<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.comen-usWed, 25 May 2016 00:40:35 -0700Wed, 25 May 2016 00:40:35 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[A's Fall to Mariners 6-5 on Walk-Off Homer]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 22:41:34 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-524.jpg

Down to their last out, the Seattle Mariners delivered a gut-wrenching defeat to the A’s on Tuesday night.

Leonys Martin hit a walk-off two-run homer off closer Ryan Madson in the bottom of the ninth to sink Oakland 6-5. That came after the A’s led 5-2 and transferred a one-run lead to Madson, who generally has been excellent this season but has blown his first two saves each in the past week.

It was the A’s first loss at Safeco Field in five games this year, and it seemed they were on their way to another win.

After being swept by the Yankees in four games, Oakland had rebounded by taking Monday’s series opener from first-place Seattle.

For the second consecutive night, the A’s built a lead with a four-run rally. Nine players went to the plate in the sixth as the A’s knocked out five hits and turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead. Robinson Cano’s two-run homer off John Axford in the eighth cut the deficit to 5-4.

Coco Crisp led the offensive attack with three RBI for the A’s, homering in the third and doubling home two runs in the A’s four-run sixth. Starter Kendall Graveman went just 4 1/3 innings, as Rich Hill’s eight-inning outing the night before left manager Bob Melvin a fresh bullpen with which to work Tuesday.

Starting pitching report:

Graveman’s night ended with one out in the fifth, as Melvin came with a quick hook with two on and the A’s trailing 2-1. He summoned Daniel Coulombe to face Cano and get the lefty-on-lefty matchup, and Coulombe got the job done, stranding both runners. It was the second time in three days that Melvin was aggressive going to his bullpen with one of his young starters on the mound. On Sunday, he pulled Jesse Hahn in the sixth with two on, and Axford gave up the tying and go-ahead runs.

Graveman went 4 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out three. Cano got to him for an RBI double in the first, driving a low-and-away pitch that wasn’t poorly located, and Nelson Cruz singled home a run with two outs in the third that put Seattle up 2-1.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Continue Dominance of Padres With 8-2 Win ]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 22:42:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-524.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Before Tuesday’s game, manager Bruce Bochy shrugged when asked if he was concerned about a two-week slump by his lineup. The Giants were winning with pitching and defense, Bochy said, and that was just fine with a manager who figured the hitting would come around eventually.

Well, the lineup finally broke through — and once again the Giants got strong pitching and defense. It all added up to an 8-2 win over the Padres that was the 12th in 13 games for the Giants. The eight-run performance was the first for the lineup since a 9-6 win in Cincinnati on May 2.

Jeff Samardzija didn’t have any clean innings, but he didn’t really have any particularly tough ones, either. He put a runner on in each of the first five innings but didn’t allow a run until the sixth, when Jon Jay ambushed the first pitch of the frame and dropped a homer into the arcade section in right field.

The Giants led 1-0 at the time on Denard Span’s RBI single, and they would tack on a pair in the sixth. Joe Panik drew a leadoff walk and scored two batters later when Buster Posey smacked a double into the left field corner. Posey scored on Brandon Crawford’s single to right.

Samardzija wouldn’t make it out of the seventh, getting lifted after a single and walk with two outs. Josh Osich entered and made an error that loaded the bases. He went 3-2 on Alexi Amarista, but got an inning-ending grounder to second.

The Giants broke open a two-run game in the bottom of the eighth. Brandon Crawford hit a bases-clearing triple after a double and two walks, and Jarrett Parker followed that up with a two-run blast to dead center.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Thumped by Thunder in Game 4, Now on the Brink of Elimination]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 20:47:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/193*120/GettyImages-534066428_594_screen.jpg

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gone is the margin of error for the Warriors.

For the defending champions to avoid losing their crown, it’s going to take a three-game win streak against a team that has beaten them three times in four games over the past nine days.

The Warriors fell for the second consecutive time to Oklahoma City, taking a 118-94 loss in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night in the cauldron of sonic assault that is Chesapeake Energy Arena.

The Warriors now face a 3-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

Klay Thompson did his part to try to keep them close, scoring 19 of his 26 points in one third-quarter spurt. Harrison Barnes total 11 points, while Stephen Curry struggled mightily, scoring 19 points on 6-of-20 shooting from the field, 2-of-10 from 3-point distance.

The Warriors were outrebounded (56-40) and shot 11 fewer free throws (40-29) than the Thunder. The Warriors committed 21 turnovers, off which OKC scored 18 points.

The Warriors lost the two games in Oklahoma City by a combined score of 251-199.

All five Thunder starters scored in double figures, with Russell Westbrook leading the way with 36. Kevin Durant finished with 26, Serge Ibaka and Andre Roberson 17 apiece and Steven Adams added 11.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:

Thompson provided a pulse in the third quarter, scoring 19 consecutive Warriors points, single-handedly bringing them back into the game.

Thompson’s line: 26 points (9-of-17 from the field, 3-of-8 beyond the arc), two rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 28 minutes, finishing minus-14 for the game.

TURNING POINT:

After the Warriors cut the deficit to four, 44-40, with 6:39 remaining in the second quarter, the Thunder responded with a 22-6 run to go up 66-46 with 1:55 left in half.

The Warriors in the second half got as close as six (80-74, 4:48 left in the third quarter) before the Thunder pulled away again in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE:

Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) was listed as out and, along with F James Michael McAdoo (healthy), placed on the inactive list.

Thunder: No injuries listed. F Josh Huestis and F Mitch McGary were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:

Game 5 is set for Thursday at Oracle Arena, tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m.

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<![CDATA[Gwynn's Family Sues Tobacco Ind.]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 14:41:56 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/102871071.jpg

The tobacco industry used the late Tony Gwynn's addiction to chewing tobacco to turn him into a "walking billboard," his family alleges. 

"He never knew it but they were using him to promote their dip to the next generation of kids and fans who idolized him," Gwynn's daughter, Anisha Gwynn, said Tuesday in San Diego.

Gwynn’s family has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the tobacco industry, claiming the San Diego Padres legend was targeted to use the smokeless tobacco that led to the cancer that killed him.

The suit was filed Monday in San Diego Superior Court against Altria Group, Inc. (formerly known as Philip Morris USA) and several other defendants. Altria Group, Inc. makes Skoal chewing tobacco, the brand Tony Gwynn preferred and used extensively. 

The Gwynn family alleges the tobacco industry induced Gwynn to begin using smokeless tobacco when he was a star athlete at San Diego State University in the late 1970’s. 

When asked about the lawsuit, an Altria representative told NBC 7 San Diego, "We have no comment."

In the suit, the Gwynn family says the tobacco company "continued to deluge Tony during his college years with countless free samples of 'dip' tobacco products they purposely adulterated to make more addictive. All the while, they did not mention either the highly addictive nature of their products or their toxicity."

The suit alleges Gwynn used up to two cans of smokeless tobacco per day, claiming that is the equivalent of smoking four to five packs of cigarettes daily. In the suit the Gwynn family alleges the tobacco industry chose Gwynn specifically because it was trying to market its product to African-Americans, and that it intentionally misled Tony to use the product.

"Tony Gwynn was the Defendants' marketing dream come true," says the lawsuit. "They knew youngsters looking up to Tony would hope to one day hit like Tony, and be like Tony, so they would also want to 'dip' like Tony."

On Tuesday, Gwynn's daughter Anisha spoke of her dad's legacy, saying the baseball legend “wouldn’t want to see another player or any other person have to get sick and die."

Gwynn used smokeless tobacco for 31 years, despite seeing signs it may be harming his health as early as the 1990’s. Gwynn admitted an addiction to the substance and when he tried to stop using he reportedly needed prescription drugs to fight the anxiety and cravings he felt in its absence.

