Torres lifts Giants past D'backs to fifth straight win

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Torres lifts Giants past D'backs to fifth straight win

May 11, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Andres Torres spent the better part of the last few weeks watching his teammates celebrating on television.When it was finally his turn, he wasn't about to miss out on all the fun.Torres delivered the go-ahead RBI double, Aubrey Huff hit a tying home run and the San Francisco Giants rallied from three runs down for a 4-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night."It feels great now to be a part of it again," said Torres, who returned from the 15-day disabled list a day earlier after a strained left Achilles forced him to do a rehab stint at Triple-A Fresno. "I feel healthy again, and I'm glad I can do my part."
GIANTS INSIDER NOTES: Sparkplug Torres is back
Miguel Tejada hit a run-scoring single and then doubled with one out in the sixth to chase Diamondbacks starter Armando Galarraga (3-3), setting the stage for another Giants comeback.He scored on Torres' double to right-center field off reliever Juan Gutierrez to give San Francisco a season-high fifth straight win. The Giants (20-16) improved to four games over .500 for the first time this season."The one thing I have to say is I have to do something for this team," said Tejada, who finished with three hits and started to break out of his season-long slump. "They put a lot of confidence in me, and I have to produce."
VIDEO: Miguel Tejada postgame
He did.So did most of the Giants in another all-around effort.Jonathan Sanchez (3-2) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings. Three relievers kept the Diamondbacks scoreless before Brian Wilson pitched out of jam in the ninth for his 12th saveThe Giants didn't wait as long to come back this time.After wins in the final at-bat in three of the previous four games, San Francisco fell behind again before squeaking out runs and leaning on its bullpen.Tejada came through with the one-out double in the sixth. Then Gutierrez came in and got pinch-hitter Pat Burrell to fly out to left before Torres' double put San Francisco ahead 4-3."We had a ton of chances early," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We had chances to keep them from scoring, too. It's disheartening but you have to keep plugging."Ramon Ramirez, Javier Lopez and Sergio Romo kept Arizona scoreless over the next two innings. Wilson briefly made things interesting in the ninth - as usual - when Xavier Nady hit a leadoff double.Gerardo Parra walked and Henry Blanco struck out trying to bunt. Russell Branyan grounded out to first, and then Torres caught Kelly Johnson's flyball against the center-field wall for the final out.The bullpen's effort was just the kind of pick-me-up that worked so well for the World Series champions last season. And it was a much-needed boost for the starting pitcher again."That's kind of our way, I think," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If you look at what we did last year, it was somebody different it seemed like coming up with the big game-changing contribution."
VIDEO: Bruce Bochy postgame
Sanchez struggled with his control again but managed to minimize the damage.Johnson had a leadoff double in the first inning, and Stephen Drew drove him in two batters later with a grounder to first base. Blanco had an RBI single in the second and a solo homer to left in the fourth, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.That seemed to be a comfortable cushion for Galarraga, although no lead seems to be enough against these Giants lately.Tejada showed signs of busting out his slump with a run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth. After loading the bases with a walk to Sanchez, Galarraga threw a wild pitch that went to the backstop and scored Aaron Rowand from third.Huff started the fifth with a solo homer over the right-field wall, tying the score at 3. The home run was Huff's fourth of the season.Galarraga left after 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs and eight hits and striking out four. Arizona has lost three straight games and four of its last five."I walked the pitcher, I threw the wild pitch," Galarraga said. "The only good swing was the home run. It was down but in the middle of the plate."Notes: Giants C Buster Posey left in the seventh after taking consecutive foul balls from Kelly Johnson off his mask. Bochy will give Posey Thursday off with a day game, and Posey said he was fine after undergoing precautionary tests for a concussion. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito threw off the mound before the game for the first time since he sprained his right foot in a start April 16. He threw about 10 minutes and will have another bullpen session later this week. ... Gibson said RHP Josh Collmenter will make his first start in the majors Saturday against the Dodgers. Collmenter was brought up from the minors a couple weeks ago and has pitched only in relief.

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

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USATSI

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

PROVO, Utah — Saint Mary's knows all about the raucous atmosphere at BYU. The Gaels hadn't won in Provo since 2013 and had only come out on top in three of their previous 12 trips.

Make it four out of 13.

Calvin Hermanson scored 17 points and No. 22 Saint Mary's cruised to a 70-57 victory over BYU on Saturday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak to its West Coast Conference rival.

"It's definitely one of the tougher places to play for us," Hermanson said. "Coming in here we know it's a huge crowd and we know they can get riled up on any 3-point shot or any run they make. We wanted to try to limit their runs and their big plays.

"The second half was pretty unbelievable how quiet the crowd was. It felt great for us."

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gaels (24-3, 14-2) clinched a second-place finish in the conference standings behind top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga.

Saint Mary's controlled the game most of the night, riding its staunch defense on one end and running efficient offense on the other. The Gaels were able to get to the rim consistently, but also knocked down 10 3-pointers.

