MLB team uses 11 pitchers, still doesn't win

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MLB team uses 11 pitchers, still doesn't win

From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Jason Kubel squandered three chances for a big hit that could have helped the Diamondbacks avoid extra innings. Given a fourth opportunity, he finally came through.Aaron Hill had a career-high five hits and Kubel tripled home the tiebreaking run in the 11th inning to lead Arizona over the San Francisco Giants 8-6 on Tuesday night.Kubel, who leads the team with 82 RBIs, struck out with two runners on in the first and third. Then he fouled out with the bases loaded to end the eighth. But in the 11th, he delivered at last."I had a chance to do that earlier and missed it," Kubel said. "I'm glad I was able to do that when I did. It was a fun game. Well, not so much fun -- but we won the game and that's all that matters."The first-place Giants used 11 pitchers, matching a major league record for extra-inning games. They remained 4 games ahead of Los Angeles in the NL West because the Dodgers also lost at home in 11 innings, to San Diego.Hill drove in two runs and was a triple shy of his third cycle this season. John McDonald also had two RBIs for the Diamondbacks, who ended a three-game skid.Brandon Belt had three hits, including a two-run homer, to help San Francisco rally from a 6-2 deficit. Pablo Sandoval knocked in two runs, but the Giants had their three-game winning streak stopped."There's something special about this team that we kept fighting no matter what the situation," Belt said. "I can't say enough about what everybody in here is doing."Josh Collmenter (4-3) pitched two innings for the win.Hill opened the 11th with a single off George Kontos (1-1) and scored on Kubel's one-out triple to right-center off Javier Lopez. After an intentional walk to Paul Goldschmidt, Miguel Montero added an RBI single."It was a great game," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had the lead and we were in command and the Giants did, really, what they've been doing all year and kept coming back. We kept our composure and it was a good win for us."Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy, who also drove in a run, took a three-hitter into the sixth. He was pulled after Brandon Crawford doubled as the potential tying run.Kennedy was charged with five runs and seven hits over 5 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out five."We got down and came back against a guy who's been tough on us," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We couldn't quite finish it. The guys did a great job of swinging the bats and the bullpen did a great job of keeping us in it."Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong lasted 3 1-3 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out seven.After pitching at least six innings in his first 21 starts, Vogelsong has failed to get out of the fourth in three of the past five. He has a 10.13 ERA during that span, giving up 24 runs and 37 hits in 21 1-3 innings.Sandoval followed Marco Scutaro's first-inning triple with a groundout to put the Giants ahead 1-0.The Diamondbacks tied it on Kennedy's RBI single in the second and took the lead in the third when Goldschmidt doubled home a run and McDonald singled home two more.The Giants got one back when Scutaro doubled in the third.Hill's two-run homer in the fourth put Arizona ahead 6-2 and ended Vogelsong's night.Hunter Pence doubled home a run and scored on Belt's two-run homer in the sixth to cut it to 6-5. Sandoval singled home a run in the seventh to tie it.NOTES:CF Adam Eaton had two hits in his major league debut with the Diamondbacks after having his contract purchased by the club earlier in the day. C Henry Blanco was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Eaton on the 40-man roster. ... Giants broadcasters Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper called the game from center field. The game-time temperature was 57 degrees, with the wind blowing out to center. ... Kennedy recorded his first no-decision in 11 starts. ... Pence had two assists from right field. ... The Giants added INF Emmanuel Burriss, RHP Dan Otero and LHP Dan Runzler to the roster. RHP Eric Hacker was designated for assignment to make room for Burriss on the 40-man roster. ... RHP Trevor Cahill (9-11, 3.99 ERA) starts for the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. He is 0-2 against the Giants this year but 3-2 overall. LHP Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 3.07) goes for the Giants. He is 0-2 against Arizona this year and 3-2 overall.

Ahead of trade deadline, Sharks must decide on top line

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Ahead of trade deadline, Sharks must decide on top line

SAN JOSE – Less than 48 hours before the NHL trade deadline on Wednesday at noon, the Sharks’ brain trust has at least one important decision to make.

Are they comfortable rotating left wingers in and out of the Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski line, or should an upgrade be attempted via the trade market? There are a number of players said to be available that could provide the team with some forward depth and scoring punch ahead of the playoffs.

Seven different wingers have played on that so-called top line, none of them lasting more than one continuous stint there than Patrick Marleau from Nov. 21 – Jan. 3. 

In total, seven different players have started a game on that line, including Marleau (25 games), Tomas Hertl (13 games), Kevin Labanc (6 games), Mikkel Boedker (5 games), Timo Meier (4 games), Joel Ward (4 games) and Melker Karlsson (4 games). Injuries have played a role, of course, but it seems as if coach Pete DeBoer has been looking for someone to seize that position. 