In recent years, Gwynn had multiple surgeries on his neck to remove both an abscess and a malignant tumor. He died in 2014 from salivary gland cancer at the age of 54.

Tony Gwynn was an elite athlete who “cared about his body,” his son said Tuesday.

“If he had known how addictive and harmful to his health dip was he would not have started using in college,” Tony Gwynn, Jr said of his dad.

The lawsuit does not ask for specified damages, instead requesting a jury trial to rule on grounds of negligence, fraud and product liability by the tobacco industry.

Gwynn’s death has brought about a change in some part of baseball. Multiple young players have either stopped using smokeless tobacco or simply not picked up the habit because of what happened to Mr. Padre.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for Pepsi MLB Refre]]>
<![CDATA[A's Break Out of Slump, Beat Seattle]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 00:48:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-mariners.jpg

OAKLAND – There’s been one bulletproof plan for A’s manager Bob Melvin throughout this trying season — handing the ball to Rich Hill and pointing him toward the pitcher’s mound.

The 36-year-old lefty has been an every-fifth-day security blanket, the latest example coming with Monday’s 5-0 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. Hill sliced and diced the Mariners’ lineup over eight scoreless innings, becoming just the fourth American League pitcher to reach the seven-win mark this season.

The dominant effort helped the A’s snap a four-game losing streak, as they broke open a 1-0 by batting around in a four-run eighth.

The A’s were the only team in the majors not to have a starter work more than seven innings. Hill ended that streak at a franchise-record 83 games. Before Monday, Sonny Gray was the last to work more than seven back on Aug. 22 of last season.

Hill took care of business in different fashion than most of his other outings in 2016. Usually a high strikeout guy who also racks up a high pitch count early, Hill instead pitched to contact and used that efficient approach to eat up the innings and take the load off of Oakland’s bullpen.

Hill (7-3) lowered his ERA to from 2.54 to 2.18. How important is it that he’s already notched seven victories? Consider that Hill — a journeyman now with his ninth major league organization — had just five major league victories from 2010-15.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Walk Off in Cueto's Complete Game]]> Tue, 24 May 2016 00:44:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants-cueto.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — Hunter Pence stepped into the cage during batting practice, put down a bunt, and then took two light swings. He felt pain in his right hamstring, and he shook his head at coaches and walked toward the clubhouse to get more treatment.

Five hours later, Pence talked his way onto the field and walked off the Padres in one of the strangest ways possible.

Pence drove in the only run Monday night and clinched a shutout for Johnny Cueto when he hit a towering two-out pop-up in the bottom of the ninth that dropped in front of charging right fielder Matt Kemp and kicked away far enough for Brandon Belt to race home from first.

“That was definitely a bloop,” Pence said. “It was a well-place hit for the time.”

Pence flashed a wide smile as he eased into second base. The dugout exploded. Cueto, who was looking at a brutal no-decision, tumbled over the rail to celebrate his third complete game in three starts against the Padres this season.

“It was euphoria,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “To get Johnny the win after that effort, that’s what they were all happy about. What a game he threw.”

It’s rare that a starting pitcher isn’t on the field at the end of his own complete game, but Cueto didn’t mind. His teammates were thrilled they were able to reward a newcomer who has given the Giants an absolute ace in the No. 2 slot in the rotation. Cueto is the first Giant to win seven of his first 10 starts since Jason Schmidt in 2004. He’s the first since Atlee Hammaker in 1983 to threw three complete games against one opponent. He gave the Giants back-to-back 1-0 wins for the first time in 36 years.

Pence, his right leg wrapped in ice, listed off a series of positives when asked about Cueto: Spirited, competitive, fun, has a good attitude, knowledgable.

“His results have been remarkable, as advertised,” Pence said.

Long before his mad dash home, Belt found himself standing at first and remembering how much he used to hate facing Cueto when he was in Cincinnati.

“It’s fun playing behind him,” he said. “It’s fun watching him do what he does.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Win Game 5, Now One Win Away From Finals]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 20:55:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-533867008_594_screen.jpg

ST. LOUIS – Joe Pavelski’s goal late in the second period was a big one, as it tied the Sharks-Blues Game 5 of the Western Conference Final headed into the final frame.

His goal early in the third was even bigger.

Thanks in large part to their first-year captain, the Sharks are one win away from the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. They downed the Blues on Monday night, 6-3, to take a three-games-to-two lead over St. Louis.

They can book their ticket to the NHL’s final round on Wednesday at SAP Center (6 p.m., NBCSN).

Trailing 3-2, the Sharks tied it late in the second period on Pavelski’s power play goal at 18:33. He got open in the slot and slapped in a pass from Joe Thornton.

St. Louis was a perfect 6-0 in the postseason when leading after two.

In the first minute of the third, Pavelski notched his 12th of the playoffs when he deftly redirected a Brent Burns floater just 16 seconds in. St. Louis had iced the puck off the opening faceoff, leading to the offensive zone draw that Pavelski won getting into position to score.

The teams punched and counterpunched through the first two periods, resulting in a 3-3 tie.

The Sharks opened the scoring, when Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot had eyes in beating Jake Allen high to the far side at 3:51.

St. Louis responded to take a lead before the first intermission. Jaden Schwartz’s first goal in 14 games tied it at 1-1, putting in a loose puck of a Kevin Shattenkirk shot that hit David Backes in front at 7:04. Later, Troy Brouwer skillfully batted in a Paul Stastny rebound off of Martin Jones out of mid-air at 15:08 of the opening frame.

Brouwer’s former teammate with the Capitals, Joel Ward, scored a similar goal on the power play, tying the game at 2-2 in the second. Towards the end of a Sharks power play, Ward bunted in a Vlasic shot that ricocheted off of the post at 4:37.

St. Louis re-took the lead on a boneheaded penalty by Roman Polak, who jumped Dmitrij Jaskin at 11:01. Robby Fabbri’s one-timer from high in the zone somehow got through Jones’ five-hole at 11:58.

The Sharks, who got late empty net goals by Chris Tierney and Ward to cap the scoring, improved to 5-1 in the playoffs after a loss.

Teams that win Game 5 of a series that is tied at two games each have a 78.4 percent success rate in the series (192-53).

Special teams:

San Jose was 2-for-3 on the power play, after going a combined 0-for-7 in games three and four. The Sharks are 4-for-18 in the series.

St. Louis was 1-for-3, and is 4-for-17 in the series.

In goal:

Jones, who was pulled for the first time in the playoffs in the second period of Game 4, returned and made 18 saves. He improved to 11-7 in the playoffs.

Allen was making his second straight start, and allowed four goals on 25 shots.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Draymond Green Not Suspended for Game 4 vs Thunder]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 17:07:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/188*120/greenadamskick.jpg

Warriors forward Draymond Green will not be suspended for his actions against Oklahoma City center Steven Adams in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday night, the NBA announced Monday evening.

Green kicked Adams in the crotch on a second-quarter shot attempt and was assessed a Flagrant Foul 1. The league upon review of video and interviewing the principals, upgraded the call to a Flagrant Foul 2, which will be accompanied by a $25,000 fine, based on the results of an inquiry led by vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe.

"After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," VanDeWeghe said in statement.

"During a game, players – at times – flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul," VanDeWeghe continued, "but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty."

The Warriors seemed confident prior to their morning practice, perhaps because they truly believed Green meant no ill will. Or maybe they anticipated the league would consider the impact a suspension would have on the conference finals.

"I’m not braced for the worst," Green said Monday morning.

