<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Top News - [BAY ONLY INCLUDES CSN]Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcbayarea.com/newsen-usTue, 27 Jun 2017 03:38:52 -0700Tue, 27 Jun 2017 03:38:52 -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[Samardzija's Strong Outing Gets Giants Back on Winning Track]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:39:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0626.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with controversy, Giants players called a meeting following batting practice. Perhaps they were talking about when and where to stretch. Perhaps a reminder was given to keep clubhouse complaints in the actual clubhouse.

Or, perhaps, the players just decided that enough was enough.

In a rare display, the Giants put a clean and complete game together. They beat the Rockies 9-2 at AT&T Park, getting just their second win since June 11 and snapping a nine-game losing streak to the Rockies.

Jeff Samardzija continued his hot streak, the lineup was opportunistic and flashed some power, and the defense sparkled at times. Here are five things to know from the throwback night …

—- Samardzija walked off to a standing ovation after throwing 112 pitches. He was charged with two earned in 6 1/3 innings. Ignore the record and ERA for a second — his FIP is 3.37 and his xFIP is 2.95. He really is having a very good and underrated season.

—- Here’s another one for your Samardzija file: Over the past two months, he has 82 strikeouts and three walks.

—- It was a good day in the race for another Brandon Crawford Gold Glove. Adeiny Hechavarria, one of the few in the National League who even approaches Crawford, was traded to the Rays. Crawford added to the reel by gunning a runner down on third and making a nifty spin-and-throw in the fourth to rob Ian Desmond of a hit.

—- There are nights where Denard Span looks like a game-changer, and this was one of them. He had a single, walk and triple in his first three plate appearances, scoring twice as the Giants built a 5-0 lead. He was spry in center, too

—- Nolan Arenado was 0 for 4. Apparently that’s legal now. (It was actually his ninth 0 for 4 or worse against the Giants, in 81 games.)

—- Bonus sixth fact since the Giants won a game: Sam Dyson, acquired basically for free, is the new setup man. That didn’t take long, and it probably won’t be changing anytime soon. Dyson gave up a single but struck out the other three batters he faced.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors' Draymond Green Wins Defensive Player of the Year]]>Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:52:41 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/draymond-0626.jpg

Two days after Draymond Green said he no longer cared about the Defensive Player of the Year award, the Warriors forward got it anyway.

After finishing in second place in the balloting in each of the past two seasons, Green received the honor Monday night during the NBA Awards show from New York.

Green beat out two other finalists, Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard. Leonard topped Green in each of the past two seasons.

Green posted impeccable overall statistics, leading the league in steals (2.03 per game) for the team that led the league in that category and averaging 1.39 blocks, as the Warriors also led the NBA in that category.

Green also led the NBA in defensive rating and defensive win shares, largely due to his ability as an irreplaceable force on that end of the court. Green starts at power forward but spends considerable time at center -- while also playing point forward on offense.

Green led the media balloting for the NBA’s All-Defensive team, racking up 198 of a possible 200 points. He was voted to first team on 99 of 100 ballots yet completely omitted from one ballot.

Green, who finished fourth in real plus-minus, averaged 10.2 points and 7.9 rebounds. He also led the Warriors in assists, averaging 7.0 per game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner Throws 3 No-Hit Innings in First Rehab Start]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:47:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bum-us.jpg


Madison Bumgarner was back on the hill Sunday night in a Giants jersey for the first time since being placed on the DL on April 21 due to a dirt bike accident

Bumgarner took the mound for the Arizona Rookie League Giants 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-ap1.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - The kid who raced The Freeze on Thursday night blew a tire as he hit center field, hobbled for about 50 feet, and then went down for good. He still had a better night than the Giants. 

They blew all four tires in the fifth, giving up eight runs in a nightmare frame that turned a two-run lead into a 12-11 loss. The Giants finished 1-7 on the swing through Denver and Atlanta, and they have lost 18 of their last 23 games. 

But, let's face it, you're here already. So here are five more things to know from the night … 

-- Matt Cain was hanging in there until the fifth, and then … disaster. The inning started with Brandon Phillips' solo shot that cut the lead to one. Then it went single, single before Cain was relieved by Bryan Morris. After that, it was single, single, single, sacrifice fly, homer, flyout, walk, single, pitching change, single. 

-- Morris had to wear it in the fifth because the bullpen is short, and boy, did he wear it. Morris gave up five runs on five hits and a walk. His ERA jumped two full points in two-thirds of an inning. 

-- Kyle Crick made his MLB debut in that horrendous bottom of the fifth. The Giants surely did not want to bring him in with runners on, but Bruce Bochy had no choice when Morris blew up. Crick's first pitch was a 95 mph heater. After giving up a hit in that inning, he pitched a perfect sixth and perfect seventh. Crick topped out at 97 mph. Pretty, pretty good stuff there. He needs to get a long look the rest of this year. 

-- In the second, Buster Posey hit a ball that went 311 feet and had a hit probability of just six percent. Cain hit a ball 357 feet. Posey got a homer that bounced off the top of the wall; Cain just got a double. Baseball is such an odd game.  

-- On a positive note, Javi Lopez, who calls Brandon Belt "Sparky," repeatedly referred to Posey as Gerald. He's going to be good at this job. 

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![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-celebrating-marleau-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.

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.

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.

Also 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.

Last season Burns finished third for the Norris behind winner Drew Doughty of Los Angeles and Karlsson.

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


Jake Marisnick, George Springer and Derek Fisher all went deep as the powerhouse Astros put an end to the A's four-game winning streak.

Daniel Gossett, making his second career start, went 6.2 innings and allowed six hits, earned runs, walked none and struck six.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blanked by Braves in Seventh Straight Loss]]>Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:08:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/carmago-braves-posey-ap.jpg

Johnny Cueto went seven straight innings on Monday, but the Giants offense mustered nothing as they lost for the seventh straight time.

Cueto allowed five hits and two earned runs, but Braves starter R.A. Dickey shutout the Giants for seven innings.

Matt Adams and Dansby Swanson each drove in two runs in the Braves' 9-0 win. Danny Santana added a three-run homer in a seven-run eighth inning.

The Giants managed just four hits in the loss. Denard Span, Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Belt and Kelby Tomlinson accounted for all the offense.

The loss drops the Giants to 20 games under .500 (26-46).

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Kevin Durant Will Re-Sign With Warriors]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:01:11 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/durant-curry-laugh-stage.jpg

It isn't official yet, but Kevin Durant isn't going to leave Golden State this summer.

Durant will decline his 2017-18 player option, become a free agent (briefly) on July 1, and then re-sign with the Warriors, according to ESPN's Chris Haynes.

A couple of weeks ago, ESPN reported that Durant is willing to take less than a max deal in order to help Golden State retain some free agents.

One key free agent -- Andre Iguodala.

And on Monday morning, The Vertical's Shams Charania reported that Iguodala will seriously consider other teams in free agency.

For many months, Durant has let it be known that he plans on staying with the Warriors long-term.

Last summer, he considered the Celtics, Clippers, Heat, Spurs and Thunder before eventually picking the Warriors.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Photo Credit: Drew Shiller]]>
<![CDATA[Big Third Inning Propels A's to 4-Game Sweep of Yankees]]>Mon, 19 Jun 2017 00:11:12 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-0618.jpg

OAKLAND — Another day, another tidy and well-rounded performance by the A’s.

They completed a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees with a 4-3 victory in front of a crowd of 34,140, their biggest home crowd of the season aside from an Opening Night sellout.

It marks the A’s first sweep of any series since Sept. 12-15 of last season, when they took four at Kansas City. They hadn’t swept a four-game at home since July 3-6, 2014. And this was just the third time since the A’s moved to Oakland in 1968 that they swept four from the Yankees.

Viewed from any angle, this weekend played out as a shocker. The A’s were coming off a 1-5 road trip, and New York arrived with the American League’s second best record behind Houston. The Yankees are still clinging to a half-game lead in the American League East, pending Boston’s game Sunday night at Houston.

Khris Davis hit his 18th homer, a two-run shot, and Chad Pinder had a two-run double in the third inning, when the A’s got all the offense they would need. Jharel Cotton (4-7) turned in a solid six innings on the mound, and the three relievers nailed things down in the late innings, as the A’s grabbed an early lead for the second consecutive game and made the lead stand.

Cotton gets back in win column: Cotton gave up homers to Matt Holliday and Didi Gregorius but went six innings and helped ease some the burden on an overworked bullpen. He earned his first victory since being recalled from the minors May 27.

A HR for KD: With the A’s offense chugging along pretty well lately, Khris Davis’ recent power outage wasn’t so glaring. The left fielder finally connected Sunday and drove a two-run shot 442 feet that hit high off the green facing in center field. That snapped a 2-2 tie and ended Davis’ 12-game homerless drought, as he moved back into the team homer lead with 18. He added a double as part of a 2-for-4 afternoon, one day after an 0-for-5 day that included four strikeouts and a dropped pop-up that went for a 2-3 putout when Davis never ran out of the batter’s box.

A Doolittle repeat: Manager Bob Melvin stayed away from Santiago Casilla and Sean Doolittle notched his second save in as many days. Casilla got hit by a foul ball while standing near the dugout Saturday and his availability was a game-time decisiion.

Error doesn’t prove costly: The A’s played excellent defense up until the ninth when Chad Pinder committed a two-base throwing error. But that didn’t come back to hurt the A’s as they ran their winning streak to four.

Your 'What’s It Really Mean?' stat of the day: The A’s won for just the second time in nine games played on a Sunday. Their 1-8 Sunday record coming into the day was the worst in the majors.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[As Crews Clean Up, Dub Nation Continues Celebration]]>Thu, 15 Jun 2017 23:59:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade-0615.jpg

Cleaning up after more than a million people is quite the tall task, and city workers in Oakland were still at it late Thursday night after the Warriors championship parade and rally downtown.

Some in Dub Nation, however, didn't want the special day to end.

As crews were breaking down the stage near Lake Merritt, and nearby streets were gradually reopening, several fans were continuing the celebration of the Warriors' second NBA championship in three years.

"The whole week, man! Who knows, it might go for the whole week," said Warriors fan Anthony Fernandez, of San Francisco, who was partying with others on Telegraph Avenue.

"Everybody's just coming together because we all rock with the Warriors. And we've been doing this since they were paying us to go to the games."

Those who couldn't make the parade stopped by on their way home from work. And those who were there were reluctant to let go of the feeling.

"Very exciting," said Danielle Bond, of Oakland. "The energy was uplifting. ... It was so joyful."

A merchandiser from Florida was still selling. He said he's been to 12 championship parades across the country.

"It has its own place in terms of volume and amount of people," said Brelan Shoemo, of Jacksonville, referring to the Oakland celebration. "There were a lot of people here."

As for the cleanup, crews hauled 8 miles of barricades back to the warehouse and had a lot of confetti to sweep up. Oakland Public Works said it had 100 staff on the streets cleaning Thursday, including 12 street sweepers.

No word yet on how much the parade and rally cost overall, but the Warriors say they're picking up the tab.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Down by Eight, Giants Rally to Tie It, But Rockies Win in 10]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:07:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0615.jpg


DENVER — In a span of about five minutes Thursday night, the Giants lost the two players who have been their most consistent hitters. They also lost the game, but not before proving that they haven’t given up the fight.

The Giants wiped out an eight-run deficit in the final three innings — mostly without Buster Posey and Eduardo Nuñez, who left with leg injuries — but ultimately fell 10-9 to the Rockies. Raimel Tapia hit a walk-off single off Hunter Strickland in the bottom of the ninth.

Matt Moore gave up eight runs in three innings, but the bullpen held it together and the lineup chipped away late. The Giants scored two in the seventh and five in the eighth. In the ninth, Gorkys Hernandez’s fly to center was just deep enough to score Austin Slater and hand Greg Holland his first blown save in 24 tries.

Here are five things to know from a wild but painful night at Coors Field …

--- Nuñez called for a trainer after a single and Posey was pulled after his ninth homer of the year. Here’s exactly what happened. More to come, obviously.

--- Austin Slater has been one of the few brights spots in recent weeks. The rookie had four singles, raising his average to .405 in 10 games. It’s super early, but Slater certainly has shown the ability to handle the bat, and he looks worthy of a long, long audition in left field.

When Posey and Nuñez got hurt, Slater made his professional debut at third base. Aaron Hill and Kelby Tomlinson had already been used as pinch-hitters. He recorded the second out of the bottom of the seventh.

--- Brandon Crawford’s homer with two outs in the eighth was the first three-run homer of the year for the Giants. This was their 68th game.

--- Ty Blach pinch-hit for Josh Osich in the eighth because the Giants were out of position players. The kid lined an RBI single up the middle. He really is a Mini Bumgarner.

--- Matt Moore at home: 3.07 ERA. Matt Moore on the road: 9.24 ERA.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steph Curry Still is No. 1 in the Eyes of Dub Nation]]>Fri, 16 Jun 2017 00:10:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-696389476_594_screen.jpg

No scientific surveys were conducted, but based on crowd reaction during the Warriors championship parade Thursday, Steph Curry is still the most popular Warrior. At the parade, he gave Dub Nation even more reason to love him. Terry McSweeney reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Curry Stands by Stance to Skip White House Visit With Trump]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:51:30 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-obama-us.jpg

OAKLAND -- If the Warriors ultimately reverse their prevailing stance and decide to visit the White House as a team, they'll first have to persuade Stephen Curry to go along.

The reigning two-time MVP reiterated Wednesday that he stands by his previous comments in response to the hypothetical question about whether he would visit the Trump White House if the Warriors were to win a championship.

"I think I answered, ‘I wouldn't go.' I still feel like that today," he said at the team facility.

"But as a team we're going to have a conversation. This is a moment that we all need to enjoy together, and nothing should detract from what we were able to accomplish together and the different kind of ceremonies and traditions that have happened around championship-winning teams. We don't want that to taint what we've accomplished this year, so we'll handle that accordingly and responsibly and do the right thing for us individually and as a group."

Curry has been among several Warriors who, along with head coach Steve Kerr, have blasted the conduct of the current president. Veterans David West, Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala have been transparent about their displeasure with Donald Trump.

Still, there is a window, however small, according to the man at the top of the team's seniority list.

"We hadn't talked about it much, probably some side conversations here and there," Curry said. "But you don't plan anything until you win a championship. That's obviously putting bad juju out there if you're getting ahead of yourself.

" . . . All I know is I personally will do the right thing for me. And I know the team will have a conversation about what's going on, going forward. There's probably more to come on that."

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Royals Rough Up Cueto, Giants in Two-Game Sweep]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:57:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-cueto-recap-ap.jpg


Johnny Cueto helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series, but on Wednesdsay his former team didn't let up in a 7-2 Giants loss at AT&T Park. 

Cueto allowed 10 hits and five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings pitched. He also struck out five, but gave up three home runs. 

San Francisco dropped both of their interleague games at home against Kansas City.

Rookie Austin Slater and Eduardo Nunez drove in the only runs for the Giants. 

The Giants are now 26-41 on the year. 

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Come Out Flat in 8-1 Loss to Royals]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:06:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-0613.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — If you thought the Giants would get a spark from Monday night’s action across the bridge, well …

Coming off their best offensive performance of the season, and an off day, the Giants again came out flat. Jason Vargas and the Royals dominated at AT&T Park, winning 8-1. If you haven’t looked at the standings in a while, we should note that the Giants are now 14 1/2 games behind the Rockies and Dodgers, and 14 behind the Diamondbacks.

Here are five things to know from a quiet night at the yard ...

—- Buster Posey’s double in the second was the 200th of his career. He’s the 24th player in franchise history to reach 200 doubles, but he has a long way to go. Willie Mays holds the record at 504.

—- The two-run rally by the Royals in the third very easily could have been a 1-2-3 inning. Alcides Escobar’s single to right could have been ruled an error on Brandon Belt, and Alex Gordon followed with a flare that just missed Aaron Hill’s outstretched glove. Jason Vargas reached when his bunt found no-man’s land near third. It was that kind of night for Ty Blach, who gave up a two-run single to Jorge Bonifacio later in the inning.

—- Blach was charged with seven earned runs, the second-highest total of his career. The BABIP Gods were unkind to him, but all those runs count, and that’s 12 earned over his past two starts. His ERA has jumped a full run in that span.

—- There was a shark in the cove. I'm running out of steam here, don't judge me.

—- Hunter Strickland, usually a setup man, pitched the eighth with the Giants trailing by seven runs. Bruce Bochy planned to use him no matter what since Strickland’s suspension likely starts Wednesday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Stanton, Marlins Rough Up Cotton, Trounce A's in Miami]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:41:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/stanton-hr-cotton-ap.jpg


MIAMI - Jharel Cotton allowed eight hits and five earned runs in five innings Tuesday as the Marlins beat the A's 8-1 in Miami.

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.

The Marlins won for the ninth time in their past 11 home games.

Giancarlo Stanton returned to the Miami Marlins' starting lineup after recovering from a bruised wrist and hit a two-run homer.

Stanton missed only one start after being hit on the right wrist by a fastball Saturday. His 17th homer of the year put Miami ahead 4-1 in the fifth inning.

Marcell Ozuna hit his 16th homer and had two singles, hiking his average to .332. Tyler Moore added three hits, including a two-run double.

The Marlins' Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single in the eighth for his 364th interleague hit, tying Derek Jeter's major league record.

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.

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.

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.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Championship Parade Set for 10 a.m. Thursday]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 21:22:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/dubs+parade+route.jpg

The Golden State Warriors' championship parade will take place Thursday morning through downtown Oakland, following the same route as the team's parade to celebrate the 2015 NBA title.

The parade, celebrating the Warriors' 4-1 NBA Finals victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, will start at 10 a.m. Thursday at Broadway and 11th Street, team and city officials said. The rally at the south end of Lake Merritt will start around 12:15 p.m.

The parade will go north on Broadway, turn right on Grand Avenue, then right on Harrison Street, turn left on 19th Street, continue on Lakeside Drive and end on Oak Street with a procession to the Henry J. Kaiser Convention center.

Fans are encouraged to line up for the parade and rally as soon as 5 a.m. Thursday.

Parking is expected to fill up early and several streets will be closed so fans are encouraged to use public transportation. BART officials issued 10 tips for Warriors fans visiting the parade, including using the 19th Street station and avoiding the much smaller Lake Merritt station, buying a Clipper card to avoid long lines at ticket machines, and avoiding the busiest hours of 8-10 a.m.

BART trains carried 548,076 riders during the 2015 victory parade, second only to the 586,061 who rode BART during the San Francisco Giants' 2012 World Series parade.

More information about Thursday's plans and how to get around on BART can be found at the BART website.

<![CDATA[The Trilogy: Warriors Win Game 5, Capture NBA Title]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 09:49:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-695385280.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Where to Watch Game 5 of the NBA Finals in the Bay Area]]>Mon, 12 Jun 2017 16:04:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+flag.jpg

With their chance of a clean sweep now history, the Golden State Warriors are going into Game 5 of the NBA Finals with a 3-1 lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers and a chance to win the title at home.

Monday’s game at Oracle Arena may well be the toughest ticket in Bay Area sports history. So, for those unable to grab the high-money seats at the Warriors' home in Oakland, here are some choice local spots to take in all the action on TV.

SOMA Streatfood Park

Described on its website as a “culinary carnival and urban playground,” SOMA Streatfood Park packs its food garden with fans from all over the Bay Area during watch parties. Tickets are $5, making it a prime location to watch Game 5. Guests also can grab $4 Modelo beers and snacks from the lineup of food trucks.

Some food choices include wood-fired pizza, vegan burgers, Greek gyros, Korean food and ramen. Hitch a ride to South of Market in San Francisco, and make sure to arrive on time, as this Warriors hive fills up fast.

ERA Art Bar and Lounge

Conveniently located off the 19th Street Oakland BART station, ERA Art Bar and Lounge is opening its doors a 5 p.m. to host its Game 5 watch party. The bar has multiple reservation options, including tables for groups of four that include mixers, spirits and raffle tickets.

Raffle tickets offer a chance to win Warriors gear, with the grand prize winner getting a pair of tickets to the next playoff game at the Oracle Arena. All of the money from the tickets will be donated to the Warriors Community Foundation.

Along with projecting the game onto eight screens, the bar offers live music as well as drink specials. To reserve a spot, go to the bar’s watch party website.

The Independent

Looking for an escape from the typical bar scene? Head to San Francisco’s music venue, The Independent. Usually offering a stage to bands spanning across genres, the club is switching gears for the special night. On Monday, The Independent will transform into a basketball viewing venue for Warriors fans to gather. Admission is free, but a two-drink minimum is required.

Doors open an hour before tipoff.

The Taco Shop at Underdogs

While many sports bars may be filled with the usual fried foods, The Taco Shop at Underdogs provides a fresh feast suitable for a Mexican fiesta. Plus, with a fully stocked bar, fans can pair their tacos with a shot of tequila every time a free throw is made.

Get to the Taco Shop at Underdogs in San Francisco's Outer Sunset at least an hour before tipoff to grab a winning seat and some guacamole for the big game.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[2 NBA Finals Tickets Up for Bid to Aid Young Entrepreneurs]]>Sun, 11 Jun 2017 23:57:59 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+flag.jpg

Two tickets to Monday's Game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena in Oakland are up for auction, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Sunday.

