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Nov 28, 2012 12:10am
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SAN FRANCISCO —Pablo Sandoval sprinted around the bases in those bright orange
cleats the same way he did in the All-Star game and added a mesmerizing
home-plate collision for an encore. Mike Wallace Jersey . What a Giant return.
Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, Buster Posey homered
and the Giants beat the Houston Astros 5-1 on Friday night in a game that will
be remembered more for the final run than the dominance San Francisco showed in
its first outing since the break. Sandoval followed up the first bases-loaded
triple in All-Star history with a triple in the eighth. The portly player
nicknamed Kung Fu Panda—and listed at a generous 240 pounds—tagged up on
Angel Pagans short fly to left and barrelled into catcher Chris Snyder to jar
the ball loose and score. “Thats a lot of mass coming to home plate,” Giants
manager Bruce Bochy said. The home-plate collision, which has been a hot topic
in San Francisco since Poseys season ended a year ago in a play at the plate
with the Marlins Scott Cousins, still had players buzzing in the clubhouse after
the game and could provide the kind of energy San Francisco needs heading into
the seasons second half. If nothing else, the All-Star break seemed to
rejuvenate the Giants. Bumgarner (11-5) retired 13 straight until Snyders solo
shot in the seventh inning in another dominating start for the blossoming lefty.
He struck out five and walked two, giving praise to fellow Giants lefty
Jeremy Affeldt for helping him with a new twist on his curveball that he applied
for the first time. Posey hit his team-leading 11th home run of the season in
the first off Wandy Rodriguez, who allowed seven hits and two walks in seven
innings. Rodriguez (7-7) also had four strikeouts to begin a 10-game road trip
for the last-place Astros. Santiago Casilla struck out the only two batters he
faced for his 22nd save in 26 chances. After losing five of six to end the
seasons first half, San Francisco started four players—Posey, Matt Cain,
Pablo Sandoval and MVP Melky Cabrera—in the Mid-Summer Classic, where they
helped the National League roll past the AL 80 and brought the momentum back to
the Bay Area. Sandoval credited his cleats for the near repeat performance—
even though he expects a $1,000 fine for his shoes not completely matching the
uniform, which were orange shirts and white pants on the usual “Orange Friday.”
As for the play, both players called it clean. “Its tough,” said Sandoval, a
former catcher converted to third base. “He was in great position and I was in
great position, so nobody got hurt. I see the ball coming, and I put my head
down and you have to go.” Said Snyder: “Ive got no problem with that. I came out
fine. I just didnt hold onto the ball.” Even before the collision, the Giants
looked more like a team ready to erase the Dodgers half-game lead in the NL West
than the one that stumbled before the break. Posey showed some immediate pop
when he drove a ball over the wall in centre field and off the roof of a
concession stand near the black backdrop in centre field to give the Giants a
2-0 lead in the first. A ballpark scoreboard estimated the shot at 448 feet,
landing in a place—and with the kind of acceleration—rarely seen at
AT&T Park since home run king Barry Bonds retired. Pagan, Brandon Belt and
Joaquin Arias each singled to open the second to put San Francisco ahead 4-0.
Before Bumgarner even returned to the mound, he had all the supported he needed.
“Was kind of nervous,” Bumgarner said. “Didnt know how to feel with the time
off.” The left-hander brought his season total to 104 strikeouts—reaching the
century mark by getting Brian Bixler swinging for the second out in the first—
and never faced any serious opposition from a depleted Astros lineup. Bumgarner,
who pitched a one-hitter for his first complete game two starts ago against
Cincinnati, gave up a single to Jed Lowrie leading off the second. He later
walked Matt Downs with two outs before getting Rodriguez out on a soft liner to
short. Bumgarner plowed through the Astros lineup for the next four innings
until Snyder pulled his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall,
clearing the on-site ambulance and skipping down the ballparks tunnel. NOTES:
Houston reliever Wilton Lopez returned to the active roster after missing 26
games with a sprained right elbow. Astros manager Brad Mills said he wants to
limit Lopez to about 25 pitches whenever he pitches again. ... Nate Schierholtz
hit his first career pinch-hit triple leading off San Franciscos seventh. ...
