Torres leads Giants to 6-1 victory over Padres

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Torres leads Giants to 6-1 victory over Padres

July 15, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN DIEGO (AP) For one night, anyway, San Francisco leadoff batter Andres Torres was better than the entire San Diego Padres lineup.Torres had three hits, two RBIs and scored three runs for the defending World Series champions, who won 6-1 Friday night to extend the Padres' losing streak to a season-high seven games.Tim Lincecum and three relievers combined on a four-hitter and Cody Ross homered for the NL West-leading Giants. Pablo Sandoval went 0 for 2, ending his career-best 22-game hitting streak, although he walked twice and hit a sacrifice fly."That was a great game he had," manager Bruce Bochy said about Torres. "He did it all. That's the key to winning ballgames, is getting your leadoff guy going. I thought Andres had a great game plan up there. That's a game he should feel good about and hopefully get his confidence going."
URBAN: Padres have Giants' number no more
Torres is scheduled to sit out against Padres lefty Cory Luebke on Saturday night."As good a game as he had, he still gets the day off tomorrow," Bochy said. "He's such a hard worker, sometimes we need to back him off a bit."Bochy said Torres can be hard on himself if he doesn't play well. Torres, who came in hitting .224, said he showed up early to work on his hitting stroke."I feel great. I've been working hard," he said. "You want to help the team win somehow. Today I got it going."He also made a nice catch in center field, hauling in Kyle Phillips' fly on the warning track and then slamming into the padded fence.San Diego had only four singles, three of them off Lincecum (8-7) during his six innings. The right-hander allowed one run while striking out seven and walking three to win consecutive starts for just the second time this year.It helped that the Giants scored some runs for the two-time Cy Young Award winner, considering that he had received only six runs of support in his previous seven starts."He didn't quite pitch as efficient as he'd like, but overall it's a good job," Bochy said. "His command wasn't quite as sharp, but he found a way to give us six solid innings."Jeremy Affeldt gave up one hit in 1 2-3 innings, Sergio Romo retired the only batter he faced and Guillermo Mota pitched a perfect ninth.The Giants have taken the first two of a four-game series and have beaten the Padres four times in six meetings since July 4.The Padres, struggling in the first season of the post-Adrian Gonzalez era, have dropped 14 games behind the Giants and 14 games under .500. San Diego has scored just 10 runs during the six-game losing streak, including consecutive 1-0 losses at Los Angeles last weekend.The Padres scored their run off Lincecum without getting a hit. Alberto Gonzalez walked leading off the fourth, advanced on two wild pitches and scored on Orlando Hudson's grounder to second for the second out."He wasn't as crisp as we've seen him in the past," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Nevertheless, it's good stuff, competitive stuff. We had some good at-bats against him, but we couldn't string together any hits."Lincecum said his slider got better as the game went on."That last inning was when it was the best," he said. "'I kind of mess around with grips here and there to see if anything's doing something different, if I can keep it away to righties or make it just go down. That last inning I found a comfortable grip and I just stuck to it consistently."
Giants Insider gallery: Giants win in friendly confines
Ross homered to left off Dustin Moseley leading off the second, his seventh. Torres came up big all game. He singled leading off the game and eventually scored on Sandoval's sacrifice fly. Torres hit an RBI single in the fifth and eventually scored from third as Mike Fontenot was thrown out trying to steal second. He had an RBI double in the seventh and scored on Ernesto Frieri's wild pitch.Moseley (2-9) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out three and walked two."Subpar," he said. "Early on, I kind of put us in a hole. Got us in a bind in the fifth with the leadoff double. When I did make a mistake, they took advantage of it."Notes: San Diego's Luis Martinez and San Francisco's Hector Sanchez both made their big league debuts as pinch-hitters. Martinez lined out to Affeldt on the first pitch he saw in the seventh. Sanchez walked in the ninth. ... Gonzalez replaced 3B Chase Headley after the top of the first inning. The Padres said Headley has a strained right calf. Headley left Thursday night's game with a bruised left ankle. ... The Hall of Fame asked for and will receive the 1983 throwback jersey Black wore Thursday night as the team honored the late Dick Williams. The jerseys the Padres wore Thursday night included a patch with Williams' initials. Williams, who died July 7 at age 82, managed the Padres from 1982-85. The Padres reached their first World Series in 1984, losing in five games to Detroit. ... Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008 after being elected by the Veterans Committee. ... Jim Riggleman was hired by the Giants as a special assignment scout less than a month after he abruptly resigned as Washington Nationals manager when they wouldn't pick up his contract option for next season.

Anonymous poll: Is Sharks defenseman Burns still Norris frontrunner?

