Matsui gets first spring hit, A's lose 6-3 to Mariners

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Matsui gets first spring hit, A's lose 6-3 to Mariners

March 7, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

PHOENIX (AP) Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was fortunate to get through his first batter of spring training.Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, shook off a line drive by A's leadoff hitter David DeJesus that just missed hitting him in the head.He stayed in the game and struck out three in 2 2-3 innings of his spring debut and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Monday.NEWS: A's owner Wolff waits for commissioner's call
"It was fun," Hernandez said. "It's been a while since I pitched in a big league game, but I feel pretty good. I was down in the zone, throwing a lot of strikes."Hernandez allowed a run and five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He threw 53 pitches and had a quick chat with DeJesus while walking back to the dugout after the first inning."I was like 'Whoa, first game, man, you're gonna do that?'" Hernandez said he told DeJesus in jest. "It was scary."Hernandez, who will pitch every five days throughout the rest of spring training, was lifted after giving up a run on Kevin Kouzmanoff's two-out single in the third and walking the last batter he faced.Chris Gimenez drove in two runs and Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan each had an RBI for the Mariners.Right-hander Michael Pineda, a prized rookie who's a strong candidate for the Seattle starting rotation, pitched two scoreless innings with two walks and a strikeout.He threw 40 pitches, 23 for strikes."It's a little difficult (pitching after Hernandez) because he's nasty," Pineda said. "I'm working on the mound. I threw the ball inside, outside. It's OK."For the A's, Kouzmanoff had two hits and is batting .500 in spring games (6 for 12). Hideki Matsui blooped a single in the first inning for his first hit of spring training (1 for 11), Andy LaRoche hit a two-run home run and starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso allowed one earned run in three innings with two strikeouts."He had a good changeup, good fastball, good control," A's manager Bob Geren said of Moscoso, who is competing for a spot in the rotation.Notes: Mariners C Miguel Olivo's MRI on Sunday revealed a strained abductor muscle, and no timetable has been set for his return. Olivo was injured while running from third base to home on a sacrifice fly on Saturday. Olivo was scheduled to be Seattle's starting catcher after signing as a free agent in the offseason. ... C Adam Moore, among those who could get more playing time with Olivo out, was scratched from the starting lineup for Monday's game and sent home due to illness. Gimenez replaced Moore. ... A's RHP Joey Devine walked four of the five hitters he faced. ... Pitchers Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey threw batting practice Monday. Breslow was limited with a tight hamstring and Bailey is expected to pitch in a game Thursday.

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

Instant Replay: Kings shock Grizzlies late for second straight win

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SACRAMENTO -- The Sacramento Kings aren’t done fighting yet. In front of their home crowd, they pulled off their second consecutive shocker, this time dispatching the Memphis Grizzlies in dramatic fashion by the final of 91-90.

Darren Collison battled Mike Conley Jr. all night long at the point guard position. After scoring 19 against the Clippers on Sunday, Collison hit the Grizzlies for 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and added a team-high seven assists. His free throw with 5.7 seconds remaining proved to be the game winner.

Rookie Buddy Hield continued his hot shooting, scoring 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The 23-year-old shooting guard is quickly establishing himself as a big time scoring option for the Kings moving forward.

Willie Cauley-Stein chipped in 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists. 7-footer Kosta Koufos found success against his former team, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocks before fouling out late.

Ty Lawson led the second unit with 10 points, while Anthony Tolliver went 4-of-7 from the field for nine points.

Conley Jr. received the biggest contract in NBA history during the offseason and he showed why Monday against the Kings. The veteran point guard dropped in 22 points and dished out nine assists as the Grizzlies fell to 40-34 on the season.

35-year-old big man Zach Randolph went to work in the post. The 16-year NBA vet dropped in 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, schooling the Kings frontline with the left-handed flip early in the game.

Brandan Wright came off the bench to score 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and Troy Daniels added 10 points.  

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
Collison is heating up. Over his last two games, the veteran guard has scored 42 points on 16-for-24 shooting and kept his team in the ballgame.

TURNING POINT:
Despite leading by eight on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, Sacramento couldn’t close the door on the Grizzlies. Collison drew a foul with 5.7 remaining and his team trailing by one. He knocked down both freebies and Randolph missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer to help the Kings improve to 29-45 on the season.   

INJURY UPDATE:
Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter and Tyreke Evans sat for scheduled rest. Rookie Malachi Richardson is officially out for the season with a right hamstring thickness tear. Rudy Gay is out for the year with a torn left Achilles.

WHAT'S NEXT:
The Kings are back at it Wednesday night at Golden 1 Center when the Utah Jazz roll through Sacramento. Following the matchup with Utah, the Kings travel to New Orleans to face former King DeMarcus Cousins on Friday evening.

 

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

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SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

TIP-INS:
Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

UP NEXT:
Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.