Team USA wins Race 12, lives to sail again

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Team USA wins Race 12, lives to sail again

Facing an elimination race, Team Oracle USA won a must-win Race No. 12 and stayed alive in the 34th America's Cup.

Team USA had the lead from start to finish over Team New Zealand in the first planned race of Thursday.

Kiwi skipper Dean Barker still holds a strong advantage over rival Jimmy Spithill in the overall best of nine race for the Cup.

The day's second race, Race No. 13 overall, was postponed until Friday due to excessive wind speed.

Of the four races scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, three were postponed due to the wind exceeding the limit and similar weather conditions were forecast Thursday.

Even after Thursday's win, Oracle Team USA, owned by software tycoon Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp., still needs a miracle to keep the oldest trophy in international sports from being spirited away by the crafty Kiwis. Oracle was docked two points going into the match following the biggest cheating scandal in the 162-year history of the America's Cup.

Spithill remains determined despite the incredible odds he and his crew face.

"It can be done,'' Spithill said. "I mean, look, we've got one hell of a battle on our hands here, but stranger things have happened in sport. I've witnessed some pretty big comebacks.

While Spithill is one race away from losing the Cup, Barker still needs just one more winning sprint around San Francisco Bay for a bit of personal redemption as well as a huge accomplishment for his small island nation of 4.5 million people. Coutts and a few of his mates then jumped ship for bit paychecks from Alinghi of Switzerland. That left Barker at the helm of hard-luck Team New Zealand in 2003, when it was swept in five races by Alinghi.

The Kiwis had to drop out of two races with breakdowns, including when their mast snapped in two and tumbled into the Hauraki Gulf in Race 4. Barker sailed the Kiwis back into the America's Cup match in 2007 before they lost 5-2 to Alinghi. Coutts has been CEO of Oracle Team USA since the 2010 Cup campaign.

The Kiwis last hoisted the Auld Mug in victory in 2000, so they can wait at least one more day for the chance to finish off Oracle. Leading 8-2, the Kiwis need one more win to reclaim the Auld Mug for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

In 1995, Coutts and the late Peter Blake led Team New Zealand to a 5-0 win over Dennis Conner off San Diego to claim the Cup for the first time for New Zealand. Barker and the rest of the Kiwi crew won Race 11 by 15 seconds earlier Wednesday. Barker controlled Spithill at the start and led the whole way, building his lead on the crucial upwind third leg toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

 

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

Giants hammer Taillon, return favor with 11-3 win over Pirates

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner saw no reason to make a big deal over his first win of the year, even if it came far deeper into the season than anyone expected.

In a season that long ago spun out of control for both San Francisco and its ace, Bumgarner was happier seeing the struggling Giants have one of their best games of the year.

Bumgarner allowed one run over five innings for his first win of the season, and the Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to be on the board now individually," Bumgarner said. "But that's not what it's about. It's about us winning games, and we played really good tonight."

Eduardo Nunez drove in two runs in his final game with San Francisco as he was traded to Boston for two minor leaguers. The veteran infielder was pulled in the fifth inning and was later seen on television shaking hands with several teammates in the Giants' clubhouse. The deal was announced after a few minutes after the final out.

Bumgarner also singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI and Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple as struggling San Francisco won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Josh Harrison singled twice for the Pirates, who fell behind 9-0 and couldn't recover. Pittsburgh stranded seven runners in the first five innings, including four in scoring position.

Making his third start since coming off the disabled list after nearly three months following a dirt bike accident in Colorado on April 20, Bumgarner (1-4) was mostly sharp while quieting a potent Pittsburgh lineup and ending the Pirates' seven-game winning streak at AT&T Park.

Three years after pitching a complete game to beat Pittsburgh in the NL wild card on his way to winning the 2014 World Series MVP, Bumgarner pitched out of a pair of early jams, allowed six hits and had four strikeouts.

"He did a nice job," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "I'm sure he's glad to get that (first win) taken care of. Once he went five that was enough."

It's the first win by a Giants starting pitcher since July 5.

Jameson Taillon (6-4) took the loss, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"I didn't make good pitches once they got runners on," Taillon said. "They didn't waste any time. They had a merry-go-round going."

UMPIRE GOES DOWN:
Posey lined a single that hit second base umpire Ed Hickox in the foot and knocked him down in the fifth inning. Hickox slowly got to his feet and was attended to by a member of the Giants medical staff but remained in the game.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto may need to make a rehab start before rejoining the rotation. Cueto has been hindered by blisters on multiple fingers of his pitching hand, an issue that has lingered for much of the past month. The right-hander played catch from 105 feet before the game. Pablo Sandoval moved from Single-A San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento as he continues to try to work his way back into the big leagues. RHP Chris Stratton was recalled from Sacramento and IF Orlando Calixte was optioned down.

UP NEXT:
RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-11, 5.05 ERA) pitches the finale for the Giants seeking to beat Pittsburgh for the second time this season while RHP Trevor Williams (4-4, 4.74 ERA) takes the mound for the Pirates looking for his fourth win in the last five road starts.

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Giants trade Eduardo Nunez to Red Sox

Eduardo Nunez's time with the Giants is up as they have traded the third baseman to the Boston Red Sox.

The teams announced the trade shortly after the Giants beat the Pirates 11-3 on Tuesday night.

Fox Sports was the first to report the news.

The Giants will acquire minor league pitchers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

Anderson, Boston's third-round pick out of Florida in 2016, has a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings between Low-A Greenville and High-A Salem this season.

Santos, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher, was signed by Boston out of the Dominican Republic in 2015. Pitching in the Dominican Summer League this season, Santos has allowed just three earned runs in 30 innings pitched.

Nunez was lifted for pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday night and was seen hugging teammates as he left the dugout.

In 75 games with the Giants this season, Nunez hit .308/.334/.417 with 21 doubles, four home runs, 29 RBI and 17 stolen bases.

Nunez was acquired from the Twins last summer for two prospects.