Lincecum tries to lift Giants back to .500

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Lincecum tries to lift Giants back to .500

May 4, 2011

GIANTS (14-15) vs.
NEW YORK METS (12-17)

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hitting has been a major problem for the San Francisco Giants, and they're hoping that's about to become a thing of the past.

Tim Lincecum surely feels the same way.

Coming off their best offensive showing in more than two weeks, the Giants will try to give Lincecum some support as he attempts to avoid a personal three-game losing streak by getting his first road win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

San Francisco (14-15) is hitting .237 as a team but showed some punch at the plate Tuesday with two homers, including a go-ahead, 10th-inning shot from Aubrey Huff to lift the Giants over the Mets 7-6. The win was a confidence boost for a club that had dropped eight of its previous 11.

"It was big for us to put up some runs," San Francisco right fielder Nate Schierholtz said. "Just a matter of time. ... We're not worried. You go through ups and downs as a team. We had plenty of them last year. Better early than late."

REWIND: Huff's 10th inning blast powers Giants over Mets

The Giants' scoring in the opener of this three-game set was their highest since an 8-1 win at Colorado on April 18, also the last time Lincecum (2-3, 2.90 ERA) got a victory.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has since lost two starts while getting just one total run of support. He didn't get any help Friday, allowing three runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings while the lineup was five-hit by Jason Marquis in a 3-0 loss at Washington.

Now, Lincecum will try to win in New York after going 0-1 with a 4.26 ERA in his last three starts there.

Production from Huff would surely help.

The first baseman is batting a paltry.190 after hitting 100 points higher while leading the Giants with 26 homers and 86 RBIs last season. His clutch homer Tuesday snapped a 3-for-41 slump over 12 games.

"Hopefully that gets me going," said Huff, who has a .395 average with two homers and seven RBIs in his last 11 games against the Mets.

URBAN: Giants may recall Belt to fix offensive woes

The Giants have won five of six versus New York, including two at Citi Field.

The Mets have dropped four of five following a season-high six-game winning streak, and in Lincecum they'll face a Cy Young winner for the third time in four contests.

"Well, if you're going to win, you've got to face the best there is," manager Terry Collins told the team's official website.

Collins will give the ball to Chris Capuano (2-2, 6.04), who has alternated wins and losses in his four starts. The left-hander gave up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3 loss at Washington on Thursday. That performance came a week after he limited Houston to one run in seven innings of a 9-1 home win.

Capuano is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA in eight games - four starts - against the Giants. However, he hasn't started against them since Sept. 23, 2006, as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jose Reyes went 3 for 3 Tuesday, and is hitting .367 with four doubles and eight runs over his last 12 games. He's 4 for 9 off Lincecum.

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on