Nolasco, Marlins beat Giants, stop streak at five

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Nolasco, Marlins beat Giants, stop streak at five

May 24, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Ricky Nolasco handed the defending World Series champions their first home loss in a month with the sort of pitching performance they're used to producing themselves.Nolasco pitched scoreless ball into the ninth inning and the Florida Marlins quieted the streaking Giants with a 5-1 victory Tuesday night, snapping San Francisco's nine-game home winning streak."I would've liked to finish it," he said. "But it was a big win to start the road trip against these guys."Gaby Sanchez had a three-run double and Mike Stanton hit his 11th home run of the season to help the Marlins win for the third time in four games. San Francisco had won five straight overall to move into first place in the NL West and hadn't lost at home since April 24 against Atlanta.Omar Infante added three singles and Sanchez finished with three hits to chase Giants starter Matt Cain (3-3) after six innings.Nolasco (4-0) loaded the bases with one out in the ninth before Leo Nunez entered to get his major league-best 18th save this season. Nolasco struck out five and was charged with one run on seven hits."I think that was so far his best performance of the year," Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez said.The Marlins didn't waste a chance to shine out West.They were patient against Cain as he struggled with his command early, giving up four runs on six hits. He struck out four but tied his season high with three walks, and the Marlins took advantage of all the free passes.Cain walked Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison with two outs in the third to load the bases. Sanchez followed with a bases-clearing double to right-center, giving Florida a 3-0 lead."That's my fault. That can't happen," Cain said. "That can't happen at all and that's the reason we lost. I didn't make the pitches to get him out and finish the inning."Stanton sent the first pitch of the fourth inning just over the center-field wall to put the Marlins ahead 4-0. Andres Torres seemed to be in position to make the catch, reaching up to snatch the ball only to have his glove hit the padding. Torres watched as the ball barely sailed over the 399-foot sign on the wall.That was more than enough support for Nolasco.The hard-throwing right-hander with the big breaking ball had hitters baffled almost from the start. Torres had a leadoff double in the first and advanced to third on a groundball two batters later before Buster Posey flied out to right.San Francisco didn't come close to scoring again until the ninth, when Posey singled and Cody Ross hit a double. Nolasco walked Mike Fontenot before Nunez entered.All the Giants could muster off the Marlins' closer was a sacrifice fly from Miguel Tejada before Emmanuel Burriss flied out to right to end the game.Nolasco challenged the quick-swinging Giants by pounding the strike zone with a combination of curves. He had innings of eight, nine and 10 pitches in a performance that was simply dominant.The Marlins added another run in the eighth when Chris Coghlan had a leadoff double. Ramirez bunted him over, and Coghlan scored two batters later on reliever Guillermo Mota's wild pitch.After three straight no-decisions, Nolasco earned his first win since May 1 at Cincinnati. He also threw a two-hit shutout at San Francisco on Aug. 19, 2008."It's going to be a tough night when he's on," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He knows what he's doing out there. We couldn't do much. We had a couple chances but just couldn't get the big hit. We tried there at the end. We just ran into a well-pitched game."NOTES: Giants LHP Barry Zito faced hitters for the first time since going on the disabled list April 17 with a sprained right foot. Between his bullpen session and the simulated game, he threw about 100 pitches. He is expected to pitch in extended spring training in Arizona later this week. ... Marlins RHP Josh Johnson will do some light tossing Wednesday, the first throwing he's done since being placed on the disabled list last week with right shoulder inflammation. ... The Marlins recalled RHP Steve Cishek from Triple-A New Orleans and designated RHP Jay Buente for assignment. ... Posey extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the seventh.

Instant Analysis: Giants' rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Cubs

Instant Analysis: Giants' rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Cubs

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO — The Giants will need a win on getaway day to clinch their first winning road trip.

Wednesday's comeback attempt fell just short, as the Giants scored two in the ninth but lost to the Cubs 5-4. Since taking the first two games in St. Louis, they have dropped three of four, falling 11 games back of the Rockies in the division.

