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.

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

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AP

Decision time for A's: Trade Sonny Gray now or later?

As Sonny Gray prepares to take the mound against Toronto on Tuesday night, there’s not a hotter name in the rumor mill as the major leagues’ non-waiver trade deadline approaches Monday.

Yet there’s a contradiction attached to the A’s right-hander. He is simultaneously the likeliest Athletic to be traded, and the toughest to pry away simply because of what the team will demand in return.

The markets for first baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Jed Lowrie haven’t developed as expected, to the point that you wonder how much the A’s could even get in return for them right now.

That focuses the spotlight squarely on Gray, 27, who has posted a 1.62 ERA over his last five starts and comes with two more seasons of team control before he hits free agency. That’s why he’s been linked to no fewer than nine contending teams who are looking for starting pitching.

The A’s sit in a position of strength here. They don’t have to deal Gray right now, and indications from within the organization are that they don’t feel a pressing need to deal him before Monday if they don’t get swept off their feet by an offer. They can retain him, and he’ll still hold great value as an offseason trade chip with those two years of team control.

MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Tuesday morning that the Yankees and Nationals — who have already struck a deal with Oakland to get relievers Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson this month — are two teams in particular to watch in the hunt for Gray.

Morosi also reported that the A’s are targeting young outfielders as the anchor of any deal. That makes all the sense in the world given their organizational needs, particularly in center. It’s also in line with what I’ve heard that the A’s would prioritize getting position players in return since they worked so hard over the past couple of years to acquire and draft young starting pitching (though it stands to reason a deal for Gray would be a multi-player package that could also include pitching prospects as well).

Morosi specifically mentions Yankees Single-A center fielder Estevan Florial as a player the A’s like. He’s just 19 and at least a couple years away from the majors. But Billy Beane, the head of Oakland’s baseball operations, said after making the Doolittle/Madson trade that the emphasis moving forward would be on acquiring high-end talent, not necessarily prospects close to being major league-ready.

Other potential Gray suitors have elite outfield prospects in their system: The Astros boast Kyle Tucker, the Nats have Victor Robles and the Mariners have Kyle Lewis, though it’s doubtful whether Seattle has enough elsewhere in its farm system to assemble a package to land Gray.

Just a hunch, but keep an eye on the Dodgers as a team that could enter the Sonny Sweepstakes in light of Clayton Kershaw’s lower back injury. There’s strong ties between the Oakland and Los Angeles front offices, and the teams struck a deadline deal last summer that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers. They have one of the majors’ top outfield prospects in Alex Verdugo, who’s currently at Triple-A.

Though much mystery remains, an eventual trade of Gray is inevitable. The A’s have a solid base of young pitching depth, both in the majors and coming up through the system. And Gray’s rebound from a poor 2016, combined with his favorable contract status, makes him too tantalizing a trade chip for the A’s not to make the move.

The key question is not “if” but “when.”

 

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

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USATI

Report: Blazers trade Allen Crabbe

Allen Crabbe will end up in Brooklyn after all.

The Blazers will trade the shooting guard to the Nets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

In exchange, Brooklyn will send big man Andrew Nicholson to Portland.

Nicholson will not suit up for the the Blazers, as Portland will waive and stretch his contract.

Last summer, Crabbe -- who was a restricted free agent -- signed a 4-year, $75 million sheet from the Nets.

The former Cal star returned to the Pacific Northwest because the Blazers matched the offer.

Last season, Crabbe averaged a career-best 10.7 points per game, while shooting just under 47 percent from the field and over 44 percent from deep.

He averaged just 5.5 points in the opening round of the playoffs against the Warriors.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller