A's waste two rallies, fall to Red Sox 9-8 in 14th

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A's waste two rallies, fall to Red Sox 9-8 in 14th

June 4, 2011BOX SCORE A'S VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

BOSTON (AP) J.D. Drew stuck with his usual laid-back approach after looking terrible the previous four times at the plate. It finally paid off - and ended a long day.Drew struck out four consecutive times before he singled home Carl Crawford from second with two outs in the 14th inning Saturday, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 9-8 win over the Oakland Athletics after closer Jonathan Papelbon blew a four-run lead in the ninth.Drew, known as one of the quieter, more reserved players in the Red Sox clubhouse, felt like he was going to make contact. He rarely gets too excited and it even showed as he got dressed quickly after his game-winning hit."I had some good swings in all the earlier at-bats," Drew said. "Sure it's aggravating, you never want to strike out four times in a game. Even though I struck out four times, I thought I had some quality swings."Boston recovered for its 18th win in 26 games after Papelbon blew the big lead and was ejected along with catcher Jason Varitek a few minutes apart in the ninth."I just lost my cool," Varitek said. "You can't argue balls and strikes."Crawford had four hits and drove in three runs and Adrian Gonzalez had a solo homer and three hits for the Red Sox. Boston has beaten Oakland 14 of the last 18 games in Fenway Park.Conor Jackson had a tying, pinch-hit two-run single in the ninth and a key double in the 11th as Oakland grabbed the lead, but Andrew Bailey couldn't hold it. The Athletics lost their fifth straight."Obviously just didn't do my job today and let the team down," said Bailey, who made just his third appearance after missing the start of the season with a strained right forearm.Alfredo Aceves (3-1) pitched four innings for the win. He gave up a run in the 11th before Boston rallied in the bottom of the inning.In the game-winning rally, Crawford doubled into the left-field corner against Guillermo Moscoso (2-1), the Athletics ninth pitcher. After Jed Lowrie was intentionally walked, Drew lined a single to right-center to end the 5-hour, 17-minute game.Landon Powell, who struck out four times and went 1 for 7, grounded out with runners on first and second to end the top of the 14th. After that, the crowd - that was left - cheered when Take Me Out To The Ball Game' was played for a second time.Oakland had taken an 8-7 lead in the 11th inning on Ryan Sweeney's sacrifice fly against Aceves. Boston tied it with two outs in the bottom half. Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled high off the left-field wall against Bailey and scored on Jacoby Ellsbury's double down the right-field line.Oakland, which entered the day scoring the second-fewest runs in the AL, scored four runs in a wild ninth against Papelbon after second baseman Dustin Pedroia booted a potential game-ending double-play grounder. Both Varitek and Papelbon were both ejected by home plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the inning."It was a great, great comeback to tie the game in the ninth, then to actually go ahead in extra innings," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We had the game. We were in pretty good shape."Mark Ellis singled leading off and Daric Barton walked. After Powell struck out, Pedroia had pinch-hitter Coco Crisp's grounder go through his legs, scoring a run. Pennington's RBI double made it 7-5 and Varitek was ejected while arguing during the hit."If I fielded that ball we would have won about four hours ago," Pedroia said. "But we battled. We had a lot of key hits. I don't think one play won or lost the game. It was one play in like a nine-hour game."Jackson then tied it with his two-run single. Papelbon was ejected after throwing the first pitch to the next hitter, Sweeney, and had to be restrained by manager Terry Francona. He appeared to bump Randazzo before being shoved out of the way by Francona.Bobby Jenks got out of the inning when he struck out Hideki Matsui with runners on first and third with a pitch in the dirt that bounced away.The late blowup spoiled another solid start by Josh Beckett.Beckett gave up three runs, four hits, walked three and fanned four over six-plus innings. It was just the third time in 12 starts that he's given up more than two runs.Cahill, coming off his worst consecutive starts of the season, gave up five runs on eight hits, striking out eight and walking one. He had given up a combined eight runs -seven earned - over 12 2-3 innings.NOTES: Francona said before the game that RHP Clay Buchholz's next start may be moved back few days because the pitcher was worried about how his back felt in Friday's start. ... Red Sox RHP John Lackey is scheduled to start the series finale on Sunday in his return from the 15-day DL after being sidelined with strained right elbow. ... Oakland manager Bob Geren had said before the game that RHP Guillermo Moscoso, who worked 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in Friday's loss, was still expected to start on Tuesday at Baltimore. But after he said he'd have to rethink things. ... Boston SS Marco Scutaro, on the DL since May 8 with a strained left oblique, was expected to start a rehab stint with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night againts Durham. The plan is for him to play short, second and DH over three games, in no particular order. "If he feels good, he'll join us in New York on Monday," Francona said. ... The game was originally scheduled for 7:10, but moved to 1:10 after soliciting fans opinions online earlier this week because the Bruins were playing Game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night. ... Matsui snapped a career-worst 0-for-19 slump with an 11th-inning single.

