A's try to dig out of hole in Toronto behind Braden

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A's try to dig out of hole in Toronto behind Braden

April 6, 2011A'S PAGE A'S VIDEOProgramming note: It's a busy day on Comcast SportsNet! With five games on our air Wednesday, we've put together a page for you to find exactly where your team's game can be found. Check it out here.A'S (1-3) vs.TORONTO (3-1)Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California Plus.

TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays will be without Jose Bautista for the next two games, but even without the 2010 home run leader in their last contest, they still proved to have some power in their lineup.

The Blue Jays will try to keep their offense rolling Wednesday when they continue a three-game set against the A's.

Toronto has scored 29 runs while hitting .304 this season. It has won six of seven at home against the A's.

Bautista, who led the major leagues with 54 home runs last season, was out of the lineup Tuesday to attend the birth of his first child. He's expected to miss the next two games as well.NEWS: Bautista out for personal matter, may miss series

Despite his absence, Toronto still showed plenty of pop as Yunel Escobar hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, leading Toronto (3-1) to a 7-6 victory over Oakland (1-3) on Tuesday. The Blue Jays scored four runs in the sixth to tie the game, then rallied again after the A's took the lead in the top of the 10th.

Escobar finished 3 for 5, Aaron Hill drove in a pair of runs and Rajai Davis, playing his first game since injuring his ankle Friday, had two hits and scored twice.

"Being able to pull this win out is a big confidence boost for us," reliever Carlos Villanueva said.

A victory Wednesday would mark the third straight year the Blue Jays have opened the season winning their first two series.REWIND: Walk-off homer leaves A's at a loss

Although Oakland didn't have to face Bautista, it gave Toronto extra opportunities to come back as fielding continues to be an issue.

The A's had two errors Tuesday and have nine through four games. Both errors came during the sixth, and Oakland also misplayed another potential out during the inning.

"We were a good defensive team last year and I fully anticipate us being a good one this year, too," manager Bob Geren said.

Dallas Braden hopes for better support from the field as he looks to build on an up-and-down year in his 2011 debut.

Braden pitched a perfect game while recording a career-high 11 wins last season, but he also had career-worst 14 losses and spent time on the disabled list.

Despite the losses, Braden had a respectable 3.50 ERA, mostly being hurt by a lack of run support. He had the 10th lowest run-support average among starters last season at 3.6 per game. In 10 of Braden's 30 starts, Oakland scored one or fewer runs while he pitched.

The left-hander pitched well in his one outing against Toronto last season, giving up two runs and three hits in seven innings of a 6-2 win Aug. 17. He is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in his career against the Blue Jays.RELATED: Toronto depth chart

Toronto will counter with Jesse Litsch, who is optimistic about 2011 despite the last two seasons being cut short by injuries.

Litsch underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009 and after returning in mid-June last year, was limited to nine starts before undergoing hip surgery. He finished 2010 1-5 with a 5.79 ERA.

The right-hander is facing Oakland for the first time since 2008. He is 1-1 with a 0.90 ERA in three lifetime starts against the A's.

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

Warriors bury Clippers rivalry with 50-point barrage in third quarter

OAKLAND -- The Warriors-Clippers rivalry, dead for a couple years, was buried 50 points deep Thursday night.

There were, and may always be, occasional fits of temper in which both players and officials will be tested. That surely was the case during the Warriors’ 123-113 victory over LA at Oracle Arena.

But scoring 50 points in 12 minutes, as the Warriors did in the third quarter, is a rather emphatic statement that serves as its own embellishment. It sent the Clippers back home, unable to muster even a half-hearted comeback.

“That was incredible,” Kevin Durant said of third-quarter scoring frenzy.

“That’s a lot of points,” Klay Thompson said. “It’s that the most we’ve had all season?”

Well, yes, it is. The Warriors’ previous high for points in a quarter was 45, also against the Clippers, on Jan. 28.

So this was astonishing even to the Warriors, the highest-scoring team in the NBA for three seasons running. This is the Warriors’ fourth 50-point quarter in franchise history and their first since March 1989. They made nine 3-pointers, tying a franchise record for triples in a quarter.

Fifties are rare, period; the last one by any team in the NBA was on March 25, 2014, when the Lakers dropped 51 in a quarter against the Knicks.

