Lincecum strikes out 12, Giants take series, 2-1

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Lincecum strikes out 12, Giants take series, 2-1

June 23, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Tim Lincecum needed a psychological boost. When he got it, his fastball command returned.Lincecum struck out 12 in seven superb innings, helping the San Francisco Giants beat the Minnesota Twins 2-1 Thursday."I wasn't worried about what would happen when I threw pitches," said the two-time Cy Young Award winner. "It was just confidence. Early in the game, when I was commanding the zone, I just opened my mind to be that much more confident."Miguel Tejada and Cody Ross drove in runs for the Giants, who won their second straight following a season-long five-game skid.Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 12 games with three hits and RBI for Minnesota, which lost its second in a row after a season-best eight-game win streak. The Twins are 15-4 since their last losing rut.Lincecum (6-6) rebounded from a rash of poor starts. He gave up three hits, walked two and never allowed a runner past second base."Even when I threw a bullpen I wanted to have belief in myself," Lincecum said. "I wanted that to carry over into games. I was executing my pitches and believing in what I threw at the moment."Javier Lopez pitched the eighth and Brian Wilson got three outs, despite allowing his first run in 15 1-3 innings, for his 21st save in 23 chances.Brian Duensing (4-7) allowed just his sixth earned run in his last 22 2-3 innings. He yielded six hits, walked two and struck out five."A very good pitching matchup," Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire said. "They just pitched a little better. That's the Duensing we were looking for. He was consistent and has good stuff."Lincecum entered the game with the worst NL ERA (7.59) in June. He threw 72 of his 109 pitches for strikes in one of his most effective starts. He won for the first time since May 27."Timmy was outstanding," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was good to see him back on track. He was comfortable throwing any pitch and he had good rhythm."The Giants opened the scoring in the second inning. Pablo Sandoval singled with one out and Pat Burrell followed with a double. Sandoval scored on Tejada's infield groundout.Duensing and reliever Alex Burnett got the Twins out of a tight spot in the seventh. The Giants had runners on first and third with no outs and failed to score after pinch-runner Emmanuel Burriss was caught trying to score on a safety squeeze and pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz grounded sharply to second with the infield in."That guy was filthy," Duensing said of Lincecum. "That's how you win Cy Young awards. He has really good stuff, gets ahead in the count a lot and made us chase a lot."Burnett hit Aaron Rowand with a pitch but then got Bill Hall to fly out.Ross added an RBI single in the eighth against Glen Perkins.NOTES: Bochy said there would "be a little bias" when it came to All-Star roster additions when asked about RHP Ryan Vogelsong. ... The Twins activated RHP Joe Nathan after the game and plan to activate INF Jim Thome. RHP Jim Hoey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room. ... Giants OF Andres Torres and SS Brandon Crawford were given the day off and both are likely to start Friday. ... Twins C Joe Mauer (sore back) and INF Tsuyoshi Nishioka (sore hamstring) were held out of the starting lineup. They both pinch hit. ... Giants INF Mike Fontenot (right groin strain) could start a rehab assignment this weekend. ... Twins OF Denard Span (concussion) may start hitting again when the team arrives in Milwaukee. ... Cuddyer has eight doubles over his last 12 games.

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”