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SAN FRANCISCO -- Bruce Bochy envisioned a disappointing flight to St. Louis that might have been if San Franciscos mistake-filled funk had extended into another day against the Oakland Athletics. Pablo Sandoval hit a go-ahead two-run single in the sixth, Barry Zito delivered another timely victory to end a six-start winless stretch, and the Giants beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 on Thursday to avoid a season sweep in the Bay Bridge Series. "If this game got away from us, it would have been a long flight to St. Louis, believe me," Bochy said. "I thought today was really critical. Theres some pride involved. The last thing you want to do is get swept here in this Bay Series." A day after San Francisco made three errors and two other defensive miscues, the Giants finally got to A.J. Griffin (5-4) to snap the As six-game winning streak with their lone win in the four-game interleague rivalry between last years West division champions. Brandon Belt doubled in two runs in San Franciscos four-run sixth. Zito (4-3) won against his former club for his first victory since beating San Diego at home April 21. The Giants improved to 7-0 in his home outings and have won 13 straight regular-season games started by Zito at AT&T Park. "He was just being Zito out there," Belt said, "We needed it." San Francisco hasnt lost a home start by Zito since last Aug. 2 against the New York Mets. The Giants have won 14 straight starts by the lefty at AT&T Park when including Game 1 of the World Series last fall against the Tigers. Coco Crisp doubled among his three hits, but that was all the As could do against Zito. Yoenis Cespedes added an RBI single in the seventh, extending his career-best hitting streak to 12 games. Oakland (31-24) missed a chance to move a season-best nine games over .500 and lost for only the second time in 13 games. The As have dropped 11 of their past 14 in the Giants waterfront ballpark, which drew a sellout crowd of 41,250 for the afternoon finale. "I think our team showed a lot of fire and we were competitive," As third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "You go through a season and get tons of opportunities when you dont come through. But at the same time were playing the game right way and I guarantee you well be ready for the White Sox." The Giants lost the first three games of this Bay Area rivalry to drop the season series for the first time since going 2-4 in 2008 after a sloppy 9-6 loss Wednesday night. Sandovals hit in the sixth gave the Giants their first lead in 23 innings. "Weve been waiting on an inning like that," Bochy said. San Francisco avoided its first season sweep by the As since the clubs began playing interleague matchups in 1997. Zito faced trouble in each of his first five innings before finishing his day with a 1-2-3 sixth. He delivered just the third quality start in the past 16 by the Giants struggling rotation. The 2002 AL Cy Young Award winner for Oakland is 3-4 in seven career starts against his old team. "I get some juice just because its a tough team," Zito said. "Weve got a lot of talent in the Bay right now. Its good to see. We definitely know what we need to do, we have to go out there and be better on the starting side." Sergio Romo, San Franciscos fourth reliever, finished for his 14th save in 16 chances. Zito allowed a leadoff double to Crisp in the first and Jed Lowries walk before the two pulled off a double steal, but Zito then retired the next three Giants batters in order to escape unscathed. He allowed a two-out walk to Griffin -- making his first career plate appearance -- in the second then Crisps single, and pitching coach Dave Righetti paid the lefty a mound visit. Cespedes walked leading off the third, but was caught stealing. Donaldson walked, then Nate Freiman grounded into an inning-ending double play. "Amazing, really," Bochy said. "He was quite the Houdini today. I dont know how he did it." Zito walked a season-high six batters, struck out five and allowed one run and three hits in six innings. Zitos 117 pitches were his most since also throwing 117 on Aug. 6, 2010, at Atlanta. Griffin, a younger version of Zito with his similar style and big curveball, gave up four runs and five hits, struck out five and walked one in 5 2-3 innings. As manager Bob Melvin spent more than an hour in traffic Thursday morning trying to get across the bay during rush hour -- after doing the same leaving late Wednesday. "Literally the Bay Bridge Series," he said. "I was on the Bay Bridge an hour last night and an hour this morning. Quick turnaround." Notes: San Francisco CF Angel Pagan will test his injured left hamstring Friday in St. Louis with batting practice and running. He received a cortisone shot Wednesday and has missed five straight games. He could play as soon as Saturday. "Hopefully very soon. Im going crazy right now," he said. ... Giants 2B Marco Scutaro was out of the lineup with what Bochy calls "the crud" that has been going through the clubhouse. ... RHP Chad Gaudin will start Sunday at St. Louis for the Giants if not needed before, and Bochy believes he can go five or six innings considering he has 75 major league starts and has thrown 70-plus pitches. ... San Francisco RHP Ryan Vogelsong had his cast removed from surgery last week on his broken pitching hand. He is now wearing a splint and began working out again Wednesday. [url=http://www.airjordan3cheap.com/]Discount Air Jordan 3[/url] .ca. Hey Kerry, big fan of yours, just finished reading your book. I think that we all saw the Canucks/Flames line brawl just after puck drop. 