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.

Meier back with Sharks after working on his game in AHL

Meier back with Sharks after working on his game in AHL

ST. PAUL – On paper, Timo Meier’s production after he was reassigned to the AHL Barracuda on Feb. 16 was down. The former first-round pick had just six points (3g, 3a) in 14 games, and was scoreless in his last five, a far cry from what he was doing there earlier in the season and way off his numbers in juniors.

But at just 20 years old, Meier is still in the learning phase of his professional career. And as impressive as the Barracuda have been this season, they’re still playing in a developmental league, first and foremost. Meier got a chance to work on some of the aspects of his game he needed to work on.

“It was obviously hard going back,” said Meier, who has three goals and two assists in 28 games, before Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. “Sometimes you go back there and you try too much, but they told me to work on some things in my game, and I tried to do that.

“For me, going down there it was all about learning stuff on the ice, off the ice. … It’s my first year [in pro hockey], so as a young guy you want to learn and listen to the coaches, too. Just get better.”

Coach Pete DeBoer went into pretty good detail on what the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft needed to do with the Barracuda, and what he needs to show now that he’s back in the NHL.

“I think with a lot of big, talented young guys, they have to realize when they can make an extra play with the puck and when they have to chip it in,” DeBoer said. “They’re so used to dominating at the levels they’ve been at for so long, that [it’s] easier said than done. It’s habits you have to learn, and you don’t learn unless you’re doing them on a consistent basis.”

Meier’s shot selection, too, is something that needed some improvement, according to the coach. While the power winger might be generating plenty of shot attempts, no doubt pleasing the advanced stats crowd, there’s more to being an effective forward than running up numbers on the Excel spreadsheets.

“You don’t want to shoot [just] to shoot up here, or to just get shots on net. You’re not scoring on NHL goalies like you are on junior goalies from 30 or 40 feet out,” DeBoer said. “You’ve got to pick your spots. Sometimes you have to look for a better play than a shot.”

Meier said: “It’s a really tough league. As a young guy coming in, sometimes you’ve got to stay patient, too, try not [to do] too much. … Sometimes I tried [to do] a little too much.”

Meier has been in the Sharks’ lineup for each of the last two games. He started on the fourth line before getting bumped up to Tomas Hertl’s third line on Monday in Dallas, and returned to the fourth line with Chris Tierney and Micheal Haley for Tuesday’s tilt in Minnesota. He is scoreless with two shots on goal over those two games.

He could be a temporary fill in for Jannik Hansen, who remains out with an upper body injury but could potentially return before the end of the road trip this weekend. Or, perhaps Meier does enough to stick around for the stretch run and the playoffs. There would seem to be an opportunity to push someone else out of the lineup, as the Sharks’ depth scoring has been a season-long problem.

“It’s a great opportunity for me, getting that chance again later on in the season,” Meier said. “I want to put it all on the ice, leave it all out there and just make the best out of every shift I get. Play my game, play within my strengths, [do] the things that got me here, and I’m sure I’ll be successful like that.”

Puerto Rico in scarce supply of hair dye amid World Baseball Classic fever

Puerto Rico in scarce supply of hair dye amid World Baseball Classic fever

AN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Pharmacies and beauty stores across Puerto Rico are running out of hair dye with even a top economist joining men going blond in support of the island's baseball players who bleached their hair ahead of the World Baseball Classic.

What began as a joke among team members playing in California has spread across the island in a trend that spiked Tuesday just hours after Puerto Rico beat the Netherlands in 11 innings to reach the championship game undefeated in the tournament, which is held every four years. Puerto Rico will play Wednesday night in the final against the United States, which defeated Japan.

"Ever since they began winning, this has not stopped," said Myrna Rios, a manager at a Sally Beauty Supply store in the capital of San Juan. "We have run out of the product in most of our stores."

Copper blond, platinum blond, golden blond - all shades of blond (even burnt orange) are turning heads in a U.S. territory where the majority of men have thick, dark hair. Bald men dyed their beards or goatees in a nod to Puerto Rico coach Carlos Delgado.

"We have been able to unite our country with our blond hair," said star Carlos Correa, who hit a two-run homer and scored the winning run against the Netherlands. "That's what we want as players to unite our country, our people, and give them the best."

Men ranging from news anchors to university students to professionals have embraced a trend that has sparked the rallying cry of "Team Rubio!" or "Team Blond" in Spanish.

Among them is civil engineer Christian Rodriguez, who dyed his beard Saturday after visiting four different pharmacies to find the product he needed. At first, he didn't dye his hair as well because he thought it would be too much at church on Sunday. But he noticed six male churchgoers had dyed their hair blond and decided to take the plunge, calling a hair stylist friend to help him go platinum.

Rodriguez complained of an intense burning sensation during the two-hour process and sent pictures to his wife, who responded with the emoticon of a monkey with its eyes covered.

"Anything for my island!" he said as he lifted his arm to cheer the team.

Rodriguez then sent a picture of his dyed hair to his mechanic, who responded with a selfie taken underneath a car of him smiling with a bleached beard.

Puerto Rico's undefeated run to the championship has boosted the spirit of an island mired in a decade-long recession that faces a rocky recovery amid looming austerity measures for its government. Even young students have been sporting blond do's, prompting public schools to suspend them until the island's education secretary stepped in and said in a letter made public Tuesday that they should be allowed to dye their hair during the tournament.

"We wanted to do this to unite the team, and then the people of Puerto Rico, they started dying their hair, too," pitcher Edwin Diaz said. "I saw that there were some students that were suspended from school. I think they shouldn't be doing that because it just means that we have united our nation."

Even the prominent Puerto Rico-based economist Sergio Marxuach joined the trend, sporting yellow hair as he walked into a seminar in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, drawing laughs.

"My youngest son asked me, 'Why did you paint your hair like Donald Trump?'" he recalled with a laugh. "If this team can give us hope, we're going to need it given what's coming down the pipe."