Sanchez, Jimenez clash in Coors matinee

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Sanchez, Jimenez clash in Coors matinee

May 17, 2011

GIANTS (22-18) vs.
COLORADO (21-18)

Coverage begins at 11:30 A.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

DENVER (AP) -- The only time this season Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez has looked remotely like the pitcher that won 19 games in 2010 was in his last outing against the San Francisco Giants.

Still searching for his first win of 2011, Jimenez on Tuesday will try to lead the Rockies to a two-game sweep of the visiting Giants on Tuesday. If he does, Colorado will regain its perch atop the NL West from the reigning World Series champions.

Jimenez (0-3, 6.67 ERA) continues to struggle after setting Rockies records for wins, ERA (2.88) and strikeouts (214) last season. The right-hander allowed five runs and walked six in 3 2-3 innings of a 9-5 home loss to the Mets on Thursday.
NEWS: MLB headlines

"The only thing I can do is keep working hard every day and keep trying to get better," Jimenez said. "I'm not going to get frustrated. I know I'm not doing anything good for the team, but hopefully there's a time where I'll start doing good."

Jimenez worked on his delivery during a weekend bullpen session.

"Mechanically, he's out of sync just a little bit," manager Jim Tracy said. "There is no doubt that what we're dealing with is mechanical in nature."

Jimenez did not have many problems when he allowed a run, two hits and struck out seven in six innings at San Francisco on May 6, but did not factor in the decision of a 4-3 loss. However, he yielded four runs in five innings of a 6-3 loss to the Giants at Coors Field on April 19.

Scheduled Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez (3-2, 3.68) gave up two earned runs and two hits in 6 1-3 innings to beat Jimenez in April. Those are the only runs he's allowed while winning three straight starts at Coors, limiting the Rockies to seven hits over 17 1-3 innings in those outings while striking out 21.

The left-hander gave up three runs and struck out seven in six innings of a 4-3 victory over Arizona on Wednesday.

"I thought he had a better tempo going," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "He just looked more confident out there. Still not quite as good as he will be, but overall, his presence out there was better."

Sanchez will try to help the Giants (22-18) bounce back after Colorado scored five times off Tim Lincecum in the sixth inning en route to a 7-4 victory Monday.

REWIND: Rockies rough up Lincecum, beat Giants

Carlos Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the pivotal frame as the Rockies (21-18) won for just the fifth time in 16 games but moved within one-half game of the first-place Giants. Colorado, which held the West lead from April 6-May 10 and again last Thursday, is 2-5 versus San Francisco in 2011.

"Against that team, and trailing them in the division and them beating us up the whole year, it was a big answer for us," said Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who had two RBIs.

Gonzalez is batting .234, but has three homers and seven RBIs in his last six games. However, he's 0 for 14 with six strikeouts versus Sanchez.

Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run homer and Freddy Sanchez added three hits Monday for the Giants, who have dropped two of three after winning six in a row. Sanchez is batting .300 in his last 10 games, and is also a .300 lifetime hitter in 30 at-bats against Jimenez.

Instant Replay: Warriors erase early woes for big win vs Spurs

Instant Replay: Warriors erase early woes for big win vs Spurs

BOX SCORE

The Warriors won their ninth consecutive game, and this one was profoundly more significant than the previous eight.

With a 110-98 win over the Spurs at AT&T Center in San Antonio Wednesday night, the Warriors took a giant step closer to achieving their goal of the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.

They now lead the Spurs by 3.5 games in the Western Conference. The magic number is five, meaning any combination of Warriors wins or San Antonio losses adding up to five would give the Warriors (61-14) the top seed throughout.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson tossed in 23, David West a season-high 15 and Andre Iguodala 14 as the Warriors, coming off a win at Houston on Tuesday, swept the toughest back-to-back set of the season.

Kawhi Leonard paced the Spurs (56-17) with 19 points, on 7-of-20 shooting. The Warriors offset a 42-34 rebounding disadvantage by limiting San Antonio to 41-percent shooting.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

Curry carried a large measure of the scoring load, but Iguodala and West had terrific all-around games that included timely scoring.

Curry’s line: 29 points (9-of-20 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line), 11 assists and three rebounds. He played 35 minutes and finished plus-6.

Iguodala’s line: 14 points (6-of-9, 2-of-3 from deep), six rebounds, two steals and one assist. He played 30 minutes and was plus-17.

West’s line: 15 points (7-of-11, 1-of-2 from deep), five assists, four rebounds and two blocks. He played 22 minutes and finished plus-23.

TURNING POINT

When the Spurs went up 43-29 on a jumper by Kawhi Leonard with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 16-2 run to pull into a 45-45 tie on a Shaun Livingston jumper with 3:29 left in the half.

That wiped out a deficit that had ranged as high as 22 points.

The Warriors took the lead for good 80 seconds into the second half. San Antonio got no closer than five in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F/C James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) was listed as probable and made available. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) and F Kevon Looney (R hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Spurs: G Dejounte Murray (L groin strain) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Friday night, when they close out their season series with the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

Durant gets taste of competition, plays 1-on-1 with Warriors coach

Durant gets taste of competition, plays 1-on-1 with Warriors coach

For the first time in a month, Kevin Durant got a taste of competition. Well, sort of.

Durant on Wednesday went through one-on-one sessions with Warriors assistant coach Willie Green, who is two years removed from a 12-year career as a guard in the NBA.

“He played full-court one-on-one, played some half-court one-on-one to start and then they stepped it up,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters prior to the Warriors-Spurs game in San Antonio. “Willie said it was a good workout.”

Durant and Green played five games of half-court ball and one with the full court. The active player, for the record, won all six games.

“Kevin got him pretty good, so it’s a good sign,” Kerr said before flashing a bit of humor. “If Willie had beaten him, I would have been very concerned.”

An even better sign for the Warriors is that only one man walked away feeling the burn of competition.

“Willie said he was really sore,” Kerr said. “Not Kevin. Willie.”

Durant has been out since sustaining a medial collateral ligament sprain and bone bruise to his left knee on Feb. 28 at Washington. Though there have been no setbacks in his rehab, there is no firm timetable for his return.

“It’s impossible to predict that stuff,” Kerr said. “But it would be nice for him to get a couple games in at the end of the regular season.”

The Warriors plan to re-evaluate Durant next week, after which they expect to plot out his return. There is optimism that he could be back in time to play two or three regular season games in preparation for the postseason, which begins April 15.