<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top News - [BAY ONLY INCLUDES CSN]Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/newsen-usMon, 21 Aug 2017 17:10:02 -0700Mon, 21 Aug 2017 17:10:02 -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[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

BOX SCORE

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).



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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

UP NEXT:
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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

UP NEXT:
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

BOX SCORE

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

Hole 1A STEPHEN CURRY
    Jonathan Thomas 
    Kunio Watanabe
    Andy Saperstein 
    David Lockton
Hole 1B ALEX SMITH
Hole 2 CARSON PALMER
Hole 3A ROGER CLEMENS
Hole 3B JOHN SMOLTZ
Hole 4 TOM GLAVINE
Hole 5A HERM EDWARDS
Hole 5B JOE CARTER
Hole 6 JERRY RICE
    Andy Provencher 
    Jason Chandler
    Jed Finn 
    Scott Couto
Hole 7A DAVID WELLS
Hole 7B JOE THEISMANN
Hole 8 TIM WAKEFIELD
Hole 9 JARED GOFF
Hole 10A DOUG PEDERSON
Hole 10B ROBBIE GOULD
Hole 11 EMMITT SMITH
Hole 12A GOLDEN TATE
Hole 12B LARRY THE CABLE GUY
Hole 13 STEVE YOUNG
    Todd Williams
    John Yackel
    Carlo Guerrera 
    John Fitzgerald
Hole 14A BRIAN URLACHER
Hole 14B MARDY FISH
Hole 15 DELL CURRY
    Jon Miller 
    Dan Lovinger
    Tom Randolph 
    David Burke
Hole 16A JOHN ELWAY
Hole 16B MARSHALL FAULK
Hole 17A BODE MILLER
Hole 17B BLAIR O'NEAL
Hole 18 AJ HAWK

Thursday, July 13 -- 1:00 PM SHOTGUN

Hole 1A RAY ALLEN
Hole 1B MARK MULDER
    Bob Owens 
    Wayne Weigelt
    Brian Heintz 
    Christopher Moore
Hole 2 JAY DEMARCUS
Hole 3A ALFONSO RIBEIRO
Hole 4 AARON RODGERS
    Keith Mirchandani 
    Mark Frissora
    Rohan Mirchandani 
    Jenny Frissora
Hole 5A CHARLES BARKLEY
Hole 6 WILLIE ROBERTSON
Hole 7A JEREMY ROENICK
Hole 7B HINES WARD
Hole 8 PAIGE SPIRANAC
Hole 9 SEBASTIAN JANIKOWSKI
    Jag Kapoor 
    Jason Tackitt
    Don Bahouth 
    Ricky McElrath
Hole 10A DEREK LOWE
Hole 10B JEROME BETTIS
Hole 11 MIKE MODANO
Hole 12A RODNEY HARRISON
Hole 12B TRENT DILFER
Hole 13 STERLING SHARPE
Hole 14A ROB RIGGLE
Hole 14B JOHN O'HURLEY
Hole 15 JASON KIDD
    Matt Robinson 
    Erik Van Dillen
    Eddy Liu Kris 
    Tschetter
Hole 16A MARK RYPIEN
Hole 16B JIM McMAHON
Hole 17A MARCUS ALLEN
    Jason Neary 
    Jason Smith
    Greg Howey 
    Dianne Lewis
Hole 17B JOE PAVELSKI
    Bill Bloyd 
    Steve Antoninni
    Tom Abington 
    Tim Tretton
Hole 18 GREG MADDUX

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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."

STOLEN THUNDER:
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.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

UP NEXT:
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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

FAMILY FIRST:
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.

UP NEXT:
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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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."

WALKED OFF

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."

TRAINER'S ROOM

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.

UP NEXT

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

BOX SCORE

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.

SUSTAINABLE?
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.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

UP NEXT:
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.


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<![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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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.

ENDING THE DROUGHT:
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.

DEFENSIVE DOINGS:
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.

TRAINER'S ROOM:
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.

UP NEXT:
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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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

BOX SCORE

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]]>
<![CDATA[Gray Rocked by Indians, A's Hitters Tie Club Record for Ks]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 00:22:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sonnygray-melvin-cleveland-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Once Trevor Bauer got on a roll, he put on quite a show for the Cleveland Indians.

Bauer struck out an AL-best 14 in seven innings, and the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 9-4 on Tuesday night.

"I like my strikeouts," he said. "Half the balls they put in play were hits so I decided after the fourth I just wasn't going to let them hit the ball anymore."

Bauer's career-best strikeout total was one shy of this season's major league-high of 15 by Washington's Stephen Strasburg against San Diego on Saturday.

Bauer (5-4) recorded his eighth career game of 10 or more strikeouts. He struck out the side in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. As the total increased, the excitement at Progressive Field grew.

"Anytime the crowd is energized it's a lot more fun to play, whether it's a home run, strikeouts or a great defensive play, whatever the case may be," said Bauer, who allowed three runs and seven hits with one walk.

Oakland third baseman Trevor Plouffe struck out twice against Bauer and whiffed four times in the game.

"When he gets in a groove, you saw how it played out," he said. "Any time a guy like that is attacking the strike zone against an aggressive team, it's bound to be that way."

Four Cleveland pitchers combined to strike out 19, tying a franchise record for a nine-inning game.

"I wanted the 20th strikeout of the night, but it was fun," Indians catcher Roberto Perez said with a laugh.

Rookie Bradley Zimmer had a career-high four RBIs for the Indians, hitting a two-run double in the fourth and a two-run homer in the eighth. Michael Brantley had an RBI single and threw a runner out at the plate in the fourth.

Cleveland (27-23) also got a leadoff drive in the fifth from Jason Kipnis. It has homered in 15 consecutive games.

Sonny Gray (2-2) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings for Oakland (22-29), which dropped a season-high seven games below .500. The right-hander breezed through three innings before the Indians scored seven times in the fourth and fifth.

Matt Joyce drove in two runs and Ryon Healy also had an RBI single for Oakland.

Francisco Lindor drew a leadoff walk in the Cleveland fourth and Carlos Santana reached on a bunt hit. Edwin Encarnacion singled to left and Jose Ramirez doubled to right, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Zimmer then lined a double to right to put Cleveland ahead. Zimmer, the Indians' No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, was called up from Triple-A Columbus on May 16.

Joyce had an RBI single in the first. Oakland scored twice in the fourth, but Brantley's throw changed the game's momentum. Healy's double and Joyce's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

Adam Rosales' hard-hit grounder skipped past Lindor at shortstop, but Brantley's throw from left field got Healy at the plate.

BIG NIGHT FOR THE KID:
Zimmer was 2 for 4 and raised his batting average to .281. He has hit safely in eight of his 13 games since being called up.

"It's fun to watch," manager Terry Francona said. "He's exciting once he gets going on the bases. He's given us a real lift."

QUICK CHANGE:
Gray's night fell apart in the fourth and fifth when he faced a total of 14 batters.

"The quicker I can put this game behind me, the better I'll be," he said. "I wasn't able to put guys away. I was definitely off in my location."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Athletics: LHP Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) threw 19 pitches in an extended spring training game, striking out four of the six hitters he faced. He has been on the disabled list since April 30.

UP NEXT:
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea has won two straight starts, beating the Red Sox and Yankees while posting a 1.50 ERA with 11 strikeouts over 12 innings.

Indians: RHP Mike Clevinger has a 0-1 record with a 6.52 ERA in three appearances (one start) at Progressive Field this season.



Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Hunter Strickland Suspended Six Games After Brawl]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 00:18:47 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/689831864.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — A payback pitch will end up costing Hunter Strickland six games.

The reliever was suspended and fined by Major League Baseball for his role in a benches-clearing brawl on Monday. Bryce Harper was suspended four games and also fined. Both players are appealing their suspensions.

Strickland threw a 98 mph fastball at Harper’s hip in the eighth inning of a 3-0 loss, and Harper immediately charged the mound. Both players threw punches before teammates rushed in and broke it up. Strickland was so incensed that it took three large teammates to drag him off the field. He denied that there was any intent, saying he was just trying to pitch inside to a player who homered off him twice in the 2014 NLDS.

Both players were ejected after the fight. The ejection was the first of Strickland’s career and ninth for Harper, who has been thrown at several times since he broke in as a highly-touted rookie.

Strickland has a 1.06 ERA in 20 appearances and he has primarily served as Bruce Bochy’s seventh-inning guy. Without him, the Giants will have to elevate others, perhaps right-hander Bryan Morris, who has nine consecutive scoreless appearances.




Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NBA Finals Prediction: Only Two Games in Cleveland]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 15:22:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-lebron-christmas-hug.jpg

OAKLAND -- The series for which we have yearned has arrived, and about as quickly as possible. The speed with which the Warriors and Cavaliers spent the playoffs racing toward each other speaks to the inevitability of their collision.

Now that it's here, the sheer volume of storylines and backstories and fabricated stories will threaten to overrun us all, from LeBron vs. KD to Steph vs. Kyrie to The Land vs. The Town to the full-circle trek of Mike Brown.

And, of course, there is the historical significance of this being the very first time the NBA Finals featured an uninterrupted trilogy.

This time, however, there are no excuses coming in. Both teams are hot, the Warriors 12-0 this postseason, the Cavs 12-1. All significant hands are healthy, unlike the past two Finals. So Warriors-Cavs Part III is the series that may -- or may not -- determine, once or for all, which team is better.

Here is our preview of the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

MATCHUPS

POINT GUARD: Stephen Curry vs. Kyrie Irving. This is the tastiest duel in the series, two players with the best combination of shooting, ball-handling and general offensive ingenuity in the NBA. That the teams have split the last two Finals is largely due to the efforts of Curry and Irving. Both are on a roll. Neither can guard the other, and neither will spend much time trying. The man who has the best series almost certainly will get the ring. EDGE: Curry, by a razor-thin margin, for his superior ability to increase the value of this teammates.

SHOOTING GUARD: Klay Thompson vs. JR Smith. These two have plenty of similarities, mostly because each is capable of getting hot enough to single-handedly carry a team to victory. Though neither has been a consistent offensive force in these playoffs, Thompson's defense has been crucial to the success of the Warriors thus far. There is your difference. Well, that and the absolute lock that Thompson at some point will punish the Cavs with his shot. EDGE: Thompson.

SMALL FORWARD: Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James. They have dramatically different physiques and styles but are widely considered, with justification, the two best players in the game. Insofar as Durant's teams are 5-18 when they face James' gangs, this battle will be the most watched and debated and analyzed of the series. Both have been terrific during the postseason, though LeBron's production has proven more essential to the cause of his team. As the teams split two games in the regular season, Durant put up better numbers. EDGE: James by the slightest margin, for his preternatural aptitude to find a way in big games and the monumental achievement of entering seven consecutive finals.

POWER FORWARD: Draymond Green vs. Kevin Love. Both are All-Stars but there is stark contrast in their games, with Green being multidimensional at both ends and Love almost totally reliant two skills: rebounding and 3-pointers. Green was a pivotal player in the 2016 series; his absence due to suspension in Game 5 helped swing the series toward the Cavs. Love is playing great ball, the best since he arrived in Cleveland. EDGE: Green, for being able to impact the game in more ways than perhaps any player in the NBA.

CENTER: Zaza Pachulia vs. Tristan Thompson. The Warriors realize Thompson is such a high-octane offensive rebounder he demands a specific game plan. Pachulia will be the first to try to ensure Thompson isn't giving his team second- and third-chance shots that can demoralize a defense. Pachulia will have a lot of help from his partners in the center rotation. He's going to need it. EDGE: Thompson.

SIXTH MAN: Andre Iguodala vs. Kyle Korver: Iguodala is a true utility man, a Swiss Army Knife of a veteran. He's a playmaker on offense that was voted 2015 Finals MVP largely for the impact he made on defense against James. Iguodala is a player that finds a way. Korver is one of those players who can shoot it with the best to ever play. He is, however, utterly one-dimensional. If his shot isn't falling, he isn't helping. EDGE: Iguodala.

BENCHES: The Warriors have a mix of young and old, from Pat McCaw and Ian Clark to JaVale McGee and David West and Shaun Livingston. They also can go deeper, sending out their 12th and 13th men (Matt Barnes and James Michael McAdoo). Cleveland's reserves are veterans all the way, from Deron Williams and Iman Shumpert to Channing Frye and Richard Jefferson. The best that can be said of the Cavs is they have shooters. The worst is that they are short on defense. EDGE: Warriors.

COACHES: The Warriors essentially have co-coaches at the top of the chart, with head coach Steve Kerr heavily involved while acting head coach Mike Brown tries to implement plans chiefly determined by Kerr. The Cavs also have co-coaches, with head coach Tyronn Lue sharing duties with player-coach James. EDGE: Warriors.

HOME COURTS: Oracle Arena in Oakland and Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland are two of the loudest joints in the NBA, though some of the noise at the Q is generated by sheer PA volume. There is no denying, though, that each team loves its house. The Warriors have the best homecourt advantage in the NBA, 114-9 over the past three seasons, including a league-best 36-5 at home. The Cavs are 95-28 over that same span. EDGE: Warriors.

PREDICTION: Warriors in five.



Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Mengden Exits Early as A's Fall in Cleveland]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 18:00:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/173*120/as-indians-0529.jpg

CLEVELAND -- Carlos Carrasco won his third straight decision, Edwin Encarnacion hit one of Cleveland's three solo home runs and the Indians defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-3 on Monday.

Carrasco (5-2) pitched six shutout innings before allowing back-to-back homers to Yander Alonso and Ryon Healy in the seventh. The right-hander, who hasn't lost since April 28, allowed four hits and struck out seven.

Carlos Santana and Encarnacion hit back-to-back homers to start a four-run fourth while Austin Jackson homered to lead off the third. Cleveland has hit a home run in 14 straight games.

Andrew Miller struck out the side in the eighth. Cody Allen gave up Khris Davis' solo homer and two singles in the ninth, but struck out Trevor Plouffe and recorded his 14th save.

Daniel Mengden (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Nashville to make his first start of the season, allowed five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Encarnacion is showing signs of turning it around after a slow start since signing with the Indians in January. He has an eight-game hitting streak and his 10th home run of the season traveled an estimated 451 feet to dead center.

Yan Gomes had an RBI single while Jose Ramirez was 3 for 3 with a walk and two stolen bases.

Oakland center fielder Rajai Davis returned to Progressive Field for the first time since Game 7 of the World Series when he hit a two-run homer off Cubs relief ace Aroldis Chapman in the eighth inning that tied the game.

Davis, presented with his American League championship ring before the game, was 1 for 4 with a third-inning single.

Jackson added a sacrifice fly in the fourth and has five RBIs in his last two games. He missed three weeks this month with a sprained big toe.

Oakland second baseman Jed Lowrie committed two errors, giving the A's a league-high 51 for the season. Oakland also dropped to 7-18 on the road.

Mengden took the rotation spot of Kendall Graveman, who is on the 10-day DL for the second time this season with a strained right shoulder.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brawl Overshadows Giants' Shutout Loss to Nationals]]>Mon, 29 May 2017 16:48:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/harper-fight-giants-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland's 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

Washington went on to win 3-0 Monday afternoon.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star's second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Punches Thrown, Benches Clear in Giants-Nationals Game]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 10:22:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants+fight.jpg

In their first matchup since the 2014 postseason, Hunter Strickland hit Bryce Harper in the thigh with a 98 mph fastball, setting off an epic fight Monday afternoon at AT&T Park.

In the top of the eighth inning, Strickland plunked Harper, and the Nationals superstar took exception, pointing his bat at Strickland and taking a few steps towards the Giants reliever.

Strickland didn't back down, and Harper charged the mound, flinging his helmet wide of the Giants' reliever before the two exchanged blows.

Strickland appeared to connect with one punch on Harper, and then Harper returned the favor before the benches cleared and the pair were surrounded by teammates. Multiple players were needed to remove Strickland and Harper from the field.

Slow-motion replays show two Giants players colliding during the melee. Pitcher Jeff Samardzija and utility player Michael Morse appeared to knock heads as they sprinted into the scrum from opposite directions and missed their intended targets.

Neither team reported any injuries as a result of the brawl.  

Strickland said after the game he was merely trying to throw inside to Harper. "Obviously, I got it in a little bit too far," he said.

The history between Strickland and Harper stems from the 2014 postseason when Harper hit two monstrous home runs off Strickland in the National League Division Series. The Giants went on to win that series and ultimately the World Series.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Warriors' Kerr: 'I'm Not Well Enough to Coach a Game']]>Mon, 29 May 2017 15:13:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kerr-steve-side-profile.jpg

OAKLAND -- Though he insists he has made no final decision about returning to coach the Warriors in the NBA Finals, Steve Kerr conceded Monday that he likely would remain in the background throughout the series that begins Thursday.

"As of right now, I would not coach," he said after practice.

"I'm all right; I'm not well enough to coach a game. And I know that from ... I coached all 82 games, and I felt OK. I was uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, but I did fine. I could make it through. The first two games of the Portland series, whatever happened, things got worse."

Though Kerr has been a constant presence over the past two weeks, this was the first time he presided over practice. Acting coach Mike Brown was ill Monday and did not come to the facility.

"I'd like to tell you that I'm ready, but I'm not ready to coach yet," Kerr said. "I'm still feeling a lot of the effects of what I've got going on.

"I told the team the good news is the team is really healthy, the bad news is the coaching staff is dropping like flies. Hopefully, Mike will be back (Tuesday)."

Kerr last coached a game on April 19, Game 2 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series against the Trail Blazers. He flew with the team to Portland for Games 3 and 4 but did not coach either game. It was on April 23, between Games 3 and 4, that Kerr announced he was taking a leave of absence to pursue remedies for chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries.

The Warriors have gone 10-0 under Brown, who is in frequent communication with Kerr ever since May 10, when the team began preparations for the conference finals.

"I've been in every meeting since the San Antonio series started," Kerr said. "Every film session, every practice. I address the team quite a bit; I think my messaging is important."

Though Kerr said he plans to accompany the team to Cleveland next week for Games 3 and 4 of the Finals, he continues to weigh his options regarding returning to the bench.

"Once we get to Game 1," he said, "it might be a good time to make a decision one way or the other."



Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors' Thompson Has a Game Plan for Slowing Cavs' Irving]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 19:48:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/klay-kyrie-2016-nbafinals-ap.jpg

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson spent nearly eight minutes Saturday answering a variety of questions, many of which were related to his diminished offense this postseason and his primary defensive assignment in the upcoming NBA Finals.

Mired in a shooting slump, by his standards, the Warriors guard now has to confront the fabulous offensive arsenal of Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving.

As much as Thompson would love to rediscover his shooting touch in Game 1 on Thursday night at Oracle Arena, the Warriors may be more delighted if he can prevent Irving from finding his.

"I take pride in (playing) both sides of the ball, defense as equally as offense," Thompson said after practice at the team's downtown facility. "Whether or not my shot falls, I can always control that part of the game."

The Warriors are undefeated (12-0) this postseason despite Thompson averaging only 14.4 points (compared to 22.3 in the regular season) on 38.3-percent shooting from the field (46.8 in the regular season), 36.4 percent beyond the arc (41.4 in the regular season).

That spotless postseason record is, in part, a reflection of Thompson's work on defense. In all three rounds, he has guarded the opponent's most dangerous backcourt player.

"I couldn't be happier with how he's helped us win games," acting head coach Mike Brown said.

Next up for Thompson is Irving, who has hit game-winning shots in each of the last two times Cleveland has beaten the Warriors, a 3-pointer in Game 7 of the 2015 Finals and a midrange fadeaway jumper last Christmas Day at Quicken Loans Arena.

Irving has played well this postseason but lately has lifted his game to another level. In the five-game Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, Irving averaged 25.8 points per game, while shooting 62.2 percent.

He was particularly dazzling as the Cavs finished off the Celtics in Games 4 and 5, averaging 33.0 points on 64.9-percent shooting.

Irving's recent run prompted Cleveland teammate LeBron James to label him one of the best one-on-one players of all time, a compliment Brown did not argue.

"There are a lot of guys that can shoot the 3, but that's all they can do," he said. "There are a lot of guys that can dribble drive and finish at the rim, but that's all they can do. Here's a guy that can shoot the 3 off the catch-and-shoot, he could shoot the 3 off the dribble. He has medium-game pull-up. He has medium-game floater. And then he can get to the rim. And when he gets to the rim, he can finish in traffic among 7-footers.

"The way he puts English on the ball, how high he gets it off the glass when he needs to, all those things play into a factor of why he is one of the greatest one-on-one players of all time."

Thompson said Irving's offense "easily" belongs in the discussion with the league's best, a group including the likes of MVP candidates Russell Westbrook and James Harden, as well as Thompson's teammate, reigning MVP Stephen Curry.

"He's done it in big moments, so you've got to give him credit," Thompson said of Irving. "Not only have I seen him do it in the pros, but I've seen him do it with the USA Team, too. Kyrie's a very tough guard. We've got a game plan for him, and it'll be fun."

Thompson said he will try to crowd Irving, contest every shot and not be outhustled. Still, he concedes that may not be enough.

There is, however, one other thing Thompson cited that could impact Irving's offensive production. Make him work on defense, something both Warriors guards have the ability to do.

For Thompson, that means finding his stroke.

"I'd like to see the ball go in the basket," he said. "It has, just not as frequently as I want. But that means nothing now. That's in the past. It wouldn't have mattered if I shot lights-out if we didn't finish the job off.

"Now that we're here, it's a clean slate. It's time to go. Can't be worried about a few bad shooting games or the percentages when you went 12-0. You've just got to do what you can and have the intentions to win the game, not to go out there and score a number of points but to just go out there and win the game and make winning plays. That's what I'm focused on."



Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Top Braves 7-1 in Series Finale]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 23:40:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0528.jpg

The Giants scored twice in the first, four times in the second and once more in the third as they went on to beat the Braves 7-1 Sunday at AT&T Park.

Coming off a rough start against the Cubs, Johnny Cueto bounced back with six solid innings. He allowed six hits, one earned run, one walk and struck out eight.

The scoring started in the bottom of the first when Eduardo Nunez scored on a wild pitch by Braves starter R.A. Dickey. Brandon Crawford followed with an RBI-groundout.

Joe Panik led off the bottom of the second with a triple to right center and scored on a single by Gorkys Hernandez. Two batters later, following a walk to Denard Span, Nunez knocked in Hernandez with a single to left. Later in the inning, Crawford drove in two more runs with a single to left.

In the third, Panik opened the frame with a walk and moved to third on a single by Hernandez. Cueto helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to right.

After taking two of three from the Braves, the Giants welcome the NL East-leading Nationals to town. The series begins with a Memorial Day matinee.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Samardzija, Giants Unable to Salvage Split vs. Cubs]]>Thu, 25 May 2017 18:36:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/samardzija-jeff-giants-meeting-mound.jpg

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO - The Giants won the first two games away from home, but they'll fly back to San Francisco with another losing trip. 

The Cubs hit three solo shots off Jeff Samardzija and that was all they needed. A 5-1 loss at Wrigley Field was the fourth in five games for the Giants, who still have not finished with a winning mark on a road trip this season. 