Bidders can go online to bid on the tickets.

The money raised from the highest bidder will be used to help Oakland's underserved young entrepreneurs through Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative, according to the mayor.

Oakland's Emerging 100 initiative is a nonprofit whose mission is to prepare, launch and grow 100 or more new businesses by underrepresented young adult entrepreneurs each year.

The tickets are luxury mezzanine seats. Bids must be in by 10 a.m. Monday and an auction official will be in touch with the winning bidder at about 11 a.m.

The tickets can be picked up before 5 p.m. at City Hall.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Giddy, Police Ready in Anticipation of Warriors Win]]>Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:08:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/oracle-warriors.jpg

Dub Nation is getting ready to celebrate a Warriors championship, and so is the city of Oakland. Police officials say they don't expect problems if the Warriors win it all Friday night, but they want to be prepared. Cheryl Hurd reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Blow Lead, Beat Brewers in Extra Innings]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 23:44:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nunez-extras-instant-analysis.jpg


MILWAUKEE - The Giants and Brewers played way past the four-hour mark on Thursday afternoon. Somehow the visiting team managed to pack a near-win, near-loss, and a win into about 30 minutes of action. 

The Giants did a lot right while handing a two-run lead to Mark Melancon. The closer blew it, and only escaped a loss because a line drive to third was snared by a leaping Eduardo Nuñez. The lineup responded by scoring four in the top of the 10th for a 9-5 victory. 

Here are five things to know from the final day of a rough road trip … 

-- Melancon, who had not pitched in a save opportunity since May 27, gave up a leadoff homer to Eric Sogard. A double by Jesus Aguilar put two in scoring position with no outs and Travis Shaw's single tied the game. Nuñez's grab of a liner headed to left saved the game once, and Melancon was able to get out of the jam. 

--- The Statcast numbers on Austin Slater's first career homer: 461 feet, 111 mph exit velocity. If those numbers hold up, it's the longest homer of the season by the Giants, and the second-longest in the last three seasons. 

--- Nick Hundley has 11 doubles, so the bat is what was expected, but his throwing has been an issue all year and it cost the Giants a run in the fifth. With two outs, both runners took off, and Hundley's throw to third sailed into left field. Travis Shaw, the man trying to steal third, jogged home to tie the game. Hundley has allowed 14 stolen bases on 17 attempts. 

--- Josh Osich started throwing a curveball in April to get hitters off his harder offerings, and it's become a nice weapon for him against lefties. Osich froze Eric Thames to end the sixth and strand a runner. 

--- Johnny Cueto had his first four-walk game of the season and just his third with the Giants. He had walked just four total batters in his previous four starts. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Security Guard Levels Streaker on Miller Park Infield Dirt]]>Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:43:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/streaker1.jpg

The Giants and Brewers went to extra innings on Thursday, but the highlight of the game may have come way back in the second inning. 

A man clad in socks and a top -- but no pants -- rushed the field from near third base and made his way toward Brandon Crawford at shortstop. 

It's unclear what his intentions were, or which team he was rooting for, but security took him down from behind before he was able to do much.

The man was marched off the field by four security guards.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Rally to Beat Cavs in Game 3 of NBA Finals]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 23:45:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/warriors-0607.jpg

CLEVELAND -- Finally, the kind of game so many expected of these NBA Finals. Close throughout, with superstars on both teams playing at superstar level.

The Warriors prevailed, with a 118-113 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 3 Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena that keeps alive their chance for a perfect postseason.

Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Klay Thompson had 30 and Stephen Curry put in 26 as the Warriors took a 3-0 series lead and extended their postseason win streak to 15, the most by any team in any major American sport.

No team in NBA history has overcome a 3-0 deficit in The Finals.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers, scoring a game-high 39 points. All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving also submitted a tremendous scoring performance with 38.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Curry, Durant and Thompson carried the night.

Curry’s line: 26 points (8-of-19 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc, 5-of-5 from the line), a game-high-tying 13 rebounds, six assists and two steals. He played 39 minutes and finished plus-11.

Durant’s line: 31 points (10-of-18, 4-of-7, 7-of-8), eight rebounds and four assists. He played 41 minute and finished with a plus/minus of 0.

Thompson’s line: 30 points (11-of-18, 6-of-11, 2-of-2 from the line), six rebounds and two assists. He played 41 minutes and finished plus-3.

TURNING POINT: This one was in doubt every step of the way, as neither team was able to build a double-digit lead. The Warriors went up as much as eight, the Cavs by seven.

Trailing by six (113-107) after JR Smith drained a 3-pointer with 3:09 remaining, the Warriors finished the game on an 11-0 run, with Durant accounting for 7 points and Curry the other 4.

INJURY REPORT: Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out. G Kay Felder and Tavares were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT: Game 4 is scheduled for Friday at Quicken Loans Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:10 p.m. Pacific.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Blach Roughed Up as Giants Drop Another in Milwaukee]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:17:08 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0607.jpg

MILWAUKEE — As the hole has gotten deeper over the past month, the Giants have at least been able to count on the lefty atop the rotation.

Ty Blach, pitching in place of Madison Bumgarner, took a four-game winning streak into his start at Miller Park, but Blach was hit with five runs in six innings and the lineup continued to underwhelm on a trip to two of the better hitter’s parks in the National League. The Giants lost 6-3 to the first-place Brewers, falling to 2-4 on this trip and 24-37 overall.

Here are five things to know from Milwaukee, which is Algonquin for "the good land."

--- The Giants are a season-high 14 games out of first place. In 2013, a 76-win season, they didn’t fall that far back until August 9.

--- Buster Posey’s 421-foot blast off the bottom of the scoreboard was his first this season with a runner on. You have to go back to last Sept. 16 for Posey’s last non-solo shot. This one scored Brandon Belt and gave the Giants a three-run third.

--- Since picking up hits in his first two at-bats, Orlando Calixte is 2 for 22. He hit into a double play with two on in the sixth and had two defensive misplays in left. It doesn't appear he'll be in left much longer.

--- Jonathan Villar greeted George Kontos with a long homer to right. Kontos has allowed five homers after giving up just three last season. He has given up just three runs over his past eight appearances, all on solo shots.

--- The Polish Sausage, known as a humble and gracious competitor, won the Sausage Race.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Khris Davis Drives in Two, Hahn Silences Jays in A's 4-1 Win]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:10:15 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rajaidavis-scores-bluejays-usatsi.jpg


For the second straight night, the A's managed to hold the Blue Jays hitters in check.

Activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Jesse Hahn allowed just one unearned run over six innings as the A's beat Toronto 4-1 Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

Khris Davis led the offensive attack, driving in two runs to help the cause. Adam Rosales and Ryon Healy each drove in a run.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Unable to Solve Brewers' Anderson in 5-2 Loss]]>Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:47:45 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/giants-0606.jpg

MILWAUKEE — Chase Anderson entered Tuesday night’s game riding back-to-back scoreless starts. This result, then, was just about as predictable as it gets.

Anderson, Milwaukee’s grounder-inducing right-hander, made quick work of the league’s worst offense, dominating into the eighth. The Giants briefly rallied in the top of the ninth but went down 5-2 at Miller Park.

Here are five things to know from a night that would have been worse had the Brewers held on to Scooter Gennett ...

--- Matt Cain gave up five runs in five innings. He has a road ERA of 8.40 in six starts away from AT&T Park. Matt Moore is at 7.94 away from home. The thing is, you play half your games away from home. There’s a reason this team is 11-22 on the road.

--- Can Sam Dyson hit?

--- Cain gave up 10 hits in the first four innings, so it’s hard to say he was unlucky. But … he did pay dearly for a tough break. With two outs in the second, Eric Sogard hit a flare to left that dropped between three Giants and just missed Brandon Crawford’s outstretched glove. Two runs scored, and the Brewers would tack on another run in the inning.

--- No, really, can Sam Dyson hit?

--- The Bratwurst dominated the Sausage Race from start to finish and ran the last 10 yards backwards. It was a Usain Bolt-type of performance, and I was glad I was here to witness it live.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Healy Goes Deep Twice to Power A's Past Toronto]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:56:46 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/healy-homer-bluejays-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND — The best game of Ryon Healy’s career stood for all of two days.

On Monday night, Healy outdid himself with another two-homer game to go along with a career-high five RBI as the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum.

He also homered twice on Saturday, part of a 4-for-4 day that gives Monday’s performance a run for its money. But that’s irrelevant. Healy is on a tear, batting .333 (38-for-114) with 10 homers over his past 29 games.

In the third, he jumped on an 0-1 pitch from Jays starter J.A. Happ drilled a liner that reached the seats in left in a hurry for a three-run homer. He stepped to the plate again in the fourth and mashed a 2-2 pitch for a towering drive that reached the elevated seats in left-center.

As a team, the A’s have hit nine homers in the first four games of this six-game homestand. Fifty-three of their 86 homers have come at the Coliseum, and they lead the majors in home runs at home.

Healy continues to punish southpaws: Oakland’s DH came in hitting .383 against left-handed pitching, fifth best in the American League. After bopping both of his homers against Happ (0-4), he’s now 20-for-49 (.408) off lefties with five of his 13 homers.

Manaea makes it four in a row: Boosted by some early offense, A’s starter Sean Manaea (5-3) won his fourth consecutive start, going six innings and holding Toronto to two runs on four hits. It was Manaea’s 16th game in a row with five or fewer hits allowed and two or more innings pitched, matching the longest such streak by an American League pitcher since at least 1913. He struck out seven, walked three and continues to develop into the kind of dominant starter the A’s envisioned when they acquired him from Kansas City at the 2015 trade deadline.

Plouffe remains ice cold at the plate: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe made a couple of very nice defensive plays but went 0-for-3. That leaves him in an 0-for-25 dry spell and 4-for-43 beyond that. Plouffe did have some bad luck, hitting a laser to right field that was caught. He made two nice plays on line drives, including a lunging grab to rob Jose Bautista in the eighth, then made a nice backhanded stop in the ninth to get a force out at second.

Josh Donaldson was no Bringer of Pain: The former A’s All-Star doubled in his first at-bat to score the first run off Manaea, and he also walked in the third. But given a chance to spoil the A’s night, representing the tying run in the ninth, Donaldson went down swinging against Santiago Casilla, who notched his ninth save.

Rajai Davis endured one adventurous trip around the bases: The struggling veteran returned to the leadoff spot and went 0-for-3. He did walk in the fifth and stole second base despite being picked off by Happ. Happy tried to throw behind him at second, and the throw appeared to strike Davis around one of his kidneys. He was checked by trainers but stayed in the game.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Watch Party for Game 3 at SF Civic Center]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 21:07:02 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Game2_1.jpg

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee announced Monday that Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday will be broadcast live on a jumbotron in Civic Center Plaza.

Game 3 is scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific time at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena and follows two wins by the Warriors in Oakland to start the Finals, including a 132-113 victory Sunday.

Golden State and Cleveland are facing off in the NBA Finals for the third straight year, with the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavaliers coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the title last year.

The event in San Francisco on Wednesday will be alcohol-free, and fans are encouraged to come early and take public transportation to Civic Center Plaza.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ratings for NBA Finals Highest Since Jordan's Last Title]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 20:54:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/fans-sign-warriorscavs-2017-usatsi.jpg

CLEVELAND - The first two games of the NBA Finals are the most-watched since Michael Jordan's final championship in 1998.

Despite two lopsided outcomes, Golden State's two home wins over Cleveland averaged 19.6 million viewers, according to numbers released Monday by the Nielsen company.

That's an increase of 5 percent from the 18.6 million average in 2016.

The Warriors' 132-113 victory on Sunday drew an average of 20.1 million viewers, up 13 percent from Game 2 last year and the most for a Game 2 since Chicago and Utah met in 1998. The telecast peaked with 23.1 million viewers.

This is the first time two teams have met three straight times in the NBA Finals.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Hill, Samardzija Lead Giants Past Brewers]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 23:32:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/nunez-highfive-bochy-brewers-ap.jpg


MILWAUKEE — Aaron Hill was the first Giant out on the field Monday, mostly because it was a familiar field. Hill, who started the 2016 season with the Brewers, chatted with several players before batting practice. Then he went out and beat his former team.

Hill’s two-run pinch-hit double in the eighth finally gave Jeff Samardzija a lead on a masterful night. Samardzija was dominant into the bottom of that inning and he was rewarded, getting his second win of the season as the Giants pulled away from the Brewers 7-2 at Miller Park.

Here are five things to know from a quiet night for Bernie Brewer ...

--- Samardzija struck out 10, notching his second double-digit strikeout game of the season. Since the start of May, he has 59 strikeouts and one walk in seven starts.

--- Samardzija had no trouble with Eric Thames, one of the breakout stars of this season. The Bay Area native entered with 15 homers, but flied out in his first at-bat and struck out the next two times up. The second strikeout came on a perfect 96 mph fastball that nicked the corner.

--- The Brewers jumped out 2-0 in a very strange way. With runners on second and third and no outs, back-to-back hitters lofted fly balls to left. Orlando Calixte’s first throw was strong and held Eric Sogard at third. His second throw airmailed everyone, and Sogard scored easily. Domingo Santana was awarded home when the umpires ruled that the ball went out of play when it skipped behind an advertisement board. The local writers said they couldn’t remember that happening before.

--- Eduardo Nuñez tied it up with a solo no-doubter to left in the top of the fifth. Nuñez is batting .354 over his past 20 games and has reached safely in each and every one of them. He’s Bruce Bochy’s hottest bat right now, and as we’ll mention often over the next seven weeks, he’s improving his trade value with every passing day.

--- The Italian sausage won the sausage race at Miller Park, surging to the front of the pack two-thirds of the way through.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Sock Cavs in Game 2, Take Command in NBA Finals]]>Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:59:51 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-692353018_594_screen.jpg

OAKLAND -- Steve Kerr returned to the bench for Game 2 of the NBA Finals Sunday and the Warriors presented their coach with a 132-113 victory that has them halfway to a championship.

Kevin Durant fired in a game-high 33 points and Stephen Curry posted a triple-double -- 32 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds -- to pace the offense as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Klay Thompson shook off his shooting slump to score 22 points in his most productive two-way game of the postseason. Draymond Green tossed in 12 points and Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark added 10 apiece as the Warriors pushed their postseason record to 14-0.

The Warriors overcame 20 turnovers, 13 of which came in the first half, by outrebounding the Cavs 53-41 and outshooting them 51.7 percent to 45 percent.

LeBron James submitted a triple-double -- 29 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds -- to lead the Cavaliers. Kevin Love put in 27 points and Kyrie Irving finished with 19.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Though Durant anchored the offense and had a mammoth game overall, Thompson’s reemergence as a scorer also proved a difference-maker for Warriors.

Durant’s line: 33 points (13-of-22 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), 13 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and three steals. He played 41 minutes and finished plus-21.

Thompson’s line: 22 points (8-of-12 from the field, 4-of-7 from deep, 2-of-3 from the line) and seven rebounds. He played 36 minutes and was plus-24.

TURNING POINT: After a layup by Irving pulled the Cavs within four, 86-82, with 5:42 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 16-6 run, closing the quarter with a 102-88 lead.

The Warriors led by as much as 22 points in the fourth, and Cleveland got no closer than 12.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: No injuries reported. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were placed on the inactive list.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out and placed on the inactive list with G Kay Felder.

WHAT’S NEXT: The teams meet Wednesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland for Game 6. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. Pacific.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Apple Exec Says He Didn't Yell at Rihanna During NBA Game 1]]>Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:55:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/rihanna1.PNG

It’s the gesture being tweeted around the world.

Apple executive Eddy Cue, senior VP of content, seemingly telling music superstar Rihanna to sit down at Thursday’s Warrior game.

Reaction has been swift: Rihanna fans tweeting at Cue and Apple, demanding an apology, calling him out as a rude boy.

Is Cue unfaithful to one of Dub Nation’s most famous fans?

Can Apple possibly have a big enough umbrella to shield him from all this criticism?

Rihanna, it turns out, can be a very distracting person.

Press reports have Warrior superstar Kevin Durant trying to get her attention during the game, and then there’s the gif of Cue possibly telling her to get back to her seat.

According to another tweet, Apple says Cue was actually gesturing to someone else sitting nearby.

Cue sent out a tweet Friday morning: "Nothing but love for Rihanna (and KD, too!) As usual I was excited about our lead and actually talking to Marissa, 8 seats to my right."

As if the NBA championship didn’t already have enough drama.

Scott will stay on Twitter: @scottbudman

<![CDATA[Warriors Clobber Cavs in Game 1 of NBA Finals]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 23:10:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/curry-warriors.jpg

OAKLAND -- The hype for this NBA Finals was as breathless as it was relentless, and for a half Game 1 lived up to the billing.

The Warriors then came out in the second half and blew the defending champion Cavaliers off the floor, rolling to a 113-91 victory Thursday night inside roaring, rollicking Oracle Arena.

Kevin Durant poured in 38 points to lead all scorers, and Stephen Curry totaled 28. No other Warrior had more than nine (Draymond Green).

The Warriors limited Cleveland to 34.9-percent shooting for the game. They held the Cavs to 32 percent in the pivotal third quarter, outscoring them 33-20 to take command and go up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

The Warriors offset a 59-50 disadvantage in rebounds by committing only a postseason-low four turnovers, while Cleveland finished with 20 giveaways, off which the Warriors scored 21 points.

The Warriors also punished the Cavs in the paint, outscoring them 56-30.

LeBron James scored 28 points to lead Cleveland, while Kyrie Irving added 24 and Kevin Love totaled 15 points and a game-high 21 rebounds.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: This was, in most significant ways, a Durant-Curry production.

Durant’s line: 38 points (14-of-26 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point distance, 7-of-8 from the line), eight rebounds and eight assists. He played 38 minutes and finished plus-16.

Curry’s line: 28 points (11-of-22 from the field, 6-of-11 from deep), a game-high 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals. He played 34 minutes and was plus-20.

TURNING POINT: Up 8 (60-52) after a first half in which they missed nine layups, the Warriors opened the second half with a 13-0 run to go up 73-52 with 8:04 left in the third quarter.

Curry had 8 of the 13 points during the rally.

The Cavs got no closer than 12 (80-68) over the final 20 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: None. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney were inactive.

Cavaliers: C Edy Tavares (R hand fracture) was listed as out. G Kay Felder and Tavares were inactive.

WHAT’S NEXT: The teams reconvene Sunday at Oracle Arena for Game 2. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cotton, A's Drop Series Finale in Cleveland]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 15:38:29 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cotton-jharel-green-day.jpg


CLEVELAND -- Corey Kluber pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10 in his first start since May 2, and the Cleveland Indians scored four runs during a strange sixth inning to beat the Oakland Athletics 8-0 on Thursday.

Kluber (4-2) had been sidelined with a strained lower back, an injury that kept Cleveland's ace sidelined for a month and deprived a struggling rotation of its leader. The Indians came in with the AL's highest ERA.

Despite the long layoff, however, Kluber looked like his dominant self, allowing just two hits and recording his 26th career double-digit strikeout game.

The Indians scored four runs - three unearned - off Jharel Cotton (3-6) in the wild sixth. The game was momentarily delayed when sprinklers in left field went on automatically.

The A's made three more errors, raising their major league-leading total to 55. And they struck out 17 times, giving Oakland 93 in the last seven games.

The bizarre sixth inning looked more Little League than major league.

Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy committed two errors in the sixth, which included a bases-loaded walk by Cotton, two force-outs at the plate, a bloop RBI single and a replay challenge by both managers on the same play.

Cleveland scored its third run in the inning when Carlos Santana scored from second on a headfirst dive after Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso thought the inning had ended with a double play and began walking to the dugout. His throw to the plate was too late to get Santana.

Moments later, the sprinklers went on, adding more slapstick to a comedic inning for Oakland.

Kluber coasted through the first three innings, striking out five straight at one point while plowing through Oakland's free-swinging lineup.

He worked out of a first-and-third situation in the third by striking out Mark Canha for the second time.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Mavericks Organizer Cancels Auction, Citing No Bidders]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 06:21:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/surfing+.jpg

The future of the famed Mavericks big-wave surf contest has hit more turbulence.

Contest organizers, Cartel Management of Los Angeles, canceled an auction planned for Thursday to sell its assets, including a contest permit issued by the San Mateo County Harbor District. The company said there were no actual bidders, despite what they initially called widespread interest.

Cartel filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, eventually sinking this year's event.

The cancellation creates more confusion on how a future contest will be put together.

Harbor commissioner Sabrina Brennan said she had no confidence Cartel will salvage the situation, saying, "This is a strategic retreat because no one bid on what appears to be a worthless asset."

While Cartel scrambles for new options, it still faces other legal challenges by the Harbor District, sponsor Red Bull and contest founder Jeff Clark.

Mavericks is an international contest held when top surfers are given 48 hours to get to Pillar Point when organizers deem the waves big enough for a top level competition.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Have No Answer for Zimmerman's First-inning Homer]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 22:22:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-recap-ap.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO — As expected, trying to avoid a sweep with Max Scherzer on the other side proved to be a bad idea.

Scherzer struck out 11 and went the distance on just 100 pitches, leading the Nationals to a 3-1 win at a very quiet AT&T Park. The Giants lost seven of nine to close out the month, finishing with a 13-16 record in May. They are 11 games under .500.

