Giants walk off in 11th, complete sweep of A's


Giants walk off in 11th, complete sweep of A's

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Emmanuel Burriss was walking into the batter's box when he locked eyes with Darren Ford standing on second, a small sign only the two close friends could communicate without muttering a word."It was more so if I get a hit, you better score," Burriss said. "It wasn't so much I'm guaranteeing a hit."Burriss singled home Ford for the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning, and the San Francisco Giants completed a three-game sweep of the cross-bay rival Oakland Athletics with a 5-4 victory Sunday.Burriss' line drive off reliever Brian Fuentes (1-6) was hit hard enough to make it a close play at the plate. The speedy Ford slid in just ahead of right fielder Ryan Sweeney's throw, sending the Giants running out of the dugout to celebrate their fifth straight victory and seventh walk-off win this season."I don't know who else scores in the game except Darren," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "Anybody else and it's not even close."San Francisco put the exclamation point on the latest edition of the Bay Bridge Series.Pinch-hitter Nate Schierholtz hit a tying, two-run homer in the eighth off Grant Balfour over the right-field wall and just short of splashing in McCovey Cove. The rally spoiled another stellar outing by A's starter Gio Gonzalez and sent Oakland tumbling to its fifth straight loss and ninth overall at AT&T Park.Sergio Romo (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings to help the Giants win their 10th straight home game. San Francisco is 11-0 in one-run games at its cozy waterfront ballpark this season."I feel like we're saying this every night," Bochy said about the close wins. "But to win this many consecutive games at home is pretty amazing."The Giants stifled their neighbors across the bay with solid pitching in the first two games, with ace Tim Lincecum throwing a three-hitter Saturday after Ryan Vogelsong allowed only one unearned run Friday. When Oakland finally found a way to score in the finale, it simply wasn't enough.It was that kind of weekend for the visitors.Ford started things for the Giants in the 11th with a one-out, pinch-hit single to right. He stole second on the first pitch, dancing around second even while Oakland intentionally walked Buster Posey."That's what I want to do. I want to make them nervous and uncomfortable," Ford said.Burriss singled to right and Ford went zipping around third, sliding in just under the tag by catcher Kurt Suzuki, who dropped the ball anyway."I didn't think it was going to be that close," Ford said.The win was even sweeter for Ford and Burriss, who have spent considerable time together at Triple-A Fresno, train together in the offseason and consider each other family."That's what we do a lot in Fresno," Burriss said of the late-game baserunning. "It was great to do it on the big stage."The Giants followed the usual script from the start.Freddy Sanchez doubled in the first down the left-field line, and Andres Torres hustled from first to beat the relay throw at the plate to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.The Giants had a bit of a scare when Posey took a foul tip from Gonzalez off his mask in the second, bringing Bochy and a team trainer out of the dugout to check on the catcher. Posey said the right side of his jaw was sore, but he stayed behind the plate.Posey extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single in the third. He scored two batters later when Cody Ross grounded to third baseman Andy LaRoche, whose high throw pulled Daric Barton off first base and put San Francisco ahead 2-0.Josh Willingham sparked Oakland with a solo shot to left off Jonathan Sanchez in the sixth, his seventh home run of the season. Sanchez left after six innings, allowing five hits and striking out five.The A's seemed prime to be the ones to finally be on the winning end of a rally.Coco Crisp had an RBI double and Barton followed with a run-scoring single against Jeremy Affeldt in the seventh, giving Oakland a 3-2 lead. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui drove in Mark Ellis with a sacrifice fly off Ramon Ramirez in the eighth to make it 4-2.That appeared to be enough behind Oakland's strong pitching staff. Gonzalez left after 6 2-3 innings, striking out eight and allowing two runs on eight hits.Of course, nothing came easy for the A's in San Francisco."It's a game of little breaks and taking advantage of things," manager Bob Geren said. "They got a game-changing hit and that was the difference."NOTES: LHP Josh Outman will be called up from Triple-A Sacramento to start for Oakland on Monday at the Los Angeles Angels, Geren said. Oakland still has to decide who will start Tuesday with regulars Brandon McCarthy (stress reaction in right shoulder) and Tyson Ross (strained left side) on the disabled list. ... Oakland's two-time All-Star closer, Andrew Bailey (strained right forearm), is slated to make his second rehab appearance with Sacramento on Monday. ... Giants Hall of Famer Willie Mays was in the clubhouse before the game.

