Melvin brings A's home to take on Kansas City

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Melvin brings A's home to take on Kansas City

June 14, 2011

KANSAS CITY (29-37) vs.
A'S (28-39)
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California

(AP) -- Not much has gone right for Trevor Cahill or the Oakland Athletics of late. A matchup with the Kansas City Royals could be just what both need to turn their fortunes around.Looking to win a fourth consecutive home start against the Royals, Cahill takes the mound seeking his first victory in more than a month as A's interim manager Bob Melvin makes his home debut Tuesday night.
Melvin took over for the fired Bob Geren on Thursday but the last-place Athletics (28-39) didn't immediately show improvement, dropping three of four to the Chicago White Sox over the weekend.
Oakland fell 5-4 on Sunday and committed six errors during the series. The A's 51 errors are the second most in the AL - one behind Texas' total.
REWIND: A's rally falls short in 5-4 loss to Sox
"We don't have a true third baseman right now, but we're not going to use that as an excuse," Melvin said. "We're going to continue to work on our defense and it's going to get better."
RELATED: Despite loss, Melvin says A's effort was 'definitely there'
The club's starting pitching also needs to get better, as Oakland starters have gone 0-10 with a 7.23 ERA during the team's 1-12 stretch.Cahill (6-4, 3.18 ERA), who had his turn moved up to Tuesday due to Monday's off day, will be looking to bounce back after tying the second-shortest start of his career his last time out.The right-hander lasted 2 2-3 innings and allowed a season-worst six runs in a 9-4 defeat to the White Sox on Thursday. Only a 2 1-3-inning, seven-run effort in May 2009 was shorter.
RELATED: Trevor Cahill 2011 game logs
After going 6-1 with a 1.79 ERA over his first 10 starts, Cahill has gone 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA in his four most recent outings. He hasn't won since May 9.Given his success in this series at home, he could be in line for a strong performance. Cahill, who pitched a three-hitter in a 6-0 win over the Royals on Aug. 2 for his only career shutout, is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA against Kansas City in Oakland.The A's have won 14 of 20 meetings with the Royals, who had lost 14 of 17 on the road overall before taking two of three from the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. Kansas City (29-37) prevailed 9-0 on Sunday and outscored the Angels 18-9 during the three-game set.The Royals have won three of four since a 4-14 slump.
NEWS: MLB standings
"We need to get it turned around and get on a bit of a run," manager Ned Yost said. "I think we've won (three of four) after that little stretch that was painful to live through. But, if we can get on a bit of a run, we can make it interesting."Rookie Danny Duffy (0-2, 5.55) aims for his first major league win in his sixth try. The left-hander gave up season highs of five runs and eight hits over four innings of a 9-8 loss to Toronto on Wednesday."I'm frustrated," he said. "I went out to do my job and I tried. I've got no regrets but I want nothing more than to win for these guys. My frustration is about that. I want to win for these guys."

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

Report: Melancon rubbed Giants teammates wrong way early in season

This past offseason, the Giants overhauled the back of their bullpen. Out went mainstays Santiago Casilla, Sergio Romo and Javier Lopez. In came prized free agent Mark Melancon.

It was supposed to be a seamless transition for one of the most reliable closers in baseball.

But nearly three months in, Melancon is one of many Giants players struggling while the team flounders in last place in the NL West with a 27-51 record.

And it appears Melancon's relationship with his new teammates didn't get off to a great start.

Melancon "rubbed some teammates the wrong way early in the season" by canceling a longstanding pregame stretching session with the other relievers that was implemented long before he joined the team, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

That's not the only stretching-related issue to impact the Giants. Manager Bruce Bochy had to get involved when several veterans were reportedly late on multiple occasions for the team stretching session.

“I dropped the ball. I’ve been doing this so long, you take for granted that they know what I want. These guys were used to doing it how they’ve done it — ‘I have my own routine. I’m not going to stretch.’ But we do stretch as a team here. They all have to be out there,” Bochy said.

Closers are known to have unique routines and Bochy addressed that as well.