Here are five things you need to know from Wrigley Field, where the press box windows were closed on a sunny day because nobody here celebrates #GritWeek … 

-- A walk of rookie Ian Happ was Samardzija's first since April 28. He faced 154 batters between walks. Samardzija was trying to become the first Giant to go five straight starts without a walk since the great Bill Laskey did it in 1984.

-- Samardzija smacked a one-out double in the fifth for his first extra-base hit of the year, and a wild pitch nudged him to third. A huge blunder helped get the Cubs out of the inning. After walking, Denard Span was picked off of first. Joe Panik grounded out. 

-- With eight strikeouts, Samardzija got to 79 for the season, passing Zack Greinke (78) for the NL lead. He's nowhere near the MLB lead; Chris Sale (101) is on a different planet. 

-- Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford have a good-natured competition with just about everything on the field, and last year there was occasional ribbing in their stolen base race. Posey stole six bases in seven attempts; Crawford edged him, going seven-for-seven. They're neck and neck (at one) this season after a surprise double-steal in the fourth. Posey took third and Crawford took second, but neither scored.

-- This spring, Dave Righetti talked about his desire to have relievers who could pitch two or three innings to help close a game out. The Giants haven't found that guy. Steven Okert has gone deep at times, but also has dealt with inconsistency. The Cubs used the move after Eddie Butler departed, with lefty Mike Montgomery throwing three shutout innings to get the lead to the ninth. Must be nice. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants' Rally Falls Short in 5-4 Loss to Cubs]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 20:20:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/arroyo-down.jpg

BOX SCORE

Matt Moore pitched into the seventh inning and the Giants fought back in the ninth inning, but it wasn't enough in a 5-4 loss to the Cubs.

Moore went six-plus innings and allowed four runs -- three earned -- while striking out four. He is now 2-5 with a 5.28 ERA. 

The Giants are now 20-28 on the season. 



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Shark Nabby in the Playoffs ... Guiding Barracuda Goalies]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 21:19:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nabokov+1-0524.jpg

Even though the San Jose Sharks are long gone from the postseason, some familiar faces that formerly roamed the Shark Tank ice are still involved in a race for a cup.

The San Jose Barracuda, the Sharks' top minor league affiliate, is playing in the American Hockey League's Western Conference Final, guided by a couple of legends named Ricci and Nabokov.

In the Barracuda's run up to the Calder Cup Playoffs, goaltender Troy Grosenick was named the top player at his position, and much of the credit could be attributed to one Evgeni Nabokov, the winningest goalie in Sharks history.

"I'm just happy for him that he succeeded this year and that he is in the process of even making the next step," Nabokov said of Grosenick.

Nabokov's role as developmental goaltending coach is still relatively new. It's his second season coaching the Barracuda goalies.

"It's kind of easy; it's kind of natural," he said. "But also, learning a lot."

And the learning curve involves patience.

"I think Nabby expected instant results, and you find out in coaching you don't always get them," Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said. "Sometimes you've got to ride the wagon a little longer than you want, and it's been a process. But he's done a great job with our goaltending."

Part of the process for Nabokov is liking things he used to dislike during his playing days.

"I never would have thought that I would like to start watching the videos and dissect the certain things, but apparently I do," Nabokov said.

What he doesn't like to do is confuse his pupils.

"I think if you try to tell them what I did or somebody else, it kind of (sends) a mixed message," he said.

So while he tries to steer clear of the past, some of his players don't always let him.

"They're keeping you real in the locker room and reminding me how old I am all the time," Nabokov said. "So, I try to stay away from that. But, anyway, it's been fun."

The Barracuda trail the Grand Rapids Griffins 2-1 in the best-of-seven West final series. Game 4 is 4 p.m. Friday at Grand Rapids, Michigan.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Gray Fans 11, Davis Homers in A's 4-1 Win Over Marlins]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 18:34:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lowrie-khrisdavis-hr-marlins-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Sonny Gray wanted to lighten the mood in the Athletics' clubhouse before the game so he lit a few candles in an adjacent locker, lowered the lights and had peaceful, pan-flute music piped into the overhead speakers.

Then the Oakland ace went out and put the Miami Marlins' offense to sleep with his best outing in two years.

Gray struck out a season-high 11 over seven innings, Khris Davis homered and the A's beat the Marlins 4-1 on Wednesday.

"We were just getting everybody nice and relaxed," Gray said of his pregame routine. "It was a good way to start the day. If we're going to put this thing together here . we're going to have to get everyone together and that's just a little way to do that."

Jed Lowrie matched his career high with four hits including two doubles, and Matt Joyce reached base three times and scored to help the A's earn a split of the two-game interleague series.

Gray (2-1) was dominant while earning his second straight win. The right-hander, who began the season on the disabled list because of a strained lat, retired the first nine batters, struck out the side twice and pitched out of a pair of jams to strand runners at third. Gray walked one and allowed three hits.

The 11 strikeout were one shy of Gray's career-best.

"That's what the really good ones do," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "They have a level and they have another level when they need it. We saw everything that makes him who he is today."

Ryan Madson pitched the eighth and Santiago Casilla got the last three outs for his seventh save, getting Tyler Moore to foul out with two runners on base to end the game.

Edinson Volquez (0-7) allowed three runs over six innings and tied the Marlins franchise record for most consecutive losses to open a season. The 33-year-old right-hander has dropped eight straight decisions overall dating to 2016, the longest drought of his career.

"When I signed on here I was hoping to be better than what I am right now," Volquez said. "The longer I'm pitching the way I did tonight, I'm good with it. I think I threw the ball pretty good today. One mistake. I threw a fastball to Davis and the ball keeps going."

The A's won despite three errors. They have 46 this season, most in the majors.

Dee Gordon singled and scored Miami's lone run.

LOWRIE WARMING UP:
Lowrie doubled and scored on Davis' 14th home run of the season, a two-out opposite field shot off Volquez. Lowrie added an RBI double in the fifth then singled in Adam Rosales in the seventh. It was Lowrie's team-leading 16th multi-hit game of the season and extended his modest hitting streak to six games. "Really consistent the whole year," Melvin said of Lowrie, who went 13 for 25 on the homestand. "Physically he feels better than he ever has. Durability-wise he's been out there more. I consistently talk to him about DH, but no, he wants to play."

TRAINER'S ROOM:
Marlins: LF Christian Yelich did not play and is day to day after suffering a right hip flexor injury during Tuesday's win.

Athletics: 1B Yonder Alonso wore a protective wrap around his right wrist and was held out of the lineup after getting hit by a pitch. Melvin expects Alonso to be in the lineup Friday in New York. . RHP Jesse Hahn, who left his start Tuesday with a triceps strain, underwent an MRI test but results were unknown . LHP Sean Doolittle (left shoulder strain) will throw live batting practice Saturday in extended spring training in Arizona. . RHP Bobby Wahl was placed on the 10-day disabled list with soreness in his shoulder and biceps tendinitis. RHP Zach Neal was called up from Triple-A Nashville.

UP NEXT:
Marlins: RHP Dan Straily (2-3) faces the Los Angeles Angels for only the second time in his career Friday in Miami. Straily has failed to make it past the fifth inning in seven of his nine starts this season.

Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman (2-2) pitches against the Yankees on Friday when Oakland begins a three-game series in New York. Kendall is winless in five starts since coming off the disabled list.



Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Hahn Hit Hard Before Injury, A's Drop Slugfest to Miami]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 23:33:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ichiro-scores-athletics-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Justin Bour matched his career high with four hits including his fourth home run in five games to highlight Miami's best offensive game of the season, and the Marlins held off a late surge to beat the Oakland Athletics 11-9 on Tuesday night.

Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon had three hits each on a night when every Miami player had at least one by the third inning. Three other Marlins had two hits apiece while Ichiro Suzuki added a two-run single in his return to the starting lineup.

Miami entered the day with the second-worst record in the majors having dropped 14 of 17 before getting a season-high 19 hits against Oakland in the first meeting between the two clubs since 2014.

Yonder Alonso hit his 13th home run of the season for the A's, but left with a bruised right hand after getting hit by a pitch in the sixth. Ryon Healy and Rajai Davis also homered for Oakland.

Jose Urena (2-2) pitched five uneven innings for his first career interleague win in 10 appearances. The Miami right-hander allowed six runs over five innings, raising his ERA from 1.91 to 3.08.

Jesse Hahn (1-4) took the loss and left the game in the third inning with a triceps strain. He pitched just two innings, giving up five runs on seven hits while striking out two. He gave up a single to Christian Yelich in the third then left after a visit to the mound by the Oakland trainer.

The A's scored three times in the ninth and had the tying runner at the plate with two outs before AJ Ramos struck out Stephen Vogt.

Bour doubled as part of a three-run third, singled and scored in the fifth, homered leading off the seventh then singled again in the ninth. It was Bour's 12th home run this season and eighth in his last 12 games.

TRAINER'S ROOM: Marlins: Wei-Yin Chen received a platelet-rich plasma treatment before the game. The left-hander has been out since early May with arm fatigue. . RHP David Phelps was placed on the bereavement list and is expected to rejoin the team Friday. . Reliever Drew Steckenrider was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans. . RHP Junichi Tazawa (rib cage inflammation) is scheduled to throw a bullpen this weekend.

Athletics: X-rays taken on Alonso's hand were negative. . LHP Sean Doolittle (shoulder strain) will throw a 25-pitch bullpen Wednesday. If all goes well, the former closer could face hitters in his next outing. . RHP Ryan Dull continues to be bothered by soreness in his right knee.

UP NEXT: Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez (0-6) pitches the finale of this two-game series Wednesday afternoon while Oakland counters with right-hander Sonny Gray (1-1). Gray is attempting to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 2016.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' 4-1 Loss to Cubs]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 19:37:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cueto-mad-cubs-may23-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO - The rain stayed away Tuesday after an initial delay of just over an hour. Once the first pitch was thrown, the Giants you watched over the previous week pulled a similar disappearing act. 

The lineup had no answer for Jon Lester, who threw a 99-pitch complete game and led the Cubs to a 4-1 win in two hours and five minutes. On the other side, the Cubs bashed three homers off Johnny Cueto, who still hasn't found that 2016 groove. 

Here are five things to know from Wrigley, where tarp management is no longer a problem … 

--- Cueto gave up three homers for the first time since joining the Giants. It started with Kyle Schwarber's 470-foot blast onto Sheffield that the Cubs said was the first to reach the street since 2014. The pitches Schwarber, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo crushed had one thing in common: All were left right over the heart of the plate. 

--- Cueto became just the fourth Giants pitcher in the last 15 years to strike out at least eight but also give up three homers. Jeff Samardzija did it earlier this season against the Diamondbacks.

--- Addison Russell started a double play on Brandon Crawford in the second inning that gave Crawford a taste of what it's like to hit a ball up the middle against the Giants. A year ago, Russell led NL shortstops in the SABR Defensive Index, which is a chunk of Gold Glove voting. This year, he leads the NL with nine Defensive Runs Saved; Crawford is at four. Personally I think Cincinnati's Zack Cozart is the second best defensive shortstop in the NL, but Russell is certainly the guy who is the biggest threat to Crawford winning a third straight Gold Glove. 

--- The Lester Yips thing gets talked about quite a bit … but it should probably be talked about more. It's simply incredible that one of the best pitchers in the world refuses to throw to first. Lester didn't even move off the mound when Buster Posey hit a slow roller in the second, forcing his catcher to make a much tougher play. In the seventh Posey hit a similar ball and this time Lester had no choice; he fielded the ball and threw underhanded to first.

--- Josh Osich did not shave his mustache, he simply grew the rest out until he had a beard. It's the smarter way to go. This way Osich still has the stache in his back pocket if the team needs some luck. He pitched a scoreless eighth, striking Schwarber out with a nasty slider.



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Lobby For Oakland Coliseum Deal Through 2019]]>Tue, 23 May 2017 19:34:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-coliseum.jpg

Raiders owner Mark Davis is asking Oakland and Alameda County officials for three more years at the Coliseum before he and his team bolt to Las Vegas.

That's one more year than the team's current lease.

On Tuesday, NFL owners approved the Raiders' 30-year lease at a planned $1.9 billion stadium in Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

Davis is lobbying city and the county to work out a deal that would allow the Raiders to play the 2019 season at the Coliseum, if Oakland wants them. The team's lease in Oakland is slated to expire after the 2018 season.

The Coliseum board indicated in March that it likely would not house the team beyond 2018, saying it loses money when the Raiders play at the Coliseum, according to the Mercury News.




Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' 6-4 Win Over Cubs]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 22:50:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/panik-giants-instant-replay.jpg

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO - This time, the comeback would not be completed. 

The Giants nearly gave away a six-run lead in their first game against the Cubs since the NLDS collapse, but they held on for a 6-4 win. Ty Blach was strong into the eighth, Joe Panik had a monster night, and Mark Melancon closed it out. The Giants are 3-1 on the road trip and have won eight of 10 overall. 

Here are five things to know from the first night back at Wrigley … 

--- Manager Bruce Bochy had to have a sick and familiar feeling in his stomach as he walked out to the mound for the third pitching change of the eighth. Hunter Strickland fell behind with two on, but he got Willson Contreras to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

---  Blach's career numbers against the Cubs, including the postseason: 10 1/3 innings, 3 earned runs. The two relief appearances last October helped convince the staff he could make the transition. Turns out he's pretty good against them as a starter, too. 

--- A perfect example of why Blach is so successful despite not having blow-you-away stuff came in the sixth. Albert Almora blooped a single to right and Blach alertly followed him to first, which had been vacated by Brandon Belt. Almora never imagined anyone was covering first, and when Justin Ruggiano threw behind the runner, Blach was there to catch the ball and fire it down to second to nab Almora, who had gone halfway. 

--- The Giants entered the night with a .351 slugging percentage, last in the Majors. John Lackey came in allowing opponents to slug .487, ninth-worst in the National League. Sometimes it's all just too neat. The Giants had two homers and three doubles in five innings off Lackey. 

--- All three Giants homers were solo shots. That's 18 solos in a row, three shy of the MLB record, held by the 2011 Giants.



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Sweep Spurs, Advance to Third Straight NBA Finals]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 22:57:57 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors-0522.jpg

SAN ANTONIO -- The Warriors entered the NBA record book Monday night. They also advanced to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season for the first time in franchise history.

Their 129-115 spanking of the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at AT&T Center completed a sweep of the series, extending the Warriors’ record this postseason to 12-0 and making them the first team in league history to post such a record while also opening the playoffs with three consecutive four-game sweeps.

Stephen Curry put in 36 points to lead the offensive attack. Kevin Durant finished with 29 points, Draymond Green with 16, Ian Clark with 12 and Klay Thompson added 10.

Once again, though, it was a scrambling and switching defense that generated most everything the Warriors did. They limited San Antonio to 42.3-percent shooting from the field -- 35.1 through the first three quarters. The Warriors shot 55.8 percent.

The Warriors outrebounded the Spurs 53-41 and won despite committing 17 turnovers, off which San Antonio scored 22 points.

Playing without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs were led by Kyle Anderson, who totaled 20 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Though most members of the starting lineup submitted strong performances, Durant and Green were twin terrors.

Green’s line: 16 points (5-of-10 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, 4-of-6 from the line), eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Starting at center for the injured Zaza Pachulia, Green played 34 minutes and was plus-19.

Durant’s line: 29 points (10-of-13 from the field, 2-of-4 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line), 12 rebounds and four assists. A model of efficiency, he played 38 minutes was finished plus-18

TURNING POINT: Though the Warriors quickly built a double-digit lead (19-7, 5:48 left in the first quarter), the Spurs rallied back several times, getting as close as seven early in the second quarter before the Warriors pulled away.

When San Antonio closed to within 36-29 with 8:36 left in the second quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-3 run to go up 51-32 with 4:54 left in the half.

The Spurs got no closer than 10 in the second half.

OF NOTE: Curry moved Lakers legend Kobe Bryant into fifth place on the all-time list of postseason 3-pointers. Bryant retired with 292. Curry has 295.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) was listed as probable and upgraded to available. C Zaza Pachulia (R heel contusion) was listed as questionable but declared out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff.

Spurs: F David Lee (L knee injury) and F Kawhi Leonard (L ankle sprain) were listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon rupture) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin June 1 at Oracle Arena.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Deeper Raiders Offense May be in NFL's Top Five]]>Mon, 22 May 2017 08:08:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/KahrnKoopr.jpg

In 2016, quarterback Derek Carr led a Raiders offense that was the sixth best in the NFL, averaging 373.3 yards per game. It helped power Oakland to a 12-4 record and a postseason berth for the first time since 2002.

Since then, the Raiders have added even more offensive weapons, with running back Marshawn Lynch, wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and tight end Jared Cook.

Now, some see the Raiders’ offense as being among the NFL’s elite in 2017.

Analyst Chris Wesseling of NFL.com recently projected the Raiders as having the fourth-best offense in the league for the coming season. His top five are the Patriots at No. 1, followed by the Steelers, Falcons, Raiders and Cowboys.

Wesseling points to the strength of the offensive line and a deep corps of running backs led by Lynch, second-year ballcarriers DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard and rookie Elijah Hood, and a receiving corps that should be even deeper than last year, when it was among the team’s best units. Wesseling believes Amari Cooper – who’s been terrific his first two years – still has room to grow in his third pro season.

“Although Cooper has shown flashes of All-Pro-caliber play, he simply hasn’t maintained the consistency of a legitimate No. 1 receiver,” he wrote. “Cook’s speed will make him a welcome addition as (Clive) Walford’s replacement down the seam. Patterson and (Seth) Roberts should split No. 3 receiver duties, with the former specializing in in-breaking run-after-catch routes and the latter maintaining a more traditional slot role.”

Plus, says Wessling, the Raiders paid attention to what happened late last season, when Carr went down with a season-ending injury. That left the QB duties to Matt McGloin – since departed – and rookie Connor Cook, who’d never taken an NFL snap. So, general manager Reggie McKenzie signed former Bills starter E.J. Manuel to be the primary backup. Manuel and Cook, who’ll continue to grow, should be able to provide more at the position in 2017 should Carr be knocked out again.

Manuel was eager to sign with the Raiders, who feature his former quarterbacks coach in Buffalo, Todd Downing, as offensive coordinator.

“I just want to be an addition,” Manuel told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group after signing in Oakland. “I’m not an ego guy. I’m not driven by that. … I want to be here to help this franchise and team to be where they are in whatever role or capacity that is. That’s what I’m excited to do.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Paralyzed Cal Rugby Player's High School Wins National Title]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 21:43:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jesuit+rugby-0521.jpg

The former high school team of a Cal rugby player who was paralyzed during a game earlier this month arrived home in Sacramento on Sunday carrying a national championship trophy.

It was an emotional day for members of the Jesuit High School rugby family after the team paid tribute to Robert Paylor, a varsity player at Cal who was partially paralyzed from the chest down during the Golden Bears' national title game May 6 at Santa Clara University.


The Jesuit High players were greeted by fans and families at the airport upon their return home from Kansas City, where they defeated Gonzaga to capture the national high school crown. The players had dedicated the championship tournament to Paylor, saying his strength as he recovers from the severe injury led them to victory, even as many of the players were sick with the flu.

"I’m wearing my Robert Paylor Strong wristband," player Carlos Ramirez said. "He was on the team with my brother, and he is a great guy, and this win was for him."

Jesuit coach John Shorey said he texted and talked with Paylor, who watched the game from his hospital room in the Bay Area.

"It was an amazing game; it was almost as if it was scripted for a movie," Shorey said. "Our players rose to the challenge; I'm very proud of them."

The players also signed a ball for Paylor. It's Jesuit's eighth national title.

Paylor’s family says he has a long road to recovery, but they add they are blown away by how positive he's been since the accident. A GoFundMe page to help him with medical expenses has topped a half-million dollars.



Photo Credit: KCRA
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<![CDATA[Popovich: Kawhi 'Likely' Out for Game 4 vs. Warriors]]>Sun, 21 May 2017 20:37:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kawhi-sad-game3-usatsi.jpg

With the Spurs on the brink of elimination, it appears Kawhi Leonard won't be available in Game 4 against the Warriors on Monday night.

Speaking after practice on Sunday morning, Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told reporters that Leonard "likely" won't play.

"It wouldn't make sense," Popovich told reporters.

It sounds as if the extra time hasn't helped Leonard.

"If he's unable to play yesterday, I don't think there's going to be a miraculous healing by tomorrow," Popovich said.

Shortly after Popovich spoke the media, the Spurs officially listed Leonard as doubtful for Game 4.

Leonard aggravated his sprained left ankle after rolling it twice in Game 1 against the Warriors.

The Warriors lead the Western Conference Finals 3-0 and can clinch a spot in their third consecutive NBA Finals with a win Monday night.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Install Barriers Outside AT&T Park's Main Gate]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 00:17:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-17-2017-att-barriers.jpg

The San Francisco Giants have started placing thick barriers in front of the main entrance at AT&T Park at Third and King streets to protect their fans. The move comes in the wake of recent attacks around the world when cars and trucks have been rammed into large crowds.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2017 Preakness Stakes: How to Watch]]>Fri, 19 May 2017 14:47:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP_17137818364144.jpg

The 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes is on Saturday, beginning at 3:48 p.m. PT on NBC Bay Area.

Coverage of the race kicks off at 2 p.m. PT and you can watch it all live at home or on the go via NBC Live. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the favorite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown.

You can live stream the Preakness on nbcbayarea.com on your desktop or laptop computer or your mobile device by clicking on this link. You can also watch the coverage on our app. All you need is your TV service provider’s username and password.

What is a TV service provider?
A TV service provider is a company you pay to get your television service, such as a cable, satellite or a telecommunications company.

Why am I being asked to sign in?

TV service providers play a key role in delivering our content through emerging technology platforms, like the web and mobile devices. It's through the support of pay TV service providers that we're able to bring live as well as on demand entertainment and news shows to subscribers at no additional cost.

Do I have to create a new account?

If you already have a username and password from your TV service provider, you do not need to create a new account — just verify your account information. If you have not previously set up an account with your provider, you'll need to create a new account. Please contact your TV service provider to learn more. If you're not currently a customer with a TV service provider, you'll need to become one to access the full range of NBC programming.

How do I verify my TV service provider account? 
Select your TV service provider from the list. When asked, enter your account username and password; it's most likely the same information you use to log on to your account to pay your bill online. Don't forget to check "remember me" to avoid having to sign in each time you come back. 

What if I've forgotten my username or password?

Most TV service providers offer a simple way to retrieve or reset your password online. Please contact your provider to learn more.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Gray Strikes Out Eight, A's Go Deep to Take Down Red Sox]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 22:39:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-recap-us.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Taking the mound with the lead in the second inning after a rough start to the game was just what Sonny Gray needed to get back on track.

Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis hit first-inning homers to spoil Hector Velazquez's major league debut and Gray took it from there to get his first win of the season for the Oakland Athletics, 8-3 over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.

