One down -- Beltran slugs Giants past D'backs

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One down -- Beltran slugs Giants past D'backs

Sept. 2, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Matt Cain sensed a different energy around the San Francisco Giants with August in the rear view at last.A vibe much like that of the 2010 club that propelled itself into the postseason with a stellar September.Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead, two-run homer among his four hits, Cain calmly recovered from a rough first inning and the Giants beat the first-place Diamondbacks 6-2 on Friday night to snap Arizona's season-best nine-game winning streak.Cody Ross hit a two-run homer and made a nice play with his glove as the reigning World Series champions pulled within five games of Arizona in the NL West race. San Francisco figures it must take the series to stay in the chase for a chance at defending its division title.
RATTO: Playoff atmosphere returns, Giants thrive
"That's the energy we needed, the way we needed to start off September," Cain said. "This is the time to do it, obviously. We only have a month left."The Giants began last September with a four-game division deficit behind San Diego, which gives this group hope of pulling off another unlikely run.Jeff Keppinger added an RBI double off Joe Saunders (9-12) for the Giants, who denied the D-backs brass a trip to the barber shop. San Francisco won a series opener for the first time in its last 13 chances since taking Game 1 on July 18 against the rival Dodgers.Cain (11-9) won for only the second time in seven starts, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first with minimal damage.Whether this crucial victory will help save San Francisco's season remains to be seen."This is fun as a ballplayer. You want to be in a situation where every game is meaningful, every game is worth something," Beltran said. "I heard they played well in September. We're looking forward to that."
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Statement made
It is Tim Lincecum (12-11) vs. 17-game winner Ian Kennedy on Saturday night in a marquee pitching matchup. Lincecum has two NL Cy Young awards, Kennedy is vying for this year's honor.Arizona won't be pulling out those razors this time.First-year general manager Kevin Towers and team president Derrick Hall vowed to shave their heads if the club's win streak reached 10 - a little friendly bet they had going with manager Kirk Gibson."We made some mistakes which were very uncharacteristic of the way we have been playing baseball," Gibson said. "We walked six people tonight and we gave them some added opportunities. They outplayed and outpitched us tonight. We'll be back tomorrow."The D-backs beat both Cain and Lincecum in consecutive games during their trip here a month ago. That after Arizona dropped three games all by one run at AT&T Park from May 10-12.This one wasn't close.Beltran added an RBI single in the fifth and singled again in the seventh to match his career high with four hits. It was his 20th career four-hit game and first since June 30, 2007, at Philadelphia while with the Mets.The slugger finally produced the way the Giants hoped he would when they acquired him in a July 28 trade from New York, showing the power stroke that has defined his 14-year big league career. The six-time All-Star recently spent a stint on the disabled list with an injured right hand and wrist.
VIDEO: Cody Ross postgame
Ross, one of those castoffs and misfits who shined last September and during an improbable championship run, connected in the seventh. Then, he made a spectacular diving catch on Justin Upton's sharply hit fly to start the eighth. Ross caught the ball in fair territory and slid face-first into the dirt in foul territory.Ross also snapped an 0-for-16 stretch with his fifth-inning double.Cain appeared to be in trouble right away but wound up going eight innings, allowing two runs and five hits. After striking out Ryan Roberts to start the game, he allowed Aaron Hill's single, a walk to Upton then Miguel Montero's RBI double. Chris Young drew a free pass one out later to load the bases for Gerardo Parra, but Cain retired him on a fly ball to left."We had a good opportunity in the first inning to score two runs but we didn't," Montero said. "We had the opportunity but we couldn't make it happen. Today was a little rough for us."Santiago Casilla gave up a single to Parra in the ninth before striking out pinch-hitter Geoff Blum to end it.Keppinger's double off the left-field wall in the third tied the game at 1, then Beltran followed with his 17th home run. Keppinger has eight RBIs in his last nine games.Beltran hit just his second clout in 21 games since joining the Giants. He came into the game in an 0-for-11 funk and was hitless in his previous three games. He also had been unsuccessful in his last eight at-bats with runners in scoring position and was 2 for his last 20 with chances to drive in runs."We had some big hits, the longball, two-out hits," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've been missing that for a while. Better late than never."
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
Saunders fell to 0-3 lifetime against the Giants, all the losses this year. He never found a rhythm with a sellout crowd of 40,948 on their feet cheering on a night fog swirled above the outfield in the early innings and wind whipped the ballpark flags right off the bay.The Giants are the only NL West team Saunders is yet to beat. Hill added a sacrifice fly in the fifth for Arizona's other run.Pat Burrell was back in the San Francisco lineup and playing left field after he missed 43 games with a strained right foot. He struck out and walked twice before being replaced.NOTES: These teams meet for three games at Chase Field in the season's final week. ... Beltran tripled in the first. The homer was No. 297 of his career. He is batting .500 (14 for 28) with a homer, three triples, a double and four RBIs in seven games against Arizona this season. ... Lincecum is 0-1 in two starts vs. the D-backs this season despite a 1.20 ERA. He has allowed two earned runs and seven hits with 17 strikeouts and five walks over 15 innings. The loss came here Aug. 2. ... Kennedy beat Cain on Aug. 1 during his stretch of seven straight winning starts. ... The Giants are 45-9 when scoring four or more runs.