Pavelski, though, didn’t seem overly worried about the ongoing alternation.

“We’ve had a few different players there, and I don’t think it’s a concern,” said the captain. “You’re always looking for chemistry and something set in stone if you can get it, but throughout a game, things change.”

DeBoer laid out what he’s looking for in a player to skate alongside Thornton and Pavelski, as well as the kind of player that wouldn’t fit in that role.

“You have to play [at Pavelski and Thornton’s] level and their work ethic,” said the coach. “They want the puck. They want to hunt the puck and want someone to get in there and retrieve pucks so that they can have possession. 

“I can tell you a guy who doesn’t fit would be a guy who is strictly a shooter, or kind of lets other people do the work and just goes to holes. They need somebody that’s going to work at their level and hunt the puck, so that’s got to be part of it.”

Labanc is the latest player to hold down that spot, starting there for the last four games and remaining there for Monday’s practice at Sharks Ice. Just 21 years old, Labanc has contributed a respectable seven goals and 18 points in his first 46 NHL games. Still, he hasn’t scored a goal in his last 22 games, and has just one assist and four total shots in the last four games.

It’s debatable whether the still-smallish Labanc is ready for the rigors of an NHL schedule on a full-time basis, which would make it dangerous for the Sharks to go into the postseason with someone like him in such a key position. DeBoer, though, praised the rookie’s recent efforts.

“I thought he’s done a good job. He’s got some of those [aforementioned] attributes,” DeBoer said. "He’s an offensive guy, [and] he thinks on their level offensively.”

Other teams in direct competition with the Sharks for a Western Conference title are adding pieces, particularly up front. Anaheim acquired scoring winger Patrick Eaves from Dallas, the Blackhawks brought in Detroit forward Tomas Jurco, and Minnesota gave up a haul to Arizona for center Martin Hanzal.

If the Sharks don’t make a move, they will likely go the whole season without bringing in a single player from the outside other than their young prospects. That would be unique, especially for a team that has championship aspirations.

Pavelski seemed to insinuate that he expects at least one body to arrive.

“Whoever we get, hopefully they’ll fill a little depth or add a little something, and we’ll go from there,” he said.

But if not?

“It doesn’t change anything if nothing happens, that’s for sure. We’re going to keep trying to get better.”

Healy will be 'happy camper' wherever he plays

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Healy will be 'happy camper' wherever he plays

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — For a player who impressed so much in the second half last season, Ryon Healy’s role remains a bit hazy entering 2017.

The A’s insist he’ll get consistent at-bats — the question is where. As the roster shapes up, Healy will bounce between first base, designated hitter and occasional time at third base when newcomer Trevor Plouffe isn’t in the lineup.

Healy sounds game for whatever might be in store, when asked if he’d rather be guaranteed to play in the field every day.

“I think that’s any player,” Healy said. “But as long as I’m on the big league roster and I’m playing every day in the lineup and contributing to the A’s winning ballgames, I’m going to be a happy camper, that’s for sure.”

Healy earned his first big league promotion as the A’s came out of the All-Star break last summer. He hit .305 in 73 games as Oakland’s everyday third baseman, and he led American League rookies in hits (82) and extra-base hits (33) in the second half.

But when the A’s signed Plouffe in the offseason to man third base, it complicated Healy’s situation because Yonder Alonso remains as the presumed first baseman against right-handed pitchers. Healy, 25, was primarily a first baseman until last season, and he’ll spend this spring getting ready at both corner spots, though A’s Bob Melvin said first base will be more of a priority.

Melvin has talked with Healy already to make sure they’re on the same page about how he’s likely to be used.

“We’ve had conversations with that,” Melvin said. “Shoot, everybody wants to get into a routine and have one spot to play and hit one place in the lineup. That’s just not how we do things here. You try to communicate that to him ahead of time and prepare him for the role he will have. And he’ll prepare very well for it.” Healy, bothered by some quadriceps soreness early in camp, started at first in his exhibition debut Monday and lined a two-run double to left-center off Giants reliever Kraig Sitton.

There are similarities between first and third in that they’re both corner infield spots. But there are also differences that he’s gone over with infield coach Chip Hale.

“They’re both very reactionary positions, but we’ve discussed how to attack ground balls because third base you need to be a little more aggressive because of the throw across the diamond,” Healy said. “First base, you can drop-step a little bit, let the hops get to you. … I just gotta make sure I get quality reps at both and I’ll be OK.”