Cal seeks first Pac 12 win, hosting USC


Cal seeks first Pac 12 win, hosting USC

SAN FRANCISCO -- After starting the Pac-12 season with back-to-back losses, California has a lot more to worry about than a blowout loss a year ago to Southern California.When that loss was as thorough and humiliating as that 48-14 game at the Los Angeles Coliseum was for the Golden Bears, it's hard to forget it completely."It's always a new season, a new game," safety Sean Cattouse said. "It's all about us this year, just doing things right this year. But it's definitely something that we're amped to get the taste out of our mouth from last year. It's a motivation. Probably not the biggest, but it's nothing that we've forgotten."It would be hard to forget that day when the Trojans rolled out to a 42-0 halftime lead and coasted to the victory. USC gained 373 yards in the opening half and held Cal scoreless until the closing minutes of the third quarter after it was already 45-0.Matt Barkley threw a school record-tying five touchdowns, Robert Woods had seven catches for 116 yards and two scores and the Trojans had their way with the Bears."Everybody has those games every year or two where even if you call a play that's not supposed to work, somebody makes a great play or they get a ball tipped," USC coach Lane Kiffin said. "It was just one of those games where everything went our way and nothing went their way. That's why it was 42-0 at half."Cal (3-2, 0-2) looks to put together a much stronger performance in this year's rematch against the Trojans (4-1, 2-1) at their temporary home of AT&T Park on Thursday night.Cal's offense looks much different this year than it did under stationary quarterback Kevin Riley in 2010. Zach Maynard provides a scrambling threat at quarterback"It's been different than what we've faced the past couple of weeks," Kiffin said. "We've had some extra time and have really focused on stopping him running. We don't want to let him beat us with his feet. We want to take away his run game and make him beat us throwing the ball."Maynard has struggled to do that so far this season, completing just 51.4 percent of his passes. He does have a knack for the big play, averaging 13.7 yards per completion.He struggled last week with his mechanics in a 43-15 loss at Oregon, completing just 20 of 41 passes and failing to lead Cal on a single scoring drive in the second half."His feet were a little live," coach Jeff Tedford said. "He was a little jittery and it caused him to miss a couple throws where we had some guys open. I think he rushed himself a little bit. Early there were a couple that the ball was really wet, you could see it come out of his hand funny, but he threw some great balls, too. There were a couple he missed because was rushing himself a little bit."Maynard will have to be much better this week because unfortunately for Cal, USC's offense looks quite similar to last year's model.Woods was just starting to break out as a freshman in his big game against Cal a year ago, but now he has become one of the nation's top receivers.He leads the nation with 149.4 yards receiving per game and is averaging 11 catches a contest."He's very fast, catches the ball exceptionally well, runs very good routes," Tedford said. "And after he catches the ball he's very hard to bring down. He's elusive, he can make you miss and he can make big plays. They can throw him a 5-yard hitch and it can turn into a very long play."Making the task of dealing with Woods even more difficult is the fact that freshman Marqise Lee is also a dangerous threat with 21 catches for 323 yards and three scores.The Bears have their own dynamic duo at receiver with Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones, who have combined for 68 catches for 1,109 yards and seven touchdowns."I'm not going to shoot them down," Lee said. "I do believe they've got a great receiver corps over there. It's going to be a competition with the best of the best receivers. I always feel we're one of the top receiver corps in the nation. I don't want to say we're the top, but I feel like we're up there with the other ones. We've got to keep competing, showing what we can do."Cal will likely have to deal with that duo without injured cornerback Marc Anthony, who is expected to be replaced in the lineup by freshman Stefan McClure."We're going to try to keep an eye on him and communicate with him," Cattouse said. "Just try to be there for him, make sure he's where he's supposed to be and just look out for him when I can. He's going to handle himself. He's in a good place right now."

Warriors hold off Rockets, pick up big 60th win


Warriors hold off Rockets, pick up big 60th win


The Warriors started hot in Houston on Tuesday night and managed to hold off the high-powered Rockets for their 60th win of the season.

Steph Curry led the way with 32 while Klay Thompson dropped in 25.

A's spring training Day 43: Shore K's Trout in surprise big league start

A's spring training Day 43: Shore K's Trout in surprise big league start

TEMPE, Ariz. — Rather than join his minor league teammates for workouts like usual, Logan Shore got word Tuesday morning he would take the ball for the A’s against the Los Angeles Angels.

A few hours later, Shore was striking out Mike Trout to highlight his impressive four-inning outing. What an experience it was for Shore, a right-hander drafted last summer in the second round out of the University of Florida.

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “There’s not really any words to describe that.”

The A’s scratched No. 5 starter Raul Alcantara, opting to throw him in a minor league game rather than let a division opponent get another look at him for scouting-report purposes. That presented Shore with a surprise opportunity.

He responded with four innings of one-run ball, holding the Angels to two hits. The game would take an ugly turn as the A’s bullpen got lit up in a 14-3 loss. But Shore’s outing was a glimpse of what Oakland might have to look forward to with the 22-year-old. The righty didn’t come out of college with the same hype as Florida teammate A.J. Puk, who the A’s drafted sixth overall last June. But he’s thought to be more polished than Puk at this stage.

Shore went 0-2 with a 2.57 ERA in seven starts with short-season Vermont in his pro debut. This spring, he’s been grouped with high Single-A Stockton, but he hasn’t received his official regular-season assignment yet.

“That’s the kind of lineup that gets your attention a little bit,” manager Bob Melvin said. “I thought he threw the ball really well. He had great command of his fastball, a backdoor sinker, good changeup, good slider. He probably got a little bit tired at the end, but he was very impressive. That’s the first time I got to see him throw.”

Shore pitched in relief for the A’s earlier this spring as a minor league extra, so that helped him keep his nerves in check Tuesday. Still, it was a different challenge tackling what closely resembled the Angels’ regular-season lineup, which features Trout and Albert Pujols in the meat of it.

Trout struck out and flied to right against Shore. Pujols flied to right and singled.

“I grew up watching all those guys, so it’s kind of cool to get to pitch against them,” he said.

HEALTH UPDATES: Left fielder Khris Davis and third baseman Trevor Plouffe, both nursing minor injuries, won’t return to the field until the Bay Bridge Series which starts Thursday night at AT&T Park, Melvin said. Plouffe has missed the past few games with a groin injury and Davis has a right quad issue.

“We’ll just bubble wrap them right now and send them home,” Melvin cracked.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt took another step in his Tommy John recovery with a 30-pitch session that included two sets of 15 pitches, simulating two innings with a break in between.

NOTEWORTHY: The A’s play their Cactus League finale Wednesday on the road against the Cubs, but most of the game will feature minor leaguers. All of the players who are heading north to face the Giants will be leaving for the airport sometime in the latter stages of the game.

On that topic, the A’s announced the 43 players that will make up their Bay Bridge roster. It includes 30 players from the 40-man roster, six non-roster invitees and seven extras from minor league camp. Oakland officially has 36 players still in camp, with Saturday the deadline to cut down to the final 25-man roster.

ODDS AND ENDS: After Shore left the game, the Angels struck for five runs in the fifth against Liam Hendriks. … The next inning, highly touted prospect Grant Holmes gave up five runs (four earned) in two-thirds of an inning. Holmes was one of three righties acquired from the Dodgers in the Rich Hill/Josh Reddick trade. Jharel Cotton and Frankie Montas were the others.