Instant Replay: Warriors score 50 in third, win 10th straight vs Clippers

Instant Replay: Warriors score 50 in third, win 10th straight vs Clippers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Shaken by a languid and sloppy first half, the Warriors woke up after halftime and laid a 123-113 pasting on the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night at Oracle Arena.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 35 points, including 20 in the pivotal third quarter, while Kevin Durant fired in 25 points and Klay Thompson tossed in 18.

The Warriors (48-9) finished off a four-game season-series sweep of the Clippers, extending their win overall streak over LA to 10 in a row, dating back to Christmas Day 2014. They’ve won the last 11 games played in Oakland.

Shooting 73.9 percent, the Warriors scored 50 points in the third quarter -- the first 50-point quarter in the NBA since the Lakers scored 51 against the Knicks on March 25, 2014 -- to fuel their comeback. They trailed by as much as 16.

Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford each scored 19 points to lead the Clippers (35-22), whose win streak ended at four.

The game featured several boisterous moments reminiscent of Warriors-Clippers battles of a few years ago. Officials called four technical fouls, three on the Warriors and one on the Clippers.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Though Durant was the triggerman for the comeback, scoring 11 points in an 83-second stretch early in the third quarter, Curry did most of the heavy damage, annihilating the Clippers with his outburst.

Curry’s line: 35 points (10-of-16 shooting from the field, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc, and 9-of-10 from the line), seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-26.

TURNING POINT

After a Rivers 3-pointer gave the Clippers a 66-54 lead with 9:24 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded by outscoring LA 45-21 over the remainder of the quarter and taking a 99-87 lead.

The Clippers got no closer than 10 in the fourth quarter, during which they trailed by as much as 23.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia (R rotator cuff strain) and C David West (L thumb fracture) were listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were healthy inactives.

Clippers: G Chris Paul (L thumb ligament tear) and C Diamond Stone (L knee bone bruise) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Saturday night, when they face the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

Instant Replay: Kings beat Nuggets behind career-night for Cauley-Stein

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The new look Sacramento Kings might not be done just yet. Despite trading away All-Star DeMarcus Cousins over the weekend, the young and energetic Kings moved to within a half game of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase with a 116-100 drubbing of the Denver Nuggets.

Willie Cauley-Stein is ready for prime time. With plenty of extra opportunities to work with, the 7-footer went off for a career night, dropping in a career-high 29 points while grabbing 10 rebounds.  

Welcome to Sacramento Buddy Hield -- the centerpiece to the trade that sent Cousins to the Pelicans put on a show for his new fanbase. The rookie out of Oklahoma dropped in 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting and grabbed six rebounds in the win.

Seldom-used rookie Skal Labissiere looked aggressive early, scoring eight of his career-high 12 points during the first half. He added three rebounds and two assists off the bench.

Darren Collison set up the youngsters, finishing the night with 10 assists and 12 points. Ben McLemore was overmatched at the small forward spot, but still managed to go for 10 points on 2-for-3 shooting from long range.

Tyreke Evans added 15 points in his first game back in a Kings uniform in nearly four years, while Kosta Koufos chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Gary Harris got it going from the perimeter, dropping in 23 points on 5-of-11 from deep.

Sacramento played small ball and Danilo Gallinari made them pay. In his first game after an eight game absence, the Italian-born forward scored 15 points and handed out six rebounds.

Wilson Chandler added 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Jameer Nelson finished with 12 points and six assists and Will Barton tossed in 16 off the Denver bench.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

Cauley-Stein put on an aerial assault with highlight reel dunks and pretty jumpers from the perimeter. The second-year big said he was ready to take off Tuesday when he spoke to media members, but no one saw this coming.

TURNING POINT

The Kings punched first and never stop hitting the Nuggets. Denver looked stunned as the Kings’ young players put on a show.

INJURY UPDATE

Arron Afflalo, Garrett Temple and Malachi Richardson are all out with varying degrees of hamstring issues. Afflalo sat with hamstring stiffness and is day-to-day. Temple is out for another few games with a left hamstring tear and rookie Richardson is out 4-6 weeks with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the season with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT

The Kings return to the court next Saturday for a mid-day matinee -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets drop by Golden 1 Center for a 2 pm start.