A's Insider notes: Pennington plays savior for A's

A's Insider notes: Pennington plays savior for A's

May 8, 2011

Paul Gutierrez
Our A's Insider takes a look at Oakland's 5-2 win over the Royals in Kansas City to take the first three on this road trip.

A heads-up Penny - Shortstop Cliff Pennington put a fast end to the sixth inning with a quick-thinking play and nearly saved a run in the process. On Mitch Maier's two-out single to right field, with runners at first and second, Pennington alertly cut off David DeJesus' throw and dived at an over-running Wilson Betemit at second base. He tagged him out to end the inning, a split-second after Eric Hosmer slid across home plate for the Royals' second run of the day. Pennington's tag ended the threat, the inning and was thisclose to costing Kansas City a run. The Royals had cut the A's lead to 3-2 on the play.Coco steps up - It is obvious that Coco Crisp's quad muscle is still hindering him, as evidenced by his dragging his leg. But if the A's dynamic lead off-hitting, center field-playing sparkplug has lost a step, it was one that many others in the game do not possess. He came up huge with a running basket catch of Chris Getz's fly ball in right-center in the seventh inning. Then, flipped to the right side by a left-handed reliever in the eighth, Crisp greeted Tim Collins with a two-out single up the middle on the first pitch he saw to score Mark Ellis and give the A's an insurance run.Suzuki smiles - Yes, it was Mother's Day, not Father's Day, but Kurt Suzuki continued his power surge since the birth of his daughter on April 26. His ninth-inning solo home run with two out and on a full count was his fourth long ball of the season, his third since Malia Suzuki arrived. He also has seven RBI in that span.CoJack just fine, thank you - Two days after a scary-looking collision at first base to end the A's series-opening victory, Conor Jackson was back in the lineup and producing. Jackson had three hits in his first three at-bats and drove in the A's first run with a single to right in the first inning.Pitchers own worst enemies? - The A's defense cost their pitchers in April but the pitchers themselves have made things tough on themselves of late. As pointed out by A's radio announcer Vince Cotroneo, all five of the A's errors in May have been committed by (drum roll, please) pitchers.
-- Paul Gutierrez

With Travis sidelined, Stanford can't slow down surging Oregon Ducks


With Travis sidelined, Stanford can't slow down surging Oregon Ducks


EUGENE, Ore. -- Chris Boucher had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Dylan Ennis scored 15 and No. 11 Oregon rolled to a 69-52 victory over Stanford on Saturday.

With preseason All-America forward Dillon Brooks on the bench and his left leg in a boot to protect a sprained foot, the Ducks (18-2, 7-0 Pac-12) broke a 104-year-old school record with their 16th consecutive win and 38th in a row at home.

Jordan Bell and Tyler Dorsey each had 11 points for Oregon, which overcame 19 turnovers by shooting 11 of 25 from 3-point range and outrebounding Stanford 40-29.

Marcus Allen had 13 points as the only scorer in double figures for the Cardinal (11-9, 3-5). Stanford went more than eight minutes of the second half without a field goal, shot just 32.3 percent overall (20 of 62) and had two players foul out.

Oregon spotted the Cardinal the first five points and then hit four straight 3-pointers in taking a 16-7 lead. The margin grew to 20 late in the half as the Ducks went 8 of 17 beyond the arc and 14 of 26 (53.8 percent) overall.

Stanford, meanwhile, went the last five minutes of the half without a field goal and trailed 40-22.

The Ducks, who led by as many as 25 late in the game, have won their last six games by an average of 24.3 points.


Stanford hasn't swept a conference road trip since 2010. The Cardinal hope to have leading scorer Reid Travis (16.6 ppg) back from a shoulder injury in time for a visit to California in eight days.

Oregon finishes the first half of the Pac-12 season next week at Utah and Colorado, a road trip it hasn't swept in four tries since the Utes and Buffaloes joined the conference in 2011.


Stanford, now 0-6 against ranked teams, hits the Pac-12 midpoint at California on Jan. 29.

Oregon goes for its first 8-0 start to conference play in 91 years at Utah on Thursday. The Ducks finished 10-0 in the Pacific Coast Conference in 1925-26.

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Ex-Warrior rips Thunder for not defending Westbrook after Pachulia incident

Late in the first half of Wednesday night's game against the Thunder, Warriors center Zaza Pachulia made hard contact with Russell Westbrook, sending the Oklahoma City star sprawling to the ground.

The referees reviewed the play and gave Pachulia a flagrant foul.

Replays show Pachulia appearing to stand over Westbrook and none of his Thunder teammates coming to his defense.

Raja Bell, a 12-year NBA veteran who was briefly a Warrior during the 2009-10 season, was not happy with the reaction of the Thunder players.

"You are supposed to come flying across the court. You don't have to punch him, because that's a lot of money. But he should catch a forearm across his shoulder, a shove in the back, you ain't gonna knock down Russell Westbrook, the everything to the team I'm playing on, who feeds me, who makes me better, you ain't gonna do that and just stand over him and ice grill him. Not a chance," Bell said on Thursday during the NBA Crossover show on CBS Sports.

The incident started a war of words between Westbrook a Pachulia following the game.

"I don't know. He hit me kind of hard. But it's alright. I'm going to get his ass back. Straight up," Westbrook said when asked about what happened on the play.

He was then asked if he noticed Pachulia standing over him.

"I didn't see that until just now, but I don't play that game. I'm going to get his ass back. Whenever that is, I don't know, but I don't play that game," Westbrook said.

Pachulia responded to Westbrook's comments moments later.

"I can't worry about that kind of comment. I'm part of an amazing team and we have a great goal of winning a championship. I'm all in with my energy, 100 percent. So we're thinking about this team, staying healthy, moving forward, getting better, getting to the playoffs and playing for the championship. That's what I'm thinking about. I'm not thinking about those kind of comments.

"That team is not there, so they may be thinking about other stuff like getting me back. Okay, you can get me back. But again, it's my 14th year, we all know what my game is, to play hard, not dirty. If it was a hard foul, it was a hard foul. It wasn't dirty at all. I'm not worried about this," Pachulia told the media.