Giants top D'backs behind three solid from Sanchez


Giants top D'backs behind three solid from Sanchez

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Micah Owings has been working at a side job this spring while trying to pitch his way onto Arizona's 25-man roster. He's been working out at first base and taking a little batting practice.Owings struck out the side in a scoreless inning against the San Francisco Giants, who beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 Wednesday night.
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"He should really feel good about the way he threw," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "We want to get him pitching and throwing the ball properly. I will have to get him an at bat pretty soon."When he's not working out with the pitchers, Owings is off at a back field taking grounders. The .293 career hitter has nine home runs in 184 career at bats.Jonathan Sanchez threw three solid innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on four hits. He walked one and struck out three."I thought Johnny threw the ball well," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He had good stuff all night."Zach Duke allowed three runs on seven hits over two innings and has given up 13 hits in his four innings this spring."The main thing is I felt good," Duke said. "You can't do too much about six broken bat hits. I'll just continue to work hard and get better. The more work I get, the more refined I'll get."Gibson echoed his starting pitcher."He has a long way to go but he's healthy," he said. "He broke some bats and that's a good sign."Freddy Sanchez collected his first two hits of the spring and Chris Stewart had two hits and drove in two runs for the Giants, who have won two of their last three games. Aaron Rowand and Charlie Culberson also drove in runs.Russell Branyan had two hits and drove in a run for the Diamondbacks, who lost their third in four games. Miguel Montero also drove in a run.Stewart tripled home two runs in the second inning and scored on Rowand's sacrifice fly, offsetting Montero's RBI single in the top of the frame.Branyan singled home a run in the third as the Diamondbacks closed to within 3-2.Stewart and Culberson hit back-to-back doubles in the sixth to make it 4-2."Stew put on quite a hitting show," Bochy said. "Freddy looks like he's swinging the bat well."Marc Kroon, the 37-year-old closer who spent most of his career pitching in Japan, earned his first save on American soil with a scoreless ninth."He was pretty excited," Bochy said. "He kept the game for his first save in the USA."Notes: Giants RHP Matt Cain will not make his scheduled start Thursday due to right elbow inflammation. He will be replaced by Ryan Vogelsong. ... San Francisco LHP Jeremy Affeldt struck out one in a perfect inning as he made his spring debut. ... Giants' RHP Brian Wilson will throw to hitters on Thursday. ... Owings saw his spring ERA drop to 27.00 from 108.00. ... Branyan is hitting .556 (5-for-9) in three games and has a 1.000 slugging percentage.
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Instant Analysis: Casilla blows it in ninth, denies Melvin of 1,000th win


Instant Analysis: Casilla blows it in ninth, denies Melvin of 1,000th win


With two swings, the Blue Jays delivered an absolute gut-punch to the A’s on Wednesday night.

Justin Smoak hit a two-run game-tying homer off Santiago Casilla in the ninth. On the next pitch, Kendrys Morales swatted a walk-off shot to give Toronto a stunning 3-2 victory at the Rogers Center.

That once again denied A’s manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career victory, which the A’s seemed poised to celebrate. Rookie Paul Blackburn also had a much-deserved victory snatched away from him after he threw seven scoreless innings.

Oakland has dropped three straight north of the border since giving Melvin career win No. 999. A lack of offense doomed them in the first two games of this four-game series, and they got precious little scoring Wedesnday. But Marcus Semien’s two-run homer in the fifth seemed to be all the offense they would need, and the A’s took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth.

Blake Treinen handled the eighth to get the ball to Casilla, who’s had a turbulent ride as the A’s closer after signing a two-year deal to return to Oakland in the offseason. Wednesday’s meltdown accounted for his sixth blown save. He entered the night tied for third for most blown saves in the American League.

The A’s are short on late-inning options after recently trading Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson to the Washington Nationals.

Former A's starter designated for assignment by Cubs


Former A's starter designated for assignment by Cubs

CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs have cut left-hander Brett Anderson.

The 29-year-old Anderson had been sidelined by a lower back strain. He was activated from the 60-day disabled list before Wednesday night’s game against the White Sox and then designated for assignment.

Anderson signed a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Cubs over the winter. He went 2-2 with an 8.18 ERA in six starts.

Anderson, who has been hampered by injuries throughout his career, is 40-45 with a 3.99 ERA in 133 games with the Athletics, Rockies, Dodgers and Cubs.