Kurz's Instant Replay: Giants 9, Rockies 3

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Kurz's Instant Replay: Giants 9, Rockies 3

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO Battery mates Matt Cain and Buster Posey led the way as the Giants cruised to a 9-3 win over the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon.

Posey continued his recent tear by going 2-for-4 with one walk, including a two-run homer in the third inning. Cain, who was just 2-3 with a 4.40 ERA in his last nine starts before Saturday, was effective in 7 13 innings of work in picking up his 11th victory. He gave up just two runs, both earned.

The Giants broke out of their home scoring slump in a big way, after they had scored just a total of two runs in their last 27 innings here, batting .144 in the process. That included Friday night, when they were held to just three hits against Colorado in a 3-0 defeat.

The Giants will remain in at least a tie for first in the N.L. West with Los Angeles when the day is over, as the Dodgers play in Miami later on Saturday.

Starting pitching report

Cain went 7 13 innings, surrendering two earned runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts in lowering his ERA under three (2.99). He tossed 90 pitches, 62 of which were strikes.

With the win, Cain is now tied with teammate Tim Lincecum for third-most wins in the majors since the start of the 2009 season (50). When he gets at least three runs of support, Cain is a perfect 10-0 this season and 68-9 in his career.

Colorados Drew Pomeranz lasted four innings before Josh Roenicke replaced him in the bottom of the fifth. Pomeranz allowed four runs, all earned, on six hits and one home run to Posey. He struck out three and walked one on 73 pitches (45 strikes) in suffering his seventh loss of the season against just one win.

Bullpen report

Jose Mijares came on in relief of Cain with one out in the seventh and two men aboard. He retired Carlos Gonzalez before giving way to Sergio Romo, who got Henderson to fly out to center. Brad Penny closed out the game and allowed one unearned run in the ninth. Eric Young flied out with two men on base to end the game.

Roenicke surrendered four runs, all earned, and five hits after relieving Pomeranz in the fifth inning. He walked two and failed to record a strikeout. Mike Ekstrom and Rex Brothers each pitched an inning for Colorado, with Brothers surrendering an earned run in the eighth.

At the plate

Posey launched his team-leading 19th home run, just the Giants 18th at home, in the third inning with Melky Cabrera on base to give San Francisco a 4-0 lead.

In addition to his 7 13 innings of work on the mound, Cain helped his own cause with a two-out RBI single in the second inning to give the Giants a 2-0 lead at the time.

In fact, every one of the Giants starting nine had at least one hit, including newcomer Hunter Pence. The new right fielder hit a two-out RBI double in the fifth inning for what was just his seventh hit since a trade with Philadelphia.

Angel Pagan and Joaquin Arias both tripled in the game, giving the Giants 38 three-baggers this season. That trails only Colorados 40.

For Colorado, DJ LaMahieu hit his first career home run to lead off the eighth inning against Cain, but the game was effectively out of reach by then.

In field

Along with his proficient afternoon at the plate, Posey gunned down Jordan Pacheco trying to steal in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the sixth, with Cain in his first precarious situation of the afternoon, Brett Pill snagged a Carlos Gonzalez liner with two on and one out and nearly doubled off Josh Rutledge at first.

Attendance

The Giants recorded their 141st straight sellout on a sun-splashed, perfect afternoon for baseball in the lower 70s with a light breeze.

Up next
The Giants and Rockies will meet in the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday, again at 1:00 PST, as Barry Zito (9-8, 4.19 ERA) will face Colorado right-hander Alex White (2-6, 5.75 ERA).

Zito will be making his 17th career start against Colorado, and is 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 18 total outings. He threw a complete game shutout over the Rockies on April 9 at Coors Field. He earned the win in his last start vs. St. Louis last Tuesday allowing two earned runs in 6 23 innings of a 4-2 Giants win.

White had a no decision against the Dodgers in his last start after tossing four shutout innings in a 3-1 Rockies win on Tuesday.

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Sorensen returns to Sharks after having 'positive impact' last season

Editor's Note: The above video is from March 2, 2017

One of the Sharks’ young forwards expected to challenge for a full time roster spot this season has been re-signed.

Marcus Sorensen, who started the year in the AHL before working his way up to the Sharks, signed a two-year contract extension the team announced on Tuesday. A source told NBC Sports California that the deal is worth $700,000 at the NHL level for each of the next two seasons.

In 19 regular season games with the Sharks, Sorensen, 25, posted one goal and three assists. He appeared in all six playoff games against Edmonton, posting one goal and one assist.

In 43 games with the AHL Barracuda, Sorensen had 17 goals and 17 assists for 34 points.

"The time he spent with the Sharks this season, and the positive impact he had, proved that he can be an effective player at the highest level,” assistant general manager Joe Will said in a statement.

Sorensen originally signed with the Sharks as a free agent on May 13, 2016. He was originally drafted by Ottawa in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, but spent six seasons playing in Sweden before joining San Jose.

Sorensen was a restriced free agent. The Sharks have just one RFA left to sign in forward Barclay Goodrow.

https://twitter.com/sorensenmarcus/status/887412566447628288

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Mailbag: Will Sharks miss Marleau's leadership? Thornton to be bumped?

Now that the dust has settled on the draft and free agency, here’s a meaty offseason Sharks mailbag before my vacation…

Who will replace Patty's leadership? (philip malan‏ @pmalan1979)

Patrick Marleau was a good example for other players in that he always came to camp in great shape and took care of himself between games, allowing him to be very productive into his later years. 

