Sandoval powers Giants to second win over Rox

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Sandoval powers Giants to second win over Rox

April 19, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

DENVER (AP) Facing San Francisco's remarkable rotation is doubly difficult when the Giants are staked to a big, early lead like they've been the last two nights at Coors Field.Jonathan Sanchez gave up two hits over 6 1-3 innings one night after Tim Lincecum flirted with a no-hitter and the Giants beat Colorado 6-3 Tuesday night, spoiling Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez's return from the disabled list.San Francisco's offense, which spotted Lincecum a five-run first-inning cushion in an 8-1 win, gave Sanchez (2-1) a four-run lead to work with thanks to Pablo Sandoval's three-run homer before the lefty even stepped foot on the mound."It's great when you start the game 4-0," Sanchez said. "You can just go out there and pitch, throw the ball and see what happens."Just as they did the night before, when Pat Burrell's three-run first-inning homer highlighted a 5-0 lead Lincecom had before he walked out to the mound."It would be nice to not spot them four runs," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "It's a tough uphill battle for us, especially with the pitchers that they have."
VIDEO: Cody Ross postgame
Aubrey Huff also went deep for the Giants, who go for the sweep Wednesday when Matt Cain faces Jorge De La Rosa after cutting their four-game deficit in the NL West in half by taking the first two games of the series."He didn't have that 98 mph fastball he had last year," Huff said of Jimenez. "Obviously, coming off the DL he's probably just feeling it out a little bit. Still had some great offspeed stuff tonight. Pablo jumped on him but he pitched well after that. After that first inning he kind of settled down."Sanchez gave up three runs, two of them earned, on two hits over 6 1-3 innings, walking four and striking out four, stifling the heart of Colorado's batting order, which finished 0-for-12.Sanchez allowed only one hit through the first six innings one night after Lincecum took a no-hitter into the seventh. Dexter Fowler led off the first with a double but the Rockies went hitless after that until Ty Wigginton singled with one out in the seventh, putting runners at first and second.
VIDEO: Darren Ford postgame
Ramon Ramirez replaced Sanchez and struck out Chris Iannetta before walking pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera to load the bases for Fowler, who doubled home two runs to make it 6-3. Ramirez then whiffed Ryan Spilborghs on three straight sliders to end the threat.Javier Lopez pitched a perfect eighth and Brian Wilson got the final three outs for his fifth save in six chances.The Giants have won nine of 12 since starting out 1-4.Jimenez (0-1) went on the DL after an awful season opener, the culprit a cut cuticle on his pitching thumb that prevented him from getting oomph on his heater and spin on his breaking pitches. The Rockies didn't slack off during their ace's absence, jumping out to a 12-4 start.After being dominated by Lincecum, the Rockies said they were glad their own ace was back on the mound Tuesday night.He was rusty, however, and once again the Rockies found themselves playing catch-up against a very good pitcher - Sanchez hasn't allowed more than three earned runs over his last 11 starts dating back to Aug. 30 of last season, forging a 1.75 ERA over that span.Jimenez's second pitch plunked Aaron Rowand, who came around to score on Buster Posey's single before Sandoval deposited an 84 mph slider into the Rockies' bullpen in right-center for a three-run homer, his fifth.
NEWS: Rowand leaves game with bruised forearmJimenez allowed just two more singles through five innings. He walked two and struck out six."My velocity was a little bit off. It's not like I'm going to come back throwing 100 mph right away," said Jimenez, whose fastball topped out at 94 mph but found better control when he dialed it back.Jimenez was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth and Seth Smith's sacrifice fly scored Wigginton."Looked like he settled down after the first inning," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff, I thought Pablo hit a good pitch. Our guys fought hard that first inning, turns out to be the difference."Huff's two-run homer off Jose Morales made it 6-1 in the seventh."It's an important game," Tulowitzki said of the series finale. "You don't want anyone coming in here and sweeping you. At the same time, it is April still."
Notes: Rowand suffered a bruised left forearm when he was hit by Jimenez and left the game after three innings, replaced by Darren Ford. He's day-to-day. ... To make room for Jimenez, the Rockies sent 3B Ian Stewart, mired in a 2-for-26 start, down to Triple-A Colorado Springs to get more at-bats.

Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

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Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

CHICAGO -- Joe Panik's leadoff homer in the series opener was a jolt, but the Giants are a much more dangerous offense when Denard Span is clicking atop the lineup, a spot ahead of Panik, and they hope to have that duo going Wednesday. Span got treatment all day Tuesday and said he could return to the lineup against Kyle Hendricks. 

"The swelling has gone down," Span said of his sprained left thumb. "The thing to do is to come in tomorrow, test it out, and if it feels good, you strap it on."