Here are five things to know from the night we all wondered if Solomon Thomas can play left field …

--- The Giants see plenty of Clayton Kershaw, but very little of Scherzer. They’re equally capable of taking control of a game. If it weren’t for a Jayson Werth blunder in left, he would have thrown a Maddux. The double-digit strikeout game was the 54th of his career, the most among active pitchers.

--- Jeff Samardzija would be proud of Matt Cain’s escapability. A night after Samardzija stranded plenty, Cain gave up just two earned in five innings despite nine Nationals reaching base. After a three-run homer in the first, he left runners in scoring position in his final four innings of work.

--- Brandon Crawford was charged with an error on Trea Turner’s first-inning grounder, but he had some fun when Turner — the second-fastest player in the NL — hit one up the middle in the seventh. Crawford tried to throw Turner out as he rolled over onto his back. The throw didn’t go very far, but the crowd enjoyed it, and on this night there wasn’t much for the crowd to cheer.

--- Bruce Bochy said he had no hesitation about using Hunter Strickland, who is still waiting for MLB to rule on his appeal. Strickland pitched the eighth and walked one in a scoreless inning. It was likely his last appearance for about a week; the Giants expect Strickland’s punishment to be finalized before this weekend.

--- Down in San Jose, Hunter Pence had a single and walk in five innings of his first rehab game. Pence (hamstring) is scheduled to get 15-20 minor league at-bats, but Bochy knows the “I’M READY” text will come far sooner than that.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From A's Skid-Busting Win Over Indians]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 19:15:53 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/pinder-celebration-hr-indians-ap.jpg


The A's were overdue for this one.

They snapped a four-game losing streak on their current road trip with Wednesday's 3-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians, and it was the rare occasion of late where they grabbed an early lead and made it stand.

Chad Pinder, drawing the start at shortstop, enjoyed the first two-homer game of his career, and Sean Manaea delivered seven strong innings on the mound as the A's picked up their second win on a seven-game road trip that ends with Thursday's matinee at Progressive Field.

Here's five things you need to know from this one …

Pinder continues to state his case for regular playing time: There's no one position where Pinder can settle in at right now. That's been established. But it's becoming increasingly obvious that the A's need to find more regular time for this guy. And until Marcus Semien returns from a fractured wrist, that spot probably should be shortstop. Pinder has plenty of background playing shortstop and he's shown a strong arm. Right now, he's more of an answer offensively than Adam Rosales.

Manaea stepped up when the A's badly needed him to: Daniel Mengden and Sonny Gray turned in subpar starting efforts in the first two games of this four-game series. Manaea took the mound Wednesday and was terrific, throwing seven innings of three-hit ball, striking out nine and walking just one. He's been the winning pitcher in each of the A's victories on this trip.

Every game Yonder Alonso plays is a chance to strengthen his All-Star case: The early news Wednesday was that Alonso sits second in American League All-Star voting at first base, behind only Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. From this point moving forward, it's a chance for Alonso to continue to bolster his case, both in the fan voting and in the eyes of his fellow players who cast votes for reserves.

Indians SS Francisco Lindor shows - again - that he's one of the game's brightest young stars: Lindor did the only damage off Manaea, reaching out and popping a breaking ball over the wall in left for a fourth-inning homer. He also made a terrific diving play in the ninth to retire Alonso.

The bullpen brought this one home: After Manaea left the game, Ryan Madson delivered a scoreless eighth with one strikeout. Then closer Santiago Casilla worked around a dropped fly ball from left fielder Khris Davis and nailed down his eighth save.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Day After Brawl, Morse Placed on Concussion DL by Giants]]>Tue, 30 May 2017 23:43:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/morse-brawl-usatsi.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO -- It turns out the Hunter Strickland-Bryce Harper fight did leave a player injured, but it wasn't one of the two main participants. 

Michael Morse was put on the concussion disabled list a few minutes before Tuesday's game and the Giants recalled Kelby Tomlinson to take the open roster spot. Morse and Jeff Samardzija collided in the middle of the pile Monday after Strickland and Harper exchanged punches. Both players went down hard. 

Approached by reporters after Monday's game, Morse said he was fine, and he said the incident was no big deal. Before Tuesday's game, Harper said he was glad his former teammate got in the way. 

"Samardzija saw blood a little bit, I thought," Harper said. "I'm very thankful for Mikey Mo. That's a big spot with him coming in there."

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Five Takeaways From Giants' 6-3 Loss to Nats]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 00:20:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rags-posey-samardzija-nationals-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - Lost in all the Strickland-Harper excitement was the fact that the Giants were shut out Monday. They did get on the scoreboard a day later, but the end result wasn't any better. 

Jeff Samardzija lasted just four innings against a tough Nationals lineup and the Giants couldn't dig out of an early hole, falling 6-3. They have dropped the first two games of this series and now they'll face Max Scherzer. 

Here are five things to know from a game that made us all remember why pace-of-play is a focus for Rob Manfred … 

--- Samardzija's bizarre night: 4 innings, 100 pitches, 9 hits, 3 earned runs. Per Baseball Reference's play index, Samardzija is just the second Giants starter to post that line. Barry Zito (of course) did it in 2007. 

--- Samardzija became just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to throw 100 pitches in four innings without issuing a walk. Rick Porcello last did it in 2012. In six May starts, Samardzija struck out 49 batters in May and walked just one. 

--- Orlando Calixte hit a single up the middle in the first, getting his first big league hit. He later doubled home two runs. The Giants think there's a legitimate contributor here, a six-position player who can help off the bench. Calixte showed some of his versatility in the late innings when he shifted from left over to center, and then to right. He is the first Giant to play all three outfield positions in a game since Randy Winn in 2009. 

--- There's a better way to get revenge on Bryce Harper. He was 0 for 5 and struck out three times. He was booed lustily before every at-bat. 

--- The Nationals said they did not intend to retaliate, and they stuck to it. Buster Posey did not get one in the ribs, and he took advantage of his opportunities to hit. Posey walked in his first plate appearance and then notched three straight singles.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![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


Sonny Gray came back down to earth on Tuesday as the Indians tagged him for seven runs in a 9-4 loss to Cleveland.

A's hitters didn't do Gray any favors as they struck out a collective 19 times, tying a franchise record for strikeouts in a game.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![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.


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


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


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


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


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 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."

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.

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


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


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


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?
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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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

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


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


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


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.


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."


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.


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


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.

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


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


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


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


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."


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.


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.


"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."


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.


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


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


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.



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


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


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.


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


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.


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

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


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.

<![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


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.

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


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


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.

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


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


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


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.


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


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


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.

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


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


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.

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]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Shut Out Again; Oilers Take 2-1 Series Lead]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 22:24:52 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/sharks-oilers.jpg

SAN JOSE – Joe Thornton made his return to the lineup, but it didn’t help the Sharks offense in a 1-0 loss to the Oilers in Game 3 of their first round series on Sunday night at SAP Center.

The Oilers have won the last two games after San Jose claimed the opener.

The only goal came with 9:15 to go in the third period. David Schlemko turned the puck over to Zack Kassian, who pushed a backhand from the slot through Martin Jones to break the scoreless tie.

It was the second straight game that Kassian found the scoresheet, including a shorthanded goal in Edmonton’s Game 2 win on Friday.

The Sharks have not scored since Melker Karlsson’s overtime winner in Game 1.

The Sharks are 3-10 when trailing a series two-games-to-one in their history. In NHL history, when teams are tied 1-1 in a series, the winner of Game 3 wins the series 67.6 percent of the time (202-97 record).

In their first home game of the series, the Sharks came out hitting everything in sight after losing the physicality battle in games one and two. They also dominated territorially, but Joe Pavelski missed an open net on a backhand from the slot less than five minutes in, and Chris Tierney fired high on a partial breakaway with six-and-a-half minutes to go.

Play evened out to start the second before Edmonton started to press. Connor McDavid generated a pair of chances with about four minutes to go, but his wraparound try was thwarted by Jones, and Patrick Maroon couldn’t find a handle on the loose puck.

Jones swallowed up a McDavid one-time shortly after that, keeping it scoreless with 3:38 to go before the second intermission.

The Sharks outshot the Oilers 13-6 in the first period, but Edmonton registered 12 of the 16 total shots in the middle frame. The Sharks outshot the Oilers for the game, 23-22.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Joe Thornton Back on the Ice For Sharks in Game 3]]>Sun, 16 Apr 2017 22:25:56 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/thornton13.jpg

For the first time since a knee injury on April 2, Joe Thornton is back in the lineup and skating for Game 3 of the Sharks' series vs the Oilers.

Thornton went through what was his normal late-season game day routine on Sunday morning, skating for about 15 minutes before most of his teammates went on the ice for the optional skate.

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Angry Oilers Fan Flips Off Sharks' Karlsson After OT Goal]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:37:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*123/oilers-fan-double-bird.jpg

Melker Karlsson played hero Wednesday in Game 1 of the first round to give the Sharks a 3-2 overtime win with his goal in Edmonton.

For one Oilers fan though, Karlsson is Enemy No. 1. Right after the game winner, an Oilers fan let Karlsson know how she really felt. 

The Sharks trailed the Oilers 2-0 after the first period in Game 1 before roaring back for a huge comeback win. San Jose leads the series 1-0 and gets back on the ice for Game 2 Friday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports California. 

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff
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<![CDATA[Giants Fall Short in Series-opening Loss to Rockies]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 23:07:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-rockies.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - The Colorado Rockies entered the season as a dark horse to contend for the National League West title. They made a bit of a statement on their first night at AT&T Park. 

Playing without their ace for most of the night, the Rockies held on for a 3-1 win on a night Madison Bumgarner made his home debut. The Giants have made a habit of nearly coming back, and they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. Eduardo Nunez hit into a double-play. 

A battle of Opening Day starters didn't last long, but not because of what hitters were doing. Jon Gray had his usual good stuff and he allowed just one hit through three, but he was pulled one batter into the fourth with a left big toe injury. Gray came out of a spring training start against the Giants with the same injury. 

Gray left with a two-run lead thanks to Trevor Story. The shortstop hit 27 homers as a rookie and he got his first of 2017 when Bumgarner grooved a fastball in the top of the fourth. Bumgarner wormed his way through traffic all night, and the Rockies scraped across another run in the sixth on three singles. With two on, Bumgarner ended his night on the mound by striking out Story and getting Stephen Cardullo to fly out.

The Giants did practically nothing to take advantage of Gray's sudden absence. In 3 1/3 innings,  lefty reliever Chris Rusin allowed just two hits and one run. 

The Giants fell to 4-7. 

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner took the mound to "No Leaf Clover" by Metallica and the SF Symphony. You will be missed, "Fire On The Mountain."

Bullpen report: Bruce Bochy had been looking for an opportunity to push Ty Blach a bit. The young lefty pitched Tuesday and warmed up Wednesday, and he came in for the top of the ninth Thursday. Blach continues to pass every test; he pitched a perfect frame.

At the plate: Belt snapped a line-drive-filled 0-for-18 when he hit a liner in the seventh that ticked off Story's glove. 

In the field: Belt made the same difficult play twice in the top of the seventh. Both times, he traveled deep into foul territory to snag a pop-up. Check that UZR in the morning. 

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,915 human beings who gave Brandon Crawford a very warm ovation when he pinch-hit in the eighth. 

Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his first home start of the season, which is always a good time. He'll face lefty Tyler Anderson. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hahn Hit Early, A's Can't Muster Enough Off Royals]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:23:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-ir-ap.jpg


KANSAS CITY – Jason Vargas was a regular thorn in the A’s side when he pitched in the American League West.

They were reacquainted with the left-hander Thursday, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. The A’s advanced just one runner as far as second base against Vargas in a 3-1 loss that denied them a sweep at Kauffman Stadium and snapped their eight-game winning streak against the Royals.

Vargas (2-0) was primarily responsible for that, limiting Oakland to four hits over 7 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked just one. Meanwhile, the Royals did their damage early off Jesse Hahn, scoring all the runs they would need inside of the first three innings.

Vargas, who spent four seasons with Seattle and one with the Angels, has thrown four complete games against Oakland and entered with a 3.22 ERA against them in 20 games (18 starts). The A’s carried just a .215 batting average against Vargas into the game.

Tensions ran high in the second inning when Ryon Healy exchanged words at home plate with Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Healy seemed to take exception to an inside pitch from Vargas, and he and Perez began jawing briefly before home plate umpire Mark Wegner stepped between them.

The A’s finished their first road trip of the season 3-3 and flew back to Oakland after the game to begin a 10-game homestand, all games against the AL West.

Starting pitching report

Five batters into the bottom of the first, four Royals had singled and two had scored off Hahn (0-1), suggesting it would be a short night for Oakland’s right-hander in his first major league start of the season. Hahn steadied himself, however, and wound up with a very respectable pitching line. He lasted six innings and gave up three runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking two. No doubt he’ll want to make things easier on himself in the early going, but he certainly earned another start after he was tapped to replace Raul Alcantara as the No. 5 man in the rotation.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe and Ryan Madson each threw a scoreless inning in relief of Hahn.

At the plate

Rajai Davis helped the A’s avoid a shutout when he lined a homer to left to lead off the ninth against Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, his first home run since returning to Oakland. Other than that, the A’s went quietly with the bats. They mustered just six hits total. Besides Davis’ homer, only two hitters reached as far as second base.

In the field

A familiar problem has already reared its ugly head, as the A’s are committing too many errors in the first two weeks of the season. After two Thursday night, they’ve totaled an American League-high 11. Their miscues Thursday were very avoidable. Mark Canha, drawing the start in right field, simply dropped Eric Hosmer’s liner. That came after he made an adventure of Lorenzo Cain’s liner an inning before. Hahn committed the other error, when he covered first on a grounder and couldn’t handle an easy flip from Ryon Healy. A’s pitchers have committed five errors already. They committed just nine all of last season.


The announced turnout was 22,160.

Up next

Josh Reddick makes his return to Oakland when the Astros begin a three-game series at the Coliseum on Friday night. Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.08) goes in the opener against lefty Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.64), with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. Saturday: Sean Manaea (0-1, 7.15) vs. Lance McCullers (1-0, 2.77), 1:05 p.m. Sunday: Jharel Cotton (1-1, 3.97) vs. Charlie Morton (0-1, 4.09), 1:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Cal's Northnagel Has High Hopes Leading Up to NFL Draft]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 19:53:07 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/04-13-2017-bradley-northnagel.jpg

With the NFL Draft just two weeks away, many local players are doing their best to make an impression that will punch their ticket into the league. Colin Resch introduces us to a Cal product hoping to turn his dream into reality.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Cain Does It All as Giants Down D'backs]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 23:10:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-ir-us.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - Before Wednesday's game, manager Bruce Bochy again talked about the possibility of skipping his No. 5 starter next week when the Giants have two off days. Not so fast, Matt Cain said. 

The longest-tenured Giant had a throwback performance, allowing just one run in five innings and scoring the first Giants run of the night. The bullpen was brilliant as the rain came and the Giants piled on late, pulling away with a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks. The series win was the first of the season, and it gave Cain his first victory since August 6.

Cain's second pitch of the night was smoked for a triple by A.J. Pollock, who promptly strolled home on a sacrifice fly. Cain would walk two in that inning, but once he got out of the first, he found a groove. After a leadoff single in the second, Cain retired 11 of 12, six going down on strikeouts. David Peralta hit a two-out single ahead of Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth, but Cain got the dangerous first baseman to ground out to third. 

At that point, it looked like this would be a good old-fashioned Caining. The Giants changed that in the bottom of the fifth, and Cain was the one to provide the first charge. He roped a double to left and raced home when Pollock got a poor initial grip on Denard Span's single to center. After a walk of Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence took an awkward stab at the ball and poked an RBI single to right. Conor Gillaspie's single made it 3-1. 

Cain's night wouldn't last much longer. When the first two Diamondbacks reached in the top of the sixth, Bruce Bochy came out with the hook. Cory Gearrin entered and struck out three straight, all swinging, to put a bow on Cain's solid night. 

The wind kept the Giants in the park in the seventh, but it didn't keep them off the scoreboard. Nick Hundley and Jarrett Parker both crushed balls that would have been homers during a day game, and instead turned into extra-base hits that sparked a three-run rally. 

Starting pitching report: Cain was charged with one run in five-plus innings. He had just three starts last season of at least 15 outs and fewer than two runs. 

Bullpen report: The Giants optioned Steven Okert to Triple-A because they wanted to keep Gearrin and Neil Ramirez. So far, those two have 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. 

At the plate: Cain was the most dangerous hitter on staff for years, but he was just 2-for-43 the last two seasons. The double left his bat at 106 mph. 

In the field: George Kontos, owner of many pairs of Jordans, made a leaping grab to snag a bouncer and end the seventh.

Attendance: Before the game, the 492nd consecutive announced sellout crowd cheered a Gold Glove ceremony. 

Up next: The Giants get their first look at the Rockies, a dark-horse pick to make noise in the division. The series opener is Madison Bumgarner vs. Jon Gray. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Durant Scores 29, Warriors Finish With 67 Wins]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:21:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/durant-kevin-form.jpg


OAKLAND -- The Warriors closed the regular season precisely as they would have wished Wednesday night, posting a 109-94 victory over the Lakers with Kevin Durant in a starring role.

Moving gracefully and with considerable force in his third game back after recovering from a knee injury, Durant scored a game-high 29 points to lead the Warriors (67-15), who closed the season by winning 15 of 16 games.

With 207 wins over the past three seasons, the Warriors hold the record for the most victories by any team over a three-season span.

Stephen Curry tallied 20 points, falling 1 point short of 2,000 for the season. Pat McCaw tossed in 13 points, while Klay Thompson added 12 and JaVale McGee 11 before the 230th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

With Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala resting, the Warriors played all 11 available players on the roster. All 11 entered the scoring column.

All five Los Angeles starters reached double figures, with Jordan Clarkson's 17 points taking team honors. The Lakers, who entered with a five-game win streak, finish the season at 26-56.


Durant used his third and final pre-postseason tune-up to make an emphatic statement: He's ready to roll.

Durant's line: 29 points (11-of-16 shooting from the field, 5-of-7 beyond the arc, 2-of-4 from the line), eight rebounds, five assists, one block and one steal. He played 27 minutes and was plus-28.


The Warriors established control early in the game, taking leads of 11 (21-10, 7:09 left in the first quarter) and 19 (35-16, 3:04 left in the quarter).

The Lakers pulled within eight (47-39) with 8:06 left in the half but got no closer than 12 in the second half.


Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R ankle/foot sprain), F Draymond Green (rest), F Andre Iguodala (rest) and F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) were listed as out.

Lakers: F Brandon Ingram (R patellar tendinitis) was listed as probable and upgraded to available. G D'Angelo Russell (personal) and C Ivica Zubac (R high ankle sprain) were listed as out.


The Warriors return to action Sunday at Oracle Arena, where they play host to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Defeat Oilers in Overtime in Game 1]]>Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:25:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/174*120/sharks24.jpg

EDMONTON – Melker Karlsson scored in overtime to give the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Oilers at Rogers Place in their playoff opener on Wednesday night.

Joel Ward and Paul Martin also scored for San Jose, which took the first game of its first round series with the Oilers.

Karlsson was set up on a rush by Joe Pavelski, and beat Cam Talbot with a wrist shot to the far side at 3:22.

For the first 20 minutes, the Sharks were outplayed and outmuscled by the Oilers in what was Edmonton’s first postseason game in more than a decade.

Oscar Klefbom opened the scoring. His shot from a wide angle got a piece of David Schlemko before slipping through Martin Jones at 6:44.

The Sharks nearly tied it on the power play three minutes later when Logan Couture had all kinds of time to line up a wrist shot, but he rang it off of the near post.

The Oilers increased the lead to 2-0 at 17:07 on a power play of their own, as Milan Lucic found the rebound of a Mark Letestu shot.

Edmonton came out hitting, too, as Patrick Maroon drilled Karlsson in front of the San Jose bench in the first minute, and Iiro Pakarinen hammered Schlemko shortly after that.

But just when they looked like they might get pushed out of the game, the Sharks responded in the second. In power play time that carried over to start the middle frame, Joonas Donskoi pushed the puck through the crease to Ward, who whacked it through at 1:43 before Talbot could get over.

San Jose continued to control the play, as Edmonton went more than 12 minutes without a shot. Jones secured the far post with 7:40 to go on a partial breakaway by Connor McDavid, keeping it a one-goal deficit for San Jose.

It took until the third for the Sharks to tie it up, though. Tomas Hertl made a power move to the net during a four-on-four situation, and Martin charged in to clean up the loose puck at 5:22 to knot the score at 2-2.

The Sharks outshot the Oilers 26-7 in the second and third periods combined.

The Sharks improved to 18-15 all-time in Game 1 of a playoff series. They are 11-6 in franchise history when capturing the first game.

The Sharks and Oilers are meeting in the playoff for the first time since 2006, the last year Edmonton was in the postseason. The Oilers won that second round series, four-games-to-two.

Couture was playing after he missed the final seven games of the regular season with a mouth injury, and took a high hit from Eric Gryba at 12:32 of the second period. Gryba was issued an elbowing minor.

Joe Thornton (left knee) did not play.

The Oilers were hosting Game 1 of a playoff series for the first time since the 1991 Campbell Conference Final against the Minnesota North Stars.

The Sharks’ roster entered Game 1 with a combined 1,169 games of playoff experience, compared to just 342 for Edmonton.

