Barracuda come back from 2 goal deficit, beat Stars 4-2

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif—The San Jose Barracuda came back from two goals down in the second period to score three unanswered in the middle frame en route to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Stars on Saturday evening at SAP Center.

The Barracuda have won three games in a row and are three games over .500 for the first time all season. Texas coincidentally have lost three games in a row and are three games under the .500 mark. San Jose went 3-1 against Texas in the four-game series.

There was no scoring in the opening 20 minutes as Texas held a slim margin on the shot clock with a 7-6 edge over San Jose.

Texas (12-15-2-0) scored the icebreaker in the second period with the game’s first goal on the power play. Ben Gleason skated down the left wing and fired a shot on net that Cole Schneider redirected past ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk for his eighth goal of the season at the 2:06 mark.

The Stars captain leads the team with five power play goals.

The Stars doubled its lead less than three minutes later. Thomas Harley’s shot from the point was initially saved by Melnichuk but the rebound went out to the left where a crashing Joseph Cecconi slammed home the puck into an empty net for his second goal of the season at the 5:14 mark.

San Jose (12-9-4-2) cut the lead in half on the power play. Ryan Merkley sent in a wrist shot from the right point and Scott Reedy tipped home the puck past Stars goalie Colton Point for his third goal of the season at the 12:56 mark.

The Barracuda rode a wave of momentum as they scored the equalizer 56 seconds later when Steenn Pasichnuk scored his second career AHL goal at the 13:52 mark. Zachary Gallant and Lean Bergmann were credited with the assists.

Bergmann now has a three-game point streak.

Just 22 seconds later, San Jose gained its first lead of the game when Ivan Chekhovich scored an unassisted goal, his second goal of the season, at the 14:14 mark.

Evan Weinger sealed the deal for the Barracuda with an empty net goal from his own defensive zone, his third of the season and second in as many games at the 18:38 mark.

Melnichuk (4-5-3) finished the evening stopping 24 of the 26 shots he faced to earn his fourth victory of the season. Point made 19 saves on 22 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 1-for-4 on the power play. Texas was 1-for-3.

Alex True played in his 200th AHL game.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Chekhovich 2) Schneider 3) S Pasichnuk

UP NEXT: The Barracuda continues its homestand with a two-game series with the San Diego Gulls on Tuesday 4/20 at 6:00pm at SAP Center.

Alfaro’s walk-off gives the Marlins the win in extra innings 7-6

Miguel Rojas (left) of the Miami Marlins gives Jorge Alfaro (right) the water works after belting the game winning walk off home run on Sat Apr 17, 2021 at Miami (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

The once reliable San Francisco Giants does not seem so reliable right about now, as for the second straight game, they were unable to hold to the lead.

Jorge Alfaro hit a two-run double in the bottom of the 10th inning, helping the Miami Marlins to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over the Giants at loanDepot Park.

Alfaros double off of losing pitcher Jarlin Garcia got by left fielder Austin Slater, who was able to recover to get the ball to the plate; however, it was too late, as Jazz Chisholm, Jr., and former Giants infielder/outfielder Adam Duvall both cross the plate to give the Marlins their second come-from-behind victory in as many nights.

The Giants took the lead in the top of the 10th inning, as Brandon Belt doubled to right-center field to score Slater with the tie-breaking run and pinch-hitter Anthony DeSclafani, who bunted into a Fielders Choice stopped at third.

Slater, who was on second base when the top of the 10th inning easily scored from third, as he got there when Donovan Solano picked up his second hit in as many at-bats; however, Slater was forced to stop at third base due to the arm of Starling Marte.

Duvall gave the Marlins the lead in the bottom of the first inning, as he tripled to center field that scored Marte.

That would be the score when Jesus Aguilar doubled to score Marte and Corey Dickerson, who went 4-for-6 on the evening against Giants pitching.

The Giants finally got on the board in the top of the seventh inning, as they scored five runs to take a 5-3 lead.

