War at the Wharf: Perez, Gesta stay undefeated

War at the Wharf: Perez, Gesta stay undefeated

Feb. 19, 2011Ryan Maquiana
CSNBayArea.com
Its been a decade since the national cameras came to San Francisco for a boxing telecast, but last Friday night was well worth the wait for rabid fight fans in The City.At Longshoremens Hall in Fishermans Wharf, a vibrant crowd braved what seemed like a torrential downpour to support their local fighters on Telefuturas latest episode of Slo Boxeo Tecate.They would not go home disappointed, as Eloy The Prince Perez of Salinas and Filipino sensation Mercito No Mercy Gesta kept their unblemished records intact in separate victories.Currently ranked No. 2 in the WBO super featherweight rankings, Perez utilized his speed and boxing ability to outpoint Roger Speedy Gonzalez on all three judges cards over eight rounds.Perez rises to 20-0-2 (5); Gonzalez has now dropped his third straight, descending to 27-4 (18).While Gonzalez had proven to be a dangerous opponent in the past, having decked current WBA featherweight champ Yuriorkis Gamboa in a late knockout loss, the Chino, Calif., natives two-year inactivity became a factor as the bout progressed.With the sizable Salinas contingent screaming, Lets Go E-loy,Perez called on his superior quickness,accurate jab, and impenetrable defense to rack up round after round.Despite an accidental clash of heads late in the fight that caused a minor cut under Perezs left eye, he was in no danger of losing at any point.I did what I needed to do and dominated, said Perez. Rogers a strong fighter, but I was ready for him and now Im 20-0. I had to outbox him and I did just that.His opponent reflected honestly on the fight. He was too fast, said Gonzalez. I just couldnt catch him. I started getting aggressive after the headbutt, but he was the better man tonight.We had the plan of working off the jab and going round by round by boxing, added Dean Familton, who co-trains Perez with Max Garcia. Gonzalez is a decent body puncher with the left hand and we had to stay away from that.Scores were 80-72 in favor of Perez on all three cards.He now faces a world title eliminator against Luis Cruz on Apr. 9 in Las Vegas, a card that also includes Gilroys Robert Guerrero against fellow lightweight Michael Katsidis.Gesta, who is on the cusp of entering the WBO lightweight top ten, quickly finished off Genaro Trazancos, scoring a technical knockout after the third round. In a rematch of their meeting last August when Gesta defeated Trazancos by seventh-round knockout, the Filipino had little trouble repeating the feat in less time.After a dominant initial two rounds, Gestas preferred weapon, the straight left hand, commenced the final onslaught. As the brave Trazancos attempted to return fire, Gesta unleashed a series of vicious combinations highlighted by a counter right hook before the bell sounded to end round three.After referee Ray Balewicz ventured to the corner of Trazancos before the fourth frame, Dr. Smith Ketchum had seen enough and called the bout.Our plan was to knock him out early, said Gesta. I hit him with some hard punches but he wouldnt go down easy so I respect this guy. This time for the rematch, I wanted to get hit with less punches and I executed the plan.Gestas record jumps to 21-0-1 (11). Trazancos, of Los Mochis, Mex., falls to 22-14-1 (13).Vicente Escobedo, another lightweight from Sacramento, has become Team Gestas next target for their next bout in the spring.In other action on the undercard, former amateur star Joe Gumina of San Bruno, who once worked at Aliotos Restaurant across the street from Longshoremens Hall, stopped fellow light heavyweight Jose Jesus Hurtado, 3-3 (3) in the first round to make an emphatic statement in his pro debut.Two-time National Golden Gloves bronze medalist Richard Hargraves of San Francisco, 2-0-1 (2), battled San Joses Clint Coronel, 3-1-2 (1), to a four-round majority draw in a light middleweight bout.Light middleweights Adolfo Gonzalez of Salinas and Jose Leon of Visalia fought to a draw over four rounds; both fighters now have 1-0-1 records.San Francisco welterweight Karim Mayfield, 13-0-1 (8), and featherweight Aaron Garcia, 9-1-1 (2), were pulled off the card due to scheduling conflicts.The event was presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Don Chargin Productions.In what appears to be a welcome addition to the Bay Area fight schedule, they plan to hold another show in either Fairfield or Vacaville on Mar. 25 that will also air on Telefutura.

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

A's find themselves in decent shape with Graveman, Gray possibly returning

OAKLAND — Some 10-9 records are better than others, and so it is that the A’s can hit the road for a nine-game trip feeling pretty good about themselves.

Their just-completed homestand began with Opening Night starter Kendall Graveman leaving a game early and landing on the disabled list. That was coupled with news that shortstop Marcus Semien would be lost for two months or more with a fractured wrist.

The A’s responded to those developments with a five-game winning streak that was halted by Sunday’s 11-1 rout at the hands of the Seattle Mariners.

The A’s went 5-4 on the homestand, holding their ground after a heavy dose of injury misfortune, and now the outlook changes just a bit. The focus shifts from the players joining the D.L. to those that could soon return to provide a boost.

Graveman, who has a strained right shoulder, is scheduled to throw off the mound Monday. If that goes well, expect him to be activated sometime in the early portion of the upcoming trip. Sonny Gray, who has been out since injuring a side muscle early in Cactus League games, is set to throw Thursday for Triple-A Nashville after an encouraging rehab outing Saturday for Single-A Stockton.

