A's go for series win over K.C. behind Gonzalez


A's go for series win over K.C. behind Gonzalez

June 16, 2011

KANSAS CITY (30-38) vs.
A's (29-40)

OAKLAND (AP) -- Though he's only been in the major leagues since 2008, June continues to be a difficult month for Gio Gonzalez.

Gonzalez will try to snap a three-start skid for the Athletics as they close a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.

With his struggles this month, Gonzalez has dropped to 1-7 with a 4.60 ERA in 11 June starts. The only other months in which the right-hander has posted losing records are August (6-7) and October (0-1).

RELATED: Gio Gonzalez 2011 game logs

Gonzalez had totaled 26 walks in 10 June starts heading into Sunday's matchup with the Chicago White Sox. He issued a career-high seven bases on balls, hit two batters, threw a wild pitch and committed a balk in 5 1-3 innings of Oakland's 3-2 loss.

"I felt like it was a lot better than what the numbers showed. I felt like I gave it all I got. I felt like I was in the game. Not mechanics, just more about composure," Gonzalez told the Athletics' official website.

Gonzalez (5-5, 2.67 ERA) has handed out 23 of his 40 walks this season at Coliseum, where he's 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA.

He beat the Royals on the road May 6 after allowing two runs and four hits over seven innings of a 3-2 victory. Still, Gonzalez is 2-2 with a 6.39 ERA and 15 walks in 25 1-3 innings versus Kansas City.

RELATED: Kansas City Royals news and headlines

The Royals (30-38) will go with Jeff Francis (3-6, 4.40) as he tries to build off his first road win of the season.

The left-hander had been 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts away from Kansas City before facing the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings in the 4-2 victory.

"I didn't really change anything. I just tried to make an effort to throw more strikes and make them hit it," Francis said. "Anytime you get a win, it's satisfying as a team - not only as an individual."

Francis, who pitched for Colorado from 2004-10, lost his first game against Oakland on May 8 after giving up three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 5-2 defeat.

Oakland (29-40) gave new manager Bob Melvin his first home win, 2-1 on Wednesday.

GUTIERREZ: A's find winning formula against Royals

The A's were held without a hit through five innings by Luke Hochevar, who eventually gave up RBI singles to Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton. Oakland's Josh Outman, meanwhile, yielded four hits through seven innings for the first win by an A's starter in 16 games.

"We took advantage of just about every chance we could get," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It was a well-pitched game on both sides."

The A's haven't had back-to-back home wins since May 16 and 17.

The Royals' Alcides Escobar had three hits for the second straight game and scored on Alex Gordon's base hit in the eighth inning.

Escobar will try to set a career high by extending his hitting streak to nine games. He's batting .552 (16 for 29) during his run, increasing his average 42 points to .245.

Escobar went 1 for 3 against Gonzalez last month.

Kansas City is 3-2 on its nine-game swing that concludes in St. Louis starting Friday night.

Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade


Dodgers add to riches, acquire Mets slugger in trade

NEW YORK — The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash from the New York Mets for a player to be named later or cash.

The teams announced the deal after their games Friday night. The 36-year-old Granderson is hitting .228 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs this year.

Los Angeles is running away with the NL West. The Dodgers are 86-34 after Friday's win at Detroit . Granderson gives Los Angeles another option for the outfield along with Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson.

Pederson has been struggling quite a bit of late, hitting .149 since the All-Star break. Granderson, like Pederson, offers some power from the left side of the plate.

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth

Giants pound Phillies in blowout win, Moore pitches into eighth


SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Moore took his time walking off the mound after Giants manager Bruce Bochy came out to replace him in the eighth inning.

Moore wanted to enjoy the ovation from the crowd at AT&T Park, something he hadn't heard for quite some time.

Moore took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and picked up his first win in nearly two months as San Francisco beat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-2 on Friday night.

"It's something that I think is one of the coolest parts about playing here, is just how loud it can get and the appreciation coming off the hill," Moore said. "It was definitely nice to have that."

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford both homered, Pablo Sandoval had an RBI single and Denard Span added three hits and made a nice running catch in center field to help San Francisco to its ninth win in the last 12 games at AT&T Park.

One day after becoming the first team in major league history to reach 11,000 wins as a franchise, the Giants added on by beating the worst team in baseball again.

Moore (4-12) was crisp in his second straight strong start despite four walks, allowing two hits over 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time since June 20.

"He's got a good rhythm going," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looks like he's playing catch with (catcher Buster Posey), that's the effort he's putting in it right now. I think it's helped his command on all his pitches."

Moore credited a calmer approach in his last two starts.

"For a lot of the season I was overthrowing," Moore said. "It's just too much to be gritting that much through. After the break that was something I was working on, making sure I'm not white-knuckling too much stuff."

Four relievers combined for five outs to complete the four-hitter.

Jorge Alfaro singled twice and scored for Philadelphia.

Pence doubled and scored as part of a three-run first inning, then hit his 11th home run in the second.

Crawford tacked on with a two-run home run in the third, his 10th, after Sandoval walked. Crawford, who also doubled in the eighth, had been in a 2-for-22 slump.

Philadelphia didn't get a runner past second base until the eighth when Freddy Galvis singled in both runs.

"We got four hits (and) Alfaro had two of them," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "The bats just ain't there right now."


Starting pitcher Zach Eflin (1-5) allowed six runs and seven hits over five innings for the Phillies and later complained of tightness in his right shoulder. Eflin has lost two of three starts since a two-month stint in the minors. "As the fifth inning came to an end it was more of a precautionary thing to come out because it wasn't feeling right at that point," Eflin said.


Posey has hit safely in 20 straight games against Philadelphia, the longest hitting streak of his career against any team.


Phillies: Mackanin's ballclub was one player short after the team placed OF Odubel Herrera on the disabled list with a hamstring injury in a move that is retroactive to Aug. 15. Herrera has a 17-game hitting streak that is the longest active in the majors. A corresponding move is expected before Saturday's game.

Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto threw 50 pitches in a bullpen session and could begin a rehab assignment early next week. Cueto also threw a 50-pitch bullpen during the team's recent three-game series in Miami. ... 1B Brandon Belt (concussion) and 2B Joe Panik (concussion symptoms) both did cardio work before the game.


Phillies RHP Jerad Eickoff (3-7, 4.45 ERA) makes his second start against the Giants this season Saturday while San Francisco counters with LHP Ty Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA). Blach blanked Philadelphia with a seven-hitter on June 2.