A's fall to White Sox in Melvin's debut, 9-4

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A's fall to White Sox in Melvin's debut, 9-4

June 9, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

CHICAGO (AP) Different day. Different city. Different manager.Same result.Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko each hit two-run homers and the Chicago White Sox spoiled the debut of Oakland interim manager Bob Melvin, beating the Athletics 9-4 on Thursday night.Melvin replaced Bob Geren earlier in the day, but the change couldn't keep Oakland from its 10th straight defeat."It's always about winning," Melvin said. "It would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle tomorrow."
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Mark Buehrle (6-4) threw seven strong innings and improved to 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven starts. He allowed seven hits and three runs for the White Sox, who have won six of their last nine and 20 of 32."When the weather seems to get warm, we're starting to play a lot better," Buehrle said. "We've got a lot of warm weather ahead of us."Dunn was back in the lineup after sitting out two games because of a miserable start in which he has hit . 176. He was hit by a pitch and scored in Chicago's three-run second. He homered for the first time since May 24, a two-run shot in the third."That felt good," Dunn said. "You're out there after having a series off. You're eager to get back in there and be able to contribute."We haven't been clicking on all cylinders all year. Hopefully this will be the start of something cool."Trevor Cahill (6-4) lasted just 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. He was unlucky to an extent, allowing four infield hits on dribblers in front of the plate. But he also walked three, hit a batter and allowed Dunn's two-run blast."It was tough," Cahill said. "I thought I made a few good pitches they were putting in play. Then I fell behind. My goal this game was not to walk anybody and I walked in two runs, which doesn't really help out."It was a rocky introduction for Melvin, who went 493-508 in previous managerial stops in Seattle and Arizona. The Athletics, who entered last in the AL with 223 runs scored, scored three runs or less for the fifth straight game, and eighth time during their skid. Oakland last lost 10 straight from July 28-Aug. 7, 2008.
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"Obviously, you want to win the game," Melvin said. "I thought Cahill threw the ball pretty well. There were some hits that he made good pitches on. Dunn's ball was the one that did the most damage. I don't think the numbers reflect how well he pitched."Even though Melvin has managed over 900 games from big-league dugouts, he said he still was nervous at the game's outset."No question," Melvin said. "Excitement, butterflies, the whole bit. If I didn't, I wouldn't have a pulse."In the second, the White Sox loaded the bases on A.J. Pierzynski's walk, Alex Rios' single and Dunn's hit by pitch. After Oakland third baseman Adam Rosales dropped a foul pop, Omar Vizquel hit a sacrifice fly to right to plate Chicago's first run.Gordon Beckham reached on a tapper in front of the plate, reloading the bases. Juan Pierre walked in a run, and then Alexei Ramirez hit a dribbler up the third-base line that Cahill was unable to handle, scoring the inning's third run."(All the infield hits) were tough, especially for a lineup like (Chicago's)," Cahill said. "Eventually, they'll break through. I felt like I was making quality pitches at times."As maddening as that inning was for Cahill, the third was more of the same - at least after Dunn's two-run shot to barely cleared the left-field fence for his sixth homer."I think he'll end up the season with his 40 home runs like he usually has," Buehrle said.Vizquel followed that with another short dribbler to reach first. Beckham singled and Pierre reached on yet another infield hit to load the bases. Ramirez drew a walk to score Vizquel, a fitting end to a frustrating night for Cahill, who gave way to reliever Bobby Cramer."I felt like my stuff was decent, I just couldn't get anybody out," Cahill said.Cahill is now 0-4 in his last six starts.Meanwhile, Buehrle allowed Rosales' run-scoring single in the second, the last of three straight singles for Oakland. He then settled down to throw 4 2-3 scoreless innings, allowing only a walk and an infield single in the third.Buehrle ran into trouble in the seventh when Kurt Suzuki hit a leadoff single and Hideki Matsui hit his fourth homer of the season, cutting Chicago's lead to 6-3."I did like the way just didn't lay down and die," Melvin said. "We kept grinding our bats and kept hustling out there."Notes: Oakland rookie Jemile Weeks drove in his first career run on a bloop single in the ninth. ... Quentin extended his hitting streak to 11 games, while Konerko extended his to 10. ... Dunn's homer was the 360th of his career, breaking a tie with Johnny Mize for 74th on the career list. ... Saying he was glad to be back in the lineup, Dunn said that during his rest he learned "(I) don't like sitting out." Manager Ozzie Guillen had a request for Dunn: "I asked, 'Could you please have a good day so then they don't have to ask me anymore questions about you? Please have a good day so (hitting coach) Greg Walker doesn't have to drink a bottle of wine to forget about your bad night?'" ... Buehrle struck out four, moving within two of tying Wilbur Wood for fourth on Chicago's career strikeout list.