"That really kind of got me going and gave me the kick I needed to really try to focus down and put up some zeroes," Gray said. "The offense really bailed me out early tonight. That was huge."

Gray (1-1) allowed two runs in a 31-pitch first inning in his 100th career start before settling down. Relying heavily on sharp breaking pitches, Gray gave up just one more run the rest of the way, while striking out eight in six innings to give him wins against all 14 other AL teams in his career.

"When he's punching guys out, that's the sign that Sonny is Sonny," catcher Stephen Vogt said. "He's an ace and aces go out there and punch people out. That's what he did tonight."

Chad Pinder added a homer in the fourth inning against Velazquez (0-1), who had a rough first start after spending his first seven years as a pro in the Mexican League.

Staked to a 2-0 lead before taking the mound in his major league debut, the 28-year-old Velazquez fell behind just four batters into the game when he allowed a two-run homer to Lowrie and a solo shot to Davis for Oakland's first back-to-back homers of the season.

"I thought there might be a little bit better command in the strike zone," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "There were some pitches that stayed up in the middle of the plate that they made him pay for. First time out for him, not making any excuses. This is not a 21-year-old coming up making his debut. It was just more the command within the strike zone."

After Boston tied the game in the fourth on a solo shot by Mitch Moreland, the A's went back ahead in the bottom half when Trevor Plouffe hit an RBI double and Pinder followed with a two-run homer on the next pitch to make it 6-3.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP David Price (elbow) and 3B Pablo Sandoval (knee) will begin rehab assignments at Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday. Price is expected to throw 85 to 90 pitches and could be activated from the DL next week.

"Tomorrow is a big day for him in seeing how he comes out, the number of pitches thrown," Farrell said.

Athletics: 1B Yonder Alonso sat out after being removed from the game Wednesday in Seattle with a sore left knee. He had an MRI on Thursday that showed no structural damage and will likely miss at least a couple of days. ... RHP Daniel Mengden (foot) allowed two runs in six innings and RHP John Axford (shoulder) pitched one scoreless innings in a rehab assignment for Triple-A Nashville.

CAUGHT ON BASES

A's leadoff hitter Rajai Davis had a rough night on the bases. He was caught stealing second after leading off the game with a single and then was thrown out at third trying for a triple in the third. Davis beat the throw from center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. and was initially called safe. But his foot came off the base momentarily on the slide and he was tagged by Deven Marrero. The play was overturned on replay.

TOUGH UMP

Home plate umpire Marty Foster took a hard foul ball off the mask in the third inning that left him stumbling before Boston catcher Christian Vazquez steadied him. After being checked by the trainer, Foster stayed in the game.

EMPTY HOUSE

The attendance of 12,016 was the smallest for a Red Sox game in Oakland since the A's drew 8,221 for a game on May 3, 1999.

UP NEXT

Boston's Chris Sale (4-2) goes for his eighth straight double-digit strikeout game in the second game of the series. Sale already has one streak of eight straight double-digit strikeout games in 2015 for the White Sox. The only other player with at least 10 strikeouts in eight straight starts was Pedro Martinez for Boston in 1999. Kendall Graveman (2-2) starts for the A's.



Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Board OKs Conditional Lease for Raiders Stadium in Las Vegas]]>Thu, 18 May 2017 15:29:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/215*120/raiders-vegas.jpg

LAS VEGAS - The public entity that oversees the proposed stadium where the Raiders want to start playing in 2020 has approved a conditional lease agreement for the facility.

The approval given by the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board Thursday was necessary to avoid delaying the team's relocation by a year as NFL owners gathering next week in Chicago plan to take up the document.

The lease addresses various aspects related to the 65,000-seat stadium, including insurance, maintenance and naming rights.

Guests of hotels and other lodging facilities in the Las Vegas area are contributing $750 million to the $1.9 billion project through an increase in the room tax. The Raiders and the NFL are expected to contribute $500 million. The team has also secured a $650 million loan from Bank of America.



Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors: Steve Kerr Will Travel With Team to San Antonio]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 21:56:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kerr-tie-sager.jpg

Steve Kerr is Texas bound.

When the Warriors fly to San Antonio on Thursday, Steve Kerr will be on board.

"He will be on the trip," Warriors GM Bob Myers said on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday.

Kerr hasn't been on the bench since Game 2 of the opening round against the Blazers.

He is currently on an indefinite leave of absence because of ongoing issues from a 2015 back surgery.

Kerr was not at Oracle Arena for Games 1 and 2 against the Jazz, and did not travel to Utah for Games 3 and 4.

He was in the building for Games 1 and 2 against the Spurs.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Barry Bonds Going on Giants' Wall of Fame]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 21:57:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bonds-legends-wall.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Barry Bonds returned to the organization this spring, the Giants signaled that it would kick off a series of events celebrating the slugger. The first one will take place July 8.

The team announced Wednesday that Bonds will get a plaque on AT&T Park's Wall of Fame that day. The ceremony will take place at 3:30 p.m. before a game against the Marlins. Bonds was Miami's hitting coach last season.

Bonds currently serves as a special advisor to CEO Larry Baer. He has been a regular at the ballpark and he is expected to visit minor league affiliates at some point.

Bonds, a Bay Area native, signed with the Giants in 1993. Over 15 seasons in San Francisco, he hit 586 homers.

Per the Giants, their Wall of Fame serves "as a living tribute to the organization's greatest players. It recognizes retired players whose records stand highest among their teammates on the basis of longevity and achievements."

To be honored, a player must spend nine seasons with the Giants or five seasons with at least one All-Star selection. Bonds will be the 49th player to get the honor.



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Knock Around Cueto, Snap Giants' Win Streak]]>Wed, 17 May 2017 21:58:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/belling-kershaw-giants-may17-2017-ap1.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — On Sept. 29, 2015, with the Giants threatening to get back into a division race that had seemed lost, Clayton Kershaw took the mound at AT&T Park. He pitched a shutout, struck out 13, and clinched an NL West crown.

The stakes were nowhere near that high Wednesday, but Kershaw once again put his spikes down on the throat of his surging rival. He threw seven shutout innings, allowing just three singles and leading the Dodgers to a 6-1 win that snapped the Giants’ season-long five-game winning streak.

The win was Kershaw’s 20th against the Giants and 12th in 19 career starts at AT&T Park. He has a 1.29 ERA here.

There is no margin for error against Kershaw, and Johnny Cueto couldn’t keep the Dodgers off the board early. With two on and two outs in the first, he threw a good two-strike slider to Yasmani Grandal. Buster Posey spread out in the dirt, preparing to block strike three, but Grandal somehow drilled it off the wall for a 2-0 lead.

Cueto and Grandal chirped at each other in the third and the benches cleared. By that point it was 3-0 thanks to a pair of Giants mistakes. Michael Morse didn’t get back to first fast enough on Chase Utley’s grounder to second, and Joe Panik had no throw. Later in the inning, Utley scored on a wild pitch. The Dodgers tacked on two more in the sixth before Cueto’s day was done.

Starting pitching report: Cueto was charged with five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He’s been better of late, but still, he’ll take a 4.50 ERA into his next start.

Bullpen report: Bryan Morris continues to show he might be here for good. He pitched a perfect eighth.

At the plate: Eduardo Nuñez took Sergio Romo deep in the ninth.

In the field: Morse played left field for the first time since returning. He got turned around on Cody Bellinger’s fly to the track that went for an RBI double.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,588 human beings who chose the wrong game to attend this week.

Up next: A day off! The Giants fly to St. Louis on Thursday and start a three-game set there Friday. It’s a HUGE trip.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Joyce, Canha Homer in Ninth to Rescue A's in Seattle]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:46:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rajai-joyce-homer-seattle-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE - Headed for another meltdown that looked all too familiar, the A's instead provided fans a welcome plot twist.

After blowing a three-run lead in the seventh, the A's roared back with five runs in the ninth and rang up a 9-6 victory over the Mariners to snap their four-game losing streak.

All signs pointed to the kind of collapse that's been a theme for the A's on this six-game road trip, after Seattle rallied from a 4-1 deficit to tie the game in the seventh. Kyle Seager then homered off Ryan Madson in the eighth to put Seattle ahead 5-4.

But Matt Joyce, who has done damage offensively throughout this trip, drilled a two-run homer off Steve Cishek to put the A's back ahead, and Mark Canha added a three-run shot for emphasis off Marc Rzepczynski for a 9-5 lead.

They wound up working a lot harder than should have been necessary, but the A's finally pocketed their first win on this six-game trip that wraps up Wednesday.

The A's would probably like to just skip the seventh inning and proceed to the eighth Wednesday. They've surrendered leads in the seventh on three different occasions this trip.

They led 4-1 Tuesday and were trying to work out of a bases-loaded one-out jam. But a potential double-play grounder slipped under the glove of third baseman Ryon Healy for an error that allowed two runs to score. Then, in what seemed an omen for another ‘L' coming their way, they had an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play wiped out by a replay reversal, and Seattle scored the tying run on the play.

But, trailing by a run after Seager's homer, the A's instead dug their heels in and authored a refreshing new ending.

Starting pitching report:
Andrew Triggs put the A's in position to win with six innings of one-run ball. He surrendered Nelson Cruz's home run on his third batter of the game, then the Mariners got nothing more off the right-hander, who came in tied for third in the American League in wins. He left with a 4-1 lead but was denied his sixth victory. Triggs allowed just four hits, walking two and striking out four.

Bullpen report:
Healy's error was the glaring turning point of the Mariners' three-run game-tying rally, but the relief corps again played a part in squandering that lead. Ryan Dull allowed two singles (one an infield job) and a wild pitch, and Daniel Coulombe hit Jarrod Dyson on a 1-2 pitch to aid that seventh-inning rally for the home team. Madson gave up the go-ahead homer in the eighth. Handed a four-run lead in the ninth, Casilla gave up a run and had to work hard before nailing down the victory.

At the plate:
Having lived and died with the long ball most of this season, the A's shifted gears in a fourth inning rally that extended a 2-1 lead. Canha and Stephen Vogt began the inning with back-to-back doubles to score a run. Then Adam Rosales bunted Vogt to third and Josh Phegley singled him home for a 4-1 lead. Oakland didn't completely go away from its bread and butter, as Healy crushed a two-run homer into the second deck in left to get them on the board in the second.

They trailed 5-4 entering the ninth. Rajai Davis led off with a pinch single and Joyce then hammered his go-ahead two-run shot to right. Joyce has three homers and seven RBI in five games on this trip. Canha, who started in center field, was 3-for-5 with the three-run homer.

In the field:
Healy's error was the A's 36th, adding to the major league-high total. They did get a lift behind the plate from Phegley, who threw out two would-be base stealers at second over the first three innings.

Attendance:
The announced crowd was 13,955.

Up next:
Jesse Hahn (1-2, 2.74) could use a little more help from his friends. His season run support of 2.74 per game is third lowest in the AL. He'll oppose Christian Bergman (0-1, 4.15) in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. series finale





Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Blach, Bullpen Shut Down Dodgers, Giants Win Fifth Straight]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:47:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-dodgers-0516.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — This winning streak is curing a lot of ills, and you can add this to the list: For the first time this season, the Giants got a win out of their No. 1 starter spot.

Madison Bumgarner didn’t pitch in a win before going down on his dirt bike and Ty Blach suffered the same fate through four starts. He helped turn that around Tuesday with a strong performance that was backed by a couple of Brandon Belt runs. The Giants won 2-1, extending their winning streak to five games. They have clinched a second straight series victory over the Dodgers.

Blach got out of a couple of early jams and he was temporarily rewarded for it. Blach worked around two walks in the first and two hits in the fourth, and in the bottom of that inning he got a lead when Belt hit his eighth homer. The advantage wouldn’t last long. Chris Taylor led off the sixth by driving a 2-0 fastball into the net beyond center field.

The Giants manufactured a go-ahead run in the sixth, and Belt was again in the middle of it. He got a shift-busting infield single and went to second on a wild pitch. Buster Posey’s grounder to the right side advanced Belt, who scored on Brandon Crawford’s single to center.

Blach went back out and retired the side, finishing with seven strong innings. He threw a career-high 109 pitches.

Starting pitching report: Bochy is pushing his starters hard during this run, and it’s working. Starting with Johnny Cueto on Friday, the starting pitchers have thrown 119, 120, 114, 112 and 109 pitches.

Bullpen report: Mullet-less Hunter Strickland pitched a scoreless eighth, with a little help from the Brandons.

At the plate: The Giants have gotten either a Belt homer or a Posey homer in each of the last nine games. All of them have been solo shots.

In the field: Starting at second base for the first time in the big leagues, Christian Arroyo did a solid Joe Panik impersonation. He threw home in the

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,366 human beings who brought the “rally lights” out in the sixth. I wouldn’t recommend bringing anything from April into this streak, but you guys do you.

Up next: Clayton Kershaw makes his 397th career appearance in a Giants-Dodgers series. He’ll face Johnny Cueto.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Win Running Away in Game 2 vs. the Spurs]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:59:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors-0516.jpg

OAKLAND -- The Warriors extended their postseason win streak to 10 in a row, an ongoing franchise record, cruising to a 136-100 victory Tuesday night over the Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Stephen Curry provided most of the juice for the wire-to-wire win, pouring in a game-high 29 points as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series before a roaring sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Six more Warriors scored in double figures, with rookie Pat McCaw tossing in 18 points, Kevin Durant 16, Draymond Green 13, Klay Thompson 11, and Ian Clark and Shaun Livingston 10 apiece.

All 13 available Warriors entered the game, and all 13 scored as they posted their highest points total of the playoffs.

Though the Warriors were outrebounded (50-39), they more than offset that by shooting 56.2 from the field -- 65.1 percent in the first half -- while limiting the Spurs to 37 percent.

Forward Jonathan Simmons, starting for injured All-Star Kawhi Leonard, led San Antonio with 22 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Most everybody wearing a Warriors jersey played well, but Curry was the most dominating player on the floor.

Curry’s line: 29 points (8-of-12 shooting from the field, 6-of-8 from beyond the arc, 7-of-7 from the line), seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals. He played 31 minutes and was plus-24.

Curry now has 287 3-pointers for his career, moving into sixth place on the all-time list. Next up: Kobe Bryant, with 292.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors blew it open early, opening with a 9-2 run and taking a 22-10 lead en route to a 33-16 advantage after one quarter.

The Spurs got no closer than 14 over the rest of the first half and no closer than 20 after halftime.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: C Zaza Pachulia sustained a right heel contusion in the first quarter and did not return. F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Spurs: F Kawhi Leonard (L ankle sprain) was listed as doubtful and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon surgery) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: The teams are scheduled to meet Saturday at AT&T Center in San Antonio for Game 3 of the series. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Pacific.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Manaea Hit Hard Early, A's Rally Falls Just Short]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:49:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/manaea-vogt-mariners-may15-2017-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE — For all his mighty struggles early on, it looked like Sean Manaea might get off the hook for a loss Monday night at Safeco Field.

Instead, the A’s awakening with the bats turned out to be just a tease as they lost 6-5 to the Mariners and extended their losing streak to four.

The A’s, trailing 6-3, scored twice in the ninth but left the bases loaded as Adam Rosales took a called third strike on a full-count fastball from Tony Zych.

Manaea, after missing two starts on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, issued four walks in a nightmarish first and finished with the strangest of pitching lines: 5 innings, 2 hits, 4 runs, 5 walks, 7 strikeouts.

Seattle jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, though the A’s closed to within 4-3 on homers from Khris Davis and Stephen Vogt. But Oakland’s bullpen faltered again as Liam Hendriks surrendered Kyle Seager’s two-run homer in the eighth to give the Mariners a 6-3 cushion.

The opener of this three-game series pitted two teams looking to reverse their fortunes. The Mariners were swept in four games at Toronto as their injuries continue mount. The A’s came in having surrendered three late-game leads in being swept by Texas.

The teams combined for just nine hits on a chilly night in which the temperature at first pitch was 51 degrees, the cold air sweeping through the openings underneath Safeco Field’s retractable roof.

Oakland has fallen to a season-high six games below .500 at 16-22. That includes a 5-14 road record that is the worst in the majors.

Starting pitching report: Manaea (1-3) labored through a 38-pitch first inning in his first outing since leaving an April 26 start at Anaheim with tightness in his left shoulder. He issued four walks that inning, including two that forced in runs, and threw just nine of his first 23 pitches for strikes. Trailing 2-0 as he took the mound in the second, Manaea gave up Nelson Cruz’s two-run homer to straightaway center on a 1-2 fastball that made it 4-0.

But although the A’s bullpen was active as early as the first, Manaea steadied himself and retired nine a row from the third through the fifth and left after 88 pitches. His fastball sat between 91 and 93 and he went to a sharp slider for several of his seven strikeouts.

Bullpen report: Frankie Montas relieved Manaea and gave manager Bob Melvin two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. But Hendriks, so dominant until this six-game road trip began, struggled for the second outing in a row. He gave up a walk and two hits in the eighth, including Seager’s two-run bomb to right-center, though one of the runs was unearned because of an error. That extended the Mariners’ lead to 6-3 and made it a much tougher comeback effort in the ninth.

At the plate: The A’s chased Seattle closer Edwin Diaz from the game in the ninth, but they stranded nine runners and finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

True to form, the A’s did most of their damage with the long ball. Davis snapped a 12-game homerless streak when he capped a 12-pitch battle with Yovani Gallardo (2-3) by drilling a solo shot to straightaway center, his 11th on the season. An inning later, Vogt hit a two-run homer to right that gave him his first homer since Opening Night. That snapped a career-long 27-game homerless streak for Vogt, who came in hitting just .213.

They scored twice in the ninth to pull within a run on Jed Lowrie’s bases loaded walk and Davis’ run-scoring groundout.

In the field: Chad Pinder’s throwing error in the eighth led to an unearned run on Seager’s two-run homer.

Attendance: The announced turnout was 15,431.

Up next: Andrew Triggs (5-2, 2.21) takes the mound for Oakland and Chase De Jong (0-3, 7.85) goes for the Mariners in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Offense, Cain Power Giants Past Dodgers]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:35:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/arroyo-nunez-giants-dodgers-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Even when they were the worst team in the league earlier this season, the Giants had success against the Dodgers. On the fourth night of their resurgence, they pulled away early.

The Giants scored four in the fourth and kept tacking on, winning 8-4 in the first game of a big three-game set at AT&T Park. A day after clinching their first three-game winning streak of the season, they pushed it to four.

As he did April 24 — a much different time for the team — Matt Cain dominated the Dodgers. He gave up one run over 6 2/3, walking off to a standing ovation.

The Giants had everything tilting their way early. Cain put six runners on in the first four innings but benefited from two strange double plays. With the leadoff runner on in the second, Chase Utley smoked a ball right at first baseman Brandon Belt, who stepped on the bag for two. Cain walked Utley with one out in the fourth and he got a good jump on a stolen base attempt. Chris Taylor’s bouncer up the middle went right to a covering Brandon Crawford, who stepped on second and threw over for an easy double play.

A Corey Seager single and Yasmani Grandal double got the Dodgers on the board in the third, but the Giants tied it against Brandon McCarthy in the bottom of the inning. Mac Williamson lined a single to right and went to second on a bunt. He scored when Denard Span’s two-out bloop landed in shallow left.

There was no luck involved with the way the fourth started. Belt and Buster Posey singled and Crawford lined a double down the right-field line, giving the Giants the lead. Then the Dodgers melted down.

With two runners in scoring position, Eduardo Nuñez hit a broken-bat bouncer up the middle. When Seager fielded it on the grass and tossed it back to McCarthy, Crawford was hung up halfway between third and home and Nuñez was headed for second. McCarthy didn't see Crawford and he threw to second, where Nuñez slid in safely. Crawford jogged across the plate. Nuñez would score on a sacrifice fly, making it 5-1.

Starting pitching report: Cain became the 12th pitcher in franchise history to reach 2,000 innings with the Giants. He came into the night at 1,997. He threw 112 pitches, his most since 2014.

Bullpen report: Bochy turned to Bryan Morris with one of Cain’s runners on in the seventh. He struck out Scott Van Slyke to end the inning.

At the plate: Posey went deep to left in the seventh for his fifth homer in seven games.

In the field: After a weekend spent writing about Crawnik, a nod to Belt, who saved a couple of wayward throws Monday.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,397 human beings who got to jam to Usher in the seventh.

Up next: A battle of lefties. Ty Blach takes on Rich Hill, who is coming off the disabled list (blister).



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Place Hunter Pence on Disabled List]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 23:51:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hunter-pence.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO -- As expected, the Giants placed Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a strained left hamstring. Mac Williamson was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take Pence's roster spot. 

Pence was first out of the lineup on Friday, although he pinch-hit late in a 17-inning win. He didn't play over the weekend, so the Giants can back-date the DL stint to Saturday, May 13. It's unclear how long Pence is expected to be out, although it should be a short stint, since he was available to pinch-hit Sunday. He will be eligible to return during the Giants' four-game series against the Cubs next week in Chicago.

"It looks like it'll be a few days," manager Bruce Bochy said before that game. "He's available to pinch-hit but we have to make the call of whether to strictly use him to pinch-hit or to get a healthy body up."

The Giants opted for the healthy body. Williamson had a strong spring before injuring his quad. He missed the start of the season and got off to a slow start in Triple-A before picking it up last week. Overall, Williamson was hitting .266 for the River Cats with three homers. The Giants have been waiting for Williamson to find his power stroke, and on Sunday Bochy noted that the slugger is the type of player who can carry a lineup when he gets hot. 

Williamson could see plenty of action this week. The Dodgers start left-handers on Tuesday and Wednesday. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Offense Shows Pop vs. Reds as Win Streak Hits Three]]>Mon, 15 May 2017 00:10:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0514.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — It took a while, but the Giants are starting to check items off a pretty standard to-do list. On May 14, they clinched their first three-game winning streak of the season. In his eighth start, Jeff Samardzija finally picked up a win.

The Giants took the tension out of this one early, leaping out to a big lead and riding Samardzija into the late innings. The 8-3 victory clinched just the third series win of the year and gave a struggling team four wins in five games.

The Giants scored just 13 first-inning runs in their first 38 games, but they broke through against right-hander Tim Adleman, who dealt with neck discomfort and was removed before the bottom of the second. The four-run frame kicked off with Scott Schebler dropping Denard Span’s fly ball to right-center. Joe Panik doubled Span home and Buster Posey’s single brought Panik racing in. Eduardo Nuñez capped the scoring later in the inning with a two-run single to left.

The Giants tacked on three more in the second, and again Span was right in the middle of it. He scorched a leadoff triple and scored on Panik’s sacrifice fly. Brandon Crawford’s double added the extra point.

Samardzija didn’t need nearly that much help. He took the lead into the seventh, scattering nine hits while striking out eight.

Starting pitching report: Samardzija capped a big series for the starting staff. Ty Blach, Johnny Cueto, Matt Moore and Samardzija combined to throw 29 innings with a 2.48 ERA.

Bullpen report: STEVEN OKERT GOT AN AT-BAT. (He was under orders not to swing and he struck out. Still, that was the good stuff.)

