Fighting A's back home to face Detroit


Fighting A's back home to face Detroit

April 14, 2011

DETROIT (5-7) vs.
A's (6-6)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

OAKLAND (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics are starting to score runs more consistently, and that could provide an even bigger boost for Gio Gonzalez, who hasn't needed much offensive help from his teammates.

The left-hander will attempt to win a third straight start to open this season and beat the Detroit Tigers for the first time Thursday night.

Oakland pushed across at least five runs for the third time in four games Wednesday during a 7-4 comeback win in 10 innings over the Chicago White Sox. The A's (6-6) tied the game with three runs in the ninth, then scored three more in the 10th.

REWIND: Stunning late rally lifts A's over White Sox

In their first eight games, they scored two runs or fewer five times.

"I just loved the attitude. The guys kept fighting right to the end," manager Bob Geren said. "We were down and it was going to take putting some hits together, drawing some walks, and we did it."

Having won four of five, Geren's club will try to add another victory with help from Gonzalez (2-0, 0.69 ERA), who has continued to pitch well after breaking out with 15 wins last season.

In 2010, Gonzalez because the first Oakland pitcher in 21 years with at least eight scoreless starts. He produced his first one this season Saturday in a 1-0 victory in Minnesota, allowing four hits and two walks over six innings.

RELATED: A's stats page

"It's actually a stress reliever if you don't have to get a lot of runs," Geren said.

Gonzalez, though, could use a few more against Detroit.

He's 0-3 with a 10.22 ERA in three career matchups but has allowed just three runs in each of the past two - both at home. The left-hander has received a combined two runs of support in those games.

NEWS: A's batting and pitching splits

The Tigers (5-7) are coming off their first back-to-back wins this season, thanks largely to Brandon Inge.

The third baseman homered in the ninth inning Wednesday to give his team a 3-2 victory over visiting Texas. The previous day, Inge scored on Miguel Cabrera's ninth-inning single in a 5-4 win against the Rangers.

"Maybe this can jump-start us and get us going," Inge said.

Detroit might gain even more momentum if Magglio Ordonez can return soon from an ailing right ankle. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said his veteran slugger might play sometime during this seven-game West Coast trip, which begins with four in Oakland.

NEWS: MLB scoreboard

"If he's right, maybe (he'll play on) the coast," Leyland told the team's website. "I just want to get him right."

Phil Coke (0-2, 4.00) is trying to get on the right side of the ledger after a 3-1 loss to Kansas City on Saturday.

In his second career start, Coke gave up two runs, two hits and two walks in the second inning. He recovered to throw 4 2-3 scoreless frames after that, finishing with seven strikeouts.
RELATED: Spotlight on the Detroit Tigers

"I'm thrilled. You have to be with the way he pitched," Leyland said. "That was exactly what we needed from him."

Coke has allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings in his last five outings against Oakland, all out of the bullpen.

The A's lost both of their home games against the Tigers last season after winning 11 of the previous 14 meetings there.

Altidore, Dempsey lead US past Costa Rica, into Gold Cup final at Levi's


Altidore, Dempsey lead US past Costa Rica, into Gold Cup final at Levi's


ARLINGTON, Texas — Clint Dempsey fed Jozy Altidore for the go-ahead goal, then scored on a free kick to match Landon Donovan’s American record with his 57th international goal and lead the United States over Costa Rica 2-0 Saturday night and into the CONCACAF Gold Cup championship game.

Playing in his home state of Texas, the 34-year-old Dempsey entered in the 66th minute and made a perfectly timed through pass six minutes later that allowed Altidore to break in alone and beat Patrick Pemberton with a left-footed shot from 10 yards.

Dempsey doubled the lead in the 82nd minute with a 27-yard shot that went around a four-man defensive wall and got past Pemberton on two bounces.

“I saw the keeper cheating a little bit, and it went in,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey has 136 international appearances, trailing only Cobi Jones (164) and Donovan (157) among American players. The assist was his 20th for the national team.

“Coming back from two heart procedures, being able to still play at this level,” Dempsey said in his Texas twang, “living a dream. So I’m happy.”

Trying for their sixth Gold Cup title and first since 2013, the Americans play Mexico or Jamaica in the final on Wednesday at Santa Clara, California.

The U.S. improved to 8-0-5 since Bruce Arena replaced Jurgen Klinsmann in November and returned for a second stint as national team coach. Arena can become the first coach to win three Gold Cup titles following championships in 2002 and 2005.

