Stunning late rally lifts A's over White Sox

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Stunning late rally lifts A's over White Sox

April 13, 2011

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CHICAGO (AP) Oakland scored three times in the ninth inning, then Coco Crisp hit a go-ahead single in a three-run 10th as the Athletics feasted on Chicago's shaky bullpen for a startling 7-4 win over the White Sox.Crisp entered the game in the ninth as a pinch-runner and was in a 3-for-22 slump before singling off Matt Thornton (0-2). The struggling Chicago closer had walked Conor Jackson and Josh Willingham to set up Crisp.Daric Barton followed with a two-run single and Thornton was booed as he was walked off mound and was replaced by Tony Pena.
Cliff Pennington's two-out, two-run, bases-loaded single in the ninth off Thornton made it 4-all. It was the third late-inning meltdown by Chicago's bullpen in less than a week, all resulting in tough losses.CSNCHICAGO: Sox manager Guillen erupts after loss to A's
"Matt Thornton on the mound throwing 97 miles per hour, I just tried to get a fastball I could hit and it fell in," Pennington said."That's what we have to do offensively scratch and claw."With the White Sox leading 4-1 in the ninth, Chicago reliever Chris Sale gave up a leadoff double to Jackson, an RBI single to Willingham and a single to Hideki Matsui. Jesse Crain came on and walked pinch-hitter Barton to load the bases before fanning Kurt Suzuki.Thornton then struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney for the second out before No. 9 hitter Pennington dropped his two-run single into center.Thornton, who took over as Chicago's closer this spring, still does not have a save this season in four chances.
"I guess it's made news that those guys have been struggling a little bit, but you're bringing in Sale, Thornton and Crain out of the bullpen, those guys are all nasty and they've been nasty for a while," Pennington said. "They're going to be a really good bullpen, we're just trying to scratch a few runs across any way we can."Grant Balfour (1-1) pitched the ninth for the win and Brian Fuentes the 10th for his fifth save in as many chances.
"I just loved the attitude. The guys kept fighting right to the end," manager Bob Geren said. "We were down and it was going to take putting some hits together, drawing some walks, and we did it."I know their bullpen is struggling a little bit, it gives you a little bit of feeling of hope. They just battled. ... Think about the road trip, how many close games we've had, this one to finish it off, it's a really good feeling. It's going to be a nice flight home."Oakland's rally denied Chicago starter John Danks a victory after he gave up a run and five hits in eight solid innings and left with a three-run lead.The White Sox broke a 1-all tie in the sixth against Oakland starter Brett Anderson when Carlos Quentin was hit by a pitch, Alex Rios doubled and a sliding Quentin scored on Ramon Castro's grounder to third that drew a high throw to the plate from Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Brent Morel dropped down a bunt to score Rios from third for a 3-1 lead. Juan Pierre's third single of the game chased Anderson (0-2), who was hurt by his own error in the fifth. Anderson gave up nine hits and three runs - two of them earned - in 5 2-3 innings.
"I was (in the clubhouse), sitting here and Pennington flared one in," Anderson said. "Especially as the starting pitcher on the hook for the loss, it's not only a comeback for the team, but a no-decision for you. It's good for everybody."Chicago added a run in the eighth as Rios walked, stole second, moved up a sacrifice and scored on Kouzmanoff's throwing error.Matsui's second homer of the season put Oakland up 1-0 in the fourth. Chicago tied it in the fifth when Pierre reached as Anderson fumbled his comebacker for an error and Gordon Beckham doubled.NOTES: Pierre reached base five times Wednesday - on three hits, an error and a walk. ... White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the fans' reaction to Pierre on Tuesday night, giving him a mock cheer every time he catches a fly ball, was unfair to the left fielder. Pierre twice dropped fly balls during the current homestand that led to late meltdowns and losses by the White Sox. "He doesn't deserve that," Guillen said. There were a few boos in the third inning Wednesday when Pierre fumbled Pennington's single for an error, allowing him to advance to second base. Pierre now has three errors in 12 games. He made only one error in each of the previous two seasons combined, a span of 305 games. ... ... Oakland's Andy LaRoche made his sixth start of the season at a fourth different position, this time getting the nod at first base.

Four players score in double figures, Stanford takes down Oregon State

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AP

Four players score in double figures, Stanford takes down Oregon State

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STANFORD -- Even though Stanford has been buried in the lower half of the Pac-12 standings all season, Reid Travis isn't so sure his team is an underdog against No. 6 Oregon.

That might be a stretch considering the Ducks are making a run at the conference title but that didn't seem to matter to Travis.

"The way we're playing now is great for this time of year," Travis said following Stanford's 79-66 win over Oregon State on Wednesday. "I feel like we're really taking off. Even though our record doesn't reflect it I really do feel that we're one of the top teams so take that as you want to."

