<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top News - [BAY ONLY INCLUDES CSN]Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/newsen-usMon, 23 Oct 2017 08:31:32 -0700Mon, 23 Oct 2017 08:31:32 -0700NBC Local Integrated Media<![CDATA[Top Stories]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:14:06 -0700]]><![CDATA[Raiders]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:13:32 -0700]]><![CDATA[College Sports]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:14:39 -0700]]><![CDATA[49ers]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:15:24 -0700]]><![CDATA[Sharks]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:16:03 -0700]]><![CDATA[Athletics]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:16:37 -0700]]><![CDATA[Warriors]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:17:10 -0700]]><![CDATA[Giants]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 06:17:45 -0700]]><![CDATA[Raiders Rally to Win on Game's Final Play]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 21:47:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/TDwynnyr.jpg

Finally, in a must-win game, the Raiders played like the Raiders.

After losing four straight games and falling into the basement of the AFC West, Oakland rallied from nine points down in the fourth quarter to beat the division-leading Kansas City Chiefs Thursday night, 31-30.

The tying touchdown came on the last play of the game, with time already wiped off the clock because of a defensive penalty. Derek Carr’s 2-yard pass to Michael Crabtree tied the game at 30-all, then Giorgio Tavecchio kicked the extra point for the win.

It was a wild finish, with the Raiders appearing to get the tying touchdown twice before Crabtree’s actual score. First, Jared Cook pulled down a long throw and rolled into the end zone, which was signaled as a TD – but was waved off after replays should he landed at the half-yard line. Then, Carr’s apparent scoring pass to Crabtree was negated by an offensive pass-interference call against Crabtree. Then the Chiefs were flagged twice for defensive holding, keeping the game alive.

Finally, the Raiders were able to pull out the win.

The Raiders now are 3-4, while the Chiefs fall to 5-2. A loss by Oakland Thursday night could have killed the team’s hopes for a second straight trip to the playoffs.

The Raiders offense, dormant during the four-game losing streak – in which it scored an average of just over 13 points – came alive Thursday night. Carr completed 29-of-52 throws for 417 yards and three touchdowns, without an interception. His favorite target was wideout Amari Cooper, who had pretty much been absent from the offense all season. But on Thursday, Cooper had 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns, from 38 and 45 yards.

The Raiders’ No. 1 running back, Marshawn Lynch, was ejected early for unsportsmanlike conduct, leaving the running game to DeAndre Washington (who rushed for one TD) and Jalen Richard.

Now, with a long-sought victory, the Raiders will go on the road next Sunday, Oct. 29, to Buffalo to try to keep the momentum rolling vs. the Bills.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Snap Losing Streak With Last-Second Win Over Chiefs]]>Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:00:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/raiders-1019.jpg

OAKLAND – The Raiders were desperate for a win and played like it.

The offense woke from the dead. The defense showed energy and life.

Had they played like this recently, they would’ve been far better than 2-4. But they got what they earned, as head coach Jack Del Rio likes to say, and faced a virtual must win against the AFC’s finest.

It would take a Herculean effort from quarterback Derek Carr. The Raiders got that. He was nothing short of awesome.

The Chiefs don’t roll over for anyone. Some 2016 magic was required.

They got some, and plenty of it.

The Raiders beat Kansas City 31-30. Carr to Crabtree on an untimed down. And it kept their season alive.

They were so close to 2-5. They walked off the field 3-4, re-energized and in far better shape to face the rest of their season.

That result was earned with an excellent two-minute drill that featured some big moments, including a 39-yard catch and run by Amari Cooper. That was topped a short while later by a 13-yard pass to Jared Cook on 4th-and-11.

The Raiders worked it down to the 1-yard line on a 29-yard strike to Jared Cook. It was called a touchdown on the field, but ruled short of the goal line. That caused a 10-second runoff – Cook was in bounds -- that left eight seconds on the clock. Then Michael Crabtree pushed off. They the Chiefs were called for defensive holding, resulting in one untimed down. Holding gave the Raiders another.

That’s when Carr found Michael Crabtree for a game-tying touchdown. Girgio Tavecchio’s extra point won it.

The Raiders were down nine points to start the fourth quarter, but Tavecchio’s 26-yard field goal a few minutes in made it a one-score game.

The defense got a stop with six minutes left, and gave the offense a chance to win it.

The Raiders went three and out.

So did the Chiefs, courtesy of solid run defense and a Denico Autry/Khalil Mack sack.

The Silver and Black regained possession with 2:25 left and a timeout remaining.

You already know what happened next.

The Raiders offense came back to life Thursday night. Quarterback Derek Carr paced a frenzied attack, as you’d expect, sparked by deep plays missing in recent weeks.

Carr’s rare combination of zip and touch was back on display. He was nothing short of awesome, completing 29-of-52 passes for 417 yards and three touchdowns, in his best game of the season.

Previously slumping receiver Amari Cooper was active early, with touchdown catches on his team’s first two drives.

The home team’s total was hindered by a pair of missed field goals, though yards came in bunches all night.

Even so, it proved tough to compete with Kansas City’s high-powered offense. The Raiders defense created pressure and did some nice things, but gave up too many explosive plays on the night.

Smith hit speedster Tyreek Hill on a 64-yard catch and run for touchdown to cap a three-play, 99-yard drive. Albert Wilson scored from 63 yards out, thanks to a ball tipped back by Keith McGill – it should’ve been intercepted – that went right to Wilson for an easy score.

Welcome back, Amari: Top Raiders receiver Amari Cooper broke out of a prolonged slump with a dynamite performance. He had two huge catches early in the game, and finished with 11 catches for 210 yards and two touchdowns. He also drew a pass interference inside the Kansas City 5-yard line that set up another score.

Report: Penn and Crabtree argue on sideline: Raiders left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Michael Crabtree got into a shoving match on the sideline, according to CBS on-field reporter Tracy Wolfson.

Wolfson said offensive line coach Mike Tice had to break up the exchange. It’s uncertain why the incident began.

Marshawn gets ejected: Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch got ejected for making contact with an official in the second quarter. He came in from the sideline to protect Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters, who was being confronted for a late hit on quarterback Derek Carr.

Lynch tried to get in the middle of teammates and his good friend and Oakland native, and ended up pushing an official. He will get fined and possibly suspended for the act.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Montana: Clark Appreciates Support From Ex-49ers Teammates]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 23:50:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dwightjoe-ap_1.jpg

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders' Marshawn Lynch Ejected for Pushing Referee]]>Thu, 19 Oct 2017 19:13:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/marshawn-1019.jpg

ALAMEDA – Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected from Thursday night's game against the Kansas City Chiefs for making contact with an official.

He was on the sideline to start a 3rd-down-and-16 play in the second quarter, when a draw was called. Quarterback Derek Carr was stopped quickly, yet Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters delivered a late hit many Raiders didn't appreciate.

A scuffle ensued, and Lynch ran on to the field to enter the fray. You can't do that.

It seemed like he was getting between Raiders teammates and Peters, Lynch's good friend and fellow Oakland native. He made contact with an official during the incident, and seemed to push him before realizing the man was wearing stripes.

He was ejected by rule and forced to leave the field immediately. Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official and will possibly face a suspension.

The Raiders were granted a first down, but ultimately missed a field goal attempt.

Lynch wasn't active on that drive or the series before, spending that time with his helmet off. The Chiefs were ahead 17-14 when Lynch was ejected. He had two carries for nine yards at the time.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rockets Stun Warriors in 2017 Season Opener]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:29:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors-1017.jpg

OAKLAND -- After picking up their second championship rings in three seasons, the Warriors took the Oracle Arena court Tuesday night hoping to grab a win.

The Houston Rockets did not play along, riding a fourth-quarter comeback to a 122-121 victory over the defending champions in the season opener.

Four players scored in double figures, led by Nick Young’s 23 points off the bench. Stephen Curry tossed in 22, Kevin Durant’s 20 and Klay Thompson 16.

The losses of Andre Iguodala before the game and Draymond Green after the third quarter were too much for the Warriors to overcome.

Green left with a knee injury after totaling 9 points, a team-high 11 rebounds and a team-high 13 assists in 28 minutes.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: The Warriors were unimpressed with Young’s conditioning at the start of training camp, but surely loved his shooting touch in his debut.

Young’s line: 23 points (8-of-9 shooting, 6-of-7 beyond the arc, 1-of-1 at the line) and one rebound.

Young was signed to provide scoring off the bench, specifically 3-point shooting. He nailed it in his first game as a Warrior.

TURNING POINT: With the Warriors taking a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter and leading 116-109 with 4:14 to play, the Rockets closed the game on a 13-5.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Draymond Green sustained a left knee strain late in the third quarter and left the game for good. F Omri Casspi (R ankle sprain) was listed as probable and was available to play. F Andre Iguodala (back strain) was listed as questionable and ruled out prior to tipoff.

Rockets: No injuries listed.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors return to action Friday night in New Orleans, where they face the Pelicans at Smoothie King Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:35 PDT.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Offense Comes Alive in Victory Over Canadiens]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 00:30:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharks-canadiens-win-ap.jpg

SAN JOSE — Logan Couture scored a pair of goals and the San Jose Sharks extended their dominance of the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-2 victory Tuesday night.

Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl and Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who have won the past 11 home games against the Canadiens, a streak that dates to Nov. 23, 1999.

Jonathan Drouin and Shea Weber scored for the Canadiens, who are winless since an opening night victory at the Buffalo Sabres.

Martin Jones stopped 28 of 30 shots for the Sharks, who finish their season-opening homestand with a 2-3 record.

Carey Price, who stopped 31 of 35, fell to 2-7-1 in 10 games against the Sharks.

Couture opened the scoring 3:30 into the first period, grabbing a rebound off the back board, skated across the front of the net to get Price to commit and then fired into an open net.

The Canadiens responded 36 seconds later when Drouin picked up a pass from Artturi Lehkonen close in and fired it over Jones' left shoulder and into the net.

Pavelski gave the Sharks the lead for good when he redirected Kevin Labanc's shot just under a minute into the second period. The shot hit Weber's left shin pad and bounced into the net.

Hertl padded the lead midway through the second on a power play. Standing on the right side of the net, he was trying to control a pass from Thornton but the puck fluttered off his stick and got behind Price.

Weber's power-play goal two minutes later kicked off Jones' skates for the score.

The Sharks needed five seconds to score on a power play late in the second period. Tim Heed shot on goal and it bounced off Pavelski's skate. Couture picked it up and found a huge opening.

Thornton scored an empty-net goal in the final minute.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Come up Short Again, Lose Fourth Straight]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 16:59:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/kahrpikkboltz.jpg

Now that the Raiders have lost their fourth straight game – and with the offense again sputtering in a 17-16 defeat to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers – is it time to ask if Oakland made a mistake in letting go of offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave?

The Raiders offense, which had been explosive the past two seasons, has gone dormant the past month after two solid games to start the season.

The Raiders gained 274 yards Sunday in the loss to their longtime rivals, but had trouble throwing the ball deep or consistently running the ball against what has been a weak run defense.

In 2016, Oakland ranked No. 6 in the NFL in total offense, pumping out 373.3 yards per game. This season, the Raiders went into Sunday’s game averaging 279.2 yars per game, which ranks 30th.

Last season, the Raiders scored 34 and 19 points in two wins over the Chargers; in 2015, Oakland scored 37 and 23 in a pair of victories. Sunday, Oakland could muster two touchdowns, a field goal and a missed extra point by Giorgio Tavechhio that proved to be a killer.

Yesterday’s point total follows games in which the Raiders scored 17, 10 and 10 points.  Clearly, something has gone wrong. Even with the return of starting quarterback Derek Carr against the Chargers after a back injury, Oakland’s offense couldn’t get rolling. Musgrave, meanwhile, is now the quarterbacks coach of the Denver Broncos, who rank 13th in the NFL in total offense.

This past week, Downing said he wasn’t worried.

“I wouldn’t call it concerned,” he told reporters. “I’d call it attention to detail. We’re not concerned. Obviously we’d like to have better results over the last three (now four) weeks, but it doesn’t change our belief or our resolve in what we’re doing.”

Unfortunately for the Raiders, however, if Downing doesn’t figure out what’s going wrong very quickly, this season – which began with high hopes – will be over.  Next up this Thursday night is Kansas City at O.co Coliseum, and a loss to the AFC West-leading Chiefs, who finally lost Sunday to the Steelers to fall to 5-1, would put the Raiders all the way back to 2-5.

On Sunday, Carr was 21-of-30 for 171 yards and a touchdown in his return, but was intercepted twice. Wide receiver Amari Cooper, who’d disappeared from the Raiders game plan, reappeared to make five catches, but for a total of just 28 yards with a long of 8. Over the past two seasons, Cooper was a deep threat. Not in 2017.

Now the Raiders have just three days to prepare for a must-win game against a team that has handled them very well in recent seasons.

Kickoff Thursday is set for 5:25 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carr Returns, But Raiders Fall to Last Place in AFC West]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 16:51:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-postgame2.jpg


OAKLAND – The Raiders were mired in a three-game losing streak heading into Sunday's AFC West clash with the Chargers. Something had to change.

Head coach Jack Del Rio knew it. And had no problem saying it out loud.

"We need (a win) pretty bad," Del Rio said. "If there's a desperation meter, we want it pretty bad."

The Raiders had to turn things around, with margin for error rapidly heading for zero.

Desire was there. Execution, however, was not.

The Raiders lost another one marked with a ‘W' on paper, losing 17-16 to the Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland Coliseum.

Now they're in last place in a tough division, with a few days to rebound for a Thursday night game against Kansas City.

The difference, on the score line at least, was Giorgio Taveccho's missed extra point. Jon Condo sent in a high snap and Marquette King had to rush the hold, and Tavecchio couldn't put it through.

Derek Carr was okay in his return from a back injury. He completed 21-of-30 passes for 171 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

The Raiders had a chance to put it away on offense, with up two points with roughly six minutes remaining. They went three and out.

The Chargers marched downfield and set up Nick Novak's 32-yard field goal when time expired.

Defense kept the Raiders in this game early.

Carr's first pass was intercepted, but the defense held strong and forced a field goal attempt that was missed.

They were strong on third down all day, forced a turnover on downs in the first half.

Carr threw a second pick that ended a long drive without points, but Dexter McDonald forced a fumble and David Amerson got it back.

That held a 10-7 halftime lead into the fourth quarter, with a game in the balance late.

Michael Crabtree's 23-yard touchdown catch and run opened the scoring and was the Raiders lone offensive highlight. It capped an 11-play drive dominated by Marshawn Lynch's tough running and short passes, a strategy that didn't hold strong.

Giorgio Tavecchio ended the first half with a 44-yard field goal. He remains perfect on the year.

Things got tense late. Melvin Gordon – who killed the Raiders as a receiver – scored his second touchdown of the day with a 6-yard screen pass. That put the Chargers up for a bit.

Cordarrelle Patterson responded with a 47-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep where he turned the corner, found space and hit the afterburners to score a vital touchdown. Tavecchio missed the extra point, which put the Raiders up two at 16-14.

Marshawn movin' well:Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was efficient against a lackluster L.A. run defense, fighting through tackles to set a positive early tone.

He finished with 63 yards on 13 carries, his best performance of the year since the season-opener. 

Cooper rets record: Receiver Amari Cooper had four catches for 23 yards in his previous four games. He had 25 yards in two-plus quarters Sunday against the Chargers.

His fourth catch also put him in rarified air. It was the 173rd of his career, more than any Raider over his first three seasons. Running back Marcus Allen previously held that record.

The Raiders got Cooper involved early, with some short passes aimed his way. He finished with five catches for 28 yards, though holding negated a 31-yard strike down the right sideline.

Carr's return: Raiders starting quarterback missed but one game with a transverse process fracture in his back. His return didn't start well. Trevor Williams intercepted his first pass, but the Chargers didn't turn the mistake into points.

He led some successful drives, and ultimately completed 21-of-30 passes for one touchdown and two interceptions.

He wasn't perfect. Carr seemed off target at times, and struggled working the ball downfield.

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Beathard, 49ers Battle Back But Remain Winless]]>Sun, 15 Oct 2017 13:53:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/49ers-beathard.jpg

LANDOVER, Md. – Coach Kyle Shanahan targeted Brian Hoyer to be his quarterback on the first day of free agency.

On Sunday, Shanahan felt as if he had no choice but to officially admit his mistake. And the 49ers saw an immediate improvement in the play of their struggling offense.

Rookie C.J. Beathard took over for Hoyer, who was benched in the second quarter after another poor performance, and helped the 49ers rally from a 17-point deficit.

But it ended up being the same old story for the winless 49ers, falling short in their comeback attempt Sunday with a 26-24 loss to Washington at FedEx Field.

Hoyer completed just four of his 11 pass attempts for 34 yards to prompt Shanahan to make the call to the bullpen. Beathard completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Beathard did not attempt a pass in the 49ers’ first five games of the season.

The 49ers rallied from a 17-0 deficit to tie the game on Carlos Hyde’s second 1-yard scoring run of the day. The play was set up when Ray-Ray Armstrong stripped former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis after a short completion.

Safety Jimmie Ward scooped up the loose ball and returned it 43 yards to the 1. (The play was originally ruled a touchdown. After a review, referee John Parry announced Ward stepped out of bounds 1 ½ yards from the goal line.)

The 49ers entered the game with four consecutive losses by three points or left. The club was also playing its third road game in three weeks to cap a tumultuous week, which included the team’s decision to release veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman on Friday.

Two days later, the 49ers moved on from another veteran player – the quarterback who was brought to the team to run Shanahan’s offense. Hoyer previously played under Shanahan while both men were with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.

But Hoyer could not find any consistency once the season began with the 49ers – his seventh team in nine NFL seasons.

Hoyer ranked near the bottom of nearly every passing category. He has completed 119 of 205 pass attempts (58 percent) for 1,245 yards with four touchdowns, four interceptions and a passer rating of 74.1.

Finally, Shanahan had seen enough.

Beathard appeared to provide the 49ers with a spark at the end of the first half after falling behind 17-0. The 49ers drove 75 yards in 11 plays and scored on Hyde’s 1-yard run on fourth down just before halftime.

Washington built a 17-point lead on Kirk Cousins’ two touchdown passes in the first half. Cousins completed 25 of 37 pass attempts for two touchdowns and one interception.

Washington took a 20-17 lead with 10:34 remaining in regulation on a short field goal after the 49ers’ defense stiffened near the goal line on good plays from Ward, Solomon Thomas and Dontae Johnson.

REID RETURNS: Safety Eric Reid returned to action after missing the past three games with a knee injury. But he did not step back into his starting role.

Jaquiski Tartt retained his starting role at strong safety. Reid entered the game when the 49ers went with six defensive backs, mostly in third-down situations.

THIS ‘N’ THAT: Rookie Solomon Thomas recorded his second sack of the season, throwing Cousins for a 5-yard loss in the second quarter.

--The 49ers lost two defensive starters due to injuries. Arik Armstead sustained a hand injury in the second quarter and did not return. Aaron Lynch left with a calf injury in the third quarter that occurred as he was chasing Cousins from the pocket.

--With Reuben Foster declared inactive, the 49ers started Brock Coyle at inside linebacker, alongside Ray-Ray Armstrong. Coyle took over calling the 49ers’ defensive signals in the huddle.

--Robbie Gould made a 52-yard field goal in the third quarter to pull the 49ers to within 17-10. It was the 32nd consecutive made field goal for Gould, dating back to the 2015 season. But Gould’s streak ended on his next attempt, when he missed wide right from 47 yards.

--Rookie Trent Taylor busted a 39-yard punt return in the third quarter to set the 49ers up at midfield on the drive that ended with Gould’s miss.

--One play after Ward’s interception was overturned on review, cornerback Rashard Robinson made an over-the-shoulder interception of a deep Cousins pass. It was the second interception of Robinson’s career.

--Seven members of the 49ers took a knee and held their hands over their chests during the playing of the national anthem in silent protest of racial inequality in America. Those players were Reid, Marquise Goodwin, Adrian Colbert, Dekoda Watson (inactive), Eli Harold, Armstead and K’Waun Williams.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Skate Past Sabres, Earn First Win of 2017 Season]]>Fri, 13 Oct 2017 01:55:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharks-recap-us.jpg


SAN JOSE -- Timo Meier scored late in the second period, lifting the San Jose Sharks over Jason Pominville and the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Thursday night.

Pominville scored twice for the Sabres, who dropped to 0-2-1 to begin coach Phil Housley's first season.

Martin Jones made 23 saves in San Jose's first victory this season, holding strong after Meier's tiebreaking goal at 14:30 of the second. Meier knocked in a far-side shot for his first goal of the season.

San Jose's Tomas Hertl opened the scoring during a power play at 2:15 of the first. Hertl flicked his first of the year past goalie Robin Lehner.

After Pominville tied it, Chris Tierney scored with 4:49 left in the first period, poking in a shot between Lehner and the right post off a behind-the-back pass from Joonas Donskoi.

Pominville scored his second goal at 6:50 of the second, burying one at the end of a 2-on-1 break with Jack Eichel.

The Sabres blew a great scoring chance midway through second in a 2-2 game, failing to capitalize on overlapping tripping penalties on Justin Braun and Brent Burns that left them with a 5-on-3 advantage for 47 seconds.

Going into Thursday, the Sabres were 8-1-1 in their last 10 games against the Sharks. Buffalo is 24-8-6 all-time against San Jose.

NOTES: Lehner had 23 saves. ... Sabres F Evander Kane played in his 500th career game. ... The Sharks placed D Paul Martin on injured reserved (ankle) and called up D Joakim Ryan from the San Jose Barracuda. Ryan made his NHL debut.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Former Giants Pitcher Noah Lowry Among Wildfire Evacuees]]>Mon, 09 Oct 2017 22:03:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/171*120/noah+lowry-1009.jpg

Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Noah Lowry and his family were among those who had to flee from the ferocious series of wildfires in Northern California.

Lowry told The Associated Press that he, his wife, his two daughters and his 2-week-old son had to leave their home in Santa Rosa in a matter of minutes as the flames approached.

Lowry says he "can't shake hearing people scream in terror as the flames barreled down on us."

He said he ran into a closed Highway 101 freeway because the flames had jumped it. But he and his family were able to get away in time and get to a friends' house where they are staying.

Lowry, who pitched for the Giants from 2003 and 2007, now owns an outdoor sporting goods store in Santa Rosa.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Penn Confronts Angry Fans After Raiders' Third Loss in a Row]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 19:13:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/penn-twitter_1.jpg

The Raiders came into the 2017 season with Super Bowl aspirations. After three straight losses, giving the Raiders a 2-3 record on the year, tensions are running high in Oakland. 

With enough issues on the field, the Raiders found a new one off the gridiron between player and fans in the Coliseum parking lot. As Donald Penn was pulling out of the parking lot after the team's 30-17 loss vs. the Ravens, fans started yelling at Penn. 

Penn then got out of the car and started talking back to the fans. He explained later that one of the fans threw a bottle at his car, and that's why he stopped and got out.

Security intervened between Penn and the fans. The confrontation can be seen below.

Warning: NSFW language.

Penn signed a two-year, $21 million contract extension with the Raiders in September. He was named to his second Pro Bowl after the 2016 season.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[What's Wrong With the Raiders?]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 17:52:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/ejayysaked.jpg

Whatever happened to the Raiders’ dominant offensive line? Why has Amari Cooper vanished? Can this season be salvaged?

Five games into this 2017 season, the Oakland Raiders are derailed. They’ve lost three straight games after winning their first two in dominant fashion, their starting quarterback is on the sideline with an injury and the pass protection and run blocking aren’t close to being what was expected going into this season.

On Sunday at the Oakland Coliseum, the Baltimore Ravens had a fairly easy time with the Raiders, taking home a 30-17 decision. Since the Raiders were surprised by Washington in Week 3, they haven’t seemed like the same team.

Now, the Raiders will need to rebound this coming Sunday against an AFC West foe, the Chargers, if they hope to get back to .500 and make a run to the playoffs over the final 10 games.

Against the Ravens, Oakland fell behind quickly, 14-0. Vince Mayle’s 2-yard run gave Baltimore its first touchdown, and then a mistake by Jared Cook gave Baltimore a gift. EJ Manuel – starting in place of Derek Cook – completed a short pass to Cook, who lost the ball when he was hit. The ball was picked up by cornerback Jimmy Smith, who returned it 47 yards for the 14-0 lead.

The Raiders were forced to play catch-up, and never were able to gain control of the game. A 41-yard pass from Manuel to Michael Crabtree before halftime gave Oakland its first TD, and Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard run in the third quarter got the Raiders within a touchdown, down 24-17. But Baltimore responded with two field goals to put away the game and improve its record to 3-2.

Manuel finished 13-of-26 for 159 yards and a score with no interceptions. His prime target was Crabtree, who had six catches for 82 yards.

But the offensive line allowed Manuel to be sacked three times and could only spring the running attack for 108 yards, hardly what the team had in mind going into this season.

Meanwhile, Cooper again was a nonfactor. He had just one catch for eight yards and Manuel threw to him only twice. After catching five passes in the season opener and four in Game 2, he’s had games with one, two and one catches over the past three. If the Raiders offense is going to get on a roll again – it’s now scored fewer than 20 points for three straight games -- Cooper is going to have to become a bigger part of the passing game again.

The Raiders will host the Los Angeles Chargers this coming Sunday at 1:25 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Unable to Overcome Early Deficit, Lose 3rd Straight]]>Sun, 08 Oct 2017 16:41:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-859124416_594_screen.jpg

OAKLAND – This Raiders season started so well. The first two games went according to plan, easy victories that supported 2017’s lofty expectations.

Then the wheels came off. The Raiders got beat soundly by Washington. They couldn’t keep pace with Denver. And then got owned by the Baltimore Ravens at home.

Sunday’s 30-17 result had little to do with quarterback Derek Carr being sidelined with a bad back. EJ Manuel played well enough.

The Raiders defense got beat time and again on third down, and rarely kept the Ravens off the scoreboard.

The Silver and Black are below .500 following a three-game losing streak that has changed the course of season’s first half.

Sunday’s game was a ‘W’ on paper, especially after Baltimore got beat soundly the past two weeks. It didn’t play out that way.

The Raiders fell down two scores in a flash, and never recovered.

Joe Flacco hit Mike Wallace on a 52-yard bomb to start the game and never looked back. The Ravens scored on their opening possession and the Raiders’ first drive, thanks to a Jared Cook fumble Jimmy Smith returned 46 yards for a touchdown.

Baltimore scored on defense and its first three possessions to take a commanding 24-10 halftime lead.

The Raiders’ lone first-half highlight came on a broken play. Manuel bought time in the pocket and threw a 41-yard touchdown strike to Michael Crabtree. That cut the Ravens lead to 21-10.

Baltimore’s offense made it tough to catch up, with one scoring drive after another.

That didn’t stop the Raiders from trying. The deficit dipped to one score late in the third quarter with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run. Manuel made that drive happen with two key third-down conversions using his legs.

The Ravens re-established their two-score lead with a field goal on the following drive.

The Raiders never got close, and lost their third straight contest.

Smith gets beat (early and often): The Raiders were down David Amerson and Gareon Conley heading into this one, leaving Sean Smith in a vital role at outside cornerback. He has proven vulnerable to speed in the past, and the Ravens capitalized on it. Mike Wallace beat Smith deep twice in the first half on drives that became Ravens touchdowns.

The Raiders couldn’t adjust much with so few defensive backs available, putting them at risk most of the day.

Cooper’s slump continues: Amari Cooper’s unproductive run continued against the Ravens. He had one catch for eight yards in this one, fourth-straight poor performance by the two-time Pro Bowler.

Carr a no-go: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr pushed to be available for Sunday’s game despite suffering a transverse process fracture the week before, but was ultimate ruled inactive as expected.

He should be back in time to play the Los Angeles Chargers next week.

Raiders shift to Manuel: EJ Manuel started in Derek Carr’s place Sunday afternoon, and wasn’t half bad. Buoyed by a strong running game, he was able to connect on some passes and finished 13-of-26 passing for 159 yards and one touchdown.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Carr Quickly Returns to Raiders Practice, Ahead of Schedule]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 15:44:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carr-pratice.jpg

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr isn't expected to play Sunday's game versus Baltimore. A transverse process fracture in his back eliminated that prospect.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Monday his team captain could be out 2-6 weeks.

Left tackle Donald Penn spoke with Carr this morning. The Pro Bowl left tackle said Carr's "very ahead of schedule."

That statement was supported at Thursday's practice. Carr was seen working during open portions of that practice, stretching with the team and making throws during individual drills.

That doesn't change the fact EJ Manuel will start Sunday at Oakland Coliseum.

There is a prospect, however, that Carr might return in time to play the L.A. Chargers in Week 13. That game comes 14 days after he got hurt in a 16-10 loss to Denver, just under the light side of Del Rio's recovery timetable.

Quarterbacks Cam Newton and Tony Romo suffered transverse process fractures in 2014, and both guys missed just one game. Each injury is different, but that shows precedent for a quick rebound.

Carr certainly wants to come back quickly, especially after two disappointing performances in consecutive losses. So much of the back, lower body and torso is involved in throwing a football, so some limited activity. Carr must prove to the staff he's right and healthy, but an ability to practice so quickly after the injury, even in a limited capacity, is a positive sign.

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Jones Allows 4 Goals, Sharks Fall to Flyers in Season Opener]]>Wed, 04 Oct 2017 22:31:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/sharks+flyers-1004.jpg

Martin Jones and the Sharks opened up their regular season slate with a 5-3 home loss in San Jose as they couldn't fight off the Flyers' attack.

Jones allowed four goals.

For the Sharks, Kevin Labanc scored twice and Logan Couture also found the back of the net.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders' Carr Has Fracture in Back, May Miss 2-6 Weeks ]]>Tue, 03 Oct 2017 00:32:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carr-injury-ap.jpg

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr's ailing back was X-rayed during Sunday's loss to the Denver Broncos, shortly after he got wrenched to the ground and kneed near the injury site. That scan didn't show anything significant.

The Raiders quarterback had an MRI Monday morning. Those images proved inconclusive. A CT scan showed something wrong.

Those images helped diagnose Carr with a transverse process fracture in his back.

Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio announced Carr's injury during his Monday afternoon press conference.

A transverse process is a protrusion of bone on each side of every vertebrae of the spine. It helps attach muscles and ligaments of the spine.

He said typical recovery is 2-6 weeks.

Other quarterbacks have been impacted by this injury. Tony Romo suffered fractures in a game and Cam Newton had them occur in a car crash. Both players missed just one game.

Even in the best-case scenario, that means backup EJ Manuel will start next week's game against the Baltimore Ravens at least.

"Derek is a great kid. He'll bounce back," Del Rio said. "I told him the team will take care of business while he's healing. When he can come back, he'll come back."

Del Rio said Carr had back spasms on Sunday night, but further testing revealed further damage.

"It's something that caused the spasms," Del Rio said. "He got several tests, and the last one came back (showing a fracture)."

Carr is the team's unquestioned leader, its public face. Losing him for any stretch is a setback to a scuffling Raiders offense and the team as a whole.

"It's always a big blow to lose a good player, a key player, a quarterback," Del Rio said. "The good news is that he's not done for the year. We'll get him back. It could be a short as two weeks. It could be longer. We'll see. We'll deal with that as it goes."

Manuel will take over as the interim starter. He played well after Carr went down late in the third quarter. He completed 11-of-17 passes for 106 yards and an interception that ended a Raiders comeback bid.

Manuel played well outside the pick, and threw a near-perfect ball that Jared Cook couldn't corral in the end zone.

"EJ gave us a chance there at the end and did some things really well," Del Rio said. "There are some definite positive, encouraging signs that we can build on."

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Back Injury For Raiders' Carr Not Considered Long Term]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 18:49:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/raiders+carr-1001.jpg

DENVER – Derek Carr surveyed his the pattern, and saw Raiders receivers covered well. The Pro Bowl quarterback tried to create space with his feet and tried to take off.

The Broncos didn't let that happen. Shelby Harris knocked him off balance. Adam Gotsis finished him off, tackling him by the neck. It put tremendous strain on his back. And pulled him from the game.

The Raiders believe it won't keep him out long, if at all.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Carr had back spasms.

"It should be something that cleans up quickly," Del Rio said.

Carr rebutted Del Rio's diagnosis some after a 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.

"I'm glad he knows," Carr said. "That's awesome. That sounds good to me."

Carr remains optimistic he'll get a green light next week against Baltimore. He had X-Rays during the game that turned up negative for structural damage. Carr tried to loosen his back, but didn't feel comfortable enough to return.

"I just wanted some pain to wear off and just go from there," Carr said. "I came in there and had them work on it. I tried to throw, but it just wasn't ready. Yet. That's not to say it won't be. It just wasn't ready today. I tried to do anything I could to be out there, but I just couldn't do it."

Carr would guarantee a return next week, but will push to play. He was clearly in pain after the game, but hoped the issue would subside quickly.

"(I don't feel) too good, but neither does anyone in the NFL," Carr said. "We're going to do the treatment and all those kinds of things. Y'all know me. It's going to take a lot to keep me off the field."

That's great news for the Raiders, who are completely reliant on their franchise quarterback for success. Fear struck when No. 4 went down, but news of his health brought the locker room some life after a disappointing loss.

"It felt like the whole sideline got its wind knocked out," defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. said. "I talked to him after, and it was great to hear that he's good. We're not worried about it. We're ready to go back to work."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Same Story for 49ers: Close, But No Victory]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 17:29:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/fitztdvsninerzz.jpg

The 49ers – once again – came close to winning their first game of the season.

After coming close against the Seahawks and Rams the past two weeks, San Francisco battled the Cardinals in Arizona tough, forcing them to overtime with the score tied 12-12.

The 49ers even took a 15-12 lead over the Cardinals in OT when Robbie Gould made his fifth field goal of the game from 23 yards out.

But when the Cardinals got the ball back with 2:25 left in the extra period at their own 25-yard line, they quickly went to work, marching for a touchdown in seven plays, capped by Carson Palmer’s 19-yard pass to veteran Larry Fitzgerald, to walk away with an 18-15 victory.

The 49ers offense kept stalling, with quarterback Brian Hoyer unable to drive the team for touchdowns instead of field goals. He completed the day 24-of-49 passing for 234 yards with one costly interception. Carlos Hyde led the running game with 68 yards on 16 carries.

San Francisco’s defense, meanwhile, showed much more life. The Niners sacked Palmer six times, with veteran Elvis Dumervil getting two and No. 1 pick Solomon Thomas the first of his NFL career. San Francisco also held the Cards to just 51 yards rushing.

Still, the defense couldn’t hold on late, with a victory for the taking.

After the 49ers had to settle for Gould’s field goal to take the 15-12 lead – unable to convert on third-and goal from the 5 when Hoyer’s pass fell incomplete – Palmer went to work. He twice completed 11-yard passes to Andre Ellington to start the drive, then connected with Jaron Brown for 17 yards, and again to Brown for 11 to the 49ers’ 25. Three plays later, 49ers safety Jimmie Ward was called for pass interference, giving Arizona a first down on the 27. Palmer then passed to Ellington for 8 yards to set up his game-winning throw to Fitzgerald.

Just before the game, the 49ers gathered for the national anthem as a team, with 30 players kneeling with their hands over their hearts, and the rest of the team standing behnd them, also with their hands over their hearts. The players were kneeling to protest what they believe is unfair treatment of African-Americans by law enforcement in the U.S., even in the face of recent criticism by President Donald Trump, who said all NFL players who kneel for the anthem should be "fired."

The 49ers, now 0-4 under new head coach Kyle Shanahan, will travel to Indianapolis next Sunday to take on the Colts.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Lose Carr, Then Lose to Broncos]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 17:07:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/denkahrrr.jpg

The Raiders lost a game they really wanted to win Sunday in Denver, falling 16-10.

But maybe worse was the loss of quarterback Derek Carr.

Late in the third quarter, Carr went down hard and suffered a back injury. He had to leave the game and was replaced by E.J. Manuel. Carr’s back appeared to be twisted by the Broncos’ Adam Gostis as he was spun to the turf.

There was no immediate diagnosis of Carr’s injury. At the time, Carr was 10-of-18 for 143 yards and a touchdown.

The loss drops the Raiders to 2-2. After Oakland started the season 2-0, the team has suffered consecutive ugly losses to Washington and Denver where the offense – which looked dynamic the first two games – hasn’t been in sync.

Going into Sunday's game in Denver, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio had said his team needed to bounce back strong against an AFC West rival. It didn't happen.

The Raiders fell behind early, 10-0 in the first quarter. They closed the gap on Carr’s 64-yard scoring throw to Johnny Holton in the second quarter, but then the Broncos added two field goals in the third period to extend their lead to 16-7. Oakland managed just a 38-yard field goal by Giorgio Tavecchio in the fourth period.

The Raiders acquired Manuel this offseason from Buffalo to give them some more firepower off the bench should Carr be injured – as he was late last year just before the playoffs.  Manuel completed 11-of-17 throws for 106 yards, but was intercepted.

The real problem Sunday was the Broncos defense, which had the upper hand all day. Oakland’s running game was smothered, managing just 24 net yards. Marshawn Lynch had only 12 yards on nine carries.

Suddenly, the Raiders have gone from looking like a sure-fire playoff team – and a possible Super Bowl contender – to a team with big problems a quarter of the way through the season.

The Raiders will try to rebound this coming Sunday in Oakland against the Baltimore Ravens.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Stunned by Cardinals in Overtime, Fall to 0-4]]>Sun, 01 Oct 2017 22:47:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Week4_49ers_Gallery_5.jpg

GLENDALE, Ariz. – One week after falling short in an offensive shootout, the 49ers settled into a kickers’ duel on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals and old friend Phil Dawson.

The Cardinals scored the only touchdown of the game on in overtime for the margin of victory in Arizona’s 18-15 victory, as Kyle Shanahan remains in search of his first victory as an NFL head coach.

Gould, who replaced Dawson this season, made field goals of 49, 39, 47, 48 and 32 yards to run his streak of consecutive made field goals to 28 dating back to the 2015 season.

Dawson’s made field goals came from 29, 43, 50 and 32 yards.

After Gould's field goal gave the 49ers a 15-12 lead in OT, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer hit wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for the game-winning touchdown with 37 seconds remaining.

The matchup was the third NFC West game in three weeks for the 49ers, who lost to the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in back-to-back weeks by a combined five points. The 49ers, who did not score any touchdowns in the first two games of the season, fell short in a 41-39 loss to the Rams in Week 3.

But the 49ers could not ride that offensive momentum against the Cardinals. The offense sputtered for most of the game, as the 49ers began a three-game swing of road games. The team travels to Indianapolis next week before going to Washington for an Oct. 15 game.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer and the 49ers’ offense struggled to string plays together. He took some hits, had some miscommunications with his receivers and was off the mark on some of his attempts. He completed 24 of 49 passes for 234 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.

Running back Carlos Hyde, who entered the game as the NFL’s third-leading rusher, finished with 68 yards on 16 rushing attempts.

Palmer took his share of hits, too. Arizona had to piece things together on the left side of its offensive line with injuries to left tackle D.J. Humphries and guards Mike Iupati and Alex Boone.

Palmer completed 33 of 51 pass attempts for 357 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

INJURY REPORT: Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin left the game in the first half with head and eye injuries and was later diagnosed with a concussion. It is particularly bothersome because Goodwin was twice diagnosed with concussions last season while with the Buffalo Bills.

Rookie safety and core special-teams player Adrian Colbert sustained a hamstring injury in the second quarter and was ruled out for the game.

BETHEA PICKS OFF HOYER: Former 49ers safety Antoine Bethea intercepted the 20th pass of his career, and few were probably as easy as the gift he received late in the first half.

Receiver Trent Taylor went to the ground on an out-breaking route, as Hoyer lofted a gentle pass down the field. Bethea made the easy interception and returned it 16 yards. Shanahan argued vehemently that Taylor went down due to illegal contact.

The play set up Dawson’s 43-yard field goal to pull the Cardinals even at 6-6 with 1:29 remaining in the first half.

Bethea intercepted five passes during his three seasons with the 49ers. He signed with the Cardinals after the 49ers released him in March.