Belt got the rally started, as he hit a solo home run to get the Giants on the board. Brandon Crawford drove in the second run, as he singled to score Evan Longoria.

Slater then gave the Giants the final three runs of the inning, as he slammed a three-run home run to centerfield to score both Crawford and Buster Posey.

That would be the score in the bottom of the ninth inning, as Alfaro singled to center to score Chisholm, Jr. and sent pinch runner Magneuris Sierra to second base.

Marte then tied up the game when he singled to score Sierra from second game and send the game into extra innings.

Aguilar made a sensational play at first base to end the top of the 10th inning, as he dug the ball out of the dirt and into his bare hand. Chisholm was able to stab the ball, as he dove to the turf on the ball hit by Mauricio Dubon.

Aaron Sanchez went just 4.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking three and striking out five.

Sandy Alcantara went 6.2 innings for the Marlins, allowing four runs on six hits, not allowing a walk and striking out seven.

NOTES: With the loss, the Giants streak of winning series comes to a halt at three, as they lost their first series since the opening series against the Seattle Mariners.

Both Tyler Beede and John Brebbia threw at the alternate site in Sacramento, as both of them recover from Tommy John surgery.

UP NEXT: Alex Wood makes his Giants debut on Sunday afternoon, as he takes the mound against the Marlins, who will send right-hander Pablo Lopez to the hill.

Starters and bullpen do it again Irvin and relievers shutout Tigers 7-0

The Oakland A’s starter Cole Irvin throws to the Detroit Tigers at the Oakland Coliseum on Sat Apr 17, 2021 (AP News photo)

Detroit 0 – 5 – 0

Oakland 7 – 8 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Last night’s game was good news for Athletics fans. The team also had some good off field news. Stephen Piscotty went on on paternity leave. We shall miss him in the outfield. We shall miss him at the bat. But he and MLB have their priorities straight here, and let’s honor them for that.

Taking Piscotty’s place on the roster was Vimael Machín, the versatile rule 5 pick from 2020, who spelled Jed Lowrie at second this afternoon. He can play all positions except pitcher and catcher

Starting on the mound, hoping to extend the A’s six game winning streak, was left handed Cole Irvin, hoping to improve on his 0-2,7.45 record with the A’s this season. He brought with him to the mound a four game losing streak, dating back to May 22 of 2019. His last win had occurred five days earlier. He was with the Phillies back then.

Irvin’s counterpart for the Tigers, the right handed Casey Mize—a baseball name if ever there was one—presented more formidable numbers, 1-0,0.82). He throws very effective heat. In his seven games as a rookie last year, his opponents managed to squeak out a batting average of .136 against that pitch.

Of course, the 22 at bats on which that figure was calculated is not a convincing sample size. Still, forewarned is forearmed, especially if we’re talking about four seamers. By the way, Mize was the number one overall pick in 2018 draft.

For all that, the Athletics jumped off to an early lead in their half of the first when Matt Olson delivered a 96 mph four seamer deep into the right field stands. Matt Chapman followed that with a triple that almost left the park but bounded off the Southwest Airlines sign just to the left of the 367 foot marker. Those booming shots had come with two outs, so Mitch Moreland’s grounder to shortstop Willi Castro, playing in the shift, ended the threat,

The A’s kept pouring it on in the second episode. With two down, Machín celebrated his return to the show by singling to left. Aramis García then blasted a 3-2 slider into the State Farm advertisement between the 362 and 388 feet signs in left center field for his first home run as an A. Mark Canha cleared that sign on the next pitch, putting Oakland on top, 4-0. It was his third dinger of the season.

The Tigers seemed ready to pounce back into the game in the top of the fifth. With two men out, their number nine hitter, JaCoby Jones, hit a single to right, followed by Robbie Grossman’s seeing eye safety to left. Both men moved up on a wild pitch during Niko Goodrum’s AB, a ball that brought the count to 3-2. Irvin got him on a called third strike, a 93 mph sinker.

