A’s a cinch to clinch after smashing the Twins

Twins Athletics Baseball.JPEG-0a1baby Morris Phillips

With their magic number reduced to one, the A’s won’t be doing a whole lot of scoreboard watching on Sunday.
In fact, if the burdened Rangers lose or the A’s top Minnesota for the fourth straight day, all eyes will be on uncanny, unlikely back-to-back division winners in Oakland.  The A’s set up the comfy scenario on Saturday, by routing the Twins at the Coliseum, 9-1.
“Right now we got to do what we do,” Jarrod Parker said of capturing the AL West title.  “We know it’s right there.  If we handle what we do and we win games, it’s going to happen.”
So self assured were the A’s on Saturday that they shook off a two-hour rain delay and more clubhouse sewage issues only to smash the Twins in basically two acts—inning number one and number two.   Alberto Callaspo’s two-run shot capped Oakland’s five-run second inning and basically ended the afternoon for Minnesota starter Pedro Hernandez.  The A’s led 6-0 at that point and Parker did his part, shutting down the Twins through six innings.
Afterwards, the A’s watched intently in their clubhouse—as did a smattering of fans in the stadium—as the Rangers closed out the Royals in Kansas City, 3-1, to keep their divisional hopes alive.  Earlier, Cleveland also won, 4-1 over the Astros, to keep the A’s from clinching a wild card playoff berth.
But none of that seemed to matter to the A’s even as the attendants removed the plastic covering the lockers, if only for one more day.  Now the best case scenario would be the A’s clinching the division title while they’re on the field Sunday, if Texas loses their game that starts approximately two hours prior to the A’s game at 1:05pm.
“We’re going to continue to go out there and try to play our kind of baseball,” Josh Donaldson said.  “We’re going to try and win tomorrow even if (Texas losing) comes about.  I’m sure if we’re playing they’ll do something on the loudspeaker or something.”
Since trailing the Rangers on August 30 by three games, the A’s have won 17 of 22, the best run in the major leagues since that date.  With 92 wins under their belt, the A’s are just two short of their 2012 total of 94 with seven games yet to play.  And the Twins will be happy to see the A’s go away:  in the last two weeks, Minnesota has dropped games to the A’s by 15 runs (18-3), 11 runs (11-0) and six runs (8-2) prior to Saturday’s eight-run difference.
Callaspo, Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each homered on Saturday to support the A’s 16-hit attack.  Parker picked up his 12th win of the season and Jerry Blevins pitched two scoreless innings to end it. 
On Sunday, the A’s have rookie Sonny Gray slated to throw the first pitch of the afternoon with Minnesota’s Cole De Vries as his opposition.

Cardinal enjoy big first half, routs Sun Devils

Arizona St Stanford Football.JPEG-0b778By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, September 21, 2013

No. 5-ranked Stanford built a huge halftime lead, then held off a late Arizona State challenge in the second half Saturday in the Cardinal’s 42-28 victory in the Pac-12 opener for both schools at Stanford Stadium.

Tyler Gaffney gained 95 yards while scoring two touchdowns for Stanford (3-0 overall, 1-0 Pac-12) and Anthony Wilkerson chipped in with 68 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Kevin Hogan completed 11 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns – both to Ty Montgomery – leading the Cardinal to their 11th consecutive victory. Montgomery, slowed last season by a knee injury, caught four catches for 62 yards.

The Cardinal defense played a key role in the nationally-televised win, forcing two turnovers, blocking two punts, plus three sacks and 10 tackles for loss of yardage.

Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 30 of 55 passes for 367 yards and three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. One of Kelly’s picks was in the end zone as time expired.

Jaelen Strong caught 12 passes for 168 yards and a TD in a disappointing loss for ASU following a win last week over Wisconsin.

ASU’s fourth quarter touchdown passes to Chris Coyle, Strong and Marion Grice made the score look cosmetically closer than it really was.

Stanford extended its streak of forcing a turnover to 27 games early in the contest. Defensive end Josh Mauro kick-started the Cardinal’s defensive contributions when he intercepted a Kelly pass deep in Sun Devil territory, setting up Montgomery’s first TD catch in the first quarter.

From there, Stanford built its 29-0 halftime lead on a Gaffney running touchdown, a 13-yard scoring pass to Wilkerson and a 30-yard TD run by Mongomery. Adding insult to injury to the Sun Devils, Blake Lueders blocked an ASU upback into the punter, who booted the ball over the end line for a safety.