THIS ‘N’ THAT: Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas recorded the first sack of his career. Thomas threw Palmer for a 2-yard loss on a third-and-10 play to force a Cardinals punt late in the first half. Thomas was the No. 3 overall selection in the draft.

--The 49ers thwarted the Cardinals’ opening-drive scoring chance when linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong intercepted a Palmer pass that originally deflected off the hands of 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson.

--Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, who defensive coordinator Robert Saleh predicted would break through in the sack column, recorded his first sack of the season, too.

--Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard made his NFL debut in the third quarter. He entered the game for one play when Hoyer left after taking a big hit. Beathard handed off to Hyde, who gained 15 yards on the play. Hoyer returned for the next snap.

--Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner was honored at halftime. He concluded his remarks, saying it’s appropriate that he’s being honored in a game in which the Cardinals are facing the 49ers because no other team is as responsible for him earning this honor. Warner threw for 3,807 yards and 24 touchdowns in 14 career games against the 49ers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cain 'More Than Satisfied' in Final Big League Start]]>Sat, 30 Sep 2017 19:51:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cain-giants-12324.JPG

Matt Cain walked into the clubhouse Saturday morning and found himself confronted by … Matt Cain. A whole lot of Matt Cain.

Every TV in the clubhouse was showing a Cain highlight reel filled with his postseason strikeouts, moments from early in his career, and the most memorable plays of his perfect game. Cain thought it was awkward. He also thought it was kind of cool. He snuck a peak for a few minutes before changing the channel on the television hanging over his locker. A few hours later, he surprised even himself when he added one last gem to a highlight reel full of them.

Cain went out with five shutout innings in the 331st and final start of his big league career. On a day full of emotion and ovations, he let the crowd and his teammates carry him to the finish line.

“I’m more than satisfied,” he said, his voice cracking at times. “I was kind of surprised to get that far into the game. I’m pretty proud of being able to go out there and throw five innings today, but that honestly was the excitement of the fans and my teammates pushing me along. That didn’t have anything to do with me. I was riding their wave.”

For so many years, the Giants let Cain keep them afloat. The 2002 draftee spent 13 seasons in the big leagues, helping build the base of the sport’s latest dynasty. Cain will forever be remembered in this ballpark for his durability, his postseason success, and the night he was perfect. But for his teammates, he’ll be remembered for much more than that. He was the consummate leader, a prankster who kept the room loose, a mentor, and a player credited with bringing title teams together. There might have been some doubt about how long Cain would last in his first appearance since August 31, but there was no doubt about the way he would be received after his final big league pitch.

“Guys were crying in the dugout,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s how much they care about the guy.”

So many parts of this day lined up perfectly. Cain spent days wondering if Ted Barrett, the home plate umpire for his perfect game, would be on this crew. When he got to the park Friday, he found that Barrett was indeed lined up for his final start. Barrett watched as Cain walked off the field for the final time, and in a fitting touch, Cain began and ended the celebration by hugging the two players who will now take over as the longest-tenured Giants.

Buster Posey was waiting for Cain at the dugout entrance, and he delivered one final Buster Hug. Madison Bumgarner was waiting at the end of the line of teammates. He wrapped Cain in a bear hug, lifting him off the ground. The two have been close friends since the moment Bumgarner burst into camp, when he asked Cain — the veteran — how to pitch to Manny Ramirez. Cain told him to throw heaters inside. Bumgarner promptly went out and repeatedly threw 96 on the hands. Cain remembered telling himself that he couldn’t wait to hand the reins over to the young lefty.

“I don’t think it could have been more fitting than to have Bum at the end of the line,” Cain said.

The moment came at the end of an inning because of a trait that Cain and Bumgarner are both known for. Physically spent, Cain dug deep to give Bochy just a couple more outs. His day had started with several standing ovations, and he said he rode adrenaline for the first couple of innings. By the third, he was relying on the lone voices that kept breaking through a crowd of 40,000.

“I could hear two or three guys for some reason, going, ‘Come on, Cainer!” he said.

In the dugout, teammates were whispering the same thing. Bochy tried to will him along, but he had Derek Law and Ty Blach warm up just in case. Bochy had originally hoped to pull Cain in the middle of an inning so he could soak in the cheers, but as Cain got through the fourth and into the fifth, he decided the right-hander deserved a shot at career win No. 105. When Cain walked Cory Spangenberg to lead off the fifth, that plan looked shot.

Bochy walked out to the mound, moving quickly to show Cain that a conversation would be had. The infielders gathered on the mound and Bochy asked Cain to be honest about how he felt.

“I think I can get another hitter or two,” he said.

Bochy walked back to the dugout, boos having turned to cheers. Cain looked in at Posey, knowing he had not been entirely truthful.

“I was done,” Cain said. “(But) I told him I could get a couple more outs.”

Cain struck out Austin Hedges and tried to do the same with a two-strike curveball to Jhoulys Chacin. The opposing pitcher rolled it over to short, putting the final touch on a career that lasted 2,085 and 2/3 innings.

Bochy met Cain at the top step of the dugout. He wanted the fans to know that Cain’s day was done and the celebration was on. The ovation lasted about a minute, with Cain putting an exclamation point on it by flinging his hat into the seats. He came back out for a curtain call after the hug with Bumgarner, tears filling his eyes.

What happened next was as predictable as Cain’s ability to gut through one final inning. The Giants blew a lead twice and lost 3-2 to the Padres. Cain finished his career 104-118, with 109 no-decisions as a starter. On many of those nights, he deserved much better.

The fact that Cain never complained about his situation is just a part of his legacy, and it’s a trait that has been passed on to a new generation of Giants pitchers. Bochy hopes Cain continues to teach those lessons, and the Giants expect him to have some kind of future role with the organization.

For now, Cain said he doesn't want to rush into anything. He wants to take a deep breath, take some time with his wife and kids, and figure out the next steps as they come. The organization will celebrate Cain throughout Sunday’s season finale, and he said he hopes to take the mic after the final pitch and thank the fans. It’s a lock that he’ll do it. Bochy said Cain can do whatever he wants on his final day in orange and black.

“He can manage if he wants,” Bochy said, smiling. “Honestly, I haven’t done too well.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Pound Padres, Avoid 100 Losses]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 23:03:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-padres-09090909.JPG

No 100 Losses for Giants

Give the Giants credit for this: They’re not actively tanking.

Actually, depending on your view, you might not give them credit for that. The No. 1 overall pick is a nice prize in June, but the Giants took a step toward No. 2 on Friday night. They hammered the Padres 8-0 to kick off the final series of the year. Combine that with Detroit’s loss to the Twins and you have a tie for last place in the majors. The Tigers own the tiebreaker for the top pick.

The players don’t care about any of this, of course. They were happy to get the offense in gear and ride another strong Chris Stratton performance. They also were surely happy to clinch a season with fewer than 100 losses. Here are some more things you need to know ...

Stratton sets the tone

Stratton was a revelation in the second half, and he finished on a high note. He scattered seven hits and departed to a standing ovation in the seventh, with a runner on. Stratton wasn’t charged with a run in his 6 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Bright spot in bleak season

Stratton’s numbers this season: 4-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.48 WHIP. In five home starts, Stratton had a 1.50 ERA. He was one of the few bright spots this season.

Panik just keeps hitting

Speaking of finishing on a high note, Joe Panik had hits in his first three at-bats and a single in the eighth. Panik has 33 hits in September, which is the third-most in the National League.

Posey orders triple-double

Buster Posey tied a career-high with three doubles and drove in three runs. His previous three-double game was May 5, 2016. Posey and Hunter Pence are the only Giants with three-double games this season.

The year they lost the fans

The final night game of the season was not a sellout. The Giants announced a crowd of 39,863 human beings. This will be remembered in part as the year they officially lost their sellout streak, although they’re expecting a big crowd on Saturday for Matt Cain’s final start.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Winning Streak vs Rangers Ends at Seven ]]>Fri, 29 Sep 2017 22:52:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/212*120/Raul-a%27s.JPG

A's finally lose to Rangers

Raul Alcantara’s scoreless streak as a starter came to a halt Friday night, as did the A’s winning streak against the Rangers. 

Shin-Soo Choo hit a two-run homer in the fifth, the last batter Alcantara would face, during a three-run Texas rally that made the difference in the Rangers’ 5-3 win at Globe Life Park. That halted a string of seven consecutive A’s wins over Texas, their most since 2005. 

The A’s trailed 5-0 in the seventh when rookie Renato Nunez connected for his first major league homer, a three-run shot off Martin Perez that pulled the A’s to within 5-3. Nunez, who came in 2-for-10 in six games since being called up, drilled a 1-2 fastball over the wall in right-center. 

Alcantara (1-2) came in having tossed a combined 8 2/3 scoreless innings in emergency spot starts for Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton. He allowed four runs over 4 1/3 innings on Friday, walking two and striking out two.

Adventures at third

Third baseman Matt Chapman, who has impressed greatly defensively since being called up from Triple-A, was charged with a throwing error and could have been saddled with another error that led to two Rangers runs in the first. Nomar Mazara hit a hard bouncer his way that took a tough hop and got by Chapman. Two runs scored on the play, which originally was scored an error but was quickly changed to a two-run single.

Maxwell's night

Unlike Thursday, when he was in the bullpen during the national anthem, A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell knelt in front of the A’s dugout for the anthem Friday and received louder boos than the night before from the Rangers crowd. Maxwell heard it as he rose to his feet and returned to the dugout right after the anthem, though the boos were only a brief burst. He was out of the lineup but entered the game as a pinch hitter the seventh and grounded out. He did stand during a playing of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch. A security guard stood right next to him facing the crowd.

Fowler recovering well

The A’s are setting up an offseason rehab plan for outfielder Dustin Fowler, a key piece they got from the Yankees in the Sonny Gray trade. Fowler suffered a ruptured patella tendon in his right knee in June while playing in his very first major league game with New York. He’s been in Oakland periodically with the team while rehabbing. 

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Fowler had a follow-up appointment scheduled Friday with Dr. Charles Bush-Joseph, the Chicago-based specialist who performed his surgery. He’ll then return home to Georgia before returning to the A’s later in the winter. There’s hope within the organization that Fowler will be healthy enough in spring training to compete for the center field job. “They’re very happy with where he is right now,” Melvin said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Manaea Solid as A's Top Rangers in Opener of Final Series]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 20:09:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-manaea-0928.jpg

The A's continued to play solid all around to round out the season and took down the Rangers 4-1 on the road Thursday night in Texas.

Oakland was led by two hits apiece from Khris Davis, Ryon Healy and Matt Chapman. Both Healy and Chapman each drove in two runs.

Sean Manaea earned the win in his final start. He finishes the year 12-10 with a 4.37 ERA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks' Joel Ward Won't Kneel During Anthem]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 18:48:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/joel-ward.jpg

Joel Ward will not be the first player in NHL history to take a knee during the national anthem, the Sharks forward announced on Thursday. 

But his announcement came with a heartfelt message for equality and bridging the gap between communities:

"Over the last several days, I have been asked if I would consider kneeeling during the playing of the U.S. national anthem. It's something I have spent a lot of time thinking about.

"As a black man, I have experienced racism both inside and outside of the sporting world. I have been pulled over by law enforcement for no reason. I have been looked at suspiciously because of the color of my skin.

"I hold an immense amount of respect for the many players -- across the sporting world -- that have chosen to peacefully bring attention to a couple of big issues in today's society, which are inequlaity and the use of excessive force against people of color in the United States of America. Make no mistake that racism exists and that people of color are treated differently on a day-to-day basis.

"I also feel that the original message that was trying to be communicated has been lost. The focus has shifted to the act of the kneeling itself or to a protest of the flag or the military. What are we really talking about here?

"I feel extremely lucky to be able to play this great game of hockey, but even within our own game, we can treat each other better than we currently do at all levels of the sport. There is still progress to be made.

"And that's where I want everyone to re-focus their attention -- on moving progress forward. We need to be working on bridging the gap between people of all oclor, and between law enforcement and minorities. How can we be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem -- or be another distraction from what the real issues are?

"Although I fully support those who before me have taken the lead in bringing awareness to these issues, I will not kneel during the national anthem like my brothers have done.

"But now that I have the world's attention, let's meet at the kitchen table, the locker room or in the stands and continue the healing process. Let our collective focus be on bridging the gap between communities -- on working to heal generations of unequal treatment of people of color in the United States of America -- and not turning our backs on that which is hard to face head on.

"I will continue to work within my community to help improve the lives of others, and I intend to partner with groups dedicated to bridging racial inequality and fostering a better relationship between law enforcement and people of all color. 

"If we spend more time talking about these real issues instead of the actions that are taking place in an attempt to raise awareness about them, we will be a much richer and stronger society.

-- Joel Randal Ward

"I believe in the goodness of a free society. And I believe that the society can remain good only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and to fight against whatever imperfections may exist." -- Jackie Robinson

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blow Lead in Arizona, Suffer Loss No. 97]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 00:14:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/samard.jpg

PHOENIX — This nightmare season started in Arizona with a blown save. Wednesday’s result, then, was rather appropriate.

Sam Dyson blew a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth and the Giants fell 4-3 to the Diamondbacks in their final road game of the year. The implosion cost Jeff Samardzija his 10th victory on a day when he threw six strong innings and benefited from three early runs.

Dyson opened the final frame by giving up a leadoff homer to J.D. Martinez, who hits one just about every day now. Joe Panik stole one out with a nifty throw to the plate, but the Diamondbacks loaded the bases and tied the game on a fielder’s choice grounder. Dyson then walked in the winning run.

The loss was No. 97 of the season. Yikes. Anyway, here are some facts from the earlier innings …

Samardzija's final numbers: Samardzija’s second season with the Giants: 32 starts, 9-15, 4.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 205 strikeouts, 32 walks. He walked off the mound ranked first in the National League in innings (207 2/3) and sixth in strikeouts. If you look at his FIP (3.60) or xFIP (3.60), Samardzija probably deserved much better this season. Outfield defense, you know?

Samardzija makes franchise history: Samardzija finished the year with a 6.41 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the best mark by a starter in San Francisco Giants history. Juan Marichal (6.17 in 1966) held the previous record.

Frequent flyer miles: Jake Lamb’s solo shot in the fifth was the 30th off Samardzija this year, a career-high. He allowed 29 in 2015 with the White Sox and 24 last season. Samardzija became the fourth NL starter to allow 30 in the Year of the Homer, joining John Lackey, Gerrit Cole and Julio Teheran.

Bad break? Mac Williamson got hit by a pitch in his second at-bat but stayed in the game and drew a walk. He was replaced by Gorkys Hernandez a couple of innings later. Any injury would be a brutal break for Williamson, who is hoping to play winter ball.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Canha, A's Walk Off on Mariners in Final Home Game of 2017]]>Thu, 28 Sep 2017 00:14:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-recap-ap.jpg


OAKLAND -- Mark Canha hit a game-ending home run in the ninth inning to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on Wednesday.

Canha's fifth homer this season came on a 1-0 pitch from Shae Simmons (0-1).

Oakland avoided a three-game sweep and snapped an eight-game losing streak against Seattle.

The A's improved to 15-10 in September, clinching their first winning month since April of 2016. They won 15 games in a month for the first time since June 2015.

Matt Joyce tied an A's record with three doubles.

Blake Treinen (3-4) pitched a scoreless ninth, working around a one-out double by rookie Mike Marjama.

The A's led 5-3 going into the top of the eighth, when Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer off Chris Hatcher.

Cano's 23rd homer was Seattle's second game-tying home run on the day. The Mariners trailed 2-0 when Nelson Cruz hit his team-leading 38th homer, a two-run shot off Kendall Graveman in the top of the fourth.

Graveman left the game with a 5-3 lead and was in line to win his fourth straight decision. Oakland's ace struck out four and gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings.


Asked whether he has concerns about catcher Bruce Maxwell taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in this weekend's road series against the Rangers, A's manager Bob Melvin said he'll have a better sense of the atmosphere once his team gets to Texas.

"I don't think it'll bother him, put it that way," Melvin said. "He's pretty committed to what he's doing and continues to do so and he'll do it in Texas."


Marjama made his first career start. The 28-year-old was 2 for 4, collecting his first major league hits.


Mariners: OF Guillermo Heredia left the team and is expected to have surgery to repair a right shoulder injury he's been playing with all year. Heredia, who bats and throws left-handed, will get a second opinion before having the procedure performed by a specialist in Miami, manager Scott Servais said.


Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 5.51 ERA) will pitch Friday's series opener against the Angels in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old rookie is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts.

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (11-10, 4.56) will pitch Thursday's series opener in Texas. Manaea missed his last start with upper back tightness. The 25-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland A's Plan to Move Headquarters to Jack London Square]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:04:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/OaklandColiseumAs.png

Oakland Athletics executives have announced that they are moving the baseball team's headquarters to Jack London Square, effective in January.

The A's said they've signed a lease with the real estate firm CIM Group for about 40,000 square feet of office space at Jack London Square, the waterfront office and retail destination near downtown Oakland.

A's officials said the new front office headquarters will allow them to consolidate their operations by relocating from the current offices at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum and Oracle Arena about 6 miles away.

The A's have played at the Coliseum for 50 years.

The A's said the Jack London Square site offers them proximity to both the Coliseum and to the potential new ballpark that they hope to build near Laney College.

Jack London Square also provides the amenities of a mixed-use environment on San Francisco Bay, with dining, shopping, and entertainment options, similar to the A's vision for their new ballpark as a gathering place for bringing the community together.

"We are excited to put roots down in Jack London Square," Oakland A's president Dave Kaval said in a statement. "We continue to say we are 'Rooted in Oakland' and this move helps further strengthen our commitment to this community."

Shaul Kuba, the co-founder and principal of the CIM Group, said, "The Athletics add to the growing lineup of prominent tenants including eclectic dining options and destination activities that employees, residents, and visitors from the greater Bay Area can enjoy."

Chris Giles, the A's chief operating officer, said, "Our new offices will allow us to have our entire staff together in one location to create a dynamic and collaborative work environment."

Giles said, "Our staff will now have the opportunity to easily gather for formal meetings or informal exchanges as it takes advantage of the beautiful outdoor waterfront areas. We will also still keep our office space at the Coliseum for day-of-game responsibilities."

CIM's 2016 acquisition of Jack London Square included 234,000 square feet of office space across three buildings.

Port of Oakland officials said today that they applaud the A's decision to move their headquarters to Jack London Square.

"We're delighted that two symbols of Oakland are coming together," Port of Oakland commercial real estate director Pamela Kershaw said.

"The city takes great pride in its team and its port and we're proud that Jack London Square will be the A's new headquarters," Kershaw said.

Port officials said the A's will relocate to space in a six-story office building at the foot of Harrison Street that is also occupied by the administrative offices of Sunset Magazine.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Moore Rocked by Diamondbacks, Giants Lose Big]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 23:45:00 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/moore-bochy-ap.jpg

PHOENIX — The Giants brought all their scouts and front office officials to Scottsdale this week to begin the process of mapping out coverage for next June’s draft. They still don’t know which pick they’ll have, but Tuesday night’s game certainly helped the cause of any team officials quietly hoping to pick first overall.

Matt Moore got hammered at Chase Field and the Giants lost 11-4 to the Diamondbacks. The loss was No. 96 on the season, and it pushed the Giants back into the worst record in baseball. The Phillies, who had been tied, beat the Nationals earlier in the night. The Tigers and White Sox also lost, so they’re still in the race.

The loss made this the fourth team in franchise history to lose 96 games. Here are some more fun facts …

Franchise-worst season: J.D. Martinez’s grand slam made it 8-0 and came on what likely will be Moore’s final pitch of the season. He walked off the mound after 1 1/3 innings, having allowed eight runs — only seven of them were earned. Moore has a 5.52 ERA, which is the highest by any Giants starter who has made at least 30 starts. The previous record was 5.41, by Kirk Rueter in 1999.

Eyes on the prize? Basically the entire Giants front office is in the general manager’s suite this series, so they had a good view when Martinez — a free agent in five weeks — hit his 28th homer in 58 games for the Diamondbacks. He has 44 overall this season. Again, he will be a free agent.

Fallback option? Bochy pulled both his catchers — Buster Posey and Nick Hundley — in the fourth inning. His third catcher, Tim Federowicz, promptly hit a two-run bomb in the top of the fifth. If Hundley doesn’t return, you can bet the Giants will try to bring Fed-X back. They don’t have a lot of catching depth in their system.

Losses piling up: The other Giants seasons with at least 96 losses: 1943, 1984, 1985. If the 2017 Giants lose two more, they’ll tie the 1943 team for second-most losses in franchise history.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[A's Burned by Former Teammates, Lose to Mariners]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 23:46:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-mariners-0926.jpg

OAKLAND — The A’s played to the theme of their season Tuesday, using the Coliseum as a home run launching pad.

Instead of paving the way to another home victory, however, the A’s had the rug yanked out from under them courtesy of a couple former teammates.

Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer off Daniel Mengden, then Danny Valencia hit a go-ahead three-run blast off Ryan Dull in the seventh as the Mariners reeled off a 6-3 victory, their second win in as many nights at the Coliseum.

Marcus Semien led off the bottom of the first with a home run. They trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Khris Davis put them ahead with a two-run shot to right-center. Those accounted for the A’s 127th and 128th homers at the Coliseum, breaking the Oakland record of 126 held by the 2000 club.

TYING HIS MARK: Davis’ two-run shot was his 42nd homer, tying his career-high total from last season. He tagged a 1-0 fastball from lefty James Paxton and sent a laser into the seats in right-center. It was Davis’ 20th go-ahead homer of the season, the most by an Athletic since Jose Canseco had 20 in 1991.

NOT QUITE ENOUGH: Daniel Mengden went six-plus innings for the A’s but wound up taking the loss and owning a line that didn’t reflect how well he pitched. He wound up charged four runs, two of those coming on the homer Dull allowed in the seventh. Mengden (2-2) gave up five hits and walked three, but he was helped by two ground-ball double plays and a couple of excellent outfield catches from Mark Canha and Jake Smolinski.

SEASON CUT SHORT: Manager Bob Melvin said first baseman Matt Olson (strained hamstring) and center fielder Boog Powell (bruised left knee) will miss the final five games. For Olson, it’s the end of a torrid run that began in early August. The rookie crammed 24 home runs into just 59 games this season. That included a well-publicized stretch starting Aug. 27 in which he went deep 16 times in a 24-game span. Olson spent six separate stints with the big club this season, hitting Olson .259 overall with a .352 on-base percentage and an outstanding 1.003 OPS over his 59 games. Not surprisingly, Melvin said Olson is very deserving of starting next season as the A’s everyday first baseman.

COTTON SHUT DOWN: Despite an MRI on his elbow that came back clean, Jharel Cotton won’t make his final scheduled start Friday. The A’s are taking caution with their rookie starter, who burst on the scene with an excellent September last year but finishes this season 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA.

“There are times he looks like one of the better pitchers in the league, and other times when he struggles some,” Melvin said. “It’s gonna be all about consistency with him, consistent maintenance and ritual going into each and every start. Playing the mental game a little bit more, the expectations for himself.”

Raul Alcantara will start in Cotton’s spot Friday at Texas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks' Ward Wouldn't Be Opposed to Kneeling During Anthem]]>Wed, 27 Sep 2017 17:37:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/joel-ward-sharks.jpg

SAN JOSE -- Sharks forward Joel Ward said he might take a knee during the national anthem at an upcoming game, becoming one of the first NHL players to join the protests that started in the NFL and drew criticism from President Donald Trump.

The 36-year-old Ward, one of about 30 black players in the league, is from Canada. Asked if he would consider kneeling during the anthem, Ward said it's something he wouldn't rule out.

"I've experienced a lot of racism myself in hockey and on a day-to-day occurrence," he said. "I haven't really sat down to think about it too much yet, but I definitely wouldn't say no to it."

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the anthem in the preseason a year ago to make a statement about social inequality and police treatment of blacks in the United States. More than 200 players knelt or took other action during Sunday's anthems in the wake of Trump's suggestion that NFL owners fire players who protest during "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Ward proudly wears No. 42 as a tribute to baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, who endured countless threats and abuse while paving the way for black athletes in Major League Baseball.

Ward said he once received a death threat after scoring a series-clinching goal.

"When somebody takes the initiative to put you down because of the color of your skin, it's definitely tough," he said.

Oakland Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem Saturday.

The Sharks voiced their support for Ward, issuing a statement this week:

"The San Jose Sharks deeply respect each individual's constitutional right to freedom of speech and personal expression."

Another NHL player, the Philadelphia Flyers Wayne Simmonds, also is considering kneeling during the anthem when the Flyers play the Sharks next Wednesday in the regular-season opener in San Jose.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Hundley, Pence Power Giants Past Diamondbacks]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 22:48:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/166*120/giants-0925.jpg

PHOENIX — Having clinched a postseason spot four times since 2010, the Giants know a thing or two about Hangover Lineups. They won’t have any this season, but they’re certainly doing a good job of taking advantage of them.

For the second time on this trip, the Giants faced a team that had celebrated a clinch the night before. The Diamondbacks basically played their September call-ups, and Johnny Cueto carved them up. His lineup jumped all over Zack Godley, who will be in the playoff rotation if the Diamondbacks get past the Wild Card Game, winning 9-2 at Chase Field.

The Giants moved back into a tie with the Phillies for the worst record in the majors. Here are some more fun facts...

Cueto dominates D'backs: Cueto will likely start Sunday at AT&T Park. His final road appearance: 6 innings, 5 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts. Over his last four starts, Cueto has 29 strikeouts in 21 1/3 innings.

Hundley reaches new heights: Nick Hundley gave the Giants the lead with a three-run shot in the fourth, his ninth of the season. The towering homer had an apex of 142 feet and was easily the highest-hit homer of the season. Denard Span had the previous high at 131 feet.

Giants explode in fifth: The five-run fourth was the lineup’s first five-run inning since August 19, when the Giants scored five in the ninth against the Phillies. In addition to Hundley’s homer, Hunter Pence had a solo shot off the right field pole.

Chance at milestone gone? Joe Panik .300 Update: This will probably be the final edition of the popular Joe Panik .300 Update. Panik was 0 for 4, dropping his average to .287 with five games to go.

#OldFriendAlert: Old friend Gregor Blanco led off for the Diamondbacks and proved to be a pest. He walked in each of his first two plate appearances, stole a base, and scored two runs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Mariners Club Four Home Runs, End A's 7-game Win Streak]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 22:50:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gossett-homer-mariners-ap.jpg


OAKLAND -- Mitch Haniger homered twice and Felix Hernandez won for the first time in more than two months as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-1 on Monday night.

A day after being eliminated from playoff contention, the slumping Mariners snapped Oakland's season-high seven-game winning streak and its eight-game run at home - the team's second-longest in 11 years.

The Mariners had lost eight of nine.

Hernandez (6-5) gave up one run in six innings of two-hit ball. King Felix hadn't won since July 15, a stretch that included a stint on the disabled list from Aug. 2 to Sept. 13 with right shoulder bursitis. He was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his previous five starts.

Haniger hit his 15th and 16th home runs off starter Daniel Gossett (4-10). The 24-year-old Oakland rookie gave up seven runs on a career-high four homers allowed.

Mike Zunino hit a three-run shot, his 24th, that broke a scoreless tie in the second. Yonder Alonso added his 26th homer, connecting against his former team.

Marcus Semien hit a solo homer off Hernandez in the sixth.

Andrew Albers pitched three shutout innings for his first save.

A's catcher Bruce Maxwell played his first game since becoming the first player in the majors to kneel during the national anthem Saturday, part of a national protest movement against discrimination and harsh treatment of blacks by police. He was greeted with a loud ovation along with some boos sprinkled in from the Oakland crowd of 9,329. Maxwell cleared the concussion protocol on Monday. He hadn't played since Sept. 20.

In an apparent show of support for Maxwell, most of the Oakland Unified School District band members took a knee as they performed the national anthem before the game.

2,500 CLUB:
The 31-year-old Hernandez became the fifth active pitcher to log more than 2,500 career innings.

Mariners: INF Jean Segura (sprained right middle finger) will likely miss the remainder of the series, manager Scott Servais said. "He wants to get in there before the season's over. It's important to him, but he's not going to be available for a couple of days," Servais said.

Athletics: 1B Matt Olson was scheduled to have an MRI to determine the severity of a hamstring injury he sustained Sunday. The 23-year-old rookie will miss the rest of the series, manager Bob Melvin said. Olson has 25 home runs in 189 at-bats. "We're hoping we can get him back in Texas, but I'm not so sure about that," Melvin said. ... LHP Sean Manaea, who missed his last scheduled start on Saturday with upper back tightness, threw a bullpen and is on track to make his next start Thursday, Melvin said.

Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-5, 3.03 ERA) is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in two starts since coming off the DL on Sept. 14. He had been sidelined with a strained left pectoral muscle. Paxton is 3-0 with a 3.77 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.

Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (2-1, 3.30) is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in his last three starts. Mengden took the loss in his only career start against Seattle last season. He struck out six and gave up two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[For Warriors' Draymond Green, Protests Can't Be Short-Lived]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 17:53:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/draymond-teamusa-anthem-2016-usatsi.jpg

OAKLAND -- Easing into a seat for an interview a half hour after the Warriors finished practice Monday, Draymond Green responded to the first six questions at decibels barely above a whisper.

There was candor on basketball matters, because there always is with Green, but the power forward's tone was relatively relaxed.

Not until the next several questions, all related to America's polarizing sociopolitical climate, did Green's heart and mind lock into rhythm. Asked if he believes the current wave of protests against inequality will go away soon, his voice picked up volume and conviction.

"I hope not," Green said. "If it goes away, then we still have a problem. So I hope it's not going away in a few weeks. Then we've missed the message again.

"So, no, I don't think it'll be gone away in a few weeks. And I pray that it's not, because it's not a problem that can be fixed in a few weeks. So, no, it shouldn't be gone in a few weeks."

Green acknowledged that he did not see the demonstrations that were spread across the NFL landscape on Sunday. He was, he said, out shopping and enjoying the day with his children.

He was aware that some teams stayed in the locker room during the anthem, that others knelt on the sidelines and that some linked arms. Being aware was not enough for Green to feel comfortable addressing that aspect.

But he's very familiar with the subject matter.

"You just have to stand for what you believe in," Green said during an answer than lasted more than two full minutes. "What everyone else may believe in, you may not believe in."

Articulating the difference between the life of the athlete and that of a soldier, Green explaining that he has the "utmost respect" for those in the military.

"I just hope that there can be an understanding that this isn't against the military," he said. "It's not to disrespect anything they do. Because I think everyone respects what they do . . . I appreciate everything they do."

It was evident, however, that Green is on the same page as those pushing for the progress that would make America great, allowing the country to live up to its pledges stated in the constitution and elsewhere.

That's why he hopes this activism is not a trend but a movement.

"I'm not saying kneeling shouldn't be gone," Green said. "But this conversation, trying to make these changes, absolutely not. If it's gone in a few weeks, we're screwed."

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Majority of Raiders Sit, Link Arms During Anthem]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:10:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-protest-ap.jpg

LANDOVER, Md. – Most Raiders took a seat during the national anthem, locked arm in arm across the bench. Others stood and linked arms, without a smile among them.

The Silver and Black sat in protest of comments made by president Donald Trump on Friday night in Huntsville, Ala., when he denounced the anthem movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Quarterback Derek Carr was among the few Raiders not protesting the anthem. Owner Mark Davis stood for the anthem in a luxury box, with his hand over his heart.

Davis prefers his players stand for the national anthem, but told ESPN on Sunday that his stance has changed.

"I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform," Davis said. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That's the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings."

Running back Marshawn Lynch has sat during the national anthem all season, though he hasn't addressed his decision publicly.

Kaepernick's movement started early last season, when he was vocal about inequality for minorities in this country, especially in regard to police brutality.

The Raiders have generally avoided anthem protests outside of Lynch, though Derek Carr put an arm on Khalil Mack's shoulder showed signs of unity during the preseason, but Trump's comments changed the team's attitude. He said anthem protesters should be fired, and also took some shots at NBA players, including Steph Curry.

The Raiders weren't the only team protesting Trump's comments on Sunday. Several teams didn't come out for the national anthem, including both sides of the Tennessee-Seattle contest.

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Fall Flat in Washington]]>Sun, 24 Sep 2017 20:49:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Raidlozetowashh.jpg

This past week, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said he knew his team faced a tough task to travel across country to win its third straight game.

“We have to do it the right way, manage it,” he said. “Take care of business. It’s a business trip. Be excited to show up Sunday night full of energy.”

Unfortunately for the Raiders, that didn’t happen. After starting 2017 with two victories, Oakland fell at Washington 27-10. They didn’t take care of business.

Then again, it was a strange day for the Raiders and every other team across the NFL, as football seemed to take a backseat to politics. There was as much focus on what teams and players would do for the national anthem as what they would do on the field.

After President Trump on Friday said players who kneel for the national anthem should be fired, players across the NFL showed solidarity during the anthem, and the Raiders perhaps had more players kneeling or sitting during the anthem than any other team. And, owner Mark Davis – who stood with his team on the sideline with his hand over his heart – released a statement in support of Raiders’ players right to protest.

So, perhaps it was the distraction. Or, maybe it was that 3,000-mile trip. Whatever it was, the Raiders came out flat. By halftime, they trailed 14-0, on two Kirk Cousins touchdown passes. By the time the Raiders finally scored – on a 21-yard pass from Derek Carr to Jared Cook in the third quarter – they were down 21-0.

Carr – who hadn’t thrown an interception over the first two games – was picked off on Oakland’s first possession, setting up Washington’s first TD. Carr was picked off again, just before halftime, to set up Washington’s second score.

Carr, who came in with a passer rating of 126.5 – the third best in the NFL – had an abysmal game, completing 19-of-31 passes for just 118 yards. The running game, too, which had been dominant, disappeared. Marshawn Lynch carried six times for a team-leading 18 yards.

The Raiders, now 2-1, will try to get back on the winning track next Sunday in Denver vs. the Broncos.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Suffer First Loss of Season as Redskins Dominate]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:09:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/roberts-0924.jpg

LANDOVER, Md. – The first two Raiders games went according to plan. They established an early lead, played solid defense and cruised to victory. The offense proved a dynamic and defenders exceeded expectation.

That streak snapped on Sunday night, when nothing went right.

The Raiders fell off the rails early and never recovered, losing a 27-10 decision to Washington at FedEx Field.

They made an average Washington squad look like a juggernaut. A prolific Raiders offense wilted under Washington pressure. Their mighty offensive line had its worst day in a while and typically reliable quarterback Derek Carr was off target.

The Silver and Black had just xxx yards of total offense, and gave up explosive plays on defense. They were beat soundly on both lines, and were never able to dig out of a early rut.

The Raiders were uninspired in most instances, but Marquette King gave his team some life. He forced a muffed punt late in the third quarter that James Cower recovered. Carr found Jared Cook on a 21-yard touchdown that ended the shutout.

The defense didn’t allow a comeback to take shape, giving up a 74-yard reception to running back Chris Thompson – he had 188 yards of total offense – that set up a field goal that put the Raiders down three scores.

Cory James forced a fumble deep in Washington territory, but the Raiders only mustered a field goal

The Raiders laid an egg in the first half. They got manhandled on both sides of the ball, committed silly turnovers and gave Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins far too much time to work.

He picked the Raiders secondary apart on two touchdown drives that established a two-score halftime lead. Former 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, seeing more time with Jordan Reed hurt, had five catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders have long struggled covering tight ends, and made the veteran look like his old self, when he was dominant as a 49er.

The whole team seemed flat early in this game. Marshawn Lynch struggled to get the ground game going, Carr threw too many to the other team and the Raiders fell in an early hole.

Players from both teams protested during the national anthem before the game, with several Raiders players sitting on the bench interlocking arms while Redskins players also interlocked arms, with most standing and some kneeling on the sideline.

Carr’s rough start: Derek Carr’s first pass was an interception. It wasn’t the only one. The typically reliable Raiders quarterback was out of sync to start this nationally televised contest, and the offense sputtered as a result. He was sacked on consecutive plays, as the offensive line struggled to maintain a pocket.

Washington scored after both Carr interceptions, and he finished the first half with just 32 passing yards.

Marquette strikes again: Raiders punter Marquette King puts some English on his punts. They’re tough to catch when he does that.

He forced a muffed punt for the second time in as many games, Sunday night, which helped the Raiders get on the scoreboard. James Cower recovered the muffed punt, and Carr found Jared Cook a few plays later to score the team’s first touchdown.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Shut Down By Kershaw, Drop Finale to Dodgers]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:10:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/giants-0924.jpg

LOS ANGELES — With two outs in the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon, Gorkys Hernandez took a swing and accidentally flung his bat right back to the mound. The fans booed as Clayton Kershaw, who had jumped out of the way, retrieved it.

Look, nothing else has worked against this guy.

This method didn’t, either. Hernandez struck out, giving Kershaw 200 on the year. He was his usual self, scattering eight Giants hits in eight innings and allowing just one run on a Mac Williamson dinger. The Giants lost 3-1, dropping the final series against the Dodgers.

Kershaw is Kershaw. What are you going to do? For now, you can read more about this game!

Double trouble for Giants catchers: The Giants are carrying three catchers right now, and all three hit into a double play. Tim Federowicz pinch-hit for Chris Stratton in the fifth and bounced the first pitch over to short. Buster Posey hit a similar ball an inning later. Nick Hundley wiped out a leadoff single an inning after that. That’s hard to do, man.

A preview of things to come? In relief of Stratton, Ty Blach might have given a preview of what’s to come next season. Blach pitched three scoreless innings, turning the tables on a lineup that was set to face a right-hander. That very much looks like it will be Blach’s role to begin next season, although the Giants will always have the flexibility to move him back into the rotation.

Williamson does it all: Williamson had two singles before his long homer to center in the eighth. He did it in the field, too, cutting Joc Pederson down at third as he tried to go first-to-third on a single to left. That throw ended an inning and got Blach out of a jam.

Career year vs. Kershaw: Hunter Pence had three singles, and he finished 7-for-13 against Kershaw this season. Pence entered the year with just six hits in 66 at-bats against Kershaw.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Fall Short Against Rams on 'Thursday Night Football']]>Thu, 21 Sep 2017 22:06:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/49ers+-0921.jpg

SANTA CLARA – After feasting on the Los Angeles Rams twice last year, the 49ers found out Thursday night that these Sean McVay Rams are not the same ol’ Rams.

McVay, the 31-year-old head coach who served under Kyle Shanahan for several seasons with Washington, got the better of the first head-to-head matchups against his former mentor. It could be their first of many meetings as NFC West rivals.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff looked like the No. 1 overall draft pick of 2016 -- which he was -- and the 49ers made enough critical errors to prevent Shanahan from any chance of his first victory as an NFL head coach.

The Rams took advantage of an early Brian Hoyer mistake and held on for dear life to a 41-39 victory over the 49ers in front of a sparse gathering at Levi’s Stadium.

In the past 22 games entering Thursday’s game, the 49ers were 3-0 against the Rams and 0-19 against all other opponents.

The 49ers made it interesting late. After Hoyer threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to rookie slot receiver Trent Taylor to cut the Rams lead to eight points, 41-33, with 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter, the 49ers got a quick takeaway on the ensuring kickoff.

Victor Bolden forced a fumble on Rams return man Pharoh Cooper, and Aldrick Robinson made the recovery. Carlos Hyde scored with 2:17 remaining, but Hoyer’s two-point conversion pass intended for Trent Taylor for the tie was intercepted.

Trailing 41-39, Robbie Gould’s onside kick was recovered by Raheem Mostert. But the 49ers could get no closer.

Coming off a poor performance on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks, the night could not have started any worse for Hoyer, the 49ers’ starting quarterback.

Hoyer’s first attempt, intended for Marquise Goodwin was off the mark, provided Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman with an easy interception. Robey-Coleman’s 25-yard return set up Todd Gurley’s 3-yard touchdown run.

And just like that, the 49ers trailed 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game.

Hoyer and the 49ers’ offense managed to string together enough plays on the next drive and were aided by a Rams offside penalty on a punt to form a 14-play, 81-yard drive.

Hoyer accounted for the first touchdown in 126 minutes, 47 seconds for the 49ers this season with a 9-yard touchdown run. It was the second running touchdown of Hoyer’s career, and the first since his rookie season of 2009 with the New England Patriots.