"You watch this league, people flail all the time trying to draw fouls," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "In my opinion – and I've seen Draymond do this a lot – he goes up, he gets bumped. It was a minor foul. Adams kind of hit him here. He tried to sell it. He kicked his leg up. To me it's no different from (Oklahoma guard Russell) Westbrook kicking his legs out on the threes when he feels like there's contact. Guys do it to try to sell the contact."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MLB to Review Gay Chorus Incident]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 17:25:50 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/gay+men+chorus+0523.JPG

Major League Baseball will investigate why a recording of a woman singing the national anthem inadvertently played instead of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus at a Saturday Pride Night Padres game.

“We are pleased that MLB will look into this matter and the Padres will cooperate fully,” Padres CEO Mike Dee tweeted on Monday morning. “Based on our own investigation and the decisive action that we took yesterday, we are eager for all the facts to come to light surrounding this unfortunate incident.”

Meanwhile, the DJ implicated in the technical error has been terminated, as the team continues to investigate what led to the mishap, officials said Monday.

Social media erupted shortly after the game between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, when a technical error silenced the chorus. The group was set to sing along to a pre-recorded track of the national anthem when a recording of a woman singing played instead.

The moment was captured on cellphone video by a fan attending the game and posted to Facebook. It went viral shortly thereafter.

On Sunday, the team announced the firing of an outside vendor — the DJ hired to play music — and disciplined a team employee.

NBC 7 has learned through multiple sources that the DJ, known by the moniker DJ ArtForm, failed to upload the pre-recorded music file sent in by the group. Instead, a pre-recorded version used the previous night was played.

The DJ has expressed remorse offering his "sincerest apologies and deepest regret.”

Saturday marked Pride Night at Petco Park, an event hosted in conjunction with the San Diego Pride organization's annual "Out at the Park" event to support the LGBT community. The chorus performed at Pride Night last year without issue.

The chorus sang along with the woman's vocal track out of respect for the national anthem, according to Bob Lehman, executive director of the chorus, who said the incident was humiliating.

The Padres later issued a statement apologizing to the chorus and asking them to come back to perform at a later game.

Dee reiterated this message on Monday.

“We deeply apologize to the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and anyone else who was offended by our mistake,” he tweeted.

The chorus addressed the incident on its Facebook page Sunday morning in a post titled "You Sing Like a Girl," which questioned the San Diego Padres’ relationship with the LGBT community and called for a "full and transparent investigation" by the Padres, Major League Baseball, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the city of San Diego Human Relations Commission.

Lehman tells NBC 7 he believes the music was an accident, but is concerned with how the team immediately reacted to the mistake.

He said the chorus' 100 members were left on the field, with no announcement, apology or explanation of what happened at the time. And to make matters worse, Lehman said, the group was jeered by some people when they walked off the field. He’s concerned over any perceived problems between the LGBT community and the Padres.

“I want to see something good come out of this so that the relationship can be examined, and find out why the community feels that way and how we can fix it,’ Lehman said.

Lehman said he plans to meet with Dee later in the week. But he’s also concerned that the Padres didn’t completely respond or take action until the story took off on social media and publications around the nation, and the world.

“I’m sure they (the Padres) felt like we did on Saturday night. When that happened, we were shocked and didn’t know what to do. That’s what happened to them yesterday. The entire world came after them and said, hey something’s wrong here,” Lehman said.

Lehman said he wants to meet with the team before accepting the offer to return to return to perform at a later date.

Here is DJ ArtForm's full statement on the error:

“My deepest apologies and sincere regret toward the entire San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus & the LGBT community for the incident that occurred during the National Anthem. It was a very unfortunate mistake but it was just that, an error. I in no way, shape or form directed any type of hate, bad intent or discrimination towards the chorus or anyone involved. The incident was not a representation of myself, San Diego, & it’s amazing Baseball fans. I have felt the consequences of my mistake as a dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred. I have family members & friends that are a part of the LGBT community and I have always been a supporter of Equal Human Rights, so it pains me greatly to see that I am being accused of acting intentionally. As a former high school and college baseball player, I understand the importance of ensuring equality for all in sports and am appalled by some of the negative, homophobic comments made by fans related to the National Anthem incident. I have reached out to LGBT leaders in San Diego and am currently in discussion regarding a meeting with the Chorus and LGBT leaders personally in order to be as constructive as possible about the error. I’ve let down my city, my family and everyone who had faith in me. Once again, I’m truly sorry for this entire ordeal.”



Photo Credit: Taylor Forsyth
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<![CDATA[Draymond: 'I Look Forward to Apologizing' to Adams]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 12:12:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/draymondgreenkick.jpg

Following the Warriors' Game 3 loss to the Thunder on Sunday night, Draymond Green defended himself and reiterated he did not intentionally kick Steven Adams below the belt.

He doubled down in his latest diary entry for 'The Undefeated.'

"I would tell [Adams], ‘My bad. I didn’t try to do something like that.’ Honestly, I wanted to go up to him during the game and say that. But I know what type of competitor he is and I think I know how he would react. If he would have reacted the way I thought he would have reacted, I know what that would have done to me, as well. I just kind of erred on the side of not saying anything and was hopeful I may catch him after the game.

"I didn’t intentionally kick him down there. Whether he believes me or not, which I don’t think he will and wouldn’t in the moment, which is why I didn’t say anything. I would definitely apologize and I look forward to apologizing to him, if I see him."

After reviewing the play, the referees assessed Draymond a Flagrant 1. The NBA is conducting an investigation and it's possible Draymond is suspended for Game 4.

"I’m kind of upset about this, ‘Will he get suspended or will he not?’ It’s just frustrating," Draymond wrote for The Undefeated. "Obviously, I hit [Adams] there in Game 2. But can anyone possibly say that was intentional. People might look at that and say, ‘He did it then — he tried to do [it again].’ Would I be that obvious, if I’m trying to do it?’

"I know how important I am to my team. Being that I know that, I’m not going to be that obvious and try to kick a man down there. That’s not something I would even do. Hitting someone down there … you can ruin a lot more. Why do that?

"And I am all for fans cheering their guys on, so it doesn’t bother me that they were saying, ‘Throw him out.’. I didn’t think there was a chance that I’d get thrown out. It would have completely shocked me. I immediately thought that it should probably be rescinded.

"If a guy takes the ball over to the left and gets fouled trying to go up left, your body is hit left and the right side goes up — physics. You hit something on one side the other side goes up. I learned that in physics. I didn’t know it happened. That’s how intentional it was. I didn’t even know I did it."

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[12-Year-Old Calif. Boxer Ranked No. 1 in U.S.]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 18:03:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/box+GIF_19483400.gif

The highlight of 12-year-old David "Dynamite" Lopez’s life was becoming the country’s No. 1 boxer for his age and weight last year.

But a close second was sparring at his dad’s gym with undefeated super middleweight world champion Andre Ward one day this May. Ward threw a few fast punches. One or two landed on David’s headgear, throwing the boy back.

"It was uncomfortable," said the young boxer from Oakland, California. "But I didn’t cry."

Still, his nose smarted a bit and he got to play hooky from Westlake Middle School, where he is a sixth grader.

"It was awesome," he added, his green eyes twinkling.

Chance to be No. 1 Again
The scrappy pre-teen now has a chance to win No. 1 again. He qualified to attend the Junior Olympics National Championships in Dallas, Texas, next month. This round, he’s 85 pounds — a weight he begrudgingly achieves by following a "no hot chips" and no-soda diet. His father is now trying to raise enough funds to get there, as traveling the world to win boxing championships, especially for a working-class family, will be a feat.

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David hasn’t read Malcom Gladwell’s "Outliers," which touts the idea that 10,000 hours of practice are required to excel at something.

But David intrinsically understands the book’s theory. He’s already put in about 7,000 of those hours, having started to box when he was just 5. That work led USA Boxing to dub him the top 70-pound boxer in the country in 2015. He also won the national title in Puerto Rico the same year.

"Practice," David said simply when asked why he’s so good. "Boxing is just what I do."

