Huff Ready to Return to Giants in 2011

Huff Ready to Return to Giants in 2011

Nov. 3, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Aubrey Huff won a World Series with the San Francisco Giants and he wants to stay put right where he is.The free agent first baseman was backat the ballpark Wednesday after raising his lucky red thong forthousands of fans during a downtown victory parade. He said that hehopes to return to the Giants for 2011 and beyond."Oh, absolutely, without question,"Huff said. "I won a World Series here. I've been in last place my wholelife. I won a World Series. The fans are crazy. You'd be an idiot notto want to come back here. I love it. I've been on five differentteams. I liked them but I didn't love them. I love this place."The 33-year-old Huff reached theplayoffs for the first time in his 11-year big league career in hisfirst year with the Giants. He hit a two-run homer in a 4-0 Game 4victory.San Francisco signed Huff to a 3million, one-year contract last January to provide a boost in themiddle of the batting order. Huff hit .290 with a team-leading 26 homeruns and 86 RBIs while playing in 157 games. The Giants were countingon Huff returning to his 2008 form, when he hit .304 with 32 home runsand a career-best 108 RBIs.He certainly showed plenty ofimprovement, not to mention versatility playing both first and leftfield, in bouncing back from a career-worst .241 batting average in2009 with Baltimore and Detroit. He wound up with 15 homers and 85 RBIsin 150 games between the two teams last year.Huff feels at home in the Bay Area after only one season."I didn't know San Francisco had thatmany fans, that many people," Huff said. "That was something, man. Theschools were out, most of the people were off work. It wasunbelievable."Even the rival Oakland Athletics, whoswept San Francisco in the 1989 World Series, showed their appreciationfor the Giants. The A's took out a full-page ad in The San FranciscoChronicle saying, "Like everyone else, we're inspired."Also Wednesday, World Series MVPEdgar Renteria, who hit a three-run homer off Texas ace Cliff Lee inthe seventh inning of Monday night's 3-1 clincher, said he isn't readyto decide if he will retire. Injured most of the season, he said he isgoing to give himself a chance to rest for a while before determininghis future.Renteria spent three stints on the disabled list and finished the year playing with a torn biceps."It's always hard to think about retiring," Renteria said. "I want to rest. Whew, I feel great."Ace Tim Lincecum, who beat Lee inthe opener and again in the Series clincher, doesn't plan to rest forlong. He said he would return home to Seattle - where he plans to buy anew place - and take three weeks off before resuming his offseasonworkout program.The two-time reigning NL Cy YoungAward winner altered his routine to focus more on leg strength and corework during a career-worst five-star losing streak in August.The shaggy-haired pitcher is stillsoaking in the fact he just won a World Series ring, the city's firstchampionship since the franchise moved West in 1958. When he hopped thedugout rail to celebrate after the final out at Rangers Ballpark inArlington, he was in disbelief."It hadn't really settled in," the26-year-old Lincecum said. "You're just kind of standing there wavingyour hands and screaming, kind of more in shock than anything. Like,this really happened, can you believe it, that's what you're askingeverybody and asking yourself. It hasn't really set in yet, maybe alittle more today just because of the fans and getting to watch theirreaction to seeing us. I'm still waiting for those tears. I'll see whenthose happen."

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.

Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.

The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.

Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.

If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.

“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.

“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”

It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.

Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.

“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”

But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.

A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.

“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.

His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.

Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.

Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.

Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.

Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.

The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.

Starting pitching report

The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.

At the plate

The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.

In the field

Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.

Attendance

The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.

Up next

The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.