“I had no idea we scored that much,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 20 in the quarter -- 17 in the final 3:37 before halftime. “Obviously, coming back from 12 down to having a double-digit lead, it all started with the defensive end and finding transition.”

The scoring breakdown: Curry scored 20, Durant 15, Thompson 5, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia 4 each and JaVale McGee 2. The Warriors shot 73.9 percent (17-of-23) in the quarter.

“It all started from our defense, getting rebounds and getting out in transition,” Durant said.

The Warriors forced five LA turnovers in the quarter, off which they scored 11 points. Trailing by 12 at the half, they led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.

The Warriors have defeated the Clippers 10 consecutive times overall. They’ve beaten them 11 straight times at Oracle Arena. The average margin of victory in four games this season is 21.5 points.

This was a matter of how the Warriors responded to the threat posed by LA in the first half.

“I’m not sure what needed to happen,” Draymond Green said. “But I know we took that quarter over. And it was pretty spectacular.”

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

With Clippers rivalry over, Warriors feed off feud with Foster

This will come as a sharp blow to Warrior fans who like things the way they are, but they probably can no longer use Scott Foster as an alibi for failure, or a stalking horse for rage.
 
Well, I mean they can, but let’s be honest here – the evidence just doesn’t support it any more.
 
Foster, who no matter what you say is one of the elite officials in the league, has also been cast as a bête noire by all things Golden State. Either he’s imperious, or he’s standoffish, or he makes himself too conspicuous – they’re all standard complaints made of all officials who aren’t otherwise branded as just plain terrible.
 
Only Foster isn’t terrible, given the fact that he has worked a series of NBA Finals, and that remains the gold standard for officiating.
 
But the Warriors bang their heads against the backboard when he works their games, and were on the verge of doing that again Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Foster called third quarter technicals on Andre Iguodala and the Warrior bench, and J.T. Orr called one on Draymond Green, all in the space of 6:34. The Warriors were unhinged, the fans were unhinged, innocent bystanders were being hit with flying hinges throughout the arena.
 
And in that stretch, the Warriors outscored the Clippers, 26-15, en route to a 50-point quarter (the first in two seasons and the third since the turn of the millennium) and another harsh slapdown of what used to be known as the Warriors-Clippers Cavalcade Of Hate, this time 123-113.
 
It isn’t that any more, not close. Truth is, the Warriors have won 10 consecutive games against the Clips, but probably never quite at decisively as this. At the game’s most lopsided stretch, Golden State outscored Los Angeles, 72-33, in a shade over 17 minutes.
 
Because that’s what they do.
 
Only this time, the comeback was not fueled by the existence of the Clippers, who had outplayed them pretty convincingly for the first 22 minutes and change, but with the officials, who as we have said before irk the hell out of them when their number includes Foster.
 
Who, again, is one of the game’s best officials. I think it’s a personality clash, to be frank, in which both sides can take some blame.
 
Truth is, though, when a team can go for 50 in a quarter and still have time to engage in a feud with the officials, it is making a kinky little statement about what they can do when enraged, and how difficult it is to stop them when they have a serious mad-on.
 
Yes, it is probably stretching a point to make this case, especially when the Warriors make 17 of 23 shots (9 of 15 from three) and assist on 13 of the 17 field goals. It is probably minimizing Stephen Curry’s 20-point quarter and his four assists, or Kevin Durant’s 15 and five rebounds, or David West imposing his body between Green and the officials to keep him from getting T’d up again for the second successive game.
 
But we have already established that rivalries are dying at their feet left and right. In the last three years the Clippers have gone from the Warriors’ arch-enemies to a team that has finished an aggregate 44 games behind the Dubs in the standings, making whatever animosity they can still stir 

Against the Clips a curio of a much earlier time. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come and gone, and even the Durant-Russell Westbrook has lost its last bit of elasticity.
 
Oh, there is still Cleveland, but that cannot be resumed for another 14 weeks at the earliest.
 
The Warriors, in short, have run out of opponents, and given that they will manufacture a foe when one does not otherwise exist, Scott Foster may have to serve for the time being, even if he is nothing but an intermittent prop to amuse the customers when the game cannot provide.
 
Though you’d have to think the third quarter Thursday makes that pretty thin oatmeal. The Warriors ate an entire game in 12 minutes, including the officials. They seemed like they got their fill.