Sloppy defense costs Giants sweep of Tigers

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Sloppy defense costs Giants sweep of Tigers

July 3, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

DETROIT (AP) The Detroit Tigers capped a feel-good day with some sadness.Magglio Ordonez hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning and Detroit went on to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Sunday.The Tigers found out at least four of them were All-Stars before the game, but no one was in the mood to celebrate the win or the selections because pitching coach Rick Knapp was fired soon after the final out."Mixed emotions, obviously," manager Jim Leyland said. "We just felt like it wasn't working."Rick Porcello (7-6) gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings in a much-needed performance for Detroit's suddenly shaky rotation. He became the fifth pitcher since 1919 to have three wild pitches and hit three batters in a game."A little bit wild, but his stuff was much better," Leyland said.Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth, getting a lead-saving catch from left fielder Ryan Raburn. All-Star Jose Valverde closed the game for his 20th save in as many chances.Jeremy Affeldt (1-2) took the loss after third baseman Miguel Tejada's throwing error extended the seventh inning. Ordonez took advantage with a single off Santiago Casilla that put Detroit ahead 4-3.Brandon Inge gave the Tigers a three-run lead in the eighth with a two-run, two-out triple.Detroit had lost two straight and four of five, falling out of first place in the AL Central."It was a big win because good teams don't get swept," said Brennan Boesch, who hit a game-tying homer in the fourth.The NL-West leading Giants had won nine of 11."You can see why they're the world champions," Leyland said.San Francisco appeared to have a shot to retake the lead in the eighth inning when Aaron Rowand drove a ball to left-center, but Raburn sprinted and fully extended to snatch the ball."From my angle I didn't think Raburn had a chance, but he made a great diving catch," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If he doesn't make that, we take the lead and then we have a different bullpen strategy."Porcello gave up a double on his first pitch, then allowed only one more hit before Brandon Crawford's RBI groundout in the fourth inning. Detroit tied it in the home half with Boesch's solo homer off the foul pole in right.The Giants went ahead in the fifth on Porcello's wild pitch and Cody Ross' RBI single gave them a 3-1 lead.Detroit cut into the deficit when Miguel Cabrera hit a single to left and Ross mishandled it, allowing Boesch to score on the error.Tejada had a chance to keep the Tigers scoreless in the seventh, but his throw across the diamond in the dirt wasn't scooped up by first baseman Pablo Sandoval on what should've been the third out of the inning."The error really hurt us because we had a chance to get out of that," Bochy said. "This was a tough one to lose. It would have been a big boost to sweep this team.San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, a first-time All-Star, allowed three runs - two earned - on four hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings.NOTES: Bochy picked three of his pitchers - Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Vogelsong - to be All-Stars and another one, Brian Wilson, was selected by the players. ... Detroit's Alex Avila was voted an All-Star by the fans, Cabrera and Justin Verlander were picked by the players, Valverde was a manager's selection, and Victor Martinez has a chance to be voted in as the Tigers' fifth player. ... San Francisco matched a season high with three errors. ... Porcello joined Victor Zambrano (2003), Joe Niekro (1985), Pete Broberg (1971), Rip Collins (1923) as the pitchers since 1919 to have to hit at least three batters and have at least three wild pitches in a game. ... Sandoval extended his career high hitting streak to 14 games. ... The Tigers recalled LHP Adam Wilk from Triple-A Toledo and optioned RHP Brayan Villarreal to the Mud Hens.

Three takeaways: Sharks having trouble explaining meltdown

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Three takeaways: Sharks having trouble explaining meltdown

NASHVILLE – The Sharks are returning to San Jose on Sunday in a crisis. Nothing good came from Saturday’s 7-2 loss to Nashville, their sixth straight in regulation. Let’s get to the painful three takeaways…

1 – No answers

Neither Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns nor Patrick Marleau – the three players made available to the media after Saturday’s game – offered any kind of in-depth analysis of what’s going wrong. Frankly, I’m not sure anyone really knows. It’s hard to believe that this is the same club that had lost just two games in regulation in its previous 14 before the losing streak began.