Closer Brian Wilson handed out 1,000 baseball gloves from the Giants Community
Funds Junior Giants baseball program and held a question-and-answer session
before the game. ... Giants RHP Tim Lincecum (3-10, 6.42 ERA) faces Houston RHP
Lucas Harell (7-6, 4.56 ERA) on Saturday. Maurkice Pouncey Womens Jersey . The mixed
martial arts card at the Bell Centre is the UFCs second in Canada, following UFC
83 last April. “Im looking forward to fighting in Montreal,” Silva said in a
statement. “I have a lot of Canadian fans. Thales is a very tough opponent, and
its going to be a great fight. Hines Ward Womens Jersey . The leagues
management council and the players union determined that Seattle violated the
collective bargaining agreements off-season workout rules by having live contact
during one of the clubs organized team activities (OTAs). http://www.nikepittsburghsteelersjerseyssale.com/franco-harris-jerseys
. Nike Inc. claimed in a lawsuit in U.S. District Court that Reebok
International Ltd. has used Tebows name on Jets-related apparel without
permission since it was announced last week that Tebow was traded from the
Denver Broncos to New York. Ryan Clark Jersey . Trevor Plouffe obliged
him. Plouffe hit a solo home run in the 11th inning, lifting the Twins over the
Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 Saturday for their season-high fourth straight win. Terry Bradshaw Jersey . A healthy scratch for
the last two Oilers games, Paajarvi has never played a game in the AHL. However,
with no goals and just three assists in 25 games with Edmonton this season, the
20-year-old Swede has had a harder time keeping pace with the rest of the Oilers
young stars.SAN FRANCISCO
After all the Giants had overcome to get back to the
World Series, a late shower wasnt about to dampen their celebration. All right,
it was a driving downpour. So reliever Sergio Romo danced through the raindrops,
Tim Lincecum helped lead a soaked victory lap around the ballpark and
Angel Pagan stayed on the field with his daughter long after his teammates took
the party indoors. Hunter Pence got the Giants going with a weird double,
Matt Cain pitched his second clincher of October and San Francisco closed out
Game 7 of the NL championship series in a rainstorm, routing the St. Louis
Cardinals 9-0 on Monday night. “The rain never felt so good,” series MVP
Marco Scutaro said. “Were going to the World Series, this is unbelievable.” San
Francisco won its record-tying sixth elimination game of the post-season,
completing a lopsided rally from a 3-1 deficit. The Giants, who won it all in
2010, will host reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, Triple
Crown slugger Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 on Wednesday
night. Verlander is set to pitch Wednesdays opener at AT&T Park. Giants
manager Bruce Bochy insisted before Mondays game he had not planned any further
in advance. Scutaro produced his sixth multihit game of the series and matched
an LCS record with 14 hits and Pablo Sandoval drove in a run for his fifth
straight game. “These guys never quit,” Bochy said. “They just kept believing
and they got it done.” After falling behind 3-1 in the series at Busch Stadium,
the Giants outscored the wild-card Cardinals 20-1 over the final three games
behind stellar starting pitching from Barry Zito, Ryan Vogelsong and Cain. They
also benefited from some strange bounces. On Pences double that highlighted a
five-run third, his bat broke at the label on impact, then the broken barrel hit
the ball twice more. That put a rolling, slicing spin on the ball and caused it
to change directions — leaving shortstop Pete Kozma little chance to make the
play. Kozma broke to his right, figuring thats where the ball would go, but it
instead curved to left-centre. “It was going to go in the hole and it ended up
going up the middle,” Kozma said. Injured closer Brian Wilson, with that
out-of-control bushy black beard, danced in the dugout and fans in the sellout
crowd of 43,056 kept twirling their orange rally towels even through rain in the
late innings — a downright downpour when Romo retired Matt Holliday on a popup
to Scutaro to end it. Romo embraced catcher Buster Posey as fireworks went off
over McCovey Cove beyond right field. “Its just very fitting the way everything
has gone for us this season,” Romo said of ending in the rain. “The ups and
downs, the injuries, the personal issues, whatever. What a ride for us all. Its
very, very fitting that it rained right there.” The NL West champion Giants won
their first post-season clincher at home since the 2002 NLCS, also against the
Cardinals. These 2012 Giants have a couple of pretty talented castoffs of their
own not so different from that winning combination of 2010 “castoffs and
misfits” as Bochy referred to his bunch — with Scutaro right there at the top of
the list this time around. Acquired July 27 from the division rival Colorado
Rockies, Scutaro hit .500 (14 for 28) with four RBIs in the NLCS. The
36-year-old journeyman infielder, playing in his second post-season and first
since 2006 with Oakland, became the first player in major league history with