The Sharks are 22-21 in playoff overtimes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Bats Put It All Together on Offense to Beat Royals]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 20:40:21 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/as-ir-us.jpg


KANSAS CITY – The A's coasted to the kind of low-stress victory Wednesday that every major league manager should get to savor once in a while.

They established season highs in runs and hits as they hammered the Royals 8-3 to win consecutive games for the first time this season. Eight of the nine hitters in Oakland's starting lineup had at least one hit. The lone player who didn't, leadoff man Marcus Semien, walked twice, scored two runs and had a stolen base.

That made it an easy night for skipper Bob Melvin, who made a minor lineup tweak as he dropped Ryon Healy down to the sixth spot and moved Jed Lowrie into the ‘3' hole. The switch paid dividends, as Lowrie notched a team-high three RBI, and Healy - who entered the night 5-for-32 - had a single and a double.

A team that's done most of its damage with the long ball this season, the A's (5-4) instead bunched together singles and doubles Wednesday, knocking former Athletic Jason Hammel (0-1) from the game after 4 2/3 innings.

The beneficiary was right-hander Andrew Triggs (2-0), who has yet to allow an earned run through his first two starts, spanning 11 2/3 innings.

The A's will go for the sweep in Thursday night's road trip finale against the Royals, who fell to 2-6 and have scored the second-fewest runs in the American League (24).

Starting pitching report

Triggs held the Royals to four hits over six innings with three strikeouts and a walk. Kansas City put the leadoff hitter aboard in three of the first four innings, but Triggs bore down with men on base. He stranded six runners total.

Bullpen report

Ryan Dull, Liam Hendriks and Frankie Montas handled the final three innings, with the Royals scoring their only two runs off Hendriks in the eighth on the strength of three hits and a walk. It was Hendriks' third appearance, but his first in six days.

At the plate

Good stuff up and down the box score for the A's. Lowrie's two-run double highlighted four-run sixth that turned a 4-0 game into 8-0. Rajai Davis got the A's on the board with a double that scored Trevor Plouffe all the way from first in a the third inning. Three singles, including Yonder Alonso's run-scoring hit to left-center, and a sacrifice fly from Plouffe made it 3-0 in the fourth. The next inning, Semien walked and stole his fourth base of the season to help set up Lowrie's sacrifice fly, as the A's came through with good situational hitting with runners in scoring position.

In the field

Rajai Davis made a key early play in center field. His diving catch to rob Alcides Escobar saved a run in the second and got Triggs out of that inning. Right fielder Matt Joyce also had a terrific catch in the ninth, making a running grab as he crashed into the wall on Cheslor Cuthbert's deep drive.


The announced crowd was 24,380.

Up next

After a quick promotion from the minors and an encouraging long-relief outing against Texas, Jesse Hahn (0-0, 3.00) makes his first start of the season Thursday. Lefty Jason Vargas (1-0, 5.40) goes for the Royals. First pitch is 5:15 p.m.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Los Gatos Family's Home Gets a Sharks Teal Makeover]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:17:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/teal+house-0412-2017.jpg

A family in Los Gatos who just recently had their house painted allowed the San Jose Sharks to put a fresh coat of teal on their home as part of a marketing campaign for the Stanley Cup-contending team.

Robert and Theresa Beech watched Wednesday as SJ Sharkie, former Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle and others covered their white-with-black-trim home with Sharks teal. It was the result of a contest called Sharks For Life, and the Beeches were the lucky winners.

"We're a big hockey family," Robert Beech explained. "Both kids play ice hockey, and we go to pretty much all the games. We were at one of the games, and my 7-year old, who's become a really good reader, saw the contest up on the Jumbotron and talked me into entering. I didn't really tell the wife; I just kind of went ahead and did it."

Theresa Beech confirmed she had been in the dark until recently.

"Honestly, I didn't know about the contest, and I didn't know we were winners until after my husband won and sent me an email and said, 'This is not a joke.'"

Her reply to the email?

"I don't think I can say that on camera," she said.

Boyle joined the painting party toward the end, helping Sharks mascot SJ Sharkie add the final strokes. When asked if he would ever paint his house teal, Boyle had a quick and direct reply.

"Uh ... no I would not," he said. "I love teal. I love the Sharks, but, yeah, probably not."

So if a former Sharks player wouldn't do it, imagine the negotiation that had to go on between Robert and his wife of nine years, especially considering they'd recently painted the home to her specifications.

"My wife's kind of dream house was a white house with black shutters, and so we just did that a little under a year ago, and then the contest came up, so ..."

After seeing the end result, Theresa may have had a change of heart.

"I wasn't super positive about it at first; it took some convincing, and I have a little leverage in the family right now," she said. "But I actually like how it turned out. I think it looks super fun, and the kids are really excited, so now I'm on board."

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Playoffs Preview: Will Thornton and Couture Play?]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 19:19:48 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/lucic-sharks-oilers.jpg

EDMONTON – Will they or won't they?

The question as to whether Logan Couture and Joe Thornton would be ready for Wednesday night's playoff opener at Rogers Place wasn't answered by anyone on the Sharks' side, but Oilers coach Todd McLellan seemed to have a pretty good idea.

"Logan will play for sure. Jumbo, unless they cut his leg off, we'll see him at some point in the series," said McLellan, in his second season with the Oilers after seven in San Jose. "He's an old school guy that will find his way into the series. I don't know if he'll play in Game 1, but we plan as if they're in."

Both Couture and Thornton skated on Wednesday, and indications remain that Couture will likely play while Thornton is more of a question mark. Couture continues to wear a full cage to protect his injured mouth, while Thornton still looks a bit tentative while dealing with what appears to be a left knee injury.

Asked how he felt, Couture, who has been out since March 25, said: "Felt great. Legs feel good. I feel rested, two-and-a-half weeks of rest. I felt pretty good this morning."

Thornton, who was injured on April 2, said he would be "upset" if he weren't in the lineup.

"Felt good. We'll see tonight," Thornton said. "You want to play. It's the best time of year. We're doing everything we can to play tonight."

Pete DeBoer said the decision to play rests with Thornton alone.

"Joe is going to make that decision, and nobody else," DeBoer said. "He'll tell us – and it's not just whether he can play, but can he play at a level that he can help us? He knows his body better than anybody, he knows his game better than anybody. When he's ready to go, he'll go, and hopefully that's tonight."

* * *

It's no secret in the Oilers' dressing room, of course, that the Sharks' top two centers won't be at 100 percent even if they get into the lineup. Edmonton's roster features some rugged players that could potentially be a little extra physical against Couture and Thornton.

Milan Lucic is one of them. This is the second straight season the power forward be facing San Jose in the first round, after the Sharks dispatched of Lucic's Kings in the first round in 2016.

"Whether they're healthy or not healthy, you try to be physical on guys no matter what," said Lucic, who had a hat trick against the Sharks in the most recent meeting on April 6. 

"You don't go out of your way to hurt anyone, but you definitely want to let them know that you're there. We're just focused on our game and what we need to do. Just be hard on key guys, whether they're healthy or unhealthy."

When Lucic's quotes were relayed to DeBoer, he said: "We've seen that before. We saw the same out of Milan Lucic last year in the first round against L.A. You've got to play through that stuff. We expect it, we'll deal with it like we always have."

Lucic has a history with Couture, earning a match penalty in the season opener on Oct. 7, 2015 when Couture upended him in the neutral zone and Lucic promptly charged across the ice to let Couture know he didn't like the hit.

Does he expect Lucic, or others, to come after him a bit?

"I don't think so," Couture said. "The goal for any playoff team is to after the other team's top guys, be physical. The last thing they want to do is take penalties, so I don't think they're going to do anything special."

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Shut Down by Ray, Come Up Short vs. D'backs]]>Tue, 11 Apr 2017 22:57:44 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gorkys-missedcatch-usatsi.jpg


SAN FRANCISCO - Jeff Samardzija and Robbie Ray both had filthy stuff Tuesday night, one from the right side and one from the left. They each recorded 20 outs with similar lines, but there was one big difference. Ray caught the break he needed, Samardzija did not. 

In the end, Samardzija and the Giants were left with a 4-3 loss on a wet night at AT&T Park. Playing without Buster Posey for the first time, the lineup didn't get going until the ninth, when Nick Hundley and Eduardo Nuñez got the Giants within one. Brandon Crawford struck out with the tying run on second. 

The game turned on a couple of plays at the track involving Gorkys Hernandez. Starting in place of Denard Span against the lefty, Hernandez came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the second. His deep fly to left was caught a few feet in front of the wall. 

The Diamondbacks came right back and loaded the bases in the top of the third, starting with a single by Ray. Jake Lamb crushed a fastball to left-center and Hernandez seemed to have it in his sights. As he approached the wall, he stumbled a bit, and his reach came up a few inches short. The triple made it 3-0 Diamondbacks.

That was the only damage against Samardzija, who put plenty of traffic on the bases but limited the damage. Samardjiza allowed five hits and walked four in 6 2/3 innings, striking out seven. Ray gave up four hits, walked five and struck out eight. 

Starting pitching report: On the day Posey went on the concussion DL, Samardzija drilled Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona's best player. It didn't seem to be an accident. The pitch was a 96 mph fastball that struck him on the backside, the desired spot for retaliatory throws. Goldschmidt walked to first without incident. 

Bullpen report: Ty Blach was in full LOOGY mode. He came on in the seventh with a runner on and Lamb up, getting a liner to right that ended the inning.

At the plate: Hundley will get most of the starts over the next week. He had a single and two doubles in five at-bats. 

In the field: Nuñez made his first start of the year at shortstop. He didn't get a chance until the seventh, and he handled it easily. He'll be Crawford's backup this year. 

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,562 human beings. One of them wore an Aaron Roward jersey. Apparently on purpose. 

Up next: Matt Cain makes his second start of the year. Given the fact that the Giants can skip their No. 5 starter next week, it's a big one for Cain.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Place Buster Posey on 7-Day Concussion Disabled List]]>Wed, 12 Apr 2017 00:28:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/posey_hit_.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants put catcher Buster Posey on the seven-day concussion disabled list Tuesday, and Tim Federowicz got called up to back up Nick Hundley.

Posey was said to be feeling all right, but the team committed to making the move out of an abundance of caution. There was no need to take any risks given Posey's position.

“Overall, I feel good,” Posey said. “I think we thought this was the smart move with me being the catcher. You never know if you’ll get (a foul tip), so we’ll take a week off and be ready to go.”

Posey was hit on the back of the helmet by a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball in the first inning of Monday's home opener. He sat down, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner with a dazed look on his face. Groeschner immediately pulled Posey from the game and took him to the clubhouse for tests, which Posey passed. 

Posey told teammates that he felt normal, and that he was not experiencing the symptoms he expected. On his way out of the ballpark, Posey told NBC Bay Area that he felt fine. But the training staff monitored Posey overnight to make sure he did not have a delayed reaction. 

The Giants have embraced a much more proactive approach to concussions after several players suffered from late-showing symptoms in recent years. Brandon Belt missed 12 games with a concussion in 2014, returned too early, and then missed another 34 games after seeing a specialist. Joe Panik played for over a week after getting hit in the head last season and then ended up missing 23 games. 

Major League Baseball now has the seven-day concussion DL for situations like this one. 

The Giants will have to clear a 40-man roster spot for Federowicz, a veteran who had a big camp before accepting an assignment to Triple-A Sacramento. 

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Posey After Scare in Giants Home Opener: 'I Feel Good']]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 22:09:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/posey_hit_.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO - Buster Posey walked out of AT&T Park an hour after the final pitch Monday, looking as he always does.

"I feel good," he told NBC Sports Bay Area. "See you tomorrow."

The Giants have learned in recent years that the initial reaction to a blow to the head is sometimes deceiving, but the first read on Posey was that he will be fine. The catcher took a 94 mph Taijuan Walker fastball to the helmet in the first inning Monday and was immediately removed, but he passed a concussion test. 

"He's doing good. He's doing fine," manager Bruce Bochy said. "We'll keep an eye on him. He had no complaints or anything. Right now, he's doing well. Our doctors were here and they checked him out pretty good."

The Giants took no chances when Posey went down. He sat back, waiting for trainer Dave Groeschner and Bochy, as teammates and fans cringed at the thud they had heard. Groeschner pulled Posey and took him right to the clubhouse. Bochy said that the situation might have been different if Posey played a different position.

"He was hit in the head and he's a catcher, so now he's even more at risk," Bochy said. "If he's catching and he takes a foul tip, he's even more at risk. We didn't want to risk that."

Nick Hundley replaced Posey behind the plate. Teammates who went back to check on Posey said he looked and acted fine, and Posey noted that he was expecting symptoms that never came. 

The Giants might know better than any other MLB team that the days after a hit to the head are more instructive. Brandon Belt, Hector Sanchez and Joe Panik are among the Giants who have been concussed in recent years. Panik got hit by a Matt Moore pitch last June 18 and played for over a week. When he realized he wasn't right, he ultimately missed 23 games with a concussion.

"He seems fine, and he said he felt fine, which is good," said Brandon Crawford, one of Posey's closest friends. "But Joe thought he felt good last year, also. You hope he feels fine tomorrow when he comes in. He'll probably get his heart rate going and see how he feels and you go from there."

Giants doctors will continue to check with Posey overnight, and he isn't expected to play Tuesday. Hundley has a good rapport with the staff and he helped guide Moore through eight sharp innings in a 4-1 win. Late in the game, Moore hit David Peralta on the arm. Players and coaches quietly grumbled after the game that Walker, who has command issues, should not have been trying to go inside so often. He almost hit Jarrett Parker high, too, but Moore said there was no retaliation. 

"In a three-run game in the eighth?" he said. "I don't think so."

The Giants did not plan to immediately make a roster move. Trevor Brown is the third catcher on the 40-man roster but he's sidelined by an illness after starting the season on the DL with an ankle injury. Tim Federowicz is the catcher at Triple-A but he's not on the 40-man roster, so a player would need to be removed to clear a spot.

Aaron Hill, an infielder/left fielder, is the emergency catcher.

"He just found out today that he's our third catcher," Bochy said, smiling. "He found out late in the game."



Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Jazz Grind Out Win, Snap Warriors' Win Streak at 14]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 22:04:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/warriors-jazz-gamer.jpg


OAKLAND -- The Warriors have made it clear the final three games of the season are rehearsals for the playoffs. That's how it looked Monday night and it cost them their win streak.

Playing without Klay Thompson, the Warriors were outlasted 105-99 by a Utah Jazz team that came into Oracle Arena with three injured starters on the bench and still had enough to snap the Warriors' streak at 14.

Stephen Curry scored a game-high 28 points, continuing his hot shooting of late, but sat out the fourth quarter.

Kevin Durant, in his second game back after a 39-day absence with a knee injury, totaled 16 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and a team-high six assists -- the exact line he posted Saturday in his initial return. He played 32 minutes.

The Warriors (66-15) entered the game with an 8-9 record when they make fewer 3-pointers than their opponent, and this was such a night. Utah was 12-of-34 from deep, the Warriors 9-of-23.

Veteran point guard George Hill scored 20 points to lead the Jazz (50-31), who are battling the Clippers for homecourt advantage in their upcoming first-round playoff series.


Curry pretty much carried the Warriors whenever he was on the floor.

Curry's line: 28 points (9-of-16 shooting from the field, including 6-of-8 beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), four assists and four rebounds. He played 30 minutes and was plus-9.


After an Andre Iguodala jumper gave the Warriors an 84-83 lead with 6:50 to play, Utah responded with a 10-2 run, going up 93-86 with 4:07 remaining.

The Warriors never again tied or led, getting as close as two (96-94) on a James Michael McAdoo 3-pointer with 2:09 left.


Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R ankle/foot sprain), F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) and G Klay Thompson (rest) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Jazz: G George Hill (R groin strain) was listed questionable and upgraded to available. F Gordon Hayward (L quad contusion), F Derrick Favors (L knee soreness), G Rodney Hood (R knee soreness) and G Raul Neto (L ankle sprain) were listed as out.


The Warriors close out the regular season Wednesday night when they play host to the Los Angeles Lakers at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fans Treated to a Win in Home Opener at AT&T Park]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:19:14 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants+attpark-0410-2017.jpg

Giants fans who came out for the team's home opener at AT&T Park on Monday were treated to a win, and most were expecting big things from the hometown club in 2017.

Many people may have had to skip work to make it to the game, but watching the orange and black beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 made it all worthwhile. Many fans already were talking about another shot at the World Series, and most were just happy that the boys of summer are back.

"Baseball in San Francisco is always wonderful," Ricardo Hernandez said before the game.

Monday was the Giants' 60th home opener in San Francisco and the 18th at AT&T Park.

"It's a new season, everyone is optimistic," one fan said. "We didn't win last year, an even year, so let's start in an odd year tradition."

While some fans have been to a lot of the Giants openers there were also many first timers feeling the baseball vibe in San Francisco.

For the Holcombs, Opening Day was a family affair.

"Start of a new season; a lot of positive plots," said Judy Holcomb, who has been brining her son to games here since he was a kid.

"I was about 5 or 6. It wasn't Opening Day, but I caught a pitch on my first game," said Greg Holcomb, who now brings his mom and his girlfriend to games.

As expected, the ballpark was packed, and every direction you looked was just a sea of orange and black. The commitment to see that first pitch of the season was worth it to some who had to give up a day’s pay.

"You gotta love jobs that appreciate the request to let Opening Day be," said Monica Cruz.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Moore, Giants Win Home Opener Over Diamondbacks]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 23:43:43 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/matt+moore.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — On a day that started with a fire at AT&T Park and the team’s most important player getting knocked out in the first inning, the Giants managed to walk away with a positive.

Matt Moore was dominant through eight and a strange rally in the third provided the needed offense as the Giants edged the Diamondbacks 4-1. The win came with a cost, as catcher Buster Posey was taken out of the first inning of the home opener after getting hit by a 94 mph fastball. The Giants expected to have an update on Posey after the game.

Pitching at AT&T Park for the first time since Game 4 of the NLDS, Moore got off to a hot start. He allowed just one Diamondback to reach base through four. When Yasmany Tomas hit a solo homer in the fifth, it simply cut into a lead that came on one of the strangest bases-loaded plays you’ll ever see.

With the bags full and one out in the bottom of the fourth, Moore tried to put down a bunt. It went foul, but he got the job done after he was told to swing away. Moore poked what amounted to a swinging bunt down the first base line and Taijuan Walker made the poor decision to try and get Brandon Crawford out at the plate. The throw shot back to the backstop, and Joe Panik raced home. When Jeff Mathis’ throw back to the plate also got away, Jarrett Parker made the final leg of his journey from first. Moore ended up smiling goofily on second, three runs having scored on a ball that went 40 feet.

The left-hander cruised into the late afternoon, getting through eight innings before turning it over to Mark Melancon. This time, the bullpen was able to lock up his win.

Starting pitching report: Moore’s last two starts at AT&T Park: 16 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, 15 strikeouts.

Bullpen report: Melancon picked up his second save in as many days after going a week without pitching.

At the plate: Moore got an RBI on the bizarre swinging bunt. It was his first since 2012, and just the second of his career. It’s the opinion of this writer that he’ll be a pretty serviceable hitter over time. He’s getting better and better in BP.

In the field: Crawford barehanded a slow roller to nail Chris Owings in the sixth and nobody even really noticed. That’s how high the bar has been set.

Attendance: A sellout crowd booed the hell out of Walker but gave lengthy ovations to Javier Lopez and Barry Bonds, who were honored during mid-inning breaks.

Up next: Jeff Samardzija will try to make it a three-game winning streak. The Diamondbacks line up behind Robbie Ray.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cotton Tosses Gem, A's Blank Royals in Series Opener]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 16:19:05 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/cotton-jharel-as-day-gray.gif


KANSAS CITY – Rising to the occasion in front of a packed crowd for the Royals' home opener, Jharel Cotton delivered his finest start as a major leaguer.

The rookie limited the home team to two hits over seven innings as the A's blanked Kansas City 2-0 to open a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. Coming off a lackluster first start against the Angels, Cotton summoned the poise and command that marked his impressive September debut last season.

He was particularly dialed in with his changeup, getting Royals to chase his go-to offering all game. The odd 3:15 p.m. start (local time) made for mid-game shadows in front of the mound that made things no easier for hitters.

Cotton tied his career-high in innings pitched and enjoyed his first scoreless outing as a big leaguer. He struck out six and walked three.

The A's got the only runs they would need on Khris Davis' two-run homer off Ian Kennedy (0-2) in the fourth.

The afternoon began in emotional fashion for the Royals, who honored pitcher Yordano Ventura with a lengthy pregame ceremony. Ventura died in an offseason car crash in the Dominican Republic.

Starting pitching report

The Royals never advance a runner past second off Cotton (1-1). He struck out the side in the fifth, getting the Royals to wave at fastballs and off-speed stuff out of the zone. He benefited from a 5-4-3 double play to end the second and pitched around a leadoff walk in the seventh.

Bullpen report

The relief corps picked up where Cotton left off to salt away his victory. Santiago Casilla struck out the side in the eighth. With lefties due up for two of Kansas City's first three hitters in the ninth, manager Bob Melvin called on Sean Doolittle for the ninth. A walk and a single, mixed in with strikeouts of Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer put runners on the corners with two outs. But Doolittle got former Athletic Brandon Moss swinging to end it.

