A's waste two rallies, fall to Red Sox 9-8 in 14th

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A's waste two rallies, fall to Red Sox 9-8 in 14th

June 4, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

BOSTON (AP) J.D. Drew stuck with his usual laid-back approach after looking terrible the previous four times at the plate. It finally paid off - and ended a long day.Drew struck out four consecutive times before he singled home Carl Crawford from second with two outs in the 14th inning Saturday, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 9-8 win over the Oakland Athletics after closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a four-run lead in the ninth.Drew, known as one of the quieter, more reserved players in the Red Sox clubhouse, felt like he was going to make contact. He rarely gets too excited and it even showed as he got dressed quickly after his game-winning hit."I had some good swings in all the earlier at-bats," Drew said. "Sure it's aggravating, you never want to strike out four times in a game. Even though I struck out four times, I thought I had some quality swings."Boston recovered for its 18th win in 26 games after Papelbon blew the big lead and was ejected along with catcher Jason Varitek a few minutes apart in the ninth."I just lost my cool," Varitek said. "You can't argue balls and strikes."Crawford had four hits and drove in three runs and Adrian Gonzalez had a solo homer and three hits for the Red Sox. Boston has beaten Oakland 14 of the last 18 games in Fenway Park.Conor Jackson had a tying, pinch-hit two-run single in the ninth and a key double in the 11th as Oakland grabbed the lead, but Andrew Bailey couldn't hold it. The Athletics lost their fifth straight."Obviously just didn't do my job today and let the team down," said Bailey, who made just his third appearance after missing the start of the season with a strained right forearm.Alfredo Aceves (3-1) pitched four innings for the win. He gave up a run in the 11th before Boston rallied in the bottom of the inning.In the game-winning rally, Crawford doubled into the left-field corner against Guillermo Moscoso (2-1), the Athletics ninth pitcher. After Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked, Drew lined a single to right-center to end the 5-hour, 17-minute game.Landon Powell, who struck out four times and went 1 for 7, grounded out with runners on first and second to end the top of the 14th. After that, the crowd - that was left - cheered when Take Me Out To The Ball Game' was played for a second time.Oakland had taken an 8-7 lead in the 11th inning on Ryan Sweeney's sacrifice fly against Aceves. Boston tied it with two outs in the bottom half. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled high off the left-field wall against Bailey and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's double down the right-field line.Oakland, which entered the day scoring the second-fewest runs in the AL, scored four runs in a wild ninth against Papelbon after second baseman Dustin Pedroia booted a potential game-ending double-play grounder. Both Varitek and Papelbon were both ejected by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the inning."It was a great, great comeback to tie the game in the ninth, then to actually go ahead in extra innings," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We had the game. We were in pretty good shape."Mark Ellis singled leading off and Daric Barton walked. After Powell struck out, Pedroia had pinch-hitter Coco Crisp's grounder go through his legs, scoring a run. Pennington's RBI double made it 7-5 and Varitek was ejected while arguing during the hit."If I fielded that ball we would have won about four hours ago," Pedroia said. "But we battled. We had a lot of key hits. I don't think one play won or lost the game. It was one play in like a nine-hour game."Jackson then tied it with his two-run single. Papelbon was ejected after throwing the first pitch to the next hitter, Sweeney, and had to be restrained by manager Terry Francona. He appeared to bump Randazzo before being shoved out of the way by Francona.Bobby Jenks got out of the inning when he struck out Hideki Matsui with runners on first and third with a pitch in the dirt that bounced away.The late blowup spoiled another solid start by Josh Beckett.Beckett gave up three runs, four hits, walked three and fanned four over six-plus innings. It was just the third time in 12 starts that he's given up more than two runs.Cahill, coming off his worst consecutive starts of the season, gave up five runs on eight hits, striking out eight and walking one. He had given up a combined eight runs -seven earned - over 12 2-3 innings.NOTES: Francona said before the game that RHP Clay Buchholz's next start may be moved back few days because the pitcher was worried about how his back felt in Friday's start. ... Red Sox RHP John Lackey is scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday in his return from the 15-day DL after being sidelined with strained right elbow. ... Oakland manager Bob Geren had said before the game that RHP Guillermo Moscoso, who worked 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in Friday's loss, was still expected to start on Tuesday at Baltimore. But after he said he'd have to rethink things. ... Boston SS Marco Scutaro, on the DL since May 8 with a strained left oblique, was expected to start a rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night againts Durham. The plan is for him to play short, second and DH over three games, in no particular order. "If he feels good, he'll join us in New York on Monday," Francona said. ... The game was originally scheduled for 7:10, but moved to 1:10 after soliciting fans opinions online earlier this week because the Bruins were playing Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night. ... Matsui snapped a career-worst 0-for-19 slump with an 11th-inning single.

