A's score three in fifth to get Gio win over Royals


A's score three in fifth to get Gio win over Royals


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A night of little oddities began in the barber shop.Eric Hosmer, about to make one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Kansas City history, walked into the little room in Kauffman Stadium where players get haircuts and ran into Gio Gonzalez, Oakland's scheduled starting pitcher.The two fellow South Floridians visited briefly, wished each other well, and then a few hours later Gonzalez struck out Hosmer in a key situation en route to the Oakland's 3-2 victory on Friday night.Gonzalez had pitched to Mike Hosmer, Eric's older brother, in a high school game and Eric had long admired the left-hander who was practically from his old neighborhood."It was kind of awkward," Gonzalez said. "Then he told me, Hey, I used to watch you pitch in South Florida.' It was pretty exciting."Gonzalez (4-2) gave up a home run to Alex Gordon in the first but went seven innings and allowed only four hits and two runs.Hosmer, getting a standing ovation before his first plate appearance, walked twice and struck out twice. With the A's leading 3-2 in the eighth and Jeff Francoeur on second with the potential tying run, Gonzalez got the heralded rookie first baseman to take a called third strike.
GUTIERREZ: A's next challenge? Two games over .500
"It's a great thing that Eric got called up," Gonzalez said. "He's another South Florida guy and it's an honor to see guys like that come up and continue to do good. And he's going to be a big, big help to Kansas City. You could see it in his swings, the way he approached the game."Hosmer, whose .439 average at Triple-A Omaha was the highest of any minor league regular in the nation, was 0 for 2 with a stolen base and walks in his first two trips to the plate. Plus, he handled every chance at first flawlessly."It was humbling to go out there and hear how loud the fans get every time you come up to the plate," Hosmer said.The most ballyhooed Royals rookie since Bo Jackson 25 years ago got good marks from his manager."He did a great job," Ned Yost said. "His first two at-bats were phenomenal, tough walks against a tough, tough pitcher."Sean O'Sullivan (1-2) was almost as good as Gonzalez, but Oakland got to him for three runs in the fifth. The right-hander still managed a career-high eight innings, allowing five hits and one walk.Royals' pitchers faced only four batters over the minimum and retired the A's 1-2-3 in seven of nine innings. It was also the first game in almost four years the Royals failed to record a single strikeout."That's a tough one to lose, a tough one to swallow," said O'Sullivan.O'Sullivan retired 11 straight batters before Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney and Andy LaRoche singled leading off the fifth. LaRoche's hit drove in Suzuki and Mark Ellis followed with a liner to left that glanced off Gordon's outstretched glove. The runners had held up to see if the ball would be caught, so the bases were loaded with nobody out.Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded to third baseman Betemit, who got a forceout at second as Sweeney scored. Then Coco Crisp's infield out brought in another run, putting the A's on top 3-2.Crisp was then thrown out trying to steal second and after that, O'Sullivan retired nine in a row before Tim Collins came in.With two out in the first, Gordon hit Gonzalez's 2-1 pitch over the fence in left. Matt Treanor walked leading off the third and scored on Mike Aviles' triple.The A's were scrambling to get information on the 21-year-old Hosmer."Anything we can get our hands on," said manager Bob Geren. "But the thing is, Gio is going to pitch his game and make adjustments in-game. See how he swings at certain pitches. The numbers he had in the minor leagues, they don't lie. So obviously he's going to be a good player."In the ninth, with much of the crowd on its feet, Hosmer took a called third strike again from Brian Fuentes, who got his eighth save in 10 opportunities."It seemed like the game went by real fast," he said. "I'm glad I can get that debut out of the way and move on from this. I'm definitely never going to forget this day."NOTES: Hosmer's mother, father, brother, aunt and uncle flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to see his major league debut. ... The A's have not been shut out by Kansas City in 138 games. ... Oakland's David DeJesus has not committed an error in 269 consecutive games, longest active streak among major league outfielders. ... The Royals moved C Jason Kendall from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.

Walton wins debut as Lakers finish off Rockets


Walton wins debut as Lakers finish off Rockets


LOS ANGELES -- Jordan Clarkson scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Lakers won coach Luke Walton's debut, holding off the Houston Rockets 120-114 on Wednesday night.

D'Angelo Russell scored 20 points and Julius Randle added 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the young Lakers, who got off to an exciting start in the franchise's first season without Kobe Bryant since 1995.

With a revamped roster coming off the worst season in the 16-time champion team's history, Los Angeles surged in the fourth quarter of an auspicious opener under Walton, the 36-year-old former Lakers forward.

