Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays

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Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays

April 6, 2011BOXSCORE A'S VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
TORONTO (AP) -- Dallas Braden isn't panicking about Oakland's poor start to the season.Travis Snider hit a three-run home run, Yunel Escobar had three hits before leaving with an injury and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Braden and the A's 5-3 on Wednesday night.Oakland has lost four of five to star the season and will try to avoid being swept by Toronto Thursday afternoon. The A's visit Minnesota and Chicago before returning home."We have a tough trip obviously but I like the way we've been playing," manager Bob Geren said. "We've been playing a lot better overall, swinging the bats a little better. The starting pitching has been fantastic."Still, some victories would be nice.RATTO: New challenge for A's -- expectations
"Hopefully we'll put all three facets of the game together (Thursday)," outfielder Josh Willingham said. "We need to get a win this series, for sure."Braden (0-1), who allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings, understands there's plenty of time to right the ship."There's always room for improvement," Braden said. "But I don't feel like we're so down and out or at the bottom of the barrel or anything like that. I don't have that sense at all about this team. For game five to feel like we're behind the 8-ball or feel like we're not doing our best, I think it's a little early."Jesse Litsch pitched 6 1-3 innings for his first win since July 20 and Jon Rauch got two outs for his first save as the Blue Jays won for the eighth time in 11 games against the A's.Starting for the first time since Aug. 1, 2010, Litsch allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven. Litsch missed the end of last season after undergoing hip surgery.Oakland, which came in with a major league high nine errors through four games, didn't make another miscue but did misplay two balls. Escobar was involved both times, picking up a single after third baseman Andy LaRoche couldn't handle his grounder in the first, and a triple on a ball that eluded right fielder David DeJesus in the fifth.
NEWS: Ross called up, Wuertz to DL
Escobar was shaken up after sliding face first into LaRoche's leg on his triple, laying on the ground and being tended to by the trainer before getting up. Escobar ran the bases and played defense in the sixth but was replaced by John McDonald in the seventh after complaining of dizziness."We're hopeful and at least cautiously optimistic at this point that we're not entertaining something like (a concussion)," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.Adam Lind's RBI double in the first gave Toronto an early lead, but Oakland's Hideki Matsui answered with a two-run double in the fourth.After Juan Rivera walked and Edwin Encarnacion singled, Snider restored Toronto's advantage with a booming drive to right in the bottom half, his first."I left one pitch north of the border and it ended up further north of the border," Braden said. "That's how that goes."RELATED: MLB standings scoreboard
The Athletics got one back in the fifth when Coco Crisp hit a two-out triple and scored on Daric Barton's single.Toronto chased Braden in the eighth when McDonald led off with an infield single and Lind followed with a ground-rule double. Brad Ziegler came on and gave up an RBI single to Aaron Hill but escaped further damage by striking out Rivera and getting Encarnacion to ground into a double play.Braden walked one and struck out three.NOTES: Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (1-0) faces Oakland RHP Trevor Cahill (0-0) on Thursday. ... Oakland placed RHP Michael Wuertz (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Tyson Ross from Triple-A Sacramento ... Athletics 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who made an error and misplayed two balls in Tuesday's loss, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch hit in the seventh. ... Oakland RHP Rich Harden (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Thursday. ... A's LHP Brian Fuentes, out since Apr. 2 with a sore finger, threw before the game and declared himself ready to return.

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

Headed for 100 losses, Giants quietly give up on "Don't Stop Believin'" tradition

SAN FRANCISCO — At some point over the last month, the Giants quietly stopped playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” in the late innings of games they trail. 

It’s unclear exactly when it started, or who made the decision. A number of team employees, surveyed over the past week, had noticed. But nobody knew the exact details. Perhaps the longtime staple of AT&T Park was shelved on July 9, when FanGraphs dropped the playoff odds to 0.00 percent for the first time in a lost season. Maybe it was during a bad loss before that or a bad loss after that. You can take your pick. This season has been filled with so many of them it’s hard to keep track. 

Friday’s stood out, in part because this was the kind of night where Journey briefly made sense. The Giants gave Jeff Samardzija a 4-0 lead in the first inning against a Padres team that spent the early innings kicking and throwing the ball all over the field and making mistakes on the bases. It was 5-1 after three innings. By the sixth, the Padres had tied it. By the seventh, they had the lead. By the eighth, it was a three-run lead. 

Before the bottom of the eighth, the in-stadium crew played Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” for a crowd of a few thousand. Last weekend, Huey Lewis was the fill-in for Journey. On Wednesday, a game the Giants actually came back to win, the scoreboard played a singalong game to “Happy Together” by The Turtles. 

On this night, the Giants actually would come back. Conor Gillaspie hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth, tying the game and sending it into extras. The Giants had trailed by three with one out remaining, but the momentum provided by Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford and Gillaspie was just a blip. The Padres scored three in the 11th off George Kontos, who has pitched five times over the last eight days and was supposed to get a night to rest. 

Kontos was the last to give up runs in a 12-9 loss, but hardly the only one. Samardzija took blame after failing to get through five with a big early cushion. That put pressure on the tired bullpen, and the relievers blew it over and over again. The Padres scored runs in six consecutive innings at one point and had 20 hits. 

“We couldn’t stop them,” Bruce Bochy said, shaking his head. 

Nothing can apparently stop this skid. The Giants are 37-61 and six games behind the Padres. They are much closer to the No. 1 draft pick than they are to fourth place in their division. 

“Don’t Stop Believin’” survived the 2013 season. It survived 2015 and the second half of last year. Nothing can survive this season.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways as Giants lose marathon in extras to Padres

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SAN FRANCISCO — A few hundred, maybe a few thousand, stayed to watch the Giants late Friday night. The Giants did not make it worth the effort. 

Conor Gillaspie’s two-out homer in the ninth sent the game to extras, but the Giants lost 12-9 in a game that lasted nearly five hours. The Giants had trailed by three with two outs and nobody on in the ninth. They tied it. Instead of carrying that momentum over, they suffered yet another demoralizing loss. 

They have dropped both games of this series and they trail the Padres -- who had 20 hits -- by six games in the race for fourth place. Those are facts. Here are five more, mostly from earlier, when a young man harbored dreams of leaving a ballpark before 1 a.m. … 

—- Hector Sanchez took Jeff Samardzija deep to lead off the fourth, and at this point it’s flat-out hilarious. Sanchez has seven homers this season and three have come against his former team. He hit two homers at AT&T Park in 296 plate appearances as a Giant, and the fourth-inning blast gave him three in 11 plate appearances as a Padre. He also doubled in a run and singled. It’s an all-time revenge tour. Just go along for the ride. 

—- There were a ton of scouts on hand to watch two starting pitchers who could move in the next 10 days, and they left disappointed. Trevor Cahill gave up six earned on seven hits and four walks and lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Jeff Samardzija gave up eight hits and five earned in 4 1/3 innings. 

—- I dunno man, it’s really hard getting to five of these every night. Sam Dyson was good again. 

—- Gillaspie's pinch-hit homer was the sixth of his career. He's a hero around these parts, but perhaps Bobby Evans should see if a team out there was watching Friday and remembers his October run. Gillaspie could help a contender. 

—- When MLB inevitably introduces a pitch clock and pitchers start complaining, this will be the game I tell them to sit down and try to watch start to finish.