Renteria Delivers Another Clutch World Series Hit

Renteria Delivers Another Clutch World Series Hit

Oct. 28, 2010GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEOMLB POSTSEASON

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Edgar Renteria delivered another big World Series hit that could provide a fitting bookend to his career.

Renteria broke up a scoreless game with a solo homer off C.J. Wilson in the fifth inning and added a two-run single in the eighth Thursday night to help the Giants beat the Texas Rangers 9-0 in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series.

"He knows that he's almost at the end of his career and he wanted to be in the playoffs," hitting coach Hensley Meulens said. "Once we got here, he wanted to go to the big dance one more time. There's no bigger time that we needed him and he's getting big hits."

Renteria's most famous moment came as a 22-year-old with Florida in 1997, when he hit a game-ending single off Charles Nagy with two outs in the 11th inning of Game 7 to give the Marlins a 3-2 win over Cleveland and their first World Series title.

"Everything happened to me great in that game, the hit in '97," Renteria said. "Today I was happy. I was proud and I know my family's proud, too."

Renteria ended another World Series in less celebratory fashion, hitting a comebacker for the final out in Boston's World Series sweep of St. Louis in 2004 that gave the Red Sox their first title since 1918.

With Renteria mulling retirement at the end of the season, he did his best to help another franchise move a step closer to ending a long championship drought. The Giants have not won the World Series since moving to San Francisco for the 1958 season.

They need to win two more games to get that elusive title. With the next three games in Texas, the Giants could return home as champions.

"He kept telling us we needed him all the way to the end. He wasn't lying," Meulens said. "As a professional and a 15-year veteran in this game, he's showing what he's all about. He's all about business, he's all about playing in big games. He's done it before. As a rookie in Florida he got a big hit for them to win. He was in the World Series with the Cardinals and obviously today with that big home run to put us on the board."

Renteria was an unlikely contributor, considering he started the playoffs on the bench after another rough regular season fill with injuries and lack of production.

But he worked his way back into the lineup and made his biggest contribution with San Francisco on the game's biggest stage. With Wilson and Matt Cain locked in a scoreless duel, Renteria stepped to the plate with one out in the bottom of the fifth.

Wilson left an 0-1 pitch up in the zone and Renteria made him pay for the mistake by driving it into the left-field seats. Renteria had gone 53 straight at-bats without a home run since connecting off the Los Angeles Dodgers' Ted Lilly on Sept. 4 and had not homered at AT&T Park since July 27 against Florida's Brian Sanches.

"Unbelievable. You guys know I have power," he joked. "He just threw me a fastball in and I just put a good swing on the ball."

Renteria wasn't done, hitting a two-run single in a seven-run eighth that extended the lead to 6-0.

Renteria has mostly been a disappointment since signing an 18.5 million, two-year deal with the Giants before last season. He hit just .250 last season and then was limited to 72 games this year because of three stints on the disabled list with a groin, hamstring and biceps injury.

He batted .276 with three homers and 22 RBIs and was somewhat of a forgotten man at the start of the postseason. He did not start in the first five games before getting a chance because of a wrist injury to Juan Uribe and the struggles from Pablo Sandoval.

He singled and scored the Giants first run in a Game 3 win over Philadelphia in the NL championship series, and added a hit and two runs scored in the World Series opener.

Meulens said managing partner Bill Neukom has repeatedly approached Renteria to keep him on track which Meulens believes lifted Renteria's spirits.

"Mr. Neukom tells him, 'We're not done with you,'" Meulens said. "Mr. Neukom is a big fan or Edgar and every day he tells him."

Renteria has a lot more fans in San Francisco now.

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

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USATSI

Casspi thanks Kings after trade to Pelicans: 'Definitely isn't easy'

The Kings traded Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the forward to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

I want to thank the Sacramento Kings organization for the opportunity to play basketball in front of the great fans of Sacramento. My wife and I felt in Sacramento like being home and this is something we both will cherish for ever. This definitely isn't easy for me and my family to leave, and you all know how much I love our city, organization and fans but the time has come. I want to wish nothing but success to my Kings. I will definitely will follow and cheer from afar. 
Always a big part of my heart, 
Omri #18

Casspi, 28, averaged 5.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 18 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

A's spring training Day 7: Rosales readies himself everywhere

MESA, Ariz. — Adam Rosales has a real simple plan for which infield position he chooses to try to get work at.

“Wherever there’s less guys, I go over there,” he explained with a smile.

The sun came out and the A’s finally got on the field for their first full-squad workout Monday after being rained out Sunday. That meant Rosales, back for his second go-round as an Athletic, got his first chance to prepare for what figures to be a super-utility role, which is how he’s carved out a nine-year major league career.

All indications are that he’ll be the primary backup infielder, capable of spelling Jed Lowrie at second base, Marcus Semien at shortstop, Trevor Plouffe at third and even fill in at first base or left field in a pinch.

Though Rosales, who spent 2010-12 with Oakland and re-signed in January on a one-year $1.25 million deal, is well-versed in preparing himself all over the diamond, one position in particular is one that he says is most difficult to master in limited time.

“Shortstop,” he offered without hesitation. “There’s a lot more going on there, a lot less room for error. At shortstop, especially with a guy like Mike Trout running, you’ve got to be in good rhythm, good timing, get rid of the ball and make an accurate throw.”

Depending on how the A’s prioritize their 25-man roster, Rosales could very well be the only backup infielder. That means fellow infielders Joey Wendle and Chad Pinder would start in the minors if the A’s were to keep a fifth outfielder or third catcher. But because the A’s have some players who can fill in at multiple spots, there’s numerous ways they can choose to configure the roster when it comes time to pare it down.

Rosales, 33, said walking back into the A’s clubhouse for the first time made him “feel like I’m back home.” So much of the support staff — equipment guys, clubhouse guys — are the same as when he was here before. He was also happy to see former infield mate Mark Ellis walk through the door Sunday. He says Ellis, a teammate from 2010-11, instilled in him the importance of being a great defender. Ellis is working as a part-time spring instructor.

“He told me, the No. 1 reason he was in the big leagues was because of this,” Rosales said, holding up his glove. “I was such a young player then. I’d always work with him, how to turn double plays. Just to have him around is awesome.”

NOTEWORTHY: Sonny Gray and Kendall Graveman were among the pitchers who faced hitters for the first time this season. Bruce Maxwell caught Gray, his first time behind the plate with Gray other than the one inning Gray threw in an abbreviated start at Anaheim toward the end of last season. Maxwell said Gray’s changeup in particular looked good.

Manager Bob Melvin has been very impressed early on with Graveman’s command. Graveman said he’s trying to improve his changeup, in an effort to induce weak contact from righties and get them on the their front foot, which could then make him more effective on the inside corner.

CAMP BATTLE: There could be a good fight for the seventh and final spot in the bullpen, and it would seem being left-handed could give someone an edge. Sean Doolittle is the only lefty currently projected among the A’s top six relievers. Melvin had good things to say about Daniel Coulombe, a lefty who made 35 appearances in relief last year and also saw a bit of time with Oakland in 2015. Coulombe posted a 4.53 ERA last season but struck out 54 in 47 2/3 innings.