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.

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

Instant Analysis: Blach does it all vs Braves, Giants snap skid

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SAN FRANCISCO — This spot in the rotation is the one reserved for the stopper, the pitcher who takes a game by the throat when his team really needs it. 

Ty Blach took the mound Saturday for a team that had lost five of six, and just as Madison Bumgarner often has, Blach ended the skid. The young lefty was dominant into the eighth and the bats finally provided enough support. The Giants won 6-3, tying this weekend series with the Braves.

Here are five things to know from a night we were reminded that Emilio Bonifacio is in the big leagues … 

--- Blach pitched 7 2/3 innings. He has thrown at least seven innings in his last four starts, and five of seven starts overall. Jeff Samardzija (6) is the only Giants starter who has gone that deep more often. Blach is tied with Johnny Cueto for second-most seven-inning starts on staff, and Cueto has made three additional starts. 

--- Blach’s RBI single in the fourth was -- at the time -- the fourth hit of his career, and the first against a pitcher not named Clayton Kershaw. The ball had an exit velocity of 101 mph. Blach tried to score from first on Denard Span’s double, but Phil Nevin held him. Still, the way he was moving, it makes you wonder if Samardzija really is Bruce Bochy’s best pitcher-pinch-running option. In the seventh, Blach picked up a second single. 

--- Blach’s only bad start has been the one he made in Cincinnati, where the Giants played like a Double-A team. If you take that one out, Blach has a 2.21 ERA since taking over Bumgarner’s rotation spot. 

--- Even though he gave up just two earned in 7 2/3, Blach’s home ERA actually went up. It’s 1.75, which ranks seventh in the National League. The sellout crowd gave Blach a standing ovation when he was pulled in the eighth. 

--- Blach had a season-high five strikeouts. When he got Nick Markakis to end the first, Blach ended a streak of 37 left-handers faced without a strikeout. He later struck out another lefty, Matt Adams. The new Braves first baseman came up as the tying run in the eighth but Derek Law got him to ground out to first. 

--- Bonus sixth “thing to know” ... on Blach of course: His first name is Tyson, not Tyler. It’s Tyson Michael Blach.

Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy

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Earthquakes suffer first home loss of season, drop Cali Clasico to Galaxy

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SAN JOSE -- Cali Clasico fans have come to expect fireworks on the pitch every time the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy face off in one of Major League Soccer’s best rivalries.

And the first affair of 2017 was no exception. Five goals in the first half got the match off to a roaring start but, much to the chagrin of San Jose fans, L.A. handed the Earthquakes their first Avaya Stadium loss of the season with a 4-2 final.

Giovani Dos Santos notched a pair of goals including the backbreaking tally 20 minutes into the second half.

Chris Wondolowski got the first half flurry going with an easy-money strike on a volley after a perfect backpost cross from Danny Hoesen in the 10th minute.

Saturday’s match was Hoesen’s best performance of the season, by far.

Los Angeles equalized nine minutes later when Joao Pedro took advantage of a sneaky ball between two defenders from Dos Santos. The Brazilian turned and struck the ball true to beat David Bingham.

It was the first sign of the San Jose nightmare that is the Mexican national.

The Galaxy took their first lead of the match in the 35th minute when Dos Santos finished a penalty kick earned after Kofi Sarkodie clothelined Bradley Diallo in the box.

But two minutes later, it was Hoesen getting off the proverbial schneid by notching his first goal as an Earthquake. It was a classy finish off a low cross inside the box from Tommy Thompson, who picked up his second assist of the season on the play.  

Disaster struck one minute before halftime though, when a diving Victor Bernardez deflected a Diallo cross after the defender found himself back in the San Jose 18. The ball beat a shocked Bingham.

San Jose came out aggressive in the second half and Los Angeles made them pay on the counterattack to put the game away. Romain Alessandrini raced down the left flank, took a look up and struck gold on a left-footed cross to Dos Santos on the back post that could not have been hand-placed any better. Dos Santos arrived perfectly to head the ball past Bingham.

The loss moved San Jose’s home record to 3-1-3.

Turning point: The final marker gave L.A. a two-goal win, but any momentum San Jose had after Hoesen equalized evaporated on the Bernardez own goal. Not only did the goal somewhat deflate the home team, but put San Jose in the position of aggressor – and it’s a position the Galaxy exploited to score the fourth goal.

San Jose’s Man of the Match: The pressure has been on Hoesen since the forward arrived on loan from the Netherlands. In 12 previous games, the man from Heerlen only had one assist to show for his efforts. On Saturday, Hoesen assisted on the first goal with a world-class cross and picked up his first goal of the season on an equally exquisite finish.

History watch: Wondolowski’s first half strike was his eighth goal against the Los Angeles side and 127th all-time in MLS. He is now just six behind Jaime Moreno, who sits third on the MLS’ all-time list.

Attendance: As expected, the San Jose Earthquakes announced a sell out for the marquee match on their schedule.

Up next: The Earthquakes head north to take on the Portland Timbers. The June 2nd matchup is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.