Anderson, A's shut out Bumgarner, Giants 6-0


Anderson, A's shut out Bumgarner, Giants 6-0


Programming Note: Your first chance to watch live 2011 baseball comes this Monday, March 7! It's a rematch of the 2010 World Series -- Giants vs. Rangers -- at 6 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
PHOENIX (AP) Brett Anderson showed the Athletics what he can do as a starter.In his first spring start, Anderson struck out five and allowed a hit and a walk in three scoreless innings and Oakland beat the San Francisco Giants 6-0 Saturday.Also, the changeup Anderson has been working on got a good review."He was real good, very crisp, efficient," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "It will help to get that on a par with his other pitches. I'd say he had a decent one before."Anderson calls the pitch "a love-hate change. If you get an out, you love it. If you don't, you hate it."Anderson, who had a shaky relief outing earlier in the spring, was 7-6 in 2010 but was limited to 19 starts due to elbow difficulties. He appears to be healthy now.Madison Bumgarner also made his first start, after two relief outings. He gave up an unearned run on two hits while walking one and striking out one in three innings."My delivery was a lot more consistent. I kept the ball down as well as I have all spring, Bumgarner said.The Athletics fared better against the San Francisco bullpen, scoring three in the fifth and two in the seventh.Oakland appears to be developing a strong force at the top of the lineup with leadoff man Coco Crisp, No. 2 hitter Daric Barton and No. 3 Mark Ellis, all of whom had a hit on Saturday. Ellis drove in Crisp, who had walked, in the first inning, and Crisp had a two-run single in the fifth.Geren said the top four (including outfielder-DH Josh Willingham) "appear to have good approaches, are getting good swings. They have the right pace."Notes: Oakland RHP Joey Devine had his third relief appearance after coming back from Tommy John elbow-ligament surgery. He pitched a scoreless fourth inning and has allowed just one hit in his three innings. ... Brad Ziegler got the Athletics out of a jam in the eighth by getting a bases-loaded strikeout and ended the game on a double play. ... Giants RHP Tim Lincecum makes his third start of the spring on Sunday against Seattle.

Alonso strikes a chord with fascinating account of Cuba defection

Alonso strikes a chord with fascinating account of Cuba defection

ANAHEIM — As Yonder Alonso was preparing for the 2017 season last winter, he was tackling another challenge too.

Over the course of three months, the A’s first baseman gathered his thoughts and pieced together a fascinating first-person account for The Players’ Tribune about his childhood experience defecting from Cuba with his parents and younger sister.

Alonso framed the article as him penning a letter to his 8-year-old self, describing the grueling struggle he and his family would go through while reassuring his younger self that it would all be worth it when he finally made it as a major leaguer. Alonso describes in vivid detail the hardships he went through, caring for his sister, Yainee, at night as they dined on meals of microwaved hot dogs and microwaved eggs, while his parents were away from home working multiple jobs to support their family.

Alonso goes on to describe how he would return from college baseball road trips, while he was attending the University of Miami, and immediately head to a night job to help his father clean warehouses and scrub bathrooms.

The story struck a chord within the A’s clubhouse but also among so many people from the Miami area, where Alonso’s family settled after they defected. Alonso said he’s received text messages from many of them.

“I think everybody in this locker room, or any locker room, they definitely have a story to tell,” Alonso said. “And I think it’s awesome when you see a guy just kind of open up a little bit. I’m (usually) not one to open up.”

Athletes are used to reporters peppering them with questions and trying to draw stories out of them. Seldom do athletes take to penning their own story.

Representatives from The Players’ Tribune, an online publication started by Derek Jeter in 2014, reached out to Alonso in early December about writing something. Alonso had a trip planned to Cuba for later that month, before any request for an article came, and his return visit to his native country helped persuade him to go through with it.

“I saw a lot of people,” he said. “For me it was very touching. For my wife as well.”

Alonso met with an editor from The Players’ Tribune during spring training, and they began hashing out ideas. Alonso said he wrote the story himself with assistance from the editor.

“We had ideas, different ways of going about it,” he said. “I think from day one I knew the way I wanted to write it and how I wanted it to come out, which is a letter to my younger self.”

Even after finishing the project three weeks ago, Alonso said he wasn’t sure he wanted to share it publicly. He showed the article to some friends and teammates, including A’s reliever Sean Doolittle and outfielder Matt Joyce. After reading the piece, Joyce strongly persuaded Alonso to carry through with it.

“I told him it was awesome,” Joyce said. “From my perspective, you don’t really get a good sense of what those guys go through, coming over to the States. You just see them later. So to kind of read it in his own words, it was a really cool perspective and a good story to see what a kid across the water, from a different country, goes through to get to this point. I think it’s a very powerful story and message.”

Alonso said his motivation was simple.

“Just letting my family know, and people in this world know, that if you want to strive for something, it can be tough at times. But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Giants lineup: Belt in left field, Kelby at second base

Programming note: Dodgers-Giants coverage starts today at 11:30am with Giants Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

Dave Roberts and Bruce Bochy issued their lineups for today's series finale at AT&T Park:

Dodgers (10-12)
1. Enrique Hernandez (R) CF
2. Corey Seager (L) SS
3. Justin Turner (R) 3B
4. Yasiel Puig (R) RF
5. Chris Taylor (R) 2B
6. Austin Barnes (R) C
7. Scott Van Slyke (R) 1B
8. Cody Bellinger (L) LF
9. Julio Urias (L) P

Giants (8-14) 
1. Hunter Pence (R) RF
2. Brandon Belt (L) LF
3. Eduardo Nunez (R) SS
4. Buster Posey (R) 1B
5. Christian Arroyo (R) 3B
6. Nick Hundley (R) C
7. Kelby Tomlinson (R) 2B
8. Gorkys Hernandez (R) CF
9. Matt Moore (L) P (1-3, 5.87 ERA)