Travis had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead four players in double figures. Marcus Allen also scored 17, Dorian Pickens added 15 and Robert Cartwright had 10 as the Cardinal beat the Beavers for the 21st time in the last 23 games between the two teams at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford (14-13, 6-9 Pac-12) led by as many as 25 but had to hold on after Oregon State (5-24, 1-15) pulled within 74-63 with 3:28 left on JaQuori McLaughlin's 3-pointer.

Allen and Pickens scored back-to-back buckets for Stanford, and after Stephen Thompson's putback for Oregon State, Pickens made a 3-pointer.

"We're pointing in the right direction on both ends of the floor," Allen said. "Guys are getting good looks . and on defense we're more active. Hopefully that continues."

Drew Eubanks had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Oregon State. Gligorije Rakocevic added a season-high 16 points for the Beavers, who couldn't follow up after beating Utah last week for their first conference win of the season.

Stanford built a quick double-digit lead despite a strong start by Rakocevic. The 6-foot-11-foot center, averaging 3.8 points going into the game, matched his season high in the first half while scoring 12 points on 6 of 8 shooting.

The Cardinal countered with a more balanced attack after adjusting to the Beavers' zone defense. Travis, Allen, Cartwright and Pickens combined for 32 points in the first half to help Stanford take a 43-33 lead.

The Cardinal also controlled the boards while outscoring the Beavers 46-22 in the paint.

"For us to be at our best we're going to score from the free throw line, like we did in the Cal game, or score around the basket," Stanford coach Jerod Haase said. "Smash-mouth is a football term but if it was a basketball term I think that would be a good word for us."

Travis got Stanford going again after halftime and helped push the Cardinal lead to 69-44.

Eubanks nearly brought Oregon State back. He scored 17 points in the second half, including 13 of the Beavers' first 20.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon State: The Beavers hopes of winning back-to-back games for the first time since beating Prairie View A&M and Texas-San Antonio to open the season didn't last long. They didn't play poorly - Oregon State shot close to 47 percent most of the night - but couldn't match Stanford's run coming out of halftime and never recovered.

Stanford: The win pushed the Cardinal into a tie for seventh place in the Pac-12, still nowhere near enough to get a first-round bye in the conference tournament. The outcome was never in doubt, but Haase was concerned about Stanford's mental approach.

DOUBLE TECHS

Eubanks and Travis were both hit with technical fouls after a heated exchange in the second half. Although no punches were thrown, Eubanks suffered a bloody nose during the incident and had to be treated near the Beavers' bench.

"We're trying to go at each other as hard as possible so of course there's different plays where a lot of contact happens," Travis said. "I like that. That's how competitors act and we just moved on from it. Unfortunately they called a technical on both of us. I'd like to see us play on in that sense."

UP NEXT

Oregon State: Plays at California on Friday night.

Stanford: Hosts No. 6 Oregon on Saturday in the final regular season home at Maples Pavilion this year. The Ducks beat the Cardinal 69-52 on Jan. 21.

Cal blows huge halftime lead, dropped by Oregon on Brooks' game-winner

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AP

Cal blows huge halftime lead, dropped by Oregon on Brooks' game-winner

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BERKELEY -- Dylan Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 0.2 seconds to play to cap a comeback from 16 points down and No. 6 Oregon beat California 68-65 on Wednesday night to keep its hopes alive for a Pac-12 title.

The Ducks (25-4, 14-2) trailed by 16 points early in the second half and were down 10 with just over 4 minutes left before rallying for the win that moved them a half-game behind Arizona for first place in the conference. Oregon holds the tiebreaker.

Brooks led the Ducks with 22 points and Chris Boucher added 18.

Jabari Bird scored 20 points to lead the way for the Golden Bears (18-9, 9-6), whose hopes for an NCAA Tournament berth were dealt a big blow with this loss.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Boucher, Dylan Ennis and Payton Pritchard cut Cal's 10-point lead to one with just under 3 minutes left. Boucher then gave the Ducks their first lead of the game with a layup that made it 62-61 with 1:48 to go.

Grant Mullins and Brooks traded jumpers before Bird missed a contested 3-pointer with 28 seconds to go. Tyler Dorsey hit one free throw before Ivan Rabb tied the game with a putback of his own miss with 9.7 seconds to play.

That set the stage for Brooks, who hit the 3 that set off a wild celebration for the Ducks.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon: The Ducks finished the season undefeated at home where they have a nation's best 42-game winning streak. They need to prove they can win away from home if they want to have success in the postseason. This comeback win was a start but the task will only get tougher in the Pac-12 and NCAA Tournaments.

California: The Bears had been seeking a signature win to boost their hopes for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But they blew the lead and a chance at that win as they fell to 1-6 against ranked teams with the only win coming last month at then-No. 25 USC. Cal could get another shot at a top team next month in the Pac-12 Tournament.

UP NEXT

Oregon: Visits Stanford on Saturday.

California: Hosts Oregon State on Friday.