Lincecum, Giants avoid sweep; hold off Phils 3-1

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Lincecum, Giants avoid sweep; hold off Phils 3-1

Aug. 7, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARDSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Tim Lincecum's right knee still throbbing, Chase Utley hustled out toward the mound to apologize that his bat had struck the pitcher.A tense four-game series featuring a benches-clearing brawl between NL division leaders ended with an act of sportsmanship."He said, 'Sorry, man,'" said Lincecum, San Francisco's ace. "Bad hop. Bad luck."Lincecum stayed sharp until Utley accidentally lost his grip and the Giants ended the Philadelphia Phillies' season-high nine-game winning streak, tagging Roy Oswalt in a 3-1 win Sunday.
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Jeff Keppinger had four hits as the Giants spoiled Oswalt's return from the disabled list and avoided a four-game sweep."That was one of the biggest games of the year, really," Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff said. "Four-game sweeps are tough to deal with, especially in your home yard."Lincecum (10-9) went down in the eighth inning when Utley's bat skittered back at him. Utley went out to check on Lincecum, who handed back the bat, walked it off and stayed in the game. Utley then hit a one-out single.Lincecum left later in the eighth after Hunter Pence reached with two outs on first baseman Aubrey Huff's error. Javier Lopez relieved and retired Raul Ibanez on a fly ball.Brian Wilson finished for his 34th save in 38 chances, closing out the Giants' second win in 10 games.New Giants star Carlos Beltran left after the seventh. He felt a sharp pain in the top of his right hand on a swinging strikeout to end the sixth. X-rays were negative and Beltran was expected to play Monday night against Pittsburgh.The NL East-leading Phillies, with the majors' best record at 74-40, hadn't lost since dropping two of three to the Giants in Philly from July 26-28.Lincecum allowed seven hits and one run, struck out five and walked one in 7 2-3 innings. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner and four-time All-Star beat the Phillies for the second time in three starts. After walking leadoff man Jimmy Rollins on four pitches to start the game, Lincecum worked from the stretch the rest of the way to "simplify things."He was determined to get the Giants back on track."With the funk we've been in, you hope this is something to build on," Lincecum said. "We don't want to be content just winning one here and there."It was a timely performance for the reigning World Series champions, who have been struggling to score enough runs for their talented pitching staff. San Francisco held its half-game lead on Arizona in the NL West after the Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers.
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"He gave us what we needed," manager Bruce Bochy said.Oswalt (4-7), facing Lincecum in their seventh career regular-season meeting, gave up a season-high 12 hits in his first start since June 23. The right-hander missed 37 games with lower back inflammation. He is 1-7 since beginning the year 3-0."That was better than I thought I was going to be," he said. "It wasn't like I was giving up doubles into the gap. It feels good to be back on the field. Hopefully I can finish out the year."Phillies slugger Ryan Howard went 1 for 12 with eight strikeouts in the series and was 3 for 24 in seven games against the Giants this year. He struck out 12 times in 22 at-bats last October when San Francisco beat Philadelphia in the six-game NL championship series.Orlando Cabrera hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth and Keppinger added one of his own in the sixth.The Giants produced 13 hits and avoided their first four-game sweep by the Phillies since losing in Philly from May 13-16, 1982 - and at home since Aug. 6-8, 1943, while playing in New York.Chris Stewart added a pair of singles and an RBI and Pablo Sandoval had two hits for San Francisco, which loaded the bases against Oswalt in the fourth. Stewart delivered a single up the middle to tie the game at 1. The Giants finally made the most of some chances after going hitless in their first 18 at-bats of the series with runners in scoring position.Huff's fourth-inning bloop single two batters ahead of Stewart ended an 0-for-22 stretch overall with runners in scoring position.Beltran was booed when he hit into an inning-ending double play in the first. But Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino, in the middle of the skirmish Friday, got it worse from the sellout crowd of 42,366 - and fans jumped to their feet and roared when he struck out looking in the third."You know what, nothing compared to New York," said Beltran, traded to the Giants on July 28 from the Mets.Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz took a third-inning foul tip by Lincecum in the facemask but stayed in the game after being examined by trainers. He had two hits.NOTES: Phillies 3B Placido Polanco flew home to Philadelphia to undergo an MRI exam Monday on his sore left hip. He came out of Saturday's game with the injury, which he said had been bothering him for some time and wasn't a result of being tackled by Giants catcher Eli Whiteside during the fracas Friday. ... Oswalt had his third hit of the year with a leadoff single in the third. ... San Francisco INF Miguel Tejada will likely go on a short rehab assignment soon before returning from the DL with a lower abdominal strain. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito's rehab outing with Class-A San Jose was pushed back from Sunday to Monday. He is likely to pitch four or five innings as he nurses a sprained right foot that also sidelined him earlier this year. ... Giants RHP and All-Star Ryan Vogelsong (9-1) tries to extend his career-best winning streak to seven straight decisions in Monday night's series opener against the Pirates. He is 6-0 with a 2.50 ERA over his last 12 outings. Vogelsong won at Pittsburgh in his first start of the year April 28, allowing two runs on four hits in 5 2-3 innings. He matched his career high with eight Ks. ... The Phillies continue their 10-game road trip against the NL West with the opener at Dodger Stadium. Roy Halladay (14-4) looks to win his fourth straight start. Philadelphia is headed into Game 18 of 20 in a row without a day off.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

BOX SCORE

SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.