Cahill, A's attempt to split series with Tigers

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Cahill, A's attempt to split series with Tigers

April 17, 2011A'S PAGE A'S VIDEO

(AP) -- Despite receiving excellent starting pitching all weekend, the Oakland Athletics need a win to salvage a split of their four-game home series with the Detroit Tigers.Trevor Cahill will be looking to extend the outstanding stretch by Oakland's rotation when he takes the mound Sunday afternoon.Athletics starting pitchers have yet to give up an earned run in this series - a feat which has lowered the rotation's ERA to a major league-best 2.25.After 12 2-3 scoreless innings by Gio Gonzalez and Brandon McCarthy went for naught in losses to Detroit on Thursday and Friday, Dallas Braden gave up one unearned run in five innings Saturday before leaving with stiffness in his pitching shoulder. Though his departure came early, Braden got credit for a 6-2 win over the Tigers (7-8).The loss of Braden aside, there were several positives for the Athletics (7-8). Oakland's struggling bullpen was effective, giving up one run and three hits in four innings, and the Athletics were able to overcome their major league-leading 17th error.Most importantly though, Oakland's offense appears to be improving. It has scored four or more runs in four of the last five games after averaging 3.1 in its first 10. David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui each had two of the A's nine hits Saturday, six of which went for extra bases."Our pitching staff's been doing their thing all year so we have to start scoring some runs for them," shortstop Cliff Pennington said. "You always want to win at home. Now we have to try to go out here (Sunday) and try to split this series."Cahill (1-0, 3.12 ERA) will try to bounce back from a poor start against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. The right-hander allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 10-inning defeat. It was the second time in three starts this season he failed to make it out of the fifth."My bullpen before the game went unusually better than I expected," said Cahill, whose poor performance came one day after he signed a five-year, 30.5 million extension. "Usually I'm pretty bad in the bullpen, but today I was pretty good. I knew I was going to be struggling after that."Cahill is 1-1 with a 5.74 ERA in three starts against Detroit, but was effective in his only start against the Tigers last season, allowing one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-1 victory at Comerica Park.Detroit will look to bounce back after having its four-game winning streak snapped Saturday. The Tigers went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position in the loss. They're batting .316 in RBI situations in their seven wins, compared with .136 in their losses."I don't mind if we don't execute but it looked to me like we didn't even recognize the situations," manager Jim Leyland said. "It was kind of shocking to me."Magglio Ordonez was 1 for 4 in his return to Detroit's lineup. He had been out since Monday with a tight right Achilles' tendon.While Detroit's offense tries for a better performance, Brad Penny (0-1, 8.27) looks to build off his most effective start of the season when he takes the mound Sunday.Penny gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 5-4 win over Texas on Tuesday. The right-hander had allowed 12 runs over 9 2-3 innings in starts at New York and Baltimore.Penny has posted a 6.00 ERA while splitting two career starts against the Athletics, one in 2003 and the other in 2009.

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Harbaugh goes Biblical, responds to Jacobs' criticisms of his coaching

Former NFL running back Brandon Jacobs spent one season with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Jacobs only played in two games and gained seven yards on five carries. The results were nothing like his 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns over eight years with the Giants. 

Apparently being pushed to the bench as a 31-year-old veteran running back didn't sit well with Jacobs. 

“Going somewhere where they don’t have route conversions into certain coverages was just absurd,” Jacobs said Thursday on the Tiki and Tierney Show. “They’re just running routes in the defense, getting people killed. Size and strength is what they had, and that’s why they won.

"Let’s be real. They had great assistant coaches, but Jim didn’t know what he was doing. Jim had no idea. Jim is throwing slants into Cover-2 safeties, getting people hurt. That guy knew nothing, man."

On Saturday morning, Harbaugh responded to Jacobs with a tweet to him. 

Harbaugh went 44-19-1 in four seasons as the 49ers' head coach. He also added five playoff wins and a trip to the Super Bowl in the 2012-13 season, the one that Jacobs played for him.

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

Shanahan: Brooks earns place on 49ers' first-team defense

SANTA CLARA – The eldest non-kicker on the 49ers’ roster is learning a new position this offseason.

But Ahmad Brooks has plenty of experience adapting to new positions during his 12-year NFL career. He has played inside linebacker, outside linebacker in a 3-4 and defensive end in pass-rush situations.

Now, Brooks has moved to the strong side linebacker position -- the “Sam” -- in the 49ers’ new 4-3 scheme under first-year defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

“He’s getting them (first-team repetitions) because he deserves them,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said this week. “Watching how he played last year and then going into this offseason, you never know when a guy who has been around a bunch, if they’re going to feel that they need the offseason like other people do. And Ahmad’s been here every day and he’s needed it just like everyone has anytime you’re learning a new scheme.

“But anytime you have a veteran like that, you worry that, hey, maybe they won’t think that they do need it. But Ahmad has and he’s been here. He’s worked at everything. He’s in good shape. He’s done what we’ve asked in the weight room with Ray and he’s done everything with the position coaches and coordinator on defense. So, I think he’s learning it and he should because he’s putting the work in.”

Brooks, 33, has entered the past three offseasons with his place on the 49ers seemingly in jeopardy. But the 49ers have not been able to find a younger, better player to replace him. Brooks has tied for the team-lead in sacks in each of the past four seasons with 27 sacks over that span.

Eli Harold, Dekoda Watson and undrafted rookie Jimmie Gilbert were the other players who lined up at the Sam position during the first week of 49ers organized team activities.

Brooks and Aaron Lynch, starters at outside linebacker for the 49ers in the previous systems, have the steepest learning curves in the transition to a new defense. Lynch has moved to the team’s pass-rush defensive end position, known as the “Leo.”

“I think techniques are totally different,” Shanahan said. “How you want to take on blocks, how you want to play the run. Ahmad has been around a little longer than Aaron. So he’s probably had a little bit more crossover, some similar schemes.”