A's break tie with three-run 6th, top Orioles 6-2

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A's break tie with three-run 6th, top Orioles 6-2

May 27, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
OAKLAND (AP) Maybe Oakland manager Bob Geren should get ejected more often.The offense-starved Athletics scored three runs in the sixth inning after Geren was tossed by home plate umpire Angel Campos for arguing balls and strikes then added an insurance run on Josh Willingham's eighth home run of the season on the way to a 6-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night."I didn't even really know he got ejected until they announced it," said Willingham, who had an RBI double during the A's three-run sixth. "He can get thrown out tomorrow night if we can get three runs the next inning. That's fine with me."Geren's first ejection of the season and 10th of his career seemed to spark the A's, who reached double digits in hits for a second consecutive game.Oakland put runners on base in every inning, batted around during the sixth and reached double digits in hits for a second consecutive game. Every starter had at least one hit and five different players drove in runs.It was the perfect start to the A's six-game homestand against the Orioles and Yankees following a tumultuous four-game series in Los Angeles when reliever Brian Fuentes publicly criticized Geren for a lack of communication. Former Oakland reliever Huston Street also was critical of Geren in published reports this week."You can't expect double digit hits every night but getting them in back to back games is a good start," Geren said. "Guys are feeling a little more confident about themselves offensively. I like what I'm seeing."Ryan Sweeney hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning and also doubled and scored twice while Oakland matched its season high with four double plays.Vladimir Guerrero singled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for Baltimore, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.Brad Ziegler (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win while Joey Devine and Michael Wuertz pitched an inning apiece to complete the six-hitter.The A's had lost seven of nine since moving into a tie for first in the AL West on May 17, primarily due to an offense that is last in the American League in runs scored.That wasn't an issue against Baltimore."If we can put up four or five runs a game, I like our chances on any given night with our pitching staff," Willinghgam said. "We haven't helped them as much as we should have so far this year but hopefully we can start coming around and putting some consistent games together."The A's scored all their runs in the sixth with two outs. Sweeney's RBI single snapped a 2-2 tie, while Willingham and Kurt Suzuki also drove in runs to help Oakland take a 5-2 lead. All the runs came off Baltimore reliever Alfredo Simon (1-1).Willingham hit his eighth home in the eighth.Hideki Matsui's two-out RBI-single in the first gave the A's a 1-0 lead after third baseman Mark Reynolds' fielding error prolonged the inning.Baltimore got the run back against Gonzalez, who struggled with his control all night."We had him on the ropes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We had some disciplined at-bats and you don't get (Gonzalez) in that situation very often, and it's unfortunate. It's frustrating because you've got a chance to beat a really good pitcher tonight."Gonzalez gave up consecutive singles to open the second then issued back-to-back walks, the second to Reynolds that forced in Guerrero. Gonzalez then struck out J.J. Hardy and got Jake Fox to ground into an inning-ending double play.The A's got another big two-out hit in the second when David DeJesus lined a shot that glanced off Reynolds' glove and landed in left field. That slowed the ball enough to allow Mark Ellis to score from second.Gonzalez got a scare in the fifth while trying to cover first base on an attempted double play. The throw from shortstop Cliff Pennington sailed behind Gonzalez, who rolled his left ankle while reaching back for the ball.Fox scored easily from second on the error while Gonzalez limped noticeably around the infield. The Oakland lefty stayed in the game and gave up a walk to Nick Markakis before Guerrero hit into a double play.Gonzalez, who finished with seven strikeouts and five walks, left after giving up a leadoff single to Wieters in the sixth.Oakland loaded the bases in the fifth to chase Baltimore starter Chris Tillman but failed to score when Simon struck out Suzuki and Ellis.Tillman gave up two runs and six hits with two strikeouts. The right-hander, who has three straight no-decisions, also walked three and hit a batter.Notes: The A's made a few roster moves in anticipation of the expected return of two-time All-Star reliever Andrew Bailey. Oakland traded LHP to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for IF Scott Sizemore, who is expected to report to the team's Triple-A club in Sacramento. LHP Bobby Cramer was called up from Sacramento to take Purcey's place on the 25-man roster. ... Tillman has not allowed a home run in seven consecutive starts. ... Markakis singled in the third to extend his hitting streak to 12 games.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.

Fight finally pays off for Kings: 'Like we won Game 1 of the playoffs'

Fight finally pays off for Kings: 'Like we won Game 1 of the playoffs'

The Sacramento Kings are young and lack experience. They have plenty of holes in their roster and they even sat three veterans when they rolled into the Staples Center for a 12:30 start on Sunday afternoon. 

Sacramento also has talent and they play hard. The Clippers just learned the hard way what plenty of other teams already knew - there is no quit in this team.

From start to finish, the Kings played a gritty style of defense. They closed out strong on the Clippers shooters and did their best to quash the alley-oop that Chris Paul is so famous for. Los Angeles coasted through the game assuming that they won before the opening tip. And then Sacramento flipped the table late, shutting the Clippers down in the fourth while riding a 22-3 run to finish the game with a 98-97 come from behind victory.

“I thought the whole game, the guys didn’t lose effort and they deserve it,” veteran point guard Darren Collison told media following the game. “Look at our last couple of weeks, even though the results haven’t been what we want it to be, so many guys that kept fighting, they were able to deserve this win.”

Trailing by 18 at the 5:16 mark of the fourth quarter, this game looked like so many others that we have seen over the last month. Sacramento had fought to stay in the contest, but in the end, the experience of their opponent wins out. But the Kings kept fighting.

“They didn’t lose hope, not one bit,” Collison said. “They kept pulling and pulling and pulling. Eventually they got some big threes, some big shots.”

So many contributed to the victory, but at the 2:19 mark, rookie Buddy Hield knocked down a 3-pointer to draw the Kings within six. Moments later he stole the inbounds pass and dropped in a second straight three in a nine second stretch.

“You just have to stay confident, trust yourself and trust what got you here,” Buddy Hield said.

Through three quarters, Hield had shot just 1-of-7 from the field and looked overwhelmed by the Clippers star players. He came alive in the fourth, hitting 3-of-3 from behind the arc to finish the quarter with 11 points and five rebounds. Hield scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds on the night, showing fans that he is ready to compete in crunch time.

“We kept playing and made some plays and the little things matter,” coach Dave Joerger said. “I’m really proud, it’s like we won Game 1 of the playoffs.”

With their teammates rallying on the court, the Kings bench looked like a cheerleader troup. All they needed was some pom-poms and a lot of eye liner.

Regardless of the record, Sacramento has remained a close knit group. Youth and veterans have meshed well as they forge towards another lottery selection. 

“I’ve been on a lot of teams, some winning teams and the chemistry is not as good as this team,” Collison added. “People don’t understand how hard it is to be in our shoes and come to work every single day with the circumstances that we have dealt with. But to be together still and fun, it shows a lot about this team. I’m real happy to be a part of this team. We’re not winning games, but the way we’re going about our business - we’re losing games together, we’re winning games together.”

Collison went off against his former team, scoring 19 points and handing out four assists in 28 minutes of action. Anthony Tolliver hit 5-of-6 from 3-point range to finish with 15 points and rookie Georgios Papagiannis but up 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and blocked two shots.

With the win, the Kings snapped their four-game losing streak and improve to 28-45 on the season. They play again on Monday when the Memphis Grizzlies drop by the Golden 1 Center on the second night of a road-and-home back-to-back.