Sanchez helps Giants walk off on Nats in 13th


Sanchez helps Giants walk off on Nats in 13th

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) The San Francisco Giants are still doing things the hard way.The defending World Series champs rallied from a four-run deficit to win on Freddy Sanchez's game-ending single with two outs in the 13th inning to beat the Washington Nationals 5-4 on Monday night."Obviously that happens quite a bit up here," said backup catcher Chris Stewart, who scored the winning run less than two weeks after being called up to replace injured Buster Posey. "We've done some crazy things this year and some crazy things last year. We're never out of a game."San Francisco, which squandered scoring opportunities in the ninth and 10th, has eight walkoff wins this season, second-most in the majors.Sanchez has two game-ending hits this season and seven for his career."He's such a good hitter, he uses the whole field," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You know he's going to put it in play. We had the right guy up there."Stewart, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the 10th, drew a leadoff walk against Craig Stammen (0-1) to start the winning rally. After Stammen struck out pitcher Javier Lopez, Andres Torres singled to right.Miguel Tejada hit into a fielder's choice to move Stewart to third before Sanchez lined a 1-1 pitch from Stammen down the line in right.Lopez (3-1) retired all four batters he faced for the victory.Mike Morse homered for the second straight game, but Washington's bullpen struggled.Both teams missed chances to win before Sanchez's single. The 2006 NL batting champion also had a walkoff winner against Colorado on May 6.The game lasted nearly 4 12 hours and ended at 11:44 p.m. local time."This is the first team I've been with a team that has so many moments like today," Tejada said. "The reason we have these kind of games is because of the bullpen we have. We don't panic."Washington stranded a runner at second in the 11th and left the bases loaded in the 12th.The Nationals wasted a solid effort by starter John Lannan, who allowed two hits through the first six innings - Torres' leadoff single in the first and a bunt by Tejada in the sixth. The Nationals' left-hander, who lost to the Giants on April 30, had extended his streak to 19 innings without allowing an earned run. The streak ended when Aaron Rowand led off the seventh with a homer to left that trimmed San Francisco's deficit to 4-1."Sometimes four is enough, sometimes it's not," Washington manager Jim Riggleman said. "John did a great job, but it kind of fell apart on us."The game was delayed for about five minutes in the third inning when home plate umpire Gerry Davis was injured after getting hit by the mask of Washington catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Tejada hit a foul ball that deflected off Rodriguez's mask and pushed it into Davis' arm, opening a deep cut.Davis received treatment in the Giants' dugout and returned, but left again in the bottom of the fifth. Third base umpire Todd Tichenor replaced Davis behind the plate, and the game continued with three umpires.It wasn't a much better night for Giants starter Tim Lincecum.San Francisco's two-time NL Cy Young Award winner struck out the side in the first before giving up a homer to Morse leading off the second. Lincecum came back to fan Danny Espinosa and Jerry Hairston to reach 1,000 career strikeouts, becoming just the eighth pitcher since 1900 to reach the milestone in his first five seasons.But Lincecum lasted only five innings and had five strikeouts with three walks. It's the shortest outing by the San Francisco ace since he left after just 3 2-3 innings against San Diego on Aug. 15, 2010.Morse, who hit his second career grand slam of the season in Sunday's 11-inning win over Arizona, got to Lincecum again with a two-run double in the third to make it 4-0. Morse, a former prospect with Seattle now prospering in Washington, continued his torrid pace and is batting .375 with six doubles, eight home runs and 24 RBIs in 28 games since May 1.The Giants scored three times in the eighth after Lannan left the game. They missed a chance to win it in the ninth after Torres drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed to second and stole third. Henry Rodriguez, who gave up Nate Schierholtz's game-tying pinch-hit single in the eighth, got Cody Ross to hit a grounder and shortstop Ian Desmond threw Torres out at home. Rodriguez retired Huff to end the inning.San Francisco put two runners on in the 10th against Cole Kimball, but again failed to score.Notes: Over his past two starts, Lincecum has a 7.94 ERA. ... Morse's home run was the first allowed by Lincecum at AT&T Park this season. ... The Giants rested injured 3B Pablo Sandoval and gave him the night off while rehabbing with Triple-A Fresno. Sandoval had some soreness in his right hand - the same hand he suffered a broken hamate bone in - but still took part in all pre-game work. ... IF Mike Fontenot (groin strain) is expected to begin running and taking batting practice within the next week. ... LHP Barry Zito was scheduled to make an 85-pitch start for Class A San Jose on Monday, the first step in his rehab assignment.

Ward opens training camp on PUP list


Ward opens training camp on PUP list

SANTA CLARA – Safety Jimmie Ward was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp, the 49ers announced Friday morning.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Thursday that all of their players were healthy and no players would be headed to PUP or the non-football injury list.

But that was before the 49ers were scheduled to have their conditioning test. Because Ward was placed on the PUP list, by definition, his injury occurred while under team supervision.

The specifics of Ward’s injury were not immediately known. He can be activated to begin practice at any time. Ward is also eligible to begin the regular season on the PUP list. Any player who opens the regular season on PUP is ineligible for the first six weeks of the season.

Hyde 'flips switch,' aims to become best back in NFL


Hyde 'flips switch,' aims to become best back in NFL

SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde has been the 49ers' unchallenged starter since the organization allowed Frank Gore to leave in free agency after the 2014 season.

Finally, he has been challenged.

The 49ers drafted Joe Williams in the fourth round, signed veteran Tim Hightower and acquired Kapri Bibbs in a trade. Moreover, Hyde appears to be challenging himself, too.

“My goal is to be the No. 1 rushing running back in this league,” Hyde said. “I feel like I have the best opportunity to do that now with this new staff.”

General manager John Lynch said he has noticed Hyde “flipped a switch” in the offseason. Hyde remained in the Bay Area to use the 49ers’ facilities to work out and eat at the team’s cafeteria. At one point, he even asked coach Kyle Shanahan about being included on special teams.

Hyde reported to training camp Thursday at 228 pounds – the least he has weighed since his high-school days, he said. Hyde could be a good fit for Shanahan’s running scheme.

“It’s outside zone, which is downhill. I’m a downhill back. I feel like I fit the scheme very well,” said Hyde, who enters the final year of his contract.

Hyde had career-best totals of 988 yards and six touchdowns last season with a 4.6-yard average. Although the 49ers could use more a multi-pronged approach at running back, Hyde could be set up for a career year heading into free agency.

“I ran into him in the hall and he looks tremendous,” Lynch said. “He really has dedicated himself. He’s changed his body type this offseason and that to me at the least bit shows a commitment. There’s those stories, but we’re excited to see this whole thing as we take the next step.”