Tim Howard got his second straight shutout, making key saves on Marco Urena in the 37th and 71st minutes.

After the second save, Dempsey took a pass from Darlington Nagbe in the center circle, made a cut, and took three touches as he sprinted toward goal. Altidore one-timed a shot for his first national team goal since September and ripped off his No. 27 jersey in a wild celebration, earning a yellow card.

Dempsey’s goal sealed the win, putting the U.S. back in the championship after a shocking semifinal loss to Jamaica two years ago. He was playing for the first time in AT&T Stadium, the $1.2 billion home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys that is about 180 miles from his hometown of Nacogdoches.

“Congratulations, Clint,” Donovan said while working on the Fox telecast of the game. “Feel free to stop now, we’ll share it together.”

After starting in Wednesday’s quarterfinal win over El Salvador, Dempsey moved to a reserve role against the Ticos. While the U.S. inserted five new starters in a roster rotation, Costa Rica went with the same 11 players who started in Wednesday’s win against Panama.

Costa Rica routed the U.S. 4-0 at home in a World Cup qualifier in November, the final game before Klinsmann was fired and Arena was brought back. And up ahead is another matchup, a qualifier on Sept. 1 at Harrison, New Jersey.

Morris, one of the new starters, hit a post just 11 seconds in.

Just before kickoff, El Salvador defender Henry Romero was suspended for his nation’s next six competitive matches and midfielder Darwin Ceren for the next three, those penalties coming three days after Romero bit Altidore and Ceren bit Omar Gonzalez during the quarterfinal. The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football said the discipline was issued by the Gold Cup disciplinary committee for “anti-sporting behavior.”

A's blow five-run lead, watch Mets walk off with victory

A's blow five-run lead, watch Mets walk off with victory


NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the New York Mets rallied from an early five-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Pinch-hitter Lucas Duda delivered a tying single with two outs in the eighth off left-hander Daniel CoulombeJay Bruce hit a two-run homer in the sixth to begin New York's comeback, and Jose Reyes tripled twice.

Flores connected on a 96 mph fastball from Simon Castro (0-1), sending a line drive to left field for the second game-ending homer of his career. That sent a frenzied crowd of 39,629 home happy - hours after fans lined up early in the heat outside Citi Field to get their Noah Syndergaard as Thor bobbleheads.

Matt Joyce hit a leadoff home run and Matt Chapman added a prodigious shot for Oakland, which scored four in the first off struggling Mets starter Zack Wheeler.

Sean Manaea took a shutout into the sixth but then wilted after throwing a career-high 115 pitches Sunday in his previous start, a win against Cleveland.

Hansel Robles (6-1) tossed a hitless inning to win for the second straight day.

With Mets second baseman Neil Walker nearing a return from the disabled list, perhaps Monday in San Diego, Asdrubal Cabrera made his first major league start at third and played flawless defense after working out at the position once. Cabrera's only previous appearance at the hot corner came during his rookie season in 2007 with Cleveland. "He's a middle infielder who's going to play third base. Got great hands, great arm. He'll be fine," manager Terry Collins said. Cabrera initially balked at shifting from shortstop to second when he came off the DL about a month ago.

Athletics: Ryon Healy had a pinch-hit single after getting hit near the left temple by a bad-hop grounder Friday night. Healy went through the concussion protocol and was cleared, manager Bob Melvin said. ... Melvin said he would have news after the game regarding RHP Jharel Cotton, on the DL since July 4 with a blister on his right thumb. Cotton threw a bullpen Friday. Oakland needs a starter for Monday night at Toronto. ... INF-OF Chad Pinder (strained left hamstring) homered Friday on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville and could come off the DL when Oakland begins a homestand next weekend. "That's kind of the target area," Melvin said.

Mets: Walker (left hamstring) went 1 for 3 with Triple-A Las Vegas at Memphis in the first game of rehab assignment. The switch-hitter has been on the DL since June 15. ... LHP Josh Smoker threw a scoreless sixth in his first outing since coming off the disabled list Thursday. Smoker had been sidelined since June 14 with a strained left shoulder.

Oakland rookie right-hander Daniel Gossett (1-5, 5.79 ERA) makes his eighth career start in Sunday's series finale against RHP Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40). Gossett has given up 10 homers in 37 1/3 innings after yielding only four in 60 2/3 innings at Triple-A.