A's break tie with three-run 6th, top Orioles 6-2

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A's break tie with three-run 6th, top Orioles 6-2

May 27, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
OAKLAND (AP) Maybe Oakland manager Bob Geren should get ejected more often.The offense-starved Athletics scored three runs in the sixth inning after Geren was tossed by home plate umpire Angel Campos for arguing balls and strikes then added an insurance run on Josh Willingham's eighth home run of the season on the way to a 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night."I didn't even really know he got ejected until they announced it," said Willingham, who had an RBI double during the A's three-run sixth. "He can get thrown out tomorrow night if we can get three runs the next inning. That's fine with me."Geren's first ejection of the season and 10th of his career seemed to spark the A's, who reached double digits in hits for a second consecutive game.Oakland put runners on base in every inning, batted around during the sixth and reached double digits in hits for a second consecutive game. Every starter had at least one hit and five different players drove in runs.It was the perfect start to the A's six-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees following a tumultuous four-game series in Los Angeles when reliever Brian Fuentes publicly criticized Geren for a lack of communication. Former Oakland reliever Huston Street also was critical of Geren in published reports this week."You can't expect double digit hits every night but getting them in back to back games is a good start," Geren said. "Guys are feeling a little more confident about themselves offensively. I like what I'm seeing."Ryan Sweeney hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and also doubled and scored twice while Oakland matched its season high with four double plays.Vladimir Guerrero singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for Baltimore, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.Brad Ziegler (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win while Joey Devine and Michael Wuertz pitched an inning apiece to complete the six-hitter.The A's had lost seven of nine since moving into a tie for first in the AL West on May 17, primarily due to an offense that is last in the American League in runs scored.That wasn't an issue against Baltimore."If we can put up four or five runs a game, I like our chances on any given night with our pitching staff," Willinghgam said. "We haven't helped them as much as we should have so far this year but hopefully we can start coming around and putting some consistent games together."The A's scored all their runs in the sixth with two outs. Sweeney's RBI single snapped a 2-2 tie, while Willingham and Kurt Suzuki also drove in runs to help Oakland take a 5-2 lead. All the runs came off Baltimore reliever Alfredo Simon (1-1).Willingham hit his eighth home in the eighth.Hideki Matsui's two-out RBI-single in the first gave the A's a 1-0 lead after third baseman Mark Reynolds' fielding error prolonged the inning.Baltimore got the run back against Gonzalez, who struggled with his control all night."We had him on the ropes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We had some disciplined at-bats and you don't get (Gonzalez) in that situation very often, and it's unfortunate. It's frustrating because you've got a chance to beat a really good pitcher tonight."Gonzalez gave up consecutive singles to open the second then issued back-to-back walks, the second to Reynolds that forced in Guerrero. Gonzalez then struck out J.J. Hardy and got Jake Fox to ground into an inning-ending double play.The A's got another big two-out hit in the second when David DeJesus lined a shot that glanced off Reynolds' glove and landed in left field. That slowed the ball enough to allow Mark Ellis to score from second.Gonzalez got a scare in the fifth while trying to cover first base on an attempted double play. The throw from shortstop Cliff Pennington sailed behind Gonzalez, who rolled his left ankle while reaching back for the ball.Fox scored easily from second on the error while Gonzalez limped noticeably around the infield. The Oakland lefty stayed in the game and gave up a walk to Nick Markakis before Guerrero hit into a double play.Gonzalez, who finished with seven strikeouts and five walks, left after giving up a leadoff single to Wieters in the sixth.Oakland loaded the bases in the fifth to chase Baltimore starter Chris Tillman but failed to score when Simon struck out Suzuki and Ellis.Tillman gave up two runs and six hits with two strikeouts. The right-hander, who has three straight no-decisions, also walked three and hit a batter.Notes: The A's made a few roster moves in anticipation of the expected return of two-time All-Star reliever Andrew Bailey. Oakland traded LHP to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for IF Scott Sizemore, who is expected to report to the team's Triple-A club in Sacramento. LHP Bobby Cramer was called up from Sacramento to take Purcey's place on the 25-man roster. ... Tillman has not allowed a home run in seven consecutive starts. ... Markakis singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

SACRAMENTO -- The news couldn’t be any worse for the Sacramento Kings. A 106-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers sent the Kings to their sixth loss in seven tries on the homestand. But an injury to Rudy Gay had the locker room as quiet as it’s ever been.

“Somber, very somber,” Garrett Temple said of the team’s mood. “We have a team of good character guys. Guys that have the right mindset and it’s tough to see people get hurt, especially a guy like Rudy. I’m going to be praying for him and hopefully he can bounce back stronger than before.”

Gay, 30, went to the floor hard in the late third quarter after trying to make a move on the baseline. He laid on the floor for a few seconds before slapping the ground in disgust. Eventually he had to be carried off the court by Willie Cauley-Stein, Omri Casspi and the team’s medical staff.

The initial report is a torn left Achilles tendon. An MRI is set for Thursday morning, but CSN California has learned the diagnosis is correct. There is no timeline for what comes next for Gay, but surgery is required for the team’s second leading scorer.

“Rudy’s a good guy and for him to go down like that this time of year, in this point of his life is kinda tough,” Lawson said. “I’m probably one of the closest to him on the team. It kind of hurt my soul.”

It was a non-contact injury for Gay and the veteran appeared to know the severity of the injury right away.

“Once I seen him on the ground, I felt sick, I felt like something in me just dropped,” Lawson added.   

Gay made his way into the locker room while media was still present. He wore a dark hoodie and a walking boot and moved with the aid of crutches. He grabbed his belongings and left without speaking to the media.

The veteran forward has had issues with his Achilles in the past and even underwent shock wave treatment over summer on the area to prepare himself for the upcoming season. He missed time over the previous two seasons with Achilles tendonitis.

Gay was set to opt out of the final season of his three-year contract extension signed in November of 2014 and become an unrestricted free agent. If he opts in, he is owed $14.4 million next season by the Kings.

Even before the injury, the Kings had began to sputter. After leading by as many as 22 early in the game, Indiana had cut the lead to ten at the point of the injury and momentum had clearly shifted the Pacers way. Without Gay on the court, All-Star Paul George scored two points to end the third and another 11 in the deciding fourth quarter to finish the night with 24.

DeMarcus Cousins tossed in a 25-point, 12-rebounds, 10-assist triple-double, but he shot 0-for-9 in the second half as the Pacers collapsed on the All-Star center.

After falling to 1-6 on the seven game homestand, Sacramento is scheduled to hit the road for a brutal stretch away from Golden 1 Center beginning Friday in Memphis.

“We’ve got an eight game road trip, we’ve got to come together closer and closer, not drift apart,” Lawson said.   

The Kings will play eight games in 12 night’s including three sets of back-to-backs. Gay is clearly out of action, but the team may be without forward Omri Casspi on the trip as well.

Casspi was injured in practice earlier in the week and underwent an MRI on Monday. Tests revealed a strain to his right plantaris tendon and he is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.

“It’s tough, other players are going to have to step up that weren’t playing,” Lawson said. “Hopefully everybody’s been working hard to be ready for this moment.”

With the loss, Sacramento fell a season-high nine games under .500 at 16-25, but they remain just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.

“Guys are going to have to step up, next man up, next man up,” Temple said.

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.