Lincecum fans seven White Sox in Giants' 5-3 win


Lincecum fans seven White Sox in Giants' 5-3 win

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) That extra month of work at the end of last season helped Tim Lincecum stay in shape and keep his work ethic intact through a shorter winter - and it's already showing.The San Francisco Giants' ace struck out seven batters over 5 1-3 innings Wednesday to help the reigning World Series champions beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3.Lincecum allowed one run on three hits and walked three batters. He was pulled in the sixth by manager Bruce Bochy after surrendering a one-out walk to Alex Rios."I was hitting spots better than I had in past years, so that's a positive I can take away from this," he said. "Knowing that I only had three months to get back into shape in the offseason presses you to want to come out and repeat and do as well as you did last year."The only trouble Lincecum found was in the second inning, when he gave up a leadoff single to Paul Konerko, followed by an RBI-triple off the bat of Rios. Still, with a runner on third and nobody out, Lincecum retired the next three batters without letting Rios score."The key to me is to get in a good tempo, good rhythm from beginning to end," Lincecum said. "I haven't felt this good all spring, or in any year for that matter."Lincecum earned the win thanks to ample support from his offense, but the production came from an unexpected source, the bottom of the San Francisco lineup.The six through nine hitters in the Giants' lineup accounted for 10 of the team's 15 hits and drove in all five runs.Brandon Belt led the charge with three hits and three runs scored. He hit a solo home run in the sixth and doubled in another run in the seventh. Nate Schierholtz added three singles and an RBI for the Giants.Mark Buehrle showed vast improvement from his two previous starts for Chicago. He scattered seven hits in five innings, allowing just one run while striking out three. He had allowed eight runs in his last six innings pitched."It's a positive thing for him," manager Ozzie Guillen said of his Opening-Day starter. "He needed an outing like this in spring training before we break camp."Brent Lillibridge hit a two-run homer in the seventh for the White Sox, who went hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position.Notes: Buehrle picked Belt off of first base in the second inning, his first pickoff of the spring. ... The announced attendance of 10,074 was the third-highest of the spring at Camelback Ranch. "They weren't here to see Mark Buehrle and the White Sox," Guillen joked. ... Lincecum said he weighs 168 pounds, up about 11 pounds from when he reported to camp.

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Thornton, Marleau now permitted to speak with other teams

Their futures with the Sharks more uncertain than ever, pending unrestricted free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are now free to take calls from other teams to gauge their potential interest.

Nothing can be signed with a new team before July 1, and there is a ban on discussing terms of any potential deal. Teams have already reached out to Marleau, per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, while Thornton is also reportedly receiving interest around the league.

While they could still return to the Sharks, it’s new territory for both, as neither Thornton nor Marleau has ever tested the unrestricted free agent waters. Most recently, they agreed to three-year contract extensions with the Sharks on the same day – Jan. 24, 2014 – in what was the final year of their current deals.

Whether they return to the Sharks could depend on the length of the deal. If other teams are willing to offer multiple-year deals to Thornton and Marleau, it makes their return to the Sharks less likely – particularly in Marleau’s case. Earlier in the offseason, NBC Sports California confirmed that Thornton was seeking a three-year deal, while Marleau preferred a deal of at least three years.

General manager Doug Wilson’s top priority this offseason is to re-sign goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to long term extensions. Those contracts would likely cost the team a combined $12-14 million, and would begin in the 2018-19 season.

There is an added risk to any team that signs a player over the age of 35, as it would be on the hook for the entire salary cap hit regardless of whether that player is active (unless that player is on long-term injured reserve). 

Thornton turns 38 on Sunday, while Marleau turns 38 on Sep. 15.

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

Draymond Green receives most votes on 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Team

For the third straight season, Draymond Green is considered one of the best five defenders in the NBA.

The NBA announced Monday that Green was named to the 2017 NBA All-Defensive First Team.

Of the 100 ballots submitted, according to the NBA, Green received 99 first-place votes, but no second-place votes, meaning one voter left Green off their ballot.

Green is joined by Utah's Rudy Gobert, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles' Chris Paul and Houston's Patrick Beverley.

Gobert and Leonard also recieved 99 of a possible 100 First or Second team votes.

Green, Leonard and Gobert are the three finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year, which will be announced Monday night during the NBA Awards Show in New York.

Green is the first player in Warriors franchise history to earned All-Defensive First Team honors three years in a row.

In a season when he had several game-saving plays, Green averaged 10.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.38 blocks and a league-leading 2.03 steals in 76 games. Green was also the first player in franchise history with at least 150 steals and 100 blocks in a season.

Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson received eight First-Team votes and 29 Second-Team votes for a total of 45 points. NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant received six Second-Team votes. Sixth Man of the Year candidate Andre Iguodala received one First-Team vote and one Second-Team vote. Two-time MVP Stephen Curry received three Second-Team votes.

Below are the voting results for the 2016-17 NBA All-Defensive Teams. The balloting was tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP. Complete media ballots will be posted at tomorrow (Tuesday, June 27).