Lincecum's slump continues, Reds rout Giants

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Lincecum's slump continues, Reds rout Giants

June 11, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) As good as it felt to shut out the World Series champions for eight innings, getting a pair of hits against two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum really made Mike Leake's day.Leake held the struggling San Francisco hitters in check and started two rallies with his bat as the Cincinnati Reds gave Lincecum one of his worst beatings ever in a 10-2 victory over the Giants on Saturday."I take pride in my hitting," Leake said. "I don't like to get out. It's more fun to get hits than it is to pitch good sometimes. ... Anytime I'm squaring balls up, it's pretty fun."Brandon Phillips hit a two-run double and scored twice and Joey Votto knocked the San Francisco ace out with an RBI double in the fifth inning to give the Reds their second win in three games in San Francisco.Lincecum (5-5) matched his career worst by allowing seven runs in four-plus innings, marking the first time since his rookie year in 2007 that he had allowed seven earned runs in a game."I was just kind of flying all over the place," Lincecum said. "I didn't have any command of the zone at all. To me, that's just kind of going back to the drawing board and getting my mechanics straight."With the Giants struggling to generate any offense of late, that cushion proved to be more than enough for Leake (6-2), who improved to 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts since a brief stint back in the minors."Mainly my head is just back on straight a little bit," Leake said. "I think I lost it there for a little."Leake allowed four hits - including an infield popup by Eli Whiteside that third baseman Scott Rolen lost for a single - and struck out a career-high eight. Leake had a 21.21 ERA in two previous outings against the Giants, including giving up six runs while retiring one batter in a relief outing in his final appearance of the season last August.Leake also started a pair of rallies at the plate against Lincecum. Leake doubled to lead a the two-run third inning when the Reds scored on a groundout by Jay Bruce and a wild pitch by Lincecum to make it 3-0.Leake then singled to start the four-run fifth. Drew Stubbs followed with a walk and both players scored on Phillips double to left field. Votto's RBI double ended Lincecum's briefest outing of the season and Rolen added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0."That was a rare outing by Lincecum," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's a two-time Cy Young award winner. He's one of the best in the business. He wasn't as sharp today as he usually is."Lincecum allowed seven hits and walked four and struck out a career-low one batter. He struggled with his control all afternoon, throwing 37 balls compared to 36 strikes, and had two wild pitches. He generated only two swings and misses all day - both to Stubbs, who struck to open the game.That was the high point of the game for Lincecum who allowed an RBI single to Ryan Hanigan in the second inning, the two runs in the third and four runs in the fifth. Lincecum now has a 7.66 ERA in four starts since throwing 133 pitches in a shutout victory against Oakland last month."More than anything his fastball command's off," manager Bruce Bochy said. "It was an off day for Timmy, I don't know how else to tell you, especially with his command. That's a good hitting ballclub and you're going to pay for it if you're off. There's not much else to it, really. He feels good, he's healthy. He's just having trouble getting the ball where he wants."The Reds, who went just 2-8 on their last road trip, have matched that total in three games in San Francisco. The pitching has had a big part in that with Johnny Cueto and two relievers combining on a 3-0 shutout Thursday night before Leake's strong start. Pat Burrell broke up the shutout with a two-run homer in the ninth off Carlos Fisher - his first longball in 96 at-bats.Cincinnati has gone a season-high four games without a home run, winning two of them.Notes: Leake leads Reds pitchers with seven hits. ... Lincecum allowed seven runs, but only three earned runs, on May 16 against Colorado and seven earned runs to Toronto on June 13, 2007. ... The Giants signed INF Bill Hall to replace injured 2B Freddy Sanchez. Hall entered the game in the fifth inning and walked in his first plate appearance for San Francisco. ... The Reds are the only NL team that Lincecum has not beaten, excluding the Giants. He is 0-1 in three starts against Cincinnati.

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

The Trilogy has arrived.

The Warriors. The Cavaliers. Facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive postseason. The series begins June 1 with Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With a 135-102 victory over the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs advance to face a Warriors team riding the wave created by being the first club in NBA history to start the postseason with 12 straight wins.

With the teams splitting the first two Finals, the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs prevailing last June, this one is to break the tie.

In the meantime, both teams have done some significant retooling.

The Warriors last summer added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, along with veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Though LeBron James remains the hub of the Cavs, the team made several in-season changes, most notably adding veterans Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The Warriors came into the playoffs having earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of their NBA-best 67-15 record. They’re 27-1 since March 11, having ended the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 games before taking out Portland, Utah and San Antonio in four games each to reach The Finals.

The Cavaliers (51-31) held the top seed in the East for most of the season before staggering over the final six weeks, going 9-12 over their final 21 games, including four consecutive losses to end the season.

Cleveland seems to have recovered from its late-season slump, sweeping Indiana and Toronto in the first two rounds before ousting the Celtics in five.

The Warriors and Cavs split two games in the regular season, each team winning on its home floor. Cleveland took a 109-108 decision on Christmas Day, while the Warriors came back for a 126-91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Oakland.

The NBA Finals schedule can be seen below. 

Game 1 – Thu  June  1  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 2 – Sun  June  4  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM  

Game 3 – Wed  June  7  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 4 – Fri  June  9  Golden State at Cleveland             6:00PM  

Game 5 * Mon  June 12  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 6 * Thu  June 15  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 7 * Sun  June 18  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM    

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

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USATSI

Dusty chooses son's graduation over Nationals game against Padres

WASHINGTON — Dusty Baker will miss the Washington Nationals weekend series against the San Diego Padres to attend his son Darren’s graduation.

Baker said he will rejoin Washington when it begins a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday, near Baker’s offseason home. Bench coach Chris Speier will assume managerial duties against the Padres.

Baker’s son Darren is graduating from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, California. He’s committed to play college baseball at Cal.

As a 3-year-old bat boy, Darren was rescued from a potential home plate collision by J.T. Snow in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series between Baker’s Giants and the Angels.