Fuentes gives up three; A's fall to Indians late

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Fuentes gives up three; A's fall to Indians late

May 3, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) On a day with so much potential distraction, the Cleveland Indians delivered another dramatic, late-game win.Orlando Cabrera hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth in his lone at-bat, Fausto Carmona won for the third time in four starts and the Indians beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory. It was their fourth in a row in their final at-bat, too."The attitude is to win, find a way to win, hang in there," Cabrera said.Matt LaPorta and Jack Hannahan hit back-to-back one-out singles off Brian Fuentes (1-3) in the ninth before Cabrera came through against his former club. Asdrubal Cabrera then provided a two-run single as insurance.LaPorta hit a tying RBI single in the seventh and the majors-best Indians (20-8) produced another impressive win. Things could have turned sour in a hurry for the AL Central leaders, who dealt with the Monday arrest of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on suspicion of drunken driving.Before the game, Choo apologized to each of his teammates individually in the clubhouse for his mistake and any embarrassment it caused.
RELATED: Indians' Choo charged with DUI before A's series
After that, Choo pulled the Indians into a tight huddle near the dugout before pregame warmups and batting practice. He started in right field and batted third, going 0 for 4 with a walk. Choo was booed by the small announced crowd of 10,135."I think we do a great job as a ballclub once we get between the lines, it's baseball, it's business," LaPorta said. "We've done a great job at that this year."Carmona (3-3), a 13-game winner and first-time All-Star last year, gave up only Kurt Suzuki's RBI groundout in the fourth. He allowed five hits and one run, struck out five and walked one in eight strong innings - an efficient 96-pitch performance.His curveball and slider kept Oakland off balance and he got quick outs on groundballs."Today, every pitch was working for me," he said. "I was throwing strikes."Chris Perez pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in nine tries and second in two games.The Indians kicked off a six-game California road trip against the AL West by continuing the momentum they gained during a 6-0 homestand that gave them a 13-game winning streak at Progressive Field.
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Cleveland improved to 7-6 away from home and will try for a strong showing in a venue that has been so tough for the Indians of late. They have lost nine of their last 10 series at the Coliseum. Winning the opener of this series is a good start considering the Indians dropped two of three in Oakland last year and were outscored 22-6 - with shutouts of 10-0 and 11-0."They're playing well and their record reflects that," Fuentes said. "They're just clicking on all cylinders. They had a great starter tonight. He went out and threw the ball really well. It's just a really good ballclub."Tyson Ross is still looking for his first win since joining the A's rotation as a fill-in for the injured Dallas Braden.Ross was rolling until allowing three singles in the seventh, including LaPorta's tying base hit. Still, Ross has a 0.68 ERA in his last two starts, lowering him to 2.38 over six overall outings."We couldn't create anything," Orlando Cabrera said. "We got that break (against Fuentes) and we attacked."The right-hander pitched with runners on base in five of his six-plus innings but escaped trouble with some help from Oakland's defense that went into the night tied with Houston for the major league lead in errors at 27.The A's turned a double play in the fourth following Carlos Santana's leadoff single, then Suzuki made another stellar play in the fifth after Ross' pitch to Grady Sizemore hit the dirt and bounced several feet away from the Oakland catcher. Suzuki quickly retrieved the ball then threw out Adam Everett trying to steal second.But Oakland couldn't produce enough offense after they just took three of four from the Rangers."Carmona had exceptional location and movement today," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He changed speeds, good sinker, good changeup. We didn't have a lot of opportunities."Veteran Cleveland designated hitter Travis Hafner, nursing a strained tendon in the bottom of his right foot, ran in the outfield to test his injury. He drew a pinch-hit walk in the seventh before being lifted for pinch-runner Orlando Cabrera.Manager Manny Acta wanted to give Hafner one more day to heal, with the plan of starting Hafner in the middle game of the series Wednesday night. Hafner got hurt sliding into home plate to score against Kansas City last Wednesday night.NOTES: The Indians are 16-2 when scoring four or more runs. ... Cleveland RHP Mitch Talbot, on the disabled list with a strained elbow, threw all his pitches in a bullpen session. He is slated to throw another side this weekend in Anaheim before heading to Arizona to pitch in a rehab outing at extended spring training. ... The Indians are 5-2 vs. the AL West.

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

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USATSI

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

PROVO, Utah — Saint Mary's knows all about the raucous atmosphere at BYU. The Gaels hadn't won in Provo since 2013 and had only come out on top in three of their previous 12 trips.

Make it four out of 13.

Calvin Hermanson scored 17 points and No. 22 Saint Mary's cruised to a 70-57 victory over BYU on Saturday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak to its West Coast Conference rival.

"It's definitely one of the tougher places to play for us," Hermanson said. "Coming in here we know it's a huge crowd and we know they can get riled up on any 3-point shot or any run they make. We wanted to try to limit their runs and their big plays.

"The second half was pretty unbelievable how quiet the crowd was. It felt great for us."

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gaels (24-3, 14-2) clinched a second-place finish in the conference standings behind top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga.

Saint Mary's controlled the game most of the night, riding its staunch defense on one end and running efficient offense on the other. The Gaels were able to get to the rim consistently, but also knocked down 10 3-pointers.

