A's look to rebound in series finale vs. Chicago

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A's look to rebound in series finale vs. Chicago

April 13, 2011

A's (5-6) vs.
CHICAGO (7-4)

Coverage begins at 11 A.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox's much-maligned bullpen came up big in one of its busiest games of the season. Left-hander John Danks would like to give that group a break.

Danks will try to help Chicago earn its fourth win in five games Wednesday afternoon when it concludes a three-game home set against the Oakland Athletics.

RELATED: Anderson vs. Danks in rubber match

One night after closer Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain were each charged with a run and Chicago (7-4) wasted Mark Buehrle's eight shutout innings in a 2-1, 10-inning loss, the White Sox's bullpen was outstanding in Tuesday's 6-5, 10-inning victory, holding Oakland to a pair of runs following Edwin Jackson's 4 2-3 innings - the club's shortest outing by a starter this season.

Sergio Santos and Chris Sale, who picked up the win, each threw two scoreless frames and Alexei Ramirez ended the bullpen's night with a two-out, game-ending homer off Bobby Cramer.

Ramirez also staked the White Sox to a 3-1 second-inning lead with a three-run shot.

REWIND: Ramirez's second HR gives Sox walk-off win

"The bullpen did a great job. The way Santos and Sale threw was the key," manager Ozzie Guillen said after his team snapped Oakland's three-game winning streak and improved to 4-2 on its season high-tying 10-game homestand.

Before hosting the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, the White Sox will look for a solid outing from Danks (0-1, 4.50 ERA), who did not earn a decision in Friday's 9-7 loss to Tampa Bay. The left-hander, who turns 26 this Friday, left the game with a two-run lead after allowing four runs in six innings, but Thornton surrendered four hits and five unearned runs in the ninth to prevent Danks from earning his first victory of the season.

"Our goal is to get the ball to Matt in the ninth," Danks told the White Sox's official website. "We know he's going to get outs. He's the same guy as he was when he was throwing in the seventh and eighth innings. As clich as it sounds, it's only one game."

Danks is 4-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts against the A's.

Seeking to conclude its nine-game trip with a 5-4 record, Oakland (5-6) will give the ball to Brett Anderson (0-1, 1.93), who could use more run support from his teammates.

After throwing six innings of one-run ball in a 5-2 loss to Seattle on April 2, the left-hander retired 14 in a row at one point and gave up two runs in eight innings Friday, but lost 2-1 at Minnesota.

The A's have supported Anderson with one run or none in 15 of his 18 career losses.

"He pitched his butt off," catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "He kept them off balance, hit his spots, changed speeds well. We should have got a win for him."

Anderson, 1-1 with a 4.88 ERA in four starts against the White Sox, was tagged for five runs and a career high-tying 10 hits over 5 1-3 innings in his last start in Chicago, a 6-1 loss July 30.

He will likely get his first look at Adam Dunn, who went 1 for 4 with a walk Tuesday after missing six games following an emergency appendectomy.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who had his 10-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday, is 3 for 11 with a double against Anderson.

A's first baseman Daric Barton matched a career high with four hits Tuesday and is batting .455 (5 for 11) with a pair of doubles off Danks.

NOTES
At 51-46 (.526), the Athletics are one of only two American League teams to own a winning record against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. With a victory on Monday, Oakland would edge past the Yankees (47-42, .528) for the best such record by an AL visitor. ... The A's captured their first series of 2011 by taking two of three games from the Twins. Oakland is 3-0 in series finales this season, as opposed to 1-5 otherwise. ... The White Sox improved to 6-3 by going 3-1 versus Tampa Bay this past weekend. The Sox have scored fewer than four runs only once and lead the majors with an average of 6.9 runs per game. ... Dallas Braden has registered a quality start in each of three career outings against the White Sox, going 2-0 while compiling a 3.22 ERA. ... Mark Buehrle is 4-13 in his career against the Athletics, the lowest winning percentage (.235) by any pitcher versus the A's since the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968 (minimum 15 decisions). ... With a pair of home runs on Sunday, Paul Konerko leads the American League with 11 RBI. He's also the only American Leaguer with at least 100 RBI (103) in April since 2006.

Sources: In agony, Kerr had difficult time keeping up with Warriors' Game 3 win

Sources: In agony, Kerr had difficult time keeping up with Warriors' Game 3 win

PORTLAND -- Steve Kerr was in such agony Saturday that he found little comfort even while watching from the team hotel as his Warriors pulled out a playoff victory over Trail Blazers, multiple sources told NBCSportsBayArea.com.

The pain is so intense that Kerr even had difficulty keeping up with the game. Moreover, it may be a while before he’s able to return to full-time coaching duties.