Here are five things to know from the coldest Giants game of the year … 

— Mac Williamson fouled off eight pitches before going the opposite way against Wade Davis, who entered with a 0.00 ERA in 19 appearances. The two-run homer ended a run of 19 consecutive solo shots by the Giants, two short of their own MLB record. It was the first homer off Davis in two years. 

— The sixth inning was one of the stranger escapes we’ve seen from a pitcher this season. With two on and one out, Jason Heyward blasted a Matt Moore pitch right down the line and it looked like it would give the Cubs a 6-2 lead. The wind blew the ball a couple of feet foul. Heyward then topped one down the line and Moore’s throw bounced away from first, allowing a run to score. But the umpires called — correctly — Heyward out for running inside the line. It’s a call you rarely see. Moore then struck out Addison Russell to keep what could have easily been a 6-2 or 4-2 game at 3-2. 

— Before the first game of this series, a Giant asked in the dugout, “I wonder what some of the Cubs’ numbers would look like at our place?” Anthony Rizzo is a .159 hitter with no homers in 18 career games at AT&T Park, but he had no issues on a night when conditions were worse than they are most nights in San Francisco. Rizzo homered off Moore in his first two at-bats. 

— Rizzo will occasionally put a bunt down to beat the shift — he had an accidental bunt in his third at-bat — which the Giants have long wanted Brandon Belt to do. Belt pushed one away from the shift in the sixth, and even though it was too close to pitcher Kyle Hendricks, the throw was off and Belt reached second. One of those a week would open up a few more holes. 

— This lineup has made a habit of making mediocre and downright bad pitchers look good, and the actual good ones are taking advantage, too. A night after Jon Lester recorded his first complete game of the year, Hendricks threw seven innings for the first time. 

Mullin sees potential Warriors-Cavs trilogy Finals going six games, but...

Mullin sees potential Warriors-Cavs trilogy Finals going six games, but...

As the defending champion Cavaliers are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals, the consensus is they will meet the Warriors there and, moreover, that Part III of the trilogy promises to be the most compelling yet.

Chris Mullin is not so sure.

The Hall of Fame forward and current St. John's head coach, a guest Wednesday on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast, perceives a reasonable chance of sweeping the series.

“I’m going on the record saying 4-2, just because maybe I want to see six games,” Mullin said. “I would not be surprised if it’s 4-1 or 4-zero. I think they’re that good.”

Recalling how the Warriors started sluggishly after a one-week layoff ahead of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals against the Spurs, Mullin conceded there could be some rust but probably not enough to invite a loss.

“I don’t want to lay any . . . pressure, but the Warriors, to me, this team that we’re watching is going to go down in history as one of the best teams of all time,” he said. “I believe that. I think they will stay together and that’s we’re probably going to see four Hall of Fame players that have played together and have dominated and become a dynasty. That’s what we’re going to look back on.

“There’s just a huge disparity between them and the rest of the league -- and not just the Cavaliers. But there’s a huge disparity between them and the Cavaliers. “

The Warriors defeated Cleveland in six games to win the championship in 2015, but the Cavaliers recovered from a 3-1 deficit to take the rematch last June.

Though both teams have made substantive changes, Mullin is more impressed with what the Warriors have done, including the addition of four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant to a nucleus that included All-Stars Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Mullin pointed out that the losses of Andrew Bogut, along with subtractions to their fabled depth and chemistry, led some to wonder if the Warriors might lose the magic of the previous two seasons. He also understands that point of view.

“But as I see it now,” he said, “I think they’re deeper and have better chemistry than they did last year when they won 73 games.”

It’s not that Mullin gives the Cavaliers, who have won 11 of 12 games in these playoffs, zero chance to win the series. It is just, in his view, very slim. “Cleveland, they’ve got really good people,” he said. “Their talent, I’m not discounting at all. LeBron and Kyrie and Kevin Love, these guys are great, great players.

“I feel like the Warriors are just a notch above everybody. I really believe that.”