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Lincecum magnificent; Giants shut out A's

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Lincecum magnificent; Giants shut out A's

May 21, 2011BOXSCORE VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The shadows were creeping in around home plate. As if Tim Lincecum wasn't dominating enough Saturday, the rare mid-afternoon start forced hitters to find the ball from his hand atop the mound, through the sunlight and into darkness, at times seemingly making pitches vanish.One by one, hitters also disappeared.Lincecum pitched a three-hitter in one of the most spectacular outings of his already brilliant career, and the San Francisco Giants beat the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics 3-0 on Saturday for their fourth straight victory."I have sympathy for them," Lincecum said of Oakland dealing with the conditions.Not that he showed any compassion.The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner allowed Ryan Sweeney's two-out single in the first before retiring 21 straight batters, leading the Giants past the A's for the second day in a row. Lincecum (4-4) struck out six and walked none for his eighth career complete game, handing Oakland its fourth straight loss."I'd say it's got to be right up there with his best performance," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's thrown so many great games. What a job he did today."San Francisco needed every last bit of from its ace, too.Buster Posey had two hits and drove in the only run against starter Brett Anderson (2-4), who left after giving up five hits in five innings to the defending World Series champions. Cody Ross added an RBI single and Miguel Tejada had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.The man they call The Freak lived up to his nickname in every facet.After allowing seven runs and walking six in a 7-4 loss at Colorado in his last start, Lincecum labored through a 24-pitch first inning before finding his groove. Sweeney sent a grounder on the ninth pitch just out of reach of diving second baseman Freddy Sanchez, the only Oakland baserunner until Landon Powell's two-out single in the eighth."He's one of the best pitchers in baseball," Powell said. "It's not going to be an easy at-bat whenever you go up to face him. You just try to scratch it together against him."Even for Lincecum, this was simply dazzling.Lincecum sparkled with his best performance of the season, shattering bats, baffling hitters and popping Posey's glove with a wicked breaking ball and a fastball that touched 96 mph with his adrenaline pumping the ninth. His combination of sliders, curves, change-ups and fastballs kept hitters off balance, and his composure never wavered.After David DeJesus led off the ninth with a single, Giants closer Brian Wilson sprinted out to the bullpen and started warming up - in clear vision of Lincecum. He kept his poise to throw a season-high 133 pitches, striking out Daric Barton swinging and getting Sweeney looking to end the game."It's hard to compare outings. He's so good," Posey said. "He was himself."All the cushion Lincecum would need came early.Andres Torres got things started for the Giants with a leadoff walk in the first. Sanchez followed with a double, and Posey's groundout to second was hit slow enough to score Torres and give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.A night after a trio of solid defensive plays, the Giants were sharp again in the field. Torres made a diving catch in center in the fourth to rob Barton of extra bases, moving to his left on a ball slicing away from him in a strong gust.Even the smallest of plays would prove big with runs so scarce.Aubrey Huff tried to score from first on Mike Fontenot's double in the sixth, getting thrown out at the plate on second baseman Mark Ellis' relay throw from short right field.They finally gave Lincecum some extra protection in the eighth, when Ross had an RBI single off reliever Brad Ziegler. Two batters later, Tejada added a sacrifice fly to center field off Jerry Blevins to score Ross.Lincecum has never thrown a no-hitter, but twice took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning this season. And this one might be considered his masterpiece."I think it just goes back to having good rhythm throughout the game," Lincecum said. "Not expending yourself too much to allow yourself, if you get into a jam, to take it to another level."Notes: Oakland 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff has a right groin strain and is day to day. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval fielded groundballs and did some light tossing, the latest progression in his return from right wrist surgery. He will hit off a tee sometime in the next few days and is still on schedule to return in about two or three weeks. ... Oakland's two-time All-Star closer Andrew Bailey (strained right forearm) had a light throwing session before the game and will make his second rehab assignment in Triple-A Sacramento either Monday or Tuesday, Geren said. Bailey is scheduled to throw one inning.

Report: Ravens signing arena league QB over Kaepernick

Report: Ravens signing arena league QB over Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick still does not have an NFL team.

The Baltimore Ravens, who were linked to Kaepernick after praise from head coach John Harbaugh, have reportedly signed David Olson, according to nfldraftdiamonds.com

Olson, who played at Stanford and Clemson, most recently took snaps for the Kansas City Phantoms of the Champions Indoor Football League (CIF).

"He’s a great guy," Harbaugh said on Thursday about Keapernick, who remains an unrestricted free agent. "He’s a guy right now that’s being talked about. We’ll just see what happens with that. Only speculation right now. He’s a really good football player and as I said at the owners' meetings, I do believe he’ll be playing in the National Football League this year."

Starting quarterback Joe Flacco is expected to miss time due to a back injury.

Raiders to release OL Austin Howard

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USATSI

Raiders to release OL Austin Howard

The Raiders will release Austin Howard, one of their big free-agent signings from the 2014 offseason. The offensive lineman was informed of his release just before training camp, according to a league source.

Howard confirmed the separation on social media with an early Friday morning post: 

Howard was scheduled to make $4.9 million in base salary this season, with $2.4 million in dead money against the salary cap. The Raiders can afford the cap hit, but will enjoy the slowing salary cash flow in 2017.

Howard inked a five-year, $30 million contract with the Raiders early in the unrestricted free agent signing period. Howard played right guard in his first season, but moved to tackle in the following two years. He made 39 starts in three seasons in silver and black, mostly at right tackle.

Howard played 2016 under duress. He worked through an ankle issue early that year and had offseason shoulder surgery that impacted him throughout the Raiders offseason program.

He regained health recently after missing the offseason program, but the Raiders chose to part ways with the veteran and focus on other options at right tackle. Marshall Newhouse has pole position in the competition, but Vadal Alexander will challenge him for a starting spot. Rookie forth-round pick David Sharpe will also compete.

The crop of talent left Howard with too-high a salary entering a tight position battle, and expendable.

The Raiders will have two spots available on their 90-man roster following the release of Howard and running back Taiwan Jones. 

Here is Howard's full Instagram post: 

OAKLAND!!! A lifetime of memories have been made these past three years, and I am grateful for every single one of them. Unfortunately my time with the #Raiders has come to an end. To my OL dawgs, love y'all boys. #RaiderNation appreciate all your support, you guys are like none other. I came to Oakland my first year with a start of 0-10... through hard work and dedication we built a team that had more success it had in years, and thus we turned this group of players into a play-off bound and elite team. Starting on this Offensive line for the majority of that time is something that I'll never forget. One thing I can say is that no matter the situation, no matter if it was battling through injury, or political scrutiny that this business demands, I left it all out the for my teammates and always had and will always have their back. I will always be proud of that. Thank you to Mr. Davis and the Raiders organization/coaches that allowed me this opportunity. Thank you to my family, especially my parents, siblings, my friends, my agent Kevin Robinson, and last but DEFINITELY not least my beautiful wife Larissa who has been with me since the beginning, and through the thick and thin and has SELFLESSLY been the REAL reason that I've been able to do my job on the field for the passed seven seasons, for all your love, support, encouragement and prayers! To my baby girl, Daddy loves you and couldn't imagine this life without you! Having an opportunity and blessing to share all of this with you has been the biggest gift of all...As upsetting as it is, that "business" gets in the way of a good thing, I know that this is not the end of my NFL journey. Looking forward to what God has planned for me next... #DoubleSevens #NotDone #SomethingBigComingNext #NFL #DontBlink #Challenge #ImUpForIt #MovingForward #TrainsComin #GodIsGood #WatchThis #Oakland #YearEight #SeeYouSoon #UNI #Panthers

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