June 3, 2011GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOMIAMI (AP) Florida Marlins rookie Scott Cousins has been receiving death threats despite repeatedly apologizing for a collision with San Francisco Giants star Buster Posey.The collision at home plate on May 25 left Posey with a broken bone in his lower left leg and three torn ligaments in his ankle. He's had surgery and is done for the season.Giants general manager Brian Sabean criticized Cousins on his weekly radio show on KNBR this week, calling the play malicious and unnecessary. Sabean also said "if I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy.""He chose to be a hero, in my mind," Sabean said. "If that's his flash of fame, that's as good as it's going to get, pal. We'll have a long memory."Those comments got the attention of Major League Baseball, and executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with Sabean on Friday. The Giants also issued a statement saying Sabean's comments were made out of frustration, and the GM was trying to reach Cousins."We intend to move beyond conversations about last week's incident and focus our attention on Buster's full recovery and on defending our World Series title," the team said in the statement.Cousins also issued a statement Friday and apologized again for the collision."I hope and believe that Mr. Sabean's comments were made in the heat of the moment and are based more on his fondness for Buster Posey than on any animosity towards me," Cousins said in the statement. "This situation is still an open wound for many, including myself. As I have stated previously, nobody outside of Buster feels worse about his injury than I do."Cousins said he's tried to contact Posey but has been unsuccessful."I do believe, however, that the play was clean and totally within the rules of the game," Cousins said. "Explaining over and over that I would never intentionally hurt another player for any reason won't change the minds of those who doubt my sincerity or intent."I have a responsibility to myself, my teammates, and my organization to play the game hard. This is what has gotten me to the big leagues, and hopefully this is what will keep me here."Giants president Larry Baer he spoke with Marlins president David Samson on Friday regarding Sabean's comments. Baer also said Sabean talked to Florida GM Larry Beinfest and tried calling Cousins himself but was unsuccessful."It's still a pretty raw emotional time for us," Baer said. "I mean, to lose (Posey) for the season, a guy who means so much to us. Having said that, we're looking forward and we're looking forward to Buster's recovery. We're certainly out of the business of talking about the incident and revisiting it other than we think it's healthy dialogue to talk about what can be done to protect the player."Posey felt Cousins could have slid around him but also said it was a legal play.Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison came to Cousins' defense during an interview Friday on SiruisXM radio, calling Sabean "wildly unprofessional" for calling out his teammate."When has he played in the big leagues? When has he played in the minor leagues?" Morrison said. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but he's never been in a situation like that. It's terrible."Why would you wish anything like that on anybody?" Morrison continued. "He's getting death threats from people. This is his hometown, San Francisco. He's worried about his family and his friends that are there. And now (Sabean) is going to make comments like that? It's ignorant, it's inappropriate and he has no idea what the hell he's talking about."Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said before Friday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers that he doesn't have to defend his young outfielder because Cousins didn't do anything wrong."As a team we don't have anything to say," Rodriguez said. "If people want to keep talking about that, let them talk."The Giants visit the Marlins for a three-game series in August.
SAN FRANCISCO — Over in Cleveland earlier Friday, Brandon Moss hit a three-run homer for the visiting team and five other players chipped in a pair of hits. The Royals had six runs, which meant that when Jim Johnson closed the Giants out a few hours later, what has seemed true all season became officially true. The Giants have the lowest-scoring lineup in the majors.
At 3.32 runs per game, they have dipped below the equally-disappointing Royals (3.38). They are capable at the moment of making any pitching staff look dominant. A 2-0 shutout was the first of the year for the Braves, who previously had just two games this season where they allowed fewer than two runs.
“Six runs in (the last) four games … I thought we would come home and get some rips in tonight, but it didn’t happen,” Bruce Bochy said.
The manager’s frustration showed late in this one. After the only rally of the game — a two-run single by opposing pitcher Jaime Garcia — Bochy took his cap off and rubbed his forehead. He dipped his head and briefly stood as if he was going to fall asleep on the rail. The bats were equally still.