Gurley scored three touchdowns in the first half as the Rams built a 24-13 lead. Robbie Gould kicked field goals of 36 and 48 yards for the 49ers. But he also missed an extra point at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Gurley finished with 113 yards and two touchdowns on 28 rushing attempts. He added a 7-yard touchdown reception.

Goff had a strong showing, completing 22 of 28 passes for 292 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His passer rating was 145.8.

The 49ers got back into the game in the middle of the third quarter with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Shanahan rolled the dice on fourth down from the L.A. 1-yard line. Hyde scored to make the score 27-20 with 20 minutes to play.

But the 49ers’ defense was not up to the task, allowing the Rams to convert 7 of 11 on third downs.

Hoyer ended up piecing together a decent game, completing 23 of 37 passes for 332 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Pierre Garçon caught seven passes for 142 yards.

INJURY REPORT: Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was ruled out of action for the remainder of the game late in the third quarter due to a neck injury. Juszczyk appeared to be injured during a short-yardage situation that ended up with Hyde scoring on a 1-yard run.

The 49ers also lost two players due to concussions. Safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Brock Coyle both sustained head injuries in the third quarter and were ultimately diagnosed with concussions, the 49ers announced.

Defensive lineman Tank Carradine went down early in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.

The 49ers will return to action on Oct. 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders QB Carr Channels Inner Pop Star in Mock Music Ad]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 21:14:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/derekcarr-musicvideo.jpg

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr is trying to moonlight as a pop star. That's what a guerilla marketing campaign by a San Joaquin Valley credit union would have you believe.

They released billboards and short video teasers of the Raiders quarterback prepping to shoot a music video this summer, and the full video/commercial spot was released on Monday.

It's well, something else. Clearly meant to be self deprecating, Carr is pumping up Educational Employees Credit Union and their great rates in the mock music video, where Carr is given a certain boy-band vibe. Take a look: 

Derek's brother David shows up later in the ad, clearly upset at being outshined by little bro.

It's the latest in an annual series of ads with the Carr brothers.

"It literally took us a couple of hours. That's it," Derek Carr said. "All of the takes were because I kept laughing. I couldn't even take myself serious because they had the TV prompter so I could see it, and I couldn't even take myself serious. But it was good. It was fun because every commercial we do with them, all we want to do is, the end goal is we want people to laugh. And if they laugh at me for it, that's good, that's what we want. I laughed at myself, so it's all good with me."

That begged a hard-hitting, journalist follow-up question. So, Derek, did you keep the jacket?

"I didn't keep it, no. Gosh, no," Carr said. "As soon as I walked in and we had our little dressing rooms, me and my brother looked at that jacket and I was like, ‘I really hope that's not the one.' And sure enough it was. But that's alright. We have a good relationship with them and it was a lot of fun."

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Moore Marvels as Giants Shut Out Rockies, Complete Sweep]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:20:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0920.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — On a day when much of the baseball world was talking about this being the most homer-happy season in MLB history, the Giants went back to their roots.

The first two runs came on sacrifice flies and a fourth run was scored on a walk, wild pitch, and two-out single. Throw in a solo homer and a sharp performance from Matt Moore, and the Giants got a 4-0 win over the Rockies. They swept this brief two-game series and clinched their first three-game winning streak since a sweep of the Pirates June 30-July 2.

Here’s what else you need to know from the final weekday day game at AT&T Park …

Masterful Matt Moore: Moore was at his best, allowing six hits and striking out six in six shutout innings. He carried the lead into the seventh before running into some brief trouble. The scoreless outing was Moore’s first this season as a starter.

Sac flies lead San Francisco: The Giants jumped ahead on sac flies by Denard Span and Buster Posey, both of which scored Joe Panik. They lead the National League with 50 sacrifice flies, so at least there’s some aspect of situational hitting where they’re excelling.

Crawford goes deep: Brandon Crawford hit a solo blast that was about three feet away from his homer that was taken off the board a few weeks ago. The homer was Crawford’s 14th. There’s a very good chance that the Brandons finish 1-2 on the team in homers.

LeMahieu joins Gwynn: With a first-inning single, DJ LeMahieu picked up his 30th hit of the season against the Giants. So ... it’s not just Nolan Arenado doing the destruction. LeMahieu became the first player to get 30 hits in a season series against the Giants since Tony Gwynn in 1989. The record is held by Pete Rose; he had 32 hits in 18 games against the Giants in 1976.

Big outing for Okert: Bruce Bochy turned to Steven Okert against pinch-hitter Pat Valaika. With two on, Okert struck Valaika out on a good fastball down and away. Right-handed hitters have just two hits in their last 20 at-bats against Okert. He then got Charlie Blackmon to ground out. Okert is making some strides late in the year.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cueto, Pence Power Giants to Walk-off Win Over Rockies]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:50:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0919.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Johnny Cueto brought the fun. Hunter Pence brought the thunder, and the game-winner.

Four innings after a go-ahead homer, Pence’s sacrifice fly to right-center clinched a 4-3 win over the Rockies. The win was No. 59 on the season, and gave the Giants a little breathing room as the 100-loss mark approaches.

Pablo Sandoval led off the bottom of the ninth with a roller that went for an infield single. He was replaced by pinch-runner Orlando Calixte, and Calixte went to second when Ryder Jones pushed a bunt for a hit. Kelby Tomlinson followed with a pinch-hit single to right and Pence ended it.

Here are some more things to know from a fun game …

—- Cueto might have provided the funniest moment of the season. He was on first when Pence homered, and as Pence came roaring around second, Cueto — in a black jacket — looked back and told him to slow down. The two then went the final 90 feet of the go-ahead shot in a fast-walk. It must have been an odd moment for Full Throttle.

—- Cueto’s pitch count got up early, but he used double plays to get kind of deep. In 6 2/3 innings, he allowed two earned on seven hits and four walks. He also struck out six. The outing was Cueto’s longest since June 24.

—- Pence’s homer was his 12th, and went 444 feet to dead center. That’s Pence’s longest homer of the season. He’s now tied with Buster Posey for the team lead among right-handers, and he’s one homer behind Brandon Crawford for the lead among active Giants.

—- Sandoval is coming out of one of the worst slumps in franchise history. He had three hits, including an RBI single. On Sunday, Sandoval had two hits.

—- Hunter Strickland blew the lead in the eighth. With a running on second, he got away with a hanging breaking ball that Nolan Arenado hit to the track. The next guy, Gerardo Parra, fouled off six pitches before roping a tying double into the right field corner.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lowrie's Grand Slam Powers A's Past Tigers]]>Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:52:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/172*120/as-tigers-0919.jpg

Matt Olson continued his historic home run barrage Tuesday, and that only turned out to be part of the story on a wild night for the A’s.

They gave up a three-run lead, then trailed by four before Jed Lowrie hit an eighth-inning grand slam that lifted them to a 9-8 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Olson crushed a curve from Chad Bell deep into the seats in right in the second, the fifth game in a row that he’s homered. That set an Oakland rookie record for most consecutive games going deep. Olson’s 23 homers are a franchise record for a player’s first 66 career games. He’s the first rookie in major league history to hit 15 homers over a 21-game span, and the first player in Oakland history ever to do so, regardless of experience.

Since he was recalled from the minors Aug. 11, Olson leads the majors with 19 homers. He remains the A’s headline story, but his team continued an impressive late-season roll. The A’s have won 10 of their past 13, and they’ve won back-to-back road series for the first time all season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rookie Olson Homers in 4th Straight Game as A's Beat Tigers]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:59:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/olson-ap.jpg

The A’s continued a nice late-season roll Monday night, and in doing so they overcame some adversity before the game even began.

Scheduled starter Jharel Cotton was scratched roughly 10 minutes before first pitch against the Detroit Tigers with a strained right groin, apparently suffered while going through his pregame preparations. Long reliever Raul Alcantara started on short notice and performed admirably, and rookie first baseman Matt Olson homered for the fourth consecutive game as the A’s rolled 8-3 in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park.

Oakland has won nine of its past 12 and is 4-3 on this nine-game road trip. If you’re keeping track, the A’s are also 9-8 in September. That’s noteworthy as they’re looking to break an Oakland-record string of 10 consecutive months with a losing record.

ROOKIE ROLLING: Olson’s ridiculous stretch of power hitting continues. He’s tied an Oakland rookie record by homering in four consecutive games. He’s now got 22 homers on the season, which ties Mark McGwire for the franchise record for most homers in the first 65 games of a career. To break it down further, Olson has gone deep 11 times in his past 15 games, and 14 times over his past 20. His 18 homers since the All-Star break are tied with Philadelphia’s Rhys Hoskins for the most among major league rookies.

DELIVERING ON SHORT NOTICE: With Cotton unavailable and possibly out for the rest of the season, Alcantara was called upon on short notice and gave the A’s everything they could have realistically hoped for — 3 2/3 scoreless innings. That should serve as a confidence boost for a pitcher who won a spot in the season-opening rotation but was quickly demoted to the bullpen and sent to the minors shortly after.

RELIEVERS RESPOND: Manager Bob Melvin had to know going in that he’d rely on his bullpen heavily in this one. The ‘pen responded, as Simon Castro, Liam Hendriks, Santiago Casilla, Chris Hatcher and Blake Treinen combined for 5 1/3 innings of three-run ball. Detroit scored twice off Castro in the fifth, when the A’s were up already 7-0. Casilla gave up Ian Kinsler’s homer in the seventh. But the relief corps delivered on a night they shouldered big load.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Alaska Airlines Teams Up With Warriors' Durant, SF Giants]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 23:59:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/durant-alaska-0918.jpg

Alaska Airlines is spreading its wings in the Bay Area, recently inking two significant partnerships in the local professional sports community.

On Monday, the airline announced it is teaming up with Golden State Warriors superstar Kevin Durant to support Bay Area youth and education programs. Just last week, Alaska Air announced a seven-year deal to become the official airline of the San Francisco Giants, extending an established partnership the team had with Virgin America, which Alaska Air now owns.

Durant will assume the official title of adviser to the CEO, the airline said.

Alaska Airlines said it is making a donation to further the work of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, including his Build It and They Will Ball project to build and renovate youth basketball courts in underserved neighborhoods. To date, the foundation has unveiled 14 courts in four different countries, including two in Oakland and one in nearby Redwood City, the airline said.

"With their expansion into the Bay and their commitment to my foundation, my partnership with Alaska couldn't be a better fit," Durant said.

Meanwhile, the deal with the Giants will include an Airbus 321, operated by Virgin America, donning the team's colors and logo. The plane will begin flying early in 2018, the airline said.

The Giants deal also includes fan-friendly components such as in-flight offers, special vacation packages, two-for-one voucher events and added flights during spring training 2018.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Alaska Airlines]]>
<![CDATA[A's to Dedicate Statue of Henderson at Coliseum Next Year]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 17:41:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rickey-henderson-stolenbaserecord-ap.jpg

The A's will dedicate a statue of Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson at the Coliseum for next season, a team spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports California.

The exact date of the unveiling will be announced as the 2018 season gets closer, but the statue is another tribute to the major leagues' all-time stolen base and runs leader. The playing surface at the Coliseum was named Rickey Henderson Field before this season, and that honor will carry over into the A's planned new ballpark near downtown Oakland, scheduled for opening in 2023.

The A's have made increased efforts this season to spotlight some of the greats throughout their history. They've renamed two of the entrance gates to the Coliseum after Hall of Fame pitchers Catfish Hunter and Dennis Eckersley.

Earlier this year, Henderson and Eckersley both were named special assistants to A's president Dave Kaval. Henderson has been visible around the Coliseum often this season; Eckersley's time is more limited due to his broadcasting duties with the Boston Red Sox.

The Coliseum's Joint Powers Authority needed to grant final approval for the Henderson statue, and that came during Friday's board meeting.

The East Bay Citizen was first to report news of the Henderson statue.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Marshawn's Homecoming Focal Point of Raiders Home Opener]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 15:35:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lynch-titans.jpg

OAKLAND – Leaving Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey unblocked normally spells trouble. The two-time Pro Bowler, after all is 6-foot-1, 305 pounds backfield wrecking ball. A lack of communication up front left Casey free and Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch exposed approaching the line of scrimmage.

Lynch didn't dodge. He went full battering ram in that instant, slamming into someone 90 pounds heavier. Size didn't matter here. Lynch trucked Casey on that play and stay upright for a 6-yard gain.

The Raiders sideline went crazy.

Just imagine if that play happened at Oakland Coliseum. Roar might've registered on the Richter scale.

That could happen Sunday against the New York Jets. That's Marshawn's homecoming game.

Beast Mode is a national brand, but Oakland is its capital. Lynch is The Town's most popular resident, a proud native who has given so much to his community. Tales of his generosity are legend in these parts, though never, ever told by him.

They get out nonetheless, drawing a complete picture of someone who cares about far more about community than football.

Lynch came out of retirement for Oakland. He made that clear in one of two meeting with the media since returning to football. He did so after the Raiders were approved to bolt for Las Vegas and leave Lynch's hometown for a second time.

"A lot of the kids probably won't have an opportunity to see most of their idols growing up and being in their hometown (after the Raiders leave)," Lynch said on June 6 "With me being from here and continuing to be here, it gives them an opportunity to see somebody who actually did it from where they're from and for the team they probably idolize."

It will be a big moment for many, one that has captured local attention to a point that you haven't seen headlines about leaving for Las Vegas. This could mark the beginning of the end for Oakland football. It won't. Not on Marshawn's day. Maybe not while Marshawn's in silver and black. 

That especially true after last week's performance, which was vintage Beast Mode. This is Marshawn's game, in his house.

"Super excited to be at home and knowing that Marshawn is a home boy," said head coach and Hayward native Jack Del Rio. "This is his home, like me, grew up here in the East Bay. I know he's going to have special feelings being out there and it's going to be great. It's always great when we come in front of our people here at home."

The crowd will be emotional. Lynch might not be. Left tackle Donald Penn, one of Lynch's best friends on the team, says Beast Mode knows how to compartmentalize.

"I know he'll be happy, but he'll be cool about it," Penn said. "But, you know what? Marshawn is a professional on game day. He comes in there focused. We always joke around, but on game day he's a different person. He's a businessman. I know he's going to be excited. I hope we get him in the end zone this weekend in front of his home team."

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors' New 'The Town' Jersey Unveiled]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 14:04:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*160/town.jpg

The Warriors' new alternate jersey, which will honor Oakland with "The Town" written across the chest, has been unveiled. 

Check out the look, which was first released by Marcus Thompson of The Athletic

"The Town" jerseys will officially go on sale starting Nov. 24, according to The Athletic. On the next day, the Warriors will first wear these alternate jerseys against the Pelicans.

Oakland will wear the jerseys on Saturdays and on several dates during Black History Month to honor Oakland's African-American history. 

The following 10 games are proposed home dates for the Warriors to wear their "The Town" jerseys, according to The Athletic.

November 25 vs. New Orleans

December 23 vs. Denver

December 30 vs. Memphis

January 27 vs. Boston 

February 6 vs. Oklahoma City 

February 8 vs. Dallas

February 10 vs. San Antonio 

February 12 vs. Phoenix 

February 22 vs. Los Angele Clippers

April 7 vs. New Orleans

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff
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<![CDATA[Another Night, Another Dodgers Ace Shuts Down Giants]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 22:21:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/giants-0913.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Before the first game of this series, Bruce Bochy called the weekend's losses in Chicago the worst back-to-back performances of the season. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Giants tried to give those White Sox games a run for their money.

A night after a sluggish loss to Clayton Kershaw, the Giants had moments that were downright embarrassing. They lost 4-1, mustering just five singles against struggling trade-deadline addition Yu Darvish and two relievers.

With 14 games remaining, the Giants have the worst record in Major League Baseball.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dispute Over Sale of Mavericks Surf Contest Heads to Court]]>Thu, 14 Sep 2017 06:14:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/4_mavericks_surfing1.jpg

One thing's for sure: You can't have more than one surfer on a wave.

But, as NBC Bay Area has been reporting, there are a lot of potential riders vying to be the one atop the Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest.

This Friday, the current, though disputed, contest organizer, Cartel Management of Los Angeles, will go to bankruptcy court to try to get the go-ahead to sell the contest rights to the World Surf League for $525,000.

The sale comes as Cartel attempts to sell assets after seeking Chapter 11 protection during this past season, which basically killed the contest.

The Mavericks contest is an international competition in which the world's top surfers are given 48 hours to show up at Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay, once the waves are deemed worthy.

But Cartel lost an $812,000 lawsuit to Segler Holdings of Texas in June 2015 over a botched promotion of a tanning product.

Now, Segler has filed an objection to Cartel's sale to the WSL, essentially saying the deal won't cover Cartel's outstanding debt and is not in the "best interests" of the bankruptcy estate.

Plus, Cartel's former partner, Titans of Mavericks, is also now trying to block the sale accusing Cartel of "deceiving" the Harbor District in issuing the 5-year contest permit only to Cartel.

All the parties plan to show up in court.

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[A's Score Four in First, Beat Red Sox in Boston]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 20:02:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-red+sox-0913.jpg

The A's offense came to play and plated four runs in the first inning as they went on and tagged starter Doug Fister for six runs in a 7-3 road win over the Red Sox.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw, Dodgers Beat Giants to Snap 11-Game Skid]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 23:32:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/giants-0912.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — You have to play just about flawless baseball to beat Clayton Kershaw. On this night, the Giants played like the 2017 Giants.

Three defensive misplays — including two blunders in the outfield — helped the Dodgers build an early lead for Kershaw. They got a lead to Kenley Jansen and he did the rest, recording the final four outs to give the Dodgers a 5-3 win at AT&T Park that snapped their stunning 11-game losing streak. Jansen loaded the bases in the ninth, but he struck out Buster Posey and Nick Hundley to end it.

For the Giants, this was simply loss No. 90, one like many of the others. Here are five things to know ...

-- Johnny Cueto had good stuff, but his defense gave him no shot to go head-to-head with Kershaw. Cueto was pulled with two outs in the fourth after Yasiel Puig hit a two-run double on his 101st pitch. The right-hander threw 10 extra pitches in the fourth because Hunter Pence let a pop-up drop in front of him, and he lost two outs in the fourth when Austin Slater lost a fly ball in the lights and Kelby Tomlinson and Orlando Calixte failed to connect on a grounder.

-- Cueto was given a lead on a shocking swing. Tomlinson took Kershaw deep to left in the third, picking up his first homer in 280 at-bats. The homer was just the third of Tomlinson’s career, and at 393 feet it was his longest batted ball in the majors.

-- No player has faced Kershaw more than Posey, and on Tuesday they went over the 100-at-bat mark. Posey had a single and flied out to right twice. In 101 career at-bats against Kershaw, Posey has 25 hits, including three homers and three doubles. He has struck out 16 times and hit into five double plays.

-- It was a night of mistakes, including on the bases. With catcher Nick Hundley on second and two outs in the fourth, Tomlinson lined a single up the middle. Phil Nevin waved Hundley all the way and Chris Taylor made a perfect throw from center. Hundley was out by nearly 30 feet.

-- The Giants intentionally walked 22-year-old Cody Bellinger three times, making him the first Dodger in 13 years to get that treatment. Get used to it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Streak Ends as Manaea is Roughed Up By Red Sox]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 21:00:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-redsox-0912.jpg

BOSTON — Leave it to Fenway Park to halt the A’s joyride.

They brought a five-game winning streak and red-hot offense into the major leagues’ oldest ballpark Tuesday, only to get grounded in an 11-1 rout by the Boston Red Sox.

Any surprise that the good vibes would end here? The A’s have lost seven in a row in Boston, and going back further, 29 of their past 38. But their offense set out for this nine-game road trip on a tear, having scored 41 runs in a four-game sweep of Houston, their second-most in a four-game series in Oakland history.

Despite taking a first-inning lead against lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, the A’s mustered just three hits total. Meanwhile, a stretch of solid starting pitching came to an end as Sean Manaea (10-10) got knocked around for seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings.

In two starts at Fenway, the lefty has surrendered 15 earned runs in just 6 1/3 innings. All told, it was a reversal of all that went so well for Oakland during its season high-tying five-game winning streak. The A’s even kicked in two errors on the night.

The Red Sox, meanwhile collected 16 hits and right fielder Mookie Betts homered twice and had six RBI as Boston increased its American League East lead to four games over the second-place Yankees.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: A's to Build New Stadium on Land Near Laney College]]>Wed, 13 Sep 2017 00:04:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/melvin-kaval-ap.jpg

After a lot of speculation, the A's have decided where their next home will be.

The team plans to build a new privately-financed stadium on a plot of land near Laney College in downtown Oakland, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

"Finally, we've got our site. It's really the strongest location when it comes to private financing, and that's really an important component to be successful," team president Dave Kaval told the publication on Tuesday night.

The A's had been deciding between the land at Laney, the existing Coliseum site and Howard Terminal.

Kaval and the A's have made good on their promise to announce their future home before the end of the calendar year.

"We firmly believe that the Peralta site represents the best opportunity to keep Oakland's last professional sports team in Oakland for the long term," Kaval told The Chronicle.

The A's have played at the Coliseum since 1968.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Marshawn Unscripted? Lynch to Get His Own Reality Show]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 19:21:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/marshawn-jdrpresser-ap.jpg

Marshawn Lynch is getting his own reality show. Naturally. The always entertaining Raiders running back will star in "No Script," a weekly series of short features that will air on Facebook.

Each episode will be 10-15 minutes long, and should start streaming later this month. Lynch's Beast Mode Productions will produce it in conjunction with Bleacher Report's entertainment division.

You'll surely get some behind-the-scenes action of Marshawn being Marshawn after games and away from the training facility.

Lynch doesn't give many interviews, but is generally funny when put in front of a camera. Facebook reportedly paid a significant sum to get the Lynch web series running.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Sports Legends Team Up for Go-Kart Racing Benefit]]>Mon, 11 Sep 2017 23:10:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/karting-0911.jpg

Some popular former Bay Area athletes got together with some of the best Indy Car drivers in the world Monday to race go-karts for a good cause.

On the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the groups gathered at K1 Speed in South San Francisco to do some karting and raise funds for the families of fallen Navy SEALs.

Indy Racing League drivers JR Hildebrand and Alexander Rossi were on hand. Among the Bay Area legends were former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens, former Giants first baseman J.T. Snow, former Sharks captain Owen Nolan and Olympic gold medalist Natalie Coughlin.

Owens and Snow were known for their agility on the field, but that wasn't the case Monday as they collided with each other on the race course.

"Yeah, yeah, that was a piece of cake," Owens said. "I've gone across the middle a few times here and there, taken a couple licks. ... For a split second, you really don't know what's happening until you kind of, as I saw, the tires roll off my shoulders. But yeah, accidents happen."

Proceeds from the friendly competition benefited the SEAL Legacy Foundation, which provides support for families of wounded and fallen SEALs as well as educational assistance for SEALs and their families.

"That is the calling, September 11th, of just about everyone, every SEAL when we're forward on the battlefield or we're home training, of why we do what we do," founder Jon Dalton said.

Just like in their playing days, Nolan and Coughlin held nothing back.

"They're quick for sure," Nolan said. "And to have all these athletes out here; you know, we might be all retired, but that competitive edge never goes away. So we're rubbing each other out there, trying to get every inch we can."

Coughlin, a 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer, was the only woman out there.

"I was looking on the roster, and I was a little surprised I was the only female. But I'm used to it," Coughlin said. "I was the only female on an all-male team for four years, so I can hold my own with a bunch of dudes."

Despite being taken out by Snow, T.O.'s team was the winner.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Steph Curry Posts #freekaep on Instagram at 49ers' Opener]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 20:23:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*285/stephkap.jpg

Stephen Curry is the ultimate Panthers fan. Apparently he's a pretty big fan of Colin Kaepernick too.

Before his favorite team played the 49ers at Levi's Stadium, Curry showed support for Kaepernick, posting #freekaep on his Instagram story. 

Kaepernick remains unsigned with the NFL's regular season underway. The former 49ers quarterback sat and then took a knee during the national anthem throughout the 2016 season, protesting social injustices against African Americans. 

During the anthem on Sunday, 49ers safety Eric Reid took a knee with several teammates placing a hand on his shoulders. 

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Last-Place A's Sweep 4 Games From First-Place Astros]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 17:44:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chapman-homer-astros-athletics-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND  - Astros ace Dallas Keuchel walked in two runs and hit a batter to force in another during a shaky sixth inning, and the Oakland Athletics completed a four-game sweep of Houston with a 10-2 victory on Sunday.

The Astros entered the day tied with Cleveland for the best record in the AL, but their pitching has fallen apart at the Coliseum. Oakland rallied from behind in each of the first three games of the series, including one in which Houston's bullpen brought in five runs with bases-loaded walks.

Keuchel (12-4) never had a lead in the finale. He had allowed only two runs over 21 2/3 innings in three games against the A's this season and was doing well again until the sixth, when he lost control and labored through a 40-pitch inning.

The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Jed Lowrie, then walked three of the next four to push in the go-ahead run. Two batters after hitting Mark Canha with a bases-loaded pitch, Keuchel walked home another to extend Oakland's lead to 4-1 and end his day. Keuchel allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings.

Oakland piled on against the bullpen with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth.

Jose Altuve had two hits and J.D. Davis added a pinch-hit home run for the Astros. Houston was outscored in the four-game series 41-15.

The Astros frustrations boiled over in the fifth when Jake Marisnick was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Marisnick struck out looking twice and was upset the second time, angrily slamming his bat and helmet to the ground before getting thrown out by home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus.

Kendall Graveman (5-4) pitched five-hit ball over six innings and allowed one run for Oakland.

Matt Chapman, Ryon Healy, Boog Powell and Matt Olson homered as the A's completed their second four-game sweep this year. It's the second time in Oakland history that the team has swept a pair of four-game series in the same season.


Astros: Right-hander Collin McHugh will skip his scheduled start Thursday because of a lingering fingernail issue on his pitching hand. Brad Peacock will pitch in McHugh's place. ... Juan Centeno is expected to miss a few days with a mild concussion after being hit in the facemask by Lowrie's swing Saturday.


Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (11-8) faces the Angels on Tuesday in his second start with Houston since being acquired from Detroit. Verlander is 6-8 lifetime against the Angels.

Athletics: Following a day off Monday, LHP Sean Manaea (10-9, 4.33 ERA) pitches against Boston in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Mistake-Prone Niners Fall Hard in Opener to Panthers]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 16:53:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/Hoysackeddd.jpg

If Game 1 is any indication, the 2017 season could be a tough one for the 49ers. In the team’s regular-season opener Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, the Niners were dominated by the Carolina Panthers in a 23-3 loss.

Though the 49ers -- with new head coach Kyle Shanahan, new offensive and defensive schemes and an enormous turnover of players from 2016's two-win season -- came into the season optimistic they could take some big steps this season, their first step didn't go well.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer threw an interception and lost a fumble, the running game could muster just 51 yards and San Francisco couldn’t get on the scoreboard – with a 44-yard field by Robbie Gould – until it was trailing 23-0 in the fourth quarter.

But, it could have been worse. Much worse.

In the first quarter, standout rookie linebacker Reuben Foster suffered an injury to his right ankle and had to be taken off the field in a cart. Just like that, Foster – who already had three tackles by that point – appeared possibly done for the season with a severe injury.

But later, Foster returned to the sideline, walking on his own power, with the initial diagnosis being a high ankle sprain according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. Foster could miss some time, but it’s likely he’ll be back on the field soon (unless further testst reveal something more serious).

The 49ers were plagued by mistakes on Sunday. They committed 10 penalties for 74 yards, lost the ball twice, gave up four sacks and converted just 2-of-11 third-down plays. The 49ers also gambled four times on fourth down and converted just once. On defense, the 49ers didn’t register a single sack. Safety Jacquiski Tartt had the highlight, an interception return of 37 yards, while also leading his team with seven tackles.

As a passer, Hoyer showed he could be an improvement over last year’s quarterbacks, completing 24-of 35 throws for 193 yards. But his average of just 8.04 yards per completion was disappointing. His main targets were wide receiver Pierre Garcon (six catches, 81 yards), running back Carlos Hyde (six for 32) and rookie tight end George Kittle (five for 27).

The 49ers had hoped to have a better running attack this season, but running behind a revamped offensive line, Hyde and rookie Matt Breida combined to gain 56 yards on just 13 carries.

The 49ers will try to turn things around this coming Sunday in Seattle against the Seahawks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Shanahan Era Starts Ugly for 49ers in Loss to Panthers]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 23:24:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/Week149ersGallery6.jpg

SANTA CLARA – The area of quarterback Brian Hoyer’s game that provided the 49ers with their most-pleasant surprise during training camp was his ability to throw the deep ball.

And it did not take long for everyone to see him loft a well-thrown deep down the field. On the 49ers’ first possession, speedster Marquise Goodwin ran under the pass for what looked the kind of big play that is a function of Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

But Goodwin dropped the ball. It was just the first of many glaring mistakes and miscalculations for the 49ers in Shanahan’s regular-season debut – a 23-3 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Shanahan brings a proven offensive system with him to the 49ers after fielding top-10 units in six of his nine years as an NFL offensive coordinator. But in his first game as coach, it was apparent just how much work is in front of Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

The 49ers opened the season with 30 newcomers on their 53-man roster. But during Week 1, there was no erasing the memory of last year’s 2-14 team in Chip Kelly’s one-and-only season with the club.

Goodwin dropped the deep ball. And one play after dynamic rookie linebacker Reuben Foster was sidelined with a right ankle injury, free safety Jaquiski Tartt gave up a deep pass, then failed to make the tackle on Russell Shepard en route to a 40-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton.

Hoyer was sacked four times in the first half, including a sack-strip that left guard Zane Beadles surrendered that led to the Panthers’ first touchdown of the game. Hoyer gave the Panthers a gift early in the third quarter with an interception to Luke Kuechly. Carolina turned that into a touchdown for a 20-0 lead.

The 49ers were penalized 10 times for 74 yards in the first half, including two illegal-formation flags. There were dropped passes, missed tackles and no semblance of a pass rush from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s unit.

Shanahan miscalculated twice in the second quarter, twice turning the ball over on downs near midfield. The Panthers capitalized on both situations with field goals, including Graham Gano’s 36-yarder on the final play of the first half.

Hoyer completed 24 of 35 passes for 193 yards with no touchdowns and one interception in his 49ers debut. Hoyer has played for seven teams throughout his nine-year career.

FOSTER SIDELINED: Foster went down in the first half with a right ankle injury while tackling rookie running back Christian McCaffrey. Foster was taken off the field in a cart for further observation in the 49ers’ locker room. While Foster did not return to action, he did return to the 49ers under his own power to spend the rest of the first half on the team’s sideline. He watched the second half on the sideline without cleats or pads.

THIS ‘N’ THAT: Tartt made the start at free safety in place of Jimmie Ward, who has yet to make it through a full practice after sustaining a hamstring injury during the team’s conditioning test on the eve of training camp.

Tartt had a rough game but did supply a highlight reel play with a one-handed interception of a deep Newton pass in the first half. After giving up the long touchdown pass to Shepard, Tartt was also called for unnecessary roughness penalty against tight end Greg Olsen after a pass Newton badly overthrew.

--Rookie George Kittle started at tight end and caught five passes for 27 yards.

--Slot receiver Trent Taylor caught one pass for 8 yards and handled the punt return chores in his NFL debut. He had one return for 9 yards and a fair catch.

--Cornerback Rashard Robinson forced and recovered a fumble against Christian McCaffrey in the fourth quarter but the 49ers were unable to capitalize. The offense ended up turning it over on downs for the third time in the game.

--Running back Carlos Hyde gained 45 yards on nine rushing attempts. He also caught six passes for 32 yards.

--The 49ers honored former fullback and assistant coach Tom Rathman at halftime. Rathman was officially inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deal to Sell Mavericks Surf Contest at a Stalemate]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 07:18:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/4_mavericks_surfing.jpg

The wave of optimism that the Mavericks big wave surf contest would resurface seems to have crashed again.

The world famous surf contest held at Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay, had been in limbo after the current organizer, Cartel Management, filed for bankruptcy protection.

Hopes were raised in August, when Cartel asked the bankruptcy court to approve a $525,000 sale to the World Surf League, which runs other major surfing competitions.

But some of Cartel's past legal battles have come back to threaten the deal.

According to court papers filed Wednesday, Segler Holdings LLC, a Texas company, objected to the sale, saying it is not in the best interest of the bankruptcy estate.

As NBC Bay Area reported, Segler sued Cartel and its client model-actress Marisa Miller for breach of contract in June 2015 after a failed promotion of a sunless tanning line.

After a jury trial, the court awarded Segler $700,000 plus interest, which Segler said totaled nearly $812,000.

Segler approved delays to allow cartel to hold an auction in May 2016 to sell the contest permit and other assets. But Cartel canceled the auction at the last minute.

Court papers indicate Cartel canceled the aucition because another group seeking money and ownership, Mavericks Invitational Inc., had interfered with the sales efforts by filing what Cartel called, a "frivolous" claim for $2.145 million.

Segler wants to stop the WSL deal because it says the $525,000 is less than 20 percent of the total money owed and barely half of the court-approved minimum auction bid of $1 million.

The new legal twist will not only complicate ownership of the contest but also will resurrect a hotly disputed issue when the harbor district issued a 5-year permit to Cartel instead of a standard one-year deal, which some board members, including Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, said caused the legal turmoil.

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[Panik Sets Franchise Mark, Giants Finally Win at Coors Field]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:07:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0906.jpg

DENVER — Before Wednesday’s game, a Giant stood in the dugout and tried to make sense of this season. He noted that it seems the team finds a different way to lose every night. On Wednesday, the Giants found a very strange way to win.

Two big early rallies were built on misplays by all-world third baseman Nolan Arenado, who had — you can check the records on this one — never before had a bad moment against the Giants. Arenado’s error in the first opened the gates for two runs, and he couldn’t glove a hard shot a couple innings later, allowing two more to score on a Gorkys Hernandez single.

Joe Panik took care of the rest. Panik had five more hits, giving him 12 for the series. Panik became the first player in franchise history to record 12 hits in a three-game series, and he did the heavy lifting in an 11-3 win over the Rockies.

The win was the Giants' first at Coors Field in exactly one year. Here are five things to know ...

-- It’s possible that Panik won’t get on the flight out of town. After three hits in the opener and four on Tuesday, Panik got to five with singles up the middle in his last two at-bats Wednesday. He raised his average from .267 to .285 during the three-game series.

-- Johnny Cueto brought the goods. He ended his night by blowing a high fastball past Arenado to strand a runner. Cueto gave up five hits and one earned run in five innings, striking out seven. He very much looked like the 2016 version of Johnny Cueto, which is a good sign for 2018.

-- Austin Slater’s first at-bat since July 7 came in the first inning with the bases loaded and two outs. He smoked the first pitch back up the middle for a two-run single. Slater went 0-for-4 the rest of the night.

-- Mac Williamson took 97 mph the other way in the seventh for a deep homer. It was the second pinch-hit homer of Williamson’s career. Maybe they should play him more? You know, see if there’s more where that came from?

-- Nick Hundley tacked on with a 445-foot homer in the eighth. The blast was Hundley’s seventh. The Giants should bring him back.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Raiders, Janikowski Resolve Contractual Differences ]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 20:35:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/janikowski-happy-ap.jpg

After a few days of nervousness over Sebastian Janikowski's status with the Raiders, all appears to be well.

The Raiders and their long-time kicker have resolved their contractual differences, according to ESPN.

Janikowski is scheduled to make $4.05 million in base salary this season. The Raiders have reportedly been asking the 39-year-old to take a paycut, but he had been balking.

Terms of the resolution were not immediately known.

Earlier on Wednesday, head coach Jack Del Rio spoke with the media and addressed the recent reports of a contract impasse with the veteran kicker.

"I think it was a case that took on a life of its own with reporting and speculating. We're doing our due diligence. We'll see how the week goes," Del Rio said.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[A's Beat Angels in Chippy Affair, End Eight-Game Skid]]>Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:07:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/as-angels-0906.jpg

OAKLAND — In a game that included some unusual controversy, a trace of normalcy returned for the A’s pitching staff. That paved the way to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels that snapped Oakland’s season-high eight-game losing streak.

Sean Manaea pitched into the seventh inning and tied his career high with 115 pitches. It was the kind of stabilizing effort the A’s badly needed as their starters have struggled mightily of late.

Manaea (10-9) gave up five hits and struck out six over six-plus innings, becoming just the fifth Oakland starter in the past nine games to complete more than four innings.

The A’s had just taken a 1-0 lead on Khris Davis’ 39th homer in the bottom of the fourth when tensions escalated. Rookie third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt when he began jawing with Angels catcher Juan Graterol as he was digging in to the box to begin his at-bat.

It wasn’t the first signal of tension in the early innings of this game, as Graterol and A’s center fielder Mark Canha exchanged words before and after Graterol went out to the mound in the second to talk to Angels starter Tyler Skaggs.

After that second-inning incident, replays showed Everitt talking to someone in the Angels dugout and the words “stealing a sign” could be heard. It appeared the Angels were accusing the A’s of stealing signs.

Sign-stealing is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts around the game right now after the revelation of the Boston Red Sox reportedly using electronic technology in stealing signs from the New York Yankees.

At any rate, Chapman began exchanging words with Graterol in the fourth before he even saw a pitch from Angels starter Tyler Skaggs. Everett quickly got between Chapman and Graterol and then the umpire began lecturing Chapman. A few moments later, Everett ejected Chapman. Renato Nunez pinch-hit for him and took over at third base. Aside from that, the game played out in conventional fashion and clocked in at a reasonable 3 hours, 10 minutes. From that standpoint, it was different from the first two games of this three-game set, both Angels wins and both marathon extra-inning games that featured both managers making rapid-fire pitching changes with expanded bullpens at their disposal.

The A’s scored twice in the fifth to increase their lead to 3-0 on Chad Pinder’s RBI single to score Marcus Semien, and a Davis fly ball that got lost in the sun by Justin Upton for a run-scoring error. With Blake Treinen unavaialble, Chris Hatcher closed out the ninth for his first save in the American League.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[More Sign Stealing? Tensions Rise Between A's and Angels]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 15:24:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chapman-ejection-angels-usatsi.jpg

OAKLAND - A's third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected in the fourth inning of Wednesday's game after jawing with Angels catcher Juan Graterol as he dug in to start his at-bat.

It wasn't the first signal of tension in the early innings of this game, as Graterol and A's center fielder Mark Canha exchanged words before and after Graterol went out to the mound in the second to talk to Angels starter Tyler Skaggs.

After that second-inning incident, replays showed home plate umpire Mike Everett talking to someone in the Angels dugout and the words "stealing a sign" are heard. It could be the Angels were accusing the A's of stealing signs.

Sign-stealing is at the forefront of everyone's thoughts around the game right now after the revelation of the Boston Red Sox reportedly using electronic technology in stealing signs from the New York Yankees.

At any rate, Chapman began exchanging words with Graterol in the fourth just as he was digging in to the batter's box to begin his at-bat. Everett quickly got between Chapman and Graterol and then the umpire began lecturing Chapman. A few moments later, Everett ejected Chapman. Renato Nunez pinch-hit for him and took over at third base.

The A's, trying to snap an eight-game losing streak, led 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Comeback Falls Short, Giants Lose to Rockies]]>Tue, 05 Sep 2017 21:31:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/span-bochy-rockies-usatsi.jpg


DENVER — Bruce Bochy was out on the field 15 minutes before batting practice on Tuesday, chatting it up with counterpart Bud Black. Perhaps they made some sort of a wager.

Bochy used seven different pitchers in eight innings, with Reyes Moronta and Roberto Gomez making their MLB debuts in the three-pitcher bottom of the seventh. Black countered with nine pitchers, and he also got the win.

The Rockies took the second game of the series 9-6, dropping the Giants into last place in the MLB standings. On the other hand, that means they’re in first place in the race for the No. 1 pick. So there’s that.

The night proved painful in many ways for the Giants. Buster Posey took a foul tip off the hand in the bottom of the eighth and was removed right away. We’ll update that here shortly. For now, here are five things to know …

—- The Giants blew an opportunity to get Tyler Chatwood out of the game even earlier than the fourth. Brandon Crawford and Pablo Sandoval hit into double plays in the first two innings. Posey struck out with two on in the third and Hunter Pence took an awkward wave at a two-out, two-strike pitch with the bases loaded.