Oakland tacked on another run in the fifth when Chapman beat out the relay on an 4-6-3 double play attempt that brought Canha, who’d been hit by a pitch and reached third on an Olson single, home with the home team’s fifth tally.

Mize set the A’s down in order in the fifth, and that ended his work day. He had allowed five runs, all earned, on seven hits, two of them for the distance. He struck out four with no walks but two hit batters. 63 of his 95 offerings either were in the strike zone or swung at. His replacement was Daniel Norris, who allowed a hit but nothing else, in his one-inning stint, followed in the seventh by Joe Jiménez.

Bob Melvin removed Irvin, who had pitched admirably, after his sixth shutout inning. His balance sheet included four hits against six Ks with nary a walk, although he did hit one batter. He threw 93 pitches, of which only 30 were balls and was in line for the win when J.B.Wendelken replaced him.

Wendelken did well in relief for Irvin, setting Detroit down with only one baserunner, but Jiménez issued enough walks to allow two runs without a hit or error. The second of those runs was charged to Alex Lange, whose first pitch, with the bases filled with inherited runners, was wild.

Still, he got the third the third out in the seventh, and Detroit escaped further damage, as if their hosts hadn’t already inflicted enough of that on them. Lange remained in the game, closing the A’s out in the eighth.

Wendelken and Deolis Guerra pitched an inning each, and they were sharp and effective, Guerra especially so, dispensing with the top of the Detroit lineup 1-2-3 on a dozen pitches, including a strike out. Jordan Weems closed the books on the Tigers in the ninth.

The win went to Irvin. He’s now 1-2, 4.60. Mize took the loss, which left record his record at 1-1, 3.38.

Two shutouts in a row. Who’da thunk it?z

The series closes tomorrow, with game time at 1:07. The probable starters are Chris Bassitt (1-2, 4.96) for the A’s and Matthew Boyd (2-1, 1.86) for Detroit.

San Jose Barracuda podcast with Marko Ukalovic: Cuda score three unanswered goals in third period for win

The San Jose Barracuda celebrate their win over the Texas Stars on Fri Apr 16, 2021 at SAP Center in the first of a two game series (@ sjbarracuda photo)

#1 The San Jose Barracuda scored three unanswered goals that helped the Barracuda get a jump on the Texas Stars on Friday night at SAP Center in San Jose.

#2 San Jose has won two games in a row and are 2-1 in the four game series against Texas.

#3 The Barracuda (11-9-4-2) drew first blood early in the first period. A shot from Ryan Merkley led to a rebound loose in front of the cease where after a mad scrum, Lean Bergmann jammed home the puck underneath starting Stars goalie Colton Point for his first goal of the season at the 3:57 mark.

#4 The Barracuda scored three times in the third period which turned out to be a crucial period and something that head coach Roy Sommer would like to see in games when coming back is necessary.

#5 Marko it’s the Barracuda and the Stars once more Saturday night at SAP Center as the Barracuda have been playing .500 hockey and would like to get a sweep out of this series tonight.

Join Marko for the San Jose Barracuda podcasts each Saturday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Jose Sharks podcast with Matt Harrington: Sharks lose close game to Wild 3-2 on four game losing streak

The San Jose Sharks Rudolfs Blacers, left tries to reach around the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, right, to get a piece of the puck at the Target Center in St Paul on Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

On the Sharks podcast with Matt:

#1 The Sharks (18-21-4) in Minnesota lost in a close game 3-2. The Wild (26-13-3) held a 3-1 lead for most of the game but the Sharks just couldn’t get enough offense to tie the game up.

#2 The Sharks got goals from Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane but it wasn’t enough. Hertl and Kane have been consistent on offense.

#3 Wild goaltender Cam Talbot stopped 20 shots and faced 22 talk a Talbot’s performance in holding the Sharks to two goals and a one goal win for the Wild.