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I cant pinpoint a date, but I do remember a player from my youth. Brian Downing was with the Chicago White Sox at a time when I listened to every game I possibly could on the radio. That particular season the late great Harry Caray was calling the White Sox games. Last week, as reported by ESPN, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) announced the setting up of a special committee, to be chaired by Abhinav Bindra, to review shooters below-par performance at the Games. That process has begun but the committees mandate suggests the federation is looking for a more centralised structure with greater powers vested within itself.Among the issues that the NRAI is keen to have the panel investigate are shooters hiring personal coaches, the selection of shooters for multiple Olympics on reputation rather than form and the role of private non-profits - like the now-defunct Mittal Champions Trust, Olympic Gold Quest, Lakshya Foundation, Anglian Medal Hunt and Go Sports - who liase between athlete, federation and sports ministry.It is understood that the federation would ideally like the panel to recommend that all shooting activity be centralised and under the NRAIs control.NRAI chief Raninder Singh told ESPN that one of the prime reasons for the shooters failure to win medals could be allowing them to train with personal coaches - a decision he called a tactical blunder.A personal coach is not wholly essential, he said. A shooter trains with the national coach for four and a half years but once the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme or private sponsorship organisations step in, he/she moves on to work with the foreign coach that they offer. To be trained in a particular style and technique for years and then switch to a brand new approach months before the Olympics affects preparations. In our opinion its a negative trend and performances have tanked under them.However, the facts suggest that the most successful Indian shooters of recent years have all had personal coaches. Both Bindra and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who won the silver in Athens in 2004, for instance, worked closely with personal coaches before their Olympic successes. Bindra trained with five-time Olympian Gabriele Buhlmann and Rathore with Australian Russell Mark.The federations antipathy towards private coaches is baseless, former India pistol shooter Jaspal Rana told ESPN. A personal coach is absolutely essential for a shooter. Of course, you have to ensure that the coach can produce results. Whats most crucial is the understanding between the coach and the shooter.Shooting is a lonely sport with a pronounced thrust on mental conditioning which makes the athletes need for a coachs undivided, personal attention vital. Among the coaches who travelled to Rio along with the 12-member shooting contingent include Stanislav Lapidus (who works with Gagan Narang, Chain Singh and Apurvi Chandela), Heinz Reinkemeier (Bindras personal coach), Ronak Pandit (Heena Sidhus husband, personal coach and manager of the shooting team) Ennio Falco (national skeet coach), Marcello Dradi (national trap coach) and Pavel Smirnov (national pistol coach).Jitu Rai, considered one of the biggest medal prospects for India at Rio, did not have a personal coach and trained under Smirnov, who also works with a host of other shooters.The concept of an umbrella coach working with a number of shooters makes no sense, says former Olympic shooter Suma Shirur, who travelled to Rio as a private coach to shooter Ayonika Paul. An inclusive approach should be adopted wherein personal coaches work in tandem with the national coach. EEach shooter should be allowed to choose the coach since its eventually going to be about how well they work together and deliver results.ddddddddddddThe NRAI also wants to debate the practice of family members working with shooters as coaches and accompanying them for competitions overseas under the scanner.Pistol shooter Heena Sidhu for example, trained with her husband, Ronak Pandit, a Commonwealth Games medallist shooter who was also the manager of the whole shooting team. She received Rs 1 crore in financial assistance under the TOP scheme in the run-up to the Games. She finished 14th and 18th in the 10m air pistol and 25m pistol events respectively at the Rio Games, and did not make the final at either event.Most controversial, perhaps, could be the NRAIs questioning of the role of private sponsorship organisations and calling them a contributory cause for the shooting failure. The committee has been asked to examine the multiple layers of preparation brought about by the effect of these organisations with regard to contracting some shooters and offering them funds to train and compete overseas apart from working with mental trainers and short-term coaches.We have nothing against private sponsorship organisations since they are providing an essential service, says Raninder, But the issue here is that in certain cases they have provided private funding for coaching which comes back to the same point of too many layers of preparation. We are not in the know of the credentials of coaches whom they bring on board. In being overzealous and trying to help the athlete are they ending up adversely affecting performance? Shirur was dismissive of this notion. Private sponsorship organisations are doing an incredible job with regard to providing personalized facilities for shooters. They are particularly crucial ahead of an event like the Olympics. If there is one issue they need to address, it is the attention demanded by sponsors; it can be sometimes overbearing for a shooter to have his sponsors always around. It creates a sense of pressure. Having said that, they are doing a great job of supporting the sportspersons through and through.The proposed panel is also expected to take a cold and ruthless look at the reasons why shooters are sent to multiple Olympics though they havent delivered results, and whether at all they should be fielded again. Theres one case from Rio where, the federation could take a large share of the blame - the quota swap ahead of the Games that resulted in Sanjeev Rajput, the only Indian to win a World Cup in 3-Position, being excluded from the team despite earning an Olympic quota. Theres one case from Rio where, the federation could take a large share of the blame - the quota swap ahead of the Games that resulted in Sanjeev Rajput, the only Indian to win a World Cup in 3-Position, being excluded from the team despite earning an Olympic quota. Manavjit Singh Sandhu, the only Indian shooter who went to Rio on the basis of a trial instead of a quota berth, did not make it beyond the qualifying round of the trap event.**12:57:50 IST, August 25, 2016: The line was changed to accurately reflect Manavjit Sandhus qualification process for Rio Olympics. ' ' '