"Dedicated," chimed in Jasper McCargo, 29, who made the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 2014 and trains alongside David at his father’s gym in Oakland, Lightning’s Boxing Club. "And he has a great father." 

Father and Son Box Together
David’s father, Kris "Lightning" Lopez, 39, was a two-time Golden Glove champion and now runs a respected youth boxing program. Father and son train together for two hours every day after school. They also have an unusually close bond, which is obvious to anyone, even when meeting them for the first time.

The elder Lopez echoed that "repetition" is why his son is so skilled. But Lopez also added: "It’s in our blood." Lopez’s great-grandfather was a bigtime fighter in the Philippines in the 1920s. [[380517591, C]]

Half the week, David goes home with his mother, Wells Fargo corporate finance administrative assistant Denielle Allen, who can’t bear to watch her son fight in the ring.

"My mom will ask how a fight went, but she doesn’t want to come," David said. He added proudly he’s never suffered a concussion, and only broken his hand once.

He's close with his mom, too. She's the one who cooks him the rare feast of fried chicken and ice cream, no matter if he wins or not.

"I went to one fight," Allen said, "and I got sick for three days to my stomach." While David's boxing, she sits at home and prays with her Acts Full Gospel community for his safe return from the ring.

The other half of the week, he goes home with his father and his wife, who moved to Pittsburg, California, when they were priced out of Oakland.

Of Lopez’s four children, two are boxers, including his 20-year-old son, Daniel, who has also won national championships and now attends Laney College in Oakland.

Michael Jordan-Type Talent
Ever since he was in kindergarten, people could see David had something special. His jabs are blazing quick. His feet are light. When he jumps, the rope whizzes by too fast to see. He makes karate-like exhales when he jabs. He never backs down. He's confident but not a showoff.

"He’s got a talent that you see every 100 years," Lopez said. "Michael Jordan-type talent. He’s better than Andre Ward was at 11. At 5, you could see he was stronger and faster."

[[377006071, C]]

Ward met David two years ago at the 30th anniversary of King’s Boxing Gym in Oakland. Ward, who is Oakland born and now lives in Danville, noticed David’s quick feet and expert jabs.

"He said, 'You got skills,'" David recalled of the conversation, adding that the champion boxer then asked, "What’s your Instagram?"

The two have been sparring ever since. And last week, Ward stopped by the club unannounced to work out with David. That’s when Ward threw some fast ones at David’s headgear.

"He had never done that before," David said. It hurt. And tears sprang to his eyes. But David said, "I wasn’t going to back down."

Andre Ward Raves About 'Dynamite'
Colorado-based USA Boxing spokeswoman Julie Goldsticker knew David’s name with no prompting, mostly because she works with Ward, who "just raves about David." She said David walked Ward out for his last two fights.

As for finding sponsors to offset boxing costs for young people and families, Goldsticker acknowledged it’s a challenge. Mostly, she said, that’s because boxing is an individual sport and harder to find companies and wealthy entities to support one athlete, as opposed to a team. David’s father estimates it might cost $4,000 for the two of them to fly to the Junior Olympics June 26 to July 2 in Dallas, and stay at hotels for the week.

When David’s not boxing, he’s getting good grades in the hopes of attending Yale University one day. He still wants to box when he grows up, but said wisely: "I might study business as a fallback."

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Hard to Remember He's a Kid
Family friend and mentor Jose Grace said he thinks David will accomplish anything he sets his mind to.

"He’s serious, he’s a scholar, he’s the full package," Grace said. "Sometimes I have to remember that he’s just a kid."

Follow David's achievements on Facebook or help send him to the Junior Olympics by donating to his GoFundMe page.



Photo Credit: Kris Lopez
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<![CDATA[Gay Men’s Chorus Silenced at Game]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 07:58:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/CLIP-SDGMC_Padres_1200x675_690991171985.jpg

Controversy brewed at Saturday's San Diego Padres game when a recording of a woman singing the national anthem played instead of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, which had just taken the field to sing on Pride Night at Petco Park.

A technical error silenced the chorus, which was scheduled to perform the Star Spangled Banner at the game between the Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. The chorus was set to sing along to a pre-recorded track of the national anthem.

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Saturday marked Pride Night at Petco Park, an event hosted in conjunction with the San Diego Pride organization's annual "Out at the Park" event to support the LGBT community. The chorus performed at Pride Night last year without issue.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the chorus said 100 volunteer singers took to the field for the ballpark performance, but an audio recording of a woman singing the anthem played over the loudspeaker — not the track the chorus had expected. [[380421491,C]]

The chorus stood quietly on the field as the song played. The mix-up meant the chorus did not get to perform along with its own track, as scheduled.

"There was a really long pause — it took longer than normal. Then, all of a sudden, the music started but it was a young woman singing instead of the chorus and it just didn’t stop," Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, told NBC 7 on Sunday.

Lehman said the chorus thought the audio mistake would be fixed on the spot, but the wrong track continued to play.

"They just played the entire song and we just stood there," he recounted.

He said the group didn't know what to do next. Out of respect for the national anthem, the chorus sang along with the woman's voice track.

"Nobody could hear us," Lehman lamented.

He said the chorus was humiliated. Many of them had invited loved ones to the game to watch the Pride Night performance.

The moment was captured on cellphone video by a fan attending the game and posted to Facebook.

The SDGMC addressed the incident on its Facebook page Sunday morning in a post titled "You Sing Like a Girl," which questioned the San Diego Padres’ relationship with the LGBT community and called for a "full and transparent investigation" by the Padres, Major League Baseball, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the city of San Diego Human Relations Commission.

According to a statement released by the San Diego Padres on Saturday night, the incident was the result of a technical glitch in the control room.

"This evening, during the pregame ceremony, a mistake was made in the Petco Park control room that prevented the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus from performing the National Anthem as scheduled. We apologize to anyone in the ballpark who this may have offended, and have reached out to the Chorus to express our deep regret for the error," the statement said.

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A Padres spokesperson at Petco Park told NBC 7 the error was an "unfortunate and regrettable mistake." Once the wrong track started, the control room made a "heat of the moment" decision to let the song continue playing so as not to cut off the national anthem for the crowd, the spokesperson said.

The Padres followed up with a statement Sunday night saying an internal investigation "found no evidence of malicious intent" but that "we have terminated our relationship with the third-party contractor who was responsible for the error, and taken disciplinary action against our employee who was responsible for the game production on Saturday."

The team apologized and has invited the chorus back to Petco Park to perform again. The chorus, for its part, responded to the Padres' statement saying it was "pleased" and looking forward to "a constructive resolution to this issue."

"Our hope is to positively improve the relationship between the Padres and San Diego's LGBT community," the chorus said.

The San Diego Padres is the first MLB organization to hold a "Pride Night" in support of the LGBT community.

Former San Diego Padres player Billy Bean, who is openly gay and serves as MLB’s first Ambassador for Inclusion, released a statement Sunday addressing the incident, saying he does not think the Padres purposely meant to embarrass the chorus:

"This past Saturday night, it was very unfortunate that there was a technical error during the National Anthem at Petco Park. However, I want to convey that my former team, the San Diego Padres, have supported our inclusion message at MLB without hesitation even before my return to baseball in 2014. They have led by example by inviting me, numerous times, to speak with their players and employees. I have also worked very closely with their owner Ron Fowler and team CEO Mike Dee, and I can assure you that they have made every effort to include the LGBT community, and champion equality in MLB for each and every one of us. I’m so proud of the Padres organization for hosting an LGBT Pride event during the season, and I would hope that the community recognizes that error and intent are not related."

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According to the SDGMC website, the group is one of the 10 largest GALA choruses in the U.S. and features more than 130 singers.

The original chorus was first founded in San Diego in 1992 and presented its first concert one year later. In December 2009, the original SDGMC and the Gay Men’s Chorus of San Diego merged to create the new San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus.

