A's use four-run 5th to beat Giants 4-2

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A's use four-run 5th to beat Giants 4-2

June 18, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

OAKLAND (AP) Hideki Matsui had a private conversation with Oakland interim manager Bob Melvin regarding his role with the team. It was certainly a productive meeting.Matsui had two hits and two RBIs to help the Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 4-2 Saturday night."We did have an opportunity to speak 1-on-1," Matsui said through an interpretor. "To have certain expectations put on you, for any ballplayer, is a comfortable feeling. Everybody seems more relaxed and settled in."Matsui is hitting .321 with three home runs and nine RBIs since Melvin took over. He's been in the lineup every day and that's the way Melvin wants it.
GIANTS INSIDER GALLERY: Offensive woes continue
"I'm good with him against anybody," Melvin said. "Left, right or middle-handers. He's been getting some of his best swings against left-handers."Cliff Pennington and Daric Barton both had RBI doubles for the A's, who matched their season-best four-game winning streak.Aubrey Huff drove in a run for the Giants, who lost their third straight. Nate Schierholtz added two hits.Brad Ziegler (2-0) struck out Cody Ross - the only batter he faced - to end the fifth. Joey Devine, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Andrew Bailey each pitched a scoreless inning, with Bailey getting his fourth save in five chances."Nothing those guys do surprises me any more," Ziegler said. "We feed off each other. No matter who it is, our bullpen is so deep we don't need to pace ourselves. We go out with that strikeout mentality."Jonathan Sanchez (4-5) pitched a season-low 4 2-3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He walked three and struck out three in falling to 1-3 over his last seven starts.
URBAN: Deja vu? Sweep could spur Giants move
"He was actually pretty good early," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "He started to get the ball up and they took advantage. We're just in a rut right now."A's starter Guillermo Moscoso lasted 4 2-3 innings, giving up two unearned runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out one.The Giants broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with the help of the A's defense. Chris Stewart was credited with a single after Scott Sizemore apparently caught his spikes in the dirt on a grounder and could not make an accurate throw.Moscoso walked Andres Torres and then threw away Emanuel Burriss' bunt, allowing Stewart to score. One out later, Huff hit a sacrifice fly."We're having a hard time driving in runs and that's what it comes down to," Bochy said. "It's how you win ballgames and when you don't get those big hits, it hurts you."The A's came right back in their half of the fifth. Barton and Pennington had their run-scoring doubles and Coco Crisp walked ahead of Matsui's two-run single."The thing that stands out to me is the fight and perseverance of these guys," Melvin said. "Win or lose, that's what I've seen."NOTES: Both teams used switch hitters in the top three spots of the batting order. For the A's, it's the first time since May 12, 1999. ... A's OF Coco Crisp batted third for the first time since July 20, 2005. ... A's RHP Brandon McCarthy (stress fracture in right shoulder) threw about 60 pitches to hitters and will likely be heading on a rehab assignment early next week. ... A's RHP Tyson Ross is expected to throw to hitters next week in New York and Philadelphia. ... A's OF Josh Willingham was out of the lineup with an Achilles' tendon strain. ... The A's have committed an error in a season-high nine straight. ... Giants INF Mark DeRosa began hitting off a tee. ... A's 2B Mark Ellis was 0-3 in his first rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday night. ... Giants' OF Darren Ford is 2 for 11 with four strikeouts in his rehab.

Giants Notes: Marrero hopes to be back; Posey faces Romo

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Giants Notes: Marrero hopes to be back; Posey faces Romo

SAN FRANCISCO — About 45 minutes after the Giants announced that Chris Marrero had been designated for assignment, the left fielder walked up to the locker of one of the newcomers. Marrero patted Christian Arroyo on the back and shook his hand, congratulating him for his first call-up to the big leagues. 

“That’s my boy,” he said later. “I was really happy for him.”

The Arroyo promotion and the addition of Drew Stubbs signaled the end of Marrero’s April run in the lineup. He was cut and Aaron Hill was put on the disabled list, clearing two roster spots. Just as Arroyo forced his way up with three huge weeks in Triple-A, Marrero forced his way onto the opening day roster with a monster spring that included eight homers. He had just five hits in 38 at-bats before Monday’s moves.

“The team is struggling and we’ve got to make some moves,” Marrero said. “I believe in myself and I’ll go down and get back to how I felt in spring training. This is what I’ve worked for my whole life. I lost the feel that I had in the spring. Things were a little rushed. I came in and worked hard every day to try and find it. I’m going to keep working. I haven’t lost confidence in myself.”

