Oakland exultant -- Outman, A's beat Royals 2-1


Oakland exultant -- Outman, A's beat Royals 2-1


OAKLAND (AP) The Oakland Athletics had a lot of firsts Wednesday night.They won the first home game under new manager Bob Melvin. Jemile Weeks stole his first major league base, and a starting pitcher won for the first time in 16 outings.Most importantly, they finally just won in Oakland again.Josh Outman allowed four hits over seven innings and two relievers helped the struggling A's snap out of a funk by beating the Kansas City Royals 2-1. Oakland hadn't won a game at the Coliseum since May 29."It's always nice to win at home and get a lot of the first out of the way," said Melvin, who is 2-4 since Bob Geren was fired. "First win on the road, home and all that so we can put all that past us and start winning ball games."A complete pitching performance by both sides kept things quiet.
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Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton had RBI singles off starter Luke Hochevar (4-7), who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before it all fell apart. The scuffling A's also got two sparkling defensive plays to end a skid of three straight losses and 13 of 14, a streak that began under Geren.Outman (2-1) struck out two and walked two in the deepest outing of his major league career without allowing a run. Andrew Bailey pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in three chances."I think it's just kind of exciting to be in a pitcher's duel," Outman said. "It was only a matter of time until we broke through."The only noise the Royals made all game came far too late.
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Alcides Escobar had three hits, including a double off reliever Brian Fuentes in the eighth, tying his career high with an eight-game hitting streak. He scored a batter later on Alex Gordon's infield single to trim Oakland's lead to 2-1, with Fuentes and Barton getting mixed up on who was covering first for what should have been an easy out.Melvin came out for a brief conference with Fuentes, who then allowed Melky Cabrera's single to put runners on first and third with two outs. Fuentes rallied by getting Eric Hosmer to foul out along the spacious third-base line."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.Neither team had many opportunities in this one.David DeJesus sent Hochevar's third pitch of the game off the pitcher's right forearm, redirecting the ball to second baseman Chris Getz for an easy groundout. Hochevar was inspected by a team trainer and threw a few light tosses before staying in the game.The hard-throwing right-hander showed no effects from the bruising shot. Hideki Matsui's two walks were the only time an Oakland player reached base until Landon Powell's line-drive single to center leading off the sixth.Then it all came unraveled.Weeks followed with a bunt up the first-base line, Hochevar fielded the ball and tossed it to first baseman Eric Hosmer hustling back to the bag. Television replays appeared to show Hosmer tagging Weeks just before he reached the base, but he was called safe by first base umpire Jeff Nelson.After DeJesus bunted into a fielder's choice, Weeks stole third base without a throw. Then Pennington drove him in with a single to give Oakland a 1-0 lead."That's my game. I'm not a power-hitter. I have to use my legs," Weeks said. "I think that's the route that we're taking. I think that's a good route right now."
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As bad as the Royals were offensively, Oakland was even better defensively.Matt Treanor sent a shot off Outman deep to left field in the fourth that seemed headed for the seats. Josh Willingham backpedalled to the wall and leaped up to catch the ball near the top of the wall, robbing Treanor of extra bases and possibly a home run.Ryan Sweeney provided another big defensive play for the A's, running down Jeff Francoeur's soaring shot to deep center in the seventh with a runner on first. Sweeney followed with a leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, and Barton drove him in two batters later to put Oakland ahead 2-0.NOTES: Oakland RHP Rich Harden, on the DL since straining a muscle behind his right shoulder early in spring training, threw about 40 pitches in a simulated game before batting practice. He hopes to begin a rehab assignment in the minors as early as next week. ... Athletics CF Coco Crisp sat out the game with a sore right heel. He expects to be back in the lineup Thursday. ... Royals LHP Bruce Chen (left lat strain) will make a rehab start for Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, and RHP Kyle Davies (right shoulder inflammation) will make a rehab start Saturday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

While Kevin Durant is understandably the talk of the Warriors after shaking up the NBA landscape in his free agency decision, the player garnering the closest amount of hype going in the regular season was bought with the No. 38 pick in this year's draft. 

"The young kid Patrick McCaw, who's a second-round pick from Vegas, he's picked up everything so easy," head coach Steve Kerr said on KNBR's Tolbert & Lund on Friday. "He reminds me a lot of Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun Livingston, and not only with his build, but with his feel for the game." 

The Warriors used $2.4 million to buy the Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick and make McCaw their new diamond in the rough, just three picks later than Draymond Green in the 2012 draft.

For McCaw, there can't be a much higher compliment from Kerr with himeself being such a big fan of Livingston. 

"Definitely I watch a lot of Shaun Livingston too, a big point guard who can make plays with the ball, can defend, and that's just where I see my game going," McCaw said at his introductory press conference for the Warriors in June.

From summer league through the preseason, McCaw only continues to impress. 

Shining in the Las Vegas Summer League, the versatile McCaw averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals over 33.8 minutes per game. Playing in all seven of the Warriors' preseason games, the 20-year-old guard poured in 8.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game while averaging 20.1 minutes.

If Cubs get to World Series, injured slugger could make surprise return


If Cubs get to World Series, injured slugger could make surprise return

As if the possibility of clinching their first National League pennant in 71 years didn't create enough drama and excitement in Wrigleyville, the Cubs have sent Kyle Schwarber to the Arizona Fall League, hoping he can add another chapter to his October legend.

Schwarber earned this chance after beating every expectation in his recovery from major surgery on his left knee in April. The Cubs haven't ruled anything in or out - and still need to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time this weekend - but they want to see how he responds on Saturday with the Mesa Solar Sox and ultimately decide if he would be a viable designated-hitter option for the World Series.

Schwarber gained clearance on Monday from Dr. Daniel Cooper, the head team physician for the Dallas Cowboys who reconstructed his ACL and repaired his LCL after a devastating outfield collision during the first week of the regular season.

Schwarber flew from Dallas to Los Angeles, where he worked out at Dodger Stadium as the Cubs continued with what has been a classic NL Championship Series. Schwarber left for Arizona on Wednesday to ramp up his baseball activities and prove whether or not he could again be a difference-maker in October.