Santiago Casilla signs, but who will close for the A's?

Santiago Casilla signs, but who will close for the A's?

Santiago Casilla says he’s returning to his baseball home, which requires only a trip across the Bay Bridge.

The A’s finalized a two-year $11 million contract with the former Giants closer Friday, adding him to a bullpen that has no shortage of late-inning relief options for manager Bob Melvin.

“There’s an old saying that it’s always good to return home, and I’m very happy to get this new opportunity with the Athletics,” Casilla said on a media conference call, via interpreter Manolo Hernandez Douen.

It’s “new” in that the 36-year-old Casilla spent the past seven seasons wearing black and orange. But his major league career is rooted in Oakland. The A’s signed him out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur free agent back in 2000, and he spent his first six seasons with Oakland, the first two of those pitching under the name Jairo Garcia.

He’s since won three World Series rings with the Giants, including notching four saves during the 2014 postseason. His final season with San Francisco ended on a sour note last year, however, as he was demoted from the closer’s role during a rough September.

What role will he find in 2017?

Casilla, who reportedly can earn up to $3 million in incentives based on games finished, joins three other relievers in the A’s ‘pen who have legitimate big league closer’s experience — John Axford, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Doolittle was the closer entering last spring but shoulder problems derailed him for a second consecutive season. Madson handled the ninth for most of 2016 and notched 30 saves, but general manager David Forst made it clear Friday that the Opening Night closer has yet to be determined.

“We had a number of different guys save games last year,” Forst said. “… Santiago saved almost 80 games the last couple years. He’s got a lot of experience. As we talked to him and his representatives, he made it clear he’s willing to do anything. It’s great for Bob to have a number of options. It’ll sort itself out in spring training as to who the guy is to start the season.”

Doolittle, Axford, Ryan Dull and Zach Neal combined for 12 saves last season. But even though the A’s are fully stocked with ninth-inning options, it’s fair to question whether any of them is a clear-cut answer for the closer’s role as spring training nears.

Madson’s seven blown saves tied for second most in the American League. Doolittle hasn’t pitched a full season since 2014. Axford issued 4.11 walks per nine innings last year, and Dull’s biggest strength is his ability escape jams when entering mid-inning.

Casilla went 2-5 with a 3.57 ERA and 31 saves last season, striking out a career-best 10.1 per nine innings, but there was some turbulence. He was displeased with Giants manager Bruce Bochy last May after being pulled from a game. Then he struggled mightily in September and lost the closer’s role. Bochy didn’t call on him at all as the bullpen coughed up a ninth-inning lead to the Cubs in Game 4 of the NL Division Series that ended the Giants’ season. That decision had Casilla in tears after the game.

Asked Friday if he harbored any hard feelings toward the Giants, Casilla replied: “It’s a new year, a new team. I have left this in the past.”

Forst pointed to Casilla’s sustained velocity — his fastball averaged 93.6 miles per hour last season — and his expanded repertoire over his career as reasons why the A’s went after him.

“His numbers were really good — 65 strikeouts, 19 walks,” Forst said. “As we got through the offseason I think we thought he was being overlooked a little bit just because of the narrative surrounding his departure with the Giants. I wasn’t around and I don’t know what went on, but it seems like a few blown saves marred what otherwise was a fantastic season for him.”

In other news, the A’s signed veteran outfielder Alejandro De Aza to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training. Forst noted De Aza’s ability to play all three outfield spots and his speed as traits that caught the A’s attention.

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

Report: 49ers increase offer to Bradley to become D-coordinator

The 49ers reportedly continue to pursue Gus Bradley to serve as defensive coordinator on presumptive coach Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

The 49ers have increased their offer to Bradley, Mike Siliver of the NFL Network reported on Friday. Bradley wanted to work with Tom Cable, according to the report.

Cable interviewed with the 49ers on Sunday but removed his name from consideration on Tuesday after he and Seattle co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner sensed their 49ers’ interest in them intended to receive a commitment from Shanahan, sources told CSNBayArea.com.

Bradley served as defensive coordinator with the Seattle Seahawks from 2009 to ’12. In Bradley’s final season on Pete Carroll’s staff, Seattle ranked first in the NFL in points allowed and fourth in total yards.

Bradley became head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. His teams went 14-48 before he was fired with two games remaining in the season.

The 49ers this week inquired with the Chicago Bears about the possibility of bringing back Vic Fangio to the organization to serve as defensive coordinator. The 49es were informed, according to a source, that the Bears would not let Fangio out of his contract. Fangio was the defensive coordinator for all four seasons with the 49ers under Jim Harbaugh.