—- A day after picking up three hits, Joe Panik had four more. The outburst has raised Panik’s average 11 points in two days, but it shouldn’t be all that surprising. He has a .327 average on the road this season.

—- Sandoval was hitless in four at-bats. He doesn’t have a hit in his last 37 at-bats, tying Johnnie LeMaster’s San Francisco-era franchise record.

—- Ty Blach had a rough homecoming. Pitching in front of friends and family, Blach was charged with five earned in 5 1/3 innings. He appeared to run out of steam, and three of those runs came in the sixth. It’s been a long season for the young pitcher.

—- Rockies right-hander Carlos Estevez uses “Wild Thing” as his warm-up song. That’s an awesome move, when you give it a little thought.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Not a Hazard: FAA Clears Plan for Raiders Las Vegas Stadium]]>Wed, 06 Sep 2017 09:05:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/plane-moon-ap.jpg

LAS VEGAS -- The Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the Oakland Raiders' proposed stadium in Las Vegas would not be a hazard to aircraft.

The federal agency's decision announced Tuesday clears the way for officials in Nevada's Clark County to consider approving construction permits.

County officials are expected to consider zoning permits at a Wednesday meeting.

The FAA last month issued a notice requesting public comments on the proposed 65,000-seat stadium. It later cut the five-week public comment period by three weeks. The change allowed the $1.9 billion project to stay on schedule.

The agency's review of the project concerned the stadium's proposed 225-foot height.

The Raiders want to play in Las Vegas in 2020. Their ambitious construction timeline for the partly tax-funded stadium calls for some site work to begin by December.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Raiders, Janikowski at 'Contractual Standoff']]>Mon, 04 Sep 2017 19:13:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/janikowski-sideline-usatsi.jpg

After 17 years together, the Raiders and kicker Sebastian Janikowski appear to have hit a rough patch.

The team and the 39-year-old are reportedly in a "contractual standoff."

According to ESPN, the issue could impact whether Janikowski plays for the Raiders during the 2017 season.

Janikowski is entering the final year of a four-year contract. He is scheduled to make $4.05 million this season and then become an unrestricted free agent.

According to the report, the team has been trying to redo Janikowski's current contract, but the kicker is not budging.

On Monday, the Raiders brought in three kickers -- Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo and Marshall Koehn - for a workout, according to ESPN.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Olson Homers Twice, A's Rally, But Fall to Angels in Extras]]>Mon, 04 Sep 2017 20:34:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/angels-score-athletics-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia had no idea he called upon an American League-record 12 pitchers to win on Labor Day.

"Both teams or us?" he asked. "If I had needed a couple more innings, we would have used probably 13 or 14. Hopefully not too often."

Instead of extending the game Monday, Kole Calhoun delivered with a two-run triple in the 11th inning as the Angels outlasted the Oakland Athletics 11-9.

Fernando Salas (1-0), the ninth Angels pitcher, tossed a perfect 10th for the victory. Keynan Middleton came in as the third pitcher of the 11th and got his third career save as Los Angeles tried to move up in the wild-card race.

"That's big. It takes momentum into tomorrow," Calhoun said.

The A's have lost as season-high seven in a row.

Three Angels pitchers didn't record an out. The 12 pitchers overall topped the previous AL mark of 11 done four times, most recently by Tampa Bay in 2013. The Colorado Rockies set a major league record by using 13 pitchers in 2015 during a 16-inning game.

"Thank God for September," said Jesse Chavez, who pitched the fourth for Los Angeles and praised the versatile staff. "That just goes back to how we are in spring training. ... We don't let anybody feel neglected."

Angels star Mike Trout fouled a ball off his lower right leg in the 11th but stayed in the game after being checked by Scioscia and a trainer.

Matt Olson homered twice for Oakland, including a tying, two-run drive with two outs in the ninth against Blake Parker.

"Losing a game like that isn't fun by any means," Olson said. "But it says something the way we stayed in that game the entire time, still fighting in the bottom of the 11th right there."

Blake Treinen (1-3) gave up Calhoun's go-ahead hit.

Martin Maldonado hit two home runs for the Angels, his second multihomer game this season. Luis Valbuena added a three-run drive.

Albert Pujols had three hits and drove in a run. He has 12 RBIs over his last five games and 23 in the past 21.

While Los Angeles starter Parker Birdwell didn't get a decision while pitching into the fourth, the Angels improved to 14-2 in his outings this year.

Khris Davis hit a three-run double and Bruce Maxwell added an RBI single in the first inning to A's starter Chris Smith a nice cushion. But Smith couldn't hold the lead, and has surrendered 10 home runs over his last five starts.

A's hitting coach Darren Bush was ejected in the fifth after Matt Chapman was called out on strikes.

The Angels' last four games have gone: 4 hours, 33 minutes, 4:09, 3:49 and 4:38 Monday. The club will have optional batting practice Tuesday "so they can regroup, rebound," Scioscia said.

Chavez made a thoughtful pregame gesture on his way to the field to throw in warmups: He carried a load of food for Diamond Level concession worker Connie Burgin, who called the former A's player a "sweetie." She said she didn't ask for assistance, he kindly offered. After the game, Chavez noted that his long arms were an asset in this situation and he saw that the woman was trying to pick up the large tray.

"He's the best," Scioscia said.

Angels: RHP Bud Norris threw a bullpen session as he works back from his second stint on the disabled list with right knee inflammation. He could be activated as soon as Wednesday when eligible. ... 3B Yunel Escobar took some swings as part of his rehab from a strained right oblique. ... The Angels claimed RHP Dayan Diaz from the Astros and designated for assignment RHP Daniel Wright to clear room on the 40-man roster. Diaz was optioned to rookie-level Orem.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn, on the DL since Aug. 23 with a bruised pitching hand, might not play again this season given the bone bruise is deep enough it's comparable to a fracture. Blackburn is set to compete for a rotation spot in spring training 2018, manager Bob Melvin said.

Angels: RHP Garrett Richards (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second start of the year five months to the day after an April 5 outing at Oakland in which he strained his right biceps muscle in his season debut. He is expected to throw just 50 pitches.

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (4-4, 4.54) had a no-decision against the Angels on the road his last time out in a 10-8 loss last Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[ Coors Field Woes Continue, Giants Fall in Walk-off Fashion]]>Mon, 04 Sep 2017 17:37:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0904.jpg


DENVER — The Rockies are in a funk right now, one that has them in danger of giving up a wild card spot that has seemed a lock all season long. Enter the Giants.

A misplay in the outfield opened the door for the Rockies to get a 4-3 walk-off win. Charlie Blackmon kicked off the ninth with a high pop-up to left center. The outfielders were playing on the track, and Mac Williamson dropped the ball as he made a diving attempt. Two walks — one a smart intentional pass for Nolan Arenado — loaded the bases and a walk of Carlos Gonzalez ended the game.

The Giants have lost nine straight games at Coors Field, the last two via a walk-off. They haven’t won here since Sept. 6 of last season. That’s no way to go through life. Anyway, here are five things to know …

—- Joe Panik hit one off the second deck facing in the first and Denard Span hit the exact same shot two innings later. Both players reached double-digit homers, giving the Giants five players with ten or more. Panik needs one more to set a new career-high.

—- Span and Panik, hitting first and second, combined for six hits. The rest of the Giants combined for one.

—- Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 33 at-bats. That is the longest streak by a Giant since Johnnie LeMaster made 37 consecutive outs in 1984.

—- Chris Stratton was charged with three runs on eight hits in just four innings, but he actually did a decent job while starting at Coors for the first time. Stratton got Gerardo Parra to ground out with the bases loaded in the fourth, keeping the Giants in the game.

—- Blackmon took Stratton deep for his 33rd — seriously, 33rd — homer. Blackmon is on pace to score 143 runs. He’s the MVP candidate nobody talks about.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Fall to Mariners, Finish Road Trip 0-6]]>Mon, 04 Sep 2017 00:06:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/as-mariners-0903.jpg

SEATTLE — The A’s must be happy they’re heading home after a winless six-game road trip that concluded Sunday.

The Mariners would have liked them to stick around a bit longer.

They took three in a row from Oakland and climbed to within 2 1/2 games of the American League’s second Wild Card spot with Sunday’s 10-2 victory. Before arriving in the Pacific Northwest, the A’s were swept by the Los Angeles Angels, who themselves are fighting for a postseason spot.

This isn’t the way the A’s want to impact the playoff race. After sweeping the Rangers at home last week, they’ve dropped a season-high tying six in a row and are 3-6 in this stretch of 15 consecutive games against AL West opponents.

Seattle lefty Andrew Albers (3-1) held the A’s hitless until the sixth Sunday, when Matt Olson hit an opposite field homer to pull the A’s to within 3-1. It felt like the A’s were trailing by more all afternoon however. They were out-hit 17-5, with the Mariners pouring it on with three runs in the eighth inning.

Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a homer. For the series, Seattle hit eight homers total off A’s pitching.

STRUGGLING STARTERS: One of the themes of the 0-6 trip was Oakland starters not pitching deep enough into games. Rookie Daniel Gossett (3-8) had trouble locating the strike zone and lasted just 3 2/3 innings, the third time in six games on the trip that the A’s starter went four innings or less. Gossett walked five, gave up three runs and threw just 46 strikes compared to 43 balls among his 89 pitches.

ROUGH RETURN: Top prospect Franklin Barreto spelled Jed Lowrie at second base, his first action since being recalled from the minors Friday. Barreto went 0-for-4, striking out swinging in his first two at-bats and grounding into a double play as the A’s were trying to rally from a 5-2 deficit in the eighth. Before the game, manager Bob Melvin said Barreto is likely to get a little time at shortstop as well as second base before the season wraps.

OLSON REBOUNDS: After a rough game Saturday, first baseman Matt Olson drove in both A’s runs Sunday as part of a 2-for-3 day. Ryon Healy typically plays first base against lefty pitchers, but Melvin said the A’s envision Olson as an everyday player in the future, and he wanted Olson to face a left-hander. The night before, Olson struck out twice and committed two errors.

ALONSO HURTS HIS OLD TEAM: Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso homered Saturday and singled to assist the game winning rally that night. On Sunday, he drove in another run as part of Seattle’s 17-hit attack. The A’s traded the All-Star to the Mariners on Aug. 6 for outfielder Boog Powell.

MORE ADDITIONS ON THE WAY: After Triple-A Nashville wraps up its season Monday, the A’s will call up more players to supplement their roster. Third baseman/outfielder Renato Nunez will be one of those, and Melvin mentioned perhaps another position player. Right now, given the struggles of Oakland’s starters, some pitching reinforcements appear the most crucial need.

“You always feel like you maybe have enough, and then something transpires and you don’t wanna get caught short,” Melvin said Sunday morning, before Gossett went out and lasted just 3 2/3 innings.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' Frustrating Loss to Cardinals]]>Thu, 31 Aug 2017 22:50:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0831.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - The Giants averaged 1.7 runs per game on their recent road trip. Until the bottom of the ninth Thursday, they were somehow sitting on the under. 

Brandon Crawford hit what appeared to be a two-run homer until the replay officials ruled that a fan interfered. Crawford was given an RBI double and he ended the game on second. That's been a theme for the Giants, who again failed to get going offensively. They lost 5-2 in the first game of a four-game set with the Cardinals. 

August was the best month of the season, but the Giants still finished with a losing record (13-16). Here are five things to know from the final game of the month … 

-- Matt Cain, the seventh starter in this rotation, did about all you can ask given the situation. With Madison Bumgarner scratched because of flu-like symptoms, Cain threw five innings and allowed just two runs. Randal Grichuk took him deep for a two-run shot in the second. 

-- Despite the down year, Hunter Pence hasn't lost an ounce of desire. He tagged from second on a fly ball to right in the fifth, making it a split-second ahead of the tag. That allowed Pence to score when pinch-hitter Carlos Moncrief followed with a fly ball to deep center. 

-- Pablo Sandoval hit third and went 0-for-4. He is hitless in his last 23 bats. Sandoval did, however, make a very nice diving stop in the eighth to rob Yadier Molina of a base hit. 

-- It was 80 degrees at first pitch. In theory, it should have been a great night for the hitters. But, you know ... 

-- Mark Melancon didn't pitch at all on the road trip, so he handled the top of the eighth inning Thursday. It did not go well. Melancon loaded the bases and then walked in a run. He drilled Tommy Pham to bring in another run. Melancon did not allow any runs in his first six appearances back from a long DL stint. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seahawks Win Star-Free Matchup With Raiders]]>Thu, 31 Aug 2017 22:34:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/sakejmann.jpg

There was no Derek Carr or Marshawn Lynch. And Keon Hatcher, K.J. Brent and John Crockett were the Raiders’ top receivers Thursday night, not Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Cordarrelle Patterson.

If fans were hoping to see some stars, the Oakland Coliseum was the wrong place to be Thursday night, where the exhibition game between the Seahawks and Raiders was a festival of players either fighting to win a last spot on the 53-man roster or hoping to catch the eye of another team after Saturday’s cut-down day.

As usual, the fourth and final exhibition game of the summer featured players even Raiders fans had trouble identifying.

The Raiders came away with a 17-13 loss, giving up a 16-yard touchdown pass from Austin Davis to Kenny Lawler with just over a minute remaining.

Much more important than the decision, however, was the fact key Raiders starters never touched the field Thursday night, meaning they’re healthy to play in the regular-season opener Sept. 10 vs. the Tennessee Titans.

The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a Blair Walsh 21-yard field goal, followed by Rodney Smith’s 34-yard touchdown catch from Trevone Boykin.

The Raiders came back in the second quarter on Hatcher’s 18-yard pass from E.J. Manuel, who probably won the No. 2 quarterback job behind Carr with an 8-for-12, 77-yard, no-interception outing.

Oakland took a 13-10 lead on two Giorgio Tavecchio field goals in the second half – of  34 and 28 yards – before Lawler’s winning TD play closed out the exhibition season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bolden, Beathard Make Big Plays in 49ers Victory]]>Thu, 31 Aug 2017 22:08:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/seejayfinalsummer.jpg

Welcome to the 49ers roster, Victor Bolden Jr.

After yet another scintillating performance, it’s going to be a crime if the former Oregon State wide receiver and return specialist isn’t on San Francisco’s opening-game roster.

In the 49ers’ fourth and final exhibition game Thursday night vs. the visiting Los Angeles Chargers, Bolden again flashed his speed and ability to elude defenders, returning a punt 92 yards for a touchdown. He also caught a pass for 9 yards.

The game – a 23-13 San Francisco victory -- was the last chance for those on the roster bubble to make a statement, and Bolden certainly made another loud one. In fact, the 5-foot-8, 178-pounder has been making his case throughout training camp and the exhibition season. He had a 104-yard kickoff return for a TD in an earlier game and was averaging 34.4 yards on eight kickoff returns going into Thursday night’s summer finale.

The 49ers, who’ve been looking for an electric playmaker in the return game, now appear to have found one in the undrafted free agent who excelled in that role at Oregon State, returning three kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns in his college career.

Tweeted Cam Inman, who covers the 49ers for the Bay Area News Group, after Bolden’s touchdown Thursday night: “… Bolden with a 92-yard punt return (second special teams TD this exhibition season). #MakingTheCut”.

Another young 49er also had an electric run, rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, Thursday night’s starter. He picked up 80 yards on three carries, including one for 62 yards and a score.

Bolden will find out officially if he made the team by Saturday, when all NFL teams have to be down to their 53-man roster. Of course, the 49ers could make some additional moves beyond Saturday to pick up players discarded by other teams in time for the regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the Carolina Panthers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Rally, Muscle Up to Complete Sweep of A's]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 23:00:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/athletics-postgame.jpg


A grand slam in the seventh put the Angels ahead for good in what turned out to be a slugfest win over the A's.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[ Giants Shut Out by Padres, Drop Series]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 22:57:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/blach-homer-padres-ap.jpg


SAN DIEGO — With Buster Posey still sidelined, a lineup full of struggling hitters, and a lefty on the mound for the Padres, Bruce Bochy seriously mixed it up Wednesday. Gorkys Hernandez, who doesn’t have a homer, hit third for the first time in his big league career. Pablo Sandoval played first for the first time since injuring himself while doing the splits at the base in 2012.

It was an odd-looking lineup. It also didn’t work.

Travis Wood, San Diego's starting pitcher, hit a solo shot in the third and that was all the Padres needed. They kept tacking on, winning 5-0 and taking the series.

The Giants dropped five of six on the trip and scored just 10 runs. You've made it this far, so here are five more things to know ...

--- Wood was tough on the Giants as a Cubs reliever, but they wore him down Wednesday. Wood was pulled with one out in the fifth, having thrown 97 pitches. Kelby Tomlinson did most of the damage. Hitting second, Tomlinson saw 24 pitches while drawing two walks and picking up a single off Wood. The Giants couldn't take advantage, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth.

--- Craig Stammen replaced Wood and blooped a single off Joe Panik’s glove in right field, giving the night’s pitchers a fourth hit. Ty Blach had a pair. Giants pitchers have three multi-hit games this season. Blach, who singled and doubled in his first two at-bats, has done it twice. Madison Bumgarner did it on opening day, of course.

--- Blach was charged with three earned in 5 2/3 innings. After a run of five consecutive starts of at least seven innings, he has thrown 22 total innings over his past four starts, allowing 19 earned runs. With Johnny Cueto set to return, perhaps he’s the pitcher headed for the bullpen.

--- Kyle Crick has been pitching well, but he had a rough one, with his occasional lack of command showing. Crick entered with a runner on second and two outs in the sixth. After a walk, two singles and a wild pitch, the Padres had tacked on two additional runs.

--- They did not serve chicken wings in the press box.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[LPGA Tourney's Move Leaves Void in Daly City]]>Wed, 30 Aug 2017 20:43:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/LPGA_Tourneys_Move_Leaves_Void_in_Daly_City.jpg

Professional women's golf seems to come and go every few years in the Bay Area. Despite a successful three-year run at Daly City's Lake Merced Golf Club, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic moved back to Taiwan this year. Colin Resch shows how the move has left a void looking to be filled.]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' 6-3 Loss to Padres]]>Tue, 29 Aug 2017 22:38:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-instant-analysis.jpg


SAN DIEGO - This season has been a slow march to the finish line, but the end result came quickly Tuesday. 

Matt Moore gave up two homers in the fourth, wiping out a modest early lead and digging a hole for a team that's not built for comebacks. The Giants lost 6-3, falling to 5-10 against the Padres this season. 

As September approaches, the Giants are six games back of fourth place. Yikes. Anyway, here are five things to know from Tuesday's game … 

-- Moore's run of good starts came to a swift end in the fourth inning. Jabari Blash led off with a deep homer to left and Manuel Margo hit a three-run shot four batters later. Moore was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the sixth. He gave up at least five earned runs for the eighth time in 27 starts. 

-- The Giants should have turned this into much more of a back-and-forth. They left three runners on in the first, with Jarrett Parker's double play mixed in. They had three hits and a walk in the second and the Padres made two errors, so that probably should have been a much bigger inning, too. 

-- Joe Panik made a diving stop in the first to rob Carlos Asuaje and later hit a solo homer, his second in two nights. He's shown no effects of that concussion, which is good news given the way they have lingered for others. 

-- Jose Pirela robbed Pablo Sandoval of his second homer since he came back to the Giants. The ball appeared to be headed inches over the fence at the 336-foot mark right near the left field line. 

-- The press box dinner included chicken strips AND wings. I might spend the night in the press box. Check back tomorrow! 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[A's Bats Go Silent in Loss to Angels]]>Mon, 28 Aug 2017 22:56:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/athletics-postgame.jpg


ANAHEIM - The A's offered up a sampler platter Monday of the traits that have marked their 2017 season, not that fans particularly cared for a reminder.

Their 3-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels included 14 strikeouts and an 0-for-8 showing with men in scoring position. They committed a seventh-inning error that resulted in an insurance run for the home team. And, when Daniel Gossett threw a wayward first-inning pitch that got by catcher Dustin Garneau, it accounted for the A's 73rd wild pitch of the season, setting a new franchise record.

It was that kind of a night as Oakland dropped the opener of a six-game road trip that takes the team through Anaheim and Seattle to play two clubs battling for a Wild Card spot.

The A's have amassed 1,216 strikeouts this year, making this just the third time in franchise history that they've surpassed 1,200 in a single season.

Angels lefty Andrew Heaney (1-0) proved a very tough customer in his third start back from Tommy John surgery, limiting the A's to two hits and striking out 10 over six innings.

Here's five things you should know as the A's began a six-game road trip that also takes them to Seattle:

SOLID NIGHT FOR GOSSETT: It was a ragged first couple innings for rookie starter Daniel Gossett, but the right-hander settled in and delivered a strong outing, holding the Angels to three runs (two earned) over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked one. In the first, Gossett struck out Albert Pujols and was trying to strand a runner at third when he hung a 1-2 curve ball that Kole Calhoun spanked for an RBI single. The Angels broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth on Kaleb Cowart's two-out run-scoring double to left. Gossett's night ended in the seventh when Ben Revere doubled and Martin Maldonado scored from first after Matt Joyce short-hopped a throw to second and Marcus Semien couldn't dig it out.

DIFFERENCE ON DEFENSE: The Angels made the plays in the field when they had to, including a running catch from Ben Revere in left to rob Chad PInder and save a run. In contrast, Khris Davis just missed a running catch in left on Cowart's drive that went for an RBI double.

GARNEAU'S MOMENT: : A's catcher Dustin Garneau, who is from Orange County, homered in the third for the A's only run and his first homer as an Athletic.

DH DUTY FOR LOWRIE: After suffering a shin contusion that forced him from Sunday's game, Jed Lowrie served as designated hitter against the Angels. He fouled a ball off the outside of his left shin, which was his back leg as the switch hitter batted from the left side. Lowrie said he told manager Bob Melvin he could have played defense Monday, but he wound up with a sort of half-day off as the DH.

STILL AWAITING WORD: Starter Paul Blackburn underwent a CT scan to see whether there actually is a fracture in his right hand. Melvin***** didn't have the results before Monday's game. The right-hander was hit by a liner on his throwing hand Tuesday at Baltimore and went on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 23.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Samardzija Dominates Padres With Shutout]]>Mon, 28 Aug 2017 23:59:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/giants-0828.jpg

SAN DIEGO — The Giants scored just four runs over three games at Chase Field. Jeff Samardzija made sure a struggling offense wouldn’t need to do much on the first night at Petco Park.

Samardzija needed just 102 pitches to beat the Padres 3-0 and give the Giants their second shutout of the season. He struck out five, walked none, and allowed just three singles.

The Padres did not get a base hit that left the infield until Cory Spangenberg’s single to right with two outs in the eighth. That’s one fact, here are five more …

—- Through 132 games, the Giants had just two complete games: Madison Bumgarner’s eight-inning complete-game loss here in April, and Ty Blach’s shutout of the Phillies. Samardzija’s pitch count was under control the entire night. He needed just 72 pitches to get through six, and 10 more for a dominant seventh. Mark Melancon warmed up in the eighth but Samardzija got through it at 93 pitches and Melancon sat back down.

—- Crawford has been the Giants’ hottest hitter for a couple weeks now. He hit a 411-foot shot to right-center in the fourth, getting the Giants on the board. The homer was the 12th for Crawford, who lost his 10-game hitting streak during a pinch-hit appearance Sunday.

—- Joe Panik hit a long shot at Chase Field that was so close to being fair that Bochy asked his replay guys to take a long look at it. He straightened it out Monday, smoking a two-run shot off the right field pole to give Samardzija a 3-0 lead in the eighth. The homer was Panik’s eighth.

—- Hector Sanchez, an Arenado-ish Giant-killer of late, grounded out three times. Perhaps the Giants finally figured him out.

—- Jhoulys Chacin lasted just five innings. It was tied for his shortest start this season at Petco Park, where he has a 1.86 ERA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners Passing Game Looks Promising vs. Vikings]]>Sun, 27 Aug 2017 20:38:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/carlosvikkkngs.jpg

In 2016, the 49ers passing offense was barely airborne.

Plagued by inconsistent quarterback play, a lack of bonafide wide receivers and shaky protection, the Niners ranked dead last in the NFL, throwing for just 2,911 yards, a pitiful 182 yards per game.

On Sunday night, however, the 49ers gave their fans a preview of what may be a much better passing attack.

San Francisco, in a completely new scheme under head coach Kyle Shanahan, threw for 340 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-31 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota. The Vikings pulled out a victory on the game's final play, scoring on a 1-yard plunge for a two-point conversion after 49ers cornerback Keith Reaser was called for pass interference in the end zone.

Fortunately, wins and losses don't matter in the exhibition season. What does matter is how the 49ers offense appears to be growing under Shanahan.

It wasn’t just the yards, but the way the 49ers threw the ball that looked so different from 2016. Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer was 12-of-17 for 176 yards and two scores – with no interceptions – connecting with Marquis Goodwin on a 46-yard TD and with running back Carlos Hyde on a 24-yard score. Rookie QB C.J. Beathard followed with a 7-for-13 night for 159 yards and a TD, with the bulk of the yards coming on an 87-yard pass to Raheem Mostert.

Hoyer looked especially sharp, distributing the football on target all over the field on a variety of throws. He completed his first nine passes before he finally overthrew Jeremy Kerley on a route in the middle of the field. The TD pass to Hyde was zipped through coverage. His scoring toss to Goodwin came when Goodwin was able to work himself wide open in the Minnesota secondary.

The 49ers showed, too, that their receiving corps should be much stronger in 2017. Veteran wideout Pierre Garcon Sunday night had six catches for 64 yards, while rookie Trent Taylor had three for 36, Mostert two for 104 and newcomer Goodwin the one for 46 and the TD. Seven other 49ers caught passes.

The night began with 49ers starting strong safety Eric Reid kneeling for the national anthem, the first San Francisco player to do so this preseason. Reid last year had knelt with quarterback Colin Kaepernick in at attempt to draw attention to what they say is a lack of social justice for the treatment of African-Americans. Several other NFL players this summer have followed Kaepernick’s example by kneeling for the national anthem before games.

The 49ers have one exhibition game remaining, Thursday night vs. the visiting Los Angeles Chargers. San Francisco will open the regular season Sept. 10 against the Carolina Panthers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stratton Strikes Out 10, But Giants Blanked by D'backs]]>Sun, 27 Aug 2017 19:51:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stratton-dbacks-ap.jpg


Chris Stratton struck out 10 D'backs on Sunday, but the offense couldn't do anything against Patrick Corbin as the Giants lost 11-0.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Mavericks Surf Contest May Resurface With Possible Sale]]>Thu, 24 Aug 2017 11:16:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surfing+.jpg

The Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest may be getting new life.

Cartel Management, the bankrupt organizer of Mavericks has filed a motion to sell the contest to the World Surf League, NBC Bay Area learned late Wednesday night.

Sources say the deal would be worth about half a million dollars and would need the approval of the courts.

If the deal goes through, it could pave the way for more women competitors, as the WSL is now headed by Sophie Goldschmidt.

Photo Credit: AP file]]>
<![CDATA[Marleau Shows Off Maple Leafs Colors at Sharks' Practice]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:53:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/patty-us.jpg

There was a dash of blue among the teal and white sweaters at the Sharks captain's ice session on Wednesday.

Patrick Marleau, who signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal with Toronto in the offseason, was among the dozen or so skaters that were on the ice at the Sharks' practice facility with training camp a little more than three weeks away. The 37-year-old was dressed head to toe in his bright blue Maple Leafs attire, likely a shocking sight for longtime Sharks fans that saw in a San Jose sweater for the first 19 seasons of his career.

It's not uncommon for the Sharks, or other teams, to allow players from other teams to utilize their local practice facilities before training camp begins.

Among Sharks skaters also taking part in the skate were Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Joonas Donskoi, Aaron Dell, Ryan Carpenter and Kevin Labanc. 

Thornton, who is recovering from offseason knee surgery on his ACL and MCL, looked to be moving well. He signed a one-year, $8 million contract extension with the Sharks in the offseason.

The Sharks will hold their first on-ice training camp session on Friday, Sep. 15.

Marleau makes his first appearance as a visiting player at SAP Center on Oct. 30.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[A's Rally, But Lose to Orioles on Walkoff in Extra Innings]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:54:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-recap-ap.jpg


BALTIMORE -- Zach Britton's AL-record run of converting 60 straight save attempts ended amid the evening shadows of Camden Yards, when the Orioles closer blew a two-run lead and failed to get out of the ninth inning in a game Baltimore ultimately won in the 12th, 8-7 over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

Baltimore led 7-5 heading into the ninth when Britton entered to seal the victory, just as he had been doing successfully since the final days of the 2015 season. On this occasion, however, the left-hander gave up three straight hits before a sacrifice fly by Matt Joyce tied it.

Following a walk to Khris Davis, Britton was replaced by Miguel Castro (3-1), who quelled the uprising.

Manny Machado led off the 12th with a home run off Simon Castro (1-2) to end a game that lasted 4 hours, 20 minutes.

Britton's streak began on Oct. 1, 2015, extended through all of last season and went for 11 more saves this year. He had not blown a save since Sept. 20, 2015, at Tampa Bay.

Britton finished well short of Eric Gagne's major league mark of 84, set from 2002-04.

The Orioles let a five-run lead shrink to 6-5 in the eighth before Chris Davis hit his 20th home run to provide a bit of breathing room for Britton.

It wasn't enough.

Machado's 28th homer enabled Baltimore to win two of three from the Athletics and remain relevant in the wild-card chase. Since sweeping Kansas City on July 31-Aug. 2, Baltimore had lost three series and split two.

Trey Mancini and Welington Castillo also homered from the Orioles.

Castillo delivered a two-run drive in the sixth to make it 6-1, but the A's chased starter Dylan Bundy in a two-run seventh and further cut the gap when Joyce hit a two-run shot off Mychal Givens.

Recalled from Triple-A Nashville before the game, Oakland starter Daniel Gossett gave up five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.


Athletics: RHP Michael Brady was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room for Gossett.

Orioles: Activated Castro from the bereavement list and optioned RHP Alec Asher to Triple-A Norfolk.


Oakland bumped RHP Chris Smith (0-3, 5.56 ERA) from the starting rotation to make room for Gossett. Smith allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings Monday against Baltimore and will be available out of the bullpen Friday.


Athletics: Manager Bob Melvin has not yet decided whether RHP Paul Blackburn will make his next start after he was hit with a line drive on the right wrist Tuesday. . SS Marcus Semien, who missed two games with irritated scar tissue from his April wrist surgery, returned to the lineup Wednesday.

Orioles: RHP Hunter Harvey, Baltimore's No. 1 pick (22nd overall) in 2013, continued his climb back from Tommy John surgery on Tuesday with first appearance at Single-A Delmarva this season. Harvey pitched three hitless innings against Hickory.


Athletics: After a day off Thursday, RHP Kendall Graveman (3-4, 4.54 ERA) draws the start at home in the opener of a three-game series against Texas. Graveman is 2-2 with 5.20 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.

Orioles: Baltimore also has Thursday off. It begins a three-game set at Boston on Friday, with RHP Jeremy Hellickson (1-2, 6.35 in four starts with the Orioles) on the mound.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Parker's Excuse-Me Double Lifts Giants Over Brewers]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:54:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/span-scores-brewers-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - With the go-ahead run on second in the bottom of the seventh, Kelby Tomlinson was rung up on a pitch that was about half a foot from the bottom of the zone. Bruce Bochy threw his hands up in anger. Several others in the dugout hollered at home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth. 

Seconds later, the dugout was full of sheepish grins. 

Jarrett Parker's check-swing resulted in an accidental double down the left field line. Two runs scored and the Giants held on for a 4-2 victory that gave them the series win over the Brewers. 

Here are five things to know from the final game of the homestand … 

-- Matt Moore's solid day ended when he walked the leadoff batter in the seventh. His line: 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts. He has allowed five total runs over his past three starts. 

-- Moore caught a break in the sixth after the first two batters singled. Jonathan Villar had third base stolen by a mile, but Ryan Braun swung on the pitch and flied out to the track in center. Villar had to retreat and he couldn't tag up. Two grounders to short got Moore out of the inning. 

-- Josh Hader, a 23-year-old reliever who looks and pitches like Bizarro Tim Lincecum, dominated the Giants the last two days. The left-hander has a 1.23 ERA in 21 big league appearances. The Giants should get one of those. 

-- Accident or not, Parker's double counts. It was his ninth since he was called up on August 3. He has 14 RBI this month. 

-- Mark Melancon pitched a perfect eighth, striking out two. He hasn't allowed a run in six appearances since coming off the disabled list.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[New A's Ballpark Likely Won't Be as Pitcher-Friendly]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 18:56:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oakland-coliseum-lowangle-usatsi.jpg

With all the speculation about where the A's will build their new ballpark, much less attention has been given to the potential characteristics of the playing field itself.

It appears all of that vast foul territory that is a hallmark of the Coliseum - and such a safety net for pitchers - will be left in the past.

A's executive VP of baseball operations Billy Beane said he anticipates the foul ground to be reduced considerably once the A's start designing the playing surface in a potential new ballpark.

"I think most people would say that you're trying to create intimacy, so minimizing foul territory is probably the direction most teams and stadiums have gone and are gonna continue to go," Beane told NBC Sports California. "You want to create an experience for fans that's as close to the field (as possible).

"Some of that is stuff, it's utilitarian - what's the advantage baseball-wise for us? (But) what we would consider as baseball guys, (team president) Dave (Kaval) will be looking at from the fan standpoint."

Before any of this becomes a factor, the A's first need to announce their location in Oakland to build. Kaval says that will happen before this calendar year ends. The three locations being considered: one right across the street from the Laney College baseball field, just off Interstate 880; the Howard Terminal site that's a short walk from Jack London Square; and the current Coliseum site.

Beane said in-depth conversations about the playing field itself have yet to take place, such as the outfield dimensions, location of the bullpens, etc. But he talks as if a much smaller foul territory is a given, and that would mark a significant change for the A's when they play at home.

Seats at the Coliseum are located so far back from the field, and that spacious foul ground makes the venue arguably the most pitcher-friendly ballpark in the majors. Pitchers who join the A's often comment on the foul territory being a huge positive in their decision to sign with Oakland.

Of course, there's a flip side. Free agent hitters who get frustrated that so many Coliseum at-bats result in foul pop-outs might view the A's more favorably if they provide a more hitter-friendly home ballpark.

Beane said he believes he and his baseball operations staff will definitely get their say in what characteristics they want the new field to have. But creating a cozier atmosphere, with fans sitting closer to the action, is a key element for the A's wherever they build.

"To take fans farther away from the game in this day and age would probably be crazy," Beane said. "… I think we're all gonna be on the same page. When you get a new stadium, the reason you build it is to get people to come watch games. You have to keep in mind that the fan experience is probably the first thing."

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Brewers Get to Suarez, Beat Giants]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 22:45:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bochy-suarez-usatsi.jpg


Jeff Samardzija left with a one-run lead, but Albert Suarez allowed two runs as the Brewers handed the Giants a 4-3 loss on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Healy Homers Twice as A's Hold Off Orioles]]>Wed, 23 Aug 2017 00:03:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/healy-homer-orioles-ap.jpg


The A’s showed they can make themselves at home in one of the majors’ most homer-happy ballparks.

A day after Baltimore homered four times, Oakland did the same at Camden Yards to power to a 6-4 victory over the Orioles. Ryon Healy went deep twice and continued his hot streak of late, and Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis also homered. The win ended the day on a good note for the A’s, but they hope they don’t get bad news on starting pitcher Paul Blackburn.

He left the game in the fifth after getting hit on the right wrist by a liner. After the game, manager Bob Melvin said Blackburn has a bruised hand/wrist.

Healy has a 10-game hitting streak, and he’s hitting .375 over his past 14 contests. He entered the night having homered just twice over his last 41 games.

The A’s led 5-2 in the eighth before Baltimore rallied for two runs, helped by a missed check-swing appeal call, on which first base ump Angel Hernandez didn’t ring up Tim Beckham on what appeared to be a sure third strike on replays. That extended the inning and made for a tense ninth inning, but the A’s improved to 2-3 on this six-game road trip that concludes Wednesday afternoon.

EARLY EXIT: Blackburn, after getting knocked around a bit in his previous two starts, was locked in Tuesday and impressed through four scoreless innings. Then Trey Mancini led off the bottom of the fifth by lining a comebacker that appeared to hit Blackburn flush near his right wrist. He walked around the mound in obvious pain as A’s head trainer Nick Paparesta came out to check on him. Blackburn was removed from the game.

EXTENDED DUTY AGAIN: When the Orioles loaded the bases in the eighth with two outs, closer Blake Treinen was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth for the second time in three games. He ended the eighth and stranded three by retiring Adam Jones on a groundout. The bottom of the ninth began with a throwing error from shortstop Chad Pinder, but Treinen closed out the game with help from a 5-4-3 double play and a strikeout of Chris Davis.

UNDERRATED PLAY OF THE GAME: Treinen got the ground ball he needed with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth. But it came down to Matt Olson making a great scoop at first base when Pinder short-hopped his throw across the diamond.

ENCORE FROM JED: Jed Lowrie homered for the second day in a row, and the A’s went deep four times total. Along with Healy’s two blasts, Khris Davis connected for his 34th of the season in the top of the ninth to make it a 6-4 game and provide some breathing room.

CONTINUING TO IMPRESS: It was an eventful day for Boog Powell even before he took the field. He enjoyed some barbecue with former Orioles slugger Boog Powell, the man who inspired his own nickname. Then those two held a Face Time chat with a third “Boog” Powell, — a youngster from Tennessee who played in the Little League World Series.

Then Powell, hitting leadoff for the second time in three games, singled in his first two at-bats and scored a run. He’s continued to find ways to provide the A’s a spark since being called up from Triple-A Nashville.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blank Brewers Behind Strong Start From Stratton]]>Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:03:25 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/parker-scores-giants-brewers-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach has been a bright spot in this losing season, giving the Giants a young, cost-controlled lefty who can potentially fill a huge role next season. Chris Stratton is trying to do the same thing from the right side.

The 26-year-old continued his August surge, throwing six dominant innings against the Brewers in a 2-0 win that was the staff's first shutout at AT&T Park this season.

It was the kind of night that's been so familiar over the years. The Giants had six home shutouts last season. Here are five things to know from this year's first ...

—- The Brewers are first in the league in homers and the Nationals are third, so Stratton had his work cut out for him the last two times out. His results: 12 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 0 runs, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts. That’s quite the statement. Stratton’s scoreless streak is the longest by a Giants rookie starter since Chris Heston threw 16 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in July of 2015.

—- Matt Cain was used as a short reliever to protect a two-run lead in the seventh. He had a 1-2-3 inning that ended with a strikeout.

—- Mark Melancon pitched back-to-back games for the first time since May 19-20. He struck out Neil Walker and Ryan Braun in a perfect inning.

—- Jarrett Parker reached base his first three times up. He’s hitting .385 at home this season but he’s just 4-for-35 (.114) on the road. Weird splits for a Giant slugger.

—- Brandon Crawford is finally finding some traction. His double in the fourth was the big hit in a two-run frame that gave Stratton a lead to work with. Crawford is 7-for-17 on the home stand with three extra-base hits and four RBI.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[A's Give Up Four Home Runs, Drop Series Opener to Orioles]]>Mon, 21 Aug 2017 19:42:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chris-smith-walkingofffield-ap.jpg


BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones called it a game the Baltimore Orioles needed to win.

The center fielder set the early tone, and the rest of the team followed his lead.

Jones hit a pair of home runs, Jonathan Schoop added a three-run shot and Baltimore beat the Oakland Athletics 7-3 on Monday night. The Orioles won for the second time in six games, but they are still in the thick of the wild-card race.

"Adam's done that a lot and it never goes unnoticed or unappreciated or assumed, more importantly," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Jon obviously had a big blow there, but can't tell you how hard it is, as hard as Adam plays as long as he plays, and then mid-to-late August you're still able to do that. That's one of the things that separates Adam."