In the third quarter, Ben Gardner blocked a quick kick by Kelly, setting up a 16-yard TD by Gaffney that put Stanford up 39-7 late in the third quarter.

The undefeated Cardinal travels to Washington State next week. Game time has yet to be determined.

(subject Stanford football)

(tags,Stanford,football,Arizona State,Pac-12)

Sharks win in overtime over Phoenix

Andrew+Desjardins+San+Jose+Sharks+v+Phoenix+0MHZ12HgSDilBy: Phillip Torres

September 21, 2013

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in Overtime on Saturday night at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Sharks bounced right back after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks just one night ago.

San Jose trailed early in the contest as Phoenix was the first and only team to score in the opening period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson put the Coyotes on top with assists from Tim Kennedy and Chris Brown midway through the period. Phoenix played strong on the ice early and held San Jose scoreless.

The Sharks were resilient after the first intermission. San Jose came out strong in the second period scoring just 52 seconds into the frame. Freddie Hamilton found the net on the play. The assists were earned by Logan Couture and assistant captain Patrick Marleau on the goal. The second period was the highest scoring period of the night as there were three goals scored in total, two of which by San Jose.

The Sharks gained their first lead of the night after a goal from Jason Demers at 11:37. The goal was scored on a power play after a penalty committed by the Coyotes. Joe Pavelski earned the assist on the play to help the take the 2-1 advantage. With less than one minutes to play in the second period, the Sharks gave up a frustrating goal that tied the game up at two goals apiece.

The third period went scoreless as both the Coyotes and Sharks played tough defense to keep the score at 2-2 at the end of regulation. For the second night in a row the San Jose Sharks played extra hockey as their last two games went into overtime. But, unlike last night, they were on the winning side of a 3-2 score.

Couture nailed the game winner with a goal that he slipped into the net from behind the Phoenix goaltender. The goal was assisted by Demers and Pavelski to end the contest with 1:32 remaining in the overtime period.

Phillip Torres covers the San Jose Sharks for Sportsradioservice.com

Quakes win big in Salt Lake City

By Ivan Makarov

San Jose Earthquakes are not going down without a fight this season.

With only five games remaining in the regular season before the Quakes played on the road against Real Salt Lake, they knew they needed to win at least once on the road, if they were to have a chance to content for the MLS Cup in playoffs. The win was needed even more so after the Quakes failed to secure a victory against Vancouver last Saturday.

That win was earned on a good defensive effort and a pair of headers from Steven Lenhart, as Quakes won that game in Salt Lake and greatly improved their standings.

Rio Tinto Stadium, the home of Real Salt Lake, has always been a hard place to play for any visiting team, with its stands close to the field, and passionate fans filling up the stands all contributing to Real’s dominance in SLC. They only lost two games at home this season, while the Quakes won just once on the road, where they struggled all season.

While the Quakes looked good in many road games but not seeing that translate on the scoreboard and in the standings, the scenario reversed itself on Saturday. This much was also obvious on the stats sheet, where Real dominated in just about every category – shots on goal (17 vs 8), passing accuracy (83% vs 71%), and ball possession (70% vs 30% for Real). Well, except in one category that matters most – the goals.

Quakes got the great start to the game they always want with an early goal from one of their forwards Steven Lenhart. Cordell Cado got the ball on the right wing, and crossed it high and long towards the penalty mark. Lenhart won the position and put a great header straight into the net, only 18 minutes into the game.

Real responded a minute later, as Javier Morales was left wide open on the far side of the net after Kyle Beckerman’s cross off the corner, making it 1-1 on the 19th minute.

But Lenhart put the Quakes ahead only two minutes later, once again from a powerful header. Shea Salinas took the free kick 40 or so yards away on the left side of the field, and his cross was to the similar spot where Lenhart scored earlier. Quakes tall forward won another challenge in the air, scoring his fourth goal of the season.

Quakes could have put themselves one more goal ahead in the second half on the 66th minute when Rafael Baka took off on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Chris Wondolowski on his left side, but he fired it off early, and straight into Real’s goalkeeper Nick Rimando.

Other than that, it was all Real with chances the rest of the game. Solid play by Quakes defense and their goalkeeper Jon Busch kept the home team off the scoreboard, and gave San Jose much needed three points. The win may have come with a price, as their defender Clarance Goodson left the game early with what looked like an injury.