At the plate

Davis got aggressive on a 3-0 count against Kennedy and hit a towering shot to right-center that rode the jet stream and carried over the wall for a two-run shot, his fourth homer of the season. The only other players with four homers to start the day were the Royals' Salvador Perez and Houston's George Springer.

In the field

The A's missed out on a double play in the sixth on a replay reversal, as video showed Trevor Plouffe pulled his foot off the second-base bag while trying to make the turn. The third baseman was shifted over behind second base for the start of the play. Cotton got out of the inning unscored upon anyway.

Up next

After a day off Tuesday, the A's and Royals resume this three-game series with a 5:15 p.m. game Wednesday. Andrew Triggs (1-0, 0.00), coming off a strong first start of the season, goes for the A's with Jason Hammel (0-0, 5.40) throwing for Kansas City.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Kari’s Gameday Forecast: Cool and Clear]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 13:00:10 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/219*120/4-10-17_ATT_Weather.jpg

The sun will be shining when the San Francisco Giants take the field for their home opener Monday afternoon.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Set to Open Their 60th Season in San Francisco]]>Mon, 10 Apr 2017 07:35:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/189*120/giants-0409.jpg

The bunting has been draped, the grass has been cut and the infield has been raked. It's Opening Day at AT&T Park for the San Francisco Giants as they play for the first time in front of the home fans this season.

First pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks is slated for 1:35 p.m., but there will be plenty of pregame festivities as the Giants open their 60th season in the city by the bay.

The Giants are off to a slow start, finishing their season-opening road trip at just 2-5. But they're coming off a 5-3 win in San Diego on Sunday and are hoping to carry that momentum into Monday's home opener.

As part of the pregame festivities, performance painter David Garibaldi, who specializes in creating instant renditions of famous rock musicians, will demonstrate his skills, according to the team's website. The Schuyler Sisters from the cast of "Hamilton" will sing the national anthem. Emmy Raver-Lampman (Angelica), Solea Pfeiffer (Eliza) and Amber Iman (Peggy) will perform their rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

The immensely popular Broadway musical is currently playing in San Francisco.

Starting pitchers for the game are righthander Taijuan Walker for Arizona and lefthander Matt Moore for the Giants. 

San Francisco's lefty starter enters Monday's contest with a 0-1 record and 5.06 ERA after his first start of the season against these Diamondbacks last week. Walker takes the mound with a 1-0 record and 6.00 ERA after his seven strikeout performance in his first action on the mound.

Both squads squared off against each other in the opening series of the season. Arizona came away with three wins in four chances.

Most gates at the ballpark will open at 11:05 a.m. on Monday, the Giants website says.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Sharks to Face McLellan, Oilers in First Round of Playoffs]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 21:55:35 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharks-oilers-us.jpg

The Sharks will face their former head coach Todd McLellan and league-leading scorer Connor McDavid in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the series beginning this week at Edmonton's Rogers Place.
The schedule is as follows:

Game 1 - Wednesday, April 12 @ Edmonton (7 p.m.)
Game 2 - Friday, April 14 @ Edmonton (7:30 p.m.)
Game 3 - Sunday, April 16 @ San Jose (7 p.m.)
Game 4 - Tuesday, April 18 @ San Jose (7 p.m.)
*Game 5 - Thursday, April 20 @ Edmonton (TBD)
*Game 6 - Saturday, April 22 @ San Jose (TBD)
*Game 7 - Monday, April 24 @ Edmonton (TBD)
*if necessary

Anaheim beat the Los Angeles Kings in overtime on Sunday, clinching its fifth straight division title and locking the Oilers into second place.
Edmonton has won each of the last three games against San Jose, after the Sharks took the first two games of the season series.
The Sharks and Oilers have faced each other in the playoffs just once, when eighth-seeded Edmonton knocked off fifth-seeded San Jose in six games in the second round in 2006. The Oilers have not played in the postseason since that year, when they lost to Carolina in the Stanley Cup Final.
McLellan is in his second season as head coach of the Oilers, after the Sharks fired him on April 20, 2015. He is the Sharks' all-time winningest head coach, posting a 540-311-163 record from 2008-09 through 2014-15.
The Oilers are led by McDavid, the league's leading scorer with 100 points (30g, 70a). Selected with the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Game 1 will be McDavid's first career playoff game.
It will also be the first-ever playoff game at Rogers Place, the gleaming new home of the Oilers that opened at the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
The Sharks wrapped up the regular season with a 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday, finishing in third place in the Pacific Division for the second straight year with a 46-29-7 record (99 points). They had a nine-point cushion on first place in the division on March 15, before losing eight of their next nine in regulation.
The status of the Sharks' top two centers for the series remains in question, as Joe Thornton and Logan Couture finished the season hurt. Thornton missed the last three games with an apparent left knee injury, while Couture missed the last seven games after taking a deflected puck to the face on March 25 in Nashville.
Couture resumed skating last week, but there is no timetable as to when he can resume a full-contact practice. Thornton has not been spotted on the ice since Tuesday, and was seen leaving SAP Center on Saturday night walking with a slight limp while carrying a knee brace.

The winner of Sharks-Oilers will face the winner of Ducks-Flames in the second round. 

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Snap Skid Behind Cueto, Power Surge]]>Sun, 09 Apr 2017 22:26:24 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-ir-ap1.jpg

SAN DIEGO — Thanks to Johnny Cueto and a power-packed day from the heart of the lineup, the Giants avoided the sweep.

Cueto went seven strong and the Giants hit two early homers, beating the Padres 5-3. They lost season-opening series in Phoenix and San Diego, but won both of Cueto’s starts, finishing 2-5 on the trip. Mark Melancon closed the week with his first save as a Giant.

Facing left-hander Clayton Richard, the right-handers in the lineup tried to take the tension out of the game early on. Chris Marrero’s first hit as a Giant drove Buster Posey in and an error on the play made it 2-0. Hunter Pence hit a two-run blast to left in the third inning and Posey made it back-to-back jacks when he went the opposite way.

Cueto worked around two singles in the first and then retired 14 of 15. The streak ended with a walk of Travis Jankowski in the sixth and Will Myers took advantage of an elevated fastball, crushing a two-run shot off the Western Metal Supply Co. building. A bizarre infield single, walk and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases as Cory Gearrin warmed up in the bullpen. But Cueto got Erick Aybar to pop up to third, ending the threat.

Cueto threw 109 pitches, and the Padres immediately inched closer once he got the handshake from Bruce Bochy. Yangervis Solarte greeted Derek Law in the eighth with a solo homer and Ryan Schimpf drew a walk, but Law got out of the inning without further damage.

Melancon was going to pitch no matter the score Sunday, as he had been off since Opening Day. He put two runners on, but Myers bounced into a game-ending double play.

Starting pitching report: Cueto muscled through some late trouble, finishing with just two runs allowed in seven innings. He struck out seven, walked three, and hit one.

Bullpen report: Moves on the field often tell you more than answers off of it. Cueto hit for himself to lead off the seventh, even though he had thrown 95 pitches and had his roughest inning in the sixth. Tells you a lot about the trust in the bullpen’s ability to hold leads.

At the plate: Marrero’s single to right was the first hit of the season by a Giants left fielder. The trio — Marrero, Jarrett Parker, a little bit of Aaron Hill — had started 0-for-22.

In the field: Nothing all that noteworthy happened either way.

Attendance: The Padres packed the house again. That was the biggest surprise of the road trip.

Up next: Matt Moore pitched the last home game of 2016. He gets the home opener, against Taijuan Walker and the Diamondbacks.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[A's Offense Goes Flat, Cotton Gives Up 5 in Loss to Angels]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:47:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/aslose2.jpg


OAKLAND – The A's trotted out their alternate lineup against right-handed pitchers Wednesday night, but it didn't produce the intended results.

Angels starter Garrett Richards was stingy in an abbreviated outing and three of his relievers took it to the finish line as Los Angeles dealt the A's a 5-0 defeat before a Coliseum crowd that had little to get excited about.

Richards was making his first start since last May due to a damaged elbow ligament. Rather than opt for the Tommy John procedure, he took the unusual non-surgical route and instead chose stem-cell injections to rehab.

He blanked the A's over 4 2/3 innings before leaving the mound with a trainer in the fifth, a scary moment given his long road to recovery. The Angels later announced he was removed as a precaution for biceps cramping.

Not that getting into Los Angeles' bullpen helped the A's any. Manager Bob Melvin moved Matt Joyce into the leadoff spot and dropped Rajai Davis to ninth, a look the A's are likely to utilize occasionally against right-handers to try to maximize Joyce's on-base abilities.

Things didn't click Wednesday. The A's advanced a runner to third in three different innings but couldn't get him home. On two occasions, they stranded a pair of runners in scoring position.

They'll take the field Thursday afternoon looking to salvage a split in this season-opening four-game series.

Starting pitching report

Jharel Cotton (0-1) didn't make it out of the fifth inning in his season debut, giving up five runs on eight hits. The Angels got to him for three in the second, though they hardly knocked him around the yard. It was a series of bloopers and well-placed hits that hurt Cotton, plus a walk he issued in the inning. Danny Espinosa, who sank the A's with his decisive three-run homer Tuesday, dropped a single into left that scored two. Andrelton Simmons' bleeder down the right field line scored another.

In the fifth, the Angels strung together some nice at-bats. Kole Calhoun's single moved Yunel Escobar to third. Mike Trout singled home a run. Then with Trout breaking for second, Albert Pujols shot a single through the hole on the right side for a 5-0 lead. That was Cotton's last batter.

Bullpen report

Relieving Cotton was Frankie Montas, the rookie who made his A's debut. The right-hander tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and sitting anywhere between 94 and 96 miles per hour on the stadium gun. Daniel Coulombe threw two scoreless innings with a strikeout. J.C. Ramirez (1-0) got the win for the Angels.

At the plate

The A's mustered just six hits. Each of the three times they put a runner at third, it came with two outs, and they couldn't break through with the big hit they needed. Stephen Vogt grounded to second with runners on second and third in the first. After Richards exited in the fifth and lefty Jose Alvarez entered, Mark Canha pinch hit for Joyce and popped out to end that rally. With two outs in the sixth, Khris Davis singled and Vogt doubled, but Trevor Plouffe went down swinging on a 96 mile-per-hour fastball from J.C. Ramirez.

Trout is doing his usual damage against the A's. Through three games, he's 5-for-13 with three doubles and four RBI.

In the field

The A's turned two double plays, including a liner right at Yonder Alonso in which he stepped on first to double off Pujols and prevent the Angels from scoring more than two runs in the fifth.


The announced turnout was 13,405.

Up next

The A's see their first left-hander of the season when they face Tyler Skaggs (3-4, 4.17 last year) in Thursday's 12:35 p.m. series finale. Andrew Triggs (1-1, 4.31) takes the mound for Oakland.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Dropped by D'backs After Losing Early Lead]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:40:03 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/bochy-0405.jpg


PHOENIX - Some Giants gathered around the dugout before batting practice Wednesday and joked about how nice it will be to finally leave Arizona after nearly two consecutive months here. The hard infield dirt is among the things that won't be missed, and on Wednesday it proved costly. 

Brandon Belt's error on a grounder helped kickstart a run of seven unanswered runs by the Diamondbacks, who held on for an 8-6 win. 

This was a Chase Field classic, with extra-base hits ricocheting all over the field as the runs piled up. The Giants jumped ahead 3-1, with the first run coming when Eduardo Nuñez singled, stole second, and slid in safely at the plate on Joe Panik's infield single. Belt's long homer extended the lead in the top of the fifth, but his error in the bottom of the frame kept Matt Moore on the mound. 

Moore was cruising, but with two outs in the fifth he gave up a single and then issued a walk. Jake Lamb hit a hard chopper down the first base line that took an odd final hop on Belt. Two runs scored on the misplay. Lamb scored the tying run when Yasmany Tomas doubled. The Diamondbacks jumped ahead an inning later with two more runs and then scored twice more in the bottom of the seventh.

The Giants loaded the bases and scored two in the top of the eighth, but a year after going 0-for-62 when trailing after eight, they couldn't complete the comeback.

Starting pitching report: Moore ended up with an uneven line, but he did something that would have Tim Lincecum scratching his head. Moore struck out Paul Goldschmidt in their first two matchups and did so on six pitches.

Bullpen report: Neil Ramirez made his Giants debut in the sixth and got Cory Gearrin out of a jam by freezing Lamb with a 95 mph heater. His seventh inning was a bizarre one: Strikeout (reached on wild pitch), passed ball, RBI single, strikeout, RBI double, strikeout, caught stealing. 

At the plate: Jarrett Parker's first season as a regular is off to a rough start. He's 0-for-7 in the series with five strikeouts. 

In the field: Aaron Hill, in his 13th season, played left field for the first time in a regular season game. Naturally, the first two balls were hit his way. He could do nothing but chase a leadoff double, but he caught Chris Owings' liner a batter later. 

Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 14,675 human beings who did not know the Warriors were playing next door. 

Up next: Jeff Samardzija hit the facing of the second deck with a BP homer on Tuesday. He'll get a shot at matching Bumgarner on Thursday, with Robbie Ray going for the home team. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Become Early Adopter in High-Tech Device]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 22:02:16 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000021810081_1200x675_915116099631.jpg

The technology has been around for a number of years but San Francisco-based Halo Sport is the first to take it to the field. After using it for the past year, San Francisco Giants pitching prospect Tyler Beede is a believer in the neurotechnology device designed to increase and speed up an athlete's muscle memory. Colin Resch has the story in the above video.]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Beat Suns, Clinch No. 1 Seed in West]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 00:31:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/currynumber1-ap.jpg


The Warriors entered this season with two clear goals, one of which was achieved Wednesday night in Phoenix.

With a 120-111 victory over the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena, combined with a Spurs loss to the Lakers in San Antonio, the Warriors (65-14) assured themselves of finishing with the best record in the NBA for the third consecutive season.

By virtue of that, the Warriors secured the No. 1 overall seed entering the postseason and will have homecourt advantage throughout. They also become the first team to win at least 65 games three seasons in a row.

Stephen Curry totaled 42 points and 11 assists, leading an otherwise pedestrian effort by the Warriors, who won their 13th consecutive game despite Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala resting on the bench.

For the first time in several weeks, Klay Thompson struggled with his shot before recovering in the fourth quarter to finish with 22 points on 9-of-22 shooting, including 2-of-9 from 3-point distance.

Against a Suns team that had lost 12 in a row The Warriors (65-14) had trouble maintaining separation largely because the were clobbered on the glass, 55-40, and outscored 26-17 in fast-break points.

Shooting guard Devin Booker scored 21 points to lead the Suns, who fell to 22-57.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: Given the paltry amount of offense elsewhere, the Warriors needed Curry to be splendid. He absolutely was.

Curry’s line: 42 points (15-of-26 shooting from the field, 8-of-13 from deep, 4-of-7 from the line), 11 assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He played 35 minutes and finished plus-25.

TURNING POINT: Going up double digits (21-11) less than six minutes into the game and taking a 41-18 lead into the second quarter, the Warriors took charge early, forcing the Suns to play from behind.

Phoenix got within four early in the third quarter and as close as three in the fourth but never could tie or take a lead.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Draymond Green (rest), Andre Iguodala (rest) and Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Suns: G Leandro Barbosa (R hamstring tightness), G Eric Bledsoe (rest), C Tyson Chandler (rest) and G Brandon Knight (rest) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors return to action Saturday night, when they play host to the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Could Be Evicted Due to Past Due Parking Debt: Audit]]>Thu, 06 Apr 2017 12:16:19 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-coliseum.jpg

The Raiders could be facing eviction from the Oakland Coliseum if they don't make good on their past due parking debt, according to an audit released Wednesday by the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority.

The Raiders owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in parking dues for the stadium, which means the team's ability to play at the venue in the fall could be in jeopardy.

The audit says the Raiders have been making minimum parking payments since 2013 and will not complete the payments before the they move to Las Vegas. As a result, the team could default on its Coliseum lease.

Oakland Councilman Larry Reid confirmed that the Raiders are in default, but he said there is process laid out in their contracts for the team to fix it. The issue came up in Joint Powers Authority meeting Friday.

The JPA has sent the Raiders a default notice for failure to pay the full amount of parking fees, the audit says.

Board members said they are working on a fix.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Late Angels Bomb Buries A's in First Loss of 2017]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:59:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/athletics-angels.jpg


OAKLAND – Just when Rajai Davis appeared to save the A's night in the most creative way possible, Danny Espinosa had other ideas.

The Angels second baseman crushed a three-run homer off Ryan Dull with one out in the ninth that handed the A's a stunning 7-6 defeat at the Coliseum.

In the bottom of the seventh, Davis made an electrifying dash around the bases, tripling in two runs and scoring on Espinosa's throwing error on the play. That turned a 4-3 A's deficit into a 6-4 lead, and they appeared on their way to their first 2-0 record to start a season since 2004.

Instead, with runners on the corners in the ninth, Espinosa turned around an 0-2 pitch from Dull and cleared the wall in right-center. Dull got the call from manager Bob Melvin for the save situation after Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless eighth. Santiago Casilla handled the ninth Monday and got the dave.

Putting Davis' play in the books as a two-run triple doesn't do it justice. With two runners aboard, Davis hit a liner the opposite way that glanced off the glove of Angels first baseman Jefry Marte. It ricocheted far enough into foul territory down the right field line for both runners to score. Davis motored around second and kept going for third. He dove in safely, and Espinosa's throw to third skipped past Yunel Escobar, allowing Davis to complete the round trip to home plate.

Starting pitching report

It was an odd night for A's lefty Sean Manaea in that he posted 1-2-3 innings in four of his six frames, only to have the Angels score four runs in the other two. He gave up three in the second, a rally that was keyed by Angels catcher Martin Maldonado. Manaea was trying to work his way out of a bases-loaded jam, but Maldonado's single to right field scored two to put Los Angeles ahead. Escobar followed with another run-scoring single and a 3-1 lead. There's rarely an A's-Angels tilt that doesn't include Mike Trout hurting Oakland. The A's had pulled to within one, but on cue, Trout tripled down the left-field line in the fifth to score Kole Calhoun to make it a 4-2 game at that point.

Manaea's season debut lasted six innings. He allowed five hits, walked two and struck out four.

Bullpen report

Melvin said he would get creative in using his late-inning relief corps and he meant it. After Liam Hendriks got through a scoreless seventh and the A's took the lead, he called on Madson - last year's primary closer - in the eighth inning for the second night in a row. Madson preserved a 4-2 lead, and Dull - whose specialty last year was entering mid-inning with runners on base - got the call for the ninth.

At the plate

Until providing the seventh-inning excitement, Davis was 1-for-8 from the leadoff spot to begin his second stint with Oakland. In his one time reaching base during those first eight at-bats, he was throwing out stealing second in the third inning Tuesday. He made up for it though with the go-ahead play in the seventh.

The A's have homered five times - all solo shots - in the first two games. Designated hitter Ryon Healy went deep in the first and Jed Lowrie homered in the second.

In the field

Maldonado, who the Angels acquired from the Brewers in the offseason, impacted the game hugely with his arm in the early innings. After Marcus Semien walked with two outs in the second, Maldonado whipped a throw behind him to pick him off first. Rajai Davis reached on an infield single in the third, only to be thrown out trying to steal as Maldonado delivered a strike to second.

For the second night in a row, Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun turned in a beauty. He extended all-out for a diving catch to rob Lowrie in the eighth.


Twenty-four hours after the Opening Night buzz, the announced turnout was 11,225.

Up next

Jharel Cotton (2-0, 2.15 last season) takes the hill for his 2017 debut against right-hander Garrett Richards (1-3, 2.34). Cotton beat the Angels in his major league debut in September, holding them to one run over 6 1/3 innings. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Run Away From T'Wolves, Win 12th Straight]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:57:33 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/klay-pointing-twolves-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND -- The winning streak rises to 12, the magic number drops to two.

Behind a sizzling third quarter Tuesday night, the Warriors roasted the Minnesota Timberwolves 121-107 before a roaring sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson fired in a game-high 41 points to lead a Warriors offense that shot 60.9 percent over the first three quarters against a porous Minnesota defense. They shot 52.4 percent for the game.

Stephen Curry scored 19 points, Matt Barnes 12 and Andre Iguodala 11 as the Warriors overcame a 50-40 rebounding deficit.

The victory lifted the Warriors to 64-14, giving them 204 wins over the past three seasons, the most by any NBA team over a three-year span.

Any combination of wins by the Warriors and losses by the Spurs adding up to two gives the Warriors the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. They have four games remaining, the Spurs five.

Shabazz Muhammad and Andrew Wiggins scored 24 points apiece to lead Minnesota (31-46). Karl-Anthony Towns totaled 21 points. The Timberwolves shot 42.7 percent, the 12th consecutive Warriors opponent below 50 percent.

The game featured a brief skirmish between Warriors center JaVale McGee and Timberwolves big man Gorgui Dieng, during which the two men exchanged shoves and were issued double technical fouls. McGee also was assessed with a flagrant-1 foul.

When nobody else on the Warriors was generating much offense, Thompson kept finding ways to light up the scoreboard

Thompson's line: 41 points (13-of-24 from the field, 7-of-14 beyond the arc, 8-of-9 from the line), three assists, two rebounds, two steals and a block. He played 33 minutes and was a team-best plus-19.