If Gray comes out of Thursday’s start well, look for the 2015 All-Star to join the active roster and pitch sometime against Minnesota in the final series of this road trip. Nothing can be taken for granted until both pitchers actually return healthy, but it’s a promising scenario to possibly add two starters of their caliber as April turns to May.

“I think any time you look up and you’re over .500 and you’ve had a great homestand and you’re missing your best two pitchers, that’s something to be pleased about,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “Getting Kendall back is huge. And Sonny obviously did great last night, and felt great, which is more important than the results.

“We’re excited to get those two guys back but in the meantime, we’re gonna continue to keep playing the way we are because we’re playing really good baseball and we’ll just keep things rolling.”

It was clear early on Sunday that a five-game winning streak wouldn’t reach six. The Mariners led 2-0 in the third when Andrew Triggs missed location on a 1-0 sinker and Taylor Motter launched a grand slam over the wall in left-center.

Triggs, who excelled at missing the fat part of bats over his first three starts, didn’t have the feel for his cutter Sunday. When he fell behind to Motter, the cutter is normally a pitch he would have gone to had it been working for him.

“I wasn’t commanding well,” he said. “I didn’t wanna go 1-0 to 2-0. I felt better going with the sinker. I got it down, but missed location in and out. In a perfect world, the cutter would have been great to get a groundout.”

But to this point, the A’s rotation has held firm without Gray and with the short-term absence of Graveman. Perhaps the biggest test moving forward is whether an offense that is tied for the American League lead in extra-base hits can continue to produce consistently with Semien’s absence, particularly without anyone having established themselves as the regular leadoff man.

A’s manager Bob Melvin likes what he’s seen from his team in light of the injuries.

“Every game we go out there there’s an expectation to win,” Melvin said, “and when you win multiple games in a row, you get that feeling and it’s a little more significant. So hopefully we can carry that on to the road trip. As a group, we’ve been able to manage these injuries here recently, and once we start getting guys back it’s gonna be a good thing for us.”

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

Instant Replay: Mariners mash Triggs, A's win streak ends at five

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – That pristine ERA wasn’t going to last forever for Andrew Triggs, and it was no secret why things took a wayward turn for the A’s right-hander Sunday.

His command deserted him in the top of the third against Seattle, and that led to a disastrous inning that told the story in an 11-1 loss that halted the A’s five-game winning streak.

Triggs, who hadn’t allowed a single earned run in winning his first three starts of 2017, walked Robinson Cano to load the bases in the third, then issued another free pass to Nelson Cruz that forced in a run and put the Mariners up 2-0. After striking out Daniel Vogelbach, Triggs caught too much plate with a 1-0 pitch and Taylor Motter drilled it for a grand slam that made it 6-0 and put this one out of reach with the way Yovani Gallardo was pitching.

Gallardo (1-2) gave up just four hits over 6 1/3 innings as the Mariners prevented the A’s from completing their first home sweep of a four-game series since July 3-6, 2014, when they took four from Toronto.

Seattle turned it into a rout as Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer in the seventh off Raul Alcantara, who was left in to eat up innings and surrendered two***more runs in the ninth.

Triggs (3-1), in a season-opening rotation for the first time in his major league career, opened the year by throwing 17 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. That was the longest such season-opening streak by a starting pitcher in Oakland history. His ERA went from 0.00 to 2.42 with Sunday’s outing.

The A’s (10-9) finished 5-4 on their nine-game homestand that was shortened by one game due to a rainout Easter Sunday.

Starting pitching report

The first batter of the game was a bad omen for Triggs as he hit Jarrod Dyson to put the speedster on base. Dyson stole second and Cano knocked a run-scoring single to right field that quickly brought Triggs’ earned-run streak to an end. The right-hander was charged with six earned runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up five hits with four strikeouts and the two walks.

Bullpen report

Daniel Coulombe entered in relief of Triggs in the fifth and provided 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Then Alcantara, who was replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn on the last road trip, was left in to soak up three innings to save the bullpen any more wear and tear in a lopsided game. He gave up five runs in three innings and walked two.

At the plate

The A’s, after falling behind early, couldn’t muster anything against Gallardo, who the Mariners acquired in an offseason trade from the Orioles. Their only run came in the seventh, when Ryon Healy led off with a double, moved to third on Trevor Plouffe’s single and scored on Matt Joyce’s sacrifice fly off reliever Tony Zych.

In the field

Neither team committed an error, making it five games in a row that the A’s have gone errorless. Gallardo was aided by an outstanding diving snag by third baseman Mike Freeman in the sixth. Matt Olson, drawing a start in right field for the A’s, made a sliding catch that turned into a double play when Daniel Vogelbach wandered too far off first base.

Attendance

The homestand finale drew 24,165 fans.

Up next

The A’s take Monday off and then begin a nine-game road trip against the Angels on Tuesday. The opener pits Jesse Hahn (1-1, 3.00) against J.C. Ramirez (2-2, 6.46). On Wednesday, it’s Sean Manaea (1-1, 4.43) against Matt Shoemaker (0-1, 4.98). Then Jharel Cotton (2-2, 4.76) matches up against Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76) in Thursday’s finale. All three games begin at 7:05 p.m. and air on NBC Sports California.