A strong defensive effort, and offensive production means the Quakes earned their second victory on the road against a very good opponent.

The Quakes are still outside the playoffs picture, but should they win both remaining home games and grab a point on the road either against Chivas USA or LA Galaxy, they could end up in the fifth spot in the West, giving them a playoffs berth.

Their quest for that continues in LA on Sunday, September 29th, when they take on Chivas USA.

Bears open Pac-12 against Ducks

By George Devine, Sr.

The Pac12 conference season for Cal begins on the road against the Ducks of Oregon on Saturday, September 28. New coach Sonny Dykes and his charges — including true freshman quarterback Jared Goff — will be up against a team ranked as high as #2 in the nation’s polls. Cal’s defense has been suspect this year, and will be up against a team that racked up 687 total yards against Tennessee.

The Bears will need to contain.sophomore Marcus Mariota, who against Tennessee threw for a career-high 456 yards including four touchdowns in a 59-14 win. Mariota went 23/33 and was the first Oregon quarterback to pass for more than 400 yards since Kellen Clemens, who did likewise in 2005. Also challenging the Cal defense will be Johnny Mundt, a freshman tight end who had five receptions for two TDs, and a total of 121 yards, against the Vols. Josh Huff also caught six passes for a total of 125 yards, and scored another touchdown for Oregon. Mundt had replaced Colt Lyeria, who had five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

After Oregon, Cal’s remaining games for the season will be as follows, with kickoff times to be announced:

October 5 Washington State

October 12 @ UCLA

October 19 Oregon State

October 26 @ Washington

November 2 Arizona

November 9 USC (Joe Roth Game)

November 16 @ Colorado

November 23 @ Stanford

Nova goes distance, shuts out Giants 6-0

By George Devine, Sr.

On an interleague visit to Yankee Stadium, the San Francisco Giants were haunted by the ghosts of the pinstripers and shut out by curveballer Ivan Nova, who went a full nine innings (6 h, 1 w, 7 k; 9-5) and did not allow a visiting player past second base. Ryan Vogelsong took the loss (3-6; 5 ip, 5 h, 5 er, 1 w, 1 k, 1 hr). The Bronx Bombers came into the game three games out in the hunt for a wild card spot and advanced half a game in the quest.

Mark Reynolds began the Yanks’ scoring spree in the third with a single past short, advancing to third on Brendan Ryan’s base hit to left. When Chris Stewart walked, Ryan took second. Reynolds came home on Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice fly to center field, at which point Ryan and Stewart each advanced a base. Alex Rodriguez grounded out, 6-3, and Ryan scored with Stewart taking third, coming home on Robinson Cano’s single to left.

In the following inning Curtis Granderson singled to right and came home on Eduardo Nunez’ second home run of the year, to left. Another homer to left, by Alfonso Soriano in the sixth – his 34th — put the icing on the New York cake.

The two teams meet again at 10:05 a.m. PDT on Sunday, September 22, with Yusmeiro Petit (4-0) facing legendary Yankee southpaw Andy Pettitte (10-10) who is reportedly making his last appearance in the Bronx.

Kings shouldn’t have to worry about ballot initiative

by Ken Gimblin

SACRAMENTO–When Seattle billionaire and hedge funder Chris Hansen didn’t get the Sacramento Kings and wasn’t able to buy and move them to Seattle he resorted to paying for a campaign that would put a initiative on the ballot that would ask the public if they wanted to pay with taxpayers money to build new sports facilities in Sacramento. Once it was found out that Hansen had a hand in the initiative who he paid a $50,000 fine for not reporting unfunded money at deadline for the subsidy initiative.

Hansen who wanted to buy an NBA team has put his chances in jeopardy with funding the initiative which will go on the ballot the only problem for the initiative is that it will go down to defeat and the voters will go onto support a new arena for downtown which would do wonders for Sacramento and the Kings and an arena is needed in order for them to stay. The initiative could slow down the process a bit.

The problem for the new arena is the 18,000 signatures in favor of public subsidies that Hansen funded if that hadn’t been there there would be a strong chance it wouldn’t be on the ballot. Hansen said he didn’t pay for the funding of the ballot measure which was funded for $100,000 and he paid the fine. He must have paid for it because obviously the signatures and the law firm who forward the funds to the signature gatherers Loeb & Loeb in Los Angeles wouldn’t have had it done.