At the plate: Span has raised his average 68 points in four games since he came off the DL.

In the field: Panik quietly had one of the best defensive series you’ll see from a second baseman. His running over-the-shoulder catch in the fourth might have been his highlight of the weekend. A former infielder, Nuñez, also had a big day. He snagged Adam Duvall’s liner to left with a diving grab, saving at least a run and ending a promising inning.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 42,122 human beings. Shoutout to the moms.

Up next: Another round with the Dodgers. Matt Cain and Twitter’s Brandon McCarthy get the first game.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Waste Homers From Span and Belt, Fall to Reds]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 22:08:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-ir-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The way the Cincinnati Reds are going, comeback wins are no longer surprising. They're becoming the norm.

"I think when you're playing really well over an extended period of time you anticipate ways of coming back," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "Somebody's going to get the big hit, somebody's going to hit one out, somebody's going to come in and make a great defensive play or shut down a rally."

Zack Cozart had two extra-base hits, including an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning that scored the game-winner, as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Thursday night.

The Reds won for the ninth time in 11 games and have won 15 of their last 20 games at AT&T Park going back to the 2012 NLDS.

"I know we're feeling good now," Price said. "It's a long season, we'll like most teams continue to have some ups and downs, but right now you want to ride this as long as you can. It's a nice place to be."

The Giants, meanwhile, are in the dumps.

The Giants lost despite a four-hit game from center fielder Denard Span in his first game since coming off the disabled list. The Giants, who have an MLB-worst 12-24 record, lost for the sixth time in seven games and for the 10th time in their last 12.

Cozart doubled to left center off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland (0-1) scoring Scooter Gennett, who tripled to right leading off the eighth inning.

"I feel like the team in general, we're coming through in situations like that," Cozart said. "Everyone's happy for each other no matter who comes through, you're winning in a different fashion night in and night out.

"It's been fun."

Wandy Peralta (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and Reds closer Raisel Iglesias survived a white-knuckle ninth inning for his seventh save.

Reds starter Bronson Arroyo allowed two runs, six hits and one walk in six innings.

"It was the first time that I wanted to get back out after six innings, so I'm getting stronger," Arroyo said. "I'm just glad we pulled out the victory and the bullpen's been throwing fantastic."

Span went 4 for 5 with a home run and two doubles.

The Giants scored their only runs off Arroyo on home runs from Belt and Span.

Belt was hitless in 18 previous at-bats when he hit his fifth homer on the year, a shot to center off on an 84 mph cut fastball Arroyo left over the heart of the plate.

Span homered to right in the fifth to snap a 1-1 tie.

BLACH OUT

Giants starter Ty Blach remains winless in four starts after allowing two runs, five hits and one walk in seven innings. Blach had the worst outing of his career against the Reds on May 6, giving up 10 runs in three innings.

"We had such great effort from Ty," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He did a great job bouncing back from that last outing against these guys who beat him up pretty good. I was proud of him. It's a shame we couldn't give him a win with that job he did."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Reds: Recalled RHP Lisalverto Bonilla from Triple-A Louisville to take RHP Rookie Davis' spot in the rotation. Davis was sent to Louisville to work on his mechanics. Bonilla will start Saturday's game against the Giants.

Giants: Crawford (right groin strain) and Span (shoulder joint sprain) were activated from the DL. . The Giants optioned RHP Reyes Moronta back to Double-A Richmond and placed IF Conor Gillaspie on the 10-day DL with back spasms.

UP NEXT

RHP Johnny Cueto (4-2, 4.50 ERA) is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA for the Reds in two starts against his former team. He will be opposed by RHP Scott Feldman (2-3, 3.76) in a rematch of Sunday's game in which he outdueled the two-time All-Star, tossing a four-hitter in a 4-0 Reds victory.



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Cotton Hit Hard by Angels, A's Walk-off Magic Ends]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:02:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cotton-pujolshr-may9-2017-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND - The late-game magic was nowhere to be found Tuesday night at the Coliseum, with the A's fate sealed pretty early against the Los Angeles Angels.

Jharel Cotton continued his up-and-down rookie season by allowing a career-high seven runs, and the A's saw a three-game winning streak snapped with a 7-3 loss. Cotton surrendered three home runs in the first two innings, with Yunel Escobar's three-run shot opening up a 5-2 lead for the visitors.

Yonder Alonso's continued heroics with the bat went to waste. The first baseman hit two home runs to overtake Khris Davis for the team lead in that category, but Oakland had its streak of three consecutive walk-off victories come to an end.

Cotton's season has been a head-scratcher. His seven starts have alternated between good and bad without interruption, and his ERA rose to 5.68. Manager Bob Melvin has commented on the tough decision the A's will face with their rotation when starter Sean Manaea returns from the disabled list sometime in the next week.

Someone will be bumped, and Cotton's status does not seem as secure as it once did. From the outside looking in, either he or Jesse Hahn (who struggled in his most recent start) seem the most likely candidates to lose their spot.

Not that the A's helped themselves offensively. They went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine men on base.

Starting pitching report
The strange thing Tuesday night was Cotton (3-4) seemed to have pretty good stuff, striking out seven in the first three innings. But ill-timed mistakes cost him heavily. He struck out Escobar and Kole Calhoun to start the game, but Albert Pujols crushed a 1-2 changeup to left for his 596th career homer. He's ninth on the all-time list. Alonso gave the A's a 2-1 lead with his two-run homer. Then Cotton got two quick outs in the second. But Ben Revere turned on a fastball and homered to right to tie it. Cliff Pennington and Martin Maldonado singled to bring up Escobar. Cotton appeared to have gotten strike three when he painted a 1-2 fastball on the outside corner, but home plate umpire Chris Conroy didn't agree. That would haunt the rookie, as Escobar reached out and yanked the next pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer that gave the Angels a 5-2 lead.

Bullpen report
Josh Smith helped ease the bullpen's workload by eating up three scoreless innings in relief of Cotton. Daniel Coulombe added a scoreless inning.

At the plate
Fresh off of his AL Player of the Week honors, Alonso continues his crazy roll. He went deep to left-center for a two-run shot in the first. That was a glimpse of the opposite-field pop he was showing in spring training. Since the start of the regular season, it's been his pull power that has impressed. In the sixth, Alonso drilled a solo shot to right-center. That gives him seven homers in eight games this month. Don't reach for your reading glasses, it's true - Alonso's 11 homers tie him for second in the league. And he's overtaken Khris Davis (10) for the team home run lead.

In the field
Neither team committed an error.

Attendance
The announced crowd was 11,383.

Up next
Former Athletic Jesse Chavez (2-4, 4.46) takes the Coliseum mound for the Angels in the finale of this three-game series Wednesday at 12:35 p.m. Andrew Triggs (4-2, 2.34) goes for the A's.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford Baseball and Fans Giving Marquess a Fond Farewell]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:03:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/05-08-2017-stanford-coach.jpg

It's been 41 years on The Farm for legendary Stanford baseball coach Mark Marquess, but the end is near. Marquess will retire at season's end, and his team intends to send him out with a bang, not to mention a few kickbacks for Cardinal fans. Colin Resch has the story in the above video.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Four-Run First Dooms Samardzija, Giants Drop Fifth Straight]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:03:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gorkys-missesflyball-mets-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK - Buster Posey hit a soaring home run for the second straight day, and by the end of Monday's game, he was sitting on a .362/.439/.532 slash line. 

That just about does it for the positives. 

Playing just a few minutes after they put their closer, the significant acquisition of the offseason, on the disabled list, the Giants once again came out flat. They gave up five early runs to the Mets and lost 6-1, falling for the fifth consecutive day. With one game left before the flight home, they sit at 2-6 on the trip and 11-23 overall. 

Given the lack of offense on most nights, this one was pretty much over in the first. Jeff Samardzija gave up five hits and four runs, although the back-breaker wasn't his fault. With two on, Neil Walker hit a liner to left that Eduardo Nuñez whiffed on. It went for a two-run triple instead of an out, and two hits later in the inning would tack on. 

The Giants did nothing against Zack Wheeler, their former top prospect who was shipped to New York six years ago in the Carlos Beltran deal. Wheeler, 26, allowed just two hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out four. 

Starting pitching report: Samardzija settled in after the first, but the damage was done. His line: 7 innings, 10 hits, 6 earned runs, 0 walks, 9 strikeouts. 

Bullpen report: Mark Melancon was put on the DL just before first pitch with a right pronator strain. More to come.

At the plate: Posey has homers in back-to-back games for the first time since the first week of July in 2015. 

In the field: Nuñez had been worth negative-two Defensive Runs Saved in left field this season coming into the game. It's here that we'll note that Mac Williamson has homered for Triple-A Sacramento on back-to-back days. 

Attendance: Citi Field was about a quarter full. The locals aren't exactly thrilled with a team that entered the week with a losing record and an ace on the back pages of the tabloids. 

Up next: Matt Cain will try to turn back into April Matt Cain. He'll face Rafael Montero, who has a 10.45 ERA.





Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Cal Rugby Player Paralyzed During Championship Match]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 00:00:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Cal+Robert+Paylor.jpg

A UC Berkeley rugby player is partially paralyzed after being injured during the opening minutes of a national championship game, his family said.

Robert Paylor's family said in a statement that the sophomore is paralyzed below the chest and has limited motion in his arms due to a spinal injury.

Cal's rugby head coach Jack Clark said Tuesday the team is devastated by Rob's injury and "intends to be there with him every bit of the way."

Paylor, of El Dorado Hills, was injured Saturday in a game where the Bears beat Arkansas State 43-13 at Santa Clara University. He had surgery that evening, but how the 20-year-old was injured is not yet understood, said Anton Malko, Cal's assistant director of athletic communications.

His family set up a GoFundMe page, saying the 6-foot-5 inch, 233-pound Paylor faces a difficult journey with an uncertain outcome. They estimate his medical expenses for the first year of therapy to be about $1 million.

"We know his faith and determination will get him as far as he can go in regaining mobility," his family said. "We are overwhelmed with the love and support we've received from people all over the country."

A rugby powerhouse, Cal's Golden Bears have won 27 of the 37 collegiate national 15s championships played in the United States since 1980.

Family friend Jennifer Douglas, whose son Tyler is a rugby teammate, told the Mercury News Paylor is a strong young man who "makes everyone laugh" and is "truly one of a kind."

"He's a young man of incredible faith," she said. "He is going to fight. There is nothing that will get in his way. He believes he will beat this thing. He is so positive and that's what he's going to need for this."

A prayer service for Paylor is being planned for Thursday evening on the UC Berkeley campus.



Photo Credit: ABFlyer]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Place Closer Mark Melancon on Disabled List]]>Tue, 09 May 2017 23:59:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/melancon-sad-usa.jpg

NEW YORK -- Before Tuesday's game, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was asked if he would start using Mark Melancon in non-save situations since the Giants don't often take a lead into the ninth. He said the time wasn't right to change Melancon's role. As it turned out, Bochy won't have Melancon in any form for at least 10 days. 

The Giants placed Melancon on the DL just before Tuesday's game with a mild right pronator strain. The pronator is a muscle located just below the elbow. There was no immediate timetable for Melancon's return. This is Melancon's first trip to the disabled list.

Melancon had not pitched since May 3 in Los Angeles, when he picked up his sixth save. He has made 11 appearances in his first season with the Giants, posting a 2.53 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. 

With Melancon out, Derek Law seems the likely choice to be elevated to closer. He pitched the eighth inning Monday night and has generally been Melancon's setup man. 

Because the move was made so late in the evening, the Giants did not have time to add a fresh body. They are taking on the Mets with 24 men on the roster. Shortstop Brandon Crawford is expected to return Wednesday.





Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[A's Do It Again, Use Extras to Beat Angels in Walk-Off]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 22:46:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/instant-as-general.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND — Apparently the A’s have done away with conventional winning.

They poured out of the home dugout once again to celebrate a 3-2 11-inning victory Monday over the Angels at the Coliseum, their third walk-off win in a row. It’s the first time the A’s have accomplished that feat in nearly 13 years.

Jed Lowrie homered with two outs in the bottom of the 11th off Deolis Guerra, his second home run of the game, and the A’s won for the fourth time in the past five. They caught Seattle for a share of third place in the American League West at 15-17.

After pulling out comeback victories in the bottom of the ninth each of the previous two days against Detroit, the A’s couldn’t end things in regulation Monday, though Ryon Healy flied out to the warning track to end the ninth.

Lowrie’s first homer came in the fourth to pull the A’s to within 2-1.

The last time the A’s posted three consecutive walk-off wins was June 1-3 2004, the first two against the White Sox are the third against the Blue Jays. All of those wins came in extra innings.

Starting pitching report: After Kendall Graveman allowed six runs in his previous start at Minneosta, this one had the makings of another rough night for the A’s right-hander. He gave up a two-run homer to Luis Valbuena in the first. Then he began the second by allowing Ben Revere’s double and a four-pitch walk to Cliff Pennington. But he escaped that inning unscored upon with help from a 4-6-3 double play, and the Angels would get no more off the right-hander. Graveman completed seven innings, scattering seven hits with six strikeouts and one walk over 95 pitches.

Bullpen report: Ryan Madson, Santiago Casilla and Liam Hendriks combined for four scoreless innings of relief to set the stage for another night of heroics.

At the plate: Lowrie led off the bottom of the fourth with a homer to right off Ricky Nolasco. An inning later, Trevor Plouffe hit an 0-1 pitch into the camera well beyond the center field wall for another solo shot that tied it. Plouffe came in hitting just .204, and on Sunday he’d snapped an 11-game streak without an RBI. Other than that, Nolasco was excellent for the Angels, giving up just the two runs over seven innings and striking out 10 without a walk.

In the field: Adam Rosales committed the game’s only error in the top of the 11th when he booted a grounder to put two runners aboard. But he made amends with a diving stop on the next batter to get a force out and the A’s escaped the inning unscored upon.

Attendance: The announced turnout was 10,292.

Up next: An odd stat to consider: Jharel Cotton (3-3, 4.64) is with 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA in five career starts during the day, but 0-3 with a 5.40 ERA in six starts at night. He’ll try for that first nighttime victory in Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. game. Alex Meyer (0-1, 9.39) takes the hill for the Angels.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Sweep Jazz, Advance to Western Conference Finals]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 21:19:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/warriors-jazz1.jpg

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Warriors set a preseason goal of winning an NBA championship, and they’ve now won half the required postseason games to accomplish that.

With a wire-to-wire 121-95 victory over the Jazz Monday night in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, the Warriors swept the Jazz and advanced to the conference finals for the third consecutive season.

Five Warriors scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry pouring in a game-high 30 points to lead the way. Klay Thompson put in 21 points, Kevin Durant 18, Draymond Green 17 and JaVale McGee added 12 off the bench.

Green added 11 assists and 10 rebounds to his points total to post his third career playoff triple-double, all while simultaneously engaging in spirited dialogue with Jazz fans heckling him from the seats at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

The Warriors closed out Utah with a 28-16 advantage in the fourth quarter, holding the Jazz to 26.1-percent shooting over the final 12 minutes. They held Utah to 37.1 percent from the field for the game.

Forward Gordon Hayward led Utah scorers with 25 points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: The Warriors thought it was particularly important to start fast in a closeout game, and Curry made sure they did, with 14 first-quarter points.

Curry’s line: 30 points (9-of-15 shooting from the field, 4-of-10 from beyond the arc, 8-of-8 from the line), seven assists, five rebounds and one block. He played 39 minutes and finished plus-33.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors led all the way, taking leads of 12-3, 24-7 and 39-15 in the opening quarter.

Though the Jazz rallied several times, getting as close as five in the third quarter (68-63) before the Warriors put them away for good with a 16-4 run spanning the end of the third and the opening minutes of the fourth for a 100-83 lead with 6:40 remaining.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Jazz: G George Hill (L big toe sprain) was listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. G Alec Burks (L knee recovery) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors face the winner of the Houston-San Antonio series, which is tied at 2-2 through four games, in the Western Conference Finals. Game 1 is scheduled for May 16, with a possible (but unlikely) move up to May 14.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bullpen Can't Hold Lead vs. Mets, Giants Lose 4th Straight]]>Mon, 08 May 2017 20:47:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/164*120/giants-mets1.jpg

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK - The Giants spent three long, brutal days at Great American Ball Park in the middle of this trip. The pain on the first night in New York came quickly. 

Neil Walker's single to right gave the Mets a 4-3 walk-off win with two outs in the ninth at Citi Field. The Giants have lost four straight after taking a series at Dodger Stadium.

Josh Osich kicked off the bottom of the ninth by walking Michael Conforto. Three batters later, Wilmer Flores lined an infield single off Hunter Strickland, advancing the runner. Walker pulled a pitch into the right field corner, ending a game that lasted three hours and 22 minutes. 

A day after an embarrassing shutout in Cincinnati, Hunter Pence got the Giants on the board early. His two-run blast off Jacob deGrom landed in the visiting bullpen and a couple of relievers put their hands up in celebration. By the end of the first, those same guys were starting to stir. Matt Moore needed 36 pitches to get through his half of the first, and he gave half the lead back. The Giants caught a break when Neil Walker's double skipped over the fence, keeping a second run from scoring. 

Moore settled in after the rocky start, throwing just 35 pitches over the next three innings. In the fifth, he gave up the lead but limited the damage. Two singles and a double tied it up, but Moore got Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores to pop up on the infield. With runners still on second and third, he bounced a good breaking ball and Neil Walker swung over the top to end the inning. 

Buster Posey immediately rewarded Moore's resilience. He ambushed deGrom's first pitch of the sixth, hitting a solo shot to the second deck in left. The homer was Posey's third of the season. 

Again, the lead wouldn't last. With a runner on and two down in the sixth, Curtis Granderson lined a pinch-hit double to left off George Kontos. 

Starting pitching report: Bochy kept a somewhat close eye on Moore last season, his first full year back from Tommy John. The reins are off this year. Moore threw a season-high 108 pitches Monday and he has gone over 104 in three of his last five starts. The other two were cut short by ineffectiveness. 

Bullpen report: Steven Okert had his third multi-inning outing of the trip. He recorded four straight outs after the Mets tied it in the sixth. 

At the plate: Christian Arroyo struck out four times. There will be growing pains. 

In the field: It's not really his fault, because he's playing out of position for the good of the lineup, but Eduardo Nuñez just doesn't look comfortable in left field. When Denard Span returns, we'll see how long this experiment continues.

Attendance: The Mets announced a crowd of 28,453 human beings. There were a few boos for Conor Gillaspie, naturally.

Up next: Jeff Samardzija will try to keep his good vibes going. He'll face Zack Wheeler, the former Giants top prospect who is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in his return from a lengthy battle with elbow problems.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Hold on to Beat Jazz in Game 2]]>Fri, 05 May 2017 00:30:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/warriors-jazz.jpg

OAKLAND -- They did it in fits and starts, but the Warriors kept things together enough Thursday night for a 115-104 victory over Utah that gives them a 2-0 series lead.

The Warriors remain undefeated (6-0) this postseason.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points to lead the offense, while Stephen Curry tossed in 23, Draymond Green 21, Klay Thompson 14 and Andre Iguodala 10.

The Warriors outshot the Jazz 49.4 percent to 45.2, outrebounded them 47-39. They did, however, commit 17 turnovers, and that sloppiness helped Utah stay within striking distance.

There was a tense moment with 7:24 left in the fourth quarter when Green went down clutching his left knee, which was tweaked when after rising from the floor after missing a layup. He stayed down for a couple minutes, and eventually got up and walked into the locker room under his own power. He did return to finish the game.

Gordon Hayward scored a game-high 33 points to lead Utah scorers.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: On a night when all four All-Stars brought something, Durant was strong across the board.

Durant’s line: team-high 25 points (6-of-13 shooting from the field, including 0-of-4 from deep, 13-of-15 from the line), a team-high 11 rebounds, game-high-tying seven assists, one block and one steal. He played 36 minutes and finished plus-11.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors led comfortably, by as much as 20, throughout the first half. And when the Jazz made a 7-0 run to get within six (63-57) with 9:57 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 12-3 run to go up 75-60 with 6:55 remaining in the quarter.

Utah made several runs but got no closer than seven in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Jazz: G George Hill (L big toe soreness) and G Alec Burks (L knee recovery) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. Tipoff is 5:35 p.m. Pacific.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cotton, A's Avoid Sweep in Minnesota]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 15:25:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cotton-jharel-green-day-as.jpg

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Oakland Athletics' slumping offense strung some hits together in a much-needed victory.

Seeing the A's offense have that much success was enough for the Minnesota Twins to send Kyle Gibson to the minors.

Jharel Cotton struck out nine in six innings and Ryon Healy hit his fourth home run of the season to lift the Athletics over the Twins 8-5 on Thursday.

Cotton (3-3) gave up three runs and three hits, and Stephen Vogt had two hits and two RBIs to help the A's avoid a three-game sweep. Santiago Casilla struck out Miguel Sano with the bases loaded in the ninth for his fifth save in six tries, Sano's fourth strikeout of the afternoon.

"There's certain games that are more important than others," A's manager Bob Melvin said after a 2-7 trip. "This was a big one for us, especially when we had a lead early on. We need to finish this game off and have a better feeling going home because better part of this road trip, every day was miserable."

Gibson (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and three walks in four innings and was demoted to Triple-A Rochester after the game.

"It's not working," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's putting us in a bad spot more times than not here early in the season."

The A's, who had scored two runs or fewer in six of their previous nine games, tied a season high with 14 hits. Matt Joyce had two hits, two walks and an RBI for Oakland.

Danny Santana, Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar homered for Minnesota, which threatened against an erratic Casilla in the ninth. The closer fell behind Sano 3-0, but battled back to win the confrontation when Sano tried to check his swing but couldn't hold up.

"I was looking for a fastball in the middle. He threw me cutters inside," Sano said. "They never make a mistake over the middle."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: C Josh Phegley was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion after taking a foul tip off of the mask on Wednesday night. C Bruce Mawell was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Phegley's place. Melvin said Phegley felt markedly better the day after as opposed to a previous concussion. ... LHP Sean Manaea (shoulder) did not throw a bullpen on Thursday morning as originally scheduled. Melvin said he had "a little soreness" and just played long toss.

Twins: Molitor said RHP Nick Tepesch will start on Saturday against the Red Sox. Tepesch has not pitched since being called up from Triple-A Rochester on April 24. Molitor said he likely would be limited to about 75 pitches.

BUXTON'S ROUGH DAY

Twins CF Byron Buxton misplayed a fly ball from Khris Davis in the first inning that helped the A's get on the board. In the second inning, he chased a drive from Vogt to the wall, but slammed into it so hard that the door to the bullpen opened.

In the fifth, he hit the wall hard again, knocking his hat off as he tracked down a deep drive from Matt Joyce. Buxton was removed from the game and passed the initial concussion tests, but will be evaluated again on Friday.

