A's Insider notes: DeJesus muscles up

477222.jpg

A's Insider notes: DeJesus muscles up

May 24, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
Paul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

DeJesus is DaBomb - Coming into Tuesday night's game, David DeJesus was batting a sickly .111 in his career against Dan Haren, going two for 18 with five strikeouts. So who was the guy muscling up for the Athletics against the Angels? In his first two at-bats, DeJesus crushed a pair of Haren pitches for a solo home run in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth inning. It was the second multi-homer game of May for DeJesus, the second such power surge of his career. He did it against Cleveland at Overstock.com Coliseum on May 4. He also lined out hard to right field on a ball he absolutely smoked in the sixth before doubling off Trevor Bell into the right-field corner in the ninth to drive in Kurt Suzuki for his fourth RBI of the night.

Moscoso does his part - When he's been on for triple-A Sacramento, Guillermo Moscoso has been fabulous, as evidenced by his 0.32 ERA in his three wins with 32 strikeouts and five walks. But when he's been off, he's been bad. Real bad. To the tune of a 12.41 ERA in going 0-2 in three outings. So which Moscoso did the A's get in the Venezuelan right-hander's first-ever big league start? The former. He threw five scoreless innings at the Angels and gave up three hits (two were in his last inning) and three walks with three strikeouts. And according to former A's Spanish radio announcer Manolo Hernandez, Moscoso was the first Venezuelan-born pitcher to start for the A's since Pablo Torrealba on Sept. 30, 1977.Coco to the rescue - It begs the question - would Coco Crisp have made the highlight reel catch in right-center if he was still rocking the Oscar Gamble-esque afro he brought out earlier this season, what with the significant added wind drag? Crisp, who has taken to Twitter to ask fans if he should let his hair fly or keep it braided, robbed Maicer Izturis of potential extra bases and, possibly, the Angels of a run when he went vertical to snare the liner to end the fifth inning. Moscoso made sure he met Crisp coming off the field to congratulate his center fielder. And, potentially, to thank him.Fool's gold? - Yes, the six runs the A's scored represented their highest offensive output in a week, since the 14-0 drubbing of the Angels in the rain at the Coliseum on May 17. But after taking that 5-0 lead Tuesday night, the A's saw 13 straight batters retired. Until consecutive doubles by Kurt Suzuki and DeJesus to lead off the ninth.New closer - Oh, and in case you missed it, with Brian Fuentes' issues and Andrew Bailey still rehabbing his strained forearm suffered in spring training in Sacramento, A's manager Bob Geren said Grant Balfour is the closerfor now. He even started warming up in the ninth inning, when the A's had a 5-1 lead, a non-save situation, but sat back down in favor of Brad Ziegler.

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

Giants notes: 'Disappointing' road trip; Nuñez hopes to return Friday

CHICAGO — As they packed up at AT&T Park eight days ago, the Giants talked of taking their momentum on the road. It sounded pie-in-the-sky given the way they had played in April and on the previous trip, but when they took the first two in St. Louis, players started to believe they had finally turned the corner. 

And then came a Sunday loss, and three of four at Wrigley Field. There was no happy flight Thursday. The Giants lost 5-1, again looking flat against a less-than-elite pitcher, and ended up with a 3-4 trip. They’ll finish the first two months of the season without a winning road trip. They're 9-19 away from AT&T Park. 

“It’s disappointing,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Once you win the first one here, you’re hoping you get greedy and take the series, but we didn’t. That’s disappointing.”

The Giants entered the road trip with a 6.62 starters’ ERA on the road, but pitching wasn’t the issue. Sure there were too many meatballs — most of the 10 Cubs homers in this series came on pitches left right over the fat part of the plate — but the starters did their job. The lineup couldn’t keep up. The Giants had just five hits Thursday and finished the trip with 24 runs in seven games. They started the trip nine games out in the West and finished 11 back of the Rockies, their largest deficit since 2013. 

“You come here and take the first game with our (top) guys throwing after that and you’re hoping for a better result,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We started out good and that St. Louis series puts you in a good spot to salvage the trip. We’ll go home now with six solid games on our home turf and they’re six big games for us.”

The Braves and Nationals come to town. The Giants will see Jaime Garcia on Friday, followed by Mike Foltynewicz and R.A. Dickey. 

--- Samardzija’s run without a walk ended at 154 batters when Ian Happ drew a free pass in the seventh. The streak was the best of Samardzija’s career. 

--- Eduardo Nuñez said he got treatment on a tight hamstring throughout the game and he’ll go in early Friday to continue treatment. He hopes to start Friday. 

--- Christian Arroyo was hitless in three at-bats, dropping his average to .191. Before the game, Bochy talked at length about Arroyo’s recent struggles and the plan with him going forward. 

--- If you missed it earlier, I took a tour of the visiting bullpen here. After going in there, I talked to some more pitchers about what they don’t like. It seems to mostly be the fact that you’re separated from the game. One said some of the relievers who pitched Monday had no idea it was raining because they had been getting loose inside for several innings. Seems like there’s a pretty easy fix here: The Cubs can just turn part of that Under Armour wall into a chain-link fence, or have some sort of window that opens up to the outside but doesn’t interfere with outfielders. Maybe next year …