A's narrowly avoid sweep, edge Angels in 10th


A's narrowly avoid sweep, edge Angels in 10th


Paul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com
ANAHEIM - The A's salvaged the third game of a three-game series with the Angels in Anaheim with a 2-1 victory in 10 innings Wednesday.Cliff Pennington led off the 10th inning with a triple off left-fielder Vernon Wells' glove and scored on Conor Jackson's one-out, high-chopper groundout to shortstop.Brad Ziegler pitched a perfect inning for his first save of the season.Still, the A's lackluster offense - which was a combined 0-for-20 with runners in scoring position in the series, 0-11 Wednesday - wasted a sterling start from right-hander Tyson Ross at Angel Stadium.Kevin Kouzmanoff's team-high sixth error, on an Alexi Amarista grounder, led off the ninth. Amarista was replaced by pinch-runner Mark Trumbo and he advanced to second base on Erick Aybar's sacrifice bunt.
GUTIERREZ: Ross robbed of win after dicing up Angels
One batter later, and on a full count, Bobby Abreu doubled down the third-base line to score Trumbo."They got a break to tie the game," said A's manager Bob Geren. "We got a break to win the game. It felt like it was our game the whole way."Ross, making his second start of the season, threw seven innings of shutout ball. In the rotation with Dallas Braden on the disabled list, Ross allowed four hits while striking out three, walking one and uncorking a wild pitch in his 76 pitches, 47 of which were strikes."I was (working) too fast in Seattle in getting wild out there," Ross said. "I was just trying to slow my delivery down and get ahead of hitters and attack the zone."The A's (12-13) did not allow an earned run.Former A's starter Dan Haren was charged with one unearned run in seven innings of work, allowing three hits while striking out five and walking two.The Angels (14-11) had taken the first two games of the American League West series by a combined 13-3.The A's actually led, 1-0, while being no-hit by Haren.After Landon Powell led off the third inning with a walk, Kouzmanoff reached on a Howie Kendrick error, putting runners at first and second with none out.Perfect time for a sacrifice bunt, what with the No. 9 hitter coming up for a scuffling offense, right? Wrong.Pennington popped out to the catcher. David DeJesus then was hit by a Haren pitch to load the bases.Up stepped Daric Barton, mired in a slump. He got the run home, though, with a sacrifice fly out to left field.The A's were without Coco Crisp (left quad), Josh Willingham (back) and Kurt Suzuki (paternity leave). Suzuki, whose wife was scheduled to induce labor this morning in the Bay Area, can stay on the list for one to three days. So the A's recalled Josh Donaldson from triple-A Sacramento to be the team's back-up catcher to Landon Powell, until Suzuki returns.
NEWS: A's without Suzuki due to paternity leave
Crisp was shuffling around the presume clubhouse, his upper left leg rapped and said he was "good." Geren said Crisp was officially "day-to-day" and did not think a trip to the disabled list was likely."He's an exciting player," Geren said, "with his combination of home runs and steals. He's a total package player. He means a lot to the team."Willingham, meanwhile, took some batting practice swings for the first time since leaving Monday night's series opener with a stiff back."It was a lot better, but I still felt it," he said. "Hopefully, I'll play Friday."With Thursday's of day, it would give Willingham a full three day's off to rest and recuperate. Willingham was also clear to specify where the tightness is - middle-left of the back. He was hit by a pitch in the upper left back Sunday at Seattle."If I had to play today, I could," he said.Turns out they did not need him. Though his bat in a scuffling lineup would not have hurt.

Reliable on the mound, Melancon seeks thrills off of it


Reliable on the mound, Melancon seeks thrills off of it

SAN FRANCISCO — At his introductory press conference Friday, new Giant Mark Melancon was asked about the fearlessness it takes to be a big league closer. He looked down at the first row of seats, where his wife Mary Catherine was sitting in a brand new No. 41 jersey, smiling. 

“You should probably ask my wife that,” Melancon joked.

When the Melancons got married, Mary Catherine had a calligrapher write up an actual bucket list of things the two could do together and presented it to Mark as a wedding gift. 

“It’s framed and it’s in our bathroom,” Mark said during an interview with CSN Bay Area on Friday. “It’s literally in our bathroom and we look at it all the time and try to plan out what we’re going to get done. Because it is on paper and it’s a goal and all that, we’ve checked off probably 40 or 50 percent of it in six years.”

The check marks include biking down the world’s “most dangerous road” in Bolivia and diving with great white sharks near New Zealand. The Melancons have visited Dubai and gone on a safari and stayed in countless cities off the beaten path. They have gone underwater with manta rays and high in the air in a blimp. Some of the items are simple ones, like attending a Nascar race. 

“There are a few items we’ll have to wait for until after baseball,” Melancon said. “We try to keep it safe of course, but it’s just a lot of fun. It’s a way to kind of bring creativity and allow ourselves to do things you could easily say no to.”

The standard MLB contract prohibits quite a few “dangerous” activities, and with a four-year, $62 million deal that is currently the second-biggest ever for a reliever, Melancon will hold off on certain trips, like skiing the Swiss Alps. “Attend the Kentucky Derby” is on the bucket list, but because the Derby is in May, that one is saved for retirement. In his first year with the Giants, Melancon hopes to put a check mark next to “sit backstage at a concert.”

Melancon said the thrill-seeking has slowed down a bit because the couple now has three young children, two daughters and a son. The Giants are hoping the more relaxed vibe carries over into their ninth innings. Team officials have been told by past Melancon employers that they signed a closer who is “boring” on the mound, in a good way. With a cutter-heavy approach, Melancon tends to get his ninth-inning work done quickly and without drama. That’s a welcome change of pace for an organization that has grown accustomed to “torture” late in games. 

“He was our target and we’ve gotten to know him, and the more we’ve gotten to know him the better we’ve felt about the fact that he was really meant to be a Giant,” team president and CEO Larry Baer said. 

The Giants had Melancon as their top offseason choice — and only big offseason expenditure — all along. Team officials feel even better about that approach after watching Melancon tour the ballpark Friday morning and meet with season-ticket holders and team employees. The fit was an easy one, with one member of the front office saying Melancon is “practically straight out of Giants central casting.”

Melancon’s new teammates feel the same way. He said eight to 10 of them have reached out since the deal was announced Monday. The group includes the types of players who are on any free agent’s bucket list of potential teammates. A ground ball pitcher, Melancon is looking forward to working with a Gold Glove infield. 

“That’s kind of an attractive thing to have a couple of Gold Glovers (up the middle) and then being able to throw to Buster is icing on the cake,” he said. “When you put things together on paper and go ‘who do you want to throw to and back you up,’ this team stands out.”

NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings


NBA denies Raptors protest over November loss to Kings

NEW YORK – The National Basketball Association announced today that it has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20, 2016. 

The Raptors’ protest asserted that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a three-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining in the game.  The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined that the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.  

The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction on the play. 

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