The group’s mission statement is "to create a positive musical experience through exciting performances which engage our audiences, build community support and provide a dynamic force for social change."



Photo Credit: Taylor Forsyth
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<![CDATA[Bumgarner, Giants Blank Cubs to Win Series]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 00:53:25 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/giants+522.jpg

SAN FRANCISCO — The first sign that Madison Bumgarner would do it all Sunday night came two minutes before he threw his first pitch. As Bumgarner dug into the dirt on the mound, “Fire on the Mountain” echoed through the park, replacing a Kid Rock song Bumgarner has used in recent home starts.

Bumgarner indeed looked very much like the world-conquering ace who made a Marshall Tucker Band hit a precursor to dominance two falls ago. He shook off a 28-pitch first inning to pitch into the eighth. With the Giants struggling at the plate, he drove in the night’s only run.

“He’s special,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “And we’ve seen it over the years.”

The 1-0 win on Sunday Night Baseball gave the Giants a series win over the Cubs, the best team in baseball this season, and a streak of 10 wins in 11 games. Bumgarner dominated the box score, but in this case a piece of paper doesn’t tell the whole story. The outs that were recorded as 6-3 or 5-3 or 8-unassisted were so much more. From Brandon Belt’s scoop to start the game to Denard Span’s tumbling catch to open the ninth, this was easily the best defensive effort of the season for the Giants.

“It was good, crisp baseball,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Everybody seemed like they made a good play.”

That’s because just about everybody did. Belt saved Bumgarner when the pitcher nearly threw away a game-opening grounder to the mound. Brandon Crawford made a strong throw from deep in the hole. Matt Duffy had a diving stop and Joe Panik was everywhere on the right side of the field. Buster Posey nearly went over the railing of the visiting dugout to catch a pop-up, and Span made one his better plays as a Giant to get the 25th out.

Bumgarner was appreciative of all the support, pointing out that his defenders work at those plays every single day. He noted that successful Giants teams in the past have done the same thing.

“We’ve had that in the past and we have it right now,” he said of the defensive effort.

The Giants have always won with strong pitching, too, and nobody is throwing better than Bumgarner in recent weeks. He is 5-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his past six starts, all of them Giants wins, and he has been particularly stingy in tight spots.

Bumgarner thought he was headed for a 12-pitch inning or so in the first, but a tough Cubs lineup loaded the bases. On a 3-2 count, Addison Russell fouled off two cutters. Bumgarner then froze him in place with a 92 mph fastball.

“I don’t know if you can make a better pitch there than he did with the bases loaded, 3-2,” Bochy said.

Bumgarner has allowed just one hit the last 20 times a hitter has come up with two down and a runner in scoring position. Opposing hitters are hitless in 14 straight at-bats with a runner on second or third. Bumgarner credited the Russell pitch with locking him into a groove that led to 15 consecutive outs.

“You get slapped in the face in the first inning and it gets you going, more or less,” he said. “You never want to walk out there thinking it’s going to be easy. It’s good to have a little competition going. I’m glad we got out of it.”

The Cubs had no chance after the wasted opportunity, never again putting a runner in scoring position. From third base, Duffy watched Bumgarner and thought, “It seemed, I guess, easy for him tonight.”

“We knew after the third or the fourth that we just needed to get him one run,” Duffy said later. “It turns out he got it for himself.”

Some of Bumgarner’s teammates often jokingly ask if he bunts pitches foul on purpose so he gets the sign to swing away, but Bumgarner said he was honestly steamed that he couldn’t advance Gregor Blanco to second in the fifth. He took his anger out on a two-strike Kyle Hendricks sinker, lashing it to left for a double that easily brought Blanco across the plate.

“It’s kind of a Catch-22 there,” Bumgarner said. “I was really disappointed in not getting the bunt down because that’s our job. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

Bumgarner promised to work on his bunting on Monday, but the Giants might not call for many more. Over the last three seasons Bumgarner has 26 RBI, 12 more than the next best pitcher. On Sunday he joined Clayton Kershaw as the only pitchers this season to drive in the lone run in their own 1-0 win.

Bumgarner took the drama out of most of the night, but it stormed back in the ninth. Santiago Casilla, who has struggled with one-run leads, entered to face the 4-5-6 hitters. Ben Zobrist greeted him with a deep fly to center, and Span turned and immediately ran to where he thought the ball would land. When he turned to backpedal, the wind shifted the ball to another spot. Span made an acrobatic catch — “salsa dancing,” Gregor Blanco called it — and then tumbled to the track.

“I had to kind of do a little shimmy, a little karaoke,” Span said. “A couple of people told me that was like Candlestick right there.”

The play would have stood out on any other day, but on Sunday it was just one of many that were circled in scorebooks. Bumgarner’s performance might have stood out a bit more in any other week, but right now, 7 2/3 shutout innings is about what the Giants expect from the nightly starter. They’re playing as well as they have in a couple of years, and they made a bit of a statement over three games at AT&T Park.

Asked how he would explain this run — eight straight wins, a loss, and then two wins against the Cubs — Bochy smiled.

“We’re a talented club, that’s how I would explain it,” he said. “We’re really clicking in all facets of the game.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Fall to Thunder in Game 3, Trail Series 2-1]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 19:57:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-533615628_594_screen.jpg

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Warriors arrived in Oklahoma City on Saturday to play Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

They never showed up.

Falling behind by 25 at the half and later trailing by as much as 41, the Warriors on Sunday night were on the blunt end of a 133-105 rout administered by the hometown Thunder before 18,203 giddy first-hand witnesses and a global TV audience.

The Warriors now face a 2-1 deficit in the best-of-seven series.

Stephen Curry scored 24 points to lead the Warriors, while Klay Thompson added 18. Curry still finished minus-39 for the game and Thompson was minus-41. Draymond Green finished with 6 points, four rebounds and three assists and a minus-43.

No other Warrior scored more than 9 points, as they shot 40.3 percent through three quarters (to 60 percent for the Thunder) and 41.3 percent for the game.

The Warriors were battered on the glass, 52-38, outscored 62-44 in the paint and 29-13 in fast-break points.

Forward Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points in 32 minutes for OKC, while guard Russell Westbrook posted 30 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, also in 32 minutes of activity.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:

With the starting lineup failing miserably, the best player on the floor for the Warriors was reserve guard Ian Clark.

Clark’s line: 8 points (3-of-5 shooting from the field, 0-of-1 from beyond the arc), four rebounds, three assists and two steals. He played 20 minutes and was plus-19.

TURNING POINT:

After an Andrew Bogut tip-in tied the score at 40-40 with 8:37 left in the second quarter, the Thunder responded with a ferocious run, 32-7, over the remainder of the half.

The Warriors were 2-of-23 from the floor during that span, including missing their last seven shots before intermission as OKC tood a 72-47 lead into the locker room.

The Warriors in the second half got no closer than 22 points.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Swept by Yankees at Coliseum]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 16:27:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-yanks522.jpg

OAKLAND -– A’s manager Bob Melvin doesn’t hesitate to call on his battle-tested veteran relievers, but his trip to the mound in the top of the sixth set in motion a sequence that turned Sunday’s game in the Yankees’ favor.

With two outs and two men on, Melvin replaced starter Jesse Hahn with John Axford to face switch hitter Mark Teixeira. Axford proceeded to give up two run-scoring singles that erased a one-run A’s lead and put the Yankees ahead for good in their 5-4 victory at the Coliseum.

With that the Yankees completed just their second four-game sweep of the A’s in Oakland. The first came in July 1979. The loss completed a deflating weekend for the A’s, who were coming off a three-game sweep of the Texas Rangers when the Yankees arrived. Key injuries to Josh Reddick and Sonny Gray, combined with the sweep by the Bombers, have completely reversed the mojo the A’s had going when their seven-game homestand began.

