Quakes fall to Vancouver on penalty kick


Quakes fall to Vancouver on penalty kick


The San Jose Earthquakes lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps forthe second time this season at BC Place as a penalty kick goal from designatedplayer Barry Robson gave the home side a 2-1 win. The call against Sam Croninfor a tackle on Camilo in the area was initially waved off by the referee, butupon reconsideration was called in favor of the Whitecaps. First half strikes from the Whitecaps' Dane Richards and theEarthquakes' Alan Gordon sent the match into halftime tied 1-1. Following thepenalty kick goal from Robson, the Earthquakes pressed forward in search of anequalizer, but were unable to crack the Vancouverdefense. The goal by Gordon was his ninth of the season, a new careerhigh, and the score was assisted by Marvin Chavez, his ninth of the season. Theloss to Vancouverwas only the fifth of the season suffered by the Earthquakes, and only markedthe second time they had dropped points to a team in position in the MLSWestern Conference to qualify for the postseason. After absorbing a tremendous amount of pressure on thedefensive side of the ball to start the game, the Earthquakes finally had achance develop in the 11th minute. A Whitecaps turnover at midfieldallowed Chris Wondolowski to race forward with the ball. Center defender MartinBonjour stepped into his path 30 yards from goal to break up the play, andearned a yellow card for hockey-style tackle. New Vancouver designated player Robson earned ayellow card for encroachment on the initial free kick from Victor Bernardez.The defenders retake was blasted a few feet over the crossbar. The Whitecaps were finally rewarded for their aggressive play inthe attacking third, when a loose ball in the center of the field was collectedby Young-Pyo Lee in the 20th minute. Vancouver's right back lookedto play distributor and spotted the speedy Richards sprinting into space behinddefender Justin Morrow. Richards collected the pass from Lee and carried theball into the area. From 10 yards out, the Jamaican blasted a shot throughgoalkeeper Jon Busch for the matchs opening goal. San Joseequalized in the 38th minute following a fine defensive play byJason Hernandez. The Earthquakes' centerback defused a Whitecaps counterattackand immediately pressed the ball forward to Chavez on the left side of thefield. The Quakes' leading assist man whipped a cross through the area for aleaping Gordon to head back to the far post for the goal. A controversial penalty call was awarded to Vancouver in the 62ndminute after Cronin was adjudged to have fouled Camilo in the area. Initiallythe foul was waved off by referee Jair Marrufo, but he reconsidered the callafter consulting with his assistant and pointed to the spot. Robson stepped upand crushed the penalty kick to the left of Busch to restore the Whitecaps'lead. The goal seemed to stun the Earthquakes, and they nearlygave up a third to the Whitecaps over the next quarter hour. In both the 71stand 73rd minutes, rookie Darren Mattocks had only Busch to beat, buthis first attempt was tipped out for a corner kick and his second was shot justwide off the target. In the 77th minute, Mattocks was replaced bydesignated player Kenny Miller making his debut for the Whitecaps. The Earthquakes began to turn the momentum of the match intheir favor late in the second half with the introduction of Shea Salinas forMarvin Chavez and Sercan Guvenisik for Rafael Baca. San Jose increased its pressure on the Vancouver defense, but did little tochallenge goalkeeper Joe Cannon over the rest of the match.Following the MLS All-Star game this Wednesday, theEarthquakes return home to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the Chicago Fire onSaturday, July 28.

A's starter Paul Blackburn removed from game after being hit by line drive


A's starter Paul Blackburn removed from game after being hit by line drive

A’s starter Paul Blackburn left Tuesday’s start in the fifth inning after a liner struck him on the right wrist.

Blackburn was in obvious pain after the Baltimore Orioles’ Trey Mancini hit the line shot back up the middle to lead off the bottom of the fifth at Camden Yards. The ball hit Blackburn flush, and he exited the field shortly after being visited by team trainer Nick Paparesta.

There was no immediate word from the A’s on the severity of his injury. But it was a very unfortunate turn of events for Oakland’s rookie, who largely has impressed in 10 starts since being called up from the minors. He got through four scoreless innings Tuesday, showing sharp form after giving up 18 hits over his previous two starts.

Simon Castro came on in relief as the A’s led the Orioles 5-0 in the fifth. Ryon Healy has homered twice for Oakland.

Top draft pick is the latest Giant to be sidelined by a concussion


Top draft pick is the latest Giant to be sidelined by a concussion

SAN FRANCISCO -- At this point, the Giants have gotten used to some of the realities of this season. They have been a last-place team for months, and when they were officially eliminated from the National League West on Sunday the response was basically a "long time coming" shrug. 

But some parts of this season still stun team officials, and the continued injuries are at the top of the list. It's not just that players are getting hurt ... it's that key guys are getting hurt at every single level of the organization. The latest to go down is Heliot Ramos, this year's first-round pick. Per general manager Bobby Evans, Ramos suffered a concussion when he was hit by a pitch on Sunday night. 

Ramos was tearing up the Arizona League, hitting .348 with a .404 on-base percentage, six homers, six triples and 11 doubles. The 48 strikeouts in 138 at-bats are a bit of an early concern, but the Giants are not stressing too much over a 17-year-old with a 1.049 OPS in his first professional season. Ramos is expected to miss 7-10 days, which is disappointing because the Giants were hopeful he would get a big taste of postseason action, even if it is just in the rookie league in Arizona. 

The injury continues a stunning trend. Chris Shaw and Bryan Reynolds are the only prospects out of the organization's top seven -- per MLB Pipeline -- who have avoided an injury setback. There is some good news, however, for a couple of those players who have gotten hurt. Austin Slater is 10-14 days from starting a rehab assignment, although he would probably need the San Jose Giants to make their postseason to see significant game action.

Steven Duggar was promoted from San Jose to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday and had a good first night. He's unlikely to be a September call-up because of the injuries, and he's also in the same situation as Shaw and Andrew Suarez as a player who doesn't have to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. 

--- As for the injured big leaguers: Johnny Cueto (elbow) is scheduled to throw three innings for Sacramento tonight and Joe Panik (concussion) will play five innings. Cueto will make at least one more rehab start. Panik will join San Jose on Wednesday and could return to the big league lineup on the next road trip. 

--- Bochy said Mark Melancon feels good after going back-to-back days. It doesn't sound like he'll return to the ninth inning anytime soon. It's easier to monitor Melancon's pronator strain when he's not the closer and Bochy said the two have talked about that situation. For instance, Matt Cain stayed warm after pitching the seventh on Monday. If Melancon had felt something while warming up for the eighth, Cain would have gone back out there.