Yankees get to Cahill early, Athletics lose 5-0

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Yankees get to Cahill early, Athletics lose 5-0

May 30, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
OAKLAND (AP) Bartolo Colon believes he's a better pitcher at age 38 after missing an entire season than he was during his harder-throwing, Cy Young award winning days.He sure pitched that way against Oakland, throwing a four-hitter for his first shutout in nearly five years as the New York Yankees beat the Athletics for the eighth straight time, 5-0 on Monday."I feel really strong physically and mentally right now," Colon said through an interpreter. "I feel really good right now. It doesn't matter that I'm 38 years old. I feel really good right now."Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer off Trevor Cahill (6-3), Robinson Cano added an RBI double and Derek Jeter recorded his 2,981st career hit and drove in a run for the Yankees, who have won 22 of 26 games against Oakland since the start of the 2008 season.But the story of the game was Colon, who dialed up a performance reminiscent of his AL Cy Young award season in 2005."When he first came up he just threw the ball as hard as he could," Jeter said. "Now he's hitting his spots, his ball is moving, he's getting ahead of guys. He's become more of a pitcher. I think he was more of a thrower when he first came up."The Yankees have now won back-to-back games behind strong starts from Colon and CC Sabathia after losing the first two games of their nine-game West Coast trip.Colon allowed no walks and struck out six to snap a five-start winless stretch with his first shutout since blanking Seattle 4-0 on July 5, 2006, with the Angels.He was extremely efficient, needing just 103 pitches for the complete game, and was still strong at the end - hitting 95 mph on the radar gun on his final pitch."It just showed you how on he was today with his location," manager Joe Girardi said. "We've seen it before when his location is as good as it was today it's tough to score runs."This marked the latest step in a remarkable comeback season for the 38-year-old Colon, who was out of baseball a year ago and was brought by the Yankees to spring training on a minor league deal. Colon earned a spot in the rotation early this season and has maintained it with a 3.26 ERA in the opening two months of the year."He's really exceeding our expectations," Teixeira said. "He's been huge for us. If we didn't have him in our rotation, we'd be scrambling right now."The offensively challenged A's were shut out for the sixth time this year, getting only four baserunners against Colon (3-3) to snap a season-longest four-game winning streak."Today was just one of those days where we got beat," Oakland second baseman Mark Ellis said. "They threw it better than us, they hit better than us and they caught better than us. All I can say is we have two more games in this series."Cahill was shelled in two starts against the Yankees last year, allowing 14 runs in 10 innings in two losses. He started this game much the same way with a three-run first inning.Jeter got it started with a leadoff single and scored with one out on Teixeira's 16th home run and seventh in the past 11 games. Alex Rodriguez then walked and scored on Robinson Cano's double. Cano was caught on the play rounding too far past second and Cahill settled down after that. He retired Jorge Posada to get out of the first and then gave up just one hit and no runs over the next five innings."I made a bad pitch and he made me pay for it," Cahill said. "Other than that, in a game like this against a team like that, you make a couple mistakes and that's all it takes."The Yankees added an insurance run in the seventh. Brent Gardner and Francisco Cervelli walked and pulled off a double steal. Gardner then scored on Jeter's shallow fly to center field when Coco Crisp's throw home was far off target. Cahill allowed four runs, four hits and five walks in 6 2-3 innings and is winless in his last four starts.That proved to be more for Colon. After allowing a leadoff double to Josh Willingham in the second inning, Colon retired the next 12 hitters. Kevin Kouzmanoff broke that streak with a leadoff single in the sixth.Kurt Suzuki reached on an infield hit in the eighth before being erased by a double play. Colon then pitched around Cliff Pennington's leadoff double in the ninth to finish his ninth career shutout.Notes: Yankees C Russell Martin was scratched before the game with a sore left big toe. His replacement, Cervelli, became the first Yankees catcher to steal two bases in a game since Girardi did it June 27, 1996, against Baltimore. ... Monday was the 16th anniversary of Jeter's first career hit. ... A's starters have allowed four runs or fewer in 28 straight starts, the longest streak for the team since a 32-gamer in 1980-81.

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

ANAHEIM — The A’s collection of individual highlights during their visit to Angel Stadium shouldn’t have equated to a three-game sweep for their opponent.

Jesse Hahn fired eight one-hit innings Tuesday, the same night Josh Phegley delivered a pinch-hit homer in the 10th before the A’s lost in 11 innings. On Thursday, Kendall Graveman turned in perhaps the defensive play of the 2017 season by a pitcher, recording an unassisted double play that was the first by an A’s pitcher in 46 years.

All great moments to relive in the clubhouse afterward, but surely they ring a bit hollow given the final outcomes. The A’s were swept by an Angels team that, like Oakland, has been hit hard by the injury bug. Los Angeles is without key relievers Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin, not to mention starter Garrett Richards among others.

Yet the Angels pitching staff twice held the A’s to one run over the three-game series, including Thursday’s 2-1 defeat, when the A’s mustered just three hits.

“We’re a little streaky right now,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “… Give them credit, they pitched really well, and they really are down a lot of guys in the bullpen. We would expect to do a little more damage.”

They couldn’t Thursday, and that it made it tough to savor Graveman’s incredible play the way they should have.

With runners on the corners and no outs, he fielded Juan Graterol’s comebacker and caught Ben Revere in a rundown between third and home. Graveman ran him down and after applying the tag, hurdled Revere and made the tag on Cliff Pennington, who was trying to advance from first to third in the chaos.

“That’s probably the best play I’ve ever seen a pitcher make, hurdling over an (opponent) to get the second out unassisted,” Melvin said. “I didn’t even know how to put that one down on my card.”

Graveman, one of the A’s better overall athletes, was asked if he’d ever recorded an unassisted double play before.

“Never. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one,” he said. “(Ryan) Madson said he’s never seen one and he’s watched over 2,000 games.”

Incredibly, the last A’s pitcher to pull off an unassisted double play previously was in attendance Thursday night. John “Blue Moon” Odom did it back on July 11, 1971, also against the Angels. Odom attends most of the A’s games in Anaheim, and he’s struck up a friendship with Graveman over the years.

“Every time we come here and even in spring training, I try to catch up with Blue Moon Odom and see how he’s doing,” Graveman said. “He and Wash (former A’s infield coach Ron Washington) are friends so we always cut up about Wash. He’s a great guy. He sits in the front row. He came in and saw me right before stretch and told me ‘I’m gonna be front row watching you.’ That is pretty neat that that happened.”

A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso said he’s never surprised to see Graveman make a great defensive play.

“The guy’s a pitcher, but it feels like he’s a shortstop playing the position.”

Graveman was visited by trainers after the fifth-inning play, but Melvin said it was mainly to give the pitcher a breather and let him get his adrenaline under control. Neither Graveman nor his manager revealed anything specific that bothered Graveman. Seeing him stay in the game and complete six innings of two-run ball had to be encouraging for Melvin.

“The first thing I asked him was ‘What’d you fall on?’” Melvin said. “He said, ‘My butt.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re all right then.’ But you’re not gonna see that play again probably.”

The A’s are giving their manager and fans some accomplishments to marvel over. As they move on to Houston trying to halt a four-game losing streak, they just need to figure things out on the scoreboard.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”