GIBSON'S REACTION

"I don't know that I've had a more frustrating stretch that I can even remember," he said after his ERA ballooned to 8.20. "I completely understand where they're coming from and I've got things that I need to work on. It's a whole lot easier to work on things in Triple-A than when you're trying to win games in the big leagues."

HEAVE HO

With the bases loaded in the eighth inning, Healy was called out on strikes by plate umpire Mike Muchlinski. Healy argued that the curveball from Ryan Pressly was high.

Muchlinski ejected him, but the umpire's day didn't get any better after that. In the ninth inning, Vogt didn't get a glove on a breaking ball from Casilla, and it hit the umpire right in the groin.

Muchlinski fell to the dirt, but remained in the game.

UP NEXT

Athletics: Oakland heads back home for six straight games, starting with Detroit on Friday night. RHP Andrew Triggs (4-1, 1.84) will start the opener for the A's.

Twins: Minnesota stays home for a series against the Boston Red Sox that begins on Friday with RHP Phil Hughes (4-1, 5.06) facing Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70).



Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Win Series Over Dodgers in Extra Innings]]>Thu, 04 May 2017 00:08:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/posey-ir-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES - After a blowout loss Wednesday, a voice echoed out of a back hallway in the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium.

"Shark tomorrow," a player said. "If he beats them it's still a good series."

Jeff Samardzija did his part, throwing eight brilliant innings, and about an hour later the lineup finally broke through. Gorkys Hernandez drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th and the Giants kept piling on. When it was over, they had a 4-1 win and a series victory over the Dodgers. 

The victory was the 1,800th of Bruce Bochy's career. The other eight managers with 1,800 wins and three World Series titles are in the Hall of Fame. 

On a night that started quietly, Joe Panik's hustle out of the box kept Yasiel Puig from adding to his highlight reel in the fifth. Panik scorched ball off the wall in right-center and Puig came up with a rocket that missed getting the out at second by an inch. After two outs, walks of Gorkys Hernandez and Brandon Belt loaded the bases. With his final pitch of a 19-minute inning, Julio Urias got Hunter Pence to fly out to right. 

Puig and Panik were linked again in the sixth and this time it went the Dodgers' way. Panik dropped a high pop-up down the first-base line and as it rolled a few feet away, Puig took off. He beat the throw to third and scored two batters later when Chris Taylor poked a slider into right. That was just the second hit off Samardzija, who had retired 14 straight entering the inning. 

The Giants tied it up on an oddly fitting way. Pence led off the top of the eighth with a single and went to third on a wild pitch that skipped around behind the plate. Buster Posey's grounder to second knotted the night. 

Samardzija was done after 101 pitches. He gave up three hits and one unearned run, walked none, and struck out 11. He never pitched with the lead, and the Giants failed to take one in the 10th despite loading the bases. Phil Nevin held Belt at third on Posey's single. Christian Arroyo then struck out and Eduardo Nuñez flied out. 

An inning later, the Giants broke through. With two on and one out, Hernandez ripped a double into the left field corner. Belt's single made it 3-1 and Pence tacked on an insurance run with a sacrifice fly.

Mark Melancon made it interesting in the bottom of the inning, but held on. 

Starting pitching report: The double-digit strikeout game was the 10th of Samardzija's career and his second as a Giant. 

Bullpen report: Steven Okert got a double play to end the ninth and cruised through the 10th. He recorded 10 outs in the series and picked up his first career win.

At the plate: Belt had a career-high 104 walks last season. With three against Urias and one by Josh Fields on Wednesday, he's on pace for 123. 

In the field: Belt and Samardzija teamed up for one of the plays of the year in the eighth. Belt went a healthy distance into foul territory for a weird grounder and made a quick throw back to the bag. Samardzija made a leaping grab and got a foot down before Puig could slide into first. 

Attendance: The Dodgers announced a crowd of 50,215 human beings who missed out on the frightening televised shot of Clayton Kershaw teaching Urias pitch grips in the dugout. 

Up next: A day off! (In Cincinnati, though.) The Giants will face Bronson Arroyo, Amir Garrett and Scott Feldman at Great American Ball Park. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Graveman Gets Roughed Up by Twins, A's Lose Third Straight]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 20:56:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-ir-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

Kendall Graveman typically is the symbol of stability and steadiness when he takes the mound for the A's.

Yet even Graveman isn't immune to this current funk Oakland finds itself in. The A's Opening Night starter couldn't make it out of the fourth inning in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins. He walked four and gave up six runs over 3 1/3 innings, his shortest start since May 8 of last season when he lasted just 2 2/3 innings at Baltimore.

The A's lost for the eighth time in the past nine games, though they made it interesting by loading the bases with no outs in the ninth. They squeezed just one run out of it, however, with former Twin Trevor Plouffe grounding into a game-ending double play against Brandon Kintzler.

The A's are 7 1/2 games out of first place and enter the finale of this nine-game road trip looking for any way to hit the brakes on this early-season skid.

A lack of offense has been the main culprit lately, but over the last two nights, Oakland has sent Sonny Gray and Graveman to the mound, only to see its top two starters get roughed up for a combined 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings.

Starting pitching report

Graveman (2-2) was sharp last Thursday against the Angels in his first start back from a shoulder injury. But his command betrayed him right out of the gate Wednesday. He walked three of his first four hitters to load the bases in the first, then Kennys Vargas singled up the middle to score two runs. It was Vargas who again did damage in the third. After Miguel Sano singled and Joe Mauer walked, Vargas unloaded on a sinker out over the plate and hit a three-run homer to center field to put the A's in a 5-1 hole. Graveman hadn't allowed as many as four walks since last July 4, when issued four against the Twins in a start that also took place at Target Field.

Bullpen report

Liam Hendriks threw 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief after replacing Graveman. Then Bobby Wahl, a hard-throwing reliever called up earlier in the day, made his major league debut to start the sixth. Wahl gave up Eduardo Escobar's double and Eddie Rosario's run scoring single. After retiring Byron Buxton, Wahl hit Brian Dozier with a pitch and was removed by manager Bob Melvin.

At the plate

Getting any sort of sustained rally going remains a tough task for the A's, who entered the night with the second fewest runs in the American League, the second lowest on-base percentage (.295) and the third lowest batting average (.227). Trailing 2-0, they got a run back in the third. Matt Joyce hit a leadoff double and moved to third on Rajai Davis' single. But that scoring chance got minimized when Trevor Plouffe grounded into a double play that scored Joyce. Graveman couldn't respond with a shutdown inning, however, as Vargas' three-run homer made it 5-1. In the top of the fourth, Yonder Alonso crushed a two-run homer to right to pull the A's within 5-3, but that's as close as they would get.

Through the offensive doldrums, Alonso has been a bright spot. He's homered in each of the past two games, giving him six for the season and just one shy of his career high.

In the field

Graveman hurt himself in the first with a throwing error on a pickoff move. Buxton made an excellent diving catch in center to rob Khris Davis in the fourth.

Attendance

18,658

Up next

The A's wobble to the finish line of this nine-game road trip with Thursday's 10:10 a.m. series finale. Jharel Cotton (2-3, 5.00) matches up against Kyle Gibson (0-3, 8.06).



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Proposal on the Pitch: Deltas Goalie Asks, and She Says Yes]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 19:34:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/deltas-proposal-0502.jpg

She said yes. And the start of the soccer match would have to wait.

Marriage proposals at sporting events are not all that uncommon, and they typically involve fans in the stands. But what happened last weekend during a San Francisco Deltas professional soccer game at Kezar Stadium offered a new twist.

Deltas goalkeeper Romuald Peiser asked his girlfriend Taylor Lincoln to come down to the field before the game Saturday night, and she had no idea what was about to happen.

Lincoln recalled the scene and what was going through her mind.

"So he was with the guys, and I guess he just told them, 'One sec, I'll be right back,'" Lincoln said. "And they were all, 'But we're supposed to play a game; where are you going?' And he turned and walked towards me, and that's when it all kind of fell into place."

Peiser and Lincoln met two years ago when both were employed by the Ottawa Fury. A mutual love of soccer drew them together.

"That's why I think it was so special," Lincoln said. "Some people think we're crazy and stuff, but we met on the field and fell in love on the field, and we spend our days and our nights on the field, so it's definitely part of who we are. So, to do something like that just made complete sense for us."

Peiser said he's happy the way it turned out.

"It's something you have to be proud of," he said. "I told her, like I imagined that I would drop the ring or I fall down or she passes out. That would have been bad, but I think since everything went well, it's something we can be proud of. It's a really awesome memory.

"I'm pretty proud of me, of us," he added. "I think it's a really nice way to start our life together."



Photo Credit: Colin Resch/NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' York Would 'Love' to Have Dinner With Jim Harbaugh]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 16:10:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/jedddyurk.jpg

It has been nearly 30 months since Jed York and Jim Harbaugh shared an awkward pregame embrace on Harbaugh's final day as 49ers coach.

The two have gone in different directions.

York and the 49ers have experienced a rapid decline. After a 2-14 season, York made the move to hire Kyle Shanahan as the 49ers' fourth coach in four seasons. Meanwhile, Harbaugh has thrived as head coach of Michigan, his alma mater.

On the MMQB Podcast with Peter King, York addressed what was announced as a "mutual parting."

"I don’t know if 'regret' is the right word," York said. "We had a lot of success together. We tried several times to get an extension done with Jim and, for whatever reason, those didn't culminate. And ultimately, as successful as it was here, I think Jim is very happy and he's doing an unbelievable job at Michigan.

"We obviously didn’t have success after Jim left. I don’t know that we'd be sitting here with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan if something happened. And I don’t know that it would have worked in the long-term if we did get something done. I regret how we performed the last two years. I regret that the relationship was frayed between me and a coach that, you know, did a lot of great things for this franchise."

York said he saw Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, Jim’s brother, at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona. John Harbaugh told York he should get together with Jim and have dinner at some point to clear the air.

"I said, 'I'd love to do that.' I’d love to get together," York said. "And I think enough time has kind of passed where you can let whatever issues were there be buried and just truly be thankful for three great years when nobody expected us, certainly in 2011, to beat the Saints the way we did, to get close and, you know, be two muffed punts away from going to a Super Bowl in ‘11.

"And Just all the things that happened, and I'd love to sit down with Jim. Not in front of cameras, not in front of anybody else, but just share an evening with him and truly say 'Thank you,' and wish him the best of luck. Not obviously when he plays Notre Dame, but for the rest of the season, wish him the best of luck."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Hammer Giants Pitching for 13 Runs to Even Series]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:56:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/giants-moore-instant.jpg

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES - With Matt Moore and Jeff Samardzija on deck and a travel day Thursday, the Giants felt comfortable sending long reliever Chris Stratton back to Triple-A before the second game of a series with the Dodgers. By the second inning Tuesday, they probably wanted to reconsider. 

Moore was in trouble early and often, and he ultimately walked away with one of the worst pitching lines of his career. The Giants were once again left wondering where momentum went. A night after beating Clayton Kershaw, they got hammered 13-5. Through 28 games, the Giants have won back-to-back games just once. 

In his short time with the Giants, Moore has shown an odd ability to lose any connection to the strike zone, seemingly out of thin air. A loss of command, coupled with a bunch of hard-hit balls, led to a nightmare inning in the bottom of the second.

The Giants had scored four runs in the top of the frame, with Brandon Belt's shift-busting double doing the heavy damage. Moore gave that all back and then some. The Dodgers opened their half with six straight players reaching base and tied the game when Cory Bellinger knocked a bases-loaded triple to left. Opposing pitcher Alex Wood singled to bring Bellinger in as the bullpen got hot. Moore got out of the inning on his 39th pitch. 

The deficit ballooned in the fourth. The Dodgers tacked on four more on three walks, two singles and a hit-by-pitch. The inning was the eighth during which a Giants opponent has batted around, the most in the Majors. 

Starting pitching report: Moore was charged with a career-high nine earned runs. He has a 6.75 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in six starts. Opposing hitters are batting .279 off him. None of that is good. 

Bullpen report: Bryan Morris made his Giants debut in the sixth. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk.

At the plate: No relief pitchers got an at-bat. 

In the field: Arroyo ended the third with a diving catch of an Austin Barnes liner. It was probably his best play in the Majors so far. 

Attendance: A fan ran on the field in the eighth inning and was promptly tackled by a group that included 14 security officers. That's probably a better plan than "Maybe the left fielder will take him down."

Up next: Save them, Jeff. The Shark will face young Julio Urias. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Take Control Early, Run Away From Jazz in Game 1]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:48:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/163*120/warriors-jazz-0502.jpg

OAKLAND -- The eight-day layoff wasn’t so bad after all for the Warriors.

With all five starters scoring in double figures Tuesday night at Oracle Arena, they reeled off a 106-94 victory over Utah in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 22 points to lead the offense, followed by 17 apiece from Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. Klay Thompson put in 15 points and Zaza Pachulia added 10.

Though the Warriors’ long-range shooting was off (7-of-29, 24.1 percent from deep), they defended at championship level, limiting the Jazz to 42.9-percent shooting from the field while taking command in the first half.

All 13 available Warriors entered the game, as they wound up with 20 points off 14 Utah turnovers while committing only seven themselves.

Center Rudy Gobert scored 13 points to lead the Jazz. All-Star forward Gordon Hayward was held to 12 points on 4-of-15 shooting, including 2-of-9 from deep.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Green was all over the place, at both ends, his energy driving the Warriors all evening.

Green’s line: 17 points (5-of-10 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 beyond the arc, 5-of-7 from the line), eight rebounds, six assists, two block and two steals. He played 34 minutes and finished plus-19.

TURNING POINT: After a Gordon Hayward jumper pulled the Jazz within two, 23-21, with 1:24 remaining in the first quarter, the Warriors responded with a 16-4 run, spanning the first and second quarters for a 39-25 lead with 9:22 left in the half.

The Warriors went up as much as 17 (58-41) in the first half.

Utah pulled within seven in the second half, but never got any closer.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R foot bone bruise) was listed as probable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. G Shaun Livingston (R finger sprain/hand contusion) was listed as questionable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Jazz: F Derrick Favors (back soreness) was listed as questionable and prior to tipoff upgraded to available. G Alec Burks (L knee recovery) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: Game 2 is scheduled for Thursday night at Oracle Arena, 7:30 tipoff.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gray Drops Season Debut as Twins Muscle Past A's]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 23:57:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/gray-as-twins.jpg

BOX SCORE

Sonny Gray got a rude welcome back from the Minnesota Twins, but they didn't stop with him.

In his first start of the season since returning from injury, Gray was tagged for three home runs in a six-batter span as the A's lost 9-1 Tuesday at Target Field.

The Twins later went deep three more times, all in the seventh inning, off Cesar Valdez. Six homers in one game, an astonishing display from a team that entered the night with just eight homers all season at Target Field.

The hope was that Gray's return and center fielder Rajai Davis' return from the disabled list would spark the A's. It didn't happen Tuesday, as Oakland fell to 1-6 on this road trip.

Gray, who missed the first four weeks with a strained lat muscle in his right side, looked sharp over the first two innings. His curve had bite and his location was spot-on as he allowed just a walk over his first two frames. But in the third, Brian Dozier hit a hanging curve over the wall in left, the first of Dozier's two homers on the night. After Gray walked Max Kepler, Miguel Sano jumped on a first-pitch fastball and crushed it 444 feet to straightaway center for a two-run shot.

In the fourth, Gray piped an 89 mile-per-hour fastball to Jason Castro that went for a solo shot to center and a 4-0 Minnesota lead.

Meanwhile, the A's couldn't solve a familiar nemesis, as Twins right-hander Ervin Santana (5-0) held them to three hits over six innings. He improved to 17-7 for his career against the A's.

Starting pitching report

Gray gave up only five hits over his six innings, the problem was three of them went over the fence. He was charged with four runs, walked two and struck out four over 88 pitches (56 strikes). If there was a bright side in his 2017 debut, Gray did get through six innings on what was expected to be a 90- pitch limit. And all of his damage was relegated to a six-batter span between the third and the fourth.

Bullpen report

The A's middle relief is not showing the ability to keep the team close after it falls behind. On Sunday, Frankie Montas gave up three runs in the eighth to Houston as a 4-1 deficit became 7-1. On Tuesday, Valdez got shelled in the seventh, as Dozier, Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer all homered to turn a 4-0 game into 8-0. Entering Tuesday, the Twins' 20 homers were the third-fewest in the majors.

At the plate

After the A's struck out 221 times in April, an Oakland record for the month, they whiffed 11 more times Tuesday and mustered just six hits total. Davis returned to center field and the leadoff spot, but went 1-for-4 with a strikeout. He went after the first pitch in two of his at-bats and popped up and flied out in those two plate appearances. Yonder Alonso's home run to lead off the ninth helped the A's avoid a shutout.

In the field

Neither team committed an error.

Attendance

Reported attendance was 18,930. 

Up next

Kendall Graveman (2-1, 2.25) and lefty Hector Santiago (2-1, 2.43) square off in Wednesday's 5:10 p.m. game.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Purchase Land Near Las Vegas Strip For New Stadium]]>Wed, 03 May 2017 10:27:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/187*120/raiders-lv-0502-2017.jpg

The Oakland Raiders have closed on the purchase of more than 60 acres near the Las Vegas Strip where their partially tax-funded, 65,000-seat stadium is to be built.

Public records filed Monday show a team-owned company paid $77.5 million for four parcels in an area west of the Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

The team and the public board overseeing the proposed $1.9 billion project have been working on stadium details for months.

Since NFL owners approved the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas in March, the team has taken more than 40,000 refundable $100 deposits for personal seat licenses.

Guests of hotels and other lodging facilities in the Las Vegas area are contributing $750 million through a room tax increase.

The team did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pence, Posey Homer as Giants Vanquish Kershaw, Dodgers]]>Tue, 02 May 2017 00:12:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*127/giants-dodgers.jpg

LOS ANGELES — Did you think you had the 2017 Giants figured out? Try again.

After a lifeless weekend at AT&T Park, the Giants came down to Dodger Stadium and handed Clayton Kershaw one of his worst nights against his rival (it still wasn’t all that bad). A slumping lineup had eight hits — including two homers — off the longtime Giant-killer and Johnny Cueto made it all hold up. A 4-3 win kicked off May and the three-city trip in style.

Hunter Pence and Buster Posey combined for just two homers in April, but they found an unlikely way to get going in May. Pence blasted a Kershaw curveball a dozen rows into the left field bleachers in the first, giving Cueto a 2-0 lead. The Dodgers tied it up in the second, but Posey gave the Giants the lead back in the third inning with his first homer since the season-opening road trip.

Gorkys Hernandez took advantage of the leadoff assignment in the fifth, bunting for a hit and reaching second on Kershaw’s error. He scored when Christian Arroyo — who had three great at-bats against Kershaw — lined a single to left to score Hernandez.

The Dodgers got a run back in the seventh, but Bruce Bochy stuck with Cueto as trouble mounted and he was rewarded. Andrew Toles grounded out to end the inning and stranded a pair.

Steven Okert took over and pitched a perfect eighth, and Bochy left him out on the mound to start the ninth. Adrian Gonzalez flied out to center and Cody Bellinger popped up. With Mark Melancon unavailable due to a high workload, Derek Law entered and got the final out.

Starting pitching report: Cueto was charged with three earned in seven innings. He walked one and struck out six. On the other side, the eight hits and four runs both matched Kershaw’s highs against the Giants in 38 career appearances.

Bullpen report: Sergio Romo pitched a scoreless seventh in his first home appearance against his former team. He still uses “El Mechon.” It is considerably less lit than it was at AT&T Park.

At the plate: Pence entered the night with just seven hits in 70 at-bats against Kershaw, and all of those were singles.

In the field: Drew Stubbs made a nice running catch of Corey Seager’s liner to left-center in the third. He hasn’t hit much, but he might be the best defensive center fielder on the roster right now.

Attendance: The Dodgers announced a crowd of 44,606 human beings. One of the Giants fans in the first row kept reading an old newspaper from the day after the 2014 title. A+ troll move.

Up next: Matt Moore’s last two starts at Dodger Stadium: 8 2/3 shutout innings, 1 hit … 1 inning, 6 earned runs. So, I have no idea what you’ll get tomorrow. He’ll face Alex Wood.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Graveman's Strong Start Not Enough, As Angels Sweep A's]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:51:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/athletics-angels-instant.jpg

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – If the A's were searching for inspiration, they got some from their starting pitcher Thursday.

In his first start back from the disabled list, Kendall Graveman turned in a gutsy six innings that included a highlight-reel unassisted double play that solicited a visit from the training staff to make sure he was OK.

But the A's offense couldn't make Graveman's night complete. Oakland scraped together just three hits in a 2-1 loss that completed a three-game sweep for the Los Angeles Angels.

It was the A's second 2-1 defeat of the series, and the third time during their current four-game losing streak that they've been held to one run.

The Angels scored twice off Graveman in the first on a two-out rally that included Mike Trout's double, Albert Pujols' RBI single off the right field wall and C.J. Cron's double to the warning track that Jaff Decker couldn't haul in.

That was all that was needed to make a winner of Ricky Nolasco (2-2), who went 5 2/3 innings and avenged an Opening Night loss at the Coliseum on April 3.

Starting pitching report

Graveman (2-1) gave up the two runs in the first inning, then buckled down and allowed the Angels no more in his first start since April 14, when he was lost to a strained right shoulder. He went six innings, allowed six hits, struck out four and didn't walk anyone. It was a good sign that Graveman's fastball consistently registered in the mid-90's. And though he appeared shaken up after his acrobatic double play, he retired his final seven hitters, including back-to-back called strikeouts of Trout and Pujols in the sixth to finish his night.

Bullpen report

Ryan Madson and Daniel Coulombe threw scoreless innings to keep the game close.

At the plate

Besides Yonder Alonso, who drove in three runs Wednesday and had a bloop single for an RBI on Thursday, it's hard to know who the A's can turn to right now for an offensive spark. Leadoff hitter Jaff Decker, filling in for the injured Rajai Davis, went 2-for-11 in the series and isn't making an impact at the plate or in the field. Cleanup man Khris Davis went 1-for-9 in the series and Ryon Healy went 1-for-14, including chasing a high fastball for a strikeout with the bases loaded in the sixth.

In the field

Graveman turned in the first unassisted double play by an A's pitcher since Blue Moon Odom did it July 11, 1971 against the then-California Angels. He had runners on the corners with no outs when Juan Graterol hit a comebacker to the mound. Graveman caught Ben Revere in a rundown between third and home. He made a sprinting tag of Revere near the third base bag just as Cliff Pennington was trying to advance from first all the way to third on the play. Graveman tagged Revere, then leapt over Revere and tagged Pennington out as he tumbled to the ground. It was unclear what bothered Graveman after the play. But after a visit from trainers, he stayed in the game and pitched well.

Attendance

Tonight's reported attendance in Anaheim was 37,603.