But let’s not overblow it. From what I understand, Marleau preferred to avoid confrontation, and was never the guy in the dressing room challenging other players to step up. That was left more to guys like Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, with Logan Couture growing into that role in recent years, too. When it comes to veteran leadership there are other guys still in the dressing room of more value than Marleau. His leaving town shouldn’t change the dynamic.

Will Thornton be bumped from the top line center role? Who do you think will replace Marleau on the PP? (Elle‏ @LikeShiningOil)

The whole “top line” designation is something that us writers and broadcasters like to use, and I’m going to keep using it for Thornton so long as he and Pavelski are on the same line. That said, there will be plenty of games where the Couture line gets more even-strength ice time than the Thornton line. I guess my point here is don’t read too much into the labels. I don’t expect Thornton’s ice time to go down from what it was last season. He’s averaged 18 minutes and change in each of the past five seasons, and probably will again.

As for replacing Marleau on the power play, I would tab Tomas Hertl as the frontrunner, but I’m sure the Sharks will try a number of different looks there in training camp. After finishing 25th in the NHL last season they pretty much have to, right?

How will the lines roll this season, if you were to prognosticate now? (Erik Kuhre @Puckguy14)

It seems like we say this every year, but it depends on where the Sharks see Hertl slotting in. Last season Hertl started out on the wing of the top line after offseason knee surgery before moving to center fairly quickly. I know he battled through yet another knee injury during the season, but Hertl’s 22 points in 49 games was a disappointing total.

If the season were starting today, I’d put Hertl on the wing of the Thornton line again with, of course, Pavelski on the other side. Here’s what I’ve got in that scenario:

Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Timo Meier – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Jannik Hansen – Chris Tierney – Mikkel Boedker
Melker Karlsson – Ryan Carpenter – Joel Ward

Extras: Marcus Sorensen, Kevin Labanc, Barclay Goodrow

(One guy who is really going to have to fight to keep his spot is Ward. I could see him getting pushed out, but for now I’m leaving him in).

Will there be a tough guy in the lineup to protect the kids? (Jim Kelley)

The Sharks signed free agent Brandon Bollig a couple weeks ago to replace Micheal Haley, but I don’t seem him as a regular in the NHL lineup. Bollig could be a guy they recall if they think it’s necessary to dress a pugilist, like when Pete DeBoer brought up Haley late in the 2015-16 season for the sole reason of fighting Darnell Nurse, who had jumped Sharks defenseman Roman Polak just two weeks earlier for no real reason.

Do you think Chris Tierney is capable of more point production at this point in his career? (Ian Stephenson)

Count me among those that thought Tierney was ready to have a better season last year after his strong performance in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Still, he’s just 23 years old, and his line in the series against Edmonton with Meier and Sorensen was a very effective one for long stretches of play. This is a huge year for Tierney, who had to settle for the Sharks’ one-year, $735,000 qualifying offer. Perform, and he’ll get paid. Struggle, and he could be on the move.

Do you think the Sharks will trade either Grosenick or Dell? Doesn't seem Grosenick has much more to prove in AHL. (Chris Greni)

No, they’ll hold on to all three for the time being. Getting Troy Grosenick re-signed to a one-year deal was a nice move on the Sharks’ part, considering Aaron Dell still has just 20 games of NHL experience. Perhaps if they both continue to play well the Sharks could dangle one as trade bait later in the year, but it wouldn’t make sense at this point. 

Any thoughts on DW using the offer sheet to bring in scoring help? There’s several serviceable RFAs out there still waiting for contracts. (Tony Martinico)

Keep in mind that some of those high end RFAs, like Colton Parayko, Nino Niederreiter and Tomas Tatar are currently headed for arbitration, which takes the offer sheet off the table.

Purely speculation here, but I have to wonder if the Sharks have at least kicked around trying to ink Leon Draisaitl to an offer sheet. You have to think Berlin native Hasso Plattner would love to add the “German Gretzky” to the roster. I know we're settling into the part of the NHL offseason where typically nothing happens, but it was July 19 when the Flyers signed Shea Weber to a monster offer sheet five years ago.

And, of course, Doug Wilson has used the power of the offer sheet in the past, signing Niklas Hjalmarsson in 2010 and then using the threat of an offer sheet with Boston to acquire Martin Jones.

Which Cuda player, aside from Meier, Labanc and Sorensen, would you expect to be a dark horse and could make the big team out of camp? (olin @sleepymofo)

Keep in mind that the sixth and defensemen spots are open, too. I would presume that Dylan DeMelo is the frontrunner to replace David Schlemko, but Tim Heed and Joakim Ryan are coming off of strong seasons in the AHL. Perhaps one of them overtakes DeMelo in training camp.

As for other forwards than those you mentioned, Goodrow could end challenging for a spot on the fourth line. I get plenty of questions about Danny O’Regan, too, and perhaps he makes a push. The issue with O’Regan is that although he’s a skilled player in the minors, he’s probably not quite skilled enough to make up for his small frame at the NHL level. I view him more as a fill-in guy.

Any word on [Barclay] Goodrow and [Marcus] Sorenson? I'm assuming they didn't sign their QO's? (DaveBPilot‏ @DaveBPilot)

Yes, that’s safe to assume, since the deadline was Saturday. They remain RFAs, and negotiations will surely continue.

Still, it’s worth mentioning what happened last year with Matt Nieto. The forward didn’t sign his qualifying offer, as he was pushing for a multi-year deal, and ended up signing for one year for less than he would have made had he accepted the original offer. He was waived and claimed by Colorado.