Assistant Mike Brown served as acting head coach in a 119-113 win over Portland in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

“He’s obviously going through a lot physically,” Stephen Curry said of Kerr after the game, “and that’s first and foremost for him to take care of himself, make sure he’s on the road to recovery and feeling like himself.”

Kerr was in obvious discomfort Friday, when he met with the media for his post-practice news conference. Though he made the flight to Oregon with the team Friday afternoon, he was not able to attend shootaround Saturday morning. It was the second time this season that Kerr missed a shootaround, the first coming March 2 in Chicago.

By Saturday afternoon, the Warriors were announcing he would not coach Game 3.

It was not a great surprise to those who work closely with Kerr.

“He’s suffering,” said one person close to Kerr.

“He hadn’t been feeling well for a couple days, so I knew it would be a possibility,” Brown said before the game.

Kerr continues to cope with debilitating side effects from multiple back surgeries in the summer of 2015. He took a leave of absence last season, missing nearly all of training camp and the first 43 games of the regular season before returning.

Both the symptoms have persisted. Kerr still cannot do many of the things he loves, he acknowledged to NBCSportsBayArea.com, such as play golf. Though his back is somewhat improved, he still experiences severe headaches and neck pain.

The worst part about the discomfort is its consistency. It’s nagging at him every day and night, sometimes more severe than others.

It has gotten worse in recent days, though. It is conceivable, even likely, according to those close to Kerr, that he will miss Game 4 Monday night.

Sharks rue 'key moments' as they are knocked out by Oilers

Sharks rue 'key moments' as they are knocked out by Oilers

SAN JOSE – The clock said there was seven minutes and 48 seconds remaining in the third period. It was frozen there for a bit after Patrick Marleau’s goal brought the Sharks back to within a single score of Edmonton.

Filled to capacity, the Shark Tank came to life, ravenous for the equalizer. The next several minutes offered a reminder of the team’s thrilling 2016 playoff run, when the Sharks finished just two wins away from a championship while taking their fans along for a ride they had never been on in a quarter-century.

But those seven minutes and 48 seconds quickly wound down, leaving the Sharks worlds away from what they did just a year ago. The Oilers held on for a 3-1 win, ending the Sharks’ season in a first round series that lasted six games.

Other than Game 4, a Sharks blowout victory, all the games were competitive.

“There were just a couple key moments in the series,” Joe Pavelski said.

In Game 6, the key moments that won the game for Edmonton came early in the second period. Justin Braun’s point shot was blocked leading to Leon Draisaitl’s goal to open the scoring, and Chris Tierney’s pass to Paul Martin at the point was just off the mark, allowing Anton Slepyshev to glide ahead untouched for another goal. The scores both came within the first two minutes of the middle frame, and were just 56 seconds apart.

That was probably poetic justice in that the Oilers were the much more aggressive and hungry team in the first period, they just weren't rewarded on the scoreboard.

Joe Thornton agreed with a suggestion that the Sharks were “a little bit sloppy” early, “but we got better. I thought we played a great second period and pushed in the third period. Just not enough time left on the clock.”

The Sharks did seem to get their game going just after Slepyshev’s score, but couldn’t solve Cam Talbot more than once. Pavelski nearly tied it with 3:45 to go, but his backhander from down low glanced off of both the crossbar and the post.

Key moments.

“It felt good coming off the stick, it really did,” Pavelski said of his chance. “It was there.”

Connor McDavid’s empty net goal with less than a second on the clock capped the scoring, sending the Oilers and former Sharks coach Todd McLellan on to the second round. 

Other than Game 4, which they dominated 7-0, the Sharks managed just seven goals in the other five games. Brent Burns failed to record a point in five of the six games, while Pavelski had just a single assist outside of Game 4.

The depth scorers also failed to come through, no surprise after the Sharks got little from them for much of the season.

“They defended well, Talbot played well. They were all close games,” Pete DeBoer said. “You’ve got to find a way to win 1-0, 2-1 in the playoffs. It’s not realistic you’re going to get three or four every night. They found a way to win more of the close games than we did.”

Burns said: “Series was pretty tight. I think it’s like Pavs said, it’s just little moments here and there. So much is luck, just puck luck, creating that luck. It’s a tight series, back and forth.”

The Sharks face an uncertain offseason, as there is little reason to believe their current roster, as constructed, will be able to compete with an Oilers team that has not only proven to be better now but is only going to improve. Whether Thornton and Marleau return remains an uncertainty, too.

“This is a big summer. We’ve got some guys that are up, and the expansion draft and whatnot,” Logan Couture said. 

“Every year I’ve been in this league, the team has never been the same the next year. There’s always been changes. Unfortunately, that’s the way that this league works. We’ll see what happens this summer, and come back hungrier next year.”

In the meantime, the Oilers will continue their push for a Stanley Cup while San Jose’s visit to the final round last year will only become more and more of a distant memory.