Anderson spins gem, Athletics top Red Sox 5-0


Anderson spins gem, Athletics top Red Sox 5-0


OAKLAND (AP) That talented, young pitching rotation the Athletics are banking on to carry them this season is holding down its end of the deal so far.Brett Anderson struck out eight and outdueled usual Oakland nemesis John Lackey for his first victory of the season, and the A's beat Boston 5-0 on Tuesday night to snap the Red Sox's three-game winning streak.David DeJesus got Oakland on the board with a first-inning RBI groundout, then Hideki Matsui added a two-run double and Daric Barton and Kurt Suzuki each hit RBI singles in a four-run eighth. Anderson (1-1) allowed four hits and walked one in eight innings, helping the A's (9-8) move over .500 for first time this year.A's starters have allowed just one earned run over their last five games - spanning 33 2-3 innings - for a 0.27 ERA."It's fun when we're going good like that," Anderson said. "We want to feed off each other and keep putting up zeros."The Red Sox were coming off a 9-1 win over the Blue Jays, highlighted by 13 hits and three home runs. Boston remains winless away from Fenway Park - the 0-7 road start is the worst in franchise history - and was blanked for the second time this season after losing 1-0 at Cleveland on April 7.
GUTIERREZ: A's starters playing 'Top This'
"We'll be all right," second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We might be the first team to lose our first seven on the road and win the next seven, who knows."Red Sox manager Terry Francona was ejected for the first time this year for arguing a play on the basepaths in the fourth.Anderson looked sharp all night and improved to 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA in six career starts against the Red Sox. The starters are on a nice roll."Every one of them has a solid routine between starts and they are ready to pitch," manager Bob Geren said.Boston had a chance against Anderson in the eighth after David Ortiz led off with a single and was lifted for pinch-runner Jacoby Ellsbury. But Mike Cameron struck out and Ellsbury was caught stealing for a double play. Initially, interference was called on Cameron but crew chief Tim Welke cleared things up afterward. Even Ellsbury thought the call was batter interference.Anderson then allowed back-to-back singles to Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia before striking out Darnell McDonald.Craig Breslow and Brian Fuentes combined to finish the five-hitter.In the seventh, Anderson tripped on the front of the mound and committed Oakland's majors-leading 19th error while making a throw to first after fielding Adrian Gonzalez's comebacker. But Anderson got Kevin Youkilis to ground into an inning-ending double play.After Gonzalez's two-out single in the first, Anderson didn't allow another hit until Ortiz's single. The burly left-hander retired 16 of 17 batters during one stretch with only a leadoff walk to Pedroia in the fourth.Pedroia was caught stealing moments later and Francona was ejected by plate umpire Jim Reynolds for arguing. Francona claimed it was an obvious balk.Lackey (1-2) allowed four hits in six innings, struck out three and walked one in his best start so far. The right-hander threw two side sessions under the guidance of first-year Red Sox pitching coach Curt Young during a long layoff between starts. He was supposed to pitch last Wednesday but the game against Tampa Bay was rained out and he had his turn skipped."Never been skipped before. It was not fun," Lackey said. "Just trying to locate the fastball better. It was something I didn't do well the first two starts. I thought I did well tonight. You've got to get out there and throw bullets."Lackey - 17-6 with a 2.86 ERA against the A's in 32 career starts, most of those coming during his days with the AL West rival Angels - lowered his ERA from 15.58 ERA to 9.82 after struggling through his first two outings of 2011."Watching him pitch tonight, you can't really see how he struggled early in the year," Geren said. "That was vintage John Lackey."But Boston couldn't generate much offense in the opener of a quick, two-game visit to the Coliseum - one of only two West Coast trips for the Red Sox this season. They came to Oakland twice in 2010 and also played in San Francisco for interleague. The A's go to Fenway Park for a pair of three-game series.After this stop, the Red Sox head to Southern California to play four games with the Los Angeles Angels before three games at Baltimore. They don't come back West until August at Seattle.Francona stuck with the hot hand of shortstop Jed Lowrie, who entered batting .516 with two home runs and nine RBIs. Lowrie went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and had his seven-game hitting streak snapped. Francona said he is communicating with Marco Scutaro and is writing the lineup based on performance.NOTES: Francona was ejected for the 30th time as a manager. ... A's LHP Dallas Braden, placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a shoulder injury that forced him out of his Saturday start early, is scheduled to be examined by renowned orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday in Los Angeles. RHP Tyson Ross will start in Braden's spot Friday at Seattle. ... Oakland RHP reliever Michael Wuertz (strained left hamstring) is set to pitch in a rehab outing for Triple-A Sacramento at Reno on Wednesday - going four or five outs. ... Young returned to Oakland for the first time since spending the past seven seasons coaching the A's pitchers.

Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies


The Warriors went back and forth all game with the Grizzlies and dug deep when they needed it most for a key victory at Oracle Arena Sunday, 106-94. 

Klay Thompson topped all scorers with 31 points, draining seven from long range. Fellow Splash Brother Steph Curry saved his best for the fourth quarter. 

Curry scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 21. He also handed out 11 assists. 

Andre Iguodala continued his strong month with 20 points and seven rebounds. 

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

A's spring training Day 41: Maxwell's two-HR day can't stave off bad news

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.