It was the 10th time in Thompson's career, and the second this season, that he has scored at least 40 points in a game.

After Towns drained a 3-pointer to pull Minnesota within four, 73-69, with 8:39 remaining in the third quarter, the Warriors needed a little more than three minutes to respond with a 15-2 run, going up 88-73 with 5:56 left in the quarter.

The Warriors pushed the lead as high as 23 in the quarter, and the Timberwolves got no closer than 14 in the fourth.

Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available prior to tipoff. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) was listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the Development League.

Timberwolves: F Nemanja Bjelica (L foot fracture), G Zach LaVine (L knee surgery) and C Nikola Pekovic (R ankle soreness) were listed as out.

The Warriors left immediately after the game for Phoenix, where on Wednesday night they face the Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks' White-hot Start Enough to Hold Off Canucks]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:58:50 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/211*120/sharks-instant-replay.jpg


SAN JOSE – Without top two centers Joe Thornton and Logan Couture, both injured, the Sharks will need some of their depth players to start finding the score sheet more often.

Against the lowly Canucks on Tuesday night, that's precisely what happened in a 3-1 Sharks win. Kevin Labanc, Joel Ward and Chris Tierney all found the net as San Jose remained in the running for home ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin next week.

The Sharks drew even with the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division with 97 points, although Edmonton has a game in hand. The Sharks moved five points ahead of Calgary and cannot be caught by the Flames, who lost in Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Sharks set a new franchise record for fastest two goals to start a game, as Labanc and Ward both scored in the first half-minute of regulation.

Labanc's eighth goal, and first in 29 games, opened the scoring. He settled a loose puck in the offensive zone after a faceoff, spun around and whipped it past Richard Bachman just 18 seconds into the game.

Ward's goal came just 12 seconds later, as he slapped home a bouncing puck from the top of the circle.

The Sharks' two goals in 30 seconds to start a game bested their previous franchise record of 47 seconds, set on Oct. 22, 1998.

Instead of putting their foot on the Canucks' throats, though, the Sharks allowed Vancouver to get back into the game. San Jose, which at one point held a 10-1 advantage on the shot clock, didn't register a single shot on goal over the final 11:18 minutes of the first period.

In the second period former Sharks prospect Nikolay Goldobin had two glorious chances to score, but missed what looked to be a gaping net on both.

Defenseman Chris Tanev finally got one back for the Canucks in the third period. His wrist shot through traffic beat Martin Jones at 3:30 cut the Sharks' lead in half at 2-1, and Vancouver continued to press immediately afterwards.

But Tierney managed to redirect a Brent Burns wrist shot at 9:18, and the Sharks were never in much danger after that.

San Jose swept the home-and-home with Vancouver, as well as the five-game season series, all in regulation. The Canucks dropped their fifth straight.

Special teams

The Sharks had just one power play, and did not register a shot. The new top unit featured Burns, Labanc, Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Mikkel Boedker. San Jose is 0-for-8 power play over its last four games.

Vancouver was 0-for-3, and just 1-for-11 in the five games of the season series.

In goal

Making his sixth straight start, Jones finished with 33 saves. He's 6-1-0 in his career against the Canucks.

Bachman was playing in just his fourth game of the season, and allowed three goals on 25 shots in falling to 2-2-0.


Timo Meier returned to the Sharks lineup after he sat out Sunday.

Tierney was playing in his 200th career NHL game. He had five points (3g, 2a) in five games against Vancouver this season.

Up next

The Sharks close out their season series with Edmonton on Thursday. The teams have split the first four games, with San Jose capturing the first two and the Oilers the two most recent, including 3-2 on March 30 at Rogers Place.

Calgary visits SAP Center on Saturday in the regular season finale.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez Drives in Four, Giants Beat D'backs 8-4]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 23:59:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gorkys-ap.jpg


PHOENIX - This time, the lineup made sure the final frames wouldn't matter as much. 

After blowing their season opener in the eighth and ninth, the Giants ran away from the Diamondbacks in the early going Tuesday, riding Johnny Cueto and a five-run fifth to an 8-4 win at Chase Field. The lineup, which left too man opportunities on the field Sunday, had 15 hits. 

The Giants scored three runs off Patrick Corbin in the first three innings and responded right away when the Diamondbacks cut it to 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth. 

Brandon Crawford opened the fifth by chopping a high 92 mph fastball into the right field seats for his first homer of the year. After Eduardo Nuñez reached with a nifty feet-first slide into first, Joe Panik singled and shortstop Chris Owings booted a double-play ball from Cueto. The Giants took advantage of the mistake, with Gorkys Hernandez smoking a two-run double and Brandon Belt hitting an RBI double off the wall. 

At Chase Field you always need the extra runs, and the Diamondbacks chipped away in the fifth when Jake Lamb - who used to hammer Cueto's friend Santiago Casilla - hit a two-run bomb into the pool. 

Cueto turned it over to the bullpen, which had 48 hours to stew over a demoralizing season-opening loss. The group responded. Cory Gearrin pitched a scoreless sixth, George Kontos had a dominant seventh, Derek Law pitched a perfect eighth, and Hunter Strickland closed it out in the ninth. 

Starting pitching report: Cueto ran out of gas a bit near the end and it cost him. Lamb's two-run homer left Cueto with a line he doesn't post often: 5 innings, 6 hits, 4 earned.  

Bullpen report: Kontos might as well be the second lefty in the bullpen, and if he keeps pitching like this, he might be the eighth-inning guy. Kontos entered with a runner on in the seventh and got David Peralta to fly out before striking out Paul Goldschmidt and Lamb. He has 10 strikeouts in his last four appearances, going back to spring training. 

At the plate: Hernandez only started because Denard Span's left hip tightened up in the morning, and he drove in four runs. He drove in four runs in 26 appearances last season.

In the field: Don't hand that Gold Glove to Javy Baez quite yet. Joe Panik showed off his range with a diving stop to end the second inning. He also owes Belt a steak for an eighth-inning scoop. 

Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 19,378 human beings after drawing 49,016 on opening day. Same drop every year here.

Up next: Matt Moore makes his first start since a brilliant turn during Game 4 of the NLDS. He'll face Taijuan Walker, the talented young right-hander picked up in the offseason.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Davis Not Celebrating Raiders' Move Like He Would Like To]]>Tue, 04 Apr 2017 15:31:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/emmdavyzs.jpg

The Raiders were approved to relocate from Oakland to Las Vegas last week by a 31-1 vote of NFL ownership, but the Silver and Black won't be packing up quite yet.

They could play as many as three seasons in a market they're leaving, creating a limbo period that isn't fun for many. That includes Raiders owner Mark Davis, who has been stressed about this move despite securing a sweetheart deal to build a new venue just off the Las Vegas Strip.

"I'm not celebrating anything like I would like to be," Davis said Tuesday in an extended interview with 95.7-The Game host JT the Brick. "We're building a world-class venue in the entertainment capital of the world that will be great for Super Bowls and big events, but I still have a feeling for the fans in the Bay Area. I've met with a number of them, and anything I say isn't going to soothe them. It makes this whole thing bittersweet."

Davis detailed several starts and stops in stadium talks with Oakland and Alameda County, explaining to fans why he turned full attention to Las Vegas. He said the Raiders nearly had a term sheet completed with development company Colony Capital, and that a 10-year lease extension between the Athletics and Oakland Coliseum derailed Raiders stadium effort.

Davis referred to that A's lease as an obstacle several times during the interview, where he said he exhausted options to stay in the Bay Area despite a desire to do so. He said the NFL pushed hard to keep the Raiders in place.

"The only people Oakland was in competition with was themselves," Davis said. "If they could've come up with a deal that could've given us the land or leased it at reasonable terms and gave us the infrastructure and ability to find a developer to bridge the funding gap, we may have been able to do something on that site. I believe it's a phenomenal. Sundays at that stadium are the greatest. …Plans the city had would downgrade that game day experience."

Davis said he offered a 20-percent stake in the Raiders at favorable rates to development companies and Athletics ownership.

The Raiders wanted both teams to vacate the Coliseum site and return when two sport-specific stadia were complete. The A's didn't like that plan, Davis said.

"We've tried to get help to build (a stadium) either with the A's or on our own, but we do not want to build in the corner of that parking lot," Davis said. "We were never going to that. We want to build something that's going to be great, a world-class stadium that the Raiders, the NFL and, most of all, the fans are proud of. That wasn't going to happen."

The Raiders hold one-year lease options to play at Oakland Coliseum in 2017 and 2018. Davis has said he hopes the Raiders will remain in the Bay Area in 2019 – his Las Vegas stadium won't be ready until 2020 -- though the Oakland Coliseum authority has balked at that prospect. He vowed to remain active in the community and hopes to shield his team and employees from fan ire over his decision to move.

"If there's blame to be given, it should be aimed at me," Davis said. "I'm the one who made the decision. My dream is for us to play out the next two, possibly three seasons in Oakland. I'd like to bring a championship to Oakland. I'm hoping that, in time, emotions will dry and that we'll be able to do something of that nature.

"…I feel like I should say I understand that there is anger and disappointment, and that it should be pointed at me and not a Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Jack Del Rio. Those guys want to bring a championship to the Bay Area."

Photo Credit: Getty Images file]]>
<![CDATA[Khris Davis Homers Twice as A's Defeat Angels in Opener]]>Mon, 03 Apr 2017 23:24:23 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-davis1.jpg

OAKLAND – Things played out remarkably according to script for the A’s on Monday, and that’s something you don’t often say on Opening Night at the Coliseum.

Kendall Graveman was stellar over six innings on the mound, Khris Davis crushed two home runs and the bullpen locked down a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels before a sellout home crowd.

It was just the A’s second victory in their past 13 openers, and it was a fitting capper on a feel-good night that included a pregame field dedication ceremony to honor Rickey Henderson.

Many of Oakland’s recent Opening Night performances have included sloppy defense, bullpen meltdowns and other untimely events that have spoiled the festivities. Not so in this one.

It was a 2-2 game in the sixth when Davis went deep for the first time off Ricky Nolasco (0-1), a blast that reached the stairs beyond the left field wall. Then he connected again off JC Ramirez in the eighth, a shot to left-center that gave the A’s a little cushion.

After Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson combined on a scoreless eighth, former Giant closer Santiago Casilla got the call in the ninth and nailed down the save.

It figures that the A’s will need to win games often in this fashion — relatively low-scoring, with solid starting pitching and mistake-free work from the bullpen.

They got it on this night, and just like that, the A’s were the owners of a drama-free 1-0 record.

Starting pitching report: Graveman’s M.O. is getting early contact, inducing grounders and letting his defense work behind him. He did that to a degree, benefiting from two 6-4-3 double plays. But he also had seven strikeouts, pumping his fastball by several hitters and clocking as high as 97 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun. Graveman (1-0) reached 98 at one point during spring training, continuing a trend that saw his velocity rise throughout last season.

It was no surprise that the man who made him pay for his one mistake was Mike Trout. The reigning American League MVP smoked a 2-2 pitch for a two-run homer to left to give the Angels a 2-1 lead in the top of the third. Trout has terrorized the A’s like few have over the years. Monday’s blast was his 22nd homer in 95 career games against Oakland.

Bullpen report: Manager Bob Melvin said he would have more than one reliever closing games, going by matchups in the eighth and ninth innings. That played out in the opener, with Doolittle recording the first two outs of the eighth and then Madson being called upon for a righty-on-righty duel with the dangerous Trout. Trout doubled to the opposite field, but after Pujols was intentionally walked, Madson got C.J. Cron on a grounder. Casilla gave up a one-out walk in the ninth but finished things off.

At the plate: Last season, Davis didn’t notch his first homer until the A’s 16th game. That was part of a miserable start to his first season in Oakland, before he caught fire and never really cooled off the rest of the year. He jumped on the first pitch from Nolasco in the bottom of the sixth and launched it over the wall in left to snap a 2-2 tie. The A’s got their first run on Stephen Vogt’s homer in the second. After Trout’s blast put the Angels up 2-1, Yonder Alonso’s bloop single in the fifth scored Jed Lowrie to knot it up.

He had just the second two-homer night by an Athletic on Opening Day in Oakland hisotry. Jason Giambi did it in 2000.

In the field: The A’s turned in an errorless performance with a couple nice plays from their new outfielders. Right fielder Matt Joyce made a sliding catch after a long run into foul territory on C.J. Cron’s pop up in the second. Later in the game, Rajai Davis ran down Albert Pujols’ drive to the wall in left-center in the sixth.

Attendance: A sellout crowd of 36,067 greeted Henderson with a loud ovation as he was introduced and walked through a gate in center field

Up next: Sean Manaea (7-9, 3.86 last season) takes the ball Tuesday night, opposed by right-hander Matt Shoemaker (9-13, 3.88). It will be Shoemaker’s first regular-season start since he was struck in the head by a liner last September that required brain surgery. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Curry Drops 42 on Wizards, Warriors Win 11th Straight]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 21:14:32 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/curry-wizards-april2-2017-usatsi.jpg


OAKLAND -- The Warriors’ win streak is at 11 and the magic number dropped to three Sunday after a 139-115 victory over the Washington Wizards at Oracle Arena.

The victory puts the Warriors (63-14) in a tie with the Chicago Bulls (1995-98) for the most wins over a three-year period with 203.

Stephen Curry poured in 42 points -- the 26th time he has scored at least 40 in a game -- to lead the offense. Klay Thompson dropped in 23 points, Shaun Livingston added a season-high 17, and David West and JaVale McGee each added 10.

Draymond Green finished with a triple-double, totaling 11 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors feasted off Washington turnovers, piling up 28 points off 15 giveaways, and shot 56.2 percent from the field while limiting the Wizards to 46.7-percent shooting.

The Warriors during their 11-game streak have held every opponent under 50 percent from the field.

Bradley Beal and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 20 points each to lead the Wizards (46-31), who concluded a five-game road trip with three straight losses.

STANDOUT PERFORMER: It has to be Curry, who played one of his most phenomenal games this season.

Curry’s line: 42 points (15 of 22 from the field, 9-of-14 beyond the arc, 3-of-3 from the line), eight assists, one steal and one turnover. He played 35 minutes and was plus-26 for the game.

Reaching the 30-point mark for the 18th time this season and the second time in the past four games, Curry also surpassed 300 3-pointers for the second consecutive season, the only player to do so.

TURNING POINT: After the Wizards closed within two, 55-53, with 2:11 left in the second quarter, the Warriors closed the half on a 12-4 run to take a 67-57 lead into intermission.

The Warriors pushed the lead as high as 22 (100-78) in the third quarter, and the Wizards got no closer than nine in the fourth before the Warriors closed with a 23-8 run.

INJURY UPDATE: Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L MCL sprain, tibial bone bruise) and F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Wizards: F Markieff Morris (R ankle sprain) was listed as questionable and upgraded to available.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Warriors return to action Tuesday night, when they play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Beat Canucks to End Skid, But Lose Thornton]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 18:47:20 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/hertl-goal-sharks-canucks-usatsi.jpg


One center finally got going, while another left the game early with what looked like a potentially concerning injury.

Tomas Hertl scored twice in the Sharks’ 3-1 win over Vancouver on Sunday at Rogers Arena, but Joe Thornton wasn’t able to play after a first period collision with Michael Chaput on which replays showed his left knee bending backwards.

There was no immediate word on the severity of Thornton’s injury.

The Sharks won for just the second time in their last 10 games (2-8-0), and snapped both a six-game road losing streak and eight-game losing streak against the Western Conference. They drew to within two points of Edmonton and Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, and are three points ahead of fourth-place Calgary. The Flames host the Ducks later on Sunday.

Hertl snapped a 16-game goal drought with two goals in the first period in less than two minutes.

After Drew Shore whiffed on a puck in the defensive zone, Hertl took control and pushed it to Jannik Hansen in front of the net. Hansen gave the puck to Mikkel Boedker, and Hertl poked in a Boedker rebound at the 11-minute mark.

Just one minute and 52 seconds later, Hertl potted another. Troy Stetcher blocked a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot from the point, and the puck went precisely to Hertl’s tape in the circle for an easy conversion past Ryan Miller.

Shortly after that, though, Thornton got hurt. He crumpled to the ice and made his way to the bench, but fell over once he got behind the bench and struggled mightily to get up the tunnel to the dressing room. The Sharks are already without Logan Couture, who took a puck to the face on March 25 in Nashville and has not played since.

There wasn’t much action after that until late in regulation. Sven Baertschi scored with 3:53 to go in the third period to cut the Sharks’ lead in half, as his knuckle puck somehow snuck through Martin Jones off of a Vancouver faceoff win by Bo Horvat.

The Canucks pressured late with Miller pulled, but Jones denied Horvat with about half a minute to go, and Patrick Marleau scored into an empty net on a shot from deep in the Sharks’ end that trickled in with three seconds left.

The game marked the first trip back to Vancouver for longtime Canucks forward Hansen, who was acquired by the Sharks just before the trade deadline. Hansen drew an early hooking minor on Nikita Tryamkin, who prevented Hansen from making a move on a breakaway and probably should have resulted in a penalty shot.

The Sharks have won all four meetings against the Canucks in regulation. They play for the fifth and final time at SAP Center on Tuesday in the second of a home-and-home.

Vancouver lost its fourth in a row, and is just 2-9-2 in its last 13.

Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Bumgarner Breaks Giants Mark for Most Career HRs by Pitcher]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 20:39:31 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/madbum-0402.jpg


Update: Bumgarner now has 16 career home runs with a solo shot off Andrew Chafin in the top of the seventh inning.


After winning two straight Silver Slugger awards, Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner missed out on another one last season. 

On Opening Day, the slugging ace already started his campaign for a third selection as the National League's top hitting pitcher. Leading off the fifth inning, Bumgarner hit a line shot off D'backs starting pitcher Zack Greinke over the left field wall. He now has two career home runs against the 2009 Cy Young winner.

Bumgarner, who is entering his eighth full season in the bigs, has now hit 15 career home runs, tying him for the most ever by a Giants pitcher. He joins Johnny Antonelli and Hal Schumacher on the franchise's all-time list. 

Antonelli played on the Giants in both New York and San Francisco from 1954-1960. Schumacher donned a Giants jersey strictly in New York from 1931-1942 and then again in 1946. 

Bumgarner's blast came off his bat at 112 miles per hour according to Statcast. It is the hardest hit home run from a Giants batter since September of 2015, and the ball left the yard in only 4.3 seconds. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Bullpen Blows Bumgarner's Historic Opening Day]]>Sun, 02 Apr 2017 21:09:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-663832520_594_screen.jpg

PHOENIX — You couldn’t have written a stranger path to the bottom of the ninth in Sunday’s season opener, but after two home runs by the ace, a brief shot at history, a quick meltdown and a familiar blown save, the Giants finally got the lead to their new $62 million closer.

Mark Melancon failed his first test.

The new closer gave up two runs in the ninth as the Giants fell 6-5 to the Diamondbacks, wasting a tremendous performance from Madison Bumgarner. Melancon gave up a double and two singles before Chris Owings knocked a flare into right to walk it off.

Melancon had blown just 10 saves the previous three seasons. The Giants gave leads up in the eighth and the ninth.

For five innings, it looked like this one would go down as one of the most memorable season debuts in MLB history. Bumgarner flirted with a perfect game before settling for becoming the first pitcher to hit two homers on opening day.

Bumgarner opened his ninth big league season by retiring the first nine on just 29 pitches, including three straight strikeouts in the second. Through five innings, Bumgarner had thrown 54 pitches. His cutter was as good as it’s always been. The curveball had perfect depth. His fastball, which topped out at 93 mph a year ago, sat at 94 mph for long stretches.

Just for good measure, Bumgarner padded an early lead with a laser shot of a homer off Zack Greinke in the fifth. The homer was the first of the season in the National League and left the park at 112.5 mph, a record for a pitcher in the Statcast era.

Bumgarner’s bid ended with one out in the sixth, when Jeff Mathis pulled a triple just inside the third base line. A 3-0 lead would also dissipate in a hurry. Nick Ahmed got the Diamondbacks on the board with a single and A.J. Pollock stunned the Giants and tied the game with a two-run homer just out of the reach of left fielder Gorkys Hernandez.

Bumgarner had boiled over earlier in the game, snapping at himself when Paul Goldschmidt lofted a pitch to the warning track. If there was any anger after the three-run rally, it didn’t show. Bumgarner finished out the inning with a pair of strikeouts and then went about putting the lead back in his hands.

On a 2-0 count in the top of the seventh, Bumgarner smashed an Andrew Chafin fastball deep into the left field seats. The no-doubter gave Bumgarner 16 career homers, a franchise record for a pitcher. It also left the park at over 112 mph, meaning Bumgarner now has the two hardest-hit homers by a Giant in the last two seasons.

Bumgarner handed a lead over to the bullpen in the eighth, and last year’s problem immediately popped up. Derek Law gave up three consecutive hits and the lead before Ty Blach (double play) and Hunter Strickland (groundout) got out of the jam.

Panik opened the top of the ninth by driving a triple off the wall in center. He strolled home on Conor Gillaspie’s sacrifice fly to center. The Giants loaded the bases, but they wouldn’t give Melancon any additional breathing room.