Up next

The A's continue this nine-game road trip against the first-place Astros. Friday - Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) vs. Charlie Morton (1-2, 4.29), 5:10 p.m. Saturday - Andrew Triggs (3-1, 2.43) vs. Joe Musgrove (1-1, 5.91), 4:10 p.m. Sunday - Jesse Hahn (1-1, 2.08) vs. lefty Dallas Keuchel (4-0, 1.22), 11:10 a.m. All three games air on NBC Sports California.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Relive 'We Believe' Warriors' Shocking Upset of Dallas]]>Sun, 30 Apr 2017 13:25:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/WeBelieve4.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bold 49ers Move Up to Select LInebacker]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 21:07:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/Fosterruebn.jpg

After trading down at the top of Round 1 Thursday night, the 49ers later traded up to get into the bottom of the round and selected Alabama inside linebacker Reuben Foster, considered one of the top players at his position in this draft.

The 49ers traded their No. 2 pick in Round 2, the 34th overall, and a fourth-round pick, the 111th overall, to the Seahawks for the right to select Foster.

It was the second of two bold moves by GM John Lynch Thursday night. The rookie GM of the 49ers maneuvered to get defensive lineman Solomon Thomas and three extra picks early, then nabbed Foster, who could play inside or outside in the team’s new 4-3 alignment.

Foster had slid from the top of the first round to the bottom because of questions about a shoulder injury. If Foster is healthy, the 49ers land a quality player higher than his value at No. 31 overall.

In 15 games last season for the Crimson Tide, Foster, at 6-foot-1 and 236 pounds, was a tackling machine. He was in on 115 stops, with 15 tackles for loss and five sacks. The 49ers have had trouble stopping the run the past few seasons, and Foster could be a key addition to making the defense better.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock had high praise for Foster after the selection.

“He reminds me of (All-Pro) Luke Kuechly when I watch tape,” wrote Mayock. “He’s an immediate impact player. Sideline to sideline, he will light you up. I’m amazed that he’s fallen to this point. … San Francisco better be right on him with that shoulder.”




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Trade With Seahawks, Select LB Foster No. 31 Overall ]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:53:01 -0700

REUBEN FOSTER
Position: Linebacker
College: Alabama
Height: 6-0
Weight: 229 pounds
Selection: First round, No. 31 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers jumped back into the first round to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

Foster, a tackling machine who was the winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker, was selected at No. 31 overall after a trade with the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers traded the second pick of the second round (No. 34 overall) and a fourth-round pick at No. 111 to move up three spots to select Foster. The 49ers acquired the No. 111 pick earlier in the day in a trade back with the Chicago Bears.

Foster is expected to make an immediate impact for a team that ranked last in the league in total defense. He could line up next to NaVorro Bowman, who returned to the practice field this week during a minicamp after sustaining a torn Achilles early last season.

Foster visited the 49ers' headquarters last month and made a strong impression.

"He came in, and we had a nice visit with him," 49ers general manager John Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix.

Foster was a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. But Foster has been the center of controversy since the end of the season. He was sent home from the NFL scouting combine after allegedly getting into a confrontation with a hospital worker in Indianapolis.

"I think that's why you do those things," Lynch said. "You try to gather information, and react and make decisions accordingly. And so that's why these things are valuable."

After the 49ers met with Foster, it was revealed he entered into the league's program on substances of abuse due to a dilute urine sample.

"I'm trying to be the next Patrick Willis, the next great linebacker in the history," Foster said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters shortly after he was selected.

Foster, who was expected to be a strong candidate to be selected in the top-10 of the draft, said he was surprised he was still be available after 30 picks in the draft.

"I'm just happy they believed in me and trusted in me to pick me and give me a chance," Foster said. "I got to prove my passion for the sport. I got a chip on my shoulder. I got big things to prove.

"People think about the character off the field, and everything. I got to show them how serious I take my job."

When asked to describe his game, Foster said, "Savage."

He added, "If I didn't have football, I'd have nothing but my family."

Foster said he is 90-percent recovered from offseason shoulder surgery and he will be ready for the opening of training camp.

]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Take Ohio St. CB Gareon Conley in 1st Round of Draft]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:50:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/usa-gareon-conley.jpg

ALAMEDA – Ohio State cornerback was widely considered a top-15 talent entering this year’s NFL Draft. His stock took a free-fall this week, after being accused of rape.

Conley called the accusation “completely false,” in a statement issued Wednesday by his agent.

Conley has not been charged or arrested over the allegation, which stems from an interaction on April 9 at a Cleveland hotel.

The Raiders wouldn’t have made this first-round selection without doing extensive research on Conley’s legal status. They must feel confident Conley will be absolved of wrongdoing.

Conley is a quality football player and an excellent cover man. He has the size Raiders covet in cornerbacks, and allowed just 37 percent of his passes to be completed. Conley allowed just 14 catches for 159 yards last season, and an NFL passer rating of 14.0, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus. That was the best in college football last season.

Analysts say he’s good at making plays on the football, whether it’s batting down passes or intercepting passes. Conley excels in press-man coverage, but can work well in a zone as well. He diagnoses plays well, which allows him to make plays on the ball.

The Raiders need depth and competition at cornerback after Sean Smith and David Amerson weren’t as solid as expected in 2016.

Conley could be upgrade the secondary in 2017 and beyond if he lives up to his on-field potential.



Photo Credit: CSNPhilly.com]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Draft: 49ers and Raiders Top Picks in 2017]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:37:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-674185154_594_screen.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers Pick Stanford DE Solomon Thomas in the First Round]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 22:50:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-674176394.jpg

SANTA CLARA – After some late intrigue surrounding the No. 1 overall pick, the Cleveland Browns went with the player universally considered the top NFL prospect.

Myles Garrett went with the first selection, then the 49ers traded back one spot with the Chicago Bears, who chose North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

The 49ers still got the player they would have chosen with the No. 2 overall pick: Stanford defensive lineman Solomon Thomas with the second pick.


General manager John Lynch engineered a trade that enabled the 49ers to pick up third and fourth-round draft picks this year, as well as the Bears’ third-round pick next year to move back one spot.

With the selection of Thomas, the 49ers have now chosen defensive linemen with their first picks in each of the past three drafts.

The 49ers picked Arik Armstead with the No. 17 pick in 2015. Last year, in Trent Baalke’s final draft as general manager, the 49ers chose DeForest Buckner with the No. 7 pick.

Thomas becomes the highest-drafted defensive player from Stanford in school history. The Minnesota Vikings selected Stanford linebacker Jeff Siemon No. 10 overall in 1972.

The 49ers finished with a 2-14 record last season in Chip Kelly’s only season to land in the No. 2 draft slot. CEO Jed York fired Kelly and Baalke at the conclusion of the season.

Lynch had been shopping the No. 2 overall pick in trade scenarios in recent weeks. The 49ers accomplished their goal, trading back one spot and getting a bounty of picks to help in the rebuilding project.

The 49ers chose Thomas over such players as running back Leonard Fournette, defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and safety Jamal Adams.

Thomas, who spent five years in Australia as a youngster, came to Stanford as a top 25 national recruit. In his final college season, Thomas led the Cardinal with 62 tackles, 15 for loss, and eight quarterback sacks. He was an All-American and chosen as the winner of the Morris Trophy, awarded to the Pac-12 defensive lineman of the year.

Thomas appears to be a fit at multiple positions along the line in new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme. While he might be best-suited for an interior position, new coach Kyle Shanahan said recently at Stanford’s pro day that he believes Thomas can play the team’s pass-rush position.

The 49ers have struggled to generate much of a pass rush since the departure of Aldon Smith, whom the club released prior to the 2015 season after multiple off-field incidents.

Ahmad Brooks and Buckner tied for the team-lead last season with six sacks. Brooks and Aaron Lynch led the 49ers in 2015 with 6.5 sacks apiece. Brooks and Lynch both recorded six sacks in ’14 to lead the team.

The 49ers have nine draft picks remaining. Their next scheduled pick comes Friday with the second selection of the second round, No. 34 overall.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Moore Tosses Gem, But Giants Lose to Dodgers in Extras]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 16:29:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/giants+dodgers.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Quietly over the past couple of weeks, Bruce Bochy’s bullpen had started to settle. Bochy praised the group before Thursday’s game, noting that roles were being defined by pitchers who entered the series finale with the Dodgers with a 0.94 collective ERA this season. That changed in the 10th inning Thursday.

Three relievers combined to give up four runs on four walks and three singles. The implosion ended with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers and a split of this four-game series.

For most of the game, this was a day when youth shined. Corey Seager celebrated his 23rd birthday with a solo homer in the first on a two-strike pitch from Matt Moore that caught the heart of the plate. The Giants will be dealing with Seager for years, and if all goes according to plan, there will be years of Julio Urias vs. Christian Arroyo battles, too.

The 21-year-old third baseman won the first matchup, lining a single to center. Arroyo flew out in his second at-bat against the 20-year-old Urias, but they faced off a third time in a big spot. Brandon Belt drew a one-out walk in the sixth and went to third when a pickoff throw skipped down the line. After an intentional walk of Buster Posey, Arroyo lined another one back up the middle. Urias stuck his glove up but it ticked off and into center for a game-tying single.

Arroyo ended the young lefty’s day. Moore was done after seven sparkling innings. He struck out eight, six of them looking.

The game went to extras, and Cory Gearrin walked pinch-hitter Adrian Gonzalez to lead off the 10th. Chase Utley was called up to bunt but he couldn’t get it down. Instead, he hit an infield single off Steven Okert that stayed true to the third-base line. After a walk of Yasmani Grandal, the third straight pinch-hitter, Andrew Toles lined a single to center to give the Dodgers a lead and the wheels soon came off.

Utley alertly tagged up and scored on a pop-up to foul territory. Justin Turner’s single extended the lead to three and Hunter Strickland’s four-pitch walk of Chris Taylor pushed another across.

Starting pitching report: Moore gave up 19 hits and 11 earned runs in his two previous starts, but the Dodgers had just two hits, the Seager homer and a Chris Taylor single. Taylor reached third with one out, but Moore got Scott Van Slyke and Cody Bellinger to go down looking.

Bullpen report: Mark Melancon came on in a non-save situation for a second straight day and pitched a scoreless ninth.

At the plate: Buster Posey’s hitting streak ended at 12 games. He twice bounced into double plays.

In the field: Posey chased a high pop-up down the right field line in the fourth, but he was going to come up short. Kelby Tomlinson came out of nowhere with the helping hand, making a running catch near the visiting bullpen. Posey smiled and shook his head as Tomlinson whipped the ball back to the infield.

Attendance: The Giants said they sold out a 500th consecutive game.

Up next: The Giants have a three-city road trip coming up, so it’s time to take advantage of a weekend at home against the Padres. Jeff Samardzija and Luis Perdomo get the opener.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Source: 6 Teams Discuss Possible Trade for 49ers' No. 2 Pick]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 15:31:17 -0700

The 49ers have held discussions with three teams inside the top 10 and three teams outside the top 10 about a possible trade for the No. 2 overall pick, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Thursday.

The Cleveland Browns decision-makers met Thursday and finalized the team's plan to select Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reported, citing multiple league sources.

Garrett's spot as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft had not been in doubt until this week. On Wednesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported he was hearing from "well-connected people" who thought the Browns could take North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky at No. 1.

The Browns are believed to be interested in trading back up to get into a position to select Trubisky.

The 49ers, coming off a 2-14 season, are in a position to trade out of the No. 2 pick because of their need at multiple positions.

General manager John Lynch has stated that the 49ers are "open for business" when it comes to holding discussions with any teams interested in acquiring the 49ers' No. 2 overall pick.

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<![CDATA[Manaea Hurt in A's 8-5 Loss to Angels]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 23:45:09 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/decker-missedball-angels-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – The A's endured one of those nights Wednesday when the scoreboard couldn't convey the extent of their blues.

The tone of an 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels was set early, when starting pitcher Sean Manaea left after two innings with what was announced as tightness in his throwing shoulder.

From there, things gradually unraveled as the A's lost their third in a row and took on what looks to be another injury to a key player. The seriousness of Manaea's injury wasn't immediately known, but his early exit added to the recent run of medical misfortune, as center fielder Rajai Davis, shortstop Marcus Semien and starter Kendall Graveman have all hit the disabled list over the past 12 days.

Graveman will be activated Thursday and start against the Angels, but Manaea's condition will loom large as the 25-year-old lefty is considered a foundation piece for the A's, now and for the future.

The A's trailed 4-3 in the seventh when the Angels pulled away with four runs off Ryan Dull. Matt Joyce's two-run homer in the eighth pulled them closer but they lost for the second night in a row at Angel Stadium and will have to win Thursday night to avoid a sweep. Wednesday's loss dropped them back below .500 at 10-11.

Starting pitching report:
It was obvious early that something was bothering Manaea. His fastball, which usually sits in the low 90's and gets into the mid-90's, was hovering in the 88-89 range. The A's led 2-0 before the Angels struck for three runs in the second. Danny Espinosa and Martin Maldonado each delivered RBI doubles that landed just past the diving reach of right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker, respectively. Another run scored on Cameron Maybin's single.

Bullpen report:
Frankie Montas gave up a run over 2 1/3 innings after being called into early duty when Manaea got hurt. Dull, trying to keep it a 4-3 game, did not have his command in the seventh. He threw a wild pitch, hit Danny Espinosa with a 1-2 pitch and then allowed Maybin's two-run single that keyed Los Angeles' four-run seventh.

At the plate:
It was a big night for Yonder Alonso, who had a two-run single in the first and then homered in the sixth to pull Oakland within 4-3. Alonso already has four homers, putting more than halfway to his 2016 total of seven in the season's first month. The A's struck out 13 times, giving them 24 strikeouts over the first two games of this series.

In the field:
It took until the seventh inning for the A's to be charged with an error that snapped their streak of six consecutive errorless games. Stephen Vogt couldn't hold on to Dull's glove flip on Martin Maldonado's squeeze bunt. But even before then, this wasn't a sharp defensive effort. Joyce got caught off guard in the fourth when Maybin tagged up and made it to second on a fly to right. Joyce's gesturing afterward seemed to suggest nobody was letting him now the runner was tagging. An inning later, Decker seemed stunned as the lumbering Albert Pujols went first to third on Andrelton Simmons' single.

Attendance:
The announced crowd was 30,248.

Up next:
Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.00) is set to come off the D.L. on Thursday and make his first start since April 14, when he was lost to a strained right shoulder. He'll be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76), who took the Opening Night loss against the A's at the Coliseum when he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Arroyo, Morse Go Deep, Giants Walk Off On Dodgers]]>Thu, 27 Apr 2017 00:07:58 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/ginatswin.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Morse hoped to bring a little levity to a battered clubhouse Wednesday. On his first day as a Giant since the 2014 World Series, he ended up bringing the most thrilling win of the season.

Morse’s pinch-hit homer in the eighth shook AT&T Park and tied the game. His good friend Hunter Pence won it with a sacrifice fly in the 10th, giving the Giants a 4-3 win over the Dodgers.

The 10th-inning rally started with Gorkys Hernandez’s single off Ross Stripling. Hernandez stole second and Conor Gillaspie drew a walk, and both runners were safe when Adrian Gonzalez went to third on Nick Hundley’s bunt. Pence flied out to deep left on the 10th pitch of his at-bat. The Giants had been 0-13 when trailing after seven. Morse helped change all that.

Morse’s homer came an inning after Christian Arroyo’s first career homer. The newcomers saved a night that started with nothing but failure.

The Giants entered with four games this month where they failed to put a runner on the first time through the order. Lefty Alex Wood stayed with the theme. Brandon Belt finally touched first with a one-out walk in the fourth but it wasn’t until the sixth that a Giant — Drew Stubbs — picked up a hit.

By that time, the Dodgers led 3-0. Johnny Cueto worked around some early trouble but Corey Seager got to him in the sixth. The young shortstop led off with a mammoth blast on a 3-2 pitch that landed a couple dozen rows up in left-center. The homer was tracked at 462 feet per Statcast, tied for the longest in the Majors this season.

The Dodgers went up 2-0 when Chase Utley blooped a single to left with the bases loaded. Utley was 1-for-31 at the time. Andrew Toles beat out a grounder to bring home a third run.

The Giants looked dead in the water, but Wood — the Dodgers’ swingman — was pulled after 77 pitches and old friend Sergio Romo immediately opened the door. Buster Posey hit a one-out single and Arroyo lined a slider just over the fence in left-center.

Morse’s first at-bat as a Giant in three years sent an even bigger charge through the park. He got a 97 mph fastball from Pedro Baez with two strikes and blasted it to left. Morse held his arm up right away and screamed as he rounded first.

Starting pitching report: Cueto was charged with three runs on seven hits and two walks. He’ll finish April with a 5.10 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. After holding opposing hitters to a .238 average last year, he’s getting hit at a .271 clip this season.

Bullpen report: Steven Okert did a great job of settling the place down, throwing a scoreless inning before Arroyo’s homer and retiring two more immediately after.

At the plate: The 21-year-old Arroyo calmly clapped his hands once as he rounded first. He was pushed out of the dugout for a curtain call as the park roared. Most impressive of all, his mom, Kimberly, didn’t drop a single nacho as she celebrated in the stands.

In the field: Stubbs made a diving catch to open the seventh and Gorkys Hernandez followed with a nifty sliding catch at the wall.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,572 human beings. Thursday will be the 500th consecutive (announced) sellout.

Up next: Matt Moore (1-3, 5.87 ERA) will try to turn his month around. The Dodgers will trot out young lefty Julio Urias, who spent three weeks in the minors to control his innings count.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Rally Lights at the Ballpark a Big Hit ... For Now]]>Wed, 26 Apr 2017 00:00:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rally+lights-0425-2017.jpg

While the San Francisco Giants are off to a rough start this season, fans at AT&T Park are starting a new trend there: rally lights.

Fans in the stands simultaneously hold up the flashlights on their smartphones, adding some extra illumination to the field. While at first the move seemed like a cool idea, it's now catching the attention of Major League Baseball for the wrong reasons.

"I've only seen this at a rock concert before," Giants play-by-play broadcaster Jon Miller said.

It has been said the so-called rally lights are intended to rally the home team and perhaps psych out opponents. Most Giants fans seemed to warm to the idea.

"It's awesome, i think it's super tight," Nick Cosmides, of Monterey, said. "It's creative."

Even Giants manager Bruce Bochy noticed fans seemed to enjoy their shining contribution.

"It is simliar to being at a rock concert," he said. "The players are having fun with it."

But the lights also caught the eye of umpires Monday night, pointing out a fan who may have had a real flashlight. They're saying it's a distraction.

"There's going to be a lot of distracting things, so figure out a way to deal with it," Giants fan Kelsey Henning said.

Dodgers fans disagreed.

"Very obnoxious and annoying, for the players," LA fan Josh Munoz said. "I bet it's outrageous to look at while they're playing."

Some reports say Major League Baseball told the Giants to make sure lights are not used by fans on the first level between the bases. The team, however, said it hasn’t received such a directive. Bochy said he doesn't want it to compromise safety.

"Sometimes the ball comes close to where these lights are shining in the background there, so obviously I have a little concern there," he said.

Tuesday night was the third time fans have illuminated the ballpark to show their support.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[A's Casilla Blows Save in 10th, Angels Walk Off in 11th]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:48:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/trouthr-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – After the A's appeared to deal a knockout blow in the 10th inning, the Angels countered and ended up handing the A's their first walk-off loss of 2017.

Kole Calhoun's two-out single off Ryan Madson in the 11th scored Danny Espinosa and Los Angeles hung a 2-1 loss on the A's on Tuesday to open a three-game series at Angel Stadium.

Mike Trout hit a game-tying homer off Santiago Casilla to lead off the bottom of the 10th. That came right after A's pinch hitter Josh Phegley broke a scoreless tie by hitting the first pitch of the top of the 10th for a homer to right-center off Jose Alvarez.

For two teams who didn't advance a single runner past first base through the first nine innings, the A's and Angels packed a lot of excitement into the extra frames.

Phegley delivered the A's first pinch homer in extras since Chris Carter hit one against Seattle on July 6, 2012. After Trout answered with his homer, Albert Pujols lined a single off Casilla, who came in having allowed opponents just one hit over 23 at-bats this season. Ben Revere pinch-ran for Pujols and stole second, representing the winning run with no outs. But Casilla buckled down and stranded him there to keep it a 1-1 game.

Espinosa led off the bottom of the 11th with a single off Madson, then Martin Maldonado executed a two-strike sacrifice bunt to move him to second. With two outs, Calhoun lined his game-winner to left-center, and Espinosa easily beat Jaff Decker's throw to the plate.

A's starter Jesse Hahn was outstanding, facing just two batters over the minimum over eight innings and limiting the Angels to one hit. The only problem was the A's couldn't get anything going on their end against right-hander J.C. Ramirez, who threw seven scoreless innings. All told, they struck out 11 times against five Angels pitchers.

Starting pitching report:
Hahn was as dialed in as he's been wearing an A's uniform. Manager Bob Melvin talks often of the upside he thinks the right-hander has, and Hahn demonstrated that Tuesday. He coaxed 12 ground-ball outs but also showed a good curve ball and struck out six. Hahn walked two, but after the one single he gave up to Marte in the fifth, he promptly picked Marte off first.

Bullpen report:
Sean Doolittle threw a perfect ninth to send the game into extra innings scoreless, and he struck out Kole Calhoun with two nasty sliders. Looking to protect a 1-0 lead in the 10th, Casilla fell behind Trout 2-0 and Trout sliced a homer to the right field corner that landed just inside the foul pole.

At the plate:
The A's mustered just five hits total.

Ryon Healy, hitting .524 over his previous seven games entering the night, got a start in the No. 2 spot and struck out swinging four times in five at-bats.

The A's got the leadoff hitter aboard in four of five innings from the fourth through the eighth but couldn't cash in. And with the strong-armed Martin Maldonado behind the plate for the Angels, Oakland couldn't jump-start things on the bases. Jaff Decker was thrown out at second so easily in the fourth that he didn't even bother to slide, as it appeared either him or Healy missed a sign.

In the field:
In line with how well Hahn was dealing, the A's defense played stingy. Matt Joyce made a diving catch in right to rob Jefry Marte to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Jed Lowrie made a nice play from the outfield grass to retire Danny Espinosa in the sixth. Credit Hahn for keeping his infielders engaged with so many ground-ball outs.

Attendance:
The announced turnout was 30,124.

Up next:
In the middle contest of this three-game set, Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) squares off against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98) on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Shoemaker's six homers allowed are tied for third most in the American League.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Kershaw Quiets Giants Again, Dodgers Win 2-1]]>Tue, 25 Apr 2017 23:49:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kershaw-fielding-giants-april25-2017-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — After taking the opener of this four-game series, manager Bruce Bochy said he felt the win was a huge one.

“We’ve got our hands full tomorrow,” Bochy said Monday night. “We know it.”

Yes, as always with Clayton Kershaw, they did.

The left-hander was once again dominant at AT&T Park, throwing seven sharp innings before turning the ball over to a bullpen that got four outs from Kenley Jansen. The closer wrapped up a 2-1 Dodgers win. As with Monday’s game, this one was a pitcher’s duel.