Wade Miley (7-10) held the A's to two runs, five hits and four walks over six-plus innings to pick up his first win at Camden Yards since June 17. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA against Oakland this season.

Jones tied a career high with four hits and is one home run shy of reaching 25 for the seventh consecutive season. Zach Britton got the final out with two runners on for his 11th save this season and his 60th in a row.

Baltimore beat Chris Smith (0-3) for the second time in 12 days. Smith allowed five runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings - his shortest start of the season. He was pulled after allowing Schoop's three-run homer, which made it 5-1. Ryan Dull entered and allowed another homer by Jones.

"I always feel strong at this time of the season," Jones said. "It's called pacing myself. I've learned how to pace myself over the years."

Jed Lowrie homered for the A's, and Boog Powell hit his first career home run in the eighth inning, appropriately enough doing so in Baltimore, where an unrelated Boog Powell slugged 303 home runs and won the 1970 MVP.

"It didn't seem real," said Powell, who made his major league debut earlier this season with Seattle and was acquired in a trade earlier this month for Yonder Alonso.

The younger Powell is expected to meet his namesake for the first time Tuesday, according to MLB.com.

Welington Castillo responded for Baltimore with a solo home run in the eighth off Michael Brady that provided the 7-3 lead.

Oakland took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI double by Matt ChapmanChad Pinder was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on the play.

The Orioles tied it in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Mark Trumbo. Jones led off the fourth with a homer and Baltimore never trailed again.

"He's a good hitter for a reason. It's tough," Smith said about Jones. "You try to attack his zones, and it seems like I make a good pitch and he breaks his bat but he finds somehow to put it in the outfield."

Manny Machado became the third Oriole to earn AL Player of the Week honors this season, joining Schoop (July 23) and Tim Beckham (Aug. 7). Machado batted .385 (10 for 26) with four home runs and 12 RBIs over six games.

Athletics: C Bruce Maxwell, who took a foul ball off his face mask Saturday at Houston, did not start for the second consecutive game. He entered as a pinch hitter in the seventh and went 0 for 2. . SS Marcus Semien left in the seventh with a wrist injury.

Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy (wrist) went 0 for 3 with a walk on Monday in his first rehabilitation game with Triple-A Norfolk.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (3-1, 3.46 ERA) received a no-decision after allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his lone appearance against Baltimore on Aug. 11.

Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-8, 6.47 ERA) struggled in his previous outing against Seattle, when he was charged with six runs and eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. He is 4-1 with a 4.70 ERA in eight career starts against Oakland.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Officially Out of NL West Race With Loss to Phillies]]>Sun, 20 Aug 2017 16:28:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0820.jpg

The Giants' goal of winning the NL West is officially over.

With their 5-2 loss to the Phillies on Sunday, the Giants have been eliminated from NL West contention. Not that they had any chance, as they sit 39 games behind the first-place Dodgers.

The Giants carried a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning, but the Phillies tagged Hunter Strickland for six hits and three earned runs.

Sacramento-native Rhys Hoskins homered in the top of the ninth to pad Philadelphia's lead.

Madison Bumgarner did his part, but it wasn't enough. The Giants starter allowed just four hits and one earned run over six innings and gave his team a 2-1 lead with an RBI-single in the fifth.

The Giants loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, but Pablo Sandoval struck out to end the inning.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Are All Ears to Fans' Ideas on New Ballpark]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 21:02:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rajai-fans-ap.jpg

OAKLAND - The A's introduced the latest phase in their ballpark quest, the launch of a web site dedicated to the ballpark hunt itself and an exhaustive online survey where fans can share what features they would like in a new venue.

Still unknown is the timing of a ballpark announcement. All the A's have said is they will announce where they will build within this calendar year. They are down to three spots in Oakland that they are choosing from: the current Coliseum site, Howard Terminal or a spot simply referred to as the "Peralta" site, close to Laney College.

"We're not prepared to say when at this point," A's chief operating officer Chris Giles told NBC Sports California. "We're still gathering information. We are going to take time to digest the information. At this point, there are still so many moving parts that we haven't set a date yet."

The survey is wide-ranging and takes more than a half-hour to complete, but the A's set it up that way with a purpose in mind - to glean as much information as they could, in one single shot, about the spending habits and preferences of potential ticket-buyers.

Questions range from a fan's annual income, to ranking a list of factors they'd find most important in their game-day experience, to what they like most (and dislike) about the current Coliseum. One page offers up images of four different bar/restaurant type settings, asking fans which scene best represents their personal style.

"I feel like we have an opportunity to do a ballpark like it's never been done before," said Giles, whose background includes time spent with the 49ers overseeing the operation of Levi's Stadium. "In other words, dedicate much more space than has ever been dedicated to what I would call non-typical areas. We'll have the traditional seating areas. But how much space should we be dedicating to bars and restaurants and those sort of things, and big decks and lawn areas and family areas. So at first, it's about those sort of things, how should we be allocating space?"

"I think down the road it becomes, ‘OK, what sort of products should we actually be building? What should be the underlying revenue model or the pricing model of an outfield communal area versus a traditional baseball seat? And how could we build those so we're actually attracting a completely different audience, and that we're pricing this in a way where it makes a lot of sense to (those different buyers)."

One question in the survey point-blank asks fans to rank their preference of the three final locations, one through three, and why they liked a specific location best. Given that it's already August, can the A's actually take in all of this information, evaluate it and include it in their decision to make a ballpark announcement by the end of 2017?

Giles says yes.

"The nice thing is we have three great site, all of which are viable, all of which have their different kinds of pros and cons," he said. "If you think about it, what we're trying to do is build a ballpark for our fans. And so to the extent that it comes down to this one looking close and this one looking close, what the fans say is gonna be important."

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[A's Swept by Mariners in Two-Game Home Series]]>Wed, 09 Aug 2017 16:26:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-recap-ap.jpg


OAKLAND -- Nelson Cruz homered twice, Kyle Seager also went deep and the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Wednesday to complete a two-game sweep.

Robinson Cano had two hits and scored twice while Ben Gamel singled and made another sparkling defensive play to help Seattle to its fourth win in five games.

The Mariners, who entered the day tied with Kansas City and Tampa Bay for the second AL wild card, finished 6-3 on their road trip.

Cruz hit a two-run homer in the third, his 25th, then added his 26th in the fifth. It's the second multi-homer game in four days for the Mariners slugger, who has 22 RBIs in 13 games against the A's this season.

Seager homered in the first inning after Jean Segura and Cano singled.

All three home runs came off Oakland starter Jharel Cotton (5-9).

Khris Davis hit his 31st home run and Matt Joyce also homered for the A's, one day after returning to the lineup following a two-game suspension for using an anti-gay slur.

Emilion Pagan (1-2) pitched one-hit ball over 2 2/3 innings in relief of starter Yovani Gallardo to earn his first career win.

Edwin Diaz retired three batters for his 25th save.

Gallardo was knocked out of the game in the fifth inning after allowing three runs and six hits.

The Mariners, who went into the day with 67 errors, made two defensive gems.

Gamel made a leaping catch while crashing into the left-field wall to rob Marcus Semien of a hit in the fourth inning, the latest in a string a stellar plays from the rookie outfielder. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson also made a leaping catch near the wall in center in the first inning.

Cotton, winless since June 23, allowed six runs and eight hits over six innings.


Athletics: RHP Bobb Wahl will see a shoulder specialist in Dallas on Friday. Wahl has been on the disabled list since May 24 with a strained pitching shoulder. He had been attempting a comeback on a rehab assignment but was shut down after experiencing soreness.


Mariners: LHP James Paxton (12-3, 2.70 ERA) pitches in the opener of a four-game series against the Angels on Friday night in Seattle. Paxton leads the AL and is tied for second in the majors with 113 wild pitches.

Athletics: RHP Chris Smith (0-1, 4.82) faces Baltimore on Thursday night. The 36-year-old is seeking his first career win as a starter.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner Deals, Giants Take Series From Cubs]]>Thu, 10 Aug 2017 00:06:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0809.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Joe Maddon has complained recently about the sloppiness of his team of reigning champions. The Giants were all too happy to take advantage.

With one out in the eighth, Ian Happ couldn’t scoop Denard Span’s grounder to second. A bloop from Ryder Jones and a seeing-eye shot from Jarrett Parker brought Span home, and the run held up. The Giants won 3-1, taking two of three from the Cubs. Here are five more things to know …

—- You know, there is a path back to being a winning team, and it’s what we saw the past two days. Ty Blach went seven solid innings Tuesday and Madison Bumgarner allowed just one run over his seven innings Wednesday. If Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore can find better form next year, that’s still a really strong rotation.

—- Bumgarner let out a word we can’t print after swinging over the top of three Kyle Hendricks changeups with two on in the fourth. He’s rusty at the plate. Kelby Tomlinson pinch-hit for Bumgarner to lead off the eighth even though the lefty was at just 92 pitches.

—- Sandoval has been a little rough defensively in his first week back, but he added to the highlight reel in the fifth. He went down for a Ben Zobrist grounder and threw to first from his knees, beating Zobrist by a step.

—- The Giants can’t do anything about the Arenados and Goldschmidts and Hectors of the world, but they’ve mostly kept Kris Bryant in check this season. Bryant was 1-for-4, flying out with the tying run on first in the eighth. He went 7-for-25 against the Giants this season with one homer and one RBI.

—- Buster Posey did not steal a base, but his good friend Hunter Pence hit an impressive homer to right.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Blow Four-run Lead, Fall to Mariners in Extras]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 23:33:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/seager-scores-mariners-usatsi.jpg


Khris Davis drove in four runs and the A's built a 6-2 lead, but it wasn't enough as the Mariners rallied for a 7-6 win in 10 innings Tuesday night.

Leonys Martin put the Mariners ahead in the top of the 10th with a solo home run off reliever Josh Smith.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Blach, Posey Power Giants Past Cubs]]>Tue, 08 Aug 2017 22:31:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pence-posey-hr-cubs-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants completely swapped their lineup from Monday to Tuesday, going heavy on right-handed bats with a lefty on the mound. The Cubs, with so much depth, have the ability to do that whenever they want, and that’s allowed them to beat up on left-handed pitching all season long.

The Cubs entered the second game of this series with an MLB-best 19-7 record against left-handed starters. Ty Blach didn’t care. He continued his second-half surge, cruising after an early three-run homer by Buster Posey. The Giants beat the Cubs 6-3.

Here are five things to know from a windy night at the yard …

—- Blach, the man who wasn’t given a rotation spot out of spring training, out-pitched Jose Quintana, the man who brought back a blockbuster return last month. Blach was charged with two earned in his seven innings. The Giants hung four runs — three earned — on Quintana in his six innings.

—- Blach has thrown at least seven innings in five consecutive starts for the second time this season. Only one other Giants starter (Johnny Cueto) has had a five-start run like that over the past two seasons. This was Blach's 11th start this season of at least seven innings, tying him with Jeff Samardzija for the team lead.

—- It’s almost as if Jason Heyward took all the Carlos Moncrief’s Arm hype personally. He put on a show with four throws in the fourth inning, but the final one couldn’t keep Brandon Crawford from scoring. Crawford raced around third on Ty Blach’s single to right and slid headfirst, beating Heyward’s throw by an inch.

—- Pablo Sandoval got a pinch-hit appearance in the seventh and lined the first pitch into center for a single.

—- Miguel Gomez was removed with an undisclosed injury in the second inning. Gomez looked uncomfortable while running to first in the bottom of the first, and Joe Panik took his place on defense.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Moore Rocked, Giants Miss Chances in Loss to Cubs]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 22:37:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/baez-celebrates-hr-moore-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - Matt Moore and Carlos Moncrief both played six innings Monday night. It wasn't a good sign that the right fielder's throws were more encouraging. 

Moore, facing the team he dominated here last October, was knocked around before being lifted. The Giants wasted several good opportunities to get to Jake Arrieta early and they didn't recover, losing 5-3. The loss kept the Giants from picking up their first three-game winning streak of the second half. Here are five other things to know … 

-- Moore took a step back. He was charged with five earned and eight hits in his six innings. Moore didn't help his own cause; he failed to cover the plate on a wild pitch in the fifth and Jon Jay raced home. 

-- Moncrief spent a lot of time last week fielding balls off the bricks and archways in right field. Naturally, his tough play Monday didn't involve either part of the park. Javier Baez hit a deep fly ball that took a weird bounce off the pad in right-center and headed back toward the infield. Moncrief made an absurd throw to the plate, but Baez slid in safely for an inside-the-park homer. 

-- Baez became the 10th player to hit an inside-the-park homer at AT&T Park. He's just the fourth visiting player, joining Fernando Vina, Ichiro Suzuki and Brandon Barnes. 

-- Ryder Jones picked a pretty good name to put on the first page of his book. He took Arrieta deep in the sixth to pick up his first career homer, and it was no cheapie. Jones hit a two-run shot into the arcade in right-center. He has the power to play at this park, which is why he needs to play every day the rest of the year, no matter what the average looks like.

-- Pablo Sandoval was 1 for 4 in his second start with the Giants. He doubled in the sixth inning. In the eighth, he got his first right-handed at-bat since coming back and it didn't go well. Sandoval topped a Brian Duensing pitch about two feet in front of the plate.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Former 49ers GM Trent Baalke Hired by the NFL]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 21:54:58 -0700

Trent Baalke is back and this time, he's working with the National Football League itself. 

According to ESPN, the NFL has hired the former 49ers general manager as a Football Operations Consultant. 

As a consultant and advisor, Baalke will work on game-related matters, player development and evaluation and officiating video review -- this from the same report. 

Baalke served as the 49ers' GM since January 2011 after one season working in that role as vice president of player personnel following Scot McCloughan's departure from the organization prior to the 2010 draft.

He was fired on January 1, 2017 and replaced by John Lynch. He had been with the organization since 2005.  

Baalke was named the 2011 NFL Executive of the Year for his role in helping the 49ers turn from a 6-10 team under Mike Singletary to a 13-3 record and an appearance in the NFC Championship game under Harbaugh.

But after mutually parting way with Harbaugh, the 49ers went 7-25.

<![CDATA[A's Score Season High in Comeback Win Over Angels]]>Sun, 06 Aug 2017 21:54:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-0806.jpg

ANAHEIM — It took them four-plus hours and 18 hits to pull it off, but the A’s completed one crazy comeback victory Sunday at Angel Stadium.

Down five runs in the seventh inning, Oakland rallied for an 11-10 victory to take two of three in Anaheim in one of their wildest games of the season. The A’s knocked out 10 extra-base hits, one off their franchise record, and highlighted their comeback with six consecutive two-out hits during a five-run rally in the eighth.

They trailed 2-0, then jumped ahead 4-2, and eventually were facing a 10-5 deficit before they started hammering away at Angels relievers Blake Parker and Bud Norris in the eighth.

That rally was highlighted by Khris Davis’ two-run homer and a two-run single from slumping catcher Bruce Maxwell. On a day these teams combined for 30 hits, the A’s overcame two errors and won their firs series in Anaheim since June of last season.

The morning started with the A’s trading Yonder Alonso. Who knew their afternoon would get even more unpredictable?

PINDER POWER: Chad Pinder played an instrumental role in the A’s comeback, finishing 4-for-5 with two RBI and needing just a triple for the cycle. In six games since coming off the disabled list, Pinder is 9-for-18.

MAXWELL DELIVERS AT RIGHT TIME: Mired in a 5-for-49 slump, Maxwell came through with the two-run go-ahead single in the eighth to cap the A’s mad five-run rally.

MANAEA’S STRUGGLES: For the first time in his career, Sean Manaea has gone back-to-back outings of less than four innings. He gave up solo homers to Yunel Escobar and Mike Trout early. Then the A’s scored four runs in the top of the fourth to give him a two-run lead to work with, but the lefty gave the lead right back as the Angels answered with a four-run rally of their own to go up 6-4. Manaea walked two and allowed three hits in the inning before Bob Melvin called on Simon Castro from the bullpen.

NAILING IT DOWN: After the A’s went up 11-10, they got scoreless innings from Santiago Casilla and Blake Treinen to close it out.

THE ALONSO AFTERMATH: With the morning trade of Yonder Alonso to the Mariners, Melvin said Matt Olson will be called from Triple-A Nashville to join the club for Tuesday’s series opener against Seattle. The plan is for the left-handed hitting Olson and Ryon Healy to platoon at first base.

The A's are now 50-62 on the season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Parker, Samardzija Lead Giants Past Diamondbacks]]>Mon, 07 Aug 2017 00:26:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0806.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Jeff Samardzija pitched into the seventh inning to win his third consecutive start and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-3 on Sunday.

The Giants entered the day with the second-worst record in the NL, but jumped on Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin early and held on to win the series. Arizona still has a hold on the second NL wild-card spot despite dropping four of its last seven.

Hunter Pence hit a two-run single, Jarrett Parker homered and threw a runner out at the plate, and Nick Hundley drove in two runs for San Francisco.

Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double and Daniel Descalso singled in a run for Arizona, which lost its second series to San Francisco this season.

Samardzija (7-11) allowed three runs on five hits before leaving after giving up a one-out single to Katel Marte then walking Chris Hermann in the seventh. Albert Suarez retired seven batters for his first career save.

Parker homered off Corbin (8-11) in the second, a two-out, two-run shot that put the Giants in front for good.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Dominate A's to Split Bay Bridge Series]]>Thu, 03 Aug 2017 23:21:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-us.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — Ty Blach took Madison Bumgarner’s spot in the rotation earlier this season. On Thursday, he did a pretty good Bumgarner impression.

Blach pitched eight strong innings and added a homer in the fifth, the first of his career. The Blach party had plenty of guests. The Giants scored seven runs off Kendall Graveman in the first two innings and roared to an 11-2 win over the A's that tied up this season’s Bay Bridge Series.

On a day full of changes, there were plenty of positive developments. Here are five things to know …

—- The first three-run homer for the Giants at AT&T Park this season came from … Ty Blach. Dude hits bombs in batting practice and he carried that power over to the game, crushing a high shot to deep center in the fifth to give the Giants a 10-run lead. Blach joined Brandon Crawford, Austin Slater and Hunter Pence as the only Giants with three-run homers this season.

—- Blach, a big part of next year’s rotation, was just as good on the mound. He allowed just two earned on six hits and one walk. The young lefty has thrown at least seven innings in each of his last four starts, and at least six in each of his last six starts.

—- Brandon Belt took one out to left-center in the second for his 18th homer of the season, tying his career-high. That’s more than any Giant had last year. Belt is on pace for 27 home runs, which would be the most by a Giant since Hunter Pence hit 27 in 2013.

—- In his first big league game since April 15, Jarrett Parker had a pair of RBI doubles and a single. Parker had just one multiple-hit game before hurting his shoulder on a play at the wall. Bruce Bochy said Parker’s playing time would be determined by performance. He’s off to a good start.

—- Ryder Jones 2.0 lived up to the hype. Jones was 1 for 21 in seven games the first time up, but he had two hits in the first two innings Thursday. He scored twice and drove in a run.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[A's Rookie Pitcher Dominates in Win Over Giants]]>Wed, 02 Aug 2017 23:58:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mattmoore-sad-healyhr-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - In the second inning Wednesday, Bruce Bochy dropped his head, looked down at the dirt, and then glared out at center field. The rest of his night didn't get much better.  

The Giants once again got shut down by Pitcher They Haven't Faced Before. Daniel Gossett, who entered with a 5.74 ERA, didn't allow a hit until the fifth. The Giants managed just three hits off the rookie and lost 6-1 to the A's. They have lost five of their last six games. 

You are here already, so here are five more things that happened ... 

-- Matt Moore seemed to be making strides in recent weeks, but this one was straight out of his first half catalogue. Moore lasted just five innings, giving up four earned on six hits and three walks. This was his 11th start this year with at least three walks. 

-- Moore didn't get any help from his center fielder. With two on in the second, Matt Chapman hit a fly ball to deep center. Denard Span drifted back on it and appeared to have a play, but as he jumped, the ball bounced off the wall. The A's would score two runs in the inning. 

-- Cross Albert Suarez off the list for Saturday's start. He threw three innings out of the bullpen. 

-- Conor Gillaspie has two huge pinch-hit homers the last couple weeks but the Giants are getting nothing out of him in starts. Gillaspie was 0 for 3 and ended the seventh with a double play. He is just 6 for 46 as a starter this season. 

-- Hunter Pence's fifth-inning double left the bat at 114 mph. That power is still in there somewhere.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player Remains Focused on Future]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:57:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paylor-0801.jpg

His life changed in an instant. UC Berkeley rugby player Robert Paylor walked out on the field during a championship match in May and was carried off paralyzed.

Since then, the 20-year-old has never looked back. He is too focused on his future. In June, Paylor transferred to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, a world-renowned spinal cord injury rehabilitation facility.

In an exclusive interview he talked with NBC Bay Area about his progress. Paylor is recovering from what’s known as an incomplete spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed.

"I’m not going to accept this as someplace I’m going to sit," Paylor said. "I’m going to fight tooth and nail to get out of this pit and get up."

Paylor said he clearly remembers what happened on the field May 6 during a match against Arkansas State.

"An opposing player came from the side and did what players are not supposed to do, wrapped his arm over my head in a headlock," he recalled. "He was pinning my chin to my chest. I’m driving, trying to fight it. He collapsed me and brought me to the ground and rode me all the way down so my neck was compromised, and when I fell, I rolled under it and immediately it was pins and needles everywhere. I couldn’t feel a thing."

Cal Bears rugby coach Jack Clark called Paylor’s injury the result of illegal foul play. Now, USA Rugby is investigating. Paylor, however, said he feels no anger toward the opposing player that put him in a headlock.

“No, no, no. I’m not angry. What’s in the past is in the past, and if I’m going to dwell on that and point fingers, then I’m not going to get anywhere," Paylor said. "I have to look into the future and see what I can do to change where I’m at."

Paylor spends eight hours a day doing physical therapy and rehabilitation to retrain his muscles. He’s also relearning how to do daily tasks most people take for granted. Simply getting into bed is challenging.

Paylor’s strength and stamina as an elite athlete are helping.

"I couldn’t be more proud of his character and the man he’s become," his father, Jeff Paylor, said.

"He is so positive, he is hardworking, he wants to sweat. In fact, he tells me, 'Make me sweat.' He just never gives up," said Adele Stadler, assistant supervisor of physical therapy at Craig Hospital.

Through it all Paylor is incredibly positive.

"Whenever I have trouble believing in myself, I have all these people who believe in me, and that allows me to have more courage, more bravery and fight," Paylor said.

He’s received support from hundreds of people in the Bay Area and around the world. Actor Bill Murray even visited him recently.

“He was a crack-up," Paylor said of Murray. "I couldn’t stop laughing."

Paylor also relies on his faith when his new journey feels daunting.

"I have a lot of down days. I wake up in a broken body," he said.

But Paylor's spirit is not broken despite dealing with frequent leg spasms. His shaking legs are actually a positive sign that he has an active spinal cord.

And his hard work is paying off. Paylor is now able to move his fingers, all his muscles in his upper body are firing, and his legs are showing a sign of healing.

"When my hamstring started moving, it was such a huge moment because now I have something to work with," he said. "There are signals all the way down there; there’s hope.

“I think I want to get on my feet, I want to do all these things," Paylor added. "If I give up, it won’t happen, so I have to push through that and do everything I possibly can to recover."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Paylor's medical expenses. 

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Bridge Series: Giants' Bats Explode in Win Over A's]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:52:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-as-0801.jpg

OAKLAND — Bruce Bochy was a bit cryptic before Tuesday’s game, saying staffers would meet Wednesday to discuss playing time over the final two months. This was a good night, then, to break out the big bat.

The Giants scored 10 runs on 14 hits at the Coliseum, tying this midseason Bay Bridge Series. They won 10-4. Here are five more things to know:

—- The Giants jumped on Sean Manaea for five runs in the first. Nick Hundley’s blast was the capper, and some sloppy defense from Yonder Alonso at first base helped. The five-run first was the lineup’s first since 2014.

—- The Giants matched their season-high with three homers. Hundley went deep early, Brandon Belt hit a solo shot in the fourth, and Hunter Pence lofted a three-run shot in the sixth that gave the Giants a six-run lead. Belt’s homer was his 17th; he’s one away from tying his career-high.

—- Kelby Tomlinson took advantage of the rare start in left field, getting a single in the first and triple to lead off the sixth. He scored both times. The Giants don’t really view Tomlinson as a starter anywhere, but man, that’s a nice piece of the bench.

—- Jeff Samardzija was far from his best, but he got through eight innings. That’s what he does, even on the rougher nights. Samardzija has gone at least seven innings in 10 of his 22 starts. This was the third time he went eight full innings.

—- Stay hot, Gorkys Hernandez. He kicked off the game with a double and later added a single. Hernandez also made a nice running catch in center field.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steph Curry Making Pro Golf Debut at Hayward Tourney]]>Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:27:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Steph_Curry_Making_Pro_Golf_Debut_at_Hayward_Tourney.jpg

Warriors star Steph Curry is making his professional golfing debut this week in the Web.com Tour's Bay Area stop. The Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae starts Thursday, but Curry, who has received a sponsor's exemption, shot a practice round Tuesday. Colin Resch has the story in the above video. ]]>
<![CDATA[MLB-Worst Giants Lose to A's in Battle of the Bay Opener]]>Mon, 31 Jul 2017 23:54:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kontos-semiengrandslam-ao.jpg


OAKLAND - Santiago Casilla, the man blamed for just about all of last season's bullpen issues, was in the opposing bullpen Monday. The night's game was a reminder that Casilla was far from the only culprit in 2016. 

Two relievers combined to give up four runs in the sixth and two more gave up late insurance runs in an 8-5 loss to the A's. Because the Phillies won for the fifth straight game, the Giants officially have the worst record in Major League Baseball. 

The bullpen wasted no time blowing a 3-2 lead. Josh Osich loaded the bases before departing with one out in the sixth. George Kontos left a fastball right over the heart of the plate and Marcus Semien crushed it to left for a grand slam. Four Giants relievers -- Kyle Crick and Hunter Strickland also saw action -- combined to give up six earned runs on five hits and six walks. 

Yikes. Anyway, here are five takeaways ... 

-- Matt Cain gave up two runs in the first on two walks and a pair of hits, and he got an early visit from Dave Righetti. Cain managed to five-and-dive, though. Those two were the only runs he allowed. 

-- Carlos Moncrief picked up his first career hit in the fourth when he beat out a grounder for an RBI infield single that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. In the seventh, he lined a 3-2 fastball the other way for a double. Moncrief then got caught in a rundown on a grounder back to the pitcher. 

-- Kontos gets the tough assignments, and in past years he handled them with relative ease. This year has been different, particularly lately. Over his last two starts Kontos has inherited five runners and all have scored. 

-- Moncrief, a former minor league pitcher, apparently hit 97 mph during a mop-up performance earlier this season. Believe it. He threw a one-hop seed from the track in deep right to second base when Matt Chapman tried to tag up in the fourth. Chapman wisely retreated. 

-- The latest bout of wrist soreness certainly seems gone for Brandon Belt. He had a double in the first at-bat and a good opposite-field single in the seventh to drive in a run.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blow Lead in Ninth, Fall to Dodgers in Extras]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 21:29:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/giants-0730.jpg

LOS ANGELES — The Giants moved Madison Bumgarner up a day to keep him on schedule, but in the clubhouse, coaches were surely also hoping he would bring a spark and prevent a sweep.

Bumgarner did his part. It didn’t matter.

The Giants blew a one-run lead in the ninth and again in the 11th. Kyle Farmer, in his big league debut, hit a two-run walk-off double to right to clinch a 3-2 win for the Dodgers.

Here are five things to know, if you can stomach it …

--- Conor Gillaspie has two hits in the last 11 days and both have been pinch-hit homers. He hit a two-run shot in the ninth inning on July 21 to tie a game. Sunday’s go-ahead blast in the eighth was the seventh pinch-hit homer of Gillaspie’s career.

--- On the flip side, Gillaspie opened the door for the ninth-inning comeback. He was slow getting rid of Chase Utley's routine grounder to open the inning and Utley reached safely. He took second by getting a huge jump off Sam Dyson. Yasiel Puig bounced a 3-2 pitch into center to tie the game, and an intentional walk and infield single loaded the bases. Cody Bellinger flied out to end the threat.

--- Bumgarner gave up just five hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out seven. He has thrown 25 1/3 innings in his four starts since returning from a shoulder injury.

--- Tomlinson is now 11 for 32 as a pinch-hitter this season. That'll keep you around for a while.

--- The Giants tried to put a rally together in the seventh when the first two runners reached. Joe Panik tagged up from second on a deep fly ball to Yasiel Puig and lived to smile about it, but just barely. Panik then tagged up again on Brandon Crawford’s fly ball to center and Kiké Hernandez gunned him down at the plate with a gorgeous throw. Given what the Giants have done on offense, it was the right call by Panik. You tip your cap.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Walk Off on Twins for Second Consecutive Day]]>Sun, 30 Jul 2017 18:12:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/yonder-alonso-athletics-twins-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND - With all attention on the trade status of Sonny Gray, the A's put that distraction aside and showed a little grit over the weekend.

They walked off on the Twins for the second day in a row Sunday, registering their biggest comeback win of 2017 in the process.

Down 5-0 at one point, they tied it with two runs in the eighth and won it with Yonder Alonso's homer in the 12th for a 6-5 victory over Minnesota.

It's very possible that Sunday's game is Gray's final one in an A's uniform. The New York Yankees are the leading candidate to trade for the coveted right-hander before Monday's 1 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline. They've been engaged in dialogue, but there was no indication of a deal nearing completion by game's end.

The A's erased a three-run deficit and won on Rajai Davis' walk-off homer Saturday night, tying for their biggest comeback win of the season. They outdid that effort Sunday and took the final two of this three-game series.

Alonso jumped on the first pitch from Tyler Duffey with one out in the 12th and drilled his 22nd homer over the wall in right. That snapped a 14-game homeless streak for the A's All-Star first baseman, who reportedly also is on the Yankees' radar. A trade that sends both Gray and Alonso to New York is not out of the question.

The A's nine walk-off wins lead the American League.

Oakland trailed 5-3 in the eighth when Matt Chapman's two-run double tied the game. The rookie third baseman also turned on a terrific catch of a foul pop up near the A's dugout, hurdling two water buckets and landing in the dugout after making the grab.

Jharel Cotton, activate from the DL and making his first big league start since July 3, lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs, with two homers and five walks allowed.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[JaVale McGee Will Re-Sign With Warriors: Report]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:27:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/javale-mcgee-warriors-preseason-oct6-2016-usatsi.jpg

JaVale McGee isn't going anywhere.

McGee will re-sign with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes. Golden State could only offer the big man the minimum of $2.1 million.

In 77 games (10 starts) with the Warriors last season, he averaged 6.1 points and 3.2 rebounds.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Former 49er Colin Kaepernick May Land With Ravens]]>Fri, 28 Jul 2017 08:39:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/214*120/Jobless_Colin_Kaepernick_Hands_Out_Suits_at_NYC_Parole_Offic.jpg

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh says Joe Flacco will miss at least the first week of training camp because of a back injury.

Harbaugh said Thursday that the Ravens likely will bring in another quarterback and haven’t ruled out signing Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick played in 12 games for San Francisco last season, throwing for 2,241 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions.

There is some familiarity because Kaepernick played for Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, with the San Francisco 49ers. He led them to the 2013 Super Bowl, where they lost to the Ravens.

The only other quarterbacks currently in camp are Ryan Mallett and Dustin Vaughan, a second-year player from Division II West Texas A&M.

Flacco threw for a franchise-record 4,317 yards with 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2016, one year removed from season-ending knee surgery.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

<![CDATA[Casilla Gives Up Two Homers in Ninth, A's Lose to Blue Jays]]>Wed, 26 Jul 2017 19:43:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/smoak.jpg


With two swings, the Blue Jays delivered an absolute gut-punch to the A’s on Wednesday night.

Justin Smoak hit a two-run game-tying homer off Santiago Casilla in the ninth. On the next pitch, Kendrys Morales swatted a walk-off shot to give Toronto a stunning 3-2 victory at the Rogers Center.

That once again denied A’s manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career victory, which the A’s seemed poised to celebrate. Rookie Paul Blackburn also had a much-deserved victory snatched away from him after he threw seven scoreless innings.

Oakland has dropped three straight north of the border since giving Melvin career win No. 999. A lack of offense doomed them in the first two games of this four-game series, and they got precious little scoring Wedesnday. But Marcus Semien’s two-run homer in the fifth seemed to be all the offense they would need, and the A’s took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Blake Treinen handled the eighth to get the ball to Casilla, who’s had a turbulent ride as the A’s closer after signing a two-year deal to return to Oakland in the offseason. Wednesday’s meltdown accounted for his sixth blown save. He entered the night tied for third for most blown saves in the American League.

The A’s are short on late-inning options after recently trading Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Samardzija Dials Up 7 Strong Innings as Giants Top Pirates]]>Thu, 27 Jul 2017 00:05:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/samardzija-batting-pirates-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO -- Brandon Belt doubled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning in support of starter Jeff Samardzija, who threw seven strong innings in the San Francisco Giants' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Pinch-hitter Miguel Gomez doubled to lead off the seventh for the Giants, who won their second straight and third of five. Denard Span sacrificed him to third and Belt drove a ball to left field that Starling Marte seemed to have trouble finding. It fell in front of him, allowing Gomez to score.

Adam Frazier drove in a run for the Pirates, who lost their fourth in five following a six-game winning streak.

Samardzija (5-11) allowed a run and four hits, striking out eight and walking two in winning for the first time since July 2. He had allowed 12 runs in his previous 10 1/3 innings.

Pirates starter Trevor Williams pitched well, allowing a run and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two.

Tony Watson (5-3) pitched the seventh and took the loss.

Hunter Strickland pitched a spotless eighth and Sam Dyson worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Each pitcher worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the early going. Samardzija struck out Josh Bell to open the second and then allowed four consecutive baserunners, including Frazier's double. He helped himself with a bare-handed grab of high hopper to record an out at the plate.

The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the first, with Brandon Crawford driving in a run on a groundout.

Pirates: OF Gregory Polanco (hamstring) is resuming baseball activities. He is hitting and playing catch and riding on a stationary bike. ... Austin Meadows, the Pirates' top prospect, has been hitting and throwing and is scheduled to resume playing games next week.

Giants: OF Carlos Moncrief had his contract purchased from Sacramento and will be used as a pinch-hitter and spot starter. ... RHP Johnny Cueto (blister) threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session before the game. He's scheduled to throw again Friday and if all goes well, will likely return to action. ... RHP Mark Melancon (right pronater strain) threw 30 pitches before the game and will throw again in Los Angeles either another bullpen or to hitters. He could start a rehab assignment soon after.

Pirates: Chad Kuhl (3-7, 4.92 ERA) gets the call in Friday's series opener at San Diego. He's won his only start against the Padres.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore (3-10, 5.82 ERA) starts the series opener at the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. He's 2-2 in four career starts at Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Listless Giants Roughed Up by Pirates in Series Opener]]>Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:02:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mccutchenhomer-giants-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pittsburgh Pirates kept clearing the fences, and the San Francisco Giants were left arguing plate umpire Chris Conroy's tough strike zone.

Even Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle understood the beef.

Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs, Gerrit Cole won for the fifth time in six starts, and the Pirates beat San Francisco 10-3 on Monday night.

"I think there was some frustration really all night," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who watched most of the game from his office after an ejection in the second. "I don't think he had a real good night, to be honest, as far as consistency, but that really had nothing to do with what happened tonight. We gave up three-run homers."

Jordy Mercer added a three-run shot of his own in the eighth to further back Cole (8-7), 5-1 in his last eight starts. That lone defeat came June 30 as San Francisco swept the Pirates at Pittsburgh from June 30-July 2 - the Giants' first in the series since 2009.

This time, Pittsburgh immediately jumped on San Francisco starter Matt Cain (3-9), who matched the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - also done from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016.

Bochy was tossed by Conroy for arguing balls and strikes in support of Cain moments after McCutchen connected, the skipper's second time being tossed this year. San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti then got tossed in the ninth.

"It was a tough zone," Hurdle said. "They lost two people on their side thrown out of the game."

Cole allowed two runs on six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked four.

He improved to 4-1 in six career starts against San Francisco. The Pirates won their seventh straight game at AT&T Park and ninth in 10, including sweeps both last year and in 2015.

Buster Posey hit a pair of RBI singles in San Francisco's fourth loss in five games.

McCutchen hit his 18th homer as the Pirates cleared the fences in San Francisco for a sixth straight game. His RBI groundout in the first started things off for a Pittsburgh club that had lost back-to-back games on the heels of a season-best, six-game winning streak, including a 13-3 flop in the finale against the Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field.

Josh Bell and Starling Marte each doubled home a run and Josh Harrison added an RBI single.

"This offense is good, we've shown that," McCutchen said.

Cain matched his second-shortest outing of the year at four innings and is winless in his last 11 starts, the longest by a Giants pitcher since the right-hander went 15 outings without a victory during his previous eight-game skid.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Chapman Homers Again, But A's Fall to Blue Jays]]>Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:59:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/donaldsonscores-usatsi.jpg


The A’s collected hits in bunches over the weekend in New York.

They should have saved some of them for north of the border.

They managed just two hits total in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday that began a four-game series at the Rogers Center. And while the offense wasn’t the only area that contributed to this defeat, it’s tough to cover up for such a lack of offense.

Oakland has dropped three of the first four on this seven-game road trip, and Bob Melvin remains one victory away from reaching 1,000 for his managerial career.

The A's racked up 33 hits in a three-game series against the Mets, their most in any three-game series this weekend.

Still searching for that ‘W’: Chris Smith made his third start for the A’s and turned in his third consecutive quality start, going six innings and giving up three runs. You could argue he’s pitched well enough to win all three games, but the 36-year-old journeyman still is searching for his first major league win since 2008. Russell Martin homered in the first after the A’s gave Smith an early lead. Then Toronto added two more in the fourth, helped along by a Josh Donaldson double and two walks issued by Smith.

Chapman on a roll: Rookie third baseman Matt Chapman blasted a 435-foot homer for his third long ball in as many days, and that wasn’t his most impressive moment of Monday’s game. Chapman made a terrific stop in the seventh to start an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to keep Oakland in the game at 4-2. He also showed some athleticism with a leaping catch with the A’s in the shift. Chapman basically was playing shortstop in that alignment, and the catch was persuasive evidence of why the A’s briefly experimented with him at shortstop in the minors. Overall, the A’s played strong defensively, with Khris Davis making a couple of nice plays in left field.

Axford struggles again: A tough season for reliever John Axford continues, as the veteran entered to begin the seventh and promptly loaded the bases with no outs before being pulled. He walked two and allowed a single before Melvin called on Josh Smith, called up just Monday from the minors. Axford has issued 17 walks in 21 innings this season.

Rotation thoughts: With Kendall Graveman seemingly nearing a return from a shoulder injury, Smith is basically auditioning to stay in the rotation each time he takes the mound, though a trade of Sonny Gray wouldn’t make things such a tight squeeze. From that standpoint, Smith helped himself again with a strong outing, and he also turned in a couple bare-hand plays defensively to aid his cause.

No Montas: With Frankie Montas stuck in New York because of a visa issue, the A’s recalled Josh Smith from Triple-A Nashville to fortify the bullpen. First baseman/outfielder Matt Olson was sent down to clear a roster spot.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Blach Knocked Around as Giants Drop Three of Four to Padres]]>Sun, 23 Jul 2017 16:20:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/wil-myers-homer-posey-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO -- Wil Myers has had his way with the San Francisco Giants, and so has San Diego.

Oh how this rivalry has shifted - not to mention Myers' power stroke at AT&T Park, where he has already cleared the fences five times this season.

He decided to embrace the ballpark's challenging conditions and typical chilly temperatures coming off the bay.

Myers homered for a career-best third straight game against San Francisco, Jabari Blash hit a go-ahead two-run double in the decisive fourth to back Dinelson Lamet, and the San Diego Padres beat the Giants 5-2 on Sunday.

"One of the big things is just actually wanting to come here to play. Last year I kind of dreaded coming here because it's a pitcher's ballpark and they have great pitchers," Myers said. "One thing I did this year was just got excited to play here. It's the mindset you got to have if you want to play well."

