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Ross' two-run double lifts Giants past Rockies

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Ross' two-run double lifts Giants past Rockies

June 3, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Matt Cain hasn't gotten much run support throughout his career. The San Francisco right-hander has been solid, though, when the Giants score at least three for him.San Francisco hit that mark exactly against Colorado and Cain made it hold up, scattering four hits over seven innings to help the Giants beat the slumping Rockies 3-1 on Friday night. That upped Cain's mark to 15-0 over the past two seasons when getting three runs or more behind him."I think most starters feel that way, if you get a two- or three-run lead, that's set in our mind that we want to keep that lead," Cain said. "I felt good. I really was just trying to concentrate on making pitches and worry about location more than velocity. That kind of helped me out with getting my mechanics right and getting into a little bit of a groove."
RATTO: Giants Insider gallery
Cain had seven strikeouts while overcoming a season-high four walks. Two of the hits he allowed were to Colorado pitcher Juan Nicasio, who doubled twice.Beyond that, Cain was nearly unhittable. The right-hander pitched with runners in scoring position for four straight innings but allowed just the one run and retired the final seven batters he faced to earn only his second win since April 15."I thought he got better as he went," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He made a couple of mistakes to the pitcher but overall that's a great effort by Matty, which we needed. He just stayed away from making too many mistakes and that's a key for Matt."Cody Ross hit a go-ahead two-run double in the fourth, rookie Brandon Crawford added an RBI double and Emmanuel Burris had three hits for the Giants, who beat the Rockies for the sixth time in nine games this season between the NL West rivals.The Giants returned home after taking three of four from NL Central-leading St. Louis and picked up where they left off, sending the Rockies to their 11th loss in 14 games.San Francisco did it much like it beat the Cardinals - with solid pitching and timely hitting.Cain, who allowed a career-high 11 hits in a 6-0 loss to Milwaukee on Sunday, kept Colorado's hitters silent most of the game while Ross and Crawford sparked the Giants' three-run fourth.That spoiled the road debut of Rockies rookie starter Juan Nicasio (1-1), who allowed nine hits in six innings with three strikeouts and an intentional walk."The kid has to pay for two hanging sliders, both with two outs," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said of Nicasio. "He did an excellent job. Our trouble, once again, came from the lack of offense."Javier Lopez pitched a scoreless eighth and Brian Wilson worked the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.It wasn't easy, but that's generally the case with Wilson. The two-time All-Star closer walked Chris Iannetta with one out then gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jason Giambi. Pinch-hitter Ryan Spilborghs flied out to center before Wilson struck out Seth Smith to end it.Nicasio got the Rockies first hit off Cain when he doubled down the right field line with one out in the third. Cain returned the favor with a one-out single off Nicasio in the bottom of the inning.Cain (4-4) matched his season-high for walks by the fourth inning, and Colorado cashed in one for a run. Carlos Gonzalez walked, took third on a double by Troy Tulowitzki and scored on Todd Helton's groundout.San Francisco responded quickly.Ross hit a two-run double and Crawford added an RBI double to give the Giants a 3-1 lead in the fourth.Nicasio became the first pitcher in the majors this season with two extra base hits in the same game when he doubled over the head of center fielder Andres Torres leading off the fifth. The Rockies later loaded the bases with two outs as rain began to fall but Cain retired Helton on a comebacker to escape the threat.Before the game the buzz at AT&T Park centered around comments made by Giants general manager Brian Sabean on a local radio station on Thursday regarding the season-ending injury suffered by catcher Buster Posey following a collision with Florida's Scott Cousins on May 25.Sabean criticized Cousins on his weekly radio show on KNBR, calling the play malicious and unnecessary. Sabean also said "if I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy."Those comments got the attention of Major League Baseball, and executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre spoke with Sabean on Friday. The Giants also issued a statement saying Sabean's comments were made out of frustration."It's still a pretty raw emotional time for us," team president Larry Baer said. "I mean, to lose (Posey) for the season, a guy who means so much to us. Having said that, we're looking forward and we're looking forward to Buster's recovery. We're certainly out of the business of talking about the incident and revisiting it other than we think it's healthy dialogue to talk about what can be done to protect the player."Notes: Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval began a rehab assignment with Class A San Jose and could rejoin the team soon. Bochy said he wants Sandoval - on the DL since May 1 with a fractured hamate bone in his right wrist - to get 25-30 at-bats in the minors before returning to the big league club. ... Struggling IF Miguel Tejada, who went 4 for 27 on the Giants' recent trip, was not in the starting lineup but not because of his .211 average. Bochy said he gave Tejada the day off to rest and will be back in the order Saturday. ... Colorado LHP Jorge De La Rosa underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles on Friday and results were good. ... RHP Aaron Cook, out since March 31 with a fractured right index finger, is penciled in to start for Colorado against San Diego on Wednesday. ... Rockies RHP Esmil Rogers (lat strain) threw 67 pitches in extended spring training but the team is unsure where he'll go next in his rehab.