“Sometimes other relievers … maybe they get a little taken aback by it. I don’t know what (closer) doesn’t have a routine like that,” Bochy said.

General Manager Bobby Evans addressed the claim that Melancon is rubbing teammates the wrong way and defended his closer's role in the clubhouse.

“To whatever degree it hasn’t manifested itself or to the extent it’s manifested itself in the perception of some negatively, I can assure you that was not Mark’s intention. Mark is a team guy,” Evans said.

Melancon, who has a 4.58 ERA and 11 saves in 15 chances this season, has three years and $53 million left on his contract with the Giants.

Forecasting who should and will win 2017 NBA awards

Forecasting who should and will win 2017 NBA awards

The private jets have arrived, most of the swank parties are on and the red carpet has been laid. The NBA is set to announce from New York the winners of its individual awards Monday night at 6 p.m. on TNT.

Rapper Drake, a very public fan of the NBA, will serve as the host. Among the presenters are actors Nick Cannon, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jesse Williams, as well as athletes Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce. In addition, Nicki Minaj is scheduled as the music guest.

The NBA clearly wants to make a splash in its inaugural show.

Here is our forecast for the six major awards to be presented:

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER:
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks: Rare combination of defensive skill, offensive tools and superior athleticism. Began the season as a Top-50 player, ended it in Top 15.

Rudy Gobert, Jazz: Still raw offensively, arguably the best rim protector in the NBA made appreciable improvement on defense. He’s what Dwight Howard used to be.

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets: Improved enough to be mentioned among best European centers ever to reach the NBA. He’s only 22 and bound to get even better.

Should win: Antetokounmpo.

Will win: Antetokounmpo.

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR:
Eric Gordon, Rockets: Improved conditioning and revived his career after offseason trade from Pelicans. He finished No. 2 among NBA bench scorers.

Andre Iguodala, Warriors: WD-40 for whatever the league’s best team needs, whether it’s offense or defense or leadership. Not among the top 15 bench scorers.

Lou Williams, Rockets: Ace shooter split season between woeful Lakers and playoff-bound Rockets. Led all bench scorers in scoring. Plays no defense.

Should win: Iguodala.

Will win: Gordon.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Rudy Gobert, Jazz: See above.

Draymond Green, Warriors: Best team defender in the league, finished second in the balloting the past two seasons. Got better, making several game-saving defensive plays.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: Best on-ball defender in the league. Won the award in each of the past two seasons. Defensive numbers dropped a bit this season.

Should win: Green.

Will win: Green.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:
Malcolm Brogdon, Bucks: Second-round draft pick evolved to become starting PG on playoff team. Showed respectable two-way ability and the savvy of a veteran.

Joel Embiid, Sixers: Hands down, most impressive rookie in the league and future franchise player. Played only 31 of 82 games, though. Does that constitute a season?

Dario Saric, Sixers: Impressive, multi-skilled forward with a smooth touch and a nice feel for the game. Two-time Rookie of the month. Played 81 games.

Should win: Saric.

Will win: Saric.

COACH OF THE YEAR:
Mike D’Antoni, Rockets: Took over a dramatically revamped team, implemented his style and far exceeded reasonable expectations. Co-winner in a vote of coaches.

Gregg Popovich, Spurs: Still the league’s gold standard and once again got the most of his team while simultaneously phasing out the old and installing the new.

Erik Spoelstra, Heat: 30-11 second half among best recoveries in NBA history, pulling bottom-five team into the playoff race until final day. Co-winner in vote of coaches.

Should win: D’Antoni.

Will win: D’Antoni.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER:
James Harden, Rockets: Officially became PG for the first time and led league in assists while operating a new offense without sacrificing scoring. Improved on defense, from abysmal to almost satisfactory.

Kawhi Leonard, Spurs: Probably the best two-way player in the league moved into leadership role and hardly skipped a beat. Does it all without flash, practically undercover. A treasure.

Russell Westbrook, Thunder: Most scintillating player in the league, constantly in overdrive. Set record for most triple-double in a season, while averaging a triple-double for the season.

Should win: Harden.

Will win: Westbrook.