Ty Blach threw 11 shutout innings against the Dodgers as a rookie and he opened up with three strong frames Tuesday. He also got the offense in gear, lashing a double over a drawn-in outfield in the third for his third career hit off Kershaw. Hunter Pence’s hustle turned a grounder to second into an infield hit, allowing Buster Posey to bat in the inning. Posey didn’t let his good friend’s effort go to waste, bouncing a single up the middle for the night’s first run.

The Dodgers came right back to take the lead. Corey Seager opened the fourth with a walk and Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig singled. With runners on the corners and the game tied, Adrian Gonzalez hit a grounder right at Posey at first. He spun and fed Brandon Crawford for one out and Turner broke for home. Crawford’s throw came up a few inches short and Turner scored.

Kershaw looked uncomfortable during an early at-bat, but he found his groove in the middle innings. He needed just seven pitches to get through the fifth and eight to set the side down in the sixth. After George Kontos left the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Kershaw worked around a two-out single in the bottom of the inning.

The Dodgers called on Jansen with two outs in the eighth and he immediately ran into trouble. Posey singled and Crawford followed with a liner into left that came with a price. Crawford pulled up as he rounded first and was removed with an apparent right groin injury.

Starting pitching report: Blach’s return to the rotation: 5 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts. Because he hasn’t started since spring training, a rising pitch count knocked him out a bit early.

Bullpen report: Kontos screamed and pumped his fist after blowing Andrew Toles away to end the seventh. Cory Gearrin had put a pair of Dodgers on and an intentional walk of Cody Bellinger loaded them up.

At the plate: Christian Arroyo’s first big league hit was a first-inning single off the best pitcher in the world. Kershaw threw Arroyo a first-pitch fastball at the letters and he smoked it into left. Arroyo’s parents and young siblings arrived in San Francisco in time to watch the moment.

In the field: Crawford did Crawford Things, including a running catch way out in left field to rob Gonzalez of a bloop single.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,329 human beings who tried the cell-phone-light rally with a runner on in the seventh. One pitch later, Pence grounded out.

Up next: Johnny Cueto will try to get back on track. He had a 2.67 ERA in five starts against the Dodgers in his first season in the rivalry. Funky lefty Alex Wood goes for the other side.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants End Four-Game Skid With Series-Opening Win Over LA]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:22:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/panik-giants-dodgers-win.jpg

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — There was a different buzz at AT&T Park on Monday night, which was expected. The Dodgers always bring the most energy out of the fan base and the surprise promotion of the organization’s top prospect added a little sizzle.

For six innings, Matt Cain made sure the good vibes didn’t go to waste. By the seventh, he was dealing with his own set of problems.

Cain dominated the Dodgers but he was removed by trainer Anthony Reyes after throwing warm-up pitches in the top of the seventh. There was no immediate word on his condition. The Giants went on to win the opener of this four-game series 2-1, wrapping up a well-earned victory for their longest-tenured player.

Cain has been looking for consistency for three years. When he was on the mound Monday, he was able to carry over the strides he made in his two previous starts. Cain sailed through six, allowing just two singles and a walk.

He benefited from sparkling defense on the infield, and in the second, three infielders teamed up to give Cain the lead. Brandon Crawford hit a leadoff double and went to third when Christian Arroyo grounded one to the right side in his first career at-bat. Joe Panik’s deep sacrifice fly to center brought Crawford trotting home.

Panik was in the middle of an insurance rally ion the seventh. He singled with one out, went to second on a walk, and scored on Hunter Pence’s bouncer up the middle. That run would immediately be needed. The Dodgers put runners on the corners with no outs in the eighth and got one back on a grounder. With two outs, Chris Taylor was gunned down by Buster Posey at second, with Corey Seager at the plate. He would probably like that decision back.

Sergio Romo took the mound in the bottom of the inning. He walked Eduardo Nuñez, got Posey to fly out, gave up a single to Crawford, and struck out Arroyo to end the inning.

Starting pitching report: Cain had a 5.13 ERA over the previous three seasons. Through four starts, he’s sitting at a staff-best 2.42. All of a sudden, his loss would be a huge one for the Giants.

Bullpen report: Steven Okert hustled to replace Cain in the seventh. He retired Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez.

At the plate: Arroyo grounded out to second in his first three at-bats and then struck out.

In the field: Arroyo made a slick barehanded play to rob Grandal of an infield hit in the fourth and he kept going, picking Cain — who had been hit by the liner — up off the grass. They chest-bumped.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,399 human beings. There were no donkeys. The fans gave Romo a standing ovation after the first and Romo came out in front of the visiting dugout to tip his cap. He was wiping tears away as he returned to the dugout rail.

Up next: It was supposed to be Madison Bumgarner vs. Clayton Kershaw. Ty Blach vs. Clayton Kershaw is pretty fun, too.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff
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<![CDATA[Warriors Rout Blazers in Game 4 to Complete Sweep]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 23:34:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/warriors-kd.jpg

PORTLAND -- Never allowing the Trail Blazers to find an offensive rhythm, the Warriors rolled to a 128-103 Game 4 triumph Monday night, completing a sweep of the first-round Western Conference playoff series.

The Warriors advance to the conference semifinals and will face the winner of the Jazz-Clippers series currently tied at two games apiece.

All five Warriors starters scored in double figures, with Stephen Curry scoring 37 points to lead the way. Draymond Green totaled 21, Klay Thompson 18 and Zaza Pachulia 11. David West scored 12 points off the bench.

Kevin Durant -- making his first appearance since Game 1 -- started and added 10 points, three rebounds, two assists, two blocks and one steal in 20 minutes of action.

The Warriors rode white-hot shooting from deep, making 17-of-29 (58.6 percent).

The Warriors silenced the Moda Center crowd early, outshooting Portland 62.5 percent to 29.6 percent in the first quarter before going on to finish with a 53.5-percent to 38.8-percent advantage for the game.

Damian Lillard scored 34 points to lead the Trail Blazers, who were ousted from the playoffs by the Warriors for the second consecutive year.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Curry, who struggled with his shot for the majority of the series, continued the hot streak he began in the fourth quarter of Game 1.

Curry’s line: 37 points (12-of-20 shooting from the field, including 7-of-11 from beyond the arc, 6-of-7 from the line), eight assists, seven rebounds and two steals. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-29 for the game.

Curry moved into a tie with Robert Horry for ninth place on the all-time list of 3-pointers in the postseason with 261.

TURNING POINT: The Warriors took control immediately, going up 14-0 with 8:40 left in the first quarter and pushing it to 35-9 with 4:11 left in the quarter. They led by as much as 28 in the first half.

Portland got no closer than 18 in the second quarter, and no closer than 23 after intermission.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Matt Barnes (R foot/ankle bone bruise) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain, hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) are listed as probable. C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) are listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors now await the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series. Game 1 date TBD, either April 30 or May 2.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Warriors' Kevin Durant Will Play in Game 4 at Portland]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:00:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/durant-0424-2017.jpg

After missing the last two games with a left calf strain, Kevin Durant will play Monday as the Golden State Warriors try to close out the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

The Warriors made the announcement about two hours before tip-off in Portland.

While Durant is active, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes will not play.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Doctor Agrees With Steve Kerr's Advice to Avoid Back Surgery]]>Mon, 24 Apr 2017 18:29:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kerr-0424-2017.jpg

While Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr made an appearance at the morning shoot-around in Portland on Monday, he made it clear that pain, nausea and other issues were keeping him from coaching in Game 4 and possibly longer.

The 51-year-old has been suffering from the effects and complications of a cerebral-spinal fluid leak following back surgery in July 2015. On Sunday, after he announced his indefinite absence, Kerr offered some very blunt advice for others dealing with similar back issues.

"I can tell you if you are listening out there: If you have back problems, stay away from surgery," he said. "I can say that from the bottom of my heart. Rehab, rehab, rehab."

Dr. Robert Aptekar, a board certified and Stanford University trained orthopedic surgeon with 25 years experience, agreed with Kerr's advice.

"He is not a physician, but it's good advice in general," Aptekar said. "Most back problems can be managed with rehab, physical hearty and sometimes medicine."

But Aptekar also said for some, back surgery may be the best option.

"There are some circumstances that do require an operation to get a patient back on their feet again,' he said.

A cerebral spinal fluid leak is a rare complication, Aptekar added, and it can be hard to track and fix. It certainly can lead to the type of severe pain Kerr has experienced, he said.

Meanwhile, fans say they'll miss watching Kerr walk the sideline, but they believe the Warriors will do just fine.

"I'm not worried ... with the talent they've got," Warriors fan Alex Law. of San Jose, said. "They should be fine. It's not a problem."



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[A's Slug Their Way Past Mariners in Series Opener]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:32:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/athletics-mariners-instant.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – On many a night last year, a tough left-hander such as James Paxton meant trouble for the A's.

They instead flipped that script Thursday, chasing Paxton in the fifth inning and hitting their way to a 9-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners to open a four-game series at the Coliseum.

Paxton, who hadn't allowed a single run over his first three starts of 2017, got touched for five runs and left after Ryon Healy's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. It figured the A's would have to bring the offense with Cesar Valdez making his first big league start on the mound in seven years. They responded with an 11-hit attack and their second consecutive game scoring nine runs. In doing so, they ran their winning streak to season-high three games and got back to the .500 mark at 8-8.

The A's scored an American League-low 166 runs off lefties last season and had the lowest on-base percentage (.298). But they've now beaten lefty starters each of the past two days. On Wednesday they scored four runs in the first and made it a quick day for the Rangers' Martin Perez.

Paxton entered the night on a roll, not having allowed a run over 21 innings in his first three starts. That made him jus the 10th pitcher since 1900 to begin the season with three consecutive starts of at least six scoreless innings. But after Seattle jumped out to a 3-0 lead, the A's battled back.

They led 6-5 when Trevor Plouffe, who struck out in his first three at-bats, drilled a three-run homer in the seventh to give the A's some cushion.

On a down note for Oakland, Rajai Davis was replaced in center field for the ninth after he had trouble making it down the first-base line on a grounder in the previous inning.

Starting pitching report

The night started out rough for Valdez in his first major league start since 2010. The Mariners knocked him around for three runs on five hits over the first two innings, but that was it off the 32-year-old journeyman, who was called up for the start with Kendall Graveman on the disabled list. Valdez was pulled after just four innings and 76 pitches, but he kept the A's in the game and didn't force Bob Melvin to blow through his entire bullpen.

Bullpen report

Taylor Motter tied the game with a two-run homer off Frankie Montas in the sixth. Otherwise, it was stellar work from the A's relief corps. Ryan Dull (1-1) picked up the victory, Sean Doolittle retired Robinson Cano for a key out in the seventh and Ryan Madson and Santiago Casilla closed it out.

At the plate

It's good news for the A's to see Ryon Healy regaining his stroke. He finished 3-for-3 with two RBI and a walk, and is now 7-for-9 over his past four games. Plouffe's three-run homer was a liner to left that had to feel good after his three strikeouts before that. The A's capitalized on Seattle's defensive mistakes and got contributions up and down the order.

In the field

The A's played their second consecutive errorless game and turned in a couple of excellent plays in the infield. Jed Lowrie, fielded Mitch Haniger's broken-bat bloop near second base, stepped on the bag and threw to first to complete a double play that got Valdez out of the second. Healy made a nifty backhand stop on Jarrod Dyson's chopper, keeping the Mariners' most dangerous runner off the bases in the seventh. Conversely, the Mariners shot themselves in the foot at the wrong time. Center fielder Leonys Martin let Rajai Davis get by him for a two-base error, and Davis wound up scoring on Adam Rosales' sacrifice fly in the fifth.

Attendance

Just 10,707 were on hand at the Coliseum.

Up next

Sean Manaea (0-1, 5.51) matches up against Hisashi Iwakuma (0-1, 5.40) on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. The A's lefty is holding opponents to a .138 batting average, third-best in the American League. But he has walked nine in 16 1/3 innings and has hit four batters, most in the majors.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Fall to Oilers in Overtime of Game 5]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:24:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/186*120/sharks-oilers2.jpg

EDMONTON – The Oilers erased a two-goal deficit in regulation and David Desharnais scored in overtime as Edmonton downed the Sharks in Game 5 of their first round playoff series at Rogers Place, 4-3.

The Oilers can advance to the second round on Saturday in San Jose, while the Sharks will attempt to force a decisive Game 7 back in Edmonton.

At 18:15 of overtime, Desharnais cut towards the net and directed in a saucer pass from Leon Draisaitl.

Prior to the overtime goal, Martin Jones made a number of remarkable saves to keep it tied. He stopped Draisaitl alone in the slot, closing his five hole, and dove back with his stick to deny Ryan Nugent-Hopkins who was trying to poke in his own rebound. Later, he stretched from his right to his left in denying Connor McDavid with a left pad on a two-on-one.

Edmonton outshot the Sharks 14-2 in overtime, and 48-30 for the game.

The Sharks held a 2-1 edge after the first period, and increased that lead in the second. Just two seconds after Patrick Maroon stepped out of the penalty box, a place he’s become familiar with in the series, David Schlemko’s point shot fluttered into the top corner with Tomas Hertl setting a screen at 8:38.

It was the second straight game that the defenseman scored a goal, after the Edmonton native’s miscue led to the only goal in Game 3.

The Oilers got one back late in the frame. On a power play, Draisaitl directed a pass through traffic to a cutting Mark Letestu, who had an empty net to flip it home to make it a 3-2 game with 1:27 left in the second period.

Shots were hard to come by in the third period, as the Sharks attempted to play back in an attempt to run out the clock. Edmonton tied it with 2:46 to go, though, when Desharnais teed up Oscar Klefbom for a heavy one-timer from the top of the circle that cleanly beat Martin to the far side.

As expected, Edmonton came out with the early energy. Milan Lucic threw a couple of big hits, including on Logan Couture in first minute, and later Maroon flattened Brent Burns in the corner.

The Oilers also got the game’s first goal, courtesy of Maroon, who buried a Matt Benning rebound on Jones at 5:28.

After the Oilers hit three posts, including two by Darnell Nurse and another by Jordan Eberle, San Jose took control of the first. Mikkel Boedker, who was a healthy scratch in games three and four, buried a Chris Tierney pass on a two-on-one rush at 10:12 to tie the score.

Another Sharks odd man rush, thanks in part to a bad line change by Edmonton, resulted in a Patrick Marleau goal at 15:52. Joe Thornton wound up and fired a slap shot that Marleau slammed home after Cam Talbot couldn’t keep the Thornton blast from sneaking behind him.

The Sharks are 22-22 all-time in overtime in the playoffs, including 1-1 this series.

The Sharks fell to 16-17 all-time in Game 5s, including 6-12 on the road. San Jose is just 1-10 all-time when trailing in a series, three games to two.

According to Elias, the winner of Game 5 in a best-of-seven series that was tied at two games apiece goes on to win the series 78.1 percent of the time (193-54).

Thursday marked the two-year anniversary of the Sharks and Oilers head coach Todd McLellan parting ways after seven seasons.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hockeytown, California: Barracuda Joins Sharks in Postseason]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:33:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/041816-sharks-hot-weather.jpg

The Shark Tank and downtown San Jose will boast a West Coast version of Hockeytown this weekend.

Not only are the Sharks hosting Game 6 of their Stanley Cup playoff series against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night, but San Jose's minor-league affiliate, the Barracuda, also is in the postseason and is opening at home with games 1 and 2 on Friday and Sunday.

The second-youngest team in the American Hockey League had a banner season, winning the Pacific Division and Western Conference regular season titles behind the strength of goaltender of the year Troy Grosenick, rookie of the year Daniel O'Regan and coach of the year Roy Sommer.

The Barracuda finished the regular season with a record of 43-16-4-5.

They'll begin their second quest for the Calder Cup with a best-of five series against the Stockton Heat. Puck drops are 7 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m Sunday.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Open 2017 at Titans, Featured in 5 Prime-Time Games]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:38:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mariota-marcus-carr-derek.jpg

The Raiders have the fourth-toughest strength of schedule. They travel a bunch, have a tough road stretch and play five contests against 2016 playoff teams.

There are requisite home-and-home slates against the AFC West, a full turn in the AFC and NFC East. They lose a home game to Mexico City against the Super Bowl champion Patriots.

It's clear the Raiders' 12-4 record in 2016 excited TV executives, because the Silver and Black will be featured in five primetime matchups. That includes two night games at Oakland Coliseum, against Dallas and Kansas City. They play at Washington and Seattle on Sunday Night Football, and have a Monday Night game at Philadelphia on Christmas.

The full NFL schedule was released on Thursday evening. Let's take a look at how it all shook out, game by game:

Raiders 2017 regular-season schedule
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 10, at Tennessee, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders will play in Nashville a third-straight season. Might be a good thing, considering they've won there the last two years. Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota broke ankles on the same day last season. Seasons will start in the same game.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 17, vs. New York Jets 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Oakland's home opener comes against Gang Green…Good defense, but still no quarterback…

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 24, at Washington (Sunday Night Football) 5:30 p.m., NBC
Comment: The first of five primetime games starts in the nation's capital.

Week 4: Sunday, Oct. 1, at Denver, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: First division game of the regular season. Always a tough test in Denver.

Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 8, vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1:05 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Third straight year the Raiders have played Flacco and friends. Raiders won the last two.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 15, vs. L.A. Chargers, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Not sure what kind of matchup this might be. Lots of talent, but this team has been injury prone in recent seasons.

Week 7: Thursday, Oct. 19, vs. Kansas City (Thursday Night Football), 5:25 p.m. (NFLN)
Comment: Raiders had to travel two time zones on a short week. Chiefs doing the same this time around.

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 29, at Buffalo, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: The start of two straight East Coast road trips. The Raiders asked for such a situation, and likely won't come home in between games.

Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 5, at Miami (Sunday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Comment: The Raiders finished a two-game road trip last season with consecutive wins. Can they do it again?

Week 10: BYE
Comment: Bye week comes in the midst of a three-game road stretch, if you count a home game played in Mexico City.

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 19, vs. New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Thought this might've been a primetime game. Still an excellent matchup. Too bad for Oakland Raiders fans this "home" game is being played abroad.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 26, vs. Denver at 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Excellent offense vs. excellent defense. Long-standing division rivalry. A good matchup the last few years.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 3, vs. New York Giants 1:25 p.m. (FOX)
Comment: The Raiders have a stacked schedule. This one is sneaky tough.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 10, at Kansas City, 10 a.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders have struggled at Arrowhead Stadium lately. They'll need to play well despite an early kickoff. Raiders could contend for the AFC West title again this year.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 17, vs. Dallas (Sunday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (NBC)
Comment: Best matchup of the year for fans in Oakland coming in primetime. Excellent matchup between two rising powers. Should be a fun time in the East Bay.

Week 16: Monday, Dec. 25, at Philadelphia (Monday Night Football), 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Comment: Raiders spending Christmas night in Philly. Might be a cold one against Carson Wentz.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 31, at L.A. Chargers, 1:25 p.m. (CBS)
Comment: Raiders will miss playing at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium, their home away from home. They might make Carson's StubHub Center another one if the Bolts aren't in it and fans start selling their tickets.



Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>
<![CDATA[49ers to Open 2017 Against Panthers, Full Schedule Revealed]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 19:23:47 -0700

The NFL has determined that the 49ers are not quite ready for prime time.

The 49ers will not have a date on Sunday night or Monday night in the organization's first season under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

The team's only prime-time appearance will come Thursday, Sept. 21, when the Los Angeles Rams come to Levi's Stadium. Every team in the NFL plays a Thursday game.

The Shanahan regime officially begins on Sunday, Sept. 10, when Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers face the 49ers at Levi's Stadium. It will be Newton's first appearance in Santa Clara since the Panthers loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

The 49ers play three consecutive road games from Week 3 to Week 5 at Arizona, Indianapolis and Washington. The last time the 49ers played three straight weeks on the road during the regular season was December of 2005, when the 49ers traveled to Seattle, Jacksonville and St. Louis.

Here is a look at the remainder of the 49ers' regular-season schedule:

Week 1 -- Sunday, Sept. 10: vs. Carolina, 1:25 p.m.
Week 2 -- Sunday, Sept. 17: at Seattle, 1:25 p.m.
Week 3 -- Thursday, Sept. 21: vs. L.A. Rams, 5:25 p.m.
Week 4 -- Sunday, Oct. 1: at Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
Week 5 -- Sunday, Oct. 8: at Indianapolis, 10 a.m.
Week 6 -- Sunday, Oct. 15: at Washington, 10 a.m.
Week 7 -- Sunday, Oct. 22: vs. Dallas, 1:05 p.m.
Week 8 -- Sunday, Oct. 29: at Philadelphia, 10 a.m.
Week 9 -- Sunday, Nov. 5: vs. Arizona, 1:05 p.m.
Week 10 -- Sunday, Nov. 12: vs. N.Y. Giants, 1:25 p.m.
Week 11 -- Bye
Week 12 -- Sunday, Nov. 26: vs. Seattle, 1:05 p.m.
Week 13 -- Sunday, Dec. 3: at Chicago, 10 a.m.
Week 14 -- Sunday, Dec. 10: at Houston, 10 a.m.
Week 15 -- Sunday, Dec. 17: vs. Tennessee, 1:25 p.m.
Week 16 -- Sunday, Dec. 24: vs. Jacksonville, 1:05 p.m.
Week 17 -- Sunday, Dec. 31: at L.A. Rams, 1:25 p.m.

All times Pacific

]]>
<![CDATA[Couture Playing Through Pain, Giving Sharks Emotional Lift]]>Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:20:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/couture-logan-sharks.jpg

EDMONTON – There are always doctors and dentists on duty at NHL games. These days, they are likely paying a little more attention to one player than any other.

Logan Couture revealed after Tuesday's 7-0 Sharks in in Game 4 that after getting hit up high by Edmonton's Connor McDavid, he had to get a little procedure done between periods.

"They just had to put some numbing into my face," he said. "Got hit in teeth again. The dentist put some numbing in, and felt good the rest of the game."
 
Couture ditched the full cage that he was wearing prior to Game 3, saying that if he were to take another puck to the mouth like he did on March 25 in Nashville, he'd probably be the "unluckiest guy in the world."

While that may be true, the exposed lower half of his face is still susceptible to errant sticks, elbows or fists, as Game 4 showed. The Oilers seem to be targeting Couture, too, including a high hit from Eric Gryba in Game 1 and another by Zack Kassian in Game 2.

Still, Couture motors on, and in Game 4 he was arguably the Sharks' best player as he posted his first playoff points – a pair of goals – in San Jose's win. All the while, the hardware in his mouth is visible, as he has what is called an arch bar keeping his bottom teeth from falling out and some plastic bonding keeping the remaining top ones in place.

Every NHL player that's fortunate enough to still be playing in the postseason is dealing with bumps and bruises, but Couture's willingness to play through the kind of injury that he suffered – as well as the dental work that's in his future, as at least half a dozen of his teeth will get replaced – seems especially fearless, even by NHL player standards.

His teammates have noticed.

