Rangers' Best Pitcher, Bats Fizzle Against Giants

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Rangers' Best Pitcher, Bats Fizzle Against Giants

Nov. 1, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEORANGERS PAGE

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Everything that carried the Texas Rangers into the World Series fizzled against the San Francisco Giants.The best pitcher. The big bats.Nothing seemed to work when it mattered most.Ace left-hander Cliff Lee lost again and the Rangers' bats remained silent in a 3-1 loss in Game 5 on Monday night that gave the title to the Giants."The guys are a little down," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "They beat us soundly. They played better baseball than we did."Lee, the prized midseason acquisition Texas got to win games like this, was definitely better than in the Series opener, when he had his worst postseason outing ever. Still, it wasn't good enough to beat Tim Lincecum.But no matter how well the free agent-to-be might have pitched in maybe his last start for Texas, Lee got no help from a potent lineup that went from slugging to slumping in the Rangers' first World Series."You've got to tip your cap to Lincecum. He pitched an unbelievable game. They outpitched us the whole series," Lee said. "Against this lineup, that's highly impressive what they did with the ball. A lot of credit goes to their pitching and defense. It was outstanding, and they flat-out beat us."Texas had gone 18 innings -- the equivalent of two full games -- without scoring until Nelson Cruz homered in the seventh against Lincecum. That was after Lee, who struck out six and walked none in seven innings, had thrown his last pitch.Edgar Renteria, the Giants' No. 8 hitter and World Series MVP, hit a three-run homer in the seventh.The Rangers were shut out twice by San Francisco. The last team held scoreless twice in a World Series was the 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers, who failed to score in the last three games while being swept by Baltimore.Texas, which led the majors with a .276 batting average in the regular season, hit a meager .190 with only 12 runs in the World Series."Obviously, we have a great offense, so we feel like we should score no matter what," said Michael Young, the team's career hits leader and longest-tenured player in his 10th season. "They threw really well, they deserve credit for that, they won the World Series - but as a competitor you always want to put it on yourself. You always want to say it doesn't matter who's out there, you've got to find a way to score runs. We just didn't get it done."Josh Hamilton, who led the majors with a .359 average in the regular season, went 2 for 20 in the World Series. The big bats of Young, Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz were a combined 12 for 74 (.162)."Sometimes you feel good and you just don't get hits," Hamilton said. "You hate for it to happen in the World Series, but it did."Bengie Molina spent 3 12 seasons in San Francisco, helping to mentor Lincecum and the other Giants pitchers before being traded July 1 to the Rangers. As good as the Giants' pitchers are, even he was caught off guard by how much they dominated the Texas hitters."Very surprised, very amazed," said Molina, who can still take home a championship ring. "It's very simple. They hit, they pitched, they won."Put it this way: The Rangers had 29 hits in the series. San Francisco scored 29 runs."I didn't know they can pitch that well," Washington said. "It was as good as advertised."Lee was 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA in eight career postseason starts going into this World Series. He had won Games 1 and 5 last year for Philadelphia against the New York Yankees, who won the other four games for their 27th championship.This time, he lost Games 1 and 5 of the first World Series in the 50-season history of the Rangers franchise.Now, Texas is unsure if Lee will be back for No. 51.The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner will be one of the most sought-after free agents this winter, and the Rangers obviously want to keep him. They beat the Yankees in the playoffs, but it could be costly to top them again in free agency."I like this team. This is a very fun team to play on. It was a very talented group of guys. I expect this team to do some really good things next year," Lee said. "I don't know if I'm going to be a part of it or not. I would love to be. But there are so many things that can happen."Before his disappointing World Series, Lee pitched a complete game in the AL division series clincher against Tampa Bay after winning the opener of that series for Texas. In his only start against the Yankees in the AL championship series, he struck out 13 and allowed only two hits over eight innings.The Rangers' best hitter in the Series was Mitch Moreland, the rookie first baseman who batted ninth and didn't even join the team until July 27. He went 6 for 13 (.462) and his three-run homer was the big hit for Texas in its only victory, 4-2 in Game 3.Before Lincecum struck out 10 while allowing three hits in eight innings Monday night, the Rangers managed only three singles in eight innings the night before against rookie left-hander Madison Bumgarner."There were three games that they just dominated. The pitcher came out and did their job and kept us off balance pretty much the whole game," Moreland said. "We just couldn't get anything going. That's kind of the story for us."

Instant Replay: A's use Davis homer vs Astros to snap five-game skid

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AP

Instant Replay: A's use Davis homer vs Astros to snap five-game skid

BOX SCORE

HOUSTON – The clean game that manager Bob Melvin had been seeking from his team finally came Saturday night.

Andrew Triggs was excellent in rebounding from his rough previous start, and home runs from Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis powered the A’s 2-1 victory over the Astros. That snapped Oakland’s five-game losing streak, along with a 10-game losing streak against Houston.

A night after committing three errors, the A’s played mistake-free defense and got a couple of highlight-reel plays in support of Triggs (4-1), who blanked the Astros over a career-high seven innings and set a new career high with nine strikeouts.