Lamet (4-4) struck out six pitching into the seventh in his 10th big league start and sixth on the road. He has allowed three or fewer earned runs in six of his outings.

San Diego hit three straight doubles in the fourth and four consecutive hits in all against lefty Ty Blach (6-6), who is yet to beat the Padres in three career starts.

Hector Sanchez added a run-scoring double in the fourth against his former and Cory Spangenberg hit an RBI single.

Myers clobbered a 3-2 pitch for his 20th home run with two outs in the first. The Giants tied it in the bottom half when Buster Posey's RBI single scored Denard Span, who doubled leading off the inning.

"A couple bad pitches they ambushed me early in the count," Blach said. "It's frustrating when you're rolling like that you can't make adjustments quick enough."

Lamet surrendered eight hits and two runs and walked a batter in 6 2/3 innings as the teams finished after nine innings following extra-inning games the previous two days. Brad Hand, San Diego's third reliever, finished with a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.

Sanchez had a season-best three hits Friday and finished this series 5-for-12 with a home run and three RBIs. He is a career .464 hitter (13 for 28) with five homers and 14 RBIs against San Francisco, which hasn't won a series with the Padres since May 2016.

The Giants had won the past three starts by Blach, who allowed five runs on eight hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked one after winning his last two decisions.

San Diego has won seven of the last nine meetings in the rivalry, currently featuring the two bottom teams in the NL West.

"We still have a ton of respect for who they are, the players on the field and what they've done," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We know at any point in time they could go reel off 10 or 12 and have a great run. We don't want that to start on us."

Padres: 2B Yangervis Solarte, a switch-hitter sidelined by a strained left oblique muscle, is set to begin swinging from the right side Monday. The left side hasn't been a problem. ... RHP Craig Stammen is still two or three days away from pitching after he strained a hamstring, Green said. ... OF Travis Jankowski's rehab will be extensive, with him staying with Triple-A El Paso through the month as he nurses a bruised bone in his right foot. ... LF Jose Pirela got a break.

Giants: Closer Mark Melancon threw all of his pitches in a mound session as he works back from a second DL stint with a strained forearm. "Now it's a matter how he comes out of it," manager Bruce Bochy said. Melancon is likely to need another two or three weeks and the Giants have no target date for his return. The reliever could face hitters within a week. ... RHP Johnny Cueto, who landed on the DL with blisters on three fingers, played light catch. ... 2B Joe Panik had a day off.

Padres: LHP Clayton Richard (5-10, 5.35 ERA) faces the Mets owning a 4.17 ERA against New York over his initial seven starts.

Giants: RHP Matt Cain (3-8, 5.49) will try to avoid matching the longest losing streak of his career at eight games - from July 28, 2015-May 10, 2016 - when he pitches the series opener at home against Pittsburgh.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Homers Hurt Bumgarner as Giants Lose to Padres]]>Thu, 20 Jul 2017 22:22:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bum-rcap-ap1.jpg

Madison Bumgarner returned home, but was once again hampered by two home runs by the Padres in a 5-2 loss on Thursday night.

Bumgarner allowed four earned runs, all off the two homers, over 6 1/3 innings pitched while striking out five.

The Giants are now 37-60 on the season.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Posey Comes Through in a Pinch, Lifts Giants Over Indians]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 20:36:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/posey-giants.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — The flip side of the Bomb Squad starting lineup is that it makes for one hell of a bench. That paid off Wednesday.

Buster Posey came off the bench and hit a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth as the Giants beat the Indians 5-4. A day after throwing two innings, Sam Dyson closed it out, clinching the first series victory for the Giants since their visit to Pittsburgh to start the month.

Those are all facts. Here are five more …

—- Denard Span put one into the Cove in the fifth inning to get the Giants within one. It was his fourth career Splash Hit, getting him within three of active leader Brandon Belt. Span needs just 31 more to catch Barry Bonds.

—- Matt Cain gave up three earned in six innings, which is not great but not awful. Giants starters combined to throw 20 innings in this series, which is a step forward.

—- Kelby Tomlinson made his third career start in left field and didn’t have any issues on fly balls. The weird part was his biggest mistake had nothing to do with playing out of position. Tomlinson forgot how many outs there were when he caught a ball in the seventh, allowing a runner to take an extra base. It didn’t cost the Giants a run.

—- In his first career start, Miguel Gomez had a single, a grounder to short, and two strikeouts.

—- The Giants announced a crowd of 41,067 human beings. That, my friends is a sellout. Check back tomorrow to see if it’s a sellout “streak.”

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sonny Gray Keeps Dealing, A's Avoid Sweep With Win Over Rays]]>Wed, 19 Jul 2017 16:44:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sonny-recap-us1.jpg

OAKLAND — Sonny Gray struck out six pitching into the seventh in what might have been his final home start in Oakland if the club tries to deal him before the trade deadline, and the Athletics rallied in the fifth inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Wednesday.

Matt Joyce hit a towering homer to the right-field seats in the eighth for Oakland.

Rajai Davis doubled home Oakland's first run in the fifth then Joyce followed with a tying sacrifice fly before Davis scurried home with the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.

Gray (6-4) won his third straight start and fourth in five. When speculation arose from the White Sox side before his Friday outing that the right-hander had been scratched because of a possible deal, the A's quickly announced that he was indeed taking the mound for his scheduled outing.

After a pair of one-run defeats to begin this series, the A's avoided being swept by the Rays in Oakland for the first time. This already marked just their third lost series at home to Tampa Bay.

Gray allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with two walks.

The Rays got three straight singles off Gray to start the fourth inning, including an RBI single by Wilson Ramos. Brad Miller also drove in a run on a groundout.

But Oakland finally got to Tampa Bay right-hander Jake Faria (4-1) in the fifth. With seven straight quality starts to begin his career, Faria took his first big league loss.

A's All-Star Yonder Alonso hit an RBI single in the inning, when Faria had two of his four walks. He allowed six hits and four runs in five innings, striking out four.

Alonso was thrown out at home in the first when he tried to go from first on Khris Davis' double to right. The throw beat him so handily Alonso didn't even try to slide and instead ran behind the plate before turning for the dugout.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Walk Off on Indians in 10 Innings to Snap Skid]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:36:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nunezscores-usatsi.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — On his 30th birthday, Conor Gillaspie made sure the Giants didn’t fall 30 games back in the National League West.

Gillaspie led off the bottom of the 10th with a double to get the Giants going. He was replaced by pinch-runner Kelby Tomlinson, who scored on Eduardo Nuñez’s single, giving the Giants a 2-1 win over the visiting Indians.

The victory snapped a three-game losing streak. That’s a fact. Here are five other ones …

—- Before issuing two walks to lead off the ninth, Andrew Miller had just one two-walk outing all season. The Giants couldn’t capitalize. With one out, Terry Francona turned to his closer in a tie game on the road, bucking the dumb unwritten rules of closer usage. It worked out, as Cody Allen struck out Joe Panik and got Gorkys Hernandez to fly out to strand the winning run on third.

—- The Giants got on the board with some help in the sixth. Nuñez hit a liner to right that was dropped by Brandon Guyer for a two-base error. With two outs, Buster Posey’s broken-bat single up the middle tied the game. Nuñez was almost thrown out at the plate, as he never picked up Phil Nevin’s sign and he stopped at third. Nevin did not look pleased.

—- Ty Blach gave up seven hits and one run over seven innings. He was sharp. The start was his longest since a shutout in Philadelphia on June 2.

—- The Giants announced a crowd of 39,151 human beings. It was their second straight non-sellout.

—- This place should sell out just to watch the Frankie Lindor-Brandon Crawford defensive battle. Crawford barehanded a slow roller to prevent a leadoff single in the eighth. Lindor countered in the bottom of the inning with a strong throw from the hole that robbed Miguel Gomez of a leadoff single.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Casilla Blows Save, A's Drop Stunner to Rays]]>Tue, 18 Jul 2017 23:41:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raysscore-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND — The storyline developing around Chris Smith seemed too good not to come to fruition.

For as sweet as a victory for the 36-year-old journeyman would have been, the ending in reality was that much more bitter for the A’s.

They lost 4-3 when the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for two runs off closer Santiago Casilla in the top of the ninth to erase a 3-2 Oakland lead. Casilla retired the first two hitters of the inning, but then allowed a single and a walk plus a wild pitch that helped usher the Rays’ rally along. Adeiny Hechavarria’s ground single through the hole on the right side brought home the tying run and former Athletic Shane Peterson singled home the go-ahead run before Casilla departed the game to a chorus of boos from the crowd of 15,231 at the Coliseum.

Smith was terrific over seven innings, giving up just three hits and leaving the game in line to register just the second major league victory over his career. That first one came all the way back in 2008 in his second career appearance.

Tuesday’s start was just the second in that long and winding career path. Last week in Seattle, he became the oldest pitcher in A’s history to make his first major league start.

Smith held the Rays to two runs, struck out four and walked two. The right-hander was expected only to be called up for that spot start against the Mariners, but with Oakland sending Jharel Cotton for a rehab start with Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday, Smith remained on the 25-man roster and made good with an excellent outing.

The A’s didn’t muster much offense themselves with only four hits. But it seemed it would be enough if the bullpen could have nailed it down.

FAMILIAR FOE HURTS A’S: Rays speedster Mallex Smith was a one-man wrecking crew against the A’s in a series in Florida in June. He didn’t start Tuesday, but played a major role when he pinch-ran for Wilson Ramos in the ninth, advanced to second on the wild pitch, stole third and scored the tying run.

FLASHING THE LEATHER: Matt Chapman committed a second-inning error that led to an unearned run off Smith, but the third baseman made two excellent plays after that. The second one, a diving backhand stop and throw for the first out in the top of the ninth, appeared at the time like it might be a game-clincher for the A’s.

PICKING UP STEAM: Khris Davis homered for the second night in a row, this one a two-run shot in the first that hit high off the green facing beyond the center field wall. Davis has 27 homers, tied with George Springer for second in the American League. He’s just 10-for-53 over his past 16 games, but six of those 10 hits are home runs.

THE EXIT’S THIS WAY: Rays manager Kevin Cash was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing with home plate umpire Bill Welke. That came after Rays second baseman Tim Beckham was tossed from Monday’s series opener for also arguing with the home plate ump.

REMEMBER THIS GUY?: Outfielder Jake Smolinski, who underwent shoulder surgery in March and has missed the whole season, is making his way back. He took batting practice on the field with teammates for the first time since his surgery, and manager Bob Melvin mentioned September as a possible target for Smolinski to get back into games. It’s unclear if that could be major league games, fall instructional league games or some other type of informal setting. Minor league affiliates will wrap up by early September.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Errors Doom Giants in 5-3 Loss to Indians]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 22:08:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/moore-righetti-posey-ap1.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants lost their sellout streak Monday night. That part was new. The part about losing on the field was not.

Matt Moore made a costly error in the fifth and Jae-gyun Hwang added his own in the sixth as the Giants 5-3 to Josh Tomlin and the Cleveland Indians, the reigning champs of the American League.

Here are five things to know from non-sellout night at the yard …

—- Moore cost himself 12 pitches and the lead with a huge mistake in the fifth. With two outs and a runner on second, Bradley Zimmer bounced one to the mound. Moore’s underhand throw to first sailed over Hwang’s head and a run scored as Zimmer took second. A single a batter later tied the score at three.

—- Hwang made his first big league start at first and he had a crucial error in the sixth. With a runner on second, Brandon Guyer put a sacrifice bunt down the right side. Hwang’s throw to the bag skipped into right and a run scored.

—- Moore did a nice job regrouping, and technically he was only charged with two earned in seven innings. The 21-out night was just his second since the end of May, and just the third for the Giants over the last 18 games.

—- Brandon Crawford will need to take at least a couple days off from making fun of Buster Posey’s speed. The catcher scored from first on Crawford’s double in the fourth.

—- Andrew Miller came on with one out in the eighth and needed just three pitches to get out of the inning. He has a 1.58 ERA and 0.68 WHIP. Video game numbers.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fail to Sell Out for First Time in Seven Years]]>Mon, 17 Jul 2017 21:54:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/indians-emptyseats-usatsi.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO - The disappointing 2017 season took another loss Monday night. 

The Giants announced a crowd of 39,538 for their first home game of the second half, ending their sellout streak at 530 regular season games. The streak, which started with the final three games of the 2010 season, was a National League record. The Giants also sold out all 25 postseason games during the run, giving them the second-longest streak in MLB history to Boston's 820. 

"It's just been amazing," team president and CEO Larry Baer said on the broadcast. "I wanted to thank the fans." 

The organization has tried hard to keep the streak going in a season that looks headed for 100 losses. The Giants believed they would, but Monday was a perfect storm. There's little buzz around a team that entered with a 35-58 record and it certainly didn't help that the Giants opened the weekend with a series loss in San Diego. On top of that, the Indians do not have the kind of fan base that fills visiting ballparks, as so many have over the past two years, when the streak has regularly been in trouble. 

Monday's crowd looked similar to many of this season's, with empty sections in the corners of the upper deck and plenty of empty rows behind the plate and dugouts. Despite dwindling crowds, the Giants have not seen a sharp drop off in total attendance. They entered the night third in the Majors in average attendance (41,575), trailing just the Dodgers and Cardinals, who have parks with significantly more seats. Per Giants officials, ticket sales have generally been fine this summer; the empty seats seen at games have mostly been no-shows by season ticket holders. 

The Giants shattered the previous National League record of 257 regular season sellouts, held by the Phillies from 2009-2012. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Open Second Half With Series Loss to Padres]]>Sun, 16 Jul 2017 16:35:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-recap-us1.jpg

SAN DIEGO — The Giants have meetings every day to try and find some solutions. The problem: Where do you even begin when your $200 million team spends a weekend getting smoked by Jhoulys Chacin, Trevor Cahill, Corey Spangenberg and Hector Sanchez? (No offense, guys.)

The Giants got blown away on getaway day, losing 7-1 at Petco Park to drop the second-half-opening series against the Padres. San Diego is now six games up in the race for fourth place.

Jeff Samardzija was shelled early, giving up a three-run homer to Sanchez in the first and another three-run bomb to Spangenberg in the third. The latter came on an 0-2 fastball right down the heart of the plate; the former came from a one-time Giant who has spent his season getting revenge.

Here are five other things to know …

—- Samardzija finished with a flourish, striking out five of the final six Padres he faced. He struck out eight and walked none. The K/BB rate remains historic, so there’s that.

—- On the other hand, Samardzija has given up 20 homers. Johnny Cueto is right behind him at 19. Not ideal.

—- Sanchez has five homers this season. Three have come against his former team. He’s 8-for-16 against the Giants all-time, with four homers and 11 RBI.

—- Jae-gyun Hwang struck out on a double-switch and grounded out to end the game. His average has dropped all the way down to .182.

—- The Giants opened the second half last season by getting swept at Petco Park. So, this was technically a huge improvement.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Curry Heads List of Stars at Tahoe's Celebrity Golf Tourney]]>Thu, 13 Jul 2017 18:34:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-curry-golf.jpg

Stephen Curry will be among the 90-plus celebrities converging on South Lake Tahoe this weekend for the 28th annual American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Curry will be making his fifth appearance at the tournament. He has 20-1 odds, according to the Harrah's and Harveys Race & Sports Book. His father, Dell, who beat Curry last year by one stroke, has 30-1 odds.

Meanwhile, back-to-back champion Mark Mulder, former A's starting pitcher, is chasing a three-peat.

Curry's best finish was in 2013 when he led the tournament with seven holes remaining before finishing fourth. He's looking to avenge last year's one-point loss to his father.

Other noteworthy celebrities include actor and musical artist Justin Timberlake, NFL Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Marcus Allen and Tim Brown, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Pavelski and Sebastian Janikowski. 

Thursday, July 13 -- 8:00 AM SHOTGUN
*Amateur pairings listed for Bay Area celebrities

    Jonathan Thomas 
    Kunio Watanabe
    Andy Saperstein 
    David Lockton
    Andy Provencher 
    Jason Chandler
    Jed Finn 
    Scott Couto
    Todd Williams
    John Yackel
    Carlo Guerrera 
    John Fitzgerald
    Jon Miller 
    Dan Lovinger
    Tom Randolph 
    David Burke
Hole 18 AJ HAWK

Thursday, July 13 -- 1:00 PM SHOTGUN

    Bob Owens 
    Wayne Weigelt
    Brian Heintz 
    Christopher Moore
    Keith Mirchandani 
    Mark Frissora
    Rohan Mirchandani 
    Jenny Frissora
    Jag Kapoor 
    Jason Tackitt
    Don Bahouth 
    Ricky McElrath
    Matt Robinson 
    Erik Van Dillen
    Eddy Liu Kris 
    Jason Neary 
    Jason Smith
    Greg Howey 
    Dianne Lewis
    Bill Bloyd 
    Steve Antoninni
    Tom Abington 
    Tim Tretton

American Century Championship media services contributed to this report

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Win Best Team at 2017 ESPYs]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 23:48:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors-us.jpg

The revenge keeps on getting sweeter for the Golden State Warriors. 

On Wednesday night, the Warriors were named Best Team at the 2017 ESPY Awards. Golden State beat the Chicago Cubs, Clemson Tigers football, Pittsburgh Penguins, New England Patriots, South Carolina Gamecocks women's basketball, and the US women's gymnastics team for the award.

The Warriors went 67-15 in the 2016-17 regular season before going 16-1 in the playoffs to win the NBA Finals in five games against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Kevin Durant won Best Championship Performance earlier in the night after earning NBA Finals MVP honors. 

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Sending Cain to Bullpen to Make Space for Bumgarner]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 20:13:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/matt-cain.jpg

Madison Bumgarner's return to the Giants rotation marks Matt Cain's departure.

Bruce Bochy revealed that Cain will be moved to the bullpen to serve as the team's long reliever when Bumgarner resumes his spot in the Giants' starting five.

"I've talked to Matty about his situation," Bochy said on KNBR Wednesday morning. "He was good about it. He knows these things work out, he could be right back in the rotation."

Bochy acknowledged that the Giants discussed a six-man rotation, but it would leave the team a man short in the bullpen.

Bumgarner is expected to take the mound Saturday in San Diego in the Giants' second game of the second half.

"My hope just to get him back in the rotation. Just having his presense around and his talent. He'll be pitching down here in San Diego, probably the second game. He feels great. He threw very well. The one issue, earlier, he wasn't quite as sharp with the breaking ball, the cutter. 

"The last thing we want to do is rush him back, especially where he we're at the standings."

The Giants open the unofficial second half of the season with the second worst record in baseball at 34-56 (.378) and 27 games behind the first-place Dodgers.

"We're so much better than what's happening right now," Bochy said. "But I do think we need to get back to who we are. We're at our best when our backs are against the wall."

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' Bowman on His Game for Rise Against Hunger Event]]>Wed, 12 Jul 2017 19:43:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bowman-united-0712.jpg

He plays the game with ferocity, tackles rehab with tenacity and scoops rice with velocity.

49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman, who is coming back from a torn Achilles tendon, says he'll be ready for the 2017 season. In the meantime, he's doing his part to help feed the hungry for United Airlines' campaign Rise Against Hunger.

"You know, my hands are sweating, so I'm obviously working hard," said Bowman, who along with former 49er Dennis Brown joined the United team at San Francisco International Airport for a meal-packing competition of sorts. "We don't have a clock on us, but I think i'm doing pretty good."

The United Airlines team did a little better than good; it beat its counterparts in Newark, New Jersey, who were receiving help from the New York Giants.

"It's a little something, you know, we'd like to get them out there on the gridiron, but if we can get them any way we can, we'll take it," Bowman said.

The competition is simple: which side could pack the winning number of meals the fastest.

"Rise Against Hunger is one of the best ways to give back to those in need, those that need to eat," said Mike Hanna, United Airlines' vice president of SFO operations. "And our employees, we've got 200 of them out here volunteering today, just to pack 20,000 meals for those that are in need. That's why it's so important to us and so important to my team."

Bowman and Brown played in different eras, but one gets the sense they would have been great teammates.

"I was a defensive lineman, and he is a linebacker, so it starts with me," Brown said. "I'm the first line of defense. He's the general on the football field. It's been a good partnership.

"He's pulling his weight. he's making sure the bags get the right ingredients inside," Brown continued. "We can't have too little. We can't have too much, so he's got a really important job, and he's definitely enjoying himself."

Bowman's 2016 season was cut short due to the Achilles injury. If his food-packing performance is any indication, he's ready to hit the field today.

"I feel great," Bowman said. "Guys are excited about how I've been working and coming along, and I'm just excited just to be able to play this game another year and get myself back out there playing the football that I know I can."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner His Old Self in Potential Final Tuneup in San Jose]]>Mon, 10 Jul 2017 23:19:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/madbum-1-pav.jpg

SAN JOSE -- Madison Bumgarner got close, but he did not strike out the Beer Batter on Monday night, thus failing to lock up discounted brews for a sellout crowd. This time, that was the only blemish.

Bumgarner was his old self on Monday night, striking out eight Modesto Nuts and allowing just two hits in six innings. He said he would wait for final word from management, but there's no doubt: Bumgarner's next start will come Saturday in San Diego.

"I'm going to plan on that," he said.

He has been all along. When Bumgarner was finally cleared to throw after a shocking dirt bike accident, he circled a date on the calendar: July 15. Under the watchful eyes of Dave Groeschner, Anthony Reyes, Eric Ortega and Tony Reali, he meticulously worked his way back. His first stint on the disabled list was without hiccups. That doesn't mean he enjoyed it.

"It sucks," Bumgarner said. "But I put myself in this spot. I wish I wouldn't have. I tried to make the best of it."

For weeks, Bumgarner focused only on pitch count. On Monday he pretended he was pitching the final game of the spring. He locked in for his second opening day.

As he did the last time out, when he allowed nine runs, Bumgarner got off to a quick start, allowing just an unearned run through three. Bumgarner's first start back in San Jose ended with an eight-run outburst in the fourth. This time, he wrapped three strikeouts around a fourth-inning single.

Bumgarner cruised to the tape, finishing with 86 pitches, the exact range the Giants had hoped for. He got a standing ovation as he walked off the field and he stopped to tip his cap.

Bumgarner was appreciative of the support, and he smiled when asked about the legendary Beer Batter, a staple of a ballpark he hopes to never again pitch in.

"I am very sorry to San Jose," he said. "Both times I tried very hard (to strike him out). I couldn't do it."

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants End First Half With Extra-Innings Loss to Marlins]]>Sun, 09 Jul 2017 18:14:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0709.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO —An unimaginably bad first half ended in an appropriate way.

A.J. Ellis took George Kontos deep in the top of the 11th inning and Giancarlo Stanton did the same. Ellis’ homer was his first. Stanton got his 26th. It added up to a rally the Giants couldn’t overcome in extra innings. They lost 10-8, ending the first half with a 34-56 record. A year ago at this time, they were 57-33.

The Giants trailed 7-3 after the top of the seventh but got a run back in that inning and came all the way back to tie it the next time up. They had five singles in a span of six at-bats in the eighth, the final one a Miguel Gomez single that gave the rookie a game-tying hit for his first big league knock. That was just a rare bright memory by the end.

Here are five more things to know from the last game before the All-Star break …

—- Johnny Cueto gave up six earned on six hits and six walks. He finished the first half with a 4.51 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. A year ago, when he started the All-Star Game, he was at 2.47 and 0.99.

—- Nick Hundley muscled up in the fifth and hit a solo shot to the arcade section in right. It was the 41st oppo homer at AT&T Park by a right-handed batter, and the second in this series. Giancarlo Stanton put one out there Friday night. Hundley joins Buster Posey and Hunter Pence as current Giants who have done it.

—- Brandon Crawford hit one out to the deepest part of the yard in the second, getting his eighth homer. It’s been a rough first half for Crawford but he looks like he’s locking in a little. He singled in the eighth-inning rally.

—- On his 26th birthday, Steven Okert was given a terrible gift. He was brought on with the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh to face Justin Bour, who has 20 homers. Bour hit a two-run single.

—- Matt Cain entered in the eighth and made the eighth relief appearance of his career. He walked one, intentionally walked another, and then got an inning-ending fly.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Stifled by King Felix, Drop First Half Finale to Mariner]]>Sun, 09 Jul 2017 15:57:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-811464760.jpg

SEATTLE — It wasn’t Turn Back The Clock Day at Safeco Field, but the A’s saw a rather vintage version of Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez.

The former Cy Young winner, who hasn’t been particularly sharp so far in an injury-marred season, held the A’s to two hits over six innings as Oakland lost 4-0 on Sunday. With that, they settled for a four-game split with the Mariners heading into the All-Star break.

The A’s are 39-50 at the intermission, their ninth worst record at the All-Star break in their Oakland history. It hasn’t been any one thing that’s landed them in last place in the AL West, but rather a collection of breakdowns that have surfaced at any given time. On Sunday, they couldn’t anything going offensively, advancing just one runner as far as third base and only one other as far as second.

Here’s five things you need to know from this one before the A’s head their separate ways for the four-day All-Star break:

Gossett’s day: Rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett has surrendered eight home runs in his first six big league starts. That’s a switch from the pitcher who gave up just four long balls in 60 2/3 innings for Triple-A Nashville before being promoted, but obviously the task is much different facing major league hitters. Nelson Cruz got to him for a two-run shot in the fourth. Gossett lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final start of the first half and gave up three runs on five hits. Keeping the ball in the yard will have to be an emphasis coming out of the All-Star break.

Impressing with the glove: There’s no doubt third baseman Matt Chapman is struggling at the plate, but it sure hasn’t affected his defense. The rookie turned in his finest play yet in the field since being called up to the majors. In the second inning, Cruz hit a ball down the line. Chapman backhanded it and quickly unloaded an off-balance sidearm throw from foul territory that was a strike all the way across the diamond to get Cruz by several steps. It generated quite a reaction from the Mariners crowd. On the downside, Chapman went 0-for-3 with two more strikeouts, leaving him 2 for his past 24 with 13 strikeouts.

Cruz strikes again: Traditionally an A’s, killer, Cruz once again did damage with his two-run shot that gave Seattle a 3-0 lead. He also homered in Thursday’s series opener, which was the 300th homer of his career.

Bullpen shuffle: Sean Doolittle was called upon in a somewhat uncharacteristic scenario, with the A’s trailing 3-0. Doolittle handled the sixth and registered a 1-2-3 inning. With the All-Star break coming up, manager Bob Melvin probably didn’t mind going to his lefty on back-to-back days, even with the A’s trailing.

Rotation update: Melvin announced that Sonny Gray, Paul Blackburn and Sean Manaea will start the first three games out of the break against Cleveland.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Down Mariners for Melvin's 500th Win With Oakland]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 22:38:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/blackburn-us1.jpg


SEATTLE — Putting together one of their most complete all-around performances of the season, the A’s beat the Mariners 7-4 at Safeco Field on Thursday night and rewarded Bob Melvin with victory No. 500 as Oakland’s manager.

He becomes just the fourth manager in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Hall of Famers Connie Mack (a mind-boggling 3,582 wins) and Tony La Russa (798) along with Art Howe (600).

Things hardly have gone according to plan for the A’s in this season plagued by injuries and spotty play in all facets. That’s the primary reason Melvin was downplaying talk of his 500th win before the game.

“It’d be one thing if you’re having a great year,” Melvin said. “It’s just a round number. There’s one coming up a little later that might be more (special).

The win Thursday leaves him just seven victories shy of 1,000 total as a major league manager. His first 156 of those came happened to come in two seasons managing the Mariners from 2003-04.

His players gave him one to savor for Thursday’s milestone, though the Mariners rallied for three runs in the ninth to make it closer.

Paul Blackburn, in his second career start, threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball to notch his first major league victory. He kept his pitch count low and corralled the Mariners without help from a single strikeout.

Khris Davis hit his 24th homer, a three-run shot in the fifth, and Bruce Maxwell added an opposite-field solo shot that same inning as the A’s pocketed their third victory in a row after a six-game losing streak.

Here’s five things you need to know as the A’s took the opener of a four-game series leading into the All-Star break:

Blackburn shines again: The rookie from Antioch rewarded the A’s for giving him a second start in the rotation. The right-hander scattered eight hits and got two early 4-6-3 double plays that nipped potential Seattle rallies in the bud. He also picked Jean Segura off first in the fourth inning. The 7 2/3 innings was the most by an A’s pitcher in one of his first two major league games since Brad Rigby threw eight innings on June 28, 1997.

Big night for top of the order: With Marcus Semien coming off the disabled list and returning to shortstop, Melvin re-worked the top of the order. Matt Joyce still led off, but Semien slipped into the No. 2 spot, followed by Yonder Alonso, Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie. Those first five hitters combined to go 6-for-21 with six RBI and scored six of the A’s seven runs.

Brugman shows off his arm: Blackburn got some help from his defense. In the third, center fielder Jaycob Brugman threw a strike to third to nail Mitch Haniger, who tried to tag up on Jarrod Dyson’s fly ball. The A’s entered the night tied for second in the AL in fewest outfield assists with 10.

Casilla needed in ninth: Daniel Coulombe couldn’t shut the door in the ninth, giving up Danny Valencia’s three-run homer. So Santiago Casilla had to come in to close it out.

Saturday’s starter: With Jharel Cotton going on the D.L., Melvin announced that 36-year-old Chris Smith will be called up from Triple-A Nashville to make his first career start Saturday.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Quakes Player Rescued From Lake Tahoe Emerges From Coma]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 20:07:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/silva-0704.jpg

The San Jose Earthquakes say Matheus Silva has emerged from a coma, two days after the Brazilian defender was rescued from Lake Tahoe.

Silva, who was playing this season for Reno 1868 FC, struggled while swimming at a Fourth of July gathering. He was pulled from the water by teammates and bystanders but was unresponsive and did not have a pulse.

The 20-year-old was taken to Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe before he was airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada, where he was joined by members of his family and Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli.

Silva emerged from the coma Thursday morning. He was responsive and able to speak, but will undergo additional testing.

"The entire Earthquakes organization is grateful for the invaluable effort by the doctors, players and staff at Reno 1868 FC and bystanders on the beach that contributed to Matheus being alive and well today," Fioranelli said.

Photo Credit: San Jose Earthquakes]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Alum Blends Playing, Coaching Pro Volleyball]]>Thu, 06 Jul 2017 20:08:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cook+beach+vb-0706.jpg

Professional volleyball has returned to the Bay Area for a second straight year with the San Francisco Open, where a new generation of players is looking to be the next Kerri Walsh-Jennings.

One of those players is Stanford alum Karissa Cook. She and partner Katie Spieler were the top seeds in Thursday's qualifying draw.

"We call it bonus volleyball," Cook said. "Yeah, we're getting our money's worth today, hopefully make it. We missed being in the main draw by one point, so I think we're pretty motivated, pretty fired up."

The main draw is where the money is, though for Cook, competing on the pro volleyball circuit isn't her normal money-making day job. Two years after graduating from Stanford, she joined the staff of the beach volleyball team in 2015 as an assistant coach.

So how does she balance playing with coaching?

"I think it balances perfectly," she said. "So, our season gets done around May, and then we're just recruiting right now, so I'm either playing in tournaments or I'm watching tournaments, or I'm in and around volleyball every day. So it's kind of like this perfect blend."

While Cook played for the indoor team at Stanford, she finished her collegiate career playing one season of beach volleyball at Hawaii. But it's where she grew up that laid the foundation for what she's doing now.

"The awesome thing about Karissa is she grew up on the beach at Santa Cruz, so she's like the beachiest indoor player there is," Spieler said. "Everyone's like, 'You're not an indoor player' because she's got all the beach skills."

Little did Cook know at the time that those beach skills learned as a kid would provide her with the career she enjoys today.

"If you'd have told high school me that the path I'm on would have occurred and I'd get to hang out at Stanford this many years, especially in the volleyball community, I would have laughed and ran away," Cook said.

The San Francisco Open runs through Sunday. Admission is free.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner Bombed in Rehab Start for San Jose Giants]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 23:49:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bum-fareed.jpg

It was a packed house at San Jose's Municipal Stadium on Wednesday night as San Francisco Giants star Madison Bumgarner made the first of his two scheduled rehab starts for the San Jose Giants.

The 2014 World Series MVP has missed nearly three months of the MLB season after injuring his pitching shoulder while dirt biking during an off-day in Colorado in April.

On Wednesday night, pitching against Class A hitters from the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the big lefty was anything but major league sharp. Bumgarner allowed nine earned runs on nine hits in four innings of work. The Quakes launched four home runs on their way to a 9-1 lead before Bumgarner was done. The Giants lost the game 14-1.

Fans were just excited to see the Giants' three-time World Series champ up close. One fan remembered seeing Bumgarner all five times he pitched for San Jose as a prospect in 2009.

"He's a lot bigger, pitches a little harder," fan Robert Webber said. "It's so nice that all of them rehab here. It's San Jose, it's local, and to see him this close is very nice."

Bumgarner too recalled those games he pitched as a 19-year-old.

"A big change for me, mainly just being away from home," he said. "I hadn't been away from home in that point in my life very much. Nothing but good memories for me here."

While Bumgarner wasn't exactly happy with his final line Wednesday night, he was fine with his progress.

"I feel pretty good about it," he said. "Obviously, that was kind of a lopsided outing, but for what I'm looking for, I feel good."

Bumgarner is scheduled to make another rehab start Monday against Modesto. First pitch is 7 p.m. After that, he hopes to return to the big club by July 15.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Blach Goes Six Innings, Giants Outlast Tigers in Detroit]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 23:27:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/blach-ty-us.jpg


DETROIT -- This wasn't an ideal matchup for the San Francisco Giants - a rookie lefty against a Detroit lineup full of powerful right-handed hitters.

Ty Blach was up to the challenge.

Blach took a shutout into the seventh inning, and the Giants held off a late Detroit rally in beating the Tigers 5-4 on Wednesday night. Blach allowed only three hits in the first six innings.

"We just wanted to go out and attack those guys. Try to get ahead early and be able to change speeds, keep them off balance," Blach said. "We knew they were going to be aggressive, and we were able to do that."

The Giants led 5-0 before Detroit scored four times in the seventh. Blach (6-5) was pulled after allowing a two-run single to Victor Martinez, and San Francisco needed three relievers to get through the inning. The Giants used five relievers in all, with Hunter Strickland pitching the eighth and Sam Dyson finishing for his third save.

The last-place Giants have won seven of their last eight games - after losing 12 of 13 before that.

Daniel Norris (4-7) permitted five runs and seven hits in four innings.

"I don't know, mentally, physically, whatever, I've got to be able to get over that hump and make pitches when I have to," Norris said.

Blach won his second consecutive start following a rough stretch through the middle of June. He was charged with three of the runs in the seventh, but by then, the Giants already had a big enough lead.

San Francisco scored two in the third, and Brandon Belt added an RBI single in the fourth. Hunter Pence followed with a two-run triple off Norris, who has lost his last three starts.

Norris has given up five runs in each of those games.

"Clearly, we need better results," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It doesn't help us win games, and obviously it puts undue stress on the bullpen when they have to cover more innings."

The Giants nearly gave the whole lead away in the seventh. Miguel Cabrera singled to start the rally, and J.D. Martinez followed with a double. Victor Martinez's single made it 5-2, and George Kontos allowed a single to Mikie Mahtook.

Steven Okert struck out pinch-hitter Alex Avila, but Cory Gearrin came on and walked Jose Iglesias. With the bases loaded, Ian Kinsler hit a comebacker that bounced off Gearrin for a run-scoring single. A sacrifice fly by Nicholas Castellanos made it 5-4, but Justin Upton struck out to end the inning.

San Francisco leadoff man Gorkys Hernandez had three hits.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Gray Sharp, Brugman Homers as A's Beat White Sox]]>Wed, 05 Jul 2017 18:17:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/brugman-homer-ap.jpg


OAKLAND -- An improving change-up that repeatedly fooled the White Sox hitters was more than enough to offset the stomach illness that bothered Athletics pitcher Sonny Gray most of the afternoon.

Another three-hit game from Jed Lowrie and four stolen bases by Rajai Davis definitely helped Gray feel a lot better, too.

Gray pitched six mostly sharp innings to beat Chicago for the second time in two weeks and Oakland defeated the White Sox 7-4 on Wednesday.

"He was sick all day today and to get six out of him like we did . he stepped up because he was not feeling too good before the game and he's not feeling great right now," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's back to looking like he has in the past, and a lot of it had to do with health. Now he's back doing his thing like we've expected him to do."

Jed Lowrie added three hits and two RBIs, Bruce Maxwell doubled in two runs and Jaycob Brugman homered to help the A's to their second straight home win following eight consecutive losses at the Coliseum.

The win was manager Bob Melvin's 499th with the A's and the 992nd of his career.

Gray (4-4) surrendered a two-run home run to Matt Davidson in the fifth, the only blemish during an otherwise strong outing. Gray gave up two runs on three hits with five strikeouts, and has allowed four runs over his last 21 innings - a 1.71 ERA.

"I think I've just gotten into a little bit of a groove, a little bit of a rhythm," Gray said. "When I'm at my best I'm not necessarily going to strike a lot of people out but I'm going to get a lot of groundballs, and I've been getting that a lot lately. I just feel like I'm able to do what I want."

Todd Frazier also homered for the White Sox, a two-run blast off reliever Sean Doolittle in the ninth.

Lowrie singled in the first and in the third before breaking the game open with a two-run single in the fourth. It's Lowrie's eighth three-hit game of the season.

Davidson's homer was his 18th.

White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey (3-7) retired 10 batters and allowed four runs to fall to 0-6 in six career starts in Oakland. It's the 10th time in 14 starts that the right-hander has pitched five innings or fewer.

"I obviously killed the bullpen," Pelfrey said. "We obviously didn't give up, we kept fighting and I didn't do my part especially going up against somebody like Sonny Gray on the other side."

Oakland's Rajai Davis finished with a career-high tying four stolen bases, two coming in the fourth when he singled and scored. Davis also had two more in the sixth, becoming the first A's player with four steals in one game since Coco Crisp did it on Aug. 6, 2011. The franchise record is five, shared by major league stolen base record-holder Rickey Henderson and Bert Campaneris. "When Raj gets on he's one of the premiere guys in the league and that's what he can do," Melvin said.

White Sox: 2B Tyler Saladino is making progress in his recovery from back spasms and the team is encouraged by his stats (2-for-5, walk) through the first two games of his rehab assignment. CF Leury Garcia (sprained finger) is continuing his rehab in Arizona.

Athletics: Catcher Josh Phegley was placed on the paternity list. He and his wife welcomed a baby daughter at 12:56 a.m. 3B Ryon Healy (back spasms) sat out his third consecutive game, although manager Bob Melvin indicated Healy could return soon. SS Marcus Semien (fractured scaphoid bone) remains on track to come off the DL and join the big league club in Seattle this weekend.

White Sox: Following an off day Thursday, Derek Holland (5-8, 4.52) pitches the opener of a three-game series in Colorado on Friday. It will be the left-hander's first regular-season appearance against the Rockies.

Athletics: RHP Paul Blackburn (0-0, 0.00) makes the second start of his career in Seattle on Thursday. Blackburn pitched six shutout innings against the Braves in his major league debut July 1.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Alonso Belts Two Homers, A's Win in Walkoff to Snap Skid]]>Tue, 04 Jul 2017 21:06:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alonso-hr-whitesox-july4-2017-ap1.jpg

OAKLAND — Franklin Barreto enjoyed quite a rebound game.

The A’s rookie infielder delivered his first career walk-off homer with one out in the ninth Tuesday and Oakland beat the Chicago White Sox 7-6 to snap a six-game losing streak.

Barreto worked the count to 3-2 and then hit a towering shot toward left off Tommy Kahnle. The ball barely cleared the left field wall, and then Barreto’s teammates stormed the field to greet him at home plate.

Adam Rosales administered the pie to the face as Barreto was conducting his postgame TV interview.

The A’s sixth walk-off victory was a see-saw ending that saw the Sox tie the game off closer Santiago Casilla in the top of the ninth. But the A’s pulled it out and put a halt to an eight-game home losing streak that matched their longest in 35 years.

Barreto came with just two hits in his previous 24 at-bats and no RBI and 13 strikeouts in his previous seven games.