Span said an X-ray came back clean, but he didn't grab a bat Tuesday to test the thumb, focusing instead on treatment. He is batting .326 in nine games since coming off the DL. His replacement in center this week, Gorkys Hernandez, was 0-for-3 against Jon Lester, lowering his average to .160. 

--- The main story from the second game of this series: Johnny Cueto is now dealing with a second blister, and you can see the lack of movement on his pitches. The Cubs took advantage. Lester didn't need much help while throwing a 99-pitch complete game in two hours and five minutes. 

"He threw a lot more changeups than we've seen in the past," Buster Posey said. "He's shown it in the past but tonight he had good command of it. It wasn't just a show-me pitch. He used it a lot and threw it to lefties as well.

Posey twice grounded short rollers in front of the plate.

--- Posey's throw to nab Javy Baez on Monday was one of the best of the year, and on Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Bochy said, "If he's given a chance, I don't think there's anyone better in the game." That might be true, but Willson Contreras is threatening to get into the conversation. He threw an 85 mph rocket to second in the fifth to nab Eduardo Nuñez. If you're wondering how Lester -- who flat-out has the yips about throwing to first base and doesn't do it -- has allowed just six stolen bases this season, look no further than his young catcher. Long-term, Contreras is the guy I would expect to compete with Posey for Gold Gloves. 

"Nuney, with his speed, can go," Bochy said. "Their catcher made a great throw. Put it right on the money."

--- From before Tuesday's game, what do the relievers think of the new hidden bullpen at Wrigley? And if you missed the Power Rankings the other day, the records are outdated, but there are updates in here on old friends Matt Duffy, Chris Heston, Tommy Joseph, Adalberto Mejia, Yusmeiro Petit and others. Petit in particular is incredible ... just keeps doing his thing. 

--- This play was made by the shortstop. That's good for the old UZR.

Injuries to Hahn, Alonso compound A's loss to Marlins

Injuries to Hahn, Alonso compound A's loss to Marlins

OAKLAND — Their pitching staff got banged up throughout the night, but the A’s hope the only lasting damage they absorbed Tuesday night was on the scoreboard.

In the process of an 11-9 defeat to the Miami Marlins, they lost starting pitcher Jesse Hahn to a strained triceps and first baseman Yonder Alonso to a contusion on his right hand and wrist.

The early diagnosis showed they may have dodged a bullet with Alonso — X-rays came back negative for a fracture after he was hit flush in the wrist area on a pitch from lefty Jarlin Garcia. Alonso initially walked off the field after being hit, but after a few moments re-emerged and took first base to run. He was replaced on defense in the seventh.

“I’ve had some history with my hand,” Alonso said afterward. “I broke it three or four years ago. At the time when I got hit, I felt like that was the case all over again. The pain started going away, that’s when I realized I think I’m OK.”

Alonso’s wrist and hand began to swell while he was running the bases, and he had to exit the game. The first baseman had missed the four previous games with a sore left knee, then proceeded to homer in his first at-bat Tuesday, pulling him back into a tie with Khris Davis for the team homer lead at 13. Suffering another injury in the same game could be classified as rotten timing, but Alonso came away feeling fortunate all things considered.

“I think we got very lucky,” he said. “It got me right on the wrist but a little bit on the hand as well. We’re lucky that there’s no break. You just gotta move forward.”

Manager Bob Melvin said Alonso would be a game-time decision for whether he’ll start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, but with the A’s off Thursday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they rested Alonso in an attempt to let him heal up for Friday’s road trip opener against the Yankees.

Hahn’s condition seems more ambiguous, and perhaps more troubling. He said he felt fine warming up before Tuesday’s game, but when he took the mound to warm up before the third, he experienced a drop in velocity and couldn’t figure out why.

“I experienced some tightness near my triceps and a big velocity decrease,” Hahn said. “The ball wasn’t coming out (well) at all. It was a weird feeling. I’ve dealt with elbow (problems) before. Usually for me when I have elbow pain I can feel it on my pitches, and I didn’t feel it. It was kinda weird. … It almost felt like a dead arm.”

Hahn gave up a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the third, then was taken out of the game. Afterward, he and the training staff discussed the possibility of getting an MRI but nothing had been set in stone.

“I’m throwing the ball as hard as I can and I see 89-90 on the board,” Hahn said. “I know something’s not right. But at the same time, I’m not feeling anything. It leaves you thinking. To be in that state of mind on the mound is not good.”

Should the A’s need to fill Hahn’s rotation spot the next time through, and should they want to dip into the minor league ranks, Daniel Mengden is on the same turn with Triple-A Nashville and threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday (81 pitches). He’s on the 40-man roster. Jharel Cotton and Daniel Gossett also are coming off great outings for Nashville, though their turns in the rotation don’t line up as good with Hahn’s.