BYU (19-10, 10-6) shot 39.7 percent from the field and connected on four 3s.

Evan Fitzner had 15 points for Saint Mary's, including 11 in the second half.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we shot the ball well," Gaels coach Randy Bennett said, "and were able to get some separation and then it made it tough on them. We kind of just wore them out after that.

"We're a little different team with Fitzner out there. He spaces the floor," Bennett added. "We just play a little different with Fitzner out there versus Jock (Landale). It's nice to have a Plan A and Plan B."

Saint Mary's took a 41-30 lead into halftime thanks to Hermanson's hot shooting and plenty of that trademark defense. The Gaels began the day ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, then held the Cougars to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Saint Mary's shot 57.1 percent at the other end, including a 3-for-4 effort from Hermanson from behind the arc.

"I feel like we're better than we showed tonight," BYU guard TJ Haws said. "That team made a lot of runs on us. Tough defensive and offensive team. Very poised and disciplined.

"I want our team to just fight. When they punch us in the face, I want us to punch them right back."

BYU kept Landale under control in the half — and in foul trouble throughout — but Saint Mary's scored 22 of its 41 first-half points in the paint.

Eric Mika had 18 points for BYU, and Yoeli Childs added 13.

"The key to the game was that they were comfortable the entire time in our gym," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's on us. We need to be ahead. We need to get them to speed up a little bit because they're a little bit uncomfortable.

"But the game went pretty much exactly how they wanted it to go and we couldn't flip it. We couldn't get on top."

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga secured the regular-season title Saturday with a win over Pacific. An early December defeat to UT-Arlington is the Gaels' only bad loss this season, with the other two coming against Gonzaga.

BYU: The Cougars likely needed a win against the No. 22 team in the country to make an argument for the NCAA Tournament off their regular-season credentials. BYU has lost all three games against ranked opponents by double digits, including to Saint Mary's twice, and doesn't have a signature win. The Cougars get one last chance against Gonzaga next Saturday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 22 Saint Mary's might find itself moving up a bit after No. 17 Florida State and No. 21 South Carolina lost on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: Travel to face Pepperdine on Thursday.

BYU: Play at Portland on Thursday.

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

For the first time in five tries this season the Sharks managed to secure a regulation win over the last place Coyotes, 4-1 at Gila River Arena on Saturday. They keep their four-point lead over Edmonton, and are assured of going into the bye week in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

Here are our three takeaways from the win…

1 – Burns turns the tide…again

For the second time in a week, Brent Burns changed the momentum of a game with his deadly wrist shot. The Sharks were on their heels early – Arizona had a 16-9 shot advantage in the first period, perhaps jolted be a pregame ceremony – but Burns’ shot through traffic staked the Sharks a 1-0 lead and they were on their way.

“We kind of weathered their storm early,” Joe Pavelski told reporters. “There was a lot of energy in the building.”

It was similar to a game in New Jersey last Sunday, when Burns had a pair of second period goals, erasing a 1-0 deficit and putting his team on the track to victory.

According to Elias, Burns – who added a third period power play goal, too – is the first defenseman to score 18 goals on the road since Paul Coffey’s 22 in 1983-84. His 26 goals equal his total from last season, tying his franchise record.

“He’s having an MVP season,” Pete DeBoer told reporters. “He’s been that good for us all year and it’s every night. I don’t know what else to say. In my mind right now he’s the best player in the league, and we’re happy to have him on our team.”

Burns remains in third in the league in scoring with 63 points, four points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

2 – Dell gets the job done…again

Getting his second start in a week, Aaron Dell made a new season high (and, thus, career high) with 36 saves. His best stop was early in the second period on Radim Vrbata, when he managed to snag a pin-balling puck from crossing the line, keeping the Sharks ahead 2-0. Had that one trickled over, the Coyotes might have been able to seize the momentum.

“I think I had it the whole time,” Dell told reporters. “I kind of saw it for a second and then when I turned back I was able to find it and scoop it underneath me.”

DeBoer said: “He’s been good every time we’ve put him in there.”

Dell, whose goals-against average is down to 1.95, outplayed Sharks nemesis Mike Smith, who had stopped 121 of 127 San Jose shots in three games this season.

“We got to Smitty in the first period, which was great,” Pavelski said. “We kind of know what he’s done to us the past few games, stopping a lot of pucks. … That was a big key for us.”

3 – Fourth line magic

Through two periods, the Sharks’ top two lines had generated a total of three shots on goal – one each from Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc and Patrick Marleau.

Fortunately for the big guys, the fourth line was there to pick up the slack. Melker Karlsson posted three points (1g, 2a), Micheal Haley had one goal and one assist, and the fourth line generated all three of San Jose’s goals through 40 minutes.

One goal from the fourth line is a bonus. Three is virtually unheard of. 

“They showed up and played the right way,” DeBoer said. “Right from the drop of the puck they put pucks behind the other teams defense, they had good support, they created a lot of chances, and got rewarded for it. I think Dell and them were the difference in the game early through the first half, until we got going a little bit.”