Alonso has a big day: Lost in the hoopla of his first All-Star selection was that Yonder Alonso has been scuffling at the plate lately.

What a lift it was for the A’s to see their first baseman regain the power stroke that has marked his breakthrough 2017 season. Alonso went deep twice, his third multi-homer game of the season.

Leadoff man Matt Joyce also went deep as the A’s snapped out of a funk that had seen them score just 10 runs over their previous five games.

Homers hurting the rookie: A’s starter Daniel Gossett was in line for the victory until Chicago’s game-tying rally in the ninth. But the right-hander is having an issue keeping the ball in the ballpark. All five runs he allowed in five-plus innings came on two swings of the bat — a two-run homer by Cabrera in the third and a three-run shot by Jose Abreu in the fifth that briefly gave Chicago a 5-4 lead. Gossett has surrendered seven home runs through his first five major league starts (26 IP).

Casilla can’t hold lead: Melky Cabrera’s game-tying single in the ninth came on an 0-2 count in which Casilla, his one-time Giants teammate, hung a curve that caught too much plate. Rajai Davis made a strong throw from left field, but Tim Anderson slid in safely just ahead of the tag from Bruce Maxwell.

Barreto’s big day at plate: The rookie also had an RBI triple in the fourth, his first career three-bagger.

Healy’s condition improving: Designated hitter Ryon Healy was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game as he deals with upper back spasms. Manager Bob Melvin said before the game that he hoped Healy might be an option off the bench.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Quakes Player Critical After Being Pulled From Lake Tahoe]]>Tue, 04 Jul 2017 16:04:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/silva-0704.jpg

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Matheus Silva had to be pulled out of the water while swimming in Lake Tahoe and is in critical condition at a Reno hospital, the club announced Tuesday.

Silva, who is currently on loan with the Earthquakes’ United Soccer League affiliate Reno 1868 FC, received life-saving resuscitation measures at the scene. He was then transferred to a nearby hospital in Lake Tahoe before being airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno.

He is currently in critical condition.

A native of Taboao Da Serra, Brazil, Silva was claimed off of waivers by San Jose in July 2015.

For his career, he's played in four games with the big club, staring twice in 2016. Reno 1868 is fresh off a recording-breaking 9-0 win on Monday against LA Galaxy II.

Silva has logged just 166 minutes for the Reno 1868 club after spending the majority of his time with Arizona United SC in 2016, appearing in nine games and logging 606 minutes.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Matheus and his family and friends," the Earthquakes said in a news release.

No information was provided as to the circumstances or cause of Silva's injuries.

Photo Credit: San Jose Earthquakes]]>
<![CDATA[A's Shut Down by Rodon, Drop Sixth Straight]]>Mon, 03 Jul 2017 22:00:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/melky-frazier-whitesox-athletics-ap.jpg


OAKLAND — The A’s had their biggest regular-season home crowd in 12 years on hand Monday night, an atmosphere that begged for an inspiring performance on the field.

It never materialized, as the A’s mustered just five hits, turned in some shoddy defense and looked listless overall in losing their sixth in a row, 7-2, to the Chicago White Sox to open a three-game series.

At least there were fireworks.

That was the primary draw for the crowd of 40,019 on the eve of Fourth of July. It was the biggest gathering for a regular-season baseball game at the Coliseum since Sept. 4, 2005, when 43,874 showed up for a game against the Yankees. With the tarps removed from most of the third deck, the Coliseum’s capacity has increased over last season.

The A’s are mired in a scoring drought, the main culprit as they’ve lost the first four games of this six-game homestand. They’ve also dropped their past eight home games overall, tying their longest such streak over the past 16 years.

Oakland has scored just 10 runs total over their past five contests.

The defense rests: Officially the A’s committed two errors, but they could have easily been charged with two more in the eighth inning on back-to-back plays that were generously scored hits. Not that it’s a selling point, but this series features the two worst defensive teams in the big leagues. Oakland entered the night with a majors-high 74 errors, with Chicago in second at 67.

Chapman returns: Rookie Matt Chapman was activated from the disabled list and started at third base after missing 13 games with an infection in his left knee. It was a rough night at the plate, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, including a 7th inning punch out with the tying runs on second and third. Chapman did make a couple of nice plays charging in to field bunts. His return resulted in fellow rookie Matt Olson being optioned to Triple-A Nashville, though Olson will surely return to the big club this season, probably sooner than later.

Big inning costs Cotton: Jharel Cotton (5-8) gave up four runs over five innings, with the Sox doing their biggest damage in a three-run third. There were two aboard but Cotton had an 0-2 count on Todd Frazier before eventually giving up a two-run double. That was followed by Matt Davidson’s RBI double, and a 2-1 A’s lead became a 4-2 deficit. Pitching under the lights has not been kind to Cotton this season. He’s 1-6 with a 7.68 ERA in night starts compared to 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA during the day.

Tough times for Axford: Reliever John Axford came on for the ninth and issued four walks that pushed an insurance run across for the Sox. Axford’s ERA sits at 5.95. Under normal circumstances he would appear to be a potential trade target but those numbers surely hurt his value on the market.

Help on the way, eventually: Kendall Graveman, out since May 26 with a reoccurrence of a shoulder strain, threw off the mound and will fly to Arizona to continue his rehab when the A’s leave on their next road trip. Graveman will throw an extended session off the mound Thursday in Mesa, and if that goes well he likely would face hitters as the next step. Given he would require several minor league starts to build up his pitch count, it figures Graveman could return to the big league rotation sometime in early-to-mid August.

Reliever Ryan Dull, recovering from a knee strain, also threw off the mound Monday and said he’s hopeful of a return by the end of July.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco Native Captures Women's PGA Championship]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 20:11:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/danielle+kang-0702.jpg

San Francisco native Danielle Kang birdied the final hole to win the KPMG Women's PGA Championship on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title, edging defending champion Brooke Henderson at Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Kang bogeyed the tricky par-3 17th, and Henderson closed with two birdies to move into a tie for the lead, coming up just short on a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th. But Kang responded with two solid shots to get to the green in two, and then two-putted for the victory.

It was another great finish for the LPGA Tour's second major of the season. The 19-year-old Henderson beat Lydia Ko in a playoff last year at Sahalee in Washington.

The 24-year-old Kang trailed Henderson and Chella Choi by one after she bogeyed the par-4 10th at Olympia Fields. But Kang moved in front with four straight birdies on Nos. 11-14.

Kang also had a clutch 21-foot par putt at 16 on her way to a 4-under 68 and the winner's check of $525,000. Henderson closed with a 66 to finish a stroke back, and Chella Choi, who was tied with Kang for the lead coming into the day, was third at 10 under after a 71.

Kang's previous best finish in a major was a tie for 14th in the 2012 U.S. Women's Open.

Kang was born in San Francisco but grew up in Southern California. She now lives in Las Vegas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Bumgarner Slated to Make Two Rehab Starts in SJ]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 19:23:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/187*120/bumgarner-0702.jpg

Madison Bumgarner is coming to the South Bay this week to start two games for the San Jose Giants as part of his rehab for a left shoulder injury he suffered earlier this season.

The 2014 World Series MVP is scheduled to pitch Wednesday in San Jose's Class A California League game against the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at 7 p.m. then again July 10 against the Modesto Nuts at 7 p.m., according to the San Jose Giants website.

Bumgarner had a brief stint with San Jose early in his professional career, making five starts and posting a 3-1 mark in 2009 before being promoted to San Francisco in September of that year.

Bumgarner was injured while dirt biking during an off-day in Colorado in April. He has missed more than two months of the season and is not expected to rejoin the San Francisco Giants until early August.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Slugger Yonder Alonso Named AL All-Star Reserve]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 18:19:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/alonso-happy-dugout-ap.jpg

OAKLAND - Yonder Alonso was named an All-Star on Sunday, fitting recognition for a player who this season shed his defense-first reputation and has been one of the American League's top slugging first basemen.

Alonso was the A's lone pick for the American League squad, which was announced in full late Sunday afternoon. No doubt his first All-Star selection holds even more significance for him since the July 11 Midsummer Classic will be played in Miami, where his family settled after they defected from Cuba when he was young. Alonso still makes his offseason home there.

The eight-year veteran, who played for the Reds and Padres before being traded to the A's before the 2016 season, entered Sunday hitting .281 with 17 homers, 38 RBI and an excellent .935 OPS. His production has dipped over the past couple of weeks, but the 17 homers ranked third among AL first basemen and his .377 on-base percentage was second.

Starting late last season, Alonso began incorporating changes into his swing mechanics, including a front leg kick that has helped with his timing and pitch recognition. It's also boosted his power. At the halfway point of the season, Alonso has nearly doubled his previous career high in homers of nine.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[A's Rally Falls Short, Swept by Braves at Home]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 17:44:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kurtsuzuki-braves-hr-ap.jpg


The Coliseum is supposed to be the place where the A's restore order on the diamond and rack up victories.

Lately, their home field has been too hospitable to opponents.

The Atlanta Braves finished off a three-game sweep with a 4-3 victory in 12 innings Sunday afternoon, sending the A's to their fifth consecutive loss. They've now dropped a season-high seven in a row before the home fans.

It was an unlikely source that did them in, as former A's catcher Kurt Suzuki went deep off John Axford - his second homer of the game - to snap a tie game.

Shortly before Atlanta's winning rally, it was announced that A's first baseman Yonder Alonso was selected to his first All-Star team via the players' ballot. Stealing a victory in extra innings would have been a terrific capper to the day, and the A's can't say they didn't have the chance.

After Bruce Maxwell tied the game in the bottom of the 11th with a run-scoring double, Jaycob Brugman was intentionally walked and the A's found themselves in a bases-loaded one out-situation. But Ender Inciarte made a sliding catch of Adam Rosales' shallow fly in center, too shallow for Yonder Alonso to tag up from third and try to score. Rajai Davis then took a called strike three from Jim Johnson, who pulled a Houdini act against his old team. Suzuki then led off the 12th and crushed a 3-1 fastball from Axford for a go-ahead homer to left-center.

Here's five things you need to know from this one:

Different month, different Davis: Khris Davis homered just five times in June, a relatively low output for him since he's been in an A's uniform. So far, he's homered both days in July. Davis led off the bottom of the seventh with his 23rd of the season, a towering wind-aided fly ball that didn't appear to be going out based on the way Inciarte was tracking the ball as he went back in center. Sunday was game No. 82 for the A's, one past the halfway point, and Davis is on pace to eclipse last year's career-high total of 42.

So much for that day off: Franklin Barreto was not in the starting lineup, a chance for the rookie to clear his head after he committed two errors at shortstop Saturday. But when third baseman Ryon Healy exited the game with an injury before the third inning, Adam Rosales shifted over to third and Barreto took over at shortstop. He immediately made a tough backhanded stop that began a 6-4-3 double play. In the seventh, Barreto swiped second base for his first major league steal and would score on Rosales' sacrifice fly to make it 2-2. But he couldn't get a sacrifice bunt down in the 11th and flied out with two aboard for the game's final out.

Before the game, Melvin said Barreto was due for a day off anyway, but the manager did take time to talk to the rookie Sunday morning in light of the rough game a day earlier.

Rotation update: Sean Manaea turned in his longest outing of the season, going 7 1/3 innings and holding the Braves to two runs on six hits. Both runs off him came in the second. Suzuki homered on an 0-2 pitch. Then Danny Santana walked, stole second and eventually scored on Ender Inciarte's double, a sharp bouncer that got past Alonso and was ruled a hit.

The A's will welcome Jharel Cotton back to the rotation Monday, Melvin announced before the game. The right-hander was pushed back two days to give a blister on his right thumb extra time to heal.

Olson shows off arm: The A's give glowing reports on rookie Matt Olson's abilities as a defensive first baseman. But much of his time in the majors to this point has come in the outfield. Olson drew the start in right field Sunday and delivered a strike to home plate to nail Ender Inciarte as he tried to score from second on Brandon Phillips' single. Last season in a September call-up, Olson showed his athleticism with a couple of leaping catches in right. Sunday's game provided the best example yet of his arm strength.

Healy exits the game: Third baseman Ryon Healy left the game after the second inning with upper back spasms and is listed as day to day. Healy appeared to be hurting after running out a 6-3 grounder in the second, and he also made a sliding attempt at a foul pop-up before that.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Posey Named Starting Catcher for NL All-Star Team]]>Sun, 02 Jul 2017 16:35:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/posey-0702.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Not much has gone right for the Giants this season, but for 84 games, Buster Posey has been a consistent positive. On Sunday, he was rewarded.

Posey was selected as the National League’s starting All-Star catcher for the third consecutive year. The All-Star selection is the fifth overall for Posey, who is the lone representative for a team that has played much better of late, but remains at the bottom of the standings.

Posey leads the majors with a .339 batting average at the time of the voting announcement and he has 10 homers and a .937 OPS. He leads National League catchers in just about every category and his 3.0 WAR coming into Sunday ranks him sixth in the National League.

Posey is the first National League catcher to start three straight All-Star Games since Mike Piazza’s run ended in 1999. He also started in 2012, and he is now the seventh National League catcher to start four times.

This is the first time since 2007 that the Giants have just one All-Star. Barry Bonds was the representative that season. The Giants had four All-Stars each of the past two seasons.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Offense Leads Giants to Fourth-Straight Win]]>Fri, 30 Jun 2017 20:10:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-804962416.png

SAN FRANCISCO — It turns out the pole-vaulting bump works on the road, too.

The Giants hammered the Pirates 13-5 on the first night of a road trip, winning their fourth straight game. Johnny Cueto was far from his best stuff-wise or command-wise, but he battled and the lineup backed him all night with a season-high 18 hits.

The four-game win streak is just the second of the season, but here, we’re all about fives. So here are five things to know from a game that was not pace-of-play friendly …

— With two in scoring position and one out in the fifth, Bruce Bochy visited the mound. The manager still cares about pitcher wins and he let Cueto try to get through five. Cueto rewarded the faith. He got a grounder to third and then got Chris Stewart to bounce out to second on his 114th pitch. The 36-pitch inning ended Cueto’s night. He looked up at the sky and gave thanks as he walked off the field. Later, the win became official.

—Denard Span entered the night with a .353 batting average in June and Gerrit Cole and the bullpen couldn’t slow him down. Span had four hits, including a leadoff homer in the first, raising his average to .298. He also drew a walk. Span finished with 40 hits in June.

— Hunter Pence drove in five runs for the first time since a seven-RBI game in Los Angeles in late 2013. The five-RBI night was the seventh of Pence’s career.

— Ryder Jones singled up the middle in the seventh to pick up his first MLB hit and snap an 0 for 17. He couldn’t hide his smile. Jones scored on Pence’s single three batters later. Jones later lined out to first … the bad luck didn’t completely turn in one night.

— Dan Slania made his big league debut in the bottom of the ninth and had a perfect frame. He'll now battle Jones for the lineup card.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Win the Marathon, Beat Rockies in 14 Innings]]>Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:15:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gorkys-bochy-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — This, at long last, is a winning streak. A modest one, but still.

Denard Span hit a walk-off single to right in the bottom of the 14th inning, giving the Giants a 4-3 win that became official one minute after midnight. The Giants have back-to-back wins for the first time since May 27-28.

The Giants led early, fell behind on a three-run dinger, and then chipped away until the game went to extras. Buster Posey twice gunned runners down at second to help keep the score tied and the bullpen held tough, with Cory Gearrin throwing three scoreless innings.

Gearrin had a chance to win it for himself in the 14th, but he struck out with Gorkys Hernandez on second. Span promptly singled. If you’re just waking up for work, here are five things to know from a night when the seagulls outnumbered the humans …

--- Matt Cain needs an assist on the first run of the night. With Gorkys Hernandez on first, he got a sacrifice bunt down on a two-strike curveball that was headed for the dirt. Hernandez went to second and promptly scored on Denard Span’s single to right. The curveball wasn’t so kind in the sixth. With a runner on, the Giants intentionally walked lifelong nemesis Nolan Arenado to get to Mark Reynolds. Cain hung a curve and Reynolds crushed it to left for a three-run homer.

--- The Giants got a run back in the sixth when Brandon Crawford’s deep fly allowed Buster Posey to trot in from third. Crawford leads the majors with nine sacrifice flies. He also turned a ridiculous double play that can’t adequately be described, except to say that he should expand his trophy case.

--- Kelby Tomlinson came off the bench to tie it in the bottom of the eighth. His single to right brought Brandon Belt in from third. Tomlinson is 9 for 27 as a pinch-hitter this season. That’ll keep you on the chartered jets.

--- Sam Dyson, with a fastball that reached 97 and an infield defense that was just as firm, pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings in extras. What a find.

--- With the go-ahead run on first and no outs in the 13th, Nolan Arenado put down a sacrifice bunt. That's one of the five best moments of the Giants' season.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Healy's Grand Slam Powers A's Past Astros]]>Tue, 27 Jun 2017 21:29:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/healy-as-postgame.jpg


The A’s took a noteworthy step toward changing the narrative in their recent history against the Houston Astros.

Coming through during clutch moments, both at the plate and on the mound, Oakland beat baseball’s best team 6-4 Tuesday at Minute Maid Park to run their winning streak to four.

Ryon Healy hit his first career grand slam to snap a 1-1 tie in the sixth, and starter Sean Manaea notched his first victory in seven career starts against the Astros, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

George Springer’s three-run homer off Liam Hendriks pulled Houston to within two runs in the ninth, but with two runners aboard, Santiago Casilla coaxed a 3-6-1 double play from Brian McCann to end it.

The A’s (35-42), who have stumbled so badly on the road for the majority of this season, moved to 4-0 on this six-game road trip and defeated the Astros (52-26) for just the second time in their past 17 meetings with them.

Key two-out rallies: They came in with a majors-worst .225 average with runners in scoring position, but the A’s delivered in some key at-bats and scored five of their six runs with two outs. Bruce Maxwell singled home Khris Davis in the second to get the A’s on the board. Then with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, with the score 1-1, Ryon Healy capped an eight-pitch at-bat with an opposite-field grand slam, his 18th homer of the season.

Making himself at home: Sean Manaea (7-4) flirted with danger throughout his 5 2/3 innings but wound up registering his first victory in seven career starts against Houston. He stranded two runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings, then wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth with minimal damage. With no outs and the bags filled, Manaea fell behind 3-0 to Evan Gattis. Gattis chased a low pitch that would have been ball four and grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. A run scored on the play but that play defused the rally and Manaea escaped with just the one run scoring that kept it a 1-1 game. The lefty gave up nine hits, but he’s now allowed just one earned run over three career starts at hitter-friendly Minute Maid Park (16 IP).

Madson comes up clutch: Ryan Madson took two losses in four appearances at Minute Maid Park last season and allowed five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. But manager Bob Melvin called on him in a crucial situation Tuesday, with two runners aboard and George Springer hitting in the sixth with the A’s up 5-1. Madson got Springer swinging on a 97 mph fastball to end the inning and keep Houston from jumping back into the game after Oakland had scored four to command the lead. Madson retired all four batters he faced with three strikeouts.

Maxwell continues his roll: The A’s catcher went 3-for-4 and is 10-for-18 since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville. He also threw out Jose Altuve trying to steal second in the first.

Casilla slams the door: After Springer’s three-run shot in the ninth, Santiago Casilla entered and allowed singles to Altuve and Carlos Correa to bring the winning run to the plate. But Casilla retired pinch hitter Josh Reddick on a foul pop out and got McCann on the game-ending double play, getting over to cover first to cap the play.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Samardzija's Strong Outing Gets Giants Back on Winning Track]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:39:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0626.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse.

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough.

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies.

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night …

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season.

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks.

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit.

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors' Draymond Green Wins Defensive Player of the Year]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:52:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/draymond-0626.jpg

Two days after Draymond Green said he no longer cared about the Defensive Player of the Year award, the Warriors forward got it anyway.

After finishing in second place in the balloting in each of the past two seasons, Green received the honor Monday night during the NBA Awards show from New York.

Green beat out two other finalists, Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard topped Green in each of the past two seasons.

Green posted impeccable overall statistics, leading the league in steals (2.03 per game) for the team that led the league in that category and averaging 1.39 blocks, as the Warriors also led the NBA in that category.

Green also led the NBA in defensive rating and defensive win shares, largely due to his ability as an irreplaceable force on that end of the court. Green starts at power forward but spends considerable time at center -- while also playing point forward on offense.

Green led the media balloting for the NBA’s All-Defensive team, racking up 198 of a possible 200 points. He was voted to first team on 99 of 100 ballots yet completely omitted from one ballot.

Green, who finished fourth in real plus-minus, averaged 10.2 points and 7.9 rebounds. He also led the Warriors in assists, averaging 7.0 per game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner Throws 3 No-Hit Innings in First Rehab Start]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:47:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bum-us.jpg


Madison Bumgarner was back on the bump Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL due to a dirt bike accident on April 21.

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants against the Arizona Rookie League Angels and did not allow a hit in three innings pitched. The Giants' ace also struck out two and walked one. 

In both the first and third innings, Bumgarner pitched a perfect three up and three down frame. 

Bumgarner was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his left throwing shoulder and sustained bruised ribs from his dirt bike accident on an off day in Colorado. Pitching in a game for the first time in over two months, Bumgarner was throwing between 88-91 miles per hour, according to Tommy Stokke of FanRagSports. 

After finishing his three innings of work, Bumgarner went down to the bullpen to increase his pitch count, reports Sande Charles of FanRagSports

Before sustaining the injury, Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts this season. 

The Giants have gone 21-41 since Bumgarner's injury. They are 27-51 on the year and sit 24.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. 

Photo Credit: Dalton Johnson]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fall Again, Drop Series Against Braves]]>Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:18:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-recap-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - The kid who raced The Freeze on Thursday night blew a tire as he hit center field, hobbled for about 50 feet, and then went down for good. He still had a better night than the Giants. 

They blew all four tires in the fifth, giving up eight runs in a nightmare frame that turned a two-run lead into a 12-11 loss. The Giants finished 1-7 on the swing through Denver and Atlanta, and they have lost 18 of their last 23 games. 

But, let's face it, you're here already. So here are five more things to know from the night … 

-- Matt Cain was hanging in there until the fifth, and then … disaster. The inning started with Brandon Phillips' solo shot that cut the lead to one. Then it went single, single before Cain was relieved by Bryan Morris. After that, it was single, single, single, sacrifice fly, homer, flyout, walk, single, pitching change, single. 

-- Morris had to wear it in the fifth because the bullpen is short, and boy, did he wear it. Morris gave up five runs on five hits and a walk. His ERA jumped two full points in two-thirds of an inning. 

-- Kyle Crick made his MLB debut in that horrendous bottom of the fifth. The Giants surely did not want to bring him in with runners on, but Bruce Bochy had no choice when Morris blew up. Crick's first pitch was a 95 mph heater. After giving up a hit in that inning, he pitched a perfect sixth and perfect seventh. Crick topped out at 97 mph. Pretty, pretty good stuff there. He needs to get a long look the rest of this year. 

-- In the second, Buster Posey hit a ball that went 311 feet and had a hit probability of just six percent. Cain hit a ball 357 feet. Posey got a homer that bounced off the top of the wall; Cain just got a double. Baseball is such an odd game.  

-- On a positive note, Javi Lopez, who calls Brandon Belt "Sparky," repeatedly referred to Posey as Gerald. He's going to be good at this job. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fall to Braves on Walkoff Homer in 11th]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:21:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/179*120/giants-0621.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — For a team with such a poor record, the Giants actually have a decent number of late-inning comebacks on the road. There’s a caveat, however.

Remember the comeback at Citi Field? The Giants lost the next day. Remember the big late rally against at Busch Stadium? The Giants lost the next day.

It happened once again on Wednesday. A day after blowing it open late to beat the Braves, the Giants lost 5-3 on a Matt Kemp walk-off homer in the 11th. They have dropped 17 of their past 22 games, which is suboptimal. Here are five things to know from a wet and long night in Atlanta …

—- Jeff Samardzija was mostly sharp, and he needed just 79 pitches to get through seven innings. As always, he paid for the long ball. Matt Adams hit a two-run shot early and Tyler Flowers put one about an inch over the left field wall in the seventh. Flowers’ ball had a hit probability of two percent — TWO! — but it still counted as an insurance run after a replay review confirmed that the ball hit a net behind the wall.

—- Hunter Pence hit a solo blast in the ninth, his second deficit-clearing homer of the trip. Turns out there’s some juice left in that bat.

—- Samardzija threw a fastball in the third that clocked in at 97.7 mph. It was his fastest pitch of the season.

—- Sean Newcomb was as advertised. The left-hander has been a top 100 prospect throughout his professional career, and he gave up just three hits and one run over six innings. In his first three MLB starts, the 24-year-old lefty has allowed just four runs over 18 1/3 innings.

—- With Eduardo Nuñez still sidelined by hamstring tightness, Aaron Hill got another start at third. He was 0 for 3. He’s hitless in his last 17 at-bats and he has just one hit in his last 26 at-bats.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks' Burns Wins Norris Trophy as NHL's Top Defenseman]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:11:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burns-norris-trophy-usatsi.jpg

Brent Burns was presented with the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's most outstanding defenseman at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.

He is the first-ever player in Sharks franchise history to win the award.

"At the end of the day it just shows that you're around great people," Burns said. "I'm lucky from day one Doug [Wilson has] really believed in me, [and] our coaches have been awesome."

Burns, who quipped that he "kind of blacked out there for a little bit" when his name was announced, rattled off a list of past and present Sharks that aided him on his journey.

"I've said before, coming to San Jose and getting to learn from a guy like Jumbo (Joe Thornton), and Patty (Patrick Marleau), and Pavs (Joe Pavelski), and Clowie (Ryane Clowe), Boyler (Dan Boyle) – these guys all really helped change my mindset and the way I looked at the game. And Paulie (partner Paul Martin) now has been huge for me on and off the ice. I can't say enough about how much he's helped me."

After finishing first among defensemen in the regular season with 29 goals and 76 points, and leading the league with 320 shots, Burns was thought to be the frontrunner ahead of fellow finalists Erik Karlsson from Ottawa and Tampa Bay's Viktor Hedman. Karlsson, a two-time winner, was second.

Last season, Burns finished third behind winner Drew Doughty and Karlsson. This time, he got to walk up to the mic.

"Going up there doing a speech is a lot harder than getting forechecked by four or five guys," he said.

Burns received 96 first place votes to 63 for Karlsson and three for Hedman.

Burns, 32, became just the second NHL defenseman to lead his team in goals (29, tied with Joe Pavelski), assists (47) and points, joining Kevin Hatcher (1990-91, Washington Capitals). Burns' 29 goals were the most by an NHL defenseman since Mike Green had 31 for Washington in 2008-09. He played in all 82 games, posting a plus-19 rating with 40 penalty minutes.

Named as the Sharks team MVP as chosen by the local media, as well as the Fan Favorite award this season, Burns signed an eight-year, $64 million contract extension with the Sharks on Nov. 22, 2016 that kicks in next season.

The deal keeps him with the organization potentially through 2024-25.

Burns was also a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most outstanding player as chosen by the NHLPA, but that was won by Edmonton's Connor McDavid.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz
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<![CDATA[Slater's Homer Helps Giants End Seven-Game Skid]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:17:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/giants-0620.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have been talking for weeks about how they aren’t catching breaks. They got a huge one in the eighth inning Tuesday, and they didn’t waste it.

Moments after Dansby Swanson dropped a potential double-play ball, Austin Slater hit an opposite-field three-run homer to give the Giants a lead that held up this time. They beat the Braves 6-3, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

Josh Osich and Sam Dyson got big outs in the eighth with the tying run on second and Mark Melancon put Denver behind him, closing it out.

—- Matt Moore entered with a 9.24 ERA on the road, the highest in the majors. He was charged with three earned runs in seven innings, which qualifies as his second-best road outing of the year.

—- The hardest-hit ball of the night was Brandon Belt’s 108-mph line drive that went 390 feet. It was caught in deep center. Per Baseball Savant, the ball had an 84 percent chance of being a hit. The BABIP Gods are cruel to Belt on the road, too, so he was definitely owed when he hit a grounder to second with a runner on in the eighth. Swanson dropped the throw as he tagged short and the Giants successfully challenged. A batter later, Slater happened.

Belt then homered in the top of the ninth, adding a big insurance run.

—- Buster Posey was 0 for 4 after opening the season by reaching base in 37 consecutive road games. He finished 21 games short of the franchise and NL record, held by Barry Bonds, of course.

—- Hunter Pence misplayed a fly ball to right, turning it into a double and putting two in scoring position. Moore got out of the inning, but this continues to be a problem. It wasn’t just a Coors Field-air thing.

—- Apparently The Freeze is not a mudder. He did not race Tuesday night.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bay Area Politicians Invite Warriors to Capitol Hill]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:07:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pelosi-white-house-warriors-2015-usatsi.jpg

While the White House decides whether to extend an invitation to the NBA champion Warriors, and the Warriors decide whether they would accept it, Bay Area politicians are taking some initiative.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and East Bay Congresswoman Rep. Barbara Lee announced Tuesday that they have extended an invitation for the team to visit the United States Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

Describing her office as "Warriors Ground," Lee announced the invitation through a tweet that was then retweeted by Pelosi. The offer is available to the team as a whole, or to those that wish to make a personal visit, according to Warriors spokesman Raymond Ridder.

Lee also acknowledged the team's championship in a general speech before the House last week, holding a gold Warriors flag as she spoke.

Though the Warriors have yet to officially decide whether they would accept an invitation from the White House, coach Steve Kerr and several of the players have been vocal in their disapproval of behavior displayed by President Donald Trump.

After winning the title in June 2015, the following February the Warriors accepted an invitation to visit the White House, then occupied by President Barack Obama.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Astros Club Three Homers, Snap A's Winning Streak]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:21:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/springer-correa-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND -- George Springer hit his 20th home run, Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher also went deep and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Monday night.

Evan Gattis and Alex Bregman both doubled twice to help the Astros improve to a major league-best 24-8 on the road while winning their seventh straight at the Coliseum.

Jed Lowrie doubled in Oakland's run. The A's were coming off a four-game sweep of the AL East-leading New York Yankees but fell 15 1/2 games behind the first-place Astros in the AL West.

Brad Peacock (4-1) struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings. He retired 16 of his first 18 batters and didn't allow a runner past first until Matt Joyce's one-out double in the sixth.

Three relievers combined to get 10 outs for Houston. Ken Giles pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Marisnick hit his ninth homer on a 2-2 pitch from rookie starter Daniel Gossett (0-2), a two-run drive that bounced off the fa�ade underneath the lower row of luxury suites in center field.

Springer homered off John Axford leading off the eighth. Fisher's home run came in the ninth.

The A's scored their lone run in the sixth. After Joyce doubled and Chad Pinder walked, Lowrie hit a ball into right-center. Joyce scored easily but Pinder was thrown out at home on a relay by star shortstop Carlos Correa.

Astros: OF Josh Reddick (concussion) is set to come off the disabled list and return to the lineup Tuesday. . RHP Lance McCullers Jr. threw a bullpen before the game and could return to the rotation this week. . RHP Charlie Morton (lat strain) will likely need two to three rehab starts in the minors to build up arm strength, manager A.J. Hinch said. . LHP Dallas Keuchel (neck) played catch before the game.

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman was held out with a left knee infection. . SS Marcus Semien (wrist) will begin a rehab assignment this weekend. . RHP Kendall Graveman (right shoulder strain) threw in the outfield and came out fine.

Oakland bench coach Mark Kotsay took an indefinite leave of absence to be with his daughter, who suffered an eye injury. Chip Hale will fill in for Kotsay, and Steve Scarsone replaced Hale as third base coach.

Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (2-2, 4.44 ERA) faces Houston for the first time this season Tuesday night. Astros RHP Francis Martes (1-0, 5.19) makes his second major league start.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blanked by Braves in Seventh Straight Loss]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:08:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carmago-braves-posey-ap.jpg

Johnny Cueto went seven straight innings on Monday, but the Giants offense mustered nothing as they lost for the seventh straight time.

Cueto allowed five hits and two earned runs, but Braves starter R.A. Dickey shutout the Giants for seven innings.

Matt Adams and Dansby Swanson each drove in two runs in the Braves' 9-0 win. Danny Santana added a three-run homer in a seven-run eighth inning.

The Giants managed just four hits in the loss. Denard Span, Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Belt and Kelby Tomlinson accounted for all the offense.

The loss drops the Giants to 20 games under .500 (26-46).

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Kevin Durant Will Re-Sign With Warriors]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:01:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/durant-curry-laugh-stage.jpg

It isn't official yet, but Kevin Durant isn't going to leave Golden State this summer.

Durant will decline his 2017-18 player option, become a free agent (briefly) on July 1, and then re-sign with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

A couple of weeks ago, ESPN reported that Durant is willing to take less than a max deal in order to help Golden State retain some free agents.

One key free agent -- Andre Iguodala.

And on Monday morning, The Vertical's Shams Charania reported that Iguodala will seriously consider other teams in free agency.

For many months, Durant has let it be known that he plans on staying with the Warriors long-term.

Last summer, he considered the Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder before eventually picking the Warriors.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Photo Credit: Drew Shiller]]>
<![CDATA[Big Third Inning Propels A's to 4-Game Sweep of Yankees]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:11:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-0618.jpg

OAKLAND — Another day, another tidy and well-rounded performance by the A’s.

They completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees with a 4-3 victory in front of a crowd of 34,140, their biggest home crowd of the season aside from an Opening Night sellout.

It marks the A’s first sweep of any series since Sept. 12-15 of last season, when they took four at Kansas City. They hadn’t swept a four-game at home since July 3-6, 2014. And this was just the third time since the A’s moved to Oakland in 1968 that they swept four from the Yankees.

Viewed from any angle, this weekend played out as a shocker. The A’s were coming off a 1-5 road trip, and New York arrived with the American League’s second best record behind Houston. The Yankees are still clinging to a half-game lead in the American League East, pending Boston’s game Sunday night at Houston.

Khris Davis hit his 18th homer, a two-run shot, and Chad Pinder had a two-run double in the third inning, when the A’s got all the offense they would need. Jharel Cotton (4-7) turned in a solid six innings on the mound, and the three relievers nailed things down in the late innings, as the A’s grabbed an early lead for the second consecutive game and made the lead stand.

Cotton gets back in win column: Cotton gave up homers to Matt Holliday and Didi Gregorius but went six innings and helped ease some the burden on an overworked bullpen. He earned his first victory since being recalled from the minors May 27.

A HR for KD: With the A’s offense chugging along pretty well lately, Khris Davis’ recent power outage wasn’t so glaring. The left fielder finally connected Sunday and drove a two-run shot 442 feet that hit high off the green facing in center field. That snapped a 2-2 tie and ended Davis’ 12-game homerless drought, as he moved back into the team homer lead with 18. He added a double as part of a 2-for-4 afternoon, one day after an 0-for-5 day that included four strikeouts and a dropped pop-up that went for a 2-3 putout when Davis never ran out of the batter’s box.

A Doolittle repeat: Manager Bob Melvin stayed away from Santiago Casilla and Sean Doolittle notched his second save in as many days. Casilla got hit by a foul ball while standing near the dugout Saturday and his availability was a game-time decisiion.

Error doesn’t prove costly: The A’s played excellent defense up until the ninth when Chad Pinder committed a two-base throwing error. But that didn’t come back to hurt the A’s as they ran their winning streak to four.

Your 'What’s It Really Mean?' stat of the day: The A’s won for just the second time in nine games played on a Sunday. Their 1-8 Sunday record coming into the day was the worst in the majors.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[As Crews Clean Up, Dub Nation Continues Celebration]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:59:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade-0615.jpg

Cleaning up after more than a million people is quite the tall task, and city workers in Oakland were still at it late Thursday night after the Warriors championship parade and rally downtown.

Some in Dub Nation, however, didn't want the special day to end.

As crews were breaking down the stage near Lake Merritt, and nearby streets were gradually reopening, several fans were continuing the celebration of the Warriors' second NBA championship in three years.

"The whole week, man! Who knows, it might go for the whole week," said Warriors fan Anthony Fernandez, of San Francisco, who was partying with others on Telegraph Avenue.

"Everybody's just coming together because we all rock with the Warriors. And we've been doing this since they were paying us to go to the games."

Those who couldn't make the parade stopped by on their way home from work. And those who were there were reluctant to let go of the feeling.

"Very exciting," said Danielle Bond, of Oakland. "The energy was uplifting. ... It was so joyful."

A merchandiser from Florida was still selling. He said he's been to 12 championship parades across the country.

"It has its own place in terms of volume and amount of people," said Brelan Shoemo, of Jacksonville, referring to the Oakland celebration. "There were a lot of people here."

As for the cleanup, crews hauled 8 miles of barricades back to the warehouse and had a lot of confetti to sweep up. Oakland Public Works said it had 100 staff on the streets cleaning Thursday, including 12 street sweepers.

No word yet on how much the parade and rally cost overall, but the Warriors say they're picking up the tab.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Down by Eight, Giants Rally to Tie It, But Rockies Win in 10]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:07:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0615.jpg


DENVER — In a span of about five minutes Thursday night, the Giants lost the two players who have been their most consistent hitters. They also lost the game, but not before proving that they haven’t given up the fight.

The Giants wiped out an eight-run deficit in the final three innings — mostly without Buster Posey and Eduardo Nuñez, who left with leg injuries — but ultimately fell 10-9 to the Rockies. Raimel Tapia hit a walk-off single off Hunter Strickland in the bottom of the ninth.

Matt Moore gave up eight runs in three innings, but the bullpen held it together and the lineup chipped away late. The Giants scored two in the seventh and five in the eighth. In the ninth, Gorkys Hernandez’s fly to center was just deep enough to score Austin Slater and hand Greg Holland his first blown save in 24 tries.

Here are five things to know from a wild but painful night at Coors Field …

--- Nuñez called for a trainer after a single and Posey was pulled after his ninth homer of the year. Here’s exactly what happened. More to come, obviously.

--- Austin Slater has been one of the few brights spots in recent weeks. The rookie had four singles, raising his average to .405 in 10 games. It’s super early, but Slater certainly has shown the ability to handle the bat, and he looks worthy of a long, long audition in left field.

When Posey and Nuñez got hurt, Slater made his professional debut at third base. Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson had already been used as pinch-hitters. He recorded the second out of the bottom of the seventh.

--- Brandon Crawford’s homer with two outs in the eighth was the first three-run homer of the year for the Giants. This was their 68th game.

--- Ty Blach pinch-hit for Josh Osich in the eighth because the Giants were out of position players. The kid lined an RBI single up the middle. He really is a Mini Bumgarner.

--- Matt Moore at home: 3.07 ERA. Matt Moore on the road: 9.24 ERA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steph Curry Still is No. 1 in the Eyes of Dub Nation]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:10:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-696389476_594_screen.jpg

No scientific surveys were conducted, but based on crowd reaction during the Warriors championship parade Thursday, Steph Curry is still the most popular Warrior. At the parade, he gave Dub Nation even more reason to love him. Terry McSweeney reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Curry Stands by Stance to Skip White House Visit With Trump]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:51:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-obama-us.jpg

OAKLAND -- If the Warriors ultimately reverse their prevailing stance and decide to visit the White House as a team, they'll first have to persuade Stephen Curry to go along.

The reigning two-time MVP reiterated Wednesday that he stands by his previous comments in response to the hypothetical question about whether he would visit the Trump White House if the Warriors were to win a championship.

"I think I answered, ‘I wouldn't go.' I still feel like that today," he said at the team facility.

"But as a team we're going to have a conversation. This is a moment that we all need to enjoy together, and nothing should detract from what we were able to accomplish together and the different kind of ceremonies and traditions that have happened around championship-winning teams. We don't want that to taint what we've accomplished this year, so we'll handle that accordingly and responsibly and do the right thing for us individually and as a group."

Curry has been among several Warriors who, along with head coach Steve Kerr, have blasted the conduct of the current president. Veterans David West, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala have been transparent about their displeasure with Donald Trump.

Still, there is a window, however small, according to the man at the top of the team's seniority list.

"We hadn't talked about it much, probably some side conversations here and there," Curry said. "But you don't plan anything until you win a championship. That's obviously putting bad juju out there if you're getting ahead of yourself.