Had Melvin’s sixth-inning call to the bullpen been executed with no runs scoring, no one would have thought twice about the decision. But the turn of events typified the way this series went for the home team.

The A’s had just gone ahead in the bottom of the fifth on Stephen Vogt’s two-run double to give Oakland a 3-2 lead. But New York’s two runs in the sixth stole the momentum right back. The Yankees added a run off Sean Doolittle in the seventh.

The A’s fought back with a run off lefty reliever Andrew Miller in the eighth, but Aroldis Chapman came in with his 100-plus mile per hour heat to close the door and seal it for the Yankees.

The Yankees came in just 5-12 on the road, one of the worst marks in the majors, but the A’s made them feel quite at home.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sonny Gray Placed on 15-Day DL by A's]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 10:46:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-531596064.jpg

The Oakland A’s placed right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21 with a strained right trapezius, the club announced today. To take his spot on the roster, the A’s recalled left-handed pitcher Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Nashville.

Gray was 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA in nine starts with the A’s and his ERA is third highest in the American League. He currently has a career-high tying four-game losing streak and has a 10.38 ERA and .337 opponents batting average over that five-start stretch dating back to April 27. Gray has tossed fewer than four innings in three of those five starts and has allowed at least four runs in all five starts. This is his first career stint on the disabled list and the A’s now have a Major League leading 13 players on the DL.

Coulombe joins the A’s for the second time this year. He was previously with Oakland for a one-day stint on May 10 and pitched that night at Boston, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks in 2.0 innings of relief. The 26-year-old left-hander has spent the balance of the season at Nashville, where he has compiled a 0.56 ERA and .135 opponents batting average in 13 relief appearances. Coulombe has not allowed a home run in 16.0 innings and has walked just three while striking out 19. He did not allow a run in two games in 2.0 innings following his May 11 option.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Victorious Against Cubs, Win 5-3]]> Sat, 21 May 2016 19:57:12 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/533321796.jpg

Matt Cain’s dominant start against the Blue Jays 11 days ago came with the caveat that it was his first good start in a month. His quality start in Phoenix last weekend was a big step in the right direction, but still, patience was required.

After Saturday’s game at AT&T Park, the Giants can officially start to get excited. There are no more, “Yeah, but …” scenarios. Cain threw six sharp innings against the best team in baseball, and he now has three consecutive impressive starts against three good lineups.

Cain gave up one run in six innings Saturday as the Giants beat the Cubs 5-3. The victory was Cain’s first since July 22, 2015, a span of 15 starts.

Cain had a 23-pith first inning but helped himself by snagging Ben Zobrist’s liner up the middle with two down and a runner on. He stranded two in the second and two more in the third after Kris Bryant’s solo shot. In his final three innings Cain retired nine of 10. The lone hit was a leadoff single in the sixth, and Cain responded by striking out Jorge Soler, Javier Baez and Addison Russell.

With Hunter Pence and Angel Pagan nursing sore hamstrings, Bruce Bochy went to his strangest lineup of the year. Kelby Tomlinson hit third and played left field, and slumping third baseman Matt Duffy slid behind Buster Posey to provide some level of protection. The lineup … worked.

Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco got on ahead of Cain in the second and he drove a double into the left-center gap for his first hit since May 10, 2014. Posey doubled the run total an inning later, crushing a Jon Lester cutter that stayed right over the heart of the plate. The two-run homer was Posey’s fifth.

The Cubs rallied in the eighth and brought the tying run to the plate, but Javier Lopez made right-handed-hitting catcher Tim Federowicz look silly on a slider.

Dexter Fowler opened the ninth by smacking a Santiago Casilla pitch into the arcade, but the Cubs wouldn't score again.

Starting pitching report: Cain’s last three starts: 21 innings, 4 runs. He had a 7.84 ERA before that Blue Jays game.

Bullpen report: Josh Osich entered with two outs and two on in the seventh and blew a cutter past Anthony Rizzo. Left-handed hitters are hitless in their last 17 at-bats against Osich.

At the plate: Before a Hunter Pence hot streak last month, some Giants folks noted that he was due given the exit velocities he was putting up. It appears, then, that Posey is ready to get hot. His homer was hit 108 mph and the seventh-inning single came off the bat at 102.

In the field: Tomlinson made his first professional start in the outfield. He didn't look completely comfortable, but caught every ball hit his way.

Attendance: The Giants announced a crowd of 41,507 human beings. Many of them wore blue.

Up next: The first two pitching matchups favored the Cubs on paper, but Game 3 tilts heavily toward the Giants. Madison Bumgarner faces righty Kyle Hendricks in a 5:05 p.m. game.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Family Affected by Canada Fire Treated to SJ Sharks Game]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 09:44:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/N11P+SHARKS+MCMURRAY+FAMILY+PKG+-+00000224.jpg

Special guests at Saturday’s Sharks playoff game helped put the team’s 6-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues in perspective.

The Foley family, who came to San Jose from Canada, attended the game as VIP guests of the Sharks after the team’s general manager, Doug Wilson, heard about their experiences with the devastating Alberta Wildfires.

The close-knit bunch lost everything in the blaze – except their prized Sharks jerseys, which they hastily rescued from their home, leaving almost everything else behind.

“We were at our lowest low when it was confirmed our house was gone,” said Barb Morgan, the mother of the family. “And then we get a call from Doug Wilson and it just lifted our spirits…it gave us something to look forward to.”

The family’s main Sharks fan, Billy Foley, expressed publicly how grateful he was to salvage the jerseys. His most prized is that of Owen Nolan’s, whom he and the rest of the family got to meet thanks to some quick organizing on Wilson’s part.

Billy and his brother, Daniel, also got to ride around the rink in the Zambonis, and were in a prime position to high five and fist bump the Sharks players as the team took to the ice.

“It’s unbelievable,” Billy said. “It’s making this a lot easier to go through and keep our mind off things.”

The family will return to their home in Fort McMurray on June 1 to assess the damages done by the flames.

“As a community, Fort McMurray has always been strong, and we will continue to be strong,” Barb said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
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<![CDATA[Manaea Tagged For Five, A's Offense Slowed in Loss to Yankees]]> Sat, 21 May 2016 16:12:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-533286924.jpg

OAKLAND -- Starlin Castro broke out of a slump with three hits, Carlos Beltran singled twice to keep up his recent tear and the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Saturday to win their season-high fourth straight.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched seven innings to win Joe Girardi's 1,500th game as a manager. Tanaka (2-0) allowed one run on five hits and had four strikeouts for his first victory since April 12.

Castro was in a 3-for-22 funk before he reached on an infield single as part of New York's four-run fourth. The veteran second baseman also singled in the fifth, and then doubled in Ronald Torreyes for an insurance run in the seventh.

Beltran had an RBI single in the fourth to stay hot. He is batting .391 (9 for 23) with eight RBIs over the past six games.

All the runs came off Oakland rookie starter Sean Manaea (1-2).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[PHOTOS: Preakness Day 2016]]> Mon, 23 May 2016 03:28:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/thumb-GettyImages-533294116.jpg Take a look at photos from the 141st annual Preakness Stakes. Known as the second jewel of the Triple Crown, the race takes places two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the Belmont Stakes.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Drop Game 4 of Western Conference Finals, Series Tied]]> Sun, 22 May 2016 09:11:52 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-533306108.jpg

After back-to-back shutouts, Martin Jones was beaten four times in Game 4 as the Blues beat the Sharks 6-3 to tie the series 2-2.

St. Louis scored twice in the first period and never lost control. 

Troy Brouwer tallied a goal at 6:14 in the first and Jori Lehtera followed at 10:11.