BYU (19-10, 10-6) shot 39.7 percent from the field and connected on four 3s.

Evan Fitzner had 15 points for Saint Mary's, including 11 in the second half.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we shot the ball well," Gaels coach Randy Bennett said, "and were able to get some separation and then it made it tough on them. We kind of just wore them out after that.

"We're a little different team with Fitzner out there. He spaces the floor," Bennett added. "We just play a little different with Fitzner out there versus Jock (Landale). It's nice to have a Plan A and Plan B."

Saint Mary's took a 41-30 lead into halftime thanks to Hermanson's hot shooting and plenty of that trademark defense. The Gaels began the day ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, then held the Cougars to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Saint Mary's shot 57.1 percent at the other end, including a 3-for-4 effort from Hermanson from behind the arc.

"I feel like we're better than we showed tonight," BYU guard TJ Haws said. "That team made a lot of runs on us. Tough defensive and offensive team. Very poised and disciplined.

"I want our team to just fight. When they punch us in the face, I want us to punch them right back."

BYU kept Landale under control in the half — and in foul trouble throughout — but Saint Mary's scored 22 of its 41 first-half points in the paint.

Eric Mika had 18 points for BYU, and Yoeli Childs added 13.

"The key to the game was that they were comfortable the entire time in our gym," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's on us. We need to be ahead. We need to get them to speed up a little bit because they're a little bit uncomfortable.

"But the game went pretty much exactly how they wanted it to go and we couldn't flip it. We couldn't get on top."

BIG PICTURE

Saint Mary's: The Gaels will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga secured the regular-season title Saturday with a win over Pacific. An early December defeat to UT-Arlington is the Gaels' only bad loss this season, with the other two coming against Gonzaga.

BYU: The Cougars likely needed a win against the No. 22 team in the country to make an argument for the NCAA Tournament off their regular-season credentials. BYU has lost all three games against ranked opponents by double digits, including to Saint Mary's twice, and doesn't have a signature win. The Cougars get one last chance against Gonzaga next Saturday.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

No. 22 Saint Mary's might find itself moving up a bit after No. 17 Florida State and No. 21 South Carolina lost on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Saint Mary's: Travel to face Pepperdine on Thursday.

BYU: Play at Portland on Thursday.

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

Three takeaways: Fourth line leads the way for Sharks in Arizona

For the first time in five tries this season the Sharks managed to secure a regulation win over the last place Coyotes, 4-1 at Gila River Arena on Saturday. They keep their four-point lead over Edmonton, and are assured of going into the bye week in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.

Here are our three takeaways from the win…

1 – Burns turns the tide…again

For the second time in a week, Brent Burns changed the momentum of a game with his deadly wrist shot. The Sharks were on their heels early – Arizona had a 16-9 shot advantage in the first period, perhaps jolted be a pregame ceremony – but Burns’ shot through traffic staked the Sharks a 1-0 lead and they were on their way.

“We kind of weathered their storm early,” Joe Pavelski told reporters. “There was a lot of energy in the building.”

It was similar to a game in New Jersey last Sunday, when Burns had a pair of second period goals, erasing a 1-0 deficit and putting his team on the track to victory.

According to Elias, Burns – who added a third period power play goal, too – is the first defenseman to score 18 goals on the road since Paul Coffey’s 22 in 1983-84. His 26 goals equal his total from last season, tying his franchise record.

“He’s having an MVP season,” Pete DeBoer told reporters. “He’s been that good for us all year and it’s every night. I don’t know what else to say. In my mind right now he’s the best player in the league, and we’re happy to have him on our team.”

Burns remains in third in the league in scoring with 63 points, four points behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

2 – Dell gets the job done…again

Getting his second start in a week, Aaron Dell made a new season high (and, thus, career high) with 36 saves. His best stop was early in the second period on Radim Vrbata, when he managed to snag a pin-balling puck from crossing the line, keeping the Sharks ahead 2-0. Had that one trickled over, the Coyotes might have been able to seize the momentum.

“I think I had it the whole time,” Dell told reporters. “I kind of saw it for a second and then when I turned back I was able to find it and scoop it underneath me.”

DeBoer said: “He’s been good every time we’ve put him in there.”

Dell, whose goals-against average is down to 1.95, outplayed Sharks nemesis Mike Smith, who had stopped 121 of 127 San Jose shots in three games this season.

“We got to Smitty in the first period, which was great,” Pavelski said. “We kind of know what he’s done to us the past few games, stopping a lot of pucks. … That was a big key for us.”

3 – Fourth line magic

Through two periods, the Sharks’ top two lines had generated a total of three shots on goal – one each from Joe Thornton, Kevin Labanc and Patrick Marleau.

Fortunately for the big guys, the fourth line was there to pick up the slack. Melker Karlsson posted three points (1g, 2a), Micheal Haley had one goal and one assist, and the fourth line generated all three of San Jose’s goals through 40 minutes.

One goal from the fourth line is a bonus. Three is virtually unheard of. 

“They showed up and played the right way,” DeBoer said. “Right from the drop of the puck they put pucks behind the other teams defense, they had good support, they created a lot of chances, and got rewarded for it. I think Dell and them were the difference in the game early through the first half, until we got going a little bit.”