Starting pitching report: Bumgarner’s final line: 7 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks, 11 strikeouts. A year after setting a franchise record for a lefty by striking out 251, Bumgarner looks poised to shoot past that number.

Bullpen report: It is with great sadness that I report it is happening again.

At the plate: Bumgarner has now taken two pitchers deep multiple times: Greinke and Clayton Kershaw.

In the field: Bruce Bochy showed that he won’t hesitate to pull Jarrett Parker if the matchup dictates. Gorkys Hernandez pinch-hit against a lefty and stayed in on defense, although he had a shaky run.

Attendance: The Diamondbacks announced a crowd of 49,016 human beings who watched the NL designated hitter die.

Up next: Johnny Cueto makes his first start of his second season with the Giants. He’ll face left-hander Patrick Corbin, which should bring Chris Marrero into the lineup.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SF Giants Announce Multi-Year Extensions for Krukow, Kuiper]]>Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:59:28 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/169*120/155065868_8.jpg

The San Francisco Giants have made a habit of announcing extensions at the annual Play Ball Lunch. This year's announcement focused on the broadcast booth.

Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper have signed multiyear extensions, team president and CEO Larry Baer announced Friday.

"It's hard to overstate what Mike and Duane bring to the community," Baer said. "It's much more than broadcasting. It's a connection."

Krukow will cut back his road schedule this season. Former Giants Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez will pick up games in NL Central and NL East parks.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Manaea Hangs Tough With Cueto as Giants Beat A's]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 23:50:26 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/manaea.jpg

Oakland youngster Sean Manaea pitched four perfect innings during a scoreless duel with Johnny Cueto before the San Francisco Giants beat the Athletics 3-0 in the preseason Bay Bridge Series opener Thursday night.

Brandon Crawford's seventh-inning single put San Francisco ahead.

Manaea struck out two, throwing 31 of 43 pitches for strikes, and was thrilled with his spring finale after striving for consistency from Day One when pitchers and catchers arrived in Arizona.

Bring on Mike Trout and the big hitters next week. The 25-year-old Manaea can't wait for the next challenge in beginning his first full major league season.

"Today was a good indicator of where I am mentally and physically," said Manaea, the team's No. 2 starter. "I'm really happy with how tonight went. It's a really nice outing to end spring training with."

Cueto, an 18-game winner in his first season with San Francisco a year ago, allowed six hits and struck out two in five scoreless innings.

He was relaxed and in rhythm while throwing all his pitches, sporting that big grin back in his home ballpark, and even picked off last season's AL stolen base leader, Rajai Davis.

"He runs fast. It feels good when you get him out," Cueto said. "It didn't feel like a spring training game. It felt like a regular-season game."

John Axford relieved Manaea in the fifth.

The Giants got four straight hits against Liam Hendriks in the seventh, when Eduardo Nunez singled in a run and Joe Panik hit a sacrifice fly. New closer Mark Melancon finished with a 1-2-3 ninth.

San Francisco won for just the seventh time in its last 26 spring training games against the A's, who have won nine straight meetings in Arizona - two this year.

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has moved lockers to the opposite corner of the clubhouse. He says he made the switch to check out new scenery.

FAMILIAR FACE: Giants first baseman Brandon Belt figured he would catch up with Santiago Casilla in the clubhouse, but then it dawned on him: The right-handed reliever is now with the A's after seven seasons with San Francisco.

Belt asked him to throw a fastball.

Casilla responded by asking Belt to make sure if he hit it, not to clear the fence or reach McCovey Cove.

"Just a base hit," Casilla cracked.

Casilla helped the Giants win three World Series titles _ in 2010, `12 and `14. His glove is still black with orange stitching, but that will be fixed soon.

Casilla was shown on the big screen in the middle of the second with his name and "Forever Giant." He smiled and tipped his green cap.

"It's a little hard," he said. "I've known these guys a lot of years and we've played together and won three World Series."

ROLLINS THE ODD MAN OUT: Giants general manager Bobby Evans informed INF Jimmy Rollins he won't make the team out of spring training and is waiting to hear back from him or his representatives about what options might be next. The 2007 NL MVP wasn't at the ballpark. The 38-year-old Rollins, who hoped to play at home in his native Bay Area for the first time after 17 major league seasons, was batting .119 (5 for 42) with eight strikeouts in 17 Cactus League games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Fall to Third in Pacific With Loss to Oilers]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 22:57:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/sharks-lose-ir-us_1.jpg


EDMONTON – Patrick Maroon scored twice, helping Edmonton take over sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division in a win over the Sharks at Rogers Place on Thursday, 3-2.
Connor McDavid added a goal and an assist, as the Oilers (43-25-9, 95 points) pushed San Jose (43-26-7, 93 points) down to third place. Each team has five games remaining, including one more head-to-head matchup next week.
It was a tale of two first periods, as the Sharks started strong but saw the Oilers respond to take a lead they would keep.
The Sharks came out with the territorial edge, capped off by a Jannik Hansen goal at 1:01, when he slipped in the rebound of a Paul Martin shot after some nice work by linemates Tomas Hertl and Mikkel Boedker. It was the second straight game Hansen opened the scoring.
San Jose kept up the pressure, recording 12 of the first 14 shots of the game.
Edmonton controlled play over the final half of the opening frame, though, and took a 2-1 lead.
First, Cam Talbot's long outlet pass during a Sharks line change resulted in a two-on-one, as McDavid fed Maroon for a goal at 10:22.
McDavid's first career shorthanded goal was dazzling. He blew past a flat-footed Patrick Marleau, and showed off his quick hands before roofing a backhand over Martin Jones at 17:28.
San Jose regrouped in the second period, outshooting the Oilers 14-6, but Marleau tipped a Justin Braun pass just wide on a two-on-none rush with about eight minutes to go. In the closing seconds, Marc-Edouard Vlasic turned the puck over at the Sharks' offensive blue line, and Leon Draisaitl rang his breakaway chance off of the post.
Maroon added insurance at 7:51 of the third. Tomas Hertl slid the puck to the stick of Kris Russell in the Edmonton offensive zone, and Maroon redirected Russell's floater to push the lead to 3-1.
The goal was needed, as Joe Pavelski redirected a Vlasic puck with 6:01 remaining.
Hansen had a Gordie Howe hat trick, assisting on Pavelski's goal and fighting Adam Larsson in the second period.
Special teams 
After scoring a power play goal in each of their last three games, the Sharks were 0-for-2 on Thursday night. Edmonton was 0-for-3, but scored its sixth shorthanded goal of the season.
The Sharks have allowed a shorthanded goal in three of their last four games, and a total of eight this season.
In goal
Starting his third straight game, Jones allowed three goals on 22 shots to fall to 33-21-6 on the season.
Talbot, who leads all NHL goalies in games and minutes by a wide margin, picked up his second straight win with 38 saves.
After serving his one-game suspension, Micheal Haley returned on the fourth line while rookie Kevin Labanc came out of the lineup.
On Thursday morning, head coach Pete DeBoer confirmed that Logan Couture (face) would miss the entire three-game road trip.
Up next
San Jose visits Calgary on Friday for the second of a back-to-back, in an attempt to increase its slim lead over the fourth place Flames. The Sharks are 1-2-0 against Calgary rivals this season, including a 3-2 loss at the Saddledome on Jan. 11.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Erase Early Woes for Big Win Over Spurs]]>Thu, 30 Mar 2017 00:05:54 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/steph-warriors-ir-us.jpg


The Warriors won their ninth consecutive game, and this one was profoundly more significant than the previous eight.

With a 110-98 win over the Spurs at AT&T Center in San Antonio Wednesday night, the Warriors took a giant step closer to achieving their goal of the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.

They now lead the Spurs by 3.5 games in the Western Conference. The magic number is five, meaning any combination of Warriors wins or San Antonio losses adding up to five would give the Warriors (61-14) the top seed throughout.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson tossed in 23, David West a season-high 15 and Andre Iguodala 14 as the Warriors, coming off a win at Houston on Tuesday, swept the toughest back-to-back set of the season.

Kawhi Leonard paced the Spurs (56-17) with 19 points, on 7-of-20 shooting. The Warriors offset a 42-34 rebounding disadvantage by limiting San Antonio to 41-percent shooting.


Curry carried a large measure of the scoring load, but Iguodala and West had terrific all-around games that included timely scoring.

Curry's line: 29 points (9-of-20 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line), 11 assists and three rebounds. He played 35 minutes and finished plus-6.

Iguodala's line: 14 points (6-of-9, 2-of-3 from deep), six rebounds, two steals and one assist. He played 30 minutes and was plus-17.

West's line: 15 points (7-of-11, 1-of-2 from deep), five assists, four rebounds and two blocks. He played 22 minutes and finished plus-23.


When the Spurs went up 43-29 on a jumper by Kawhi Leonard with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 16-2 run to pull into a 45-45 tie on a Shaun Livingston jumper with 3:29 left in the half.

That wiped out a deficit that had ranged as high as 22 points.

The Warriors took the lead for good 80 seconds into the second half. San Antonio got no closer than five in the fourth quarter.


Warriors: F/C James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) was listed as probable and made available. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) and F Kevon Looney (R hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Spurs: G Dejounte Murray (L groin strain) was listed as out.


The Warriors return to action Friday night, when they close out their season series with the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.

Photo Credit: Monte Poole]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Appear to Have Decided Between Hill Or Rollins]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:46:27 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rollins-hill.jpg

MESA, Ariz. -- Aaron Hill didn't play in the final Cactus League game, but he didn't need to. By simply being on the flight to San Francisco on Tuesday, Hill got good news. 

The veteran infielder was due a $100,000 bonus on Tuesday, and while the Giants haven't formally announced their roster, you don't pay a man that much money to come play three exhibition games against the A's. Hill appears to have made this club as a second backup infielder, along with Conor Gillaspie. Another veteran, Jimmy Rollins, got the news that the Giants are headed in a different direction. 

Team officials spoke with Rollins this week about their future plans. He was not on the travel roster Tuesday and did not attend the game against the Cubs. 

"We're waiting to hear back from him," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He knows the scenario and the situation. We're waiting to hear back."

Rollins, 38, showed the Giants that he can still handle shortstop defensively, and he was a quick learner when he moved to second. But he hit just .119, falling behind Hill, Kelby Tomlinson and others in the mix for bench spots. It would seem unlikely that Rollins would want to get additional at-bats in Triple-A, but that feeling hadn't been fully conveyed to team officials Tuesday. There was a hope that Rollins, an East Bay native, might join the team for the Bay Bridge Series, which finishes Saturday in Oakland. Rollins grew up an A's fan.

Rollins and Hill were part of a crowded infield group at the start of camp. Gordon Beckham also had a retention bonus and he asked to be released when he was told he wouldn't make the opening day roster. David Hernandez, the third player due a bonus, also was released. He promptly signed with the Atlanta Braves.

Photo Credit: Getty Images photos]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Post Ill-Timed Message For Season Ticketholders]]>Wed, 29 Mar 2017 01:20:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/raiders-web-0328-2017.jpg

One day after learning their team is leaving for Las Vegas, Raiders season ticketholders got an ill-timed message on the web from the team about placing deposits on seats at the new stadium in Vegas.

The message reads: "Place a $100 deposit today to reserve your spot in Raiders history."

It was a tough pill to swallow for some fans, one tweeting "The ink's not dry, our hearts ripped out and you ask for money to pour salt on our wound?"

Fans weren't the only ones frustrated by the Raiders relocating to the Las Vegas. After Tuesday night's Warriors game, Draymond Green gave his opinion, saying he feels bad for the city of Oakland, andthat if he was a fan, he wouldn't attend games for the next two seasons.

The Raiders are expected to stay in Oakland for at least two more seasons, possibly three, as the new Las Vegas stadium is constructed.

<![CDATA[Sharks Rally Late, Stun Rangers in OT to End Skid]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 23:52:22 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/burns-sharks-rangers-usatsi.jpg


SAN JOSE – Despite blowing a two-goal lead, the Sharks found a way to tie their game with the Rangers late and win it in overtime, 5-4, to end their losing streak at six games.

After New York had turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead, Chris Tierney knotted the score with just 2:15 left in regulation. Mikkel Boedker's shot from high in the zone rattled around the slot, and Tierney was there to flip it home for this second of the night.

Brent Burns ended a 16-game goal drought with a power play goal at 3:10 in overtime, overpowering Henrik Lundqvist with a slap shot.

After Tierney had given San Jose a 3-1 lead earlier in the second period the Sharks kept up the pressure, recording seven of the next eight shots. But Patrick Marleau's interference penalty on Jimmy Vesey gave New York a late power play and turned the game in their favor.

Derek Stepan – who was stopped on a partial breakaway midway through the first period – brought the Rangers back to within 3-2. Mats Zuccarello hummed a seam pass through Justin Braun to Stepan, who had an open net to deposit his 16th of the season in the final minutes of the second period.

In the third, Jesper Fast redirected a Brady Skjei floater at 1:24, tying the game at 3-3. A Burns tripping minor during four-on-four play offered a power play to the Rangers, and they capitalized on a J.T. Miller one-timer at 4:44, his second of the night.

The Sharks remain two points back of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division, and are tied with Edmonton for second.

For the first time in eight games the Sharks struck first. A newly configured third line of Tomas Hertl, Boedker and Jannik Hansen scored on its first shift together, as Hansen chopped in a loose puck at 1:44. Boedker and Hertl both got assists, ending pointless streaks of 10 games and 12 games, respectively.

Hansen's first goal as a Shark also gave the team its first lead in more than two weeks, as it never led throughout its six-game regulation losing streak.

The Rangers tied it at 13:30 of the first on a goal by Miller, who took the puck from Paul Martin along the wall and lifted a perfectly placed wrist shot over Martin Jones' near shoulder.

Melker Karlsson, returning from an eight-game absence, put the Sharks ahead 2-1 late in the first period with a shorthanded score. He whizzed a wrist shot past countryman Lundqvist at 18:01 while on a two-on-one with Tierney.

Tierney increased the lead to 3-1 in the middle frame, taking a shot from the slot and following up his own rebound at 11:38. It was just his second goal in the last 22 games, and eighth of the year.

The Rangers won the only other game of the season series back on Oct. 17 at Madison Square Garden, 7-4. The Sharks finished the season with a 21-7-4 mark against Eastern Conference clubs.

The Sharks were without Logan Couture, who is out indefinitely with a facial injury.

Special teams:
Two of New York's goals came on the power play, on three opportunities. The Sharks are 11-for-15 on the PK in the last six games.

San Jose had just one power play before overtime, failing to score. Karlsson's marker was his second shorthanded score of the season, and the Sharks' seventh as a team.

In goal:
After allowing a career high seven goals-against on Saturday in Nashville, Jones made 24 saves on 28 shots.

Lundqvist suffered the loss with 30 saves on 35 shots.

Micheal Haley served a one-game suspension for punching Nashville's Calle Jarnkrok on Saturday.

Tierney (upper body) and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (flu) both returned after missing Saturday's game with the Predators. Marcus Sorensen came out of the lineup for Kevin Labanc, who was recalled on Tuesday morning and skated on the top line.

New York's Skjei had three assists.

Up next:
The Sharks have six games remaining in the regular season – two each against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver.

A three-game road trip against each of those division rivals begins on Thursday with the Oilers, as the clubs battle for home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs, and continues on Friday against the Flames and Sunday versus the Canucks.

Photo Credit: Kevin Kurz]]>
<![CDATA[Kerr Makes NBA History With Warriors' Win in Houston]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 23:46:42 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/kerr-lookingup-ap.jpg

Steve Kerr continues to re-write the record books.

The Warriors' 113-106 victory in Houston on Tuesday was Kerr's 200th win of his brief coaching career.

The milestone victory comes in just his 238th game as a head coach, making him the fastest coach to 200 career wins.

Hall of Fame Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson held the previous record at 200 wins in 270 games.

In Kerr's three seasons as the coach of the Warriors, the team has won at least 60 games each year. Before the current three-year run, the Warriors never had a 60-win season in franchise history.


Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Leaders Consider Lawsuit Against Raiders]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:38:39 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/schaaf-davis-0328-2017.jpg

The next fight for the Raiders may be in a courtroom, as the city of Oakland is considering a lawsuit against the Silver and Black.

The issue: a $90 million stadium commitment by taxpayers.

The Oakland City Council was meeting in a private session Tuesday afternoon. It is looking at giving Raiders owner Mark Davis an ultimatum: Stay or pay back every dollar spent on a stadium deal in the fight to keep the team here.

NFL owners on Monday voted to approve the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, where a stadium plan and funding are in place.

But some aren't giving up on the Raiders staying in Oakland. Councilman Noel Gallo said even though the team got the necessary votes from NFL owners to move to Las Vegas, the Raiders don't have the legal right to leave.

"Everybody wants to leave town to make a dollar and leave the rest of us here in Oakland paying for their debt," Gallo said. "When the Raiders came here from LA, the voters voted for a $220 million bond to keep them here to build their stadium. We're still paying $90 million of that."

Gallo wants Davis to pay back every dollar the city invested to bring them back to Oakland from LA.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf agreed, insisting the city bent over backwards to keep the team.

"What bothered me the most is they just need to be honest," Schaaf said. "Oakland had a plan, Vegas had a plan. They choose Las Vegas."

Schaaf said the city feels betrayed.

"The Raiders are part of of our city's identity, our culture, our legacy; no other football team brings that," she said.

Some Raiders fans, however, say it's not the team but the city who dropped the ball.

"They should have had a stadium; then they would have been here for years," Patrick Secrease said.

The Raiders expect to play in their new Las Vegas stadium starting in 2020.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Roster Longshot Decker Could Claim Outfield Spot With A's]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 20:44:38 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jaff-decker-athletics-2017spring-ap.jpg

MESA, Ariz. - As the pieces are beginning to fit for the A's 25-man roster, Jaff Decker may be an unlikely feel-good story come Opening Night.

A non-roster invitee this spring, the journeyman has impressed with his all-around game to the point that he might make Oakland's club as a fifth outfielder.

There's other factors that play into it - how many relievers the A's carry will determine whether they keep five outfielders - but things are breaking right for the 27-year-old Decker, who's with his fourth organization and has never made an Opening Night roster.

When Jake Smolinski went down with a shoulder injury that required surgery, it thrust Decker into the competition. Then Monday, the A's released veteran Alejandro De Aza, who had impressed this spring but had an opt-out clause in his minor league deal. The A's think enough of Decker that they cut De Aza loose. On Monday, Decker returned from a minor oblique issue and started in left field, going 1-for-3 in a 10-3 loss to Kansas City.

"I'm super excited," Decker said. "I feel like I fit in well here, and I get along with the guys really well. It's a good group of baseball minds, baseball guys. I hope I have done enough and shown I'm healthy enough to land that spot."

De Aza hit .300 in 19 games and displayed the veteran savvy that seemed to make him a possible fit on the A's bench. Manager Bob Melvin expressed hope that De Aza might re-sign with the A's if he doesn't find a big league opportunity elsewhere.

But Decker, who bats left-handed as does De Aza, is hitting .308 and has his own attributes, including a strong arm and the ability to play all three outfield spots. It's a nice package of skills for a player who, at 5-foot-9 and 190 pounds, doesn't appear the prototypical big league outfielder at first glance.

If the A's keep seven relievers, they will take five outfielders into the regular season. The decision on a seventh reliever appears to be between lefty Daniel Coulombe and right-hander Frankie Montas. But the A's could hang on to both and only keep four outfielders, with Mark Canha being the fourth.

Decker fun fact: His first name is pronounced "Jeff." He's named after his uncle, whose first name was misspelled on his birth certificate. Decker's uncle kept the spelling.

MELVIN ON RAIDERS: Melvin, a Bay Area native who is quite tuned in to the history of local teams, weighed in on the Raiders announcing a move to Las Vegas. That news has a direct impact on the A's, obviously, as a co-tenant of the Coliseum with the Raiders.

"It's too bad," Melvin said. "Like us, they have a rich tradition and unbelievable fan base. They're well supported in the Bay Area. It's tough to have to deal with it."

NOTEWORTHY: In his first start since being named part of the rotation, Andrew Triggs struggled mightily against the Royals, getting tagged for eight runs and three homers in 3 2/3 innings. While stressing that now is no time for complacency in his position, Triggs also said he was approaching the game differently than if it were the regular season. He kept throwing his changeup, his fourth best pitch, in an effort to get more comfortable with it.

"If this were (the regular season), we probably would have said in the first or second inning, this wasn't so great, and gone out there and started back-dooring cutters and working off the sinker," he said. "But we made a concerted effort to work on a pitch, it wasn't very good, and the results showed that."

FAMILIAR FACE: One of the homers off Triggs came from former Athletic Brandon Moss, who connected for a two-run shot in the fourth. The outfielder signed a two-year, $12 million contract with the Royals in the offseason.

ODDS AND ENDS: Coulombe had a great day, tossing three scoreless innings. That's three outings in a row without allowing a run for the lefty after a rough patch before that. Melvin pointed out that the ability to throw multiple innings will be important if Coulombe makes the team. … Matt Chapman homered in the fifth, his third long ball of the spring. He's hitting .261 and playing stellar defense. "He's got a lot of enthusiasm and it rubs off on guys," Melvin said.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Big Game for Veteran Trying to Lock Up Job With Giants]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 19:18:55 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gorkys-giants-reds-2017spring-ap.jpg

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - For the first time, Gorkys Hernandez did not go back to Venezuela in the offseason to play winter ball. He's hoping that leads to another first. 