“If you’re putting a consistent effort in, battling, competing – it’s tough to lose six in a row,” Pavelski said. “You look at six in a row, and it just seems daunting. Like, how do you get there? So, I think we’ve just got to take a deep breath, really kind of refocus.”

Believe it or not, coach Pete DeBoer thought Saturday’s loss was “a step in the right direction” when asked why Friday night’s 6-1 beat down in Dallas wasn’t enough of a wake-up call. How often do you hear that after a five-goal defeat?

“I liked our game tonight better than I liked [Friday’s game] regardless of the score,” DeBoer said. “I don’t just look at the score. If you want to just judge it on the score than you might not say it’s a wake-up call, but I thought we were much more competitive tonight. 

“It was a step in the right direction. Every team goes through tough parts of the season, and this is ours. We’ve got a lot of character in the room. We’ll get through it.”

2 – Couture injury would spell doom, as Hertl still MIA

Let’s face it – if Logan Couture is out for any extended period of time, this team is DOA once the playoffs begin. Couture has been the Sharks’ best player since the All-Star break, and they don’t have anyone on the current roster or in the system that could replace him. As of Sunday morning, there was still no word as to the severity of his injury after taking a puck to the mouth and going to a local Nashville hospital.

If Couture were to miss time, Tomas Hertl would likely become the team’s second line center. At this point, though, Hertl doesn’t even resemble an effective third line center. He was victimized on Nashville’s first goal, which was similar to one of the Wild goals on Tuesday, when he was just too slow and not strong enough on his skates in getting outworked for a loose puck.

3 – Haley shows some emotion that others lack

It’s understandable that Micheal Haley didn’t like getting hit from behind by Calle Jarnkrok in the third period. But, you can’t just make a beeline for a guy and punch him in the face. Haley will almost certainly get suspended for the play.

At least, though, Haley showed a little bit of fire, including his first period fight with Cody McLeod. Perhaps guys like Hertl, Joonas Donskoi and Mikkel Boedker could take a lesson from the fiery Haley. Those three, in particular, have been virtually useless during this six-game stretch. 

If I’m DeBoer, I’d get on the phone with Doug Wilson and Roy Sommer and ask for a few guys from the Barracuda so I could – depending on the team’s health situation – scratch all three of them for Tuesday against the Rangers. Drastic times call for drastic measures, do they not?

NBA Gameday: Facing Griffin a chance for Skal to add to knowledge base

NBA Gameday: Facing Griffin a chance for Skal to add to knowledge base

The Sacramento Kings return to the court Sunday for an early matinee game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. They’ll face a veteran squad jockeying for playoff position and in need of a win.

Buddy Hield and Skal Labissiere each set new career highs in assists in Friday night’s loss to the Golden State Warriors. The rookie duo combined to hand out 15 of the team’s 27 dimes as the Kings stayed with the high-powered Warriors until late in the game.

Los Angeles is fresh off a huge win over the Utah Jazz and currently sit just a half game behind Utah for the fourth spot in the Western Conference standings. They’ve dealt with injuries all season long, but the Clippers are getting healthy at the perfect time.

OPENING LINE:
Clippers by 13.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Skal Labissiere vs. Blake Griffin -- Every game is an opportunity for Labissiere to add to his knowledge base. Despite a litany of injuries over the years, Griffin is still a force to be reckoned with in the post. He can score in a variety of ways and he’s averaging a career-high five assists be game this season. Labissiere is coming off a strong performance where he posted 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

WHERE THEY STAND:
Kings: 27-45, third place in Pacific

Clippers: 44-30, second place in Pacific

INJURY REPORT:
Kings: C Kosta Koufos (planned rest) out, Arron Afflalo (planned rest) out, SG Malachi Richardson (torn hamstring) out, SF Rudy Gay (torn Achilles) out.

Clippers: SG JJ Redick (sprained ankle) out, C Diamond Stone (knee) out.

SERIES HISTORY:
The Clippers lead the season series 2-0 and currently have a three game winning streak against the Kings. During the Sacramento-era, the Kings hold a 69-65 advantage and they lead the Clippers 113-88 all-time.

QUOTE:
“It was a good experience, I call all of those experiences growing pains. Those are just things we have to go through. We’re trying to get to that level at some point.” -Skal Labissiere on the loss to Golden State