Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays


Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Dallas Braden isn't panicking about Oakland's poor start to the season.Travis Snider hit a three-run home run, Yunel Escobar had three hits before leaving with an injury and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Braden and the A's 5-3 on Wednesday night.Oakland has lost four of five to star the season and will try to avoid being swept by Toronto Thursday afternoon. The A's visit Minnesota and Chicago before returning home."We have a tough trip obviously but I like the way we've been playing," manager Bob Geren said. "We've been playing a lot better overall, swinging the bats a little better. The starting pitching has been fantastic."Still, some victories would be nice.RATTO: New challenge for A's -- expectations
"Hopefully we'll put all three facets of the game together (Thursday)," outfielder Josh Willingham said. "We need to get a win this series, for sure."Braden (0-1), who allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings, understands there's plenty of time to right the ship."There's always room for improvement," Braden said. "But I don't feel like we're so down and out or at the bottom of the barrel or anything like that. I don't have that sense at all about this team. For game five to feel like we're behind the 8-ball or feel like we're not doing our best, I think it's a little early."Jesse Litsch pitched 6 1-3 innings for his first win since July 20 and Jon Rauch got two outs for his first save as the Blue Jays won for the eighth time in 11 games against the A's.Starting for the first time since Aug. 1, 2010, Litsch allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven. Litsch missed the end of last season after undergoing hip surgery.Oakland, which came in with a major league high nine errors through four games, didn't make another miscue but did misplay two balls. Escobar was involved both times, picking up a single after third baseman Andy LaRoche couldn't handle his grounder in the first, and a triple on a ball that eluded right fielder David DeJesus in the fifth.
NEWS: Ross called up, Wuertz to DL
Escobar was shaken up after sliding face first into LaRoche's leg on his triple, laying on the ground and being tended to by the trainer before getting up. Escobar ran the bases and played defense in the sixth but was replaced by John McDonald in the seventh after complaining of dizziness."We're hopeful and at least cautiously optimistic at this point that we're not entertaining something like (a concussion)," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.Adam Lind's RBI double in the first gave Toronto an early lead, but Oakland's Hideki Matsui answered with a two-run double in the fourth.After Juan Rivera walked and Edwin Encarnacion singled, Snider restored Toronto's advantage with a booming drive to right in the bottom half, his first."I left one pitch north of the border and it ended up further north of the border," Braden said. "That's how that goes."RELATED: MLB standings scoreboard
The Athletics got one back in the fifth when Coco Crisp hit a two-out triple and scored on Daric Barton's single.Toronto chased Braden in the eighth when McDonald led off with an infield single and Lind followed with a ground-rule double. Brad Ziegler came on and gave up an RBI single to Aaron Hill but escaped further damage by striking out Rivera and getting Encarnacion to ground into a double play.Braden walked one and struck out three.NOTES: Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (1-0) faces Oakland RHP Trevor Cahill (0-0) on Thursday. ... Oakland placed RHP Michael Wuertz (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Tyson Ross from Triple-A Sacramento ... Athletics 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who made an error and misplayed two balls in Tuesday's loss, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch hit in the seventh. ... Oakland RHP Rich Harden (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Thursday. ... A's LHP Brian Fuentes, out since Apr. 2 with a sore finger, threw before the game and declared himself ready to return.

Iguodala relives LeBron's Game 7 block: JR Smith 'made the play'

Iguodala relives LeBron's Game 7 block: JR Smith 'made the play'

With a little less than two minutes remaining in Game 7 of last year's NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala thought he had a dunk or a layup.

But LeBron James sprinted back in transition and delivered an iconic blocked shot.

Iguodala recently spoke with ESPN's Chris Haynes about the play.

"If J.R. (Smith) is not there, I'm dunking it," Iguodala declared. "Well, I don't know if I'm dunking, though, because I was about to die out there. But I give him all respect. When he blocked it, I thought somebody got shot. I laugh about it all the time. People try to joke on me. I still get mentions all day from fans always talking about the block.

"I'm like, 'Man, that s--- was so dope to me, too.' I was a fan. That s--- was amazing. When he blocked it, I was like, 'Damn, somebody got shot.' I thought it was funny. Somebody just made a good play. What you want me to do? If you enjoy the game of basketball, you should just be like, 'Dude made a great play. F--- it.'"

In a new commercial, LeBron calls the block the "defining moment" of his career.

According to Iguodala, LeBron needs to thank J.R. Smith.

"I looked back at it too, and had I came in from a different angle, I could have [dunked it]," Iguodala explained to Haynes. "But you know who made the play? J.R. made the play. Because I came in thinking dunk and then I took off and he swiped and I had to move the ball. If you look, I moved the ball. I just tried to finish the play.

"People don't realize, somebody just made a great play. There's nothing to change about somebody making a great play because I even thought I could have went off to the other side [of the rim], but [LeBron] was so high over the rim, he would have had both sides covered. I mean, I wouldn't have changed anything about it. If somebody just makes a great play, you just give them respect for making a great play."

Steve Kerr doesn't really care that much about blowout loss to Spurs

Steve Kerr doesn't really care that much about blowout loss to Spurs

The Warriors will play their second game of the season on Friday night in New Orleans.

But that doesn't mean they are done talking about the 29-point loss to the Spurs on Opening Night.

"We played a team that just came in and beat the crap out of us, frankly," Kerr told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce on Thursday. "They're the one team I would say, when you're adding a lot of new parts and pieces like we are, you either don't want to play the Spurs on Opening Night or you do. The reason you don't want to play them is because of what happened the other night -- they're gonna execute, they know who they are, they got all that continuity from the roster that they've had for years.

"The reason you do want to play them is because they'll expose your weaknesses right away. I don't really care that much about the loss to be honest with you. I felt bad for the fans, who had to suffer through that. But as far as our team goes, even though it was embarrassing and humiliating and nobody slept very well that night, it really opened up every weakness that we had. And it'll sharpen our focus, and we'll be able to work on a lot of things based on that game."

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In the game's aftermath, a lot of the focus was centered around the idea that the Warriors missed Andrew Bogut's presence on the defensive end.

The Warriors surrendered 21 offensive rebounds and acknowledged they miscommunicated many times within their scheme.

"Every team that you put together is gonna be different," Kerr explained. "Obviously, we had to move Andrew (Bogut) in order to get Kevin Durant. Even Boges himself said, 'Hey, if I'm the GM, I'd do that, too' ... we were really lucky to get Zaza (Pachulia) and David West, and they're gonna play huge roles on our team, but they're different players.

"It's our job as coaches to figure out what works best and the players have to get to know one another. And they'll get more comfortable as they go. We should be a very good defensive team. We won't have that shot blocking at the rim but we'll have a lot of other really good components to work with and we'll figure it out."

[POOLE: Rebooted Warriors in trial-and-error phase]

Kerr also discussed the team's mentality in regards to the regular season. Is 74 wins possible?

"I think that record is impossible to break. I don't care who we have on our team. What we did last year to break the 72-win record was incredible. I don't think that record will ever be broken, but of course, we're gonna be asked about it because we've got Kevin Durant.

"It's unfathomable for any team to win 74 games ... anybody who predicted that we were gonna win 74 games, doesn't get the NBA. It doesn't work that way ... it's not even something that enters our mind.

"The most important thing for us is to win when it matters in June. We didn't do that last year, so that's the focus."