Hernandez has never made an opening day roster, but after breaking into the Giants' outfield rotation last season, he entered the winter in a decent shot. To bolster his case, Hernandez stayed in Scottsdale over the offseason to work out at the minor league facility. The added strength didn't lead to any notable results over the first month of games, but Hernandez broke through Monday with three doubles in the final home game of the spring.

"Sometimes (slumps) happen and sometimes you're late (on pitches) and you don't feel comfortable at the plate, but now I feel different. I feel better," Hernandez said. "I'm recognizing pitches and trying to keep it simple and not do too much."

The coaching staff has asked several players to head down to the minor league facility late in the spring and get additional at-bats, and Hernandez took Bruce Bochy up on the offer. He twice played in minor league games, and on Sunday he rotated into different games so he could get six at-bats. Hernandez said that helped him find his timing. 

"Without question, it helped his timing," Bochy said. "He was off. He was getting out front, his timing was off. I think the at-bats he got paid off."

The three-double day was perfectly timed. Hernandez entered with a .159 average and Justin Ruggiano, the other option as a backup center fielder, had started to put together better at-bats. Monday's game was a reminder in more ways than one. Hernandez showed off the type of speed the Giants won't have on the bench if Kelby Tomlinson is optioned, and he played all three outfield positions, switching from left to right to center. 

The role in play is one Gregor Blanco had for five seasons. The Giants would like Hernandez to be their defensive whiz at every outfield spot, and they're light on true center fielders. If the Giants put Hernandez on the roster this week as expected, he'll be ready to try and be the new Blanco. 

"If they give me that role, I'll try to do the same thing," he said. "Or better."

THE ACE: Madison Bumgarner is going to Madison Bumgarner. He threw seven sharp innings Monday, lowering his spring ERA to 2.52. In 25 innings, he has allowed just 17 hits and struck out 23. Bochy appreciated Bumgarner's intensity Monday against a Reds team that was filled with minor leaguers. 

"That's what makes him so good," Bochy said. "He takes every outing seriously. His preparation doesn't waver."

Bumgarner even added a single, and he liked that it came on a breaking ball. He's worked on getting better at hitting those pitches, which he's seeing more and more. 

"I feel I'm as ready as I can be to start the season," Bumgarner said. 

His next pitch will be thrown Sunday at Chase Field. 

GAME RECAP: The Giants blasted poor Reds starter Cody Reed, hanging 10 runs on his line in 3 2/3 innings. Denard Span had two hits and Aaron Hill had three, driving in three runs. Bochy went with an interesting lineup, leading off with Span, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. He said he likes Crawford in that five-spot. He also plans to hit the pitcher eighth on occasion.

TRAINER'S ROOM: Joe Panik was drilled by a fastball in the lower back and he came out of the game as a precaution. Panik has a nasty welt, so he's in for a night of ice, but there are no concerns. 

QUOTABLE: Posey turned 30 today. As he walked out to stretch, Bumgarner was asked if he was giving Posey a hard time. "No, he's been 30 for the last seven years," Bumgarner said.


Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Leaders React to NFL's Approval of Raiders Move]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:50:18 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/schaaf-raiders-0327-2017.jpg

Oakland city leaders were feeling the sting and feeling slighted Monday after the NFL owners approved the Raiders' relocation to Las Vegas.

Local politicians said they had been working hard on keeping the Raiders in Oakland and wasted no time criticizing the decision, as well as the team itself. They said owner Mark Davis appeared to have made up his mind about the move long ago.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, visibly angry, spoke just minutes after the NFL vote, saying Davis did not give her city a chance.

"The Raiders ceased all communications with the city of Oakland," she said. "He is always polite to me, never rude or disrespectful, but I do think the manly thing for him to do is to admit we had a viable plan and that he made a choice."

As the Oakland A's flag was cheered at the annual raising on the roof of City Hall, city leaders made it clear they're ticked at the Silver and Black.

"I don't want them now; they can go down to Santa Clara and play," City Council President Larry Reid said about the Raiders. "They don't want us. We busted our tails. They didn't engage with the city of Oakland."

As for the A's, who will soon have Oakland to themselves, team president Dave Kaval said his team shouldn’t be seen as the scapegoat some are painting them out to be.

"We're definitely not happy to see them go," Kaval said. "I mean, it's a very sad moment. We think the fans in the East Bay and Bay Area are tremendous. The A's are a key part of that, and the Raiders have a part of that history as well."

Davis has said if any Raiders season ticketholder wants a refund, he will grant it.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Fans at Ricky's Sports Bar Join in Sorrow, Anger]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 23:52:06 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/rickys-0327-2017.jpg

A slew of Raiders fans gathered at Ricky's sports bar Monday to share in the sorrow and disappointment they were feeling after the NFL approved the team's relocation to Las Vegas.

The owner of Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro said his establishment will continue to support the team, no matter where they play home games. And some fans were feeling the same way.

"My dad took me to my first game when I was 5 years old," said Nancy Battilana, who was celebrating a birthday Monday while mourning the loss of her favorite team, calling it the "worst birthday present I’ve ever had."

Battilana said she won’t pay to see the Raiders play in Las Vegas, but she will cheer them on from home, something heard often around Ricky's on Monday.

Still, others were feeling angry and bitter about the Raiders' impending departure. Rob Rivera, president of the Black Hole Fan Club, said he’s already heard an overwhelming response from season ticketholders who are planning to cash out.

"A big part of our soul has just been damaged and taken away," he said. "There was an option here in Oakland, with the most loyal fans in the NFL, and you guys just ripped that away, with no heart."

Mark Acasio, who is known as "Gorilla Rilla," has had season tickets for 21 years.

"My stomach just dropped," he said. "It's like my girlfriend cheated on me, my wife cheated on me."

Season ticketholders Gary and Nancy Dowell agreed: "This was a big part of our lives they're going to be taking away from us."

Ken Webb, known as "Afro Deesiac," is a 15-year season ticketholder.

"I'm old enough to remember the first time they left," he said. "There's only so much you can take."

The Raiders still have two or three more seasons at the Coliseum, and fans are mixed on what they'll do next.

"I paid for my season tickets this year, and then I'm not buying them next year or the year after that," said Debbie White, a season ticketholder since 2012.

"I just can't go to that stadium and pretend everything's great," Webb said. "I just can't do that."

Andy Dolich, a former NFL and NBA executive who's dealt with moving franchises before, said he expects fans will show up.

"Ultimately, I think the majority of fans, based upon the way the team is playing, even with their frustration and their anger, will be coming to games at the Oakland Coliseum," Dolich said.

Some fans said the NFL's decision will make them think twice before tuning in on game day. And while some fans make new plans for Sundays in the fall, there are even a few die-hards that say the fight isn’t over yet.

"Stadium deals are very complicated," said Chris Fry-Lopez, vice president of Save Oakland Sports. "So, for the most part, I’m very sad today, but I’m not done fighting to keep the Raiders in Oakland."

Save Oakland Sports said it is working on a couple of ideas to keep the team in Oakland but added that it isn't ready to announce anything yet.

Raiders owner Mark Davis has said if any Raiders season ticketholder wants a refund, he will grant it.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Approves Raiders' Relocation to Las Vegas]]>Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:36:34 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/las-vegas-raiders.jpg

NFL owners on Monday gave the Oakland Raiders the green light to move from their current home in the East Bay to Las Vegas.

The relocation move was approved by 31 of the league's 32 owners during meetings in Phoenix.

"My father used to say that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future, and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is one opportunity that will give us the ability to achieve that greatness," Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, said.

Davis added that he has "mixed feelings" about the relocation, and he understands the anger that some fans of the Raiders most likely feel.

"I just hope that in the future as we play in Oakland this year that (the fans) understand it wasn't the players, it wasn't the coaches that made this decision, but it was me that made it," Davis said. "If they have anyone to talk to about it, it should be me. I will, in the coming days, try to explain to them what went in to making this difficult decision."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called Monday's announcement "very disappointing news."

"I'm very sad today for the 'Raider Nation,'" she said. "These are the most dedicated, passionate, good-hearted fans that any city could be proud to call theirs. That is what makes my heart so heavy."

With no stadium in place to greet them, it is not exactly clear at this point when the Raiders will pack their bags for Las Vegas. The Raiders maintain one-year stadium lease options in Oakland for the next two seasons. Davis added that the team could even still play in the East Bay during the 2019 campaign as well if the Las Vegas stadium is still in the works.

"We're still the Oakland Raiders and we are the Raiders and we represent the 'Raider Nation,'" Davis said.

Oakland season-ticket holders disappointed about the owners' decision will be allowed to refund their tickets if they so choose, Davis added.

The Raiders' proposal to the NFL included a $1.9 billion stadium plan in "Sin City." A total of $750 million in public funds via a Las Vegas hotel tax along with $500 million from the team and the NFL will be used to fund the construction of the domed arena. Bank of America, the Raiders' new chief financial backer, will also contribute funds.

The fact that no physical stadium location in Las Vegas had been officially determined and no stadium lease had been put into writing could have derailed the relocation proposal, but owners did not appear to find issue with those potential roadblocks.

In the days leading up to Monday's vote, Oakland went "all in" in hopes of enticing the franchise to stick with its original home.

Mayor Schaaf over the weekend backed a plan to construct a new $1.3 billion home for the Raiders on 55 acres of immediately available land just south of the Coliseum.

The East Bay city was slated to chip in $200 million to build the public infrastructure and pay for the preparation of the stadium site, according to Schaaf. Oakland's general fund would not have been tapped into to pay for the build. Rather, construction would have been paid off using revenue generated at the venue. Schaaf reiterated that $600 million in private funds would have come from the Fortress Investment Group and NFL Hall of Hamer and 49ers legend Ronnie Lott.

Mayor Schaaf on Monday once again stated that Oakland's stadium plan was a "fully financed, shovel-ready project."

The last-minute proposal was submitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week, but it appears the effort was not enough to turn heads.

Over the weekend, Goodell wrote a letter, which was obtained by Bay Area News Group, to Schaaf indicating that the plan "does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies."

He backed that sentiment up Monday afternoon by claiming that the NFL worked "tirelessly" to resolve stadium issues in Oakland for roughly 10 years, but a substantial and well-rounded solution never materialized.

"The points that we always put back to Oakland were we need certainty on a viable plan that will work for the community and the team long term," he said. "It had to be actionable. We understand that contingencies sometimes occur, but major contingencies that put the entire project into doubt are just unreasonable in a case like this."

Davis added that Oakland did not do nearly enough to express its long-term commitment to the Raiders, especially after the Raiders were prevented from returning to Los Angeles last year.

"Oakland had the opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league and they came in with a five-page piece of paper that had nothing to do with anything," he said. "They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the vote and come back and then they'd have all the leverage."

The Raiders came up short in that vote. The organization's leaders returned to Oakland and managed to negotiate a one-year lease at the Coliseum with two years of options, according to Davis. Both sides then planned to discuss long-term stadium ideas in the near future, but that never happened.

"A week later I got a call from one of the county board of supervisors telling me, 'Mark, I'm sorry, but the lease that we just negotiated, the three years of leases, are not going to be valid. We're going to raise the rent three times on you,'" Davis said. "At that point, we ended up signing that lease anyway, but then we decided we have to start looking elsewhere to see if we could find a long-term solution."

At that point, the Raiders and the city of Oakland halted communication with the exception of one meeting, according to Schaaf. She did admit that she understands Davis' frustrations with being unable to negotiate a long-term deal with Oakland for the past decade, but she also made sure to criticize him for not taking Oakland's latest stadium plan into consideration.

"I do think that the manly thing for him to do is at least admit that (Oakland) had a viable plan and that he made a choice," she said.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[A's Maxwell Hits Two HRs But Won't Make It to Oakland]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:21:04 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/maxwell-mask-ap.jpg

PHOENIX - Bruce Maxwell homered twice against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, and his reward was a demotion to the minors.

Awkward timing, for sure. But the news itself wasn't much of a shock to the A's catcher, who knew he was the odd man out in a three-man roster battle. The A's like the left-right platoon behind the plate. Stephen Vogt, who like Maxwell hits left-handed, wasn't going anywhere. Josh Phegley is back healthy after knee surgery and has the advantage of being a right-handed hitter.

"I mean, I could have come out here and hit 1.000 and I probably still would have been in the same situation," Maxwell said. "I can't really do much about it. I try not to worry about it. At the end of the day everybody wants to play in the big leagues, but if the opportunity is not there you can't stress about it."

Manager Bob Melvin gave Maxwell the news in the dugout after he exited Oakland's 11-1 victory, and Melvin certainly couldn't give Maxwell a justifiable reason for the demotion except that the roster math doesn't add up.

"Great day to have to do that," Melvin said sarcastically. "But, he'll be here at some point. We saw his progression last year, he did a great job for us. There's nothing he did to suggest he needed to be sent down. It's just a numbers game for him right now."

The A's batted around in a five-run third, knocking Brewers starter Matt Garza from the game after he recorded just seven outs. They tacked on four more in the fourth, with Maxwell going deep to left-center for a two-run homer off Jhan Marinez. In the sixth, he hit a solo shot off Corey Knebel to right-center and also added a run-scoring single to complete his four-RBI day.

Melvin has spoken often of the improving power shown by the 26-year-old Maxwell, who hit .283 with a homer and 14 RBI in 33 games with Oakland last season in his first major league call-up.

"If you look at the power numbers over the years, he's getting better and better," Melvin said. "He's got the chance to be a 20-home run guy in the big leagues."

NOTEWORTHY: Jharel Cotton held Milwaukee to just a run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He bounced back from a wobbly start against Seattle in which he walked five. On Sunday, his toughest challenge was staying loose as the A's offense put up two time-consuming rallies. Twice, Cotton had to play catch while his teammates paraded around the bases.

But it sure didn't affect him, as he struck out seven and walked one in his second-to-last spring training start.

"This one, I was more on the attack, using my fastball more so I can set up my changeup and off-speed pitches," Cotton said. "I know everybody raves about the changeup, but I need my fastball to be there so I can throw that pitch off the fastball."

He had an entertaining ongoing battle with six-time All-Star Ryan Braun. He struck out Braun on a cutter in the first, gave up a homer to left in the fourth, then battled back from a 3-0 count to get Braun swinging through a fastball in the sixth.

"I got him twice, he got me once," Cotton said. "I think I won that battle today."

HEALTH UPDATE: Daniel Mengden, who has missed all of spring with a broken right foot, is scheduled to get his walking boot removed Monday. Mengden said he'll stay in Arizona for anywhere from two to four weeks, taking part in extended spring training. The good news for the right-hander: He's been able to play catch while wearing the boot, so that's a bit of a head-start for him once he gets full mobility with his foot. There's no timetable yet for his return.

ODDS AND ENDS: The A's knocked out 16 hits and recorded double-digit runs for the fifth time this spring. They improved to 16-12. … Alejandro De Aza, fighting for an outfield roster spot, went 2-for-3 with an RBI to raise his average to .300. … With few regulars making the trip to Maryvale Baseball Park, second baseman Max Schrock came over from minor league camp and once again made an impact, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. … John Axford threw a scoreless inning of relief. Frankie Montas handled the final two innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and a walk. The hard-throwing prospect is a candidate for the bullpen as a multi-inning guy.

Photo Credit: Joe Stiglich]]>
<![CDATA[Bonds Dusts Off Swing, Cracks HR During BP at Giants Camp]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:21:17 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bonds-giants-2017spring-usatsi.jpg

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants knew Barry Bonds would step back into the box at some point. It happened Sunday, with Bonds taking a few cracks at BP pitches from Gary Davenport.

Bonds warmed up with a couple of lighter swings and then blasted a homer to deep right. That was enough, as the 52-year-old walked away with a big smile on his face. 

Bonds is in camp as a special instructor, and he still picks his spots to show off his legendary swing. When he was the Marlins' hitting coach last season, he beat slugger Giancarlo Stanton in an impromptu home run derby.

Photo Credit: Alex Pavlovic]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Tame Grizzlies Behind Strong Second Half]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:06:40 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors-ir-ap.jpg

OAKLAND -- There was plenty of tension and more than a few pulse-stopping moments, but the Warriors found a way to win their seventh consecutive game.

The Warriors’ 106-94 victory Sunday over the admirably recalcitrant Memphis Grizzlies was a work in persistence and overcome moments in which the worst of their work was on full display before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scored 31 points to lead the offense. Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 11 assists, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Matt Barnes finished with 10 as the Warriors evened the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-2.

The Warriors (59-14) fought off numerous Memphis rallies but turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Grizzlies to 13 points on 5-of-25 (20 percent) shooting over the final 12 minutes.

The Warriors offset 18 turnovers, giving the Grizzlies 16 point, by shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

Mike Conley scored 29 points to lead Memphis, which fell to 40-33.


As good as the Splash Brothers were, and they were superb, it was Iguodala’s play at both ends that made a major difference.

Iguodala’s line: 20 points (7-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 32 minutes and was plus-9 for the game.


After the Grizzlies pulled into an 81-81 tie with 25.2 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to go up 96-86 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 4:57 remaining.

Memphis got no closer than nine in the final minutes.


Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) was listed as out. C Deyonta Davis and F Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.


The Warriors travel Monday to Houston, where on Tuesday night they face the Rockets at Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

Photo Credit: Associated Press]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Re-Issue Ticket Fraud Warning, Treat Some Victims]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 19:06:13 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/warriors+arena-0326-2017.jpg

Imagine the sinking feeling: You've paid hundreds of dollars for tickets to a Golden State Warriors game and then you're turned away at the gate because your tickets are counterfeit.

That scenario has played out for more than a thousand fans this season, Warriors officials said. As recent as Sunday night, 20 people who showed up for a game against the Memphis Grizzlies got the awful news that their tickets were no good, the team said.

So the Warriors took the opportunity to remind people once again about the dangers of buying tickets from second and third parties. They also gave some of the unsuspecting fans a treat Sunday, randomly selecting some of the victims of those ticket scams and seats inside one of two VIP suites for the game against Memphis.

Some of those fans were among 58 who were sent home with bad tickets on March 8 when the Boston Celtics were in town. That night was one of the worst on record for ticket fraud, the Warriors said.

The team also flew in a little boy and his mother from Atlanta for Sunday's game. The two Warriors fans enjoyed first-class accomodations and courtside seats, compliments of the team, after they got burned in a ticket scam earlier this season.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Head to NFL Meetings Looking for Las Vegas Approval]]>Sun, 26 Mar 2017 22:58:01 -0700http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mark-davis-vegas-ap.jpg

PHOENIX -- All signs point to the Raiders being approved for relocation to Las Vegas. It could happen as early as Monday, when the topic will be discussed at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. It could be Tuesday. Or in May. Or at any point in a conference call.

The timing is less important than the ultimate outcome. The when is uncertain. The what seems likely, though not guaranteed, at this stage.

The Raiders need 24 of 32 approval votes to relocate and start construction on new digs.

The Raiders have presented a solid application to the NFL, centered on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas that includes $750 million in public funds for stadium construction. Bank of America, who is financing the project, is expected to loan the Raiders money to complete a financing plan that includes the public contribution and $500 million from the team and the NFL.

The Sports Business Journal reported on Sunday that the estimated stadium cost has dropped to $1.7 billion, and will receive $200 million in infrastructure improvements not included in their construction contribution.

League sources continue to say approval is expected. There is great confidence within the Raiders organization a vote will go their way.

Some issues remain, though none are significant roadblocks. A stadium lease hasn't been finalized and a site hasn't been formally announced – it's reportedly set for a spot just off the Las Vegas Strip near Russell Road – so approval would likely come with conditions that could be met in time.

The Raiders worked a sweetheart deal that mines significant money from the public. They don't have investors with direct ties to gambling. And, as important as anything else, the NFL doesn't believe Oakland has a viable plan to keep the Raiders in an otherwise attractive, booming market.

That includes the latest proposal from the Oakland and financial partner Fortress Investments announced on Friday that makes certain concessions aimed at getting the Raiders back to the table.

The Silver and Black haven't worked with East Bay officials in more than as year, as they've shifted complete focus to their Las Vegas quest.

The revised Oakland plan didn't move the needle, a league executive said. That point was made crystal clear in a letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.

"The material that we reviewed earlier today confirms certain information that had previously been communicated orally, such as a willingness to bring bank financing to a stadium project, and a proposed valuation of the land at the Coliseum site," Goodell wrote in a letter obtained by Bay Area News Group. "It also confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time. In that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies."

That virtually eliminates the prospect of Oakland planting doubt in NFL owners' minds heading into a pivotal discussion on the topic Monday at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It's possible the stadium and finance committee will make a formal recommendation on the Raiders application to relocate. That could precede a vote, and generally holds significant weight among undecided owners.

A league source said the new Oakland plan will be a talking point, though it may not be viewed in a flattering light. That's especially true in light of Goodell's letter.

"At this date, there remains no certainty regarding how the site will be fully developed, or the specific and contractually-defined nature of the participation by Fortress or other parties," Goodell wrote. "In addition, the long-term nature of the commitment to the A's remains a significant complication and the resolution of that issue remains unknown. Other significant uncertainties, which we have previously identified, remain unaddressed. We had hoped that the past two years would have allowed both of us to develop a viable project."

Photo Credit: Scott Bair]]>