#4 Sharks goalie Martin Jones stopped 15 shots and allowed three goals Jones allowed two goals in the second period and pretty much that was the difference.

#5 Jones had another rough period in the first period Saturday he surrendered three goals which turned out to be a huge lead for the Wild.

Join Matt Harrington for the Sharks podcasts each Saturday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Montas and A’s bullpen keep Tigers off the scoreboard 3-0

The Oakland A’s starter Frankie Montas threw six innings of shutout ball before the bullpen took over against the Detroit Tigers at the Oakland Coliseum Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

Detroit. 0 – 4 – 0

Oakland 3 – 8 – 0

By Lewis Rubman

OAKLAND–Two weeks into the season, it’s early, but maybe not too early to look at how the teams in the AL West are stacking up.

Only two games separated the four teams as they went into play today. That, in itself, isn’t particularly surprising. What is noteworthy is the pecking order of the quartet. Seattle sits on top at 6-4, followed, in order, by the Angels, Astros, and, in a tie, the Rangers and A’s.

Oakland’s numbers for the fortnight are not encouraging, but there are some encouraging statistics besides the green and gold’s six wins, five of them consecutive, in the last seven games. In that period they went from a scoring deficit of 37 runs a surplus of 15, only a smidgin over two runs a game, but still a good sign. Unfortunately, you have to balance that against a two week (and too weak) BA of .213, although the lineup has hit at a ,275 clip over the past five games,which includes a couple played under National League rules.

The A’s mound staff reduced its collective ERA by half, going from 8.00 in the first six games to 4.00 in the following seven tilts. Nonetheless, their ERA for all 13 games came out to 5.85, considerably higher than any other team’s in the majors. Their opponents hit a staggering .321 of the first half dozen encounters. They were to held to .237 between then and Frankie Montás´s first pitch at 6:42 this evening.

He held the Tigers scoreless on one hit for four innings, while his oppposite number, José Ureña, held the A’s to those same anemic digits over three and a third frames. But, then Oakland’s bats awoke, After a walk to speed demon Ramón Laureano, who advanced to second on Matt Olson’s infield single to third, Matt Moreland drove the A’s center fielder home with the game’s first run on a single to right center that sent Olson to third, from where he scored on Sean Muprhy’s double down the left field line. A walk to Seth Brown loaded the bases, giving Elvis Andrus a chance to blow the game open. But there were two down, and Andrus’s fly to left center ended the threat.

When Montás wound up his sixth inning of mound labors, with an even hundred pitches, 66 of which were strikes, he had blanked the Tigers on two hits. He struck out seven and walked only one. He was in line for the win, which he got, bringing his record to 2-1, 4.91. Yusmeiro Petit, his replacement, preserved the lead through the seventh, giving up a hit and getting a punch out, before giving way to Jake Diekman at the start of the eighth. Diekman sent Detroit down in order.

After throwing 96 pitches, 64 for strikes, Tiger skipper A.J. Hinch removed Ureña in favor of Derek Holland. The Dominican righty had pitched an excellent game and deserved a better outcome. He had scattered seven hits and allowed two walks over his seven inning stint.

In his one-inning appearance, Ureña’s replacement, Derek Holland, gave up the A’s only home run of the evening, a towering solo blast to center that went for Chapman’s third round tripper of the year.

Lou Trivino closed the Tigers down in the ninth to earn the save and bring the A’s to the club house with a .500 winning percentage.

Tomorrow afternoon, Cole Irvin (0-2,7.45) fill face the Tigers, whose starter will bee Casey Mize (1-0,0.82). Game time is 1:07.

Barracuda take down Stars 5-3

by Marko Ukalovic

SAN JOSE, Calif—The San Jose Barracuda scored three unanswered goals in the third period to take control of the game and defeat the Texas Stars 5-3 on Friday evening at SAP Center.

