A's go for series win over K.C. behind Gonzalez


A's go for series win over K.C. behind Gonzalez

June 16, 2011

KANSAS CITY (30-38) vs.
A's (29-40)

OAKLAND (AP) -- Though he's only been in the major leagues since 2008, June continues to be a difficult month for Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez will try to snap a three-start skid for the Athletics as they close a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.

With his struggles this month, Gonzalez has dropped to 1-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 June starts. The only other months in which the right-hander has posted losing records are August (6-7) and October (0-1).

RELATED: Gio Gonzalez 2011 game logs

Gonzalez had totaled 26 walks in 10 June starts heading into Sunday's matchup with the Chicago White Sox. He issued a career-high seven bases on balls, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and committed a balk in 5 1-3 innings of Oakland's 3-2 loss.

"I felt like it was a lot better than what the numbers showed. I felt like I gave it all I got. I felt like I was in the game. Not mechanics, just more about composure," Gonzalez told the Athletics' official website.

Gonzalez (5-5, 2.67 ERA) has handed out 23 of his 40 walks this season at O.co Coliseum, where he's 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA.

He beat the Royals on the road May 6 after allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings of a 3-2 victory. Still, Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 6.39 ERA and 15 walks in 25 1-3 innings versus Kansas City.

RELATED: Kansas City Royals news and headlines

The Royals (30-38) will go with Jeff Francis (3-6, 4.40) as he tries to build off his first road win of the season.

The left-hander had been 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts away from Kansas City before facing the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings in the 4-2 victory.

"I didn't really change anything. I just tried to make an effort to throw more strikes and make them hit it," Francis said. "Anytime you get a win, it's satisfying as a team - not only as an individual."

Francis, who pitched for Colorado from 2004-10, lost his first game against Oakland on May 8 after giving up three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 defeat.

Oakland (29-40) gave new manager Bob Melvin his first home win, 2-1 on Wednesday.

GUTIERREZ: A's find winning formula against Royals

The A's were held without a hit through five innings by Luke Hochevar, who eventually gave up RBI singles to Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton. Oakland's Josh Outman, meanwhile, yielded four hits through seven innings for the first win by an A's starter in 16 games.

"We took advantage of just about every chance we could get," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was a well-pitched game on both sides."

The A's haven't had back-to-back home wins since May 16 and 17.

The Royals' Alcides Escobar had three hits for the second straight game and scored on Alex Gordon's base hit in the eighth inning.

Escobar will try to set a career high by extending his hitting streak to nine games. He's batting .552 (16 for 29) during his run, increasing his average 42 points to .245.

Escobar went 1 for 3 against Gonzalez last month.

Kansas City is 3-2 on its nine-game swing that concludes in St. Louis starting Friday night.

Steve Kerr expands on marijuana, problems with painkillers in sports

Steve Kerr expands on marijuana, problems with painkillers in sports

OAKLAND – Having stirred widespread discussion after his comments Friday regarding his use of marijuana to treat chronic pain, Warriors coach Steve Kerr took a few minutes Saturday to expand on the subject.

“It was interesting, because the way the world works and the way the media works now, what is a very serious discussion about pain relief turns into the headline: ‘Kerr smokes pot,’ “ Kerr said during his news conference before the Suns-Warriors game at Oracle Arena. “I guess that’s the world we live in. That’s fine.

“But I’m actually kind of glad that it became an issue because I think it’s a very important issue to talk about.”

The overriding issue, Kerr said, is that dangerous prescription painkillers are more widely accepted than marijuana, despite research to the contrary.

“I do find it ironic that had I said that I’ve used OxyContin for relief from my back pain, it would not have been a headline,” he said. “So that’s all. I just urge people to do your research before you start taking the stuff that we’re all encouraged to take.”

Kerr’s initial comments were made Friday in response to a question on The Warriors Insider Podcast. Asked if he could visualize a time when marijuana would be accepted, much as alcohol or prescription drugs, he said he hoped so and added that he had experimented with it in hopes of alleviating his pain.

“I’m disappointed it didn’t work,” he said Saturday. “I really wanted some relief and I didn’t get it.”

With 26 states having voted in laws allowing use of marijuana, the stigma continues to shrink. That’s not true, not yet, of sports leagues, which will follow the research and better understand and apply and findings.

“Having gone through a tough spell over the last year with my own recovery from back surgery, a lot of pain, a lot of chronic pain, I had to do a lot of research,” he said. “You get handed prescriptions for Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet . . . NFL players, that’s what they’re given. That stuff is awful. That stuff is dangerous, the addiction possibility, what it can lead to, the long-term health risks. The issue that’s really important is how do we do what’s best for the players.

“But I understand that it’s a perception issue around the country,” he added. “The NFL, the NBA, it’s a business. So you don’t want your customers thinking, ‘These guys are a bunch of potheads.’ That’s what it is.

“But to me, it’s only a matter of time before medicinal marijuana is allowed in sports leagues because the education will overwhelm the perception. If you do any research at all, the stuff they’re prescribing is really bad for you and the stuff that they’re banning is fine."

Kerr stressed that he was not advocating for recreational use of marijuana but urging consideration for medicinal use where it applies.

Draymond Green to wear custom 'Sideline Racism' Nike shoes

Draymond Green to wear custom 'Sideline Racism' Nike shoes

For all Week 13 NFL games, players have the clearance to wear custom-designed cleats to highlight a cause that they are passionate about. And Draymond Green is joining the movement with his Nike shoes this weekend. 

Green will wear specially designed yellow and blue Nikes that read, "Sideline Racism." On Twitter, Green wrote "I stand with my @NFL brother this weekend in wearing @RISEtoWIN's Sideline Racism shoes in uniting against racism. We stand united @NFL."

The shoes are through RISEtoWIN, whose Twitter profile states the organization as "dedicated to harnessing the unifying power of sports to improve race relations."

RISE (the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality) is a non-profit organization, which was founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross in 2015.