James Harden had 34 points, a career-high 17 assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets, who lost in former Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni's debut on the Houston bench.

The Lakers played an up-tempo, aggressive offensive game under Walton, and nobody seized the moment better than Clarkson, who came off the bench in his first game since signing a $50 million contract. His 3-pointer put the Lakers up 116-112 with 1:48 left, and the Lakers hung on while the Rockets missed a long series of open shots in the final minute.

Brandon Ingram scored nine points in the No. 2 pick's NBA debut for the Lakers. Timofey Mozgov had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Luol Deng had seven points in their Lakers debuts.

After matching the franchise record with 14 first-half assists, Harden tied his career high with his 16th early in the third quarter. The Los Angeles native managed only six points in the fourth quarter, going 1 for 5, and his teammates were a combined 5 for 16.


Hall of Famer Bill Walton proudly wore a purple Lakers T-shirt to his son's official coaching debut. Walton's mother and three brothers also attended the game. "The Walton force will be strong tonight," Luke said with a grin. "There's definitely nerves and excitement right now, but mostly there's no time to think about how incredible this is, and the opportunity. It's more focused on watching film and getting the prep work in for tonight's game."


The Lakers fired D'Antoni after he went 27-55 in 2013-14, the first of a franchise-record three straight non-playoff seasons. When D'Antoni was asked before the game about reflecting on his time in LA, the coach quickly quipped: "I try not to. ... No, I loved it. I actually did. Manhattan Beach is probably the greatest place to stay. Great friends. They treated me nice, (Lakers owner) Jim (Buss) and (general manager) Mitch (Kupchak). It just didn't fit. It just didn't work."


Rockets: Clint Capela, the 6-foot-9 Swiss forward, replaced Dwight Howard in the middle of the lineup.

Lakers: Metta World Peace began his 17th NBA season, picking up three fouls in his first two minutes while guarding Harden. ... Before the game, they solidified their young core by picking up their 2017-18 contract options on Russell, Randle and Larry Nance Jr. ... Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, director Peter Berg, YG, Kendall Jenner, Karlie Kloss, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver attended the game.


Rockets: At Dallas on Friday in the opener of a home-and-home series.

Lakers: Open a four-game road trip at Utah on Friday.

Instant Replay: Cousins, Kings cruise in opener vs Suns

Instant Replay: Cousins, Kings cruise in opener vs Suns


The Sacramento Kings rolled into Phoenix’s Talking Stick Resort Arena and blew away the Suns on Wednesday night by a final of 113-94. The young upstart Suns tried to make a game out of it in the early fourth quarter, but Sacramento turned to their veterans who delivered down the stretch.

DeMarcus Cousins got into foul trouble early, but still found a way to drop in 24 points and grab six rebounds in 24 minutes manning the middle. Once he was in the flow of the defense, Cousins came to the aid of his teammates, stepping in and cutting off the baseline on multiple possessions.

Like Cousins, Rudy Gay didn’t look great early, but he still managed to score 22 points in the win. There was a sequence in the third quarter when Gay came alive on the defensive end, blocking back-to-back shots on the same defensive possession..

Starting for Darren Collison, Ty Lawson ran the offense better than expected, posting nine points, six rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes of action.

Garrett Temple filled in as the reserve point guard spot and added 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting.

Matt Barnes provided a spark off the bench, tossing in 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds.

Eleven of 12 players that stepped on the floor for Sacramento scored and nine players players dropped in six points or more in the win.  

Eric Bledsoe had a nice night for the Suns, scoring 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting with five assists. T.J. Warren chipped in 14 points and five rebounds while playing solid defense on Gay early. Devin Booker added 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, but he missed all three of his long range shots.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER -- Cousins couldn’t set the tempo early, but when he got it rolling in the third quarter, it was lights out for the Suns. There are plenty of nights that Cousins will be asked to do more, but with a big lead, the Kings didn’t need a typical showing from their All-Star center.

TURNING POINT -- Sacramento finished the first half on a 16-1 run and took a 57-38 lead into the intermission. The Suns kept it within 20 for most of the night and even made a run at the end of third, but the game was decided in the few minutes leading to the intermission.

INJURY UPDATE -- Sacramento enters the season with a full roster of healthy bodies. Matt Barnes struggled with a rib injury during camp, but played a big 27 minutes for the Kings  in the opener.

WHAT'S NEXT -- The Kings return home from Phoenix following the game where the the San Antonio Spurs are waiting for them. Thursday night’s home opener marks the first official game in the new Golden 1 Center as the Kings look to improve to 2-0 on the season.