Gutierrez: A's find winning formula vs. Royals

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Gutierrez: A's find winning formula vs. Royals

JUNE 15, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comOAKLAND -- So you want to know how the A's are going to get back in this American League West race?Pop the videocassette of the A's 2-1 victory over Kansas City into the VCR and take notes. And yes, I realize I used "videocassette" and "VCR." This game was a throwback, and the way the A's won it was most definitely old school.This was how the A's were supposed to play this season -- quality starting pitching, strong defense and timely hitting. On the day a trailer of the upcoming "Moneyball" movie hit the Web, the A's went small ball.RECAP: A's exultant -- Outman beats Royals 2-1
"We'll start rolling here," said A's starter Josh Outman, who tossed seven innings of shutout ball at the Royals while scattering four hits in becoming the first A's starting pitcher to get a win since Guillermo Moscoso beat Baltimore on May 29. The 11-game losing skid by A's starters was the second-longest such streak in Oakland history."We were in a little lull with our starting pitching," Outman added. "We were all putting too much pressure on ourselves. This team's all right. We're going to start winning some ballgames."Easy there, champ. Isn't this the same outfit that had lost 13 of its previous 14 games to fall a season-high 12 games under .500?Indeed. But check this out -- despite going just 2-5 since June 8, the last-place A's have actually picked up one game on the first-place Texas Rangers. And still, the A's have to keep from scoreboard watching from here on out. At least for the next few weeks.RELATED: MLB standings
They have to concentrate on the task at hand. Winning the little battles, pitch by pitch, at-bat by at-bat, inning by inning, game by game, series by series. The deficit will then take care of itself. Besides, the A's have pitching help on the horizon with the healing Tyson Ross, Brandon McCarthy and gulp, Rich Harden, who might be on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Sacramento next Monday.NEWS: A's Harden 'felt fine' after simulated game
"My opening statement is: a win is good," cracked interim manager Bob Melvin. "Questions?"OK, then, is this the formula you have to use to get back in this thing, I asked him."And be aggressive," Melvin said. "We played some small ball. We were getting no-hit. We had some bunts, (Jemile) Weeks steals third. We have to have an aggressive mindset."That's the way we have to play."Oh yeah, did I mention the A's were getting no-hit by Luke Hochevar entering the sixth inning?You could question Melvin for bunting with the slowest position player on the team in Landon Powell at second base. But you can't have any qualms over his giving his blessings to the speedy Weeks on the basepaths.Weeks dropped a bunt down the first-base line and benefitted from a blown call by umpire Jeff Nelson when replays showed Eric Hosmer tagging Weeks before he hit the bag.Two batters later, Weeks swiped third base."That's pretty much my game," Weeks said. "I use my legs the best way I can."So about that small-ball, manufacturing runs-style of play?"That's the route we're taking," he said. "That's a good route to take right now."Actually, it's the only route the A's should take right now.

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

Cam Newton benched to start game vs Seahawks for breaking dress code

SEATTLE — A missing necktie led to Carolina quarterback Cam Newton getting benched for one series on Sunday night.

Ron Rivera didn't expect it to last just one play.

Carolina's miserable night was capped by a 40-7 loss to Seattle following the most awkward of starts. With Newton being punished for not having a necktie for the team flight to Seattle, the Panthers' starting QB watched backup Derek Anderson throw an interception on the first play of the game.

The turnover only led to a field goal for Seattle, but it was the start of an otherwise forgettable performance by the Panthers that provided another blow to the dwindling playoff hopes of the reigning NFC champions.

Newton missed just one play, but was also just 14-of-32 passing for 182 yards and one touchdown. After pulling within 10-7 in the second quarter, Carolina let Seattle score the final 30 points.

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

BOX SCORE

SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.

LOPSIDED RESULT

It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.

BATTERED PANTHERS

Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.

THOMAS TWEETS

One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.