six multihit games in an LCS. Now, hes headed to his first World Series. The
Giants have All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera to thank for helping his teammates
secure home-field advantage in the post-season — while Cain was the winning
pitcher the National Leagues 8-0 victory in July. Cabrera was suspended 50 games
Aug. 15 for a positive testosterone test, then wasnt added to the roster by the
Giants after his suspension ended. After rain fell on the Cardinals during
batting practice, the skies turned blue and the weather co-operated. Anxious
players on both sides hung over the dugout rails as the game began. Cain joined
St. Louis Chris Carpenter as the only pitchers with victories in two
winner-take-all games in the same post-season. Carpenter, who lost Games 2 and 6
in this series, did it last year. Larry Foote Jersey. Cain also pitched the
Giants Game 5 division series clincher at Cincinnati, when San Francisco became
the first team in major league history to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a
five-game series by winning three consecutive road games. “I think to do it, the
guys actually have to believe it can happen,” Posey said. He delivered on an
even bigger stage Monday as San Francisco saved its season once again. The
Giants won their 20th NL pennant and reached their 19th World Series. Cain
walked off the mound to a standing ovation when Jeremy Affeldt entered with two
outs in the sixth. Affeldt then got Daniel Descalso to pop out with two runners
on. Yadier Molina had four hits but got little help from the rest of the
Cardinals, who went 1 for 21 with runners in scoring position over their final
three games. “Its about the team thats hot, and we went on a cold streak,”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We got to this point by being that team
that was hot and taking advantage of opportunities. But we just couldnt make it
happen these last two games.” Cain added an RBI single to his cause and got some
sparkling defence behind him. The play of the game went to shortstop
Brandon Crawford, who made a leaping catch of Kyle Lohses liner to end the
second inning with runners on second and third that would have been a
run-scoring hit. In the third, Scutaro, the second baseman, made a tough stop on
a short hop by Carlos Beltran, and left fielder Gregor Blanco ran down a
hard-hit ball by Allen Craig in left-centre to end the inning. Cains
second-inning single made San Francisco the first team in major league
post-season history to have a starting pitcher drive in a run in three straight
elimination games. Brandon Belt hit a solo homer in the eighth for his first
clout of the post-season. It took production from everybody, even the pitchers,
for these scrappy Giants to rally back from the brink one more time. Cain
certainly did his part to keep the staff rolling. The 16-game winner, who didnt
surrender an earned run during his teams title run two years ago, reached 46
pitches through two innings but settled in nicely the rest of the way to avenge
a loss to Lohse in Game 3. Cain even got to repay Holliday for his hard slide
into Scutaro at second base in Game 2 here a week earlier. Cain plunked Holliday
in the upper left arm leading off the sixth, drawing cheers from the crowd. The
right-hander escaped trouble in the second with runners on second and third when
Crawford made his catch. Holliday returned to the lineup after missing Game 6 a
night earlier with tightness in his lower back. He received loud boos when he
stepped in to hit in the first from a fan base still angry about his slide that
injured Scutaros hip. Beltran is still left 0-fer the World Series, winless in
three Game 7s during his 15-year career. And to think just last fall he was on
the other side with the Giants as they missed the playoffs a year after winning
the clubs first World Series since moving West in 1958. “If you look at the
games we made a lot of mistakes and they didnt make any,” Beltran said. “They
took advantage of those. They were able to put things together, offence,
pitching, defence, and we couldnt do that.” The Cardinals went an NL-best 12-4
from Sept. 16 to the end of the season to earn the NLs second wild card on the
second-to-last day of the season, then won 6-3 in a winner-take-all playoff at
Atlanta to reach the division series. The Cardinals then rallied from a 6-0
deficit with a four-run ninth inning to stun the Washington Nationals 9-7 in
Game 5. Sandovals run-scoring groundout in the first that put his team ahead
gave him at least one RBI in five straight post-season games, matching home run
king Barry Bonds franchise record set in 2002. Now, Sandoval and the Giants get
to play on. “Its just surreal. The victory lap right there was the greatest
thing,” said Zito, left off the 2010 post-season roster for all three rounds but
now a candidate to pitch Game 1. “We play best when our backs are against the
wall.” NOTES: The Giants snapped an 0-5 skid in deciding Game 7s. ... The Tigers
and Giants will meet for the first time in the post-season. ’ ’ ’ 

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