Vogelsong tries to stop the bleeding vs. Twins


Vogelsong tries to stop the bleeding vs. Twins

June 22, 2011

MINNESOTA (32-39) vs.
GIANTS (39-34)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins pulled off a stunning feat at the plate during their first game against the San Francisco Giants in six years.

Scoring runs, though, might prove difficult for both teams with the Twins' Nick Blackburn and the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong scheduled to start Wednesday night at AT&T Park.

Minnesota (32-39) tied a major league record with eight consecutive hits to open its 9-2 victory in Tuesday's series opener. Ben Revere scored the first of his team's eight runs in the opening frame and doubled home the final two.

Joe Mauer also recorded his first two-hit game since returning from the 60-day disabled list and drove in a run. Five other Twins, including Revere, finished with two hits apiece and each starting position player hit safely.

Minnesota, winners in a season-high eight in a row and 15 of 17, might have trouble repeating that performance against Vogelsong (4-1, 1.92 ERA), who has not allowed more than two runs in eight consecutive outings.

The right-hander, however, has one win in his last six starts and did not get a decision Thursday in Arizona while allowing two runs over six innings.

"Another great effort," manager Bruce Bochy told the team's website. "He threw well. It would have been nice to have gotten him a win, but he certainly did all he could."

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Blackburn (6-4, 3.16), meanwhile, is seeking his career-high sixth consecutive win and has a 2.29 ERA over his last nine starts. He's also coming off his best performance over that stretch.

Blackburn scattered seven hits and walked one in eight innings Thursday to outduel four-time All-Star Mark Buehrle for a 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

"He's in complete control of the games," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

In his first matchup with the Giants (39-34), Blackburn will try to continue a dominant run for Minnesota's pitching staff, which owns a 1.88 ERA over the past 17 games.

The Twins are hoping another strong effort will help them record their first nine-game win streak since winning 10 in a row from June 17-27, 2008.

The Giants, who trail Arizona by one-half game in the NL West, are on their longest skid since dropping seven in a row June 26-July 2. Over its five straight defeats, San Francisco has scored nine runs - batting .031 (1 for 32) with runners in scoring position and .196 overall.

Minnesota, meanwhile, is batting .274 in its last 21 games - 28 points above its season average - and has 10 or more hits 13 times over that span.

Alexi Casilla has helped his team by batting .351 with eight doubles and 11 RBIs over his last 25 contests. He had two hits during Tuesday's win - a double and his second home run in as many games.

Michael Cuddyer is also batting .441 (15 for 34) during a 10-game hit streak with six doubles, three homers and 11 RBIs.

Vogelsong will try to quell that lineup in his first start against the Twins. He faced them once as a reliever in 2006 while with Pittsburgh, allowing three runs and five hits in one inning.

49ers designate two linebackers waived/injured


49ers designate two linebackers waived/injured

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers are expected to replenish their linebacker to help the team get through upcoming practices and their final three exhibition games.

The 49ers on Wednesday created two roster spots to sign replacements, as the team designated linebackers Donavin Newsom and Jayson DiManche as waived/injured.

General manager John Lynch said the designation was a formality for Newsom, who will revert back to the 49ers after clearing waivers. Newsom will remain under contract to the 49ers after going on injured reserve.

“He’s doing better each day,” Lynch said. “We’re going to put him on injured reserve. It will come across the wire procedurally as a waived-injured, but he’s going to be on injured reserve. And talking with our doctors, he got great care up here at Stanford. It’s the best thing for the kid. Give him time to really get right. So, (I) had a good talk with him this morning.”

Newsom, an undrafted rookie from Colorado, sustained a serious concussion on Aug. 8 and was taken by ambulance off the practice field to Stanford Hospital. He spent two nights in the hospital as a precaution.

DiManche was signed last week and participated in seven plays on defense and 15 on special teams before sustaining a hamstring injury in the 49ers’ exhibition opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Newly signed linebacker Sean Porter sustained a quadriceps injury in the game against the Chiefs and has also not been available to practice.

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’


Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

Von Miller has 73.5 sacks to his name over six seasons in the NFL. He's a five-time Prow Bowl linebacker, three-time All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and Super Bowl MVP. 

Trent Brown has played 21 games in two NFL seasons for the 49ers, 18 of them as starts. Despite his little time in the NFL and lack of honors, the Broncos' defensive star sees San Francisco's young offensive lineman as the best in the game at his position.

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said to the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday after the first of two joint practices with the 49ers. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”

Brown, at 24 years old and standing 6-foot-8 while weighing 355 pounds, was the only offensive lineman invited to Miller's "Pass Rush Summit" at Stanford in June. Miller says he invited Brown so he could gain more knowledge, but also added, "from my point of view, we could get it (more knowledge) from a premier-offensive-tackle point of view.”

The two went up against each other in the trenches Wednesday in Santa Clara. After Brown held his own, Miller poured on the praise, but he made it clear how the young offensive lineman's future is all up to himself. Brown holds the keys to his potential. 

"He’ll be as good as he wants to be," Miller said. "When he’s on, there’s not another tackle in the National Football League that’s as good as him."

Miller also made a bold prediction. "He’s going to have one of the biggest (contracts) for an offensive lineman."

Brown's rookie deal ends after the 2018 season.