Lowrie, facing the team with which he’s spent two separate stints, launched a homer off the facing of the second deck in right field in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Davis padded the lead in the eighth with his signature opposite-field prowess, clearing the wall in right for his third homer of the series and 10th of the season, tying the Yankees’ Aaron Judge for the American League lead.

But it all started with Triggs, who won his first three starts but gave up six runs against Seattle last weekend. He ate up seven innings and turned it over to his bullpen.

Jose Altuve homered off Sean Doolittle in the eighth to cut the A’s lead to 2-1, but Santiago Casilla closed it out in the ninth for his fourth save.

Starting pitching report

Triggs retired 10 in a row to finish his outing, but the key to the early part of his night was stranding runners. He wiggled out of a one-out jam with men on second and third in the first inning, striking out Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltran. He stranded runners on first and second in the third, then got another big strikeout to end the fourth with a man on third. Before Saturday, Triggs hadn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning of a game he’d started in the majors.

Bullpen report

Casilla gave up Beltran’s infield single to lead off the ninth. But after a replay reversal negated an A’s double play, Casilla ended it by getting Brian McCann to hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

At the plate

Two big swings of the bat were all it took for the A’s to notch their first win in five games of this three-city road trip. Lowrie, who came in hitting .375 over his previous eight games, hit a towering shot to right off Joe Musgrove (1-2) for his second homer of the season. Then Davis did his thing, blasting a shot to the opposite field for his 10th homer of April. He had just nine homers in 83 career April games entering this season.

In the field

There was no shortage of highlight plays turned in defensively. Jaff Decker, starting in right field, made a perfect throw from near the warning track to nail Carlos Beltran trying to tag up on a fly ball in the fourth. The next inning, former Athletic Josh Reddick fired a strike to home to nail Chad Pinder trying to score from second on Lowrie’s single. But the A’s got Reddick right back when first baseman Yonder Alonso made a leaping grab on Reddick’s liner headed for right field.

Attendance

The announced crowd was 32,147.

Up next

The A’s face a tough task in Sunday’s series finale, going against lefty Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22). He’s the first pitcher in Astros history to go seven-plus innings and allow two or fewer runs in each of his first five starts. Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) takes the ball for Oakland. First pitch is 11:10 a.m.

McKenzie focuses Raiders' 2017 draft on defense, beefs up secondary

McKenzie focuses Raiders' 2017 draft on defense, beefs up secondary

ALAMEDA – Raiders general manger Reggie McKenzie made nine selections in this weekend’s NFL draft. That was a requirement given the state of his roster, featuring a stacked offense and a Swiss-cheese defense. It has holes.

He spent significant draft capital trying to upgrade the middle of his defense especially, adding three defensive backs, two defensive tackles and a fifth-round pick in Marquel Lee who will compete to start at middle linebacker.

He needs a few immediate impact players on the defensive group headlined by first-round cornerback Gareon Conley and second-round safety Obi Melifonwu.

“How much do I think I can get out of this group? I hope a lot,” McKenzie said Saturday after the NFL draft was complete. “They’re all going to come in and compete. We’re signing guys post-draft also. We’re going to give them all the opportunity to compete with the veterans that we already have on board. We hope that out of it all, the competition part of it, the cream rises and we have a very good 53-man roster.”

McKenzie follows a draft board thoroughly constructed through hundreds of scouting reports and cross checks, and extensive evaluation at combines and pro days. He trusts it. It has certainly treated him well before, which productive hauls in 2014 and 2015 especially.

While he lost out on some likable players taken before his slot, McKenzie believes the Raiders added quality and depth in previously lacking position groups. He stuck with size and athleticism at times over college production and, as always, beefed up both the offensive and defensive lines.

“I think the way it fell, we got a lot of players, at the end of the day, it looks like we needed,” he said. “We felt like we got a lot of good players with high talent levels from top to bottom. Some are going to be more raw than others. We’re going to have to see down the line, more so. I think talking to the board, you said, ‘Job well done.’”

McKenzie also focused on fixing a lackluster pass defense with speed. Conley can be a shutdown cornerback outside or in the slot. Melifonwu is a heavy hitter who can play both safety spots and is expected to contribute as a rookie. The secondary must improve to prevent big plays and help Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin get after the quarterback.

“You have to have speed to play the game the way it’s going now,” McKenzie said. “You have to be able to play in space. You have to be able to match up. We took all of that into consideration when we brought these players in. To the players that you mentioned, Obi and Conley, both of those guys have great range, speed, very athletic. So, they make tackles in space. That’s one of the things that we looked at. Make sure short to medium plays don’t turn into big plays. I think they will help in that scenario.”

Here’s a full list of Raiders draft picks:

Round 1 (No. 24 overall): CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State
Round 2 (No. 56 overall): S Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut
Round 3 (No. 88 overall): DT Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA
Round 4 (No. 129 overall): OT David Sharpe, Florida
Round 5 (No. 168 overall): LB Marquel Lee, Wake Forest
Round 7 (No. 221 overall): S Shalom Luani, Washington State
Round 7 (No. 231 overall): OT Jylan Ware, Alabama State
Round 7 (No. 242 overall): RB Elijah Hood, North Carolina
Round 7 (No. 244 overall): DT Treyvon Hester, Toledo