San Jose has won two games in a row and are 2-1 in the four game series against Texas. The Barracuda have 28 points on the season and still sit in fifth place in the Pacific Division as they trail the Colorado Eagles by five-one hundreds of a percentage point (.548-.543) for the fourth and final playoff spot. Texas have lost two games in a row.

The Barracuda (11-9-4-2) drew first blood early in the first period. A shot from Ryan Merkley led to a rebound loose in front of the cease where after a mad scrum, Lean Bergmann jammed home the puck underneath starting Stars goalie Colton Point for his first goal of the season at the 3:57 mark.

Texas (12-14-2-0) responded when Riley Tufte skated down from the left wing to below the endline. Tufte reversed course on Jakob Megna and backhanded a centering pass to an open Josh Melnick who beat ‘Cuda goalie Alexei Melnichuk to the far side for his seventh goal of the season at the 13:13 mark.

San Jose outshot Texas 11-10 in the opening 20 minutes.

The two teams traded goals in the first five minutes of the second period.

A shot by Cole Schneider deflected off the glass and bounced back out in front of the crease where Riley Damiani was able to deflect the puck off Melnichuk into the back of the net for his seventh goal of the season at the 3:12 mark. Damiani snapped a 13-game goal-less draught.

San Jose answered back just over two minutes later with its fourth line once again. Zachary Gallant skated into Stars zone and the puck pinballed over to Steen Pasichnuk and he quickly fired a wrist shot past an unsuspecting Point to the far side of the net for his first career AHL goal at the 5:20 mark to even the game at 2-2.

That ended the night for Point as Stars head coach Neal Graham pulled him out of the game and replaced him with Adam Scheel for the rest of the contest after Point gave up two goals on 14 shots.

Texas out shot San Jose 12-11 in the middle frame.

The Stars opened the third period regaining the lead when a shot by Thomas Harley caromed off the back boards over to Melnick and he fired the puck past a sprawling Melnichuk for his second goal of the game and eighth of the season at the 3:32 mark.

San Jose scored the equalizer when Evan Weinger led a two-on-one odd man rush at the red line. Weinger skated in and fired a shot wrist shot through the five-hole of Scheel for his second goal of the season at the 6:28 mark. He snapped a 12-game goal-less draught.

The Barracuda regained its second lead of the game when Bergmann stripped Harley of the puck down below the endline and centered the puck out to a wide open Scott Reedy who wired a wrist shot top-shelf into the right corner past Scheel for his second goal and the eventual game winner at the 15:25 mark.

San Jose iced the game with an empty net goal from Alex True with 28 seconds left to seal the deal. Joachim Blichfeld received the primary assist on True’s eighth goal of the season, snapping a six-game goal-less draught.

Melnichuk (3-5-3) finished the game stopping 25 of the 28 shots he faced to earn his third victory. Scheel made 13 saves on 15 shots in the losing effort.

GAME NOTES: San Jose went 0-for-4 on the power play. Texas went 0-for-2.

The Three Stars of the Game were: 1) Bergmann 2) Reedy 3) Gallant.

UP NEXT: Both team close out their four-game series on Saturday 4/17 at 6:00pm at SAP Center.

Marte’s three-run home run wins it for the Marlins 4-1

The body language on the San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (left) says it all after the Miami Marlins Starling Marte (right) hits a three run home run and is congratulated by Magneuris Sierra, center at Loan Depot Park in Miami on Fri Apr 16, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Jeremy Kahn

In what was a pitchers duel between the Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants all came to a halt with one swing of the bat.

Starling Marte hit a three-run home run off of Wandy Peralta in the bottom of the eighth inning, helping the Marlins to a 4-1 win over the Giants at LoanDepot Park. It was the fifth win in six games for the Marlins.

Jesus Aguilar came off the bench to get the decisive rally off to a great start, as he walked against eventual losing pitcher Matt Wisler. Corey Dickerson then singled that advanced Magneuris Sierra, who came on to pinch run for Aguilar moved up an additional 90 feet and then Marte launched a Peralta pitch into the left field seats.

