A's score three in fifth to get Gio win over Royals

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A's score three in fifth to get Gio win over Royals

May 6, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A night of little oddities began in the barber shop.Eric Hosmer, about to make one of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Kansas City history, walked into the little room in Kauffman Stadium where players get haircuts and ran into Gio Gonzalez, Oakland's scheduled starting pitcher.The two fellow South Floridians visited briefly, wished each other well, and then a few hours later Gonzalez struck out Hosmer in a key situation en route to the Oakland's 3-2 victory on Friday night.Gonzalez had pitched to Mike Hosmer, Eric's older brother, in a high school game and Eric had long admired the left-hander who was practically from his old neighborhood."It was kind of awkward," Gonzalez said. "Then he told me, Hey, I used to watch you pitch in South Florida.' It was pretty exciting."Gonzalez (4-2) gave up a home run to Alex Gordon in the first but went seven innings and allowed only four hits and two runs.Hosmer, getting a standing ovation before his first plate appearance, walked twice and struck out twice. With the A's leading 3-2 in the eighth and Jeff Francoeur on second with the potential tying run, Gonzalez got the heralded rookie first baseman to take a called third strike.
GUTIERREZ: A's next challenge? Two games over .500
"It's a great thing that Eric got called up," Gonzalez said. "He's another South Florida guy and it's an honor to see guys like that come up and continue to do good. And he's going to be a big, big help to Kansas City. You could see it in his swings, the way he approached the game."Hosmer, whose .439 average at Triple-A Omaha was the highest of any minor league regular in the nation, was 0 for 2 with a stolen base and walks in his first two trips to the plate. Plus, he handled every chance at first flawlessly."It was humbling to go out there and hear how loud the fans get every time you come up to the plate," Hosmer said.The most ballyhooed Royals rookie since Bo Jackson 25 years ago got good marks from his manager."He did a great job," Ned Yost said. "His first two at-bats were phenomenal, tough walks against a tough, tough pitcher."Sean O'Sullivan (1-2) was almost as good as Gonzalez, but Oakland got to him for three runs in the fifth. The right-hander still managed a career-high eight innings, allowing five hits and one walk.Royals' pitchers faced only four batters over the minimum and retired the A's 1-2-3 in seven of nine innings. It was also the first game in almost four years the Royals failed to record a single strikeout."That's a tough one to lose, a tough one to swallow," said O'Sullivan.O'Sullivan retired 11 straight batters before Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Sweeney and Andy LaRoche singled leading off the fifth. LaRoche's hit drove in Suzuki and Mark Ellis followed with a liner to left that glanced off Gordon's outstretched glove. The runners had held up to see if the ball would be caught, so the bases were loaded with nobody out.Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded to third baseman Betemit, who got a forceout at second as Sweeney scored. Then Coco Crisp's infield out brought in another run, putting the A's on top 3-2.Crisp was then thrown out trying to steal second and after that, O'Sullivan retired nine in a row before Tim Collins came in.With two out in the first, Gordon hit Gonzalez's 2-1 pitch over the fence in left. Matt Treanor walked leading off the third and scored on Mike Aviles' triple.The A's were scrambling to get information on the 21-year-old Hosmer."Anything we can get our hands on," said manager Bob Geren. "But the thing is, Gio is going to pitch his game and make adjustments in-game. See how he swings at certain pitches. The numbers he had in the minor leagues, they don't lie. So obviously he's going to be a good player."In the ninth, with much of the crowd on its feet, Hosmer took a called third strike again from Brian Fuentes, who got his eighth save in 10 opportunities."It seemed like the game went by real fast," he said. "I'm glad I can get that debut out of the way and move on from this. I'm definitely never going to forget this day."NOTES: Hosmer's mother, father, brother, aunt and uncle flew in from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to see his major league debut. ... The A's have not been shut out by Kansas City in 138 games. ... Oakland's David DeJesus has not committed an error in 269 consecutive games, longest active streak among major league outfielders. ... The Royals moved C Jason Kendall from the 15-day to the 60-day DL.

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

ANAHEIM — The A’s collection of individual highlights during their visit to Angel Stadium shouldn’t have equated to a three-game sweep for their opponent.

Jesse Hahn fired eight one-hit innings Tuesday, the same night Josh Phegley delivered a pinch-hit homer in the 10th before the A’s lost in 11 innings. On Thursday, Kendall Graveman turned in perhaps the defensive play of the 2017 season by a pitcher, recording an unassisted double play that was the first by an A’s pitcher in 46 years.

All great moments to relive in the clubhouse afterward, but surely they ring a bit hollow given the final outcomes. The A’s were swept by an Angels team that, like Oakland, has been hit hard by the injury bug. Los Angeles is without key relievers Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin, not to mention starter Garrett Richards among others.

Yet the Angels pitching staff twice held the A’s to one run over the three-game series, including Thursday’s 2-1 defeat, when the A’s mustered just three hits.

“We’re a little streaky right now,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “… Give them credit, they pitched really well, and they really are down a lot of guys in the bullpen. We would expect to do a little more damage.”

They couldn’t Thursday, and that it made it tough to savor Graveman’s incredible play the way they should have.

With runners on the corners and no outs, he fielded Juan Graterol’s comebacker and caught Ben Revere in a rundown between third and home. Graveman ran him down and after applying the tag, hurdled Revere and made the tag on Cliff Pennington, who was trying to advance from first to third in the chaos.

“That’s probably the best play I’ve ever seen a pitcher make, hurdling over an (opponent) to get the second out unassisted,” Melvin said. “I didn’t even know how to put that one down on my card.”

Graveman, one of the A’s better overall athletes, was asked if he’d ever recorded an unassisted double play before.

“Never. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one,” he said. “(Ryan) Madson said he’s never seen one and he’s watched over 2,000 games.”

Incredibly, the last A’s pitcher to pull off an unassisted double play previously was in attendance Thursday night. John “Blue Moon” Odom did it back on July 11, 1971, also against the Angels. Odom attends most of the A’s games in Anaheim, and he’s struck up a friendship with Graveman over the years.

“Every time we come here and even in spring training, I try to catch up with Blue Moon Odom and see how he’s doing,” Graveman said. “He and Wash (former A’s infield coach Ron Washington) are friends so we always cut up about Wash. He’s a great guy. He sits in the front row. He came in and saw me right before stretch and told me ‘I’m gonna be front row watching you.’ That is pretty neat that that happened.”

A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso said he’s never surprised to see Graveman make a great defensive play.

“The guy’s a pitcher, but it feels like he’s a shortstop playing the position.”

Graveman was visited by trainers after the fifth-inning play, but Melvin said it was mainly to give the pitcher a breather and let him get his adrenaline under control. Neither Graveman nor his manager revealed anything specific that bothered Graveman. Seeing him stay in the game and complete six innings of two-run ball had to be encouraging for Melvin.

“The first thing I asked him was ‘What’d you fall on?’” Melvin said. “He said, ‘My butt.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re all right then.’ But you’re not gonna see that play again probably.”

The A’s are giving their manager and fans some accomplishments to marvel over. As they move on to Houston trying to halt a four-game losing streak, they just need to figure things out on the scoreboard.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”