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win

Giants hammer three homers in third straight spring training win


At Goodyear, Arizona, Joe Panik, Conor Gillaspie and Jarrett Parker homered for San Francisco. Jimmy Rollins singled and scored twice.

Giants lefty Matt Moore went 1 1/3 innings in his first start of the spring, allowing one run and one hit. He walked two and struck out three.

Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman pitched two innings, giving up four hits and two runs.

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

A's spring training Day 13: Gossett part of fifth starter mix

MESA, Ariz. — An unexpected opportunity came Daniel Gossett’s way Sunday, and the young right-hander took it in stride.

When the A’s adjusted their starting rotation, Kendall Graveman got bumped to Monday and Gossett learned he’d be taking the ball to start Sunday’s Cactus League home opener against the Los Angeles Angels.

“I’m here for what they need me for,” Gossett said. “So anything they need, gimme the ball.”

He spun two scoreless innings in a game Oakland lost 5-3 at Hohokam Stadium. A nice first impression for Gossett, indeed, but the truth is A’s officials were already quite familiar with him.

A second-round pick out of Clemson in 2014, Gossett impressed at three levels of the farm system in 2016, beginning the year with Single-A Stockton and finishing it with Triple-A Nashville.

This is his first big league camp, and manager Bob Melvin even mentioned Gossett as being part of the fifth starter conversation.

“He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so when talking about that fifth spot, who knows?” Melvin said before the game.

The only blemishes on Gossett’s day were the pair of walks he issued. After walking Jefrey Marte to lead off the second, he got a lift from his catcher, as Josh Phegley fired a strike to second to nail Marte trying to steal.

“A pitcher’s best friend, I guess,” Gossett said. He went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA across 27 starts at all three levels of the minors last year, and his 151 strikeouts led the A’s farm system. Gossett’s fastball ranges anywhere from 90-95 on the gun. He throws a changeup that gets the most swings and misses, plus a slider and curve.

Grady Fuson, an A’s special assistant to the general manager, liked the adjustments he saw with Gossett over the course of last season.

“He’s a super kid, a grinder,” Fuson said over the winter. “He’s a guy that hadn’t struck many guys out and had been very hittable in the strike zone. (In 2016), he started executing to different parts of the zone that limits the hard contact.”

CAMP BATTLE: Alejandro De Aza sparked the A’s first rally in the third Sunday with a triple, then scored on Mark Canha’s double. With Jake Smolinski sidelined currently by a shoulder issue, it’s a good time for De Aza, a non-roster invitee to camp, to make his mark. The door could be open for him to make a push to make the roster as a fifth outfielder.

“He’s an interesting guy,” Melvin said of the nine-year veteran. “He knows how to play the game, he can play all three outfield spots. We’ve seen him before when he’s given us trouble, too, with the White Sox.”

Another contender for a reserve outfield spot is Jaycob Brugman, who has yet to crack the majors but is already on the 40-man roster. He singled home a run in the seventh. Like De Aza and Smolinski, Brugman can play center field, and it stands to reason the A’s will want to carry someone who can back up Rajai Davis at that position.

NOTEWORTHY: Phegley admitted to some butterflies before getting behind the plate for his first game since July, when a right knee injury wiped out the rest of his season.

But he looked good springing up to nail Marte on the second-inning steal attempt. The A’s are counting on Phegley returning to his role as the right-handed hitting platoon partner with Stephen Vogt behind the plate.

STOCK RISING: Melvin was impressed, and entertained, by the first look he got at reliever Simon Castro on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Castro retired Kris Bryant to strand a runner at third, the only hitter he faced. But it was what happened before the at-bat that caught Melvin’s attention.

“When he came to the mound he was pretty vocal,” Melvin noted. “He was fired up, telling the guys ‘Let’s go!’ I haven’t heard that too many times out of pitchers, let alone in spring training. So he impressed me with his eagerness to pitch.”

FAMILIAR FACES: Campy Campaneris and Blue Moon Odom each threw out ceremonial first pitches before Sunday’s exhibition home opener, which drew a smallish crowd of 4,072.