A's bats sleeping in Seattle; Mariners win 4-0

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A's bats sleeping in Seattle; Mariners win 4-0

April 22, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SEATTLE (AP) Not all rookies get a reigning Cy Young Award winner to copy.That's just what Seattle's Michael Pineda tried to do on Friday night.Pineda noticed a night earlier that Felix Hernandez had success against Oakland working both sides of the plate, so when Pineda took the mound the burly rookie tried to emulate what Hernandez did. REWIND: Hernandez blanks A's, Kennedy makes them pay
He nearly matched the Mariners ace.Pineda dazzled again, throwing six shutout innings for his third straight victory, and Adam Kennedy's two-run single was enough offense in the Mariners' 4-0 win over the Athletics.On the way to setting a little franchise history, Pineda overcame a high pitch-count in the early innings and some adversity in the sixth to become the first pitcher in Seattle history to begin his career with four consecutive quality starts."For a young man, he has a strong focus out there," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "He doesn't let things speed up on him and you have to keep pitching and I think that's the most important part of that."Pineda has gone at least six innings every time out, and gave up five hits, struck out five and walked only two. He became just the second rookie in club history to post three victories in April, joining Freddy Garcia, and has a chance to own the mark himself with one more scheduled start this time.Pineda's night was shortened only because of a rising pitch count. Most of those were racked up in the second inning where he threw 31 pitches and allowed consecutive walks to lead off before getting strikeouts of Mark Ellis and Kevin Kouzmanoff and a groundout by Cliff Pennington.The burly right-hander gave up just three hits in his first five innings and when Pineda (3-1) faced trouble in the sixth, he got Kurt Suzuki to line out to left field and a ground ball from Ellis to end the threat. Pineda felt his motion was too quick in the early innings and was opening his front shoulder too quickly. He made a change in the third and rolled until the sixth, helped along by a biting slider."My slider now, it's better," Pineda said. "In spring training, sometimes it was good, but now since I first started here my slider has been pretty good."Pineda also got great defense at times. Kouzmanoff led off the fifth with a single and stood at third with one out. Pineda came inside on Coco Crisp, forcing a grounder to first. Kennedy threw home to Miguel Olivo and got the tag on Kouzmanoff, who might have scored with a better slide.Wilson also started a key double play in the seventh with a sliding stop that was turned nicely by shortstop Brendan Ryan. Instead of using his backhand to start the double play, Wilson smothered the ball then shoveled to Ryan. It's another part of Wilson's transition to second base he's continuing to work on."It's definitely a back hand (play), but at this point, I did what I needed to do to get the job done," Wilson said.David Pauley and Aaron Laffey worked two innings of relief. Jamey Wright entered in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out before Brandon League got Conor Jackson to ground into a game-ending double play for his fifth save in five chances.Oakland has now gone 18 innings since last scoring and was shut out in consecutive games for the first time since May 2008.Seattle got just seven hits themselves, but took advantage of seven walks allowed by the A's. Kennedy scored on Wilson's two-out single in the second off Oakland starter Tyson Ross (1-2), then drove home a pair in the fifth, lining Jerry Blevins' breaking ball back up the middle to score Chone Figgins and Michael Saunders. GUTIERREZ: Ross own worst enemy in A's listless loss in Seattle
Ross lasted just 4 1-3 innings and threw just 31 of his 76 pitches for strikes."His fastball command wasn't as close to where it was this spring or remotely close to where it needs to be," Oakland manager Bob Geren said.NOTES: Seattle 1B Justin Smoak, on the bereavement list following the death of his father, is expected to rejoin the Mariners in Detroit on Tuesday. ... Friday was the birthday of Ross (24) and Oakland reliever David Purcey (29). Purcey threw 1 1-3 innings of relief and didn't allow a hit. ... Seattle LF Milton Bradley left in the third inning with lower back spasms. ... Seattle has pushed LHP Erik Bedard back and will have RHP Felix Hernandez start on normal rest Tuesday at Detroit. Bedard will now go on Wednesday.

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

A's spring training Day 9: Alcantara trying to add new wrinkle

MESA, Ariz. — Right-hander Raul Alcantara, who could factor in as a starting or long relief option for the A’s, is experimenting with a split-finger fastball this spring.

Alcantara, who made five late-season starts last season in his first big league call-up, threw the pitch for the first time to hitters Tuesday, so he’s still in the infant stages with it. The A’s would like Alcantara to develop a solid third pitch to go with his fastball and changeup, though he does dabble with a curve and cutter too.

“In general, we’re looking for a ball that’s gonna dive, something where the bottom’s gonna fall out,” Oakland bullpen coach Scott Emerson said.

Alcantara, 24, faces crowded competition for the No. 5 starter spot with Jesse Hahn, Andrew Triggs and Paul Blackburn among those also going for it. Claiming the last spot in a seven-man bullpen is a possibility, though the A’s could surely utilize a second left-hander to go along with Sean Doolittle.

Making Alcantara’s case more interesting is that he’s out of minor league options, meaning he would need to make it through waivers unclaimed before the A’s could send him down.

Alcantara throws a hard changeup that clocked 86-87 miles per hour last season. Ideally, Emerson said his splitter would settle in the low 80’s.

Speaking through interpreter Juan Dorado, Alcantara said he’s gradually getting a feel for the new pitch.

“Obviously it’s a little more difficult on the hitters to know that there’s a different pitch,” he said. “They’re used to me throwing a fastball, a cutter and a change, and now implementing a split would just help me out to show them something different.”

CAMP BATTLE: Lefty Ross Detwiler, who re-signed with Oakland in the winter on a minor league deal, offers depth as a potential swing man who can start or relieve. Detwiler went 2-4 with a 6.14 ERA in nine games (seven starts) last season for the A’s. Those numbers look ugly in a short sample size, but Melvin values the veteran beyond what the stats show.

“I think he liked being here and we wanted him back.”

QUOTABLE: “I must be a little behind this year because the guys are hitting me a little harder than they normally do. Healy took me over the batter’s eye three times in a row.” — Melvin, who throws a couple rounds of batting practice every day.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s will hold a pair of two-inning intrasquad games Thursday at the Lew Wolff Training Complex, with both set to start at 11:40 a.m.

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

49ers assistant GM Gamble leaving organization

The San Francisco 49ers Wednesday announced that Tom Gamble is leaving the organization. 

“The 49ers organization has tremendous respect and appreciation for Tom Gamble and his many years of service,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a class act who has helped a great deal in this transition, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him. After working together over the last month, Tom and I agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities. Tom is a true professional and we wish him and his family great success in the future.”
 
“I must thank Jed, the York family and the entire 49ers organization for the wonderful memories they provided me and my family, but it is time I move on,” said Gamble. “This past month, I have had the pleasure of working alongside John Lynch and the talented staff he has assembled. The team is in capable hands and I wish them nothing but the best.”

Gamble, who recently completed his 29th NFL season and 10th with the 49ers, returned to the team in January of 2015 as the senior personnel executive and was later named assistant general manager on July 25, 2016. He spent the 2013-14 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles as vice president of player personnel. Gamble originally joined the 49ers in 2005 and spanned eight seasons with San Francisco including two as the director of player personnel (2011-12). He oversaw both the college and pro personnel efforts of the 49ers. As the 49ers director of pro personnel from 2005-10, Gamble monitored every NFL roster with an emphasis on scouting talent of upcoming pro free agents, while also maintaining continuous depth of personnel on the team’s roster.

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