Instant Analysis: Turnovers cost 49ers in preseason loss to Broncos

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AP

Instant Analysis: Turnovers cost 49ers in preseason loss to Broncos

BOX SCORE

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers don’t have to worry about peaking too soon, that’s for sure.

The 49ers first-team offense was plagued by turnovers and penalties against the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium in the second exhibition game for both teams. And things did not get much better when the backups entered the action.

After two days during which the 49ers more than held their own against Denver in joint practices, there was no debate about which team was better when it was time for a game.

The 49ers put together an all-around sloppy performance -- low-lighted by 11 penalties and five turnovers -- in a 33-14 loss to the Broncos on Saturday night.

While the starters were in the game, the 49ers were outscored 10-0. The 49ers committed six penalties for 53 yards and committed four turnovers in the first half, as the 49ers fell behind 20-0 through two quarters.

“I thought the D did a solid job,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said during his halftime interview on KPIX. “We put them in a bad situation four times, so I was happy that they just held it to what it was.”

Jaquiski Tartt was responsible for one of the giveaways when it was ruled he inadvertently touched the ball on a punt in the first quarter. The Broncos recovered the muffed punt to retain possession.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer lost a fumble when the ball slipped out of his hand as he was throwing. Hoyer was also tagged with an interception. Denver defensive back Chris Lewis-Harris ripped the ball away from Marquise Goodwin as he juggled a Hoyer pass that was thrown behind him.

Running back Tim Hightower lost a fumble in the second quarter.

The Broncos capitalized on those four turnovers for all 20 of their points while shutting out the 49ers through halftime.

The 49ers’ offense showed some signs of life with Hoyer at the controls. The team gained 111 yards on their 22 plays. Hoyer completed 8 of 11 passes for 89 yards before rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard replaced him late in the first half.

Beathard continued to make a strong case to win the backup job. Beathard is in competition with Matt Barkley as the 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback.

Beathard teamed up with his former Iowa teammate, tight end George Kittle, on a 29-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Kittle caught the short pass from Beathard, turned up the left sideline, ran through an attempted tackle by Lewis-Harris, then stiff-armed safety Orion Stewart en route to the end zone.

Beathard completed 7 of his 12 pass attempts for 110 yards. His passer rating was 116.7.

FOSTER, BOWMAN START
Linebackers Reuben Foster and NaVorro Bowman, who were limited in the 49ers’ final joint practice with Denver with shoulder ailments, started played 20 snaps apiece.

With Foster and Bowman on the field, the Broncos totaled just 63 yards of total offense. Bowman had two tackles, while Foster added one before the 49ers’ first-team defense was removed in the second quarter.

Foster underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder in February. Some NFL teams reportedly did not believe he would be available to play this season. He was cleared for full-contact drills on the eve of training camp.

The 49ers said Foster’s mild AC joint sprain in his right shoulder was not related to his previous injury. He was held out of contact drills on Thursday. Bowman was pulled out of practice Thursday with a similar condition.