The Giants had just four hits, all of them singles against Garcia, who is a nice pitcher but hardly one of the league’s best. One was an infield single by Eduardo Nuñez, another a single through Garcia’s five-hole, and a third a generous ruling by the official scorekeeper.
“It comes down to, you’ve got to get some hits and create opportunities, and we’re not doing it very often,” Bochy said. “It’s just a matter of guys getting somewhat hot. We did, we had some success, and we won some games. The thing you like to see is some good cuts and I didn’t think we got enough of those tonight.”
That run, which spanned the last homestand and small parts of two road trips, has come to a screeching halt. The Giants have lost five of six. It seems silly to scoreboard-watch in May, especially when a team is playing like this, but it’s worth noting that the teams the Giants eventually need to catch keep winning. They fell 12 games back of the Rockies and 11 back of the streaking Diamondbacks. They are 9 1/2 back of the Dodgers, who might be the best team in the whole league.
Matt Cain did his part to allow the Giants to keep pace. He got beat just once in seven sharp innings. The Giants intentionally walked Dansby Swanson to get to Garcia, who bounced a single into left. Brandon Belt had a play at the plate, but his throw was short and hit the runner. A second run scored.
“That’s tough,” Cain said. “(Garcia) was throwing the ball really good and that’s what it comes down to, you’re looking for that one hit and he did it. He’s a good hitter. We’ve seen it in St. Louis. But it definitely is tough when the pitcher does that … it just stinks on my part to give up a hit to the opposing pitcher.”
NEW YORK — Jed Lowrie is the counterpoint to the A’s home run-crazed offensive attack.
Sure, the A’s switch-hitting second baseman can muscle up and clear the fence. But Lowrie’s approach is more about spraying base hits all around and using the whole field. He was at it again in Friday’s 4-1 A’s victory over the Yankees, going 3-for-4 and delivering an RBI single that snapped a scoreless tie in the eighth.
“I always have to carry his glove out to second for him because he’s always on base,” shortstop Adam Rosales said. “He looks really good at the plate right now, and he’s kind of just putting us on his back. It’s contagious to see a guy like that doing so well.”
Lowrie bumped his average up to .310 with Friday’s game. Until he grounded out in the sixth, he’d notched hits in seven consecutive at-bats dating back to Tuesday night. That streak fell one shy of the A’s record for most consecutive hits. Three players share the record at eight — Josh Reddick (in 2016), Dave Magadan (1997) and Brent Gates (1994).
“It’s all about the work,” said Lowrie, whose 15 doubles are tied for third in the AL. “Everything comes together when you’re seeing it well. I’m seeing it well but the approach hasn’t changed.”
With two runners aboard and two out in the eighth, Lowrie punched an RBI single to right off Tyler Clippard for the game’s first run. It was the breakthrough the A’s needed after they’d struck out 13 times in seven innings against Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s hit by beating out an infield single to score another run. Then Stephen Vogt added a two-run homer in top of the ninth to make it 4-0, and that provided some cushion as closer Santiago Casilla gave up a run and made things tenser than they should have been in the bottom half.
Davis, the most fearsome hitter in Oakland’s lineup, is thrilled to have a productive Lowrie batting in front of him as the No. 3 man.
“Somebody’s gotta hit .300,” Davis said. “All year he’s been our most consistent hitter and best hitter. I hope he keeps going.”
The A’s have won four in a row at Yankee Stadium dating back to last year. It’s their longest winning streak in the Bronx since a four-gamer at the old stadium in 2006. And it was a good way to begin a seven-game road trip for the A’s, who came in with the league’s worst road record at 6-15.
Rosales had puffiness under his right eye and said he was anticipating a shiner after his hard head-first dive into third base didn’t go as planned in the eighth. He scraped up his face pretty good after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw and taking a hard dive into third, only to find the dirt wasn’t giving.
After addressing reporters, Rosales said he was on his way to find an ice pack.