Indians get to Breslow in 12th; A's drop series

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Indians get to Breslow in 12th; A's drop series

May 5, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARDOAKLAND (AP) Music blared throughout the Cleveland Indians clubhouse. From one track to the next, a few players belted out lyrics. Some could even be heard in the hallway outside.One this is for sure: the Indians are making noise again.Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson had RBI singles in the 12th inning, and the Cleveland Indians matched the best start in franchise history with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday."They're very resilient and they believe in themselves," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It's early, but the amount of times that we have done it late in the games, really kind of gives them confidence."A night after their seven-game winning streak was snapped, the Indians won in their final at-bat for the seventh time this season. This is the seventh time the Indians have started 21-9, including 1948 - the last time they won the World Series.
GUTIERREZ: A's seek lost momentum in Kansas City
Hannahan's bloop single to left field off reliever Craig Breslow (0-2) provided the go-ahead run, and Marson followed with a single to propel Cleveland to another late-inning rally. Chad Durbin (2-1) pitched two innings for the win and Chris Perez earned his ninth save in 10 chances."It just says we don't quit," Perez said. "No matter where we start the rally, we believe that the next guy is going to be able to continue it."The Athletics couldn't quit match the late-game exploits.Ryan Sweeney had a career-high five hits and added two RBIs for the Athletics, who wasted another strong performance by starter Brett Anderson. He pitched nine innings and got a no-decision.Oakland stranded 12 runners on base and twice blew chances in extra innings with men in scoring position."This was a tough one to lose," A's manager Bob Geren said. "That's a game we could have and should have won."The Indians again showed why they have been one of baseball's best and most surprising teams this season.They overcame Sweeney's tying RBI double in the eighth against reliever Vinnie Pestano and continually pitched out of jams. Sweeney's run-scoring single in the 12th brought Oakland within a run before Perez regrouped to get pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui to pop out to short left and end the game."They're a scrappy team that knows how to put runs on the board," Sweeney said. "They have the best record in baseball for a reason."The Indians found a way to outlast another pitcher at his peak for their first series win in Oakland since 2002.Anderson retired the first 13 batters with relative ease, with only two outs even making it beyond the infield. Not until one out in the fifth inning did a Cleveland hitter finally reach base, and even that took some help.Travis Hafner hit a hard ground ball to first baseman Daric Barton, who made a diving stop but bobbled the ball trying to transfer it out of his glove and toss it to Anderson hustling to cover the base.The slow-to-score A's struggled again to produce at the plate behind a sharp starter pitcher.Anderson struck out five and allowed seven hits in nine innings, baffling Cleveland's hitters on a sun-baked day at the Coliseum. He just didn't get much support, a growing theme for Oakland's starters this season.Barton's two-out, RBI-single in the fifth drove in Mark Ellis to give Oakland a 1-0 lead. The A's stranded two more runners in the inning, with Conor Jackson grounding out to end the threat.The Indians briefly got to Anderson with singles from Marson and Michael Brantley to open the sixth. Then Asdrubal Cabrera drove both home with a single up the middle to put the Indians ahead 2-1.Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez allowed one run, six hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings and watched the rest of the way after the bullpen blew the lead and his teammates fought back."We just keep trying to have quality at-bats throughout the whole game and grind it out," Marson said. "We've been playing well. Big win today. It's huge."NOTES: A's All-Star closer Andrew Bailey is scheduled to face hitters for the second time this week Saturday in Kansas City, manager Bob Geren said. Bailey hasn't pitched this season because of a strained right forearm. ... The Indians gave CF Grady Sizemore the day off to rest. ... A's CF Coco Crisp and DH Matsui also had scheduled days off with the quick turnaround after Wednesday night's game, although both pinch-hit late in the game. ... Cleveland RHP Mitch Talbot, on the DL with a strained elbow, is planning to throw another bullpen session this weekend while the team is in Anaheim.

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

Warriors eye veteran guard Calderon after release of Weber

OAKLAND -- Briante Weber’s 20 days with the Warriors came to an end Saturday night, creating a roster opening expected to be filled by veteran point guard Jose Calderon.

“We think we have something in place, but it’s not finalized,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after a 112-95 victory over Brooklyn.

Calderon is in the process to be bought out by the Lakers, after which he will become a free agent. Once he clears waivers, the Warriors, according to multiple sources, will be waiting to offer a physical examination and a contract.

Though Warriors president/general manager Bob Myers stopped short of identifying Calderon by name, his insinuations late Saturday night line up with what was learned from league sources.

“You find that in the playoffs, experience matters,” Myers told CSNBayArea.com.

“I don’t want to diminish (Weber’s) contribution and say he’s not capable,” he added. “He could help a team. But I think sometimes you go with experience when going into the playoffs.”

While Weber is 24, with limited NBA experience, Calderon is 35 and has 12 seasons in the league, including three playoff appearances with two different teams. Moreover, Calderon is a career 41.1-percent 3-point shooter.