Anonymous poll: Is Sharks defenseman Burns still Norris frontrunner?

Throughout much of his dominant 2016-17 season, the words “Norris Trophy lock” have often preceded Brent Burns’ name. 

The 32-year-old has led all NHL blueliners in scoring for the past three months, building upon a strong second half last season in which he helped lead the Sharks to their first ever Stanley Cup Final, and solidifying himself as one of the best defensemen in the game.

In 76 games, Burns has 28 goals – 11 more than any other defenseman – and 45 assists for 73 points and a plus-17 rating. At one point on Feb. 19, he had 14 more points than Erik Karlsson, who was second among NHL defensemen.

But Burns went cold earlier this month. During one stretch, he went nine out of 10 games without finding the scoresheet, and finally snapped a 16-game goal drought with an overtime winner on Tuesday against the Rangers.

Meanwhile, Karlsson has been heating up. A two-time Norris Trophy winner in 2012 and 2015, the Senators defenseman has 13 points in his last 14 games. As of Wednesday morning, Karlsson was just five points behind Burns in scoring, with 15 goals and 53 assists for 68 points and a plus-seven rating.

There’s talk Karlsson could take home a third Norris, snatching it out of Burns’ grasp.

But, probably not.

In an anonymous poll among 21 PHWA members, most of whom get a vote for the Norris Trophy at the conclusion of the regular season, Burns’ designation as the frontrunner seems fairly safe with just six games to go in the regular season.

Of the writers polled, including a broad swath from across North America, 14 told CSN they would likely vote for Burns as the league’s best defensemen if the season ended Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Three were leaning towards Burns, while only four said they would give it to Karlsson.

One writer polled had Burns first, Tampa Bay’s Viktor Hedman second, and Karlsson third.

Of course, 21 votes is just a small sample size of the PHWA membership. Last season, 183 writers took part in voting for the Norris, according to the final tally. Burns finished third in voting, well behind winner Drew Doughty, while Karlsson was second.

Still, as long as Burns stays in front of Karlsson in the scoring race, it appears he remains in line to become the first Sharks defenseman ever to earn a Norris Trophy.

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

Vin Scully on Dodgers Opening Day: ‘I’ll probably have things to do’

WASHINGTON -- On Monday, the Dodgers will play their first opening day since 1950 without Vin Scully calling their games. He won't be in the stands. He won't make a point of watching on TV, either.

"It's a day game. I'll probably have things to do," the famed 89-year-old announcer told The Associated Press from his home in Hidden Hills, California. "I might catch a piece of it."

Not that Scully has any regrets since retiring after last season. He says he's grateful for every minute he spent with the Dodgers, the franchise he joined 67 years ago in Brooklyn and followed to Los Angeles eight years later. He feels blessed to have worked as long as he did covering the game he fell in love with as a boy.

But he's learned that after a lifetime in the broadcast booth, watching a game as a fan holds little appeal.

"During the World Series back around '77 or '78, there was a game at Dodger Stadium with the Yankees, and I went to the game as a spectator. Now, I hadn't been as a spectator in a long, long time, and I felt somewhat restless that I wasn't broadcasting," Scully recalled Tuesday.

"I did not have the challenge of trying to describe, accurately and quickly, the way it should be done. I just sat there, and I was not happy, I'll be honest. So I realized that although I love the game, what I loved more was broadcasting it," he said.

Scully spoke to the AP because the Library of Congress has announced it will preserve his call of a 1957 game between the Dodgers and the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, the final time they played at the hallowed old stadium. Both teams moved to California after that season, opening up the West Coast to Major League Baseball.

Scully's call of Sandy Koufax's 1965 perfect game is more famous. But that game at the Polo Grounds meant more to him personally, because he grew up going to games there, cheering for the Giants and dreaming of watching from the press box.

"It was so meaningful to me. I'm not sure what it really means to baseball fans anymore," Scully said. "The sands of time have washed over the Polo Grounds. But for me, it was one of the more memorable games I was ever involved in."

During that broadcast, Scully implored the players to take their time before there franchises left town: "Let's take it easy, we just want to take one last lingering look at both of you." The Library of Congress called it "a masterful example of the artistry that great sports announcers bring to their work, as well as their empathy for players and fans."

Six decades later, Scully is having an easier time letting go. So no plans to keep track Monday when Los Angeles plays the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

"All summer long, I expect to get feelings of nostalgia, wistfulness, whatever the word may be, but no, I am comfortable, I do know in my heart and soul I am where I should be, and that really is all I need," he said.

"Sure, after 67 years, you'll bet I'll miss it," he added. "But heck, I miss the guys I hung out with when I was in school."