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

ANAHEIM — The A’s collection of individual highlights during their visit to Angel Stadium shouldn’t have equated to a three-game sweep for their opponent.

Jesse Hahn fired eight one-hit innings Tuesday, the same night Josh Phegley delivered a pinch-hit homer in the 10th before the A’s lost in 11 innings. On Thursday, Kendall Graveman turned in perhaps the defensive play of the 2017 season by a pitcher, recording an unassisted double play that was the first by an A’s pitcher in 46 years.

All great moments to relive in the clubhouse afterward, but surely they ring a bit hollow given the final outcomes. The A’s were swept by an Angels team that, like Oakland, has been hit hard by the injury bug. Los Angeles is without key relievers Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin, not to mention starter Garrett Richards among others.

Yet the Angels pitching staff twice held the A’s to one run over the three-game series, including Thursday’s 2-1 defeat, when the A’s mustered just three hits.

“We’re a little streaky right now,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “… Give them credit, they pitched really well, and they really are down a lot of guys in the bullpen. We would expect to do a little more damage.”

They couldn’t Thursday, and that it made it tough to savor Graveman’s incredible play the way they should have.

With runners on the corners and no outs, he fielded Juan Graterol’s comebacker and caught Ben Revere in a rundown between third and home. Graveman ran him down and after applying the tag, hurdled Revere and made the tag on Cliff Pennington, who was trying to advance from first to third in the chaos.

“That’s probably the best play I’ve ever seen a pitcher make, hurdling over an (opponent) to get the second out unassisted,” Melvin said. “I didn’t even know how to put that one down on my card.”

Graveman, one of the A’s better overall athletes, was asked if he’d ever recorded an unassisted double play before.

“Never. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one,” he said. “(Ryan) Madson said he’s never seen one and he’s watched over 2,000 games.”

Incredibly, the last A’s pitcher to pull off an unassisted double play previously was in attendance Thursday night. John “Blue Moon” Odom did it back on July 11, 1971, also against the Angels. Odom attends most of the A’s games in Anaheim, and he’s struck up a friendship with Graveman over the years.

“Every time we come here and even in spring training, I try to catch up with Blue Moon Odom and see how he’s doing,” Graveman said. “He and Wash (former A’s infield coach Ron Washington) are friends so we always cut up about Wash. He’s a great guy. He sits in the front row. He came in and saw me right before stretch and told me ‘I’m gonna be front row watching you.’ That is pretty neat that that happened.”

A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso said he’s never surprised to see Graveman make a great defensive play.

“The guy’s a pitcher, but it feels like he’s a shortstop playing the position.”

Graveman was visited by trainers after the fifth-inning play, but Melvin said it was mainly to give the pitcher a breather and let him get his adrenaline under control. Neither Graveman nor his manager revealed anything specific that bothered Graveman. Seeing him stay in the game and complete six innings of two-run ball had to be encouraging for Melvin.

“The first thing I asked him was ‘What’d you fall on?’” Melvin said. “He said, ‘My butt.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re all right then.’ But you’re not gonna see that play again probably.”

The A’s are giving their manager and fans some accomplishments to marvel over. As they move on to Houston trying to halt a four-game losing streak, they just need to figure things out on the scoreboard.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”