Evans: Cain's strong final spring start 'does give him an edge' over Blach

Evans: Cain's strong final spring start 'does give him an edge' over Blach

Matt Cain entered spring training competing with Ty Blach for the fifth starter spot.

On Thursday morning, Giants GM Bobby Evans provided an update on the position battle.

"Blach put up a good spring for himself, and it does make the decision harder," Evans said on KNBR 680. "We'll process it today with the coaching staff and Boch and I, and we'll make a final call."

Back in early February, Evans said: "“In a perfect world, Matt Cain would be Matt Cain and he would take that spot."

Over seven games (six starts) this spring, Cain went 0-1 with a 7.82 ERA.

[PAVLOVIC: Cain makes case for Giants' rotation spot in final Cactus League start]

Blach went 1-1 with a 4.43 ERA over seven appearances (two starts).

Cain is making nearly $21 million this season in what is the final guaranteed year of the 6-year, $127.5 million deal he signed in April 2012.

"Again, with the track record that Matt Cain's had overall, it would seem easy," Evans said. "But yet, the last couple years have been so rough and we've had the injuries and the hard contact against him.

"But he did finish strong with the Cubbies (Cubs) and I think it does give him an edge as we close out this decision."

NHL Gameday: Critical Sharks road trip begins in Edmonton

NHL Gameday: Critical Sharks road trip begins in Edmonton

Programming note – Sharks-Oilers coverage starts today at 5:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 43-26-7, 93 points, 2nd Pacific Division
Oilers: 42-25-9, 93 points, 3rd Pacific Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks’ final road trip of the season begins with an important back-to-back in Edmonton and Calgary, as they fight to at least keep home ice advantage in the first round. They are tied in points with the Oilers, and have a three-point advantage, with a game in hand, on Calgary.

San Jose snapped a six-game regulation losing streak on Tuesday against the Rangers, 5-4 in overtime.

“I think we had a good game as a team,” Mikkel Boedker said. “I think we played really well, and we were extremely focused on our details of the game and what we had to do to be successful. That’s going to be the same tonight.”

***There’s a chance that the Sharks and Oilers, who meet once more next week, could be first round playoff opponents. DeBoer weighed in on that possibility, and how it affects tonight's game.

“Where we’re sitting in the standings, the potential of playing each other in the playoffs – all that stuff. It’s a critical game,” Pete DeBoer said. “The outcome isn’t going to end the season for either of us, and both of us will pick up and move on whether it’s a win or a loss and get ready for the next one, but there’s definitely a lot at stake and there’s definitely messaging that can be sent this time of the year.”

Edmonton has won three in a row, and seven of its last eight.

***Speaking of messaging, and DeBoer wouldn’t confirm it, but it appears that Micheal Haley will return to the lineup in place of Kevin Labanc. Haley served a one-game suspension on Tuesday for punching Calle Jarnkrok last Saturday.

Labanc played much of Tuesday’s game on the top line left wing. There were no line rushes on Thursday morning, though, so just who will take that place with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski will remain a mystery until warmups.

***The Sharks have won two of three from Edmonton in the season series, including one in overtime, but the Oilers claimed a 4-1 win in the most recent meeting in San Jose on Jan. 26. They meet for the fifth and final time on April 6. 

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Mikkel Boedker. The free agent addition played his best game in weeks on Tuesday against the Rangers, snapping a 10-game scoreless drought. He recorded a pair of primary assists in San Jose’s win by generating some shots towards the net, which were cleaned up by Jannik Hansen and Chris Tierney. The last time Boedker was in Edmonton on Jan. 10, he registered a hat trick in a 5-3 Sharks victory.

Oilers: Cam Talbot. No goalie has played more this season than Talbot (38-21-8, 2.37 GAA, .920 SP), who has appeared in 68 games and recorded 3992 minutes – more than 400 minutes more than Devan Dubnyk. After a rare game off against Colorado on March 25, he returned to the net to make 34 saves in a 2-1 Oilers win against Los Angeles on Tuesday.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Timo Meier – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson – Patrick Marleau – Joel Ward
Jannik Hansen – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi

Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell 

Oilers
Patrick Maroon – Connor McDavid – Leon Draisaitl
Milan Lucic – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot – David Desharnais – Zack Kassian
Drake Caggiula – Mark Letestu – Anton Slepyshev

Oscar Klefbom – Adam Larsson
Andrej Sekera – Kris Russell
Darnell Nurse – Matt Benning

Cam Talbot (starter)
Laurent Brossoit

INJURIES

Sharks: Logan Couture (face) is out.

Oilers: None.

QUOTEABLE

“It’s big to play those teams that you’re battling with. … It’s going to be tough. But, it’s good to start ramping it up. It’s only going to get harder.” – Brent Burns