Lincecum roughed up, Rockies take opener 7-4

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Lincecum roughed up, Rockies take opener 7-4

May 16, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
DENVER (AP) Tim Lincecum was off-target whether he was throwing to home plate or second base.Carlos Gonzalez capped a five-run sixth-inning outburst with a three-run homer off the unusually wild Giants ace and the Colorado Rockies rallied for a 7-4 win over San Francisco Monday night.
URBAN: Giants' Lincecum human after all
"It was just bad location, a change-up up," Lincecum said. "This kind of place and that kind of hitter? Not really a good pitch."Seth Smith also homered off Lincecum (3-4), who set up the Rockies' big inning with a throwing error to second base on a potential double-play comebacker that led to four unearned runs.Lincecum allowed seven runs, three of them earned, on nine hits and walked six in 5 2-3 innings, a far cry from his last trip to Coors Field in April, when he flirted with a no-hitter."I was struggling with location all day," Lincecum said. "Six walks is not good."The Rockies turned four double plays, Clay Mortensen (1-0) pitched six solid innings for his first win in a Rockies uniform and Huston Street closed out the ninth inning for his 13th save in 14 tries.Lincecum's start was pushed back a day when the Giants were rained out Sunday at Chicago, so instead of facing the Cubs, he got to see the struggling Rockies, who had lost 10 of 13 games this month."Maybe it's an omen," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said before the game, reasoning they were going to have to snap out of their funk against someone, so why not the two-time Cy Young Award winner?His words proved prophetic as the Rockies beat the Giants for just the second time in seven tries and pulled within one-half game of the Giants atop the NL West."To put a comeback on one of the best pitchers in the game obviously is more than just a win," Troy Tulowitzki said. "Against that team, and trailing them in the division and them beating us up the whole year, it was a big answer for us."To make a comeback against one of the best goes to show you can do it against anybody."Lincecum, who allowed three hits in 7 2-3 innings at Coors Field on April 18, gave up a hit to the Rockies' second batter, Jonathan Herrera, ending that bit of drama. But he was still dealing it, stretching his scoreless inning streak to 21 before giving up Tulowitzki's bases-loaded two-run single that put Colorado ahead 2-1 in the fifth.Those were the first runs Lincecum had allowed since April 29 at Washington, and the inning began with a walk to Mortensen."When you walk the pitcher that can make for a bad day," Lincecum said.Colorado's lead vanished quickly as Andres Torres led off the sixth with his first homer of the year, a no-doubt drive down the right field line off Mortensen, and then Nate Schierholtz sent a change-up into the same section for a two-run homer, his third of the season, that gave the Giants a 4-2 lead.That's when things fell apart for Lincecum, who served up Smith's fourth homer leading off the bottom of the inning and then threw wildly to second base on a potential double-play comebacker off the bat of Jose Morales, putting runners at first and second with nobody out."I was waiting for someone to get there," said Lincecum, who threw the ball past shortstop Miguel Tejada. "I think it came back to me quicker than I expected. I was waiting for Tejada to get there and I yanked the throw."After pinch-hitter Alfredo Amezaga struck out, Dexter Fowler singled home the tying run.Herrera followed that with a single to center that seemingly loaded the bases. But when Morales reached third he had to keep going because Fowler never slowed down rounding second, figuring Morales would be waved home when Torres bobbled the ball in center. First baseman Aubrey Huff's relay throw to the plate beat him by several steps.No matter, Gonzalez sent Lincecum to the showers when he drove his 2-2 changeup in the rock pile in center field for a three-run shot, his fifth, that gave Colorado a 7-4 lead."I was expecting that pitch, offspeed, the whole time," Gonzalez said. "He's done it before to me a lot, with two strikes especially."The Giants put the tying run at the plate with two outs in the eighth but Matt Lindstrom struck out pinch-hitter Pat Burrell looking.Mortensen, who was acquired from Oakland last winter, allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings in picking up his first win since Sept. 17, 2009, against Cleveland while pitching for the Athletics."I wouldn't say I'm super pleased, but hey, we got a 'W' on the board," Mortensen said. "That's what matters. That's what I'm happy about."Notes: Tracy had a closed-door meeting in the clubhouse with his players before the game to address their prolonged funk. ... The Giants haven't scored more than four runs in their last 11 games, but they're 8-3 in that stretch.

Report: 49ers strongly considering QB at No. 2

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Report: 49ers strongly considering QB at No. 2

General manager John Lynch and the 49ers have created the desired intrigue about what the club will do with the No. 2 overall pick in this week’s NFL draft.

The team remains “open for business,” in the words of Lynch, to trade the second pick. If the 49ers are unable to find a trade partner, the team can do any number of different ways with that pick. The first round of the draft is scheduled for Thursday evening.

After edge-rusher Myles Garrett, widely projected to go to the Cleveland Browns with the No. 1 overall pick, there does not seem to be much separating the next dozen prospects on the board at a number of different positions.

Now, there is buzz the 49ers could go with a quarterback – likely, Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina – with the No. 2 pick. That possibility gained steam Monday morning with a report from Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, citing “several sources,” that the 49ers are “strongly considering” selecting a quarterback with the second pick.

One league source last week told NBC Sports Bay Area some around the league believe the 49ers would draft Trubisky or Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

“If the 49ers are waiting on Kirk Cousins, just remember that Trubisky is a better prospect now than Cousins was coming out of the 2012 draft,” the source said.

Cousins, who is set to play his second consecutive year as Washington’s franchise player, was a fourth-round selection under then-coach Mike Shanahan, New 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan was his father’s offensive coordinator when Washington drafted Cousins.

Lynch has been open in his scouting and praise of this year’s draft class. He has attended workouts of top quarterback prospects: Trubisky, Deshaun Watson (Clemson), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech) and Davis Webb (Cal).

"I think most of this quarterback class should be later down the line, whether it's first round or second round,” NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said recently. ESPN’s Mel Kipier and Todd McShay had Trubisky as the first quarterback selected by the Browns at No. 12 overall.

“I think these guys are somewhat getting a bad rap,” Lynch said at the NFL scouting combine. “You turn on the film, and there’s a lot to like.”

The 49ers head into this week’s draft with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as the only two quarterbacks on the roster.

The 49ers have shown no interest in re-signing any of the top three quarterbacks on the team’s roster last season: Colin Kaepernick, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder. Each of those players remains unsigned.

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.”