Kyle Brodziak put two past Jones in the second period, at 6:09 and 10:11. At that point, Sharks coach Pete DeBoer put James Reimer in goal.

The Sharks finally got on the board early in the third on a Joe Pavelski marker. But the Blues answered back nearly three minutes later on a power play goal by Brouwer.

Chris Tierney added a goal three minutes later to make the score 5-2.

With 5:05 remaining in the game, DeBoer pulled his goalie and the Alex Pietrangelo scored an empty-netter at 15:39.

A minute later, Melker Karlsson got one by Blues goalie Jake Allen to cut the deficit to 6-3.

Allen, replacing Brian Elliott in net, made 31 saves in the win.

Game 5 is Monday in St. Louis. Puck drop is scheduled for 5pm PDT.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jersey From Harper Fight for Sale]]> Sat, 21 May 2016 09:55:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/490330798.jpg

It was a fight that, at the time, was indicative of a season slipping away from the Washington Nationals.

Nats outfielder Bryce Harper and relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon got into a scuffle on Sept. 27 after Harper flied out and returned to the dugout. The two players had exchanged words before Papelbon grabbed Harper by the throat and manhandled him towards the bench. Teammates scrambled to break them apart.

The fight came one day after the team had officially been eliminated from postseason play. Papelbon was suspended by the team for four days, and Harper was held out one day.

Now, Harper's #34 Jersey worn on the day described as "the snapshot that best defined the dysfunction and disappointment of the Washington Nationals' 2015 season" is up for sale by online auction site Lelands.

The highest bid has reached nearly $5,000, as of 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

According to the auction description, there is dirt on the back of the size 48 shirt and is signed by Harper, who also wrote "Luke 1:37" under his signature, on the number 4.

"Whether or not you classify Harper as a model Christian, the scripture in question reads: 'For with God nothing shall be impossible,'" the posting reads.

The jersey will remain on the auction block until June 17.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Win Streak Snapped in Loss to Yankees ]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 21:50:39 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/as-yankees.jpg

In a hard fought series opener, the A's came up short to the Yankees, 4-1, Thursday night at the Coliseum.

Josh Reddick smashed his fifth home run of the year in the fourth inning, but then left the game early before the eighth inning started. The right fielder stole second base the inning before but was kicked in the head while doing so and also grabbed his left hand.

Reddick attempted to go out for defense and was unable to do so. He was seen frustrated and threw his glove before heading into the trainer's room.

Kendall Graveman took the loss for the A's. The right-hander went 5 2/3 innings pitched and only allowed two earned runs.

He is now 1-6 with a 5.48 ERA.

The A's are 19-23 on the season after the loss.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Dominate Blues, Take 2-1 Series Lead]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 23:04:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-532930774_594_screen1.jpg

For the first time in their 25-year history, the San Jose Sharks have a series lead in the Western Conference Finals.

And they’re starting to make it look easy.

Tomas Hertl scored twice, and Martin Jones notched his second straight shutout in goal as the Sharks downed St. Louis is Game 3 on Thursday night, 3-0.

The Sharks lead the best-of-seven series 2-1, running their home winning streak in the playoffs to six games and outclassing the Blues for the second straight meeting. St. Louis saw its three-game road winning streak come to an end.

The series remains at SAP Center for Game 4 on Saturday afternoon (4:15 p.m., NBCSN).

Hertl’s fourth goal opened the scoring. After Brent Burns broke up Colton Parayko’s pass in the neutral zone, Joe Pavelski brought the puck over the line and slinked a pass through Parayko to an open Hertl, who blasted in a slap shot from the circle at 15:53 of the first period.

San Jose, which didn’t register a shot until almost nine minutes into the opening frame, took its 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

The Sharks were the better team from the outset of the second period, and upped their lead to 2-0 at 11:44. Trailing a Logan Couture-Patrick Marleau rush, an open Joonas Donskoi received a Couture pass and buzzed in a wrist shot from between the circles for his fourth goal of the postseason.

The Blues made a push in the first few minutes of the third, aided in part by some defensive zone sloppiness by the Sharks.

But rather than get back into the game, they saw Hertl add a dagger with his second goal of the night. Joe Thornton gunned a hard tape-to-tape pass to Hertl behind the net, and the Sharks winger got free of Jaden Schwartz before cutting to the front and finding daylight between Brian Elliott’s pads at 6:09.

Jake Allen came in to tend goal for the Blues after the score, relieving Elliott for the second time in the last five games.

Thornton and Pavelski each had two assists.

In the Sharks’ previous three appearances in the Western Conference Final, they lost the first two games of each and were never able to catch up.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[YouTubers Land 11 Trick Shot Records: Guinness]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 16:42:10 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/471564022-Dude-Perfect.jpg

The basketball-lobbing viral video stars of Dude Perfect have taken 11 new records with their exceedingly high-difficulty trick shots, according to Guinness World Records, even taking one from a Harlem Globetrotter.

Among the records they smashed were "Farthest basketball shot made while sitting on the court" (55 feet, 1 inch), "Farthest trampette basketball shot performing a forward flip" (72 feet) and "Greatest height from which a basketball is shot" (533 feet), Guinness World Records said on its website. Big Easy Lofton of The Harlem Globetrotters used to hold the record for "Farthest blindfolded basketball hook shot," but Garrett Hilbert's 55-foot, no-look basket pipped his mark.

The group from Frisco, Texas, smashed the records March 30 and 31st, with an official adjudicator on hand to verify, the organization announced Tuesday. The Greatest Height record was broken on April 28, from atop the 36-story Cotter Ranch Tower in Oklahoma City.

Naturally, the records were filmed. The "World Record Edition" of Dude Perfect was featured Monday on their YouTube channel, which has nearly 10 million subscribers to its name.



Photo Credit: FilmMagic for YouTube
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<![CDATA[NFL to Reimburse Taxpayers $720K for 'Paid Patriotism']]> Thu, 19 May 2016 14:43:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/paid-AP_84226305861.jpg

The NFL is reimbursing U.S. taxpayers more than $720,000 in so-called "paid patriotism" money that the teams took from the military to allow things like color guard displays at football games, NBC News reports.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in a letter to two U.S. senators, said an audit uncovered that, over four years, $723,734 "may have been mistakenly applied to appreciation activities rather than recruitment efforts."

"This amount will be promptly returned in full to the taxpayers," he wrote Wednesday to Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona, who have led the charge against the practice.

"These recruitment efforts are intended to be separate and apart from the NFL's longstanding support of the service members and families who have dedicated their lives to serving this great country," Goodell wrote.

Flake and McCain, both Republicans, revealed in November that up to $6.8 million had been paid "inappropriately" to professional and college sports teams to allow patriotic displays at games.



Photo Credit: AP, File]]>
<![CDATA[MLB Mascot 'Arrests' Pticher]]> Thu, 19 May 2016 11:03:37 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Phillies+Phanatic+ATV+Theif.jpg

Is the Phillie Phanatic authorized to arrest ATV key thieves?

The beloved Phillies mascot gave an assist to Philadelphia police Wednesday when an officer gave him handcuffs to put on Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. The star pitcher had grabbed the Phanatic’s keys before the Phillies win.

"For anyone who asks - yes, this was a legal arrest," joked the Philadelphia Police Department on its Facebook feed. "Philadelphia icon and national - nay - WORLD treasure, The Phillie Phanatic, was deputized before the start of today's game. Thanks, Philadelphia Phillies - we greatly appreciate the assist!"

The Phanatic appeared to let Fernandez go with just a warning after leading the Marlin into his dugout. Police commented on Facebook on why the Phanatic may have been distracted from pressing charges.

"We're waiting for him to finish his PARS report. He keeps getting sidetracked by an insatiable desire to rub the heads of our bald officers," the department wrote.