"It definitely gives you an extra jolt on the ice, seeing him [and Joe Thornton], guys battling through injuries, guys coming back from painful situations and giving 100 percent out on the ice and just giving it all – it's really inspiring," Chris Tierney said. "It gives a lot of jump to us, and gives the team a lot of energy."

Joel Ward said: "For him to come back like that, obviously he's a warrior. For him not to just be there but contribute as much as he has, key minutes – he's a talented dude. The guys love him, just excited for him to be back. He definitely gives us a big lift."

It's a positive sign for the Sharks, too, that Couture seems to be improving with each game. Had the Sharks managed to beat the Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final last June, Couture likely would have been the Conn Smythe Award winner for playoff MVP, posting a league-leading 30 points in 24 games. That's the Couture they need on the ice if they're going to make a run.

For now, Couture can continue giving the Sharks an emotional boost as he continues to improve physically.

Pete DeBoer said: "When you see your best players with that type of commitment level – refusing to use injuries as an excuse, the behind the scenes stuff and what they're going through getting prepared to play and help us – obviously, that's motivating."



Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Royals Finally Score Off Bumgarner, Giants Are Shut Out]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:09:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/167*120/giants-royals.jpg

KANSAS CITY — Madison Bumgarner’s return to Kansas City was similar to Game 7 in one respect. He didn’t get a whole lot of help.

Bumgarner wasn’t at his best Wednesday, but he made it through six one-run innings in his first appearance against the Royals since the 2014 World Series. The Giants got shut out 2-0 by Jason Vargas and the Rockies. Bumgarner fell to 0-3 on the season. The lineup has scored two total runs in his past three starts.

There was no reaction as Bumgarner took to the mound at Kauffman Stadium, due to a combination of a small crowd, a 2015 title here, and maybe a little midwestern hospitality. The Royals missed an opportunity to get to Bumgarner right as he entered Game 7 three years ago and they missed again early on Wednesday.

With two in scoring position and two outs in the second, Eduardo Nuñez snagged a 111-mph liner off Cheslor Cuthbert’s bat. A frustrated Bumgarner yelled at himself the entire way back to the dugout, but he came out and stranded two more in the third.

In the fifth, the Royals finally snapped an 18-inning scoreless streak against Bumgarner. Paulo Orlando singled with one out and took second on a delayed steal. He reached third on a groundout and scored when Bumgarner was late getting over to first on a sharp liner to Brandon Belt. Bumgarner stranded two more in that inning and one in the sixth before giving way to Steven Okert.

On the other side, Vargas was outstanding. The Giants got a pair of singles in the fourth, but other than that it was all quiet against the lefty, who lowered his ERA to 0.44.

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner walked away with a fine line — six innings, seven hits, one run, one walk, four strikeouts — given the lack of command he had at times. Through four starts he has a 3.00 ERA.

Bullpen report: Steven Okert threw some cheese in the seventh. He really should be here to stay.

At the plate: For the third time in four games, the Giants did not have a baserunner the first time through the order. That is suboptimal.

In the field: The Royals tried three delayed steals, and they were successful twice. The only failure was when Orlando over-slid the bag in the seventh.

Attendance: The Royals announced a crowd of 24,402 human beings and 382 dogs. One of them wore a “Real Men Love Pigs” t-shirt. (One of the humans, not one of the dogs.)

Up next: A day off! In Denver, on April 20. Huh.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Durant Probably More Doubtful Than Questionable]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:59:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/durant-kevin-drive-blazers-turner.jpg

Programming note: Blazers-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

It seems as if Kevin Durant will not suit up for tonight's Game 2 against the Blazers.

His "questionable" status is probably closer to "doubtful," according to USA Today Sports' Sam Amick.

Durant strained his left calf in the Warriors' Game 1 victory over Portland on Sunday afternoon.

He registered 32 points and 11 rebounds and went 12 for 20 from the field.

Durant did not practice on Tuesday and as Steve Kerr said: "If he didn't practice, there's concern."

On Tuesday, the Warriors also announced that Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes are questionable.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[A's Crush Three Homers, Blow Out Rangers in Finale]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:59:37 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/khris-davis-salute-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

Khris Davis, Chad Pinder and Yonder Alonso each hit home runs to power the A's to a 9-1 win over the Rangers on Wednesday.

The seventh homer of the season for Davis moves him into a three-way tie for the major league lead with George Springer and Eric Thames.

Jesse Hahn, making his second start since being recalled, allowed two hits, one earned run and four walks in six innings while striking out four.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[A's Score Four Off Darvish, End Four-Game Skid]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:36:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rosaleshr-rangers-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The A's crammed all of their scoring into one action-packed inning, and it was enough to snap their four-game losing streak Tuesday.

Held silent through five innings by Yu Darvish, the A's broke through with a four-run sixth. They combined that with excellent pitching to turn back the Texas Rangers 4-2 in the middle contest of a three-game series at the Coliseum.

Adam Rosales keyed the game-winning rally with a two-run homer off Darvish that erased a 2-0 deficit. He turned on a 3-1 pitch and deposited his first homer well over the left field wall to make it 2-2. Having been shut out on three hits the night before, Rosales' blast generated the offensive momentum they'd been lacking.

Jaff Decker, drawing a start as the leadoff man, doubled to left-center. Yonder Alonso walked, and after Tony Barnette relieved Darvish (1-2), Jed Lowrie drew another walk to load the bases. Khris Davis delivered a sacrifice fly to center to put the A's ahead. Then Ryon Healy, pinch-hitting for Stephen Vogt, dropped a bloop single to score Alonso for a 4-2 lead.

That made a winner of Andrew Triggs (3-0), who has been the A's best starter out of the gate. He threw six innings of three-hit ball and handed things over to a bullpen that got the job done in efficient order. Santiago Casilla nailed down his second save, as the A's will now try to capture this series in the finale Wednesday afternoon.

Starting pitching report:
Triggs is justifying the A's faith in him as a starter in the first month. He gave up just three hits over six innings, getting the Rangers to chase his breaking stuff out of the zone and keeping the ball off the barrel of the bat. He struck out five and didn't issue a walk. The stat that says it all: Triggs has yet to allow an earned run in 17 2/3 innings pitched. That's the longest season-opening streak by an A's starter in Oakland history.

Two unearned runs off him in the sixth gave Texas the lead. The rally started with Yonder Alonso's fielding error. A wild pitch from Triggs moved Jurickson Profar to second, and Elvis Andrus' line single to center scored Profar him with the game's first run. Andrus' then used his legs to create the second run, stealing second and third and scoring on Nomar Mazara's fielder's choice grounder to short. Andrus broke for home and slid in ahead of Rosales' throw.

Bullpen report:
All went according to plan. Sean Doolittle came on for the seventh to relieve Triggs and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Ryan Dull got the final two outs of the eighth and Santiago Casilla delivered a 1-2-3 ninth. Casilla appears to have emerged as Bob Melvin's preferred closer, though Doolittle will be an option too depending on matchups.

At the plate:
The A's have scored in just one out of 18 innings so far in this series, but they rallied at the right time Tuesday night. Decker scored a run after his double in the sixth. He finished 1-for-4, and that may earn him another shot in the leadoff spot Wednesday. After two games off, Healy will return to the lineup Wednesday.

In the field:
Alonso made two excellent plays at first base in the early innings, but a miscue in the sixth opened the gates to a Texas rally. He mishandled Profar's chopper for an error, and Profar eventually scored on Andrus' line single to center. That makes 11 consecutive games with an error for the A's, and a major league-leading 17**** for the season.

Attendance:
The announced turnout was 12,091.

Up next:
The A's and Rangers wrap up this three-game series with Wednesday's 12:35 matinee. Jesse Hahn (0-1, 3.75) and lefty Martin Perez (1-1, 2.20) take the ball.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Explode For 7 Goals While Blanking Oilers in Game 4]]>Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:04:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/sharks-oilers1.jpg

SAN JOSE – It’s now a best-of-three, and if there’s any such thing as momentum in a playoff series, it’s all in the Sharks’ corner.

Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice, and Brent Burns notched three assists in a 7-0 San Jose romp that evened its first round series with the Oilers at two games apiece. Martin Jones stopped all 23 shots he faced in net.

The Sharks set three notable franchise playoff records in the win: the seven-goal margin of victory was their largest ever, their four power play goals was the most they’ve ever scored in a game, and Pavelski’s goal just 15 seconds in was the fastest in team history.

Despite scoring just three goals in the series through three games – all in Game 1 – they tied the franchise record for most goals ever scored in a playoff game.

It took just 15 seconds for the Sharks to end a scoreless drought of exactly 120 minutes. Pavelski got the blade of his stick on a Justin Braun floater after an offensive zone faceoff win, and the puck bounced through Cam Talbot.

The floodgates opened from there, thanks in large part to the power play.

Couture increased the Sharks’ lead to 2-0 with a man advantage at 11:02, whipping in a seam pass from Pavelski that was deflected in the slot by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins before Couture pulled it in. Talbot misplayed the shot.

San Jose added four more in the middle frame.

Patrick Marleau’s goal came after Pavelski was stopped in the slot, again on a Sharks power play, upping the lead to 3-0 at 2:02.

A pair of even strength goals a little more than three minutes apart put the game out of reach. Marcus Sorensen potted a David Schlemko rebound at 9:46 for his first career playoff goal, and Couture got another at 12:52, converting on a wrist shot after a brilliant backhanded feed from the end wall by Jannik Hansen.

Talbot departed at that point, but Pavelski’s power play goal at 16:46 on Laurent Broissoit – on another patented deflection by the captain – upped the lead to 6-0 at the second intermission.

David Schlemko’s power play goal at 6:45 of the third period capped the scoring.

The game got chippy in the second with the Sharks holding their commanding lead. Leon Draisaitl was issued a five-minute major and game misconduct at 13:44, pitchforking Chris Tierney in the groin as the two battled in the corner. Later, Patrick Maroon cross-checked Pavelski from behind at 19:23, and Pavelski made it known to the big forward that he didn’t like the dangerous hit.

The previous fastest goal in a playoff game was by Dany Heatley, who scored 28 seconds into a game against the Kings on April 14, 2011.

San Jose ended a three-game home losing streak in the playoffs, including games four and six of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

The Sharks are 6-9 all-time when a series is tied at two games apiece.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panik Delivers Big Hit, Giants Beat Royals in 11]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 21:08:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/panikscoring-royals-2017-ap.jpg

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY - Bruce Bochy has missed two games the past two seasons because of minor heart issues. 

Last August, Brandon Crawford's seven-hit game led the Giants to a 14-inning win over the Marlins. On Tuesday it was the other middle infielder, Joe Panik, who got the big hit in an 11-inning win over the Royals. 

Panik drove Nick Hundley in with an RBI single just under a diving Lorenzo Cain's glove in the top of the 11th and the Giants held on for a 2-1 win in their return to Kauffman Stadium. Both teams spent the later innings wasting promising rallies until Panik's liner touched grass a couple inches away from Cain's glove.

The night was a pitching duel from the start. Two games after watching Tyler Chatwood flirt with perfection, the Giants struggled to get in gear against Jason Hammel. The former Cub retired the first 12, but Matt Cain was up for the challenge. He worked around some trouble in the first and then cruised into the fifth. 

Earlier Tuesday, infielder Whit Merrifield told reporters about facing Madison Bumgarner when he was 11 years old and getting drilled in the head. He fared better against Cain, poking a homer the other way to give the Royals a 1-0 lead in the fifth. 

The Giants struck right back, tying the game when Hunter Pence's two-out single to right brought Panik racing in from second. Buster Posey, playing for the first time in a week, appeared to have given the Giants the lead when he hit a ball up the middle that Raul Mondesi couldn't field cleanly. Brandon Belt raced around second but he was out by inches when Sal Perez snow-coned the throw home and put a perfect tag down. 

The Giants had a chance to go ahead in the seventh when Crawford reached third with no outs, but Hundley and Chris Marrero struck out and Denard Span grounded out. In the eighth, it was the Royals who threatened. They nudged the go-ahead run to third but Steven Okert got the Giants out of the inning. 

The Royals left a runner on second in the bottom of the ninth. The Giants countered by leaving one on second in the top of the 10th. The Royals wasted two singles in the bottom of that inning and two more in the 11th. 

Starting pitching report: That's two good ones in a row for Cain. His last two starts: 12 innings, two earned runs, nine hits, five walks, nine strikeouts. He threw just 86 pitches Tuesday. 

Bullpen report: Derek Law got a well-deserved win after throwing two scoreless innings of relief. Mark Melancon picked up his third save.

At the plate: Posey had three singles on his first night back from the concussion DL, raising his average to a cool ..385. 

In the field: In case you had forgotten over the past three years, the Royals have an excellent outfield that will annoy the hell out of you if you root for the other team. Cain made it look way too easy while chasing down a Hundley liner in the fourth and another in the ninth, and Alex Gordon made a tremendous diving catch to rob Marrero in the sixth. 

Attendance: The Royals announced a crowd of 20,863 human beings who didn't seem to have any hate for the Giants. That 2015 title worked some magic. 

Up next: Bumgarner will make his first appearance at Kauffman Stadium since the night he won a free truck with technology and stuff.



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Taxpayers Contribute $4.6M to Las Vegas Stadium in March]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:46:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Las+Vegas+Stadium+-+0702.jpg

LAS VEGAS - Taxpayers contributed more than $4.6 million for an NFL stadium in Las Vegas during March, when an increase on area hotel taxes went into effect to cover the state's share of the project.

Preliminary figures provided local officials show the monthly tax collections for the stadium that the Oakland Raiders want to call home are above what officials had projected.

The tax increase approved by the Nevada Legislature last year is expected to eventually fund $750 million of the $1.9 billion project. The board overseeing the proposed 65,000-seat stadium expects the tax hike to bring in $14.8 million by the end of June. That's $3.7 million a month.

Tourists are paying about $1.50 more per night on their hotel bill for an average-priced room on the Las Vegas Strip.

]]>
<![CDATA[NCAA Tourney Coming to Warriors' New Arena in San Francisco]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:24:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/chase-center.jpg

Chase Center, the new San Francisco arena being built as the future home of the Golden State Warriors, will be the site of NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament regional games in 2022, the Warriors announced Tuesday.

The Pac-12 Conference will serve as host for the West Regional on March 24 and 26, 2022, at the Mission Bay venue, which is slated to open for the start of the 2019-20 NBA season.

It will mark the first time NCAA basketball tournament games will be played in San Francisco since the inaugural tournament in 1939. Those games were played at the California Coliseum on Treasure Island, the team said.

“This is one of the most exciting events on the calendar for sports," Warriors President Rick Welts said. "We have nine people on our current roster and coaching staff fortunate to have advanced to the Sweet 16 during their college career, and we’re excited for this to be the first event officially on our Chase Center schedule."

Back-to-back NBA MVP Stephen Curry, All-Star forward Draymond Green, forwards Matt Barnes, Andre Iguodala, James Michael McAdoo and Kevon Looney participated in the Sweet 16 during their college careers. Warriors coach Steve Kerr and assistants Jarron Collins and Bruce Fraser also competed in the Sweet 16.

"There is nothing quite like the NCAA Tournament," Kerr said. "Advancing to the regional finals, and eventually the Final Four, was certainly one of the highlights of my college career."



Photo Credit: Andy Dolich]]>
<![CDATA[Durant Among Questionable Warriors for Game 2 vs. Blazers]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:51:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/durant-kevin-rim-rebound.jpg

The Warriors may be without several players on Wednesday night.

Kevin Durant (left calf strain), Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain and hand contusion) and Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain) are questionable for Game 2 vs. Portland.

Durant scored a team-high 32 points on 12-for-20 shooting in Game 1.

Livingston scored two points in about 15 minutes off the bench.

Barnes sprained his ankle against the Pelicans on April 8 and missed the final two games of the regular season plus Game 1 on Sunday afternoon.



Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Buster Posey Returns to Giants Lineup From Concussion DL]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:36:49 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/posey-buster-giants-gray-royals-swing.jpg

KANSAS CITY -- The Giants hoped that their quick move to put Buster Posey on the disabled list would pay off. They were right. 

Posey was in the lineup Tuesday as the Giants returned to Kansas City for the first time since the 2014 World Series, hitting fourth as the designated hitter. He missed the minimum seven days after being placed on the concussion DL last Tuesday. 

Posey was hit in the head by a 94 mph fastball in Monday's home opener and he felt mild symptoms overnight and the next morning. The Giants didn't want to take any chances, and Posey was sidelined. He made quick progress, taking BP, running the bases and playing catch throughout the weekend.

Manager Bruce Bochy said repeatedly that Posey would not be cleared to return unless he could catch, but the Giants did intend to take advantage of the DH spot to ease him back into the lineup. A corresponding roster move is expected to be announced after the Giants take batting practice on Tuesday. 

Giants (5-9)
1. Denard Span (L) CF
2. Brandon Belt (L) 1B
3. Hunter Pence (R) RF
4. Buster Posey (R) DH
5. Brandon Crawford (L) SS
6. Eduardo Nunez (R) 3B
7. Nick Hundley (R) C
8. Joe Panik (L) 2B
9. Chris Marrero (R) LF
P. Matt Cain RHP (1-0, 4.82 ERA)

Royals (6-6)
1. Alex Gordon (L) LF
2. Mike Moustakas (L) 3B
3. Lorenzo Cain (R) CF
4. Eric Hosmer (L) 1B
5. Salvador Perez (R) C
6. Brandon Moss (L) DH
7. Alcides Escobar (R) SS
8. Whit Merrifield (R) RF
9. Raul Mondesi (S) 2B
P. Jason Hammel RHP (0-1, 6.52 ERA)

***

--- If you missed it, here's an oral history of Madison Bumgarner's jog out of the bullpen. He'll start Wednesday night's game here. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Manager Bruce Bochy Undergoes Minor Heart Procedure]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 15:23:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bochy-bruce-shades-day.jpg

KANSAS CITY -- Bruce Bochy did not make the return trip to Kansas City with the Giants. 

The team announced Tuesday that Bochy underwent a minor ablation procedure in the morning to alleviate discomfort related to an atrial flutter, which is an abnormal heart rhythm.

Bochy has had several heart-related issues in recent years. Last season, he was hospitalized in Miami with an irregular heartbeat. He had two stents inserted two years ago during spring training. 

The Giants announced that the procedure was performed in San Diego, where Bochy lives. He was said to be resting comfortably at his home. Bochy is expected to join the team on Friday in Denver. 

Bench coach Ron Wotus will manage the Giants for the two games at Kauffman Stadium. 



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[A's Shut Down by Old Friend Griffin, Drop Fourth Straight]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:09:36 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rangersscore-athletics-april17-usatsi.jpg

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The A's looked like they could have used another rainout Monday.

Their performance in a 7-0 loss to the Texas Rangers matched the listless environment inside the Coliseum, as they mustered just three hits and made Rangers starter A.J. Griffin look like a Cy Young candidate.

Jharel Cotton struggled over 5 1/3 innings on the mound, and Oakland advanced just one runner as far as third base. Griffin (2-0), the former Athletic who had allowed seven runs over 9 1/3 innings entering the night, limited the A's to one hit over six innings. He struck out eight, including five in a row bridging the second and third.

After Sunday's game against Houston got washed out and rain throughout Monday afternoon threatened this game, the A's uninspired effort wasn't entirely out of place before a crowd that looked to the naked eye to be less than 5,000.

The A's have lost four in a row, and coupled with a heavy dose of bad injury news lately, it's put a damper on the early stages of their season.

Starting pitching report:
Coming off seven dazzling innings against Kansas City, Jharel Cotton wasn't nearly as dialed in Monday night. He couldn't be faulted heavily for a first-inning run, as an infield single and a bloop RBI double by Nomar Mazara did damage against him. But Cotton (1-2) walked four - one intentionally after he fell behind in the count 3-0 - and the Rangers made him pay for those free passses. Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli each victimized him for two-run doubles in the fifth inning. Cotton's original start was rained out Sunday. Perhaps that threw the rookie off a bit, perhaps not. But over 5 1/3 innings he was charged with five earned runs, tied for the most he's allowed over his eight career big league starts.

Bullpen report:
Frankie Montas gave the A's two scoreless innings of relief to at least provide one highlight.

At the plate:
Griffin had the A's perplexed, and he showed you don't have to blow up the radar gun to be effective. Playing off his curve that sometimes registers in the 60's, he struck out three straight hitters looking on fastballs that didn't crack 90. The A's only threat came in the eighth, when they put runners on second and third. But pinch hitter Jaff Decker grounded out to short and the A's wound up with their second shutout loss of the season.

In the field:
On Gomez's two-run double, Rajai Davis' throw from deep center somehow got by both Adam Rosales and Jed Lowrie, the ball rolling across the infield as Gomez took an extra base. That kind of sloppiness is not a good look, and it accounted for the 10th consecutive game in which the A's have committed at least one error.

Attendance:
The announced crowd was 10,406. About 8,000 of them must have spent the entire game out by the food trucks.

Up next:
Andrew Triggs (2-0, 0.00) takes the hill opposed by Yu Darvish (1-1, 2.33), who brings a career 5.72 ERA at the Coliseum over five starts. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.



Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders' QB Carr 'Ready to Rock,' Ankle Fully Healed]]>Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:10:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carr-derek-wife.jpg

Derek Carr started the Raiders offseason program on time. His surgically repaired fibula didn't hold him back. Not one bit.

The Raiders quarterback says he's as good as new after breaking his ankle late last season, an incident that battered and bruised his team's playoff hopes. The Raiders lost both games after Carr went down, including the postseason opener at Houston.

The Raiders slammed the brakes on his rehab this winter, and even a conservative approach left him in good standing this offseason.

"I'm ready to rock," Carr said Monday afternoon. "I've been running, jumping, throwing, cutting. … I'm ready to do absolutely everything. I did everything the guys did today. I'll do everything the guys do tomorrow. I feel great. I'm truly blessed that it wasn't worse. It could've been a lot worse and it wasn't. I'm thankful for that."

Carr's rehab was relatively painless, and he progressed according to plan. Getting hurt in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis should be considered poor timing, but the injury itself wasn't anything above the standard break. While Carr considered the rehab undaunting, he was excited to get beyond rehab's early stages

"The best part was getting off the crutches," Carr said. "That was the best part. That's when I could be a human again. I had the boot, but that was easier. I think what I really took for granted was picking my kids up and taking them to their room. Little things like that made me appreciate what I have so much more. I felt like a long process, but it flew by. Each day felt like a long day, but we tried to make it fun."

The next stage is getting hit again, something that won't happen until the summer. Carr isn't concerned about that mental hurdle.

"I had my wife tackle me a few times. Wrestling Khalil Mack in pool basketball, that helps," Carr said with a smile. "You can ask him, too. I held him to no points. I've broken a lot of things. I've torn a lot of things. Because this one happened at such a dramatic time, where I couldn't play the next couple games, it's kind of bigger than it was. It wasn't hard for me to take the boot off and take my first step. For me, the mental side is easy to defeat because it's me versus me. That's going to be a win every time."



Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>