Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win

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Reds clobber Zito, sweep Giants with 9-0 win

July 31, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto kept his promise to Dusty Baker.Baker asked Cueto to aid his tired bullpen by throwing a complete game. Cueto agreed to do it."Dusty asked me for a complete game this morning. I said, 'I will'", Cueto said.Cueto pitched a three-hitter, Joey Votto added a three-run homer and tied his career high with five RBIs and the Cincinnati Reds completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 9-0 win on Sunday.Todd Frazier hit his first career home run and Drew Stubbs had a career-high four hits as the Reds rebounded from being swept by the New York Mets in four games to post three consecutive wins for the first time since sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers June 13-15.Cueto (7-4) missed the first month of the season with irritation in his upper right arm and needed 7 1-3 innings to qualify for the National League ERA lead. He went into the game with a 1.88 ERA and lowered it to 1.72 with his first shutout since beating Pittsburgh 9-0 with a one-hitter on May 11, 2010.Cueto's complete game was his third of the season, but he lost the other two. Cueto had one walk with six strikeouts while allowing just one baserunner past first base."I have been working on my mechanics," said Cueto, who has added an exaggerated body turn to his delivery. "I wasn't turning as much today. The three-run lead helped too."The New York Mets and extra-innings games took a toll on the Reds' bullpen."We were swept by the Mets and came back to sweep the Giants," Baker said. "Johnny gave us what we needed. He was masterful. He works hard. He competes. You see him out running line to line. He didn't get any hits, but works on his hitting and bunting. He is trying to be a better base runner."San Francisco left-hander Barry Zito lost his third straight after a stretch in which he won three in a row as the Giants were swept for the fifth time this season and first since losing three straight at Oakland June 17-19.For the second consecutive game, the Reds grabbed a first-inning lead. Stubbs, Edgar Renteria and Votto all singled to produce one run. After Zito's wild pitch, Brandon Phillips hit a sacrifice fly, and Jay Bruce singled up the middle for a 3-0 lead.Baker gave Votto a day off Monday and the reigning MVP responded. He is 10 for 25 since with four home runs and nine RBI."Joey's been swinging the bat better, Jay Bruce picked up some RBIs," Baker said. "They are doing the things we've been talking about with runners in scoring position."The Reds led 5-0 after the first inning on Saturday.Frazier, in the ninth game of his career and eighth after being recalled from Triple-A Louisville on July 22 for the second time this season, hit a 1-1 pitch from Zito 368 feet over the left field fence for a 4-0 lead with one out in the fourth inning. The Reds made it 5-0 on Bruce's sacrifice fly in the fifth.Frazier picked up three baseballs this week from his first hit, RBI and home run."I've got them all out of the way. I'm good to go," Frazier said.Zito (3-4) allowed eight hits and five runs with two walks and four strikeouts. He also threw a wild pitch.The Reds broke it open in the seventh on Votto's 414-foot, three-run homer to center field on a full-count pitch from Guillermo Mota.The Reds capped the scoring with Stubbs' double and Votto's RBI single in the eighth.The sweep came after veteran Miguel Cairo challenged his teammates to do the little things after the loss to the Mets on Thursday afternoon.The speech left an impression on the rookie Frazier."I look up to the veterans on this team. Like Miguel was saying the other day, we'll be OK, when we put it all together."NOTES: San Francisco optioned rookie SS Brandon Crawford to Triple-A Fresno before the game to make room on the roster for newly acquired SS Orlando Cabrera. ... After their six-game road trip, the Giants return home for their second 10-game homestand of the season. After the first of their two 10-game homestands, the Reds leave for a six-game trip to Houston and Chicago. ... Phillips extended his hitting streak to 10 games (15 for 42, .357), the team's longest current streak. ... Carlos Beltran's seventh-inning single snapped a stretch of 11 consecutive hitless at-bats. Beltran is 2 for 17 in four games with San Francisco.

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

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USATSI

Barracuda power play leads the way in Game 2 win over Grand Rapids

SAN JOSE – The Barracuda struck for three power play goals, including the game-winner in the second period by Joakim Ryan, in overcoming the Grand Rapids Griffins at SAP Center on Sunday night, 4-2.

San Jose’s victory evens the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals series at one game apiece.

Grand Rapids erased a 2-0 hole to tie the game in the middle frame, but less than a minute after Matt Ford knotted the score at 2-2 with a rocket from the circle on a Griffins power play, Ryan’s blast from just inside the blue line at 15:28 staked the Barracuda a lead they would keep for the rest of the night. 

The Barracuda finished 3-for-5 on the power play, after going 0-for-6 in a Game 1 loss on Saturday.

“The power play was a lot better tonight,” Ryan said. “We got set up more. We were able to get shots through from the point.”

One of those shots came early, when defenseman Julius Berman beat goalie Jared Coreau from long range just 3:35 into the game with San Jose on a man advantage. Later in the first, on another power play, Ryan Carpenter found open ice in the slot and redirected a Tim Heed pass at 10:44 for his team-leading eighth of the playoffs.

“Coming out, we wanted to get the first goal tonight,” Carpenter said. “For Bergman to get that first goal was huge for us.”

Ryan and Carpenter both attributed the power play success to winning faceoffs, which is something coach Roy Sommer wanted the club to focus on after it dropped the series opener, 3-1.

Winning faceoffs often is an indication of a team’s compete level, and that, too, was lacking for the Barracuda in an opener in which Sommer said his team played “dumb and slow.” 

Sunday was a much better performance.

“Whenever we’ve had a bad start, or a bad game, the next day these guys have responded,” said Sommer, whose club is the top seed in the Western Conference. “They’ve done it all year.”

The series now shifts to Grand Rapids for the next three games, with Game 3 going Wednesday. The primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Griffins posted a 25-11-2 record in their own building in the regular season.

The Barracuda, though, should be a confident group on the road. Against San Diego in the second round, San Jose won all three games in Southern California after splitting the first two at home.

“It’s going to be a hell of a series,” Sommer said. “It’s probably going to go the duration, I imagine. Both teams are kind of feeling each other out and kind of have a pretty good idea of what the other guys are doing now.”

Ryan said: “Honestly, I think they are the team in the league that plays the most like us. I felt like last night they did a better job of taking the game to us. I thought we came out better tonight, and we battled harder, competed more, won more pucks. They’re a really good team, it’s going to be a battle the rest of the series, for sure. They’re not going to lay down.”

Barclay Goodrow’s empty netter with 1:06 left in regulation was the only goal in the third period.

The Barracuda outshot the Griffins, 40-35, including a 20-11 advantage in the first period.

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

No sweep here: Without Isaiah Thomas, Celtics stun Cavs in Game 3

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CLEVELAND — Avery Bradley's 3-pointer dropped in with less than a second left and the Boston Celtics, blown out in the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals and playing without star Isaiah Thomas, stunned the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-108 on Sunday night in Game 3 to end the champions' 13-game postseason winning streak.

Bradley's shot from the left wing bounced on the rim four times before going down. It capped a furious comeback by the Celtics, who trailed by 21 in the third quarter before rallying to tighten up a series that appeared to be over.

Marcus Smart scored 27 points, and Bradley had 20 for the Celtics. They were given little chance after losing by 44 in Game 2 and then losing Thomas for the rest of the postseason because of a hip injury.

Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, and Kevin Love 28 for Cleveland. The Cavaliers dropped to 10-1 in the postseason with their first loss since Game 4 of last year's Finals.