Fernandez got lucky, considering the Phanatic could have also nabbed him for assault after the mascot appeared to be pushed (or flopped) off his beloved four-wheeler while trying to keep hold of his keys.

Stealing the ATV's keys is something of a tradition for visiting teams, and Fernandez has stolen them before. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images, File
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<![CDATA[Cueto, Pence Go Deep as Giants Top Padres]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 22:18:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/184*120/GettyImages-531108214_594_screen.jpg

SAN DIEGO — In the third inning of the series opener Tuesday, relievers poured out of the bullpens to make the sprint to the plate as Madison Bumgarner and Wil Myers exchanged words. Hopefully the guys in the Giants’ bullpen enjoyed the exercise, because they’ve spent the rest of this series basically just sitting and watching dominance.

A night after Bumgarner threw a complete game, Johnny Cueto did the same, carrying the Giants to a 2-1 win at Petco Park. Hunter Pence provided all the offense with a two-run shot.

The Giants have won seven straight, and they’ll go for a perfect road trip on Thursday evening.

Cueto fell behind in the second when Brett Wallace lined a leadoff double and Alexei Ramirez poked a single to center, but Cueto settled into a groove. He retired 13 of the next 14 and got through the sixth on just 67 pitches. Cueto got two groundouts to start the second before walking Derek Norris. Ramirez hit a lazy fly to end that brief threat.

Pence had long since given Cueto a lead to work with. He got a high 0-2 fastball with a runner on in the fourth and lofted a deep fly to right. Matt Kemp kept drifting and drifting, thinking the ball would surely drop, but it landed several feet beyond the right field fence. The homer was Pence’s seventh.

The Giants didn’t do much else offensively, but that didn’t matter. Cueto put a runner on with two down in the eighth, but on his 102nd pitch he blew 94 mph past Myers.

Kemp struck out to open the ninth, and then Wallace swung through a darting changeup. Melvin Upton Jr. fell behind 0-2 but worked a walk on a series of pitches right off the outside corner. Cueto had enough left in the tank, though, and on his 117th pitch he got a game-ending pop-up.

Starting pitching report: Cueto has pitched at least seven innings in eight of his nine starts. He’s second in the Majors in innings pitched (66 2/3), trailing just Clayton Kershaw (70) who doesn’t really count because he’s some sort of robot.

Bullpen report: It was yet another easy night for these guys. Bochy needs a blowout so he can give each reliever a third of an inning to stay sharp.

At the plate: Brandon Belt was hitless in four at-bats, snapping a streak of 24 consecutive games reaching base.

In the field: Cueto’s best delivery of the night was an off-balance throw he made on Matt Kemp’s grounder in the sixth. Cueto fielded the slow roller as he sprinted toward third, and he spun and fired a strike to first to end the inning.

Attendance: The Padres announced a crowd of 23,518 human beings who did not get press box nachos.

Up next: Jeff Samardzija (5-2, 2.88) goes for the sweep against James Shields (2-5, 3.12).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A's Top Rangers to Complete Sweep]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 22:19:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/as-rangers518.jpg

OAKLAND — Rich Hill was plenty occupied with his work on the mound Wednesday, but he wasn’t too busy to notice what was happening around him.

The Oakland A’s 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers was the sign of a team playing with renewed confidence and spirit.

"It was a complete game again where everybody contributes and everybody continues to play with that conviction, and it’s a lot of fun to see,” Hill said. “You can see it coming around, and we’re definitely in it right now.”

The A’s (19-22) have won four in a row and five of their past six, and there’s a lot to like about the way they’re doing it. They’re getting big production from some marquee guys in their lineup, notably Khris Davis and Danny Valencia. They’re combining that with subtle contributions from players who have taken on more of a supporting role, such as Billy Butler, who made an impact offensively and defensively during the series while drawing three starts at first base.

They’re also winning in diverse fashion. On Tuesday night, it was a late-inning come-from-behind thriller. But Wednesday’s sweep-clincher was much more dominant and methodical, where the A’s jumped ahead early and robbed the Rangers of any hope that they’d climb back in the game.

Davis, who went deep again and is tied for the American League lead with 12 home runs, summed up the clubhouse vibe perfectly afterward.

“Very confident,” Davis said. “As long as we’re winning we’re building chemistry. Everybody’s in a good mood after we win. Just to see a smile on the boys’ faces after a game is satisfying.”

Hill (6-3) also was instrumental in the A’s ending a streak of 40 home series of three or more games without a sweep, dating back to July 2014. The lefty held the Rangers to three hits over six innings, winning his third consecutive start but notching his first career victory at the Coliseum.

He entered the day with an 0-3 record and 4.85 ERA at home, but he showed the excellent stuff Wednesday that’s been so evident in his road starts. The 36-year-old Hill was viewed as a question mark in the rotation entering the season, justifiably considering he had just four major league starts under his belt dating back to 2009. To this point, his signing on a one-year $6 million contract is looking like a steal for the A’s front office. And if Hill keeps up this level of performance, he’ll put himself in All-Star consideration as the summer unfolds.

Entering Wednesday night, Hill was tied for second in the American League in victories, ranked seventh in ERA (2.54), fifth in strikeouts (59), third in opponents’ batting average (.196) and tied for ninth in WHIP (1.13). His work has been even more important given the struggles of Sonny Gray.

“Rich has really been our guy, our No. 1,” Valencia said. “When he’s out there we feel a couple runs may win the game. It’s a testament to him. He’s put in a lot of hard work to get to this point and he’s been doing great.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Warriors Bounce Back to Even Series Against Thunder]]> Wed, 18 May 2016 22:18:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/238*120/ap-warriors-stephen-curry.jpg

OAKLAND – Facing the prospect of going down 0-2 in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors cleared their collective throats and delivered an emphatic response.

Their 118-91 victory over Oklahoma City in Game 2 Wednesday night before a roaring sellout crowd at Oracle Arena evened the series and, in the process, seemed to bring out the best in Stephen Curry.

Curry scored 28 points, including 17 in a stunning third-quarter shooting display, to lead all Warriors scorers. Klay Thompson had 15 points, Andre Iguodala 14 and Festus Ezeli and Marreese Speights each added 12. Draymond Green submitted 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

In leading by as much as 34, the Warriors outrebounded the Thunder, 45-36 – the first time in five games this season they’ve owned that category. The Warriors committed only 11 turnovers, while scoring 23 points off 16 OKC giveaways.

The Warriors’ bench also routed the Thunder reserves, outscoring them 50-29.

Forward Kevin Durant led OKC with a game-high 29 points. Guard Russell Westbrook totaled 16.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:

It was, if you will, a Green Curry kind of night.

Curry’s line: 28 points (9-of-15 from the field, including 5-of-8 from 3-point distance), three assists and two rebounds. He played 30 minutes and finished plus-24 for the night.

Green’s line: 10 points (4-of-9, 2-of-4), eight rebounds, seven assists and two blocked shots. He played 32 minutes and finished plus-24.

TURNING POINT:

Though the Warriors never trailed by more than 1 point, they didn’t take full command until going on a 17-4 run in the third quarter.

After the Thunder closed to 64-57 on an Andre Roberson drive with 7:23 left in the quarter, the Warriors followed Curry until OKC was reeling, taking an 81-61 lead on Klay Thompson’s two free throws with 4:32 remaining in the third.

Curry was the catalyst of the run, scoring 12 consecutive Warriors points in a span of 89 seconds. His 17-point total for the quarter required less than five minutes.

INJURY UPDATE:

Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) was listed as out and, along with F James Michael McAdoo (healthy) placed on the inactive list.

Thunder: No injuries listed. F Josh Hustis and F Mitch McGary were placed on the inactive list.

WHAT’S NEXT:

Game 3 is set for Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.



Photo Credit: The Associated Press]]>