So obviously he did, and it’s hard to understand why and most people in the greater Sacramento area favor a new arena for the Kings and number two this is the one item Hansen lacks in is patience and all he had to do was be patient and you could have had a nice offer and he would have had a chance and he would have had a team in Seattle in a couple of years and obviously that law firm is not going to go out and hire people if they don’t have money.

When Hansen wrote out a check to the law firm? He realized what he was doing, he wouldn’t be the wealthy man he is if he spent money and he didn’t know what he was doing. If Hansen says he didn’t fund the campaign the Easter bunny doesn’t come at Easter and what he’s saying has the same validity but make no mistake this initiative will be on the June 2014 Sacramento ballot and you could thank Chris Hansen for that because without his support there may not be enough to make the ballots.

It’s going to go on the ballot and there is a great chance it’s going to be defeated. There is a lot of law firms I respect but Loeb and Loeb to work with Hansen to do something like this I have no respect for at all. It’s like any profession whether it’s teaching, medicine, or law some individuals you don’t respect so as long as there’s money out there I’m not surprised that somebody wouldn’t take it.

Hansen did himself a great disservice by funding the initiative and I’m surprised he did this because Hansen was really going to have a shot at bidding on another NBA team or expansion team and all Hansen had to do was be patient and I guess Hansen wanted it right away and that’s why he did it. A majority of people want a new arena for the Kings who live and can vote in Sacramento will vote for the new arena. This will benefit not just the Kings but the city and it’s going to be very positive and it’s going to go on the ballot but the public subsidy will go down to defeat once it gets in front of the voters.

Ken Gimblin is covering the Sacramento Kings for Sportstalk Radio

A’s bury Twins, 11-0; magic number is now 2

By George Devine, Sr.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A sellout crowd which included a thousand SRO customers packed the O.co Coliseum to see fireworks. They didn’t have to wait until the end of the game, or even until the end of the fifth inning, as the A’s exploded for an 11-0 shutout of the visiting Minnesota Twins. This win, coupled with the Texas Rangers’ loss to Kansas City, reduced to 2 the magic number for Oakland to clinch the AL Western Division, which they could do against the Twins at home in either of two remaining games in the present series.

Yoenis Cespedes hit his 25th homer of 2013 to left center field in the home second. Then Derek Norris doubled to right and scored when Josh Reddick singled towards second, coming home himself when Daric Barton singled to right. In the fourth, Norris singled to center, stole second with Alberto Callaspo batting, reached third on a throwing error by catcher Chris Herrmann and scored when Callaspo singled to left.

In the fifth, Oakland tore the Twins apart. Josh Donaldson walked,and advanced as Jed Lowrie singled to center. Norris was hit by a pitch thrown by Minnesota starter Andrew Albers, moving Donaldson to third and Lowrie to second. Chris Young reached first o n a throwing error by third baseman Eduardo Escobar which allowed Donaldson, Lowrie and Norris all to score. Callaspo singled to right, plating Young, then reached third when Reddick singled to center. With Barton at bat, reliever Ryan Pressley’s wild pitch allowed Callaspo to come home. In the next inning, the home team added two more runs as Crisp walked and then came home on Josh Donaldson’s homer to left center, his 24th of the season.

Albers takes the loss (2-4; 4.2 ip, 8 h, 8 r, 3 er, 1 w, 2 k, 1 h, 1 hb) and Bartolo Colon is the winner (17-6; 6 ip, 5 h, 1 w, 8 k). The two teams meet again at 1:05 p.m. PDT on Saturday, September 21, with Jarrod Parker (11-7) facing southpaw Pedro Hernandez (3-1).OAKLAND ATHLETICS VS. MINNESTOTA TWINS

Sharks lose in Overtime; Raffi Torres Hurt

By: Phillip Torres

SAN JOSE- The San Jose Sharks hosted the Anaheim Ducks at the SAP Canter in San Jose on Friday night for the Sharks first home preseason exhibition game. The Sharks lost a heart breaker in overtime 3-2 when Ducks Defenseman Ben Lovejoy found the back of the net after less than three minutes of play into the extra period.