" . . . All I know is I personally will do the right thing for me. And I know the team will have a conversation about what's going on, going forward. There's probably more to come on that."

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Royals Rough Up Cueto, Giants in Two-Game Sweep]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:57:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-cueto-recap-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO -- Royals slugger Mike Moustakas didn't care to get caught up in a debate concerning whether or not his latest home run landed in the waters of McCovey Cove.

With Kansas City finally finding a comfortable groove after a rocky start to the season, Moustakas is thinking big picture.

Moustakas hit his 18th home run leading off the second inning, Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain followed with back-to-back shots in the third and the Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 7-2 on Wednesday to complete a two-game sweep.

The win was Kansas City's fourth straight and left the Royals at 30-34 - not bad for a ballclub that was nine games under .500 one month into the season.

"We're trending in the right direction," Moustakas said. "We've been playing great baseball on this road trip and if we keep this going we're going to be in a good spot after the end of this month."

Moustakas, one of Kansas City's top hitters over the past two weeks, stayed hot with his home run off former Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto (5-6) that initially appeared to land in McCovey Cove. Officials later determined that the ball landed on a walkway and bounced into the water.

It was the fifth homer in 12 games for Moustakas, who is already just four shy of his career-high.

"It's all good, a homer's a homer," Moustakas said.

Bonifacio finished with two hits and three RBIs, Whit Merrifield added three hits and three runs while Alcides Escobar singled three times to help Jason Hammel end an eight-game winless stretch on the road that dated to 2016.

Hammel (3-6) allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings to beat the Giants for the first time in 12 starts. The right-hander gave up eight hits, struck out four and walked one.

"He commanded the ball really well, he changed speeds, he used his slider effectively, got some big swings and misses," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "His last couple of starts, he's really come on for us."

Bonifacio homered in the third after Merrifield opened the inning with a bunt single. Two pitches later, Cain lined an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left-center that put the Royals up 4-0.

Cueto struggled in his first appearance against his former team since signing with San Francisco after helping Kansas City to the 2015 World Series. He allowed five runs and 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

Kansas City has scored seven or more runs in each of its last four games, all wins.

Eduardo Nunez had two hits and an RBI for San Francisco. The Giants have lost 11 of 15.

San Francisco had two on and two outs twice but failed to score each time. Hammel fanned Brandon Crawford to end the fourth and reliever Peter Moylan got Buster Posey to ground out to end the seventh.

"The way we're swinging, it's a steep climb," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "This is humbling to go through something like this. It's a tough time for these fellows."


Brandon Belt's walk in the seventh inning was the first free pass issued by Hammel since May 29. It also was the last batter the right-hander faced, as Yost came scurrying out of the dugout to replace him with Moylan. Hammel hardly resisted. "I don't ever want to say I was getting tired but that inning the pitches were up," he said. "Probably the right move there."


Giants: 2B Joe Panik returned to the lineup after being sidelined for four games with a sprained left thumb he injured last week in Milwaukee diving for a ground ball. He went 2 for 4.


Royals: LHP Matt Strahm (1-3, 4.05) makes his first career start Thursday in Anaheim against the Angels. Strahm has made 20 appearances out of the bullpen this season.

Giants: LHP Matt Moore (2-7, 5.28) faces the Rockies for the third time this season when the teams play at Colorado in the opener of a four-game series Thursday. Moore is winless in his previous five starts.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Come Out Flat in 8-1 Loss to Royals]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:06:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0613.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — If you thought the Giants would get a spark from Monday night’s action across the bridge, well …

Coming off their best offensive performance of the season, and an off day, the Giants again came out flat. Jason Vargas and the Royals dominated at AT&T Park, winning 8-1. If you haven’t looked at the standings in a while, we should note that the Giants are now 14 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Dodgers, and 14 behind the Diamondbacks.

Here are five things to know from a quiet night at the yard ...

—- Buster Posey’s double in the second was the 200th of his career. He’s the 24th player in franchise history to reach 200 doubles, but he has a long way to go. Willie Mays holds the record at 504.

—- The two-run rally by the Royals in the third very easily could have been a 1-2-3 inning. Alcides Escobar’s single to right could have been ruled an error on Brandon Belt, and Alex Gordon followed with a flare that just missed Aaron Hill’s outstretched glove. Jason Vargas reached when his bunt found no-man’s land near third. It was that kind of night for Ty Blach, who gave up a two-run single to Jorge Bonifacio later in the inning.

—- Blach was charged with seven earned runs, the second-highest total of his career. The BABIP Gods were unkind to him, but all those runs count, and that’s 12 earned over his past two starts. His ERA has jumped a full run in that span.

—- There was a shark in the cove. I'm running out of steam here, don't judge me.

—- Hunter Strickland, usually a setup man, pitched the eighth with the Giants trailing by seven runs. Bruce Bochy planned to use him no matter what since Strickland’s suspension likely starts Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stanton, Marlins Rough Up Cotton, Trounce A's in Miami]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:41:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanton-hr-cotton-ap.jpg


MIAMI -- A fastball to the wrist didn't stop Giancarlo Stanton's recent surge.

Stanton returned to the Miami Marlins' starting lineup after recovering from a bruised right wrist and hit a two-run homer to help beat the Oakland Athletics 8-1 on Tuesday night.

Stanton missed only one start after being hit Saturday. His 17th homer of the year put Miami ahead 4-1 in the fifth inning.

"I worry when he gets hit by a pitch," teammate Marcell Ozuna said. "A 96 mph fastball? Maybe he breaks the wrist."

Instead, Stanton continued his recent tear. He's batting .354 with six homers in 18 games since moving to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Jose Urena (5-2) won his fourth consecutive decision by allowing one run in six-plus innings. The right-hander, who leads the Marlins in wins, retired 14 straight batters before tiring in the seventh.

"He's growing," manager Don Mattingly said. "Hopefully he just keeps building on what he's doing. You get to the point now where you feel like he's going to keep you in the game. His stuff is good enough. He doesn't go out and get knocked around. That's encouraging for young guys."

Ozuna hit his 16th homer and had two singles, hiking his average to .332. Tyler Moore added three hits, including a two-run double.

Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single in the eighth for his 364th interleague hit, tying Derek Jeter's major league record.

The Marlins won for the ninth time in their past 11 home games.

The Athletics (27-37), who have the worst record in the American League, fell to 10 games below .500 for the first time. They are 9-24 on the road.

Jharel Cotton (3-7) allowed five runs in five innings. He's 0-4 in his past five starts.

The Marlins scored four runs in the fifth, all with two outs. Dee Gordon's RBI single put them ahead 2-1, Stanton followed with his homer, and J.T. Realmuto added a run-scoring double.

"It's frustrating that everything came with two outs," Cotton said. "Everything just snowballed. I have to be better than that."

It was a familiar problem for the A's.

"We have to find a way to shut down the big inning like we've been giving up here recently," manager Bob Melvin said.

Urena balked home a run in the second with two outs and Cotton at the plate. Oakland didn't have another baserunner until the seventh.

Three Miami relievers combined to retire nine in a row and complete a three-hitter.

Ozuna also had a strong half in 2016, but batted just .209 after the All-Star break. This year he's hoping to sustain his early success.

"Swing like crazy and let's see what happens," he said.

Marlins: 1B Justin Bour (ankle bone bruise) is expected to play a rehab game Wednesday with Single-A Jupiter before rejoining the Marlins on Friday. ... 3B Martin Prado (right hamstring) and SS Adeiny Hechavarria (abdominal muscle) are scheduled to begin mid-week rehab assignments at Jupiter, and if they progress as expected, they'll rejoin the Marlins next week.

Athletics: RHP Chris Bassitt (elbow) has begun a throwing program.

RHP Daniel Gossett is scheduled to make his major league debut Wednesday afternoon for the Athletics against RHP Edinson Volquez (3-7, 3.41), who pitched a no-hitter in his most recent home start June 3. Volquez has allowed three hits in 16 scoreless innings in his past two outings.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Championship Parade Set for 10 a.m. Thursday]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:22:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade+route.jpg

The Golden State Warriors' championship parade will take place Thursday morning through downtown Oakland, following the same route as the team's parade to celebrate the 2015 NBA title.

The parade, celebrating the Warriors' 4-1 NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, will start at 10 a.m. Thursday at Broadway and 11th Street, team and city officials said. The rally at the south end of Lake Merritt will start around 12:15 p.m.

The parade will go north on Broadway, turn right on Grand Avenue, then right on Harrison Street, turn left on 19th Street, continue on Lakeside Drive and end on Oak Street with a procession to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention center.

Fans are encouraged to line up for the parade and rally as soon as 5 a.m. Thursday.

Parking is expected to fill up early and several streets will be closed so fans are encouraged to use public transportation. BART officials issued 10 tips for Warriors fans visiting the parade, including using the 19th Street station and avoiding the much smaller Lake Merritt station, buying a Clipper card to avoid long lines at ticket machines, and avoiding the busiest hours of 8-10 a.m.

BART trains carried 548,076 riders during the 2015 victory parade, second only to the 586,061 who rode BART during the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series parade.

More information about Thursday's plans and how to get around on BART can be found at the BART website.

<![CDATA[The Trilogy: Warriors Win Game 5, Capture NBA Title]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:49:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-695385280.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch Game 5 of the NBA Finals in the Bay Area]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:04:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+flag.jpg

With their chance of a clean sweep now history, the Golden State Warriors are going into Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a 3-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a chance to win the title at home.

Monday’s game at Oracle Arena may well be the toughest ticket in Bay Area sports history. So, for those unable to grab the high-money seats at the Warriors' home in Oakland, here are some choice local spots to take in all the action on TV.

SOMA Streatfood Park

Described on its website as a “culinary carnival and urban playground,” SOMA Streatfood Park packs its food garden with fans from all over the Bay Area during watch parties. Tickets are $5, making it a prime location to watch Game 5. Guests also can grab $4 Modelo beers and snacks from the lineup of food trucks.

Some food choices include wood-fired pizza, vegan burgers, Greek gyros, Korean food and ramen. Hitch a ride to South of Market in San Francisco, and make sure to arrive on time, as this Warriors hive fills up fast.

ERA Art Bar and Lounge

Conveniently located off the 19th Street Oakland BART station, ERA Art Bar and Lounge is opening its doors a 5 p.m. to host its Game 5 watch party. The bar has multiple reservation options, including tables for groups of four that include mixers, spirits and raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets offer a chance to win Warriors gear, with the grand prize winner getting a pair of tickets to the next playoff game at the Oracle Arena. All of the money from the tickets will be donated to the Warriors Community Foundation.

Along with projecting the game onto eight screens, the bar offers live music as well as drink specials. To reserve a spot, go to the bar’s watch party website.

The Independent

Looking for an escape from the typical bar scene? Head to San Francisco’s music venue, The Independent. Usually offering a stage to bands spanning across genres, the club is switching gears for the special night. On Monday, The Independent will transform into a basketball viewing venue for Warriors fans to gather. Admission is free, but a two-drink minimum is required.

Doors open an hour before tipoff.

The Taco Shop at Underdogs

While many sports bars may be filled with the usual fried foods, The Taco Shop at Underdogs provides a fresh feast suitable for a Mexican fiesta. Plus, with a fully stocked bar, fans can pair their tacos with a shot of tequila every time a free throw is made.

Get to the Taco Shop at Underdogs in San Francisco's Outer Sunset at least an hour before tipoff to grab a winning seat and some guacamole for the big game.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 NBA Finals Tickets Up for Bid to Aid Young Entrepreneurs]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:57:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+flag.jpg

Two tickets to Monday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena in Oakland are up for auction, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Sunday.

Bidders can go online to bid on the tickets.

The money raised from the highest bidder will be used to help Oakland's underserved young entrepreneurs through Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative, according to the mayor.

Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative is a nonprofit whose mission is to prepare, launch and grow 100 or more new businesses by underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs each year.

The tickets are luxury mezzanine seats. Bids must be in by 10 a.m. Monday and an auction official will be in touch with the winning bidder at about 11 a.m.

The tickets can be picked up before 5 p.m. at City Hall.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Giddy, Police Ready in Anticipation of Warriors Win]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:08:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oracle-warriors.jpg

Dub Nation is getting ready to celebrate a Warriors championship, and so is the city of Oakland. Police officials say they don't expect problems if the Warriors win it all Friday night, but they want to be prepared. Cheryl Hurd reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blow Lead, Beat Brewers in Extra Innings]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:44:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nunez-extras-instant-analysis.jpg


MILWAUKEE - The Giants and Brewers played way past the four-hour mark on Thursday afternoon. Somehow the visiting team managed to pack a near-win, near-loss, and a win into about 30 minutes of action. 

The Giants did a lot right while handing a two-run lead to Mark Melancon. The closer blew it, and only escaped a loss because a line drive to third was snared by a leaping Eduardo Nuñez. The lineup responded by scoring four in the top of the 10th for a 9-5 victory. 

Here are five things to know from the final day of a rough road trip … 

-- Melancon, who had not pitched in a save opportunity since May 27, gave up a leadoff homer to Eric Sogard. A double by Jesus Aguilar put two in scoring position with no outs and Travis Shaw's single tied the game. Nuñez's grab of a liner headed to left saved the game once, and Melancon was able to get out of the jam. 

--- The Statcast numbers on Austin Slater's first career homer: 461 feet, 111 mph exit velocity. If those numbers hold up, it's the longest homer of the season by the Giants, and the second-longest in the last three seasons. 

--- Nick Hundley has 11 doubles, so the bat is what was expected, but his throwing has been an issue all year and it cost the Giants a run in the fifth. With two outs, both runners took off, and Hundley's throw to third sailed into left field. Travis Shaw, the man trying to steal third, jogged home to tie the game. Hundley has allowed 14 stolen bases on 17 attempts. 

--- Josh Osich started throwing a curveball in April to get hitters off his harder offerings, and it's become a nice weapon for him against lefties. Osich froze Eric Thames to end the sixth and strand a runner. 

--- Johnny Cueto had his first four-walk game of the season and just his third with the Giants. He had walked just four total batters in his previous four starts. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Security Guard Levels Streaker on Miller Park Infield Dirt]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:43:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/streaker1.jpg

The Giants and Brewers went to extra innings on Thursday, but the highlight of the game may have come way back in the second inning. 

A man clad in socks and a top -- but no pants -- rushed the field from near third base and made his way toward Brandon Crawford at shortstop. 

It's unclear what his intentions were, or which team he was rooting for, but security took him down from behind before he was able to do much.

The man was marched off the field by four security guards.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Rally to Beat Cavs in Game 3 of NBA Finals]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 23:45:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors-0607.jpg

CLEVELAND -- Finally, the kind of game so many expected of these NBA Finals. Close throughout, with superstars on both teams playing at superstar level.

The Warriors prevailed, with a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena that keeps alive their chance for a perfect postseason.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Klay Thompson had 30 and Stephen Curry put in 26 as the Warriors took a 3-0 series lead and extended their postseason win streak to 15, the most by any team in any major American sport.

No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit in The Finals.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers, scoring a game-high 39 points. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving also submitted a tremendous scoring performance with 38.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Curry, Durant and Thompson carried the night.

Curry’s line: 26 points (8-of-19 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, 5-of-5 from the line), a game-high-tying 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals. He played 39 minutes and finished plus-11.

Durant’s line: 31 points (10-of-18, 4-of-7, 7-of-8), eight rebounds and four assists. He played 41 minute and finished with a plus/minus of 0.

Thompson’s line: 30 points (11-of-18, 6-of-11, 2-of-2 from the line), six rebounds and two assists. He played 41 minutes and finished plus-3.

TURNING POINT: This one was in doubt every step of the way, as neither team was able to build a double-digit lead. The Warriors went up as much as eight, the Cavs by seven.

Trailing by six (113-107) after JR Smith drained a 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining, the Warriors finished the game on an 11-0 run, with Durant accounting for 7 points and Curry the other 4.

INJURY REPORT: Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out. G Kay Felder and Tavares were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT: Game 4 is scheduled for Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:10 p.m. Pacific.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blach Roughed Up as Giants Drop Another in Milwaukee]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:17:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0607.jpg

MILWAUKEE — As the hole has gotten deeper over the past month, the Giants have at least been able to count on the lefty atop the rotation.

Ty Blach, pitching in place of Madison Bumgarner, took a four-game winning streak into his start at Miller Park, but Blach was hit with five runs in six innings and the lineup continued to underwhelm on a trip to two of the better hitter’s parks in the National League. The Giants lost 6-3 to the first-place Brewers, falling to 2-4 on this trip and 24-37 overall.

Here are five things to know from Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for "the good land."

--- The Giants are a season-high 14 games out of first place. In 2013, a 76-win season, they didn’t fall that far back until August 9.

--- Buster Posey’s 421-foot blast off the bottom of the scoreboard was his first this season with a runner on. You have to go back to last Sept. 16 for Posey’s last non-solo shot. This one scored Brandon Belt and gave the Giants a three-run third.

--- Since picking up hits in his first two at-bats, Orlando Calixte is 2 for 22. He hit into a double play with two on in the sixth and had two defensive misplays in left. It doesn't appear he'll be in left much longer.

--- Jonathan Villar greeted George Kontos with a long homer to right. Kontos has allowed five homers after giving up just three last season. He has given up just three runs over his past eight appearances, all on solo shots.

--- The Polish Sausage, known as a humble and gracious competitor, won the Sausage Race.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Khris Davis Drives in Two, Hahn Silences Jays in A's 4-1 Win]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:10:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rajaidavis-scores-bluejays-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND --  Jesse Hahn was admittedly a little too excited in the first inning after coming off the disabled list earlier in the day, and it showed when he gave up back-to-back singles with one out.

Once he calmed down and got Toronto cleanup hitter Kendrys Morales to ground into a double play, the Oakland right-hander was as effective as he's been all season.

Hahn allowed an unearned run over six innings and the Athletics beat the Blue Jays 4-1 on Tuesday night.

"That first inning, my tempo and my rhythm was a little quick just because I was excited to be back out there," Hahn said. "So there's an adjustment you have to make to take a deep breath and get right back into your normal rhythm."

Khris Davis drove in two runs, Adam Rosales hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the fifth and Jed Lowrie added two hits as the A's overcame their major league-leading 59th error to win for the third time in four games.

Activated before the game, Hahn (2-4) struck out two, walked one and pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

"For a guy coming back from a DL stint and a short rehab start, I thought he pitched really well," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "When he needed to get a ground ball, he got it. No bigger than the bases-loaded one because he gives up a hit there, now it's a whole different ballgame."

Santiago Casilla retired three batters for his 10th save.

Josh Donaldson had two hits against his former team and Troy Tulowitzki drove in Toronto's run with a single in the fourth after Jose Bautista reached on third baseman Ryon Healy's throwing error.

Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada (4-4) retired 12 straight before walking Stephen Vogt with one out in the fifth. After Vogt was thrown out at home trying to score from first on Mark Canha's double, Rosales singled just past a diving Tulowitzki at shortstop to break a 1-all tie.

"I was making pretty decent pitches early on," Estrada said after allowing four runs over 5 2/3 innings. "I got a little aggressive the last inning and I didn't make pitches."

Davis, the designated hitter after leaving Monday's game with a calf injury, had a sacrifice fly in the first and an RBI double in the sixth.

The Blue Jays snapped an 0-for-34 skid with runners in scoring position when Tulowitzki singled home Bautista. The streak was the second-longest in the majors this season. Kansas City had an 0-for-35 stretch in May.

The A's turned a pair of inning-ending double plays. Ryan Goins was thrown out at the plate by Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso while trying to score from second on Donaldson's infield single in the third, then Kevin Pillar was cut down attempting to stretch a single in the fifth. "Hopefully, we can get on a roll and sustain a few games in a row where we don't have that kind of lurking on our shoulder," Melvin said about his team's defense.

Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore right knee. It's the same knee Travis had surgery on in the offseason.

Athletics: LHP Sean Doolittle made it through his rehab appearance with Class A Stockton fine and could be back with the big league club as soon as this weekend. The former closer will pitch an inning for Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday before a decision is made, but it's likely Doolittle will rejoin the A's on their upcoming six-game road trip. ... OF Matt Joyce (left quadriceps) was held out of the starting lineup.

Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (3-2) pitches the series finale Wednesday afternoon. Liriano is 2-2 in seven career appearances at Oakland.

Athletics: RHP Jharel Cotton (3-6) makes his first career start against Toronto while trying to win for the first time since being recalled from the minors on May 27. Cotton ranks second among AL rookies in strikeouts (44) and innings pitched (49 1/3).

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Unable to Solve Brewers' Anderson in 5-2 Loss]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:47:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0606.jpg

MILWAUKEE — Chase Anderson entered Tuesday night’s game riding back-to-back scoreless starts. This result, then, was just about as predictable as it gets.

Anderson, Milwaukee’s grounder-inducing right-hander, made quick work of the league’s worst offense, dominating into the eighth. The Giants briefly rallied in the top of the ninth but went down 5-2 at Miller Park.

Here are five things to know from a night that would have been worse had the Brewers held on to Scooter Gennett ...

--- Matt Cain gave up five runs in five innings. He has a road ERA of 8.40 in six starts away from AT&T Park. Matt Moore is at 7.94 away from home. The thing is, you play half your games away from home. There’s a reason this team is 11-22 on the road.

--- Can Sam Dyson hit?

--- Cain gave up 10 hits in the first four innings, so it’s hard to say he was unlucky. But … he did pay dearly for a tough break. With two outs in the second, Eric Sogard hit a flare to left that dropped between three Giants and just missed Brandon Crawford’s outstretched glove. Two runs scored, and the Brewers would tack on another run in the inning.

--- No, really, can Sam Dyson hit?

--- The Bratwurst dominated the Sausage Race from start to finish and ran the last 10 yards backwards. It was a Usain Bolt-type of performance, and I was glad I was here to witness it live.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Healy Goes Deep Twice to Power A's Past Toronto]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:56:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/healy-homer-bluejays-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND — The best game of Ryon Healy’s career stood for all of two days.

On Monday night, Healy outdid himself with another two-homer game to go along with a career-high five RBI as the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum.

He also homered twice on Saturday, part of a 4-for-4 day that gives Monday’s performance a run for its money. But that’s irrelevant. Healy is on a tear, batting .333 (38-for-114) with 10 homers over his past 29 games.

In the third, he jumped on an 0-1 pitch from Jays starter J.A. Happ drilled a liner that reached the seats in left in a hurry for a three-run homer. He stepped to the plate again in the fourth and mashed a 2-2 pitch for a towering drive that reached the elevated seats in left-center.

As a team, the A’s have hit nine homers in the first four games of this six-game homestand. Fifty-three of their 86 homers have come at the Coliseum, and they lead the majors in home runs at home.

Healy continues to punish southpaws: Oakland’s DH came in hitting .383 against left-handed pitching, fifth best in the American League. After bopping both of his homers against Happ (0-4), he’s now 20-for-49 (.408) off lefties with five of his 13 homers.

Manaea makes it four in a row: Boosted by some early offense, A’s starter Sean Manaea (5-3) won his fourth consecutive start, going six innings and holding Toronto to two runs on four hits. It was Manaea’s 16th game in a row with five or fewer hits allowed and two or more innings pitched, matching the longest such streak by an American League pitcher since at least 1913. He struck out seven, walked three and continues to develop into the kind of dominant starter the A’s envisioned when they acquired him from Kansas City at the 2015 trade deadline.

Plouffe remains ice cold at the plate: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe made a couple of very nice defensive plays but went 0-for-3. That leaves him in an 0-for-25 dry spell and 4-for-43 beyond that. Plouffe did have some bad luck, hitting a laser to right field that was caught. He made two nice plays on line drives, including a lunging grab to rob Jose Bautista in the eighth, then made a nice backhanded stop in the ninth to get a force out at second.

Josh Donaldson was no Bringer of Pain: The former A’s All-Star doubled in his first at-bat to score the first run off Manaea, and he also walked in the third. But given a chance to spoil the A’s night, representing the tying run in the ninth, Donaldson went down swinging against Santiago Casilla, who notched his ninth save.

Rajai Davis endured one adventurous trip around the bases: The struggling veteran returned to the leadoff spot and went 0-for-3. He did walk in the fifth and stole second base despite being picked off by Happ. Happy tried to throw behind him at second, and the throw appeared to strike Davis around one of his kidneys. He was checked by trainers but stayed in the game.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Watch Party for Game 3 at SF Civic Center]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:07:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Game2_1.jpg

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Monday that Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday will be broadcast live on a jumbotron in Civic Center Plaza.

Game 3 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena and follows two wins by the Warriors in Oakland to start the Finals, including a 132-113 victory Sunday.

Golden State and Cleveland are facing off in the NBA Finals for the third straight year, with the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavaliers coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title last year.

The event in San Francisco on Wednesday will be alcohol-free, and fans are encouraged to come early and take public transportation to Civic Center Plaza.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ratings for NBA Finals Highest Since Jordan's Last Title]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 20:54:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fans-sign-warriorscavs-2017-usatsi.jpg

CLEVELAND - The first two games of the NBA Finals are the most-watched since Michael Jordan's final championship in 1998.

Despite two lopsided outcomes, Golden State's two home wins over Cleveland averaged 19.6 million viewers, according to numbers released Monday by the Nielsen company.

That's an increase of 5 percent from the 18.6 million average in 2016.

The Warriors' 132-113 victory on Sunday drew an average of 20.1 million viewers, up 13 percent from Game 2 last year and the most for a Game 2 since Chicago and Utah met in 1998. The telecast peaked with 23.1 million viewers.

This is the first time two teams have met three straight times in the NBA Finals.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Hill, Samardzija Lead Giants Past Brewers]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:32:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nunez-highfive-bochy-brewers-ap.jpg


MILWAUKEE — Aaron Hill was the first Giant out on the field Monday, mostly because it was a familiar field. Hill, who started the 2016 season with the Brewers, chatted with several players before batting practice. Then he went out and beat his former team.

Hill’s two-run pinch-hit double in the eighth finally gave Jeff Samardzija a lead on a masterful night. Samardzija was dominant into the bottom of that inning and he was rewarded, getting his second win of the season as the Giants pulled away from the Brewers 7-2 at Miller Park.

Here are five things to know from a quiet night for Bernie Brewer ...

--- Samardzija struck out 10, notching his second double-digit strikeout game of the season. Since the start of May, he has 59 strikeouts and one walk in seven starts.

--- Samardzija had no trouble with Eric Thames, one of the breakout stars of this season. The Bay Area native entered with 15 homers, but flied out in his first at-bat and struck out the next two times up. The second strikeout came on a perfect 96 mph fastball that nicked the corner.

--- The Brewers jumped out 2-0 in a very strange way. With runners on second and third and no outs, back-to-back hitters lofted fly balls to left. Orlando Calixte’s first throw was strong and held Eric Sogard at third. His second throw airmailed everyone, and Sogard scored easily. Domingo Santana was awarded home when the umpires ruled that the ball went out of play when it skipped behind an advertisement board. The local writers said they couldn’t remember that happening before.

--- Eduardo Nuñez tied it up with a solo no-doubter to left in the top of the fifth. Nuñez is batting .354 over his past 20 games and has reached safely in each and every one of them. He’s Bruce Bochy’s hottest bat right now, and as we’ll mention often over the next seven weeks, he’s improving his trade value with every passing day.

--- The Italian sausage won the sausage race at Miller Park, surging to the front of the pack two-thirds of the way through.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Sock Cavs in Game 2, Take Command in NBA Finals]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:59:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-692353018_594_screen.jpg

OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr returned to the bench for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday and the Warriors presented their coach with a 132-113 victory that has them halfway to a championship.

Kevin Durant fired in a game-high 33 points and Stephen Curry posted a triple-double -- 32 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds -- to pace the offense as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Klay Thompson shook off his shooting slump to score 22 points in his most productive two-way game of the postseason. Draymond Green tossed in 12 points and Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark added 10 apiece as the Warriors pushed their postseason record to 14-0.

The Warriors overcame 20 turnovers, 13 of which came in the first half, by outrebounding the Cavs 53-41 and outshooting them 51.7 percent to 45 percent.

LeBron James submitted a triple-double -- 29 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds -- to lead the Cavaliers. Kevin Love put in 27 points and Kyrie Irving finished with 19.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Though Durant anchored the offense and had a mammoth game overall, Thompson’s reemergence as a scorer also proved a difference-maker for Warriors.

Durant’s line: 33 points (13-of-22 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), 13 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals. He played 41 minutes and finished plus-21.

Thompson’s line: 22 points (8-of-12 from the field, 4-of-7 from deep, 2-of-3 from the line) and seven rebounds. He played 36 minutes and was plus-24.

TURNING POINT: After a layup by Irving pulled the Cavs within four, 86-82, with 5:42 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 16-6 run, closing the quarter with a 102-88 lead.

The Warriors led by as much as 22 points in the fourth, and Cleveland got no closer than 12.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: No injuries reported. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out and placed on the inactive list with G Kay Felder.

WHAT’S NEXT: The teams meet Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for Game 6. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Pacific.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Exec Says He Didn't Yell at Rihanna During NBA Game 1]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:55:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/rihanna1.PNG

It’s the gesture being tweeted around the world.

Apple executive Eddy Cue, senior VP of content, seemingly telling music superstar Rihanna to sit down at Thursday’s Warrior game.

Reaction has been swift: Rihanna fans tweeting at Cue and Apple, demanding an apology, calling him out as a rude boy.

Is Cue unfaithful to one of Dub Nation’s most famous fans?

Can Apple possibly have a big enough umbrella to shield him from all this criticism?

Rihanna, it turns out, can be a very distracting person.

Press reports have Warrior superstar Kevin Durant trying to get her attention during the game, and then there’s the gif of Cue possibly telling her to get back to her seat.

According to another tweet, Apple says Cue was actually gesturing to someone else sitting nearby.

Cue sent out a tweet Friday morning: "Nothing but love for Rihanna (and KD, too!) As usual I was excited about our lead and actually talking to Marissa, 8 seats to my right."

As if the NBA championship didn’t already have enough drama.

Scott will stay on Twitter: @scottbudman

<![CDATA[Warriors Clobber Cavs in Game 1 of NBA Finals]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:10:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/curry-warriors.jpg

OAKLAND -- The hype for this NBA Finals was as breathless as it was relentless, and for a half Game 1 lived up to the billing.

The Warriors then came out in the second half and blew the defending champion Cavaliers off the floor, rolling to a 113-91 victory Thursday night inside roaring, rollicking Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant poured in 38 points to lead all scorers, and Stephen Curry totaled 28. No other Warrior had more than nine (Draymond Green).

The Warriors limited Cleveland to 34.9-percent shooting for the game. They held the Cavs to 32 percent in the pivotal third quarter, outscoring them 33-20 to take command and go up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

The Warriors offset a 59-50 disadvantage in rebounds by committing only a postseason-low four turnovers, while Cleveland finished with 20 giveaways, off which the Warriors scored 21 points.

The Warriors also punished the Cavs in the paint, outscoring them 56-30.

LeBron James scored 28 points to lead Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving added 24 and Kevin Love totaled 15 points and a game-high 21 rebounds.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: This was, in most significant ways, a Durant-Curry production.

Durant’s line: 38 points (14-of-26 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point distance, 7-of-8 from the line), eight rebounds and eight assists. He played 38 minutes and finished plus-16.

Curry’s line: 28 points (11-of-22 from the field, 6-of-11 from deep), a game-high 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-20.

TURNING POINT: Up 8 (60-52) after a first half in which they missed nine layups, the Warriors opened the second half with a 13-0 run to go up 73-52 with 8:04 left in the third quarter.

Curry had 8 of the 13 points during the rally.

The Cavs got no closer than 12 (80-68) over the final 20 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: None. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were inactive.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out. G Kay Felder and Tavares were inactive.

WHAT’S NEXT: The teams reconvene Sunday at Oracle Arena for Game 2. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cotton, A's Drop Series Finale in Cleveland]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:38:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cotton-jharel-green-day.jpg


CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10 in his first start since May 2, and the Cleveland Indians scored four runs during a strange sixth inning to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-0 on Thursday.

Kluber (4-2) had been sidelined with a strained lower back, an injury that kept Cleveland's ace sidelined for a month and deprived a struggling rotation of its leader. The Indians came in with the AL's highest ERA.

Despite the long layoff, however, Kluber looked like his dominant self, allowing just two hits and recording his 26th career double-digit strikeout game.

The Indians scored four runs - three unearned - off Jharel Cotton (3-6) in the wild sixth. The game was momentarily delayed when sprinklers in left field went on automatically.

The A's made three more errors, raising their major league-leading total to 55. And they struck out 17 times, giving Oakland 93 in the last seven games.

The bizarre sixth inning looked more Little League than major league.

Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy committed two errors in the sixth, which included a bases-loaded walk by Cotton, two force-outs at the plate, a bloop RBI single and a replay challenge by both managers on the same play.

Cleveland scored its third run in the inning when Carlos Santana scored from second on a headfirst dive after Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso thought the inning had ended with a double play and began walking to the dugout. His throw to the plate was too late to get Santana.

Moments later, the sprinklers went on, adding more slapstick to a comedic inning for Oakland.

Kluber coasted through the first three innings, striking out five straight at one point while plowing through Oakland's free-swinging lineup.

He worked out of a first-and-third situation in the third by striking out Mark Canha for the second time.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Mavericks Organizer Cancels Auction, Citing No Bidders]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:21:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surfing+.jpg

The future of the famed Mavericks big-wave surf contest has hit more turbulence.

Contest organizers, Cartel Management of Los Angeles, canceled an auction planned for Thursday to sell its assets, including a contest permit issued by the San Mateo County Harbor District. The company said there were no actual bidders, despite what they initially called widespread interest.

Cartel filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, eventually sinking this year's event.

The cancellation creates more confusion on how a future contest will be put together.

Harbor commissioner Sabrina Brennan said she had no confidence Cartel will salvage the situation, saying, "This is a strategic retreat because no one bid on what appears to be a worthless asset."

While Cartel scrambles for new options, it still faces other legal challenges by the Harbor District, sponsor Red Bull and contest founder Jeff Clark.

Mavericks is an international contest held when top surfers are given 48 hours to get to Pillar Point when organizers deem the waves big enough for a top level competition.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Have No Answer for Zimmerman's First-inning Homer]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 22:22:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-recap-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — As expected, trying to avoid a sweep with Max Scherzer on the other side proved to be a bad idea.

Scherzer struck out 11 and went the distance on just 100 pitches, leading the Nationals to a 3-1 win at a very quiet AT&T Park. The Giants lost seven of nine to close out the month, finishing with a 13-16 record in May. They are 11 games under .500.

Here are five things to know from the night we all wondered if Solomon Thomas can play left field …

--- The Giants see plenty of Clayton Kershaw, but very little of Scherzer. They’re equally capable of taking control of a game. If it weren’t for a Jayson Werth blunder in left, he would have thrown a Maddux. The double-digit strikeout game was the 54th of his career, the most among active pitchers.

--- Jeff Samardzija would be proud of Matt Cain’s escapability. A night after Samardzija stranded plenty, Cain gave up just two earned in five innings despite nine Nationals reaching base. After a three-run homer in the first, he left runners in scoring position in his final four innings of work.

--- Brandon Crawford was charged with an error on Trea Turner’s first-inning grounder, but he had some fun when Turner — the second-fastest player in the NL — hit one up the middle in the seventh. Crawford tried to throw Turner out as he rolled over onto his back. The throw didn’t go very far, but the crowd enjoyed it, and on this night there wasn’t much for the crowd to cheer.

--- Bruce Bochy said he had no hesitation about using Hunter Strickland, who is still waiting for MLB to rule on his appeal. Strickland pitched the eighth and walked one in a scoreless inning. It was likely his last appearance for about a week; the Giants expect Strickland’s punishment to be finalized before this weekend.

--- Down in San Jose, Hunter Pence had a single and walk in five innings of his first rehab game. Pence (hamstring) is scheduled to get 15-20 minor league at-bats, but Bochy knows the “I’M READY” text will come far sooner than that.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From A's Skid-Busting Win Over Indians]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 19:15:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pinder-celebration-hr-indians-ap.jpg


The A's were overdue for this one.

They snapped a four-game losing streak on their current road trip with Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians, and it was the rare occasion of late where they grabbed an early lead and made it stand.

Chad Pinder, drawing the start at shortstop, enjoyed the first two-homer game of his career, and Sean Manaea delivered seven strong innings on the mound as the A's picked up their second win on a seven-game road trip that ends with Thursday's matinee at Progressive Field.

Here's five things you need to know from this one …

Pinder continues to state his case for regular playing time: There's no one position where Pinder can settle in at right now. That's been established. But it's becoming increasingly obvious that the A's need to find more regular time for this guy. And until Marcus Semien returns from a fractured wrist, that spot probably should be shortstop. Pinder has plenty of background playing shortstop and he's shown a strong arm. Right now, he's more of an answer offensively than Adam Rosales.

Manaea stepped up when the A's badly needed him to: Daniel Mengden and Sonny Gray turned in subpar starting efforts in the first two games of this four-game series. Manaea took the mound Wednesday and was terrific, throwing seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out nine and walking just one. He's been the winning pitcher in each of the A's victories on this trip.

Every game Yonder Alonso plays is a chance to strengthen his All-Star case: The early news Wednesday was that Alonso sits second in American League All-Star voting at first base, behind only Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. From this point moving forward, it's a chance for Alonso to continue to bolster his case, both in the fan voting and in the eyes of his fellow players who cast votes for reserves.

Indians SS Francisco Lindor shows - again - that he's one of the game's brightest young stars: Lindor did the only damage off Manaea, reaching out and popping a breaking ball over the wall in left for a fourth-inning homer. He also made a terrific diving play in the ninth to retire Alonso.

The bullpen brought this one home: After Manaea left the game, Ryan Madson delivered a scoreless eighth with one strikeout. Then closer Santiago Casilla worked around a dropped fly ball from left fielder Khris Davis and nailed down his eighth save.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Day After Brawl, Morse Placed on Concussion DL by Giants]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 23:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/morse-brawl-usatsi.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO -- It turns out the Hunter Strickland-Bryce Harper fight did leave a player injured, but it wasn't one of the two main participants. 

Michael Morse was put on the concussion disabled list a few minutes before Tuesday's game and the Giants recalled Kelby Tomlinson to take the open roster spot. Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided in the middle of the pile Monday after Strickland and Harper exchanged punches. Both players went down hard. 

Approached by reporters after Monday's game, Morse said he was fine, and he said the incident was no big deal. Before Tuesday's game, Harper said he was glad his former teammate got in the way. 

"Samardzija saw blood a little bit, I thought," Harper said. "I'm very thankful for Mikey Mo. That's a big spot with him coming in there."

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' 6-3 Loss to Nats]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 00:20:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rags-posey-samardzija-nationals-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - Lost in all the Strickland-Harper excitement was the fact that the Giants were shut out Monday. They did get on the scoreboard a day later, but the end result wasn't any better. 

Jeff Samardzija lasted just four innings against a tough Nationals lineup and the Giants couldn't dig out of an early hole, falling 6-3. They have dropped the first two games of this series and now they'll face Max Scherzer. 

Here are five things to know from a game that made us all remember why pace-of-play is a focus for Rob Manfred … 

--- Samardzija's bizarre night: 4 innings, 100 pitches, 9 hits, 3 earned runs. Per Baseball Reference's play index, Samardzija is just the second Giants starter to post that line. Barry Zito (of course) did it in 2007. 

--- Samardzija became just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to throw 100 pitches in four innings without issuing a walk. Rick Porcello last did it in 2012. In six May starts, Samardzija struck out 49 batters in May and walked just one. 

--- Orlando Calixte hit a single up the middle in the first, getting his first big league hit. He later doubled home two runs. The Giants think there's a legitimate contributor here, a six-position player who can help off the bench. Calixte showed some of his versatility in the late innings when he shifted from left over to center, and then to right. He is the first Giant to play all three outfield positions in a game since Randy Winn in 2009. 

--- There's a better way to get revenge on Bryce Harper. He was 0 for 5 and struck out three times. He was booed lustily before every at-bat. 

--- The Nationals said they did not intend to retaliate, and they stuck to it. Buster Posey did not get one in the ribs, and he took advantage of his opportunities to hit. Posey walked in his first plate appearance and then notched three straight singles.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>