Anthony Bass picked up his first win of the season, as he pitched a perfect eighth inning before giving way to closer Yimi Garcia, who picked up his third save of the season.

Evan Longoria gave the Giants a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, as he singled off of Marlins starter Daniel Castano. Mike Yastrzemski, who is trying to get out of a slump, doubled to lead off the inning and then scored the Giants lone run of the evening on the Longoria single.

Anthony DeSclafani pitched six strong innings for the Giants, as he gave up just one run, scattering four hits and continues to be sharp, despite not being involved in the decision in his three starts this season, DeSclafani has allowed just three runs.

DeSclafani made just one mistake, as he gave up a solo home run to Jazz Chisholm, Jr.in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Castano, like DeSclafani did not fare in the decision, as he went five innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks in his first appearance of the season.

NOTES: Johnny Cueto was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right lat strain that he suffered in Wednesdays start versus the Cincinnati Reds at Oracle Park. To replace Cueto on the active roster, the Giants called up right-handed pitcher Camilo Doval from their minor-league camp.

Both the Giants and the Marlins wore the number 42, honoring Jackie Robinson, who made his major-league debut 74 years ago yesterday for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.

UP NEXT: Right-hander Aaron Sanchez will take the mound for the Giants on Saturday, while the Marlins will send Sandy Alcantara to the mound.

Sacramento Kings podcast with Jeremiah Salmonson: Kings lost ninth straight game 122-114

The Phoenix Suns guard Devon Booker (1) drives on the Sacramento Kings De’Aaron Fox (5) on Thu Apr 15, 2021 in Phoenix (AP News photo)

#1 The Sacramento Kings (22-34) have lost their ninth straight game and again the game wasn’t even close as the Kings were handed a 122-114, 22 point loss in Phoenix (40-15).

#2 The Kings had a hard time shutting down the Suns Deandre Ayton led in scoring with 26 points and Devon Booker had 23 as they ran right through the Kings defense.

#3 The De’Aaron Fox led the Kings in scoring with 27 and Buddy Hield finished second with 24, the Kings had a total of six players in double figures and lost the game by eight.

#4 Coach as hard as he may and it’s been like that every night for Luke Walton this has to be his toughest patch of this 2021 season.

#5 The Kings get some rest as they won’t play again until next Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks (30-24). The Mavericks have won five out of their last eight games. Jeremiah size this game up Sunday between the Kings and Mavericks can the Kings snap the losing skid.

Join Jeremiah for the Kings podcasts Friday mornings at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco Giants podcast with Michael Duca: Giants depending on pitching from Wood and Webb; SF opens up tonight in Miami

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler (left) checks on starter Johnny Cueto (right) who told Kapler he couldn’t go any further after experiencing pain in the sixth inning of Wed Apr 14, 2021 game at Oracle Park in San Francisco (AP News photo)

On the Giants podcast with Micahel:

#1 San Francisco Giants starter Johnny Cueto who suffered lat tightness in his pitching arm after going 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday afternoon.

#2 Cueto threw a 93 MPH fastball in the top of the sixth to Cincinnati Reds hitter Nicholas Castellanos felt extra pain and gestured across his throat with his finger he was done for the afternoon.

#3 Michael, tell us about pitcher Alex Wood who now steps into the rotation. Wood last month was on the injured list with a spinal ablation is scheduled to start on Sunday in Miami.

#4 Michael, talk about Logan Webb moving into the bullpen and having a right handed pitcher in a mostly left handed bullpen.

#5 The Giants are coming off a day off and open up a three game series in Miami tonight. Starting for the Giants Anthony DeSclafani (1-0 ERA 0,82) and for the Marlins Daniel Castano (0-0 ERA 0.00) the Marlins are on a three game win streak.

Join Michael for the Giants podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com