Marrero was put in a bit of a tough spot. He played just about every day in Scottsdale because he was trying to win a job, and when he finally did make it, some Giants coaches felt he was a bit worn down. The team’s brutal start to the season put a glaring spotlight on left field, and this move became obvious over time.

Marrero said he likes it here, and that if he isn’t claimed, he will go to Triple-A Sacramento and try to find that spring swing and get back up here. Count Bruce Bochy among those hoping it goes down that way. 

“We thought a lot of him and still do,” Bochy said. “He’s a good hitter.”

--- Arroyo had a 4.4 GPA in high school, so the Giants knew he was smart. He’s savvy, too. There’s nothing like picking up the longest-tenured player on the team, literally. After snagging a ricochet in the fourth inning last night, Arroyo kept running and lifted Cain off the grass. They then chest-bumped. 

“That just kind of happened,” Arroyo said. “He hit it, I looked at Cain going down and saw the ball, went running and got it, instincts took over. I made a throw and got the guy. It was a fun play. In that moment, I was just pumped up. It’s one of those plays you get excited over.”

Arroyo said he heard Cain yelling and he thought he was hurt, so that’s why he ran over. Cain did have an X-ray on the foot that got hit but it came back negative. 

“Christian did a great job handling himself,” Cain said. “He picked me up big-time.”

The best part of the play came hours after it was made. As Cain talked to reporters, Brandon Crawford — who was in position to scoop the grounder in the fourth — was standing at his locker, a few feet away.

“Let it go through next time,” he said softly.

--- Denard Span was out on the field Monday afternoon, but he’ll miss another two to four days with that right shoulder injury. This will truly be a day-to-day situation. If at any point the Giants feel they need coverage, Span can be put on the 10-day DL. 

--- Hill apparently felt discomfort after playing long toss on the road trip. He can swing a bat but he was going to be kept from throwing for three to four days, so he was put on the DL.

--- This spring, Posey was asked about facing Sergio Romo. Here was his long tendencies-filled answer. Posey faced Romo in the eighth and flied out. 

"It was a little weird, I'm not going to lie," he said. "I caught him for so long. It's definitely interesting being in the batter's box instead of being the plate."

Was there a nod or "hey what's up" look between the two?

"I've caught him long enough to know you don't look at him," Posey said, smiling. 

--- If you missed it, the standing ovation for Romo was a very, very cool moment. Also, here's my story on Madison Bumgarner, who spoke for the first time since his injury. And here's the first story on Arroyo, with a fun anecdote about his mom. She'll be in the stands Tuesday. And finally, my game story from last night. 

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

PORTLAND -- Four games, four quarters to each and the Warriors are on to the next round of the postseason.

Here are four things we learned about these Warriors in the wake of their four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

IT’S A TEAM THING: The Warriors lost All-Star forward Kevin Durant in Game 1, came back and won Game 2. They lost head coach Steve Kerr before Game 3, went out and fashioned one of the biggest comebacks in franchise postseason history. They are constructed in such a way that the collective is strong enough to overcome the loss of one man. They won this series in a walk despite being shorthanded for the last three games and without their head coach for the last two. This team and this staff are bigger than any individual.

JAVALE McGEE MATTERS: By last Sept. 16 the summer was all but gone and every coveted player NBA player had been accounted for. That’s when the Warriors signed McGee with the hope that he could provide some length and athleticism on the block, if only for a few minutes a night -- and, surely, some nights not at all. McGee was the last man to make the team, and here he was dominating a Trail Blazers team that, to be fair, lacked a healthy center. He was special in this series, and what he provides will be needed as the Warriors move forward.

DRAYMOND’S VALUE IS BEYOND MEASURE: There were so many examples during the regular season that illustrated Draymond Green’s significance to the Warriors. He topped them all in this series. He defended, at some point, every member of the Portland team. He rebounded. He made 3-pointers. He blocked 17 shots. The Blazers tried him early but quickly become discouraged at attacking whenever he was on the court. He disrupted their offense in more ways than they could have imagined. As a bonus, he avoided notable run-ins with officials.

SPLASHING NOT NEEDED: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were fabulous in the second half of Game 3 and Curry stood out in Game 4. But by the time the Splash Brothers found their offensive groove, the Warriors were up 2-0 in the series and rallying behind their defense en route to taking Game 3. The battle of the backcourts, logically deemed a critical factor in this series, was a virtual statistical standoff. Curry/Thompson combined for 192 points, while Damian Lillard 111 and CJ McCollum totaled 201. If it’s the numbers are that close, the Warriors will win every series, and probably sweep.