Calderon has played sparingly this season and has appeared only once, for five minutes, over the last nine games. In November, his most active month, he played in 11 games, averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 assists while shooting 54.5 percent from the field and 45.0 from beyond the arc.

Not that this made releasing Weber any easier. He had, in a short span of time, become popular with his teammates. Though Weber declined postgame interview requests, Stephen Curry spent a few minutes consoling and encouraging him.

Kerr struggled a bit in announcing that the team was releasing Weber, though the move was made by the front office in consultation with the coaching staff.

“We are making the decision thinking it’s the best thing for the team,” he said. “We make every decision based on that.

Weber played two minutes Saturday, scoring four points on 2-of-3 shooting. He logged a total of 46 minutes spread over seven games.

“He’s a good kid, did everything we asked of him,” Myers said. “But sometimes you’ve got to make tough decisions. Sometimes you’re not even right, but you make the best decision you can at the time.

“But he’s got a future in the NBA. He’ll have options. That’s the best thing about his situation. He’ll be able to choose what’s best for him.”

Sharks Jones, Tierney find more success in Vancouver in 4-1 win

Sharks Jones, Tierney find more success in Vancouver in 4-1 win

VANCOUVER – One of the more appealing NHL road cities, Vancouver dazzles with its beautiful mountain scenery and walkable downtown avenues.

The Sharks undoubtedly relish those aspects of their trips to British Columbia, but more importantly they’ve enjoyed them on a professional basis, too. San Jose won its 10th straight game at Rogers Arena on Saturday, 4-1, kicking off the final push to the playoffs with a victory coming out of the bye week.

“I think we definitely got better as the game went on, and that’s what you’re looking for,” said Mikkel Boedker, who was one of four Sharks’ goal scorers. “We came out with the win.”

Two Sharks in particular have enjoyed their recent excursions into Vancouver. 

Martin Jones was the best player on the ice, making 35 saves in his hometown. He was relied upon early as the Sharks predictably struggled to get their legs underneath them in what was their first game since last Sunday.

Jones made an impressive stop on Loui Eriksson in the first period, and in the second he stopped Jannik Hansen from point blank range with the Sharks holding a 1-0 lead. Later in the second, it was saves on Alex Edler and Hansen again that preserved San Jose’s 2-1 lead at the intermission. Vancouver was outshooting the Sharks 30-16 after 40 minutes, but trailed.

The Sharks rewarded their goalie with scores by Boedker and Logan Couture on the power play to make the final few minutes of the third period relatively easy.

“When [Jones] plays like that it gives us confidence, and we’ve just got to stick with it and keep creating chances, and we did that tonight,” said Boedker, who snapped a 19-game goal drought.

“[Jones] was our best player tonight,” coach Pete DeBoer said.

Jones improved to a perfect 4-0 in Vancouver, all in a San Jose sweater, with a 1.25 goals-against average and .959 save percentage. He spent the bye week in the area, and had several supporters in the stands.

“It’s always fun playing in front of friends and family,” Jones said. “Happy to get the win here.”

Chris Tierney is another player who seems to thrive in Vancouver. He notched a pair of assists and centered the team's most effective line, after getting his first career two-goal game here earlier this month.

His new line, featuring wingers Tomas Hertl and Joel Ward, opened the scoring in the second period, with Hertl finishing off a pass from Tierney after Ward’s breakaway attempt crept just wide of the net. Later, Tierney got a secondary assist on Patrick Marleau’s second period goal, restoring the Sharks' lead at 2-1.

“They did a good job. I thought some of those guys had our better legs early,” DeBoer said of his third line. “It took some of our veteran guys a little longer to get into it.”

Tierney, who was scoreless in eight straight games since his last time at Rogers Arena on Feb. 2, said: “I thought we generated some good chances. I think we can get better, too. We kind of talked on the bench throughout the game of what we can kind of do to improve and where each other is going to be on the ice, but it felt good playing with those guys. It’s easy to create offense with them.”

In seven career games in Vancouver, Tierney has four goals and three assists for seven points.

“Something about the Vancouver air, or Canadian air,” he said. “I always feel good when I play here.”

After dropping a 2-1 overtime decision to Boston in their final game before the break, the Sharks had a five-point lead over the rest of the division headed into a week off. Saturday’s win pushes the lead back up to five points again on Anaheim and Edmonton, and they now have games in hand on both of those teams, too.

It all adds up to a good start in what is the final stretch before the postseason, and a quest for a division title. Overall, the Sharks are 3-0-3 in their last six games, and have just one regulation loss in their last 11 (5-1-5).

“It’s huge, that’s what you play the regular season for,” said Boedker, when asked about the Sharks padding their lead. “You keep trying to gain as many points as you can, and lately we’ve had some overtime losses, but we keep gaining points.”