on May 21.URBAN: Lincecum's progress is Giants' silver lining
With the Bay Bridge series shifted back to Oakland, though, the results were vastly different. The A's stayed patient at the plate, working into favorable counts then delivering key hits with runners in scoring position.Oakland also took advantage of a critical throwing error by San Francisco backup catcher Chris Stewart to score on the way to beating the Giants for just the fourth time in the last 18 interleague games between the two Northern California rivals.In doing so, the A's won their third straight - a milestone for a club that went into the night with the second worst record in the American League and played in front of only its third sellout crowd of the season."That was a lot of fun," Melvin said. "I kind of got caught up in watching the fans go back and forth with the chanting. Being from the Bay Area, I had to work at times to keep my mind on the game, but that's a good win for us."Josh Willingham hit an RBI double and also scored on Stewart's throwing error, and Graham Godfrey pitched seven innings to win in just his second major league start for Oakland.
GUTIERREZ: A's Insider gallery -- Mature 'Moonlight' at workCody Ross homered for San Francisco but the Giants couldn't overcome Lincecum's fourth straight shaky outing and a sputtering offense that continues to misfire with runners in scoring position."We didn't swing the bats," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "We squandered a few pretty good chances there, and with our margin for error we can't do that."Melvin didn't think the A's would have much room for error, either. That's why Oakland's interim manager had No. 2 hitter Cliff Pennington lay down a sacrifice after Coco Crisp led off the first inning with a single.Hideki Matsui followed with a walk, and after Lincecum retired Willingham, Jackson singled in Crisp."I just wanted to try to score first," Melvin said. "I've been caught with him and been beaten (by him) so many times before, so for us we just wanted to try to get a lead."Lincecum, who didn't make it out of the fifth inning in either of his previous two starts, gave up two more runs in the third. The three runs equaled the total Lincecum gave up to Oakland in his previous five starts combined.Godfrey (1-0) and two relievers did the rest, combining on the six-hitter.Godfrey, roughed up for five runs and nine hits in his major league debut against the White Sox on June 10, allowed six hits and gave up both San Francisco runs. He had three strikeouts.That was the third straight win by an Oakland starting pitcher following a 14-game stretch when the staff went 0-11.Rookie Jemile Weeks continued his impressive showing since getting called up from the minors 10 days ago to fill in for injured second baseman Mark Ellis. Weeks had two hits to raise his average to .361, including an RBI double in the ninth when the A's scored a pair of insurance runs off Giants reliever Guillermo Mota.It was a tough day all around for San Francisco's pitchers and came less than 24 hours after reliever Santiago Casilla gave up a winning home run to Arizona's Justin Upton in the 10th inning.After Lincecum breezed through the second on 11 pitches, the A's got to him for two more runs in third.Hideki Matsui walked and scored on Willingham's double when the ball hit a folded chair leaning against the wall near Oakland's bullpen. Willingham then stole third but catcher Chris Stewart's throw sailed into left field, allowing Willingham to score easily and make it 3-1.The three runs were the most the A's have scored off Lincecum since June 8, 2007 - his second month in the majors. Lincecum, who left after walking Coco Crisp leading off the seventh, finished with seven strikeouts and five walks.Lincecum, who has a 7.59 ERA over four starts in June, has walked 12 batters over his past three outings and has won just once since pitching a complete game against Oakland on May 21.Ross homered off Godfrey in the second, and San Francisco added an unearned run in the sixth when Aubrey Huff's slow grounder rolled through the legs of shortstop Cliff Pennington.Godfrey, called up from the minors last week after Brett Anderson went on the disabled list with elbow soreness, looked more relaxed making his first start at the Coliseum. The Oakland right-hander pitched out of a jam in the first then later made an inning-ending play in the fourth to tag out Pablo Sandoval trying to score the tying run from third on a wild pitch.That was key because San Francisco didn't get many other chances.Godfrey retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced after Bill Hall scored on Pennington's error. Grant Balfour pitched the eighth and Andrew Bailey worked the ninth for his third save in four chances.Notes: Giants LHP Barry Zito allowed four runs in six innings during his latest rehab start. ... Oakland 2B Mark Ellis (hamstring) will begin a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento beginning Saturday. ... RHP Tyson Ross (strained left oblique) threw off a mound, an important step in his rehab. ... RHP Brandon McCarthy (shoulder blade) is scheduled to throw to hitters Saturday for the first time since early May.

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.”