SITTING IT OUT
Players who did not see action due to injuries were: Defensive linemen Aaron Lynch, DeForest Buckner and Ronald Blair, linebacker Sean Porter, defensive backs Will Redmond and Prince Charles Iworah, wide receiver Aaron Burbridge, and guard Joshua Garnett.

Jimmie Ward remains on physical unable to perform due to a hamstring injury. Ward could be activated when the 49ers return to practice.

THIS ‘N’ THAT
--Undrafted rookie Victor Bolden supplied one of the lone highlights for the 49ers with a 104-yard kickoff return late in the fourth quarter.

--Eli Harold started at the strongside linebacker in place of Ahmad Brooks, who entered the game in the second quarter with the second-team defense.

--Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian connected with Jordan Taylor on a 19-yard touchdown pass against the coverage of newly signed 49ers cornerback Asa Jackson in the second quarter.

--Undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome started at free safety for the second game in a row. Jerome recorded two tackles and broke up a pass.

--Goodwin caught three passes for 44 yards. His first two receptions accounted for the first first downs from the 49ers’ No. 1 offense in the exhibition season.

--Rookie pass-rusher Pita Taumoepenu recorded a sack in the fourth quarter.

--The 49ers did not get much going from their top three running backs. Carlos Hyde gained 26 on eight carries. Kapri Bibbs had 6 yards on four carries. And Hightower had minus-1 yard on three attempts.

--Rookie running back Joe Williams entered the game with less than seven minutes to play. Guard Norman Price got blown back into the backfield on Williams second attempt, allowing Broncos defensive lineman Shelby Harris to, in essence, intercept the handoff from Barkley to Willliams.

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The Raiders sat nine offensive starters in last week’s exhibition opener. That front line assembled for the first time in game Saturday against the Rams and quickly found midseason form.

Quarterback Derek Carr was largely on point in a 21-17 victory to Los Angeles at Oakland Coliseum. Amari Cooper showed great hops. Michael Crabtree juked a cornerback out of his shoes and scored a touchdown. Jared Cook proved a difficult cover in the middle of the field. And Marshawn was predictably Marshawn, running like a battering ram on speed skates.

The defense, by contrast, needs some serious work.

Except for Khalil Mack. That’s dude’s all right. He had a sack, three quarterback pressures, four tackles, with two for a loss, in three series.

The rest of his unit was off kilter against L.A. Communication still needs work on the back end. Questions remain at inside linebacker and cornerback.

Coaches have three weeks to iron things out, and get that unit running right. Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s exhibition.

Marshawn meets hometown crowd: Oakland native Marshawn Lynch played in his hometown for the first time in silver and black. He didn’t play much, removing his pads after just one series.

His cameo was quick and productive, with two carries for 10 yards. His trademark burst and balance was on display, as it was throughout camp. Lynch won’t need much work this preseason, but should get the lion’s share of carries when games count.

He looks as agile as ever, without the rust expected following a year away from football.

Smith suits up:Raiders cornerback Sean Smith played in sub packages with the starting unit, playing outside in the nickel. He had a relatively solid game despite mounting legal issues. He was charged with felony assault and battery on Thursday, when he turned himself in to Pasadena police and was released after posting an $80,000 bond.

Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed covering Sammy Watkins on a deep route.

Jenkins enters the fray: The Raiders are still searching for someone to pair with Cory James on the inside. Marquel Lee has worked with the first unit since training camp began in the base defense. He struggled some early, and gave way to veteran Jelani Jenkins in the second series.
That job remains open. Lee is a favorite, though Jenkins will challenge and prospect of signing someone off the street remains.

Backup quarterbacks still battling

EJ Manuel entered Saturday’s game with a clear lead on the backup quarterback position battle. The veteran received most every second-unit rep in camp, started last week’s game at Arizona and was first off the bench on Saturday.

He wasn’t great against the Rams, completing 3-of-9 passes for 16 yards.

That may have cracked the door for second-year pro Connor Cook. The Michigan State alum has struggled some in practice, but showed well working with the third unit on Saturday. He was with 7-of-10 passing for 70 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to Johnny Holton.