A's, Red Sox looking to end losing streaks

A's, Red Sox looking to end losing streaks

June 3, 2011

A's (27-30) vs.
BOSTON (30-26)

Coverage begins at 3:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

BOSTON (AP) -- Clay Buchholz went undefeated in May, and the odds seem favorable he'll continue that streak into June given the Oakland Athletics' offensive woes.

Buchholz tries to help the Boston Red Sox avoid a fifth consecutive loss in the opener of a three-game series against the Athletics on Friday night.

After a shaky April, Buchholz (4-3, 3.41 ERA) is coming off an outstanding May during which he went 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six outings. The right-hander didn't earn a decision in the last three despite holding batters to a .194 average.

He allowed three runs in six innings of a 4-3 win at Detroit on Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader.

Boston (30-26) hasn't won since that game, dropping Sunday's nightcap 3-0 before giving up 24 runs in a three-game sweep to the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.

"We're fine. We had that day-nighter in Detroit and got home around 5 in the morning and everybody has been kind of dragging," Dustin Pedroia said after Wednesday's 7-4 loss.

Boston, which had won 13 of 15 before the losing streak, hasn't dropped four straight home games this season and hasn't lost five in a row overall since its 0-6 start.

Buchholz had been 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA against the A's before beating them April 20, yielding one run in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-3 win.

That was part of a two-game split between the teams, but Oakland enters the rematch struggling to score.

The A's (27-30) suffered a three-game sweep to the New York Yankees this week as they were held to five runs, including a 4-2 defeat Wednesday.

Oakland, which has averaged 2.8 runs while losing 10 of 15, ranks near the bottom of the majors in batting average (.240), runs scored (202) and home runs (32).

"We haven't helped (our pitchers) as much as we should have so far this year, but hopefully we can start coming around and putting some consistent games together," said left fielder Josh Willingham, hitting .189 in his last 12 road games.

The offense doesn't figure to get much of a reprieve during a 10-game road trip that goes through Boston, Baltimore and Chicago. The Athletics are averaging 3.1 runs and hitting .228 away from home.

Oakland has lost 12 of 16 in Boston.

One of its struggling hitters has enjoyed Fenway Park. Hideki Matsui has batted .326 with nine homers and 31 RBIs in his last 37 games there, though he enters this series in a 3-for-25 slump and batting .222 for the season.

Josh Outman (1-0, 2.08) just joined the Oakland rotation but already has seen what little offense the team's staff often gets.

Outman pitched well in his first two starts following Tommy John surgery, which kept him sidelined last year. After holding the Los Angeles Angels to one run in seven innings May 23, he beat Baltimore on Saturday by allowing two runs in six innings of a 4-2 win.

The win was his first since June 8, 2009, against Minnesota. The left-hander has never faced the Red Sox.

"With the pitching that we have, we're a tough team to beat when the offense is there," manager Bob Geren said.

Instant Replay: Kings fight back, but succumb to Jazz

Instant Replay: Kings fight back, but succumb to Jazz

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- After winning two straight, the Sacramento Kings came out flat and the Utah Jazz made them pay. The Jazz quieted the crowd early, pushing their lead to 24 points in the second quarter, but the Kings bounced back to make it a game. In the end, Utah had too much firepower, coming away with the 112-82 victory.

All-Star Gordon Hayward used his height advantage at the wing to punish the Kings. Hayward scored 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting and added seven rebounds in the win.

Rudy Gobert pounded the Kings in the paint, finishing the night with 16 points and 15 rebounds.  

Rodney Hood knocked down 5-for-5 from behind the arc on his way to 17 points. Shelvin Mack shot 5-of-8 from the field for 14 points and Joe Ingles finished with 12 points and five assists off Quin Snyder’s bench.

There is no quit in Ben McLemore. The fourth-year guard has an uncertain in Sacramento after this season, so he made sure to put on a show for anyone who might be interested in his services. McLemore dropped in 17 of his 22 points in a wild first half run that got Sacramento back into the game.

Darren Collison was one of the few Kings to find success early as the Jazz built their big lead. The veteran point  guard finished the night with 12 points and one assist.

Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t back down from Gobert. The second-year 7-footer managed to score seven points and grab a team-high eight rebounds in the loss.

Ty Lawson came off Dave Joerger’s bench to score 11 points and dish out three assists. Skal Labissiere shook of a slow start to score nine points and grab seven rebounds, while rookie Georgios Papagiannis chipped in eight points.

STANDOUT PERFORMER:
McLemore caught fire. He singlehandedly stopped the Kings from getting blown out in the first half with his 7-of-8 shooting performance before the intermission.

TURNING POINT:
Sacramento managed to make it a game in the third quarter, clawing all the way back to within one point. The Jazz responded to take a 78-67 lead into the fourth and then put the Kings away.

INJURY UPDATE:
Garrett Temple and Kosta Koufos sat for scheduled rest. Arron Afflalo missed the game due to a personal matter. 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 travel to New Orleans where they’ll face DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday evening. They’ll fly to Minnesota following the game to play the Timberwolves as part of a back-to-back.

 

Instant Replay: Warriors erase early woes for big win vs Spurs

Instant Replay: Warriors erase early woes for big win vs Spurs

BOX SCORE

The Warriors won their ninth consecutive game, and this one was profoundly more significant than the previous eight.

With a 110-98 win over the Spurs at AT&T Center in San Antonio Wednesday night, the Warriors took a giant step closer to achieving their goal of the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs.

They now lead the Spurs by 3.5 games in the Western Conference. The magic number is five, meaning any combination of Warriors wins or San Antonio losses adding up to five would give the Warriors (61-14) the top seed throughout.

Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson tossed in 23, David West a season-high 15 and Andre Iguodala 14 as the Warriors, coming off a win at Houston on Tuesday, swept the toughest back-to-back set of the season.

Kawhi Leonard paced the Spurs (56-17) with 19 points, on 7-of-20 shooting. The Warriors offset a 42-34 rebounding disadvantage by limiting San Antonio to 41-percent shooting.

STANDOUT PERFORMERS

Curry carried a large measure of the scoring load, but Iguodala and West had terrific all-around games that included timely scoring.

Curry’s line: 29 points (9-of-20 shooting from the field, 4-of-8 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line), 11 assists and three rebounds. He played 35 minutes and finished plus-6.

Iguodala’s line: 14 points (6-of-9, 2-of-3 from deep), six rebounds, two steals and one assist. He played 30 minutes and was plus-17.

West’s line: 15 points (7-of-11, 1-of-2 from deep), five assists, four rebounds and two blocks. He played 22 minutes and finished plus-23.

TURNING POINT

When the Spurs went up 43-29 on a jumper by Kawhi Leonard with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 16-2 run to pull into a 45-45 tie on a Shaun Livingston jumper with 3:29 left in the half.

That wiped out a deficit that had ranged as high as 22 points.

The Warriors took the lead for good 80 seconds into the second half. San Antonio got no closer than five in the fourth quarter.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F/C James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) was listed as probable and made available. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) and F Kevon Looney (R hip strain) were listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Spurs: G Dejounte Murray (L groin strain) was listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors return to action Friday night, when they close out their season series with the Houston Rockets at Oracle Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.