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

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

May 6, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

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.
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"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.

Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

Kings teammates on Gay's Achilles injury: 'It kind of hurt my soul'

SACRAMENTO -- The news couldn’t be any worse for the Sacramento Kings. A 106-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers sent the Kings to their sixth loss in seven tries on the homestand. But an injury to Rudy Gay had the locker room as quiet as it’s ever been.

“Somber, very somber,” Garrett Temple said of the team’s mood. “We have a team of good character guys. Guys that have the right mindset and it’s tough to see people get hurt, especially a guy like Rudy. I’m going to be praying for him and hopefully he can bounce back stronger than before.”

Gay, 30, went to the floor hard in the late third quarter after trying to make a move on the baseline. He laid on the floor for a few seconds before slapping the ground in disgust. Eventually he had to be carried off the court by Willie Cauley-Stein, Omri Casspi and the team’s medical staff.

The initial report is a torn left Achilles tendon. An MRI is set for Thursday morning, but CSN California has learned the diagnosis is correct. There is no timeline for what comes next for Gay, but surgery is required for the team’s second leading scorer.

“Rudy’s a good guy and for him to go down like that this time of year, in this point of his life is kinda tough,” Lawson said. “I’m probably one of the closest to him on the team. It kind of hurt my soul.”

It was a non-contact injury for Gay and the veteran appeared to know the severity of the injury right away.

“Once I seen him on the ground, I felt sick, I felt like something in me just dropped,” Lawson added.   

Gay made his way into the locker room while media was still present. He wore a dark hoodie and a walking boot and moved with the aid of crutches. He grabbed his belongings and left without speaking to the media.

The veteran forward has had issues with his Achilles in the past and even underwent shock wave treatment over summer on the area to prepare himself for the upcoming season. He missed time over the previous two seasons with Achilles tendonitis.

Gay was set to opt out of the final season of his three-year contract extension signed in November of 2014 and become an unrestricted free agent. If he opts in, he is owed $14.4 million next season by the Kings.

Even before the injury, the Kings had began to sputter. After leading by as many as 22 early in the game, Indiana had cut the lead to ten at the point of the injury and momentum had clearly shifted the Pacers way. Without Gay on the court, All-Star Paul George scored two points to end the third and another 11 in the deciding fourth quarter to finish the night with 24.

DeMarcus Cousins tossed in a 25-point, 12-rebounds, 10-assist triple-double, but he shot 0-for-9 in the second half as the Pacers collapsed on the All-Star center.

After falling to 1-6 on the seven game homestand, Sacramento is scheduled to hit the road for a brutal stretch away from Golden 1 Center beginning Friday in Memphis.

“We’ve got an eight game road trip, we’ve got to come together closer and closer, not drift apart,” Lawson said.   

The Kings will play eight games in 12 night’s including three sets of back-to-backs. Gay is clearly out of action, but the team may be without forward Omri Casspi on the trip as well.

Casspi was injured in practice earlier in the week and underwent an MRI on Monday. Tests revealed a strain to his right plantaris tendon and he is expected to miss 1-2 weeks.

“It’s tough, other players are going to have to step up that weren’t playing,” Lawson said. “Hopefully everybody’s been working hard to be ready for this moment.”

With the loss, Sacramento fell a season-high nine games under .500 at 16-25, but they remain just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff chase.

“Guys are going to have to step up, next man up, next man up,” Temple said.

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

Durant building 'Thunder Stopper' reputation after 40-point effort

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant, Thunder Stopper? With a second consecutive magnificent performance in decisive wins over his former Oklahoma City teammates, Durant may be adding a nickname.

Durant on Wednesday night posted his first 40-point game as a Warrior, carrying them to a 121-100 win over the Thunder at Oracle Arena.

He has scored 79 points in two games against OKC, taking only 40 shots to ring up such an impressive total. He was 13-of-16 Wednesday night and 15-of-24 in scoring 39 points in a 122-96 win on Nov. 3 at Oracle.

Though Durant downplayed his production, his coach and teammates were not surprised he has been so good against the team with which he spent nine seasons.

“It’s still kind of fresh, but we can’t deny the history of him with OKC,” Stephen Curry said.

“Every player in the NBA wants to play well against his old team,” coach Steve Kerr said. “For most guys, you feel that extra juice when you play against a team that you played on.”

Durant not only finished with a season-high point total but also added a team-best 12 rebounds, along with four assists and three blocks. He practically stamped his signature on the game.

“My teammates are doing a good job of freeing me up,” said Durant, who drilled 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. “I put the work in and prepared myself for every game. I just happened to knock them down.”

It’s not just that Durant was facing his former team, though. He was, once again, on opposite sides from longtime teammate and erstwhile friend Russell Westbrook. The two have not had much to say to each other since Durant’s decision last July to leave OKC and sign with the Warriors.

Little changed Wednesday night, though the two had a brief exchange in the second half, as Durant headed to the line to shoot a pair of free throws.

Asked if the two have talked, Westbrook said, “Nah,” despite the brief dialogue.

Durant carefully avoided saying anything remotely inflammatory about Westbrook or any of his former teammates.

“It’s good to see everybody,” he said. “Once the ball is tipped, you’re just playing. You’re just hooping. It’s as simple as that. But it’s definitely good to see everybody.”

Durant’s lone lowlight came when he blew a dunk with 1:45 left in the first half, taking flight about 10 feet from the basket and slamming the ball off the back of the rim and nearly to halfcourt.

“I thought I made it,” Durant said, “and then I heard the crowd.

“I was kind of upset. I tried to dunk it too hard, I think. I might have jumped from a little too far out. As I was close to the rim, I felt myself coming down a little earlier than usual.

“But, yeah, I should have made that one. That would have brought the crowd to its feet. But, hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity.”

The crowd was on its feet plenty, as was the case during Durant’s previous display against OKC. The Thunder won’t be back to Oakland this season.

Durant will have another chance to go after his former team and burnish his credentials as a Thunder Stopper when the teams meet on Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City.