Lincecum looks to up scoreless streak in Denver


Lincecum looks to up scoreless streak in Denver

May 15, 2011GIANTS (22-17) atROCKIES (20-18)
Coverage starts at 5 pm on CSN Bay Area
(AP) -- Tim Lincecum has looked dominant against Colorado of late. After rain postponed his originally scheduled start in the San Francisco Giants' last game, the Rockies are forced to deal with the two-time Cy Young Award winner once again.Riding a 17-inning scoreless streak overall, Lincecum tries for a third consecutive winning start against the Rockies at Coors Field in the opener of a two-game set Monday night.Lincecum (3-3, 2.11 ERA) has no problem taking the mound with an extra days' rest after Sunday's game at Wrigley Field was postponed."It doesn't really bother me," Lincecum said. "What's wrong with an extra day?"Likely nothing for the Giants ace, but possibly something for the struggling Rockies (20-18), who are 9-16 since winning 11 of their first 13."You can't think about who's pitching, you can't think if he's good or bad. Just play the game," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said.The Rockies will do their best to do that versus Lincecum, who has allowed three runs, 10 hits and struck out 28 in 23 2-3 innings to win his last three starts against them. He's yielded two runs, five hits and fanned 19 in the last two at Coors. Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before he allowed a run and struck out 10 in an 8-1 win at Colorado on April 18."He's special," said Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, 6 for 35 with eight strikeouts versus the San Francisco ace.The right-hander has a chance to extend an overall scoreless streak that dates to April 29 at Washington. He allowed four hits and struck out nine in eight innings but did not factor in the decision of a 1-0 win over Arizona on Tuesday.San Francisco (22-17) hopes Lincecum is again on his game as it tries to improve to 6-1 against the Rockies in 2011. The Giants swept a three-game home set with the Rockies from May 6-8, then swept Arizona to surpass Colorado atop the NL West.The Giants have won nine of 11 overall against the Rockies, and six of 10 at Coors, including two of three this season."If you are going to end up where we want to end up by season's end, and that's to win the division championship, you're going to have to take on all comers whenever they show up," said Colorado manager Jim Tracy, whose team is 6-10 in the division and 1 12 games behind the Giants.Gonzalez is expected to play after he was hit in the foot by a pitch in the eighth inning of Sunday's 8-2 loss to San Diego. After batting an NL-leading .336 last season, Gonzalez is hitting .234 in 2011. He's 3 for 21 against the Giants this season.Clayton Mortensen (0-0, 0.55) is scheduled to make his second start for the Rockies. His other start came at San Francisco on May 7 when he allowed two runs, four hits and walked four in six innings of a 3-2 loss.Freddy Sanchez, who had two hits against Mortensen, doubled and scored a run in San Francisco's 3-0, six-inning win over the Cubs on Saturday.The Giants have won nine of 11 despite averaging 3.3 runs during that stretch. They've overcome that lack of production by posting a 2.94 ERA in that span."You're going to have to throw the ball well to win ballgames if you're having a tough time scoring runs," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies


Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from Giants' skid-snapping win over Rockies


SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse. 

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough. 

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies. 

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night … 

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season. 

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks. 

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit. 

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too 

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced. 

Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards


Russell Westbrook wins NBA MVP; Rockets, Bucks take two awards

NEW YORK — Russell Westbrook moved past Oscar Robertson and kept right on going to the top of the NBA.

Westbrook was voted MVP on Monday night after setting a record with 42 triple-doubles during his historic season. He led the league with 31.6 points and added 10.7 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game, joining Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double for the season and breaking Robertson's single-season record of 41 triple-doubles in 1961-62.

"I remember growing up just being home, playing the video games and stuff with my pops, and my mom sitting there and my brother and just talking about maybe one day I could be the MVP. Obviously I was joking at the time," Westbrook said.

"But now to be standing here with this trophy next to me is a true blessing, man, and it's an unbelievable feeling, something that I can never imagine."

Westbrook's victory ended the first NBA Awards show, which included two wins apiece for the Houston Rockets and Milwaukee Bucks.

He received 69 first-place votes and 888 points from a panel of 100 media members and a fan vote to easily beat Houston's James Harden, who had 22 first-place votes and 753 points. Kawhi Leonard was third with nine first-place votes and 500 points.

Westbrook succeeded Stephen Curry, who had won the past two MVP awards. The point guard who plays with defiance on the court got choked up during an acceptance speech in which he brought some teammates onto the stage with him.

The Thunder went 33-9 when he had a triple-double, riding Westbrook's record run into the playoffs in their first season after losing Kevin Durant to the Golden State Warriors.

"Oscar, guys like him, Magic Johnson, those guys, obviously I wasn't able to see those guys play, but just to look back at history and see the things that they did, it's something that I looked up to as a kid," Westbrook said.

"I never thought I would be able to say that I broke Oscar Robertson's record, and that's just a true blessing."

Earlier, Milwaukee's Malcolm Brogdon became the first player not picked in the first round to win NBA Rookie of the Year in the common draft era, beating out Philadelphia's Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.

Brogdon was the No. 36 overall selection out of Virginia. The common draft era began in 1966.

"I think it's an example for guys that are told they are too short, they are not athletic enough, they are not real point guards, they are not real shooting guards," Brogdon said. "I just think it's an important message for people to see, and it can be done. It just takes a lot."

Teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo won the Most Improved Player award.

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni won his second Coach of the Year award, and the Rockets' Eric Gordon was Sixth Man of the Year after setting a record for most 3-pointers off the bench in his first season as a reserve.

"Obviously I'm just proud of the team and the way they responded all year. Great organization," D'Antoni said of the Rockets' 55-win season.

"This is not an individual award. This is a lot of people, a lot of hard work goes into it, and I'm the recipient of some pretty good players."

In his first season coming off the bench, Gordon set a single-season record with 206 3-pointers by a reserve. He averaged 16.2 points to help fuel the Rockets' run to the surprising No. 3 seed in the Western Conference and edged former NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala of Golden State by 32 points.

Golden State's Draymond Green won the Defensive Player of the Year, ending Leonard's two-year run. Leading the league in steals from his do-everything role with the NBA champions. He had a franchise-record 10 steals in a Feb. 10 game at Memphis while recording the first triple-double in NBA history without scoring in double figures, adding 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

The NBA formerly gave out its individual awards at various points throughout the postseason before switching to the awards show this season and presenting them all at once in front of the league's top players and stars from the entertainment world.

Two of the best moments came during segments that didn't include the NBA's six individual awards.

Bill Russell was presented the first Lifetime Achievement award, welcomed on stage by fellow Hall of Fame centers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo. The 11-time champion as a player and the league's first black coach first pointed at them and joked that he would have kicked their butts, then told them: "You have no idea how much respect I have for you guys."

Former Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams was given the SagerStrong Award for the strength he showed after his wife was killed in a car crash in Oklahoma City. He was given a colorful jacket like the ones worn by Craig Sager, the longtime Turner Sports reporter who died of cancer this past season.