A's manage one first-inning run in loss to Cubs

A's manage one first-inning run in loss to Cubs

March 23, 2011BOXSCORE A'S VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
MESA, Ariz. (AP) Carlos Silva had something to prove, and time was running out.Having a terrible spring training so far, it was essential he impressed his manager Wednesday. After giving up a leadoff hit and a one-out RBI double to Josh Willingham, Silva did just that. He turned it around, retiring 17 of 18 and leading the Chicago Cubs over the Oakland Athletics 3-1."I didn't want to walk out the door the way I was pitching," said Silva, who is competing with Braden Looper and Andrew Cashner for the final spot in the rotation.The right-hander came in with a 15.88 ERA, but allowed one run and three hits in six innings. He also had three strikeouts in what should be his last appearance before manager Mike Quade finalizes his pitching staff.Silva had allowed 20 earned runs in his previous 11 1-3 innings."This means the decisions remain tough and we are thrilled to death that guys are making it tough," said manager Mike Quade, who mentioned earlier in the day he wants a final decision by Saturday. "I was glad Silva threw the ball well."Silva, who is 62-69 in his career as a starter, was grateful for another chance knowing that he could have been taken out of the competition based on his previous results."I needed this game," he said. "I don't know what the decision is going to be but I needed this for my confidence. When they tell me I am in competition for the fifth spot I am going to fight."Quade said he plans on waiting as long as possible to make a decision and the players need to understand that they have a chance until then.Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez went 5 2-3 innings, allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks. He struck out six. Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano had RBI singles in the first inning."I was working on a couple of changeups in certain counts," Gonzalez said. "There is stuff I am still working on and I wanted to get the runs out of the way now."NOTES: Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez played for the first time since coming down with a 102 degree fever over the weekend and went 0 for 1 with a walk. The Cubs cut four players from camp as right-handed reliever Justin Berg and left-handed reliever Scott Maine were optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Non-roster invitees right-handed reliever Angel Guzman and right-handed starter Todd Wellemeyer were sent to minor league camp. Starter Carlos Zambrano started against Arizona's Triple-A team and threw 82 pitches in four innings.

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.