The loss for the Sharks might not be as bad as the news that left winger Raffi Torres was banged up on a collision in the second period. Raffi Torres and Ducks forward Emerson Etem collided hard and both men spent an extended amount of time on the ice. Etem was able to come back later on in the period however Torres did not return for the rest of the game.

“He’s being checked by the medical staff, and when we know something, we’ll let you know,” said head coach Todd McLellan. “It’s obviously not a good situation for either player, Etem or Torres. A complete accident, too. We hope they’ll both be well and ready to play.”

Tomas Hertl started the scoring early for San Jose with a goal at 14:42 in the opening period. The assists were earned by Adam Burish and Captain Joe Thronton. The Ducks tied the score at 1-1 with a goal from Emerson Etem. The goal was assisted from teammates Devante Smith-Pelly and Daniel Winnik.

San Jose regained the lead shortly after with a goal from Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy scored on a short-handed two-on-one with the assist handled by Patrick Marleau. Corey Perry tied the game up again for the Ducks late in the period. with assits from Captain Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Maroon, Anaheim was back into the game. The third period was scoreless and at regulation the score was 2-2. Ben Lovejoy won the game in overtime for the Ducks and ended the Sharks night.

On the loss, McLellan said, “I thought that our team forgot a little bit how hard it was to play and how you have to make hard, firm plays and move the puck quick. We weren’t as good as we needed to be, but it’s something we can work off of.”

The Sharks continue the preseason at home Saturday night against the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:30pm.Sharks Lose To Ducks

Phillip Torres covers the San Jose Sharks for Sportsradioservice.com

Sewage back up talk takes front and center over A’s success

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary

OAKLAND–A’s owner Lew Wolf says it’s the fans fault that things are depressing at the Coliseum according to one AP report and to add insult upon injury the A’s dugout toilet backed up on Tuesday night’s game which took much of the attention away from the game. A few weeks ago when the Tampa Bay Rays were in town their starter Fernando Rodney was in the bathroom in the Rays dugout and he was going to warm up and he locked himself out and he couldn’t get out of the bathroom dugout and it took 20 minutes for a maintenance guy to come out and rescue Rodney.

Rodney couldn’t even come out and warm up but Joe Maddon the Rays manager had a great sense of humor at the time saying, “the way he was pitching let him stay in the bathroom” this is an embarrassing place not just for the A’s but for Major League Baseball. It’s just not for the A’s but they play somebody else like the visitors who come into the Coliseum, it’s embarrassing for everybody in the American League because you play every team this is not only embarrassing for the A’s but it’s embarrassing for the game. Then Lew Wolf is saying the reason why it’s depressing at the Coliseum is because of the fans, it’s getting embarrassing for the A’s off the field but they’re winning where it counts on the field.

Bob Melvin & A’s leaving A.L. West in the dust: A’s manager Bob Melvin could win the manager of the year he’s really done a marvelous job for this team this is not that much of a talented team it’s just a bunch of kids who are hustling Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t had a great season, Josh Reddick has been hurt most of the year, so Melvin deserves a lot of credit the A’s are eventually going to win this division as they have a 6.5 game lead with about 11 games left their going to win it.

Things have been great for the A’s, the attendance has been great this year and the A’s plan to open up the third deck and take off the tarp for the playoffs, the only tarp that won’t be taken off will be the one at the top of Mount Davis right next to the sky and all the way up top because those are the nose bleeds and I’ve been told if you sit there you can’t see the centerfielder because your right on top so as many of you know Mount Davis is not for baseball but everything else going to be open and it’s going to be a great place to be in a couple weeks.

The Angels are going to finish third and the Angels are still fighting as their five games under .500 to finish with 81 wins and I don’t know if their going to be able to do it. They might have been playing great but it’s too late now it’s been a great disappointment. The biggest teams in the American League are the biggest disappointments the Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays were stacked with all kinds of stars and their fighting to stay out of the cellar.

It happens, it’s baseball and that’s why they play 162 games and the A’s this year are a lot better than last year and I wouldn’t be surprised this time if they draw the Detroit Tigers again. They might take the Tigers and the A’s took three out of four from the Tigers at Comerica and they could beat the Tigers this time.

Rangers Ron Washington gets vote of confidence: Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington got a vote of confidence from Texas management and that’s good and I’m glad to see that because he doesn’t get the media coverage. A lot of minority managers don’t get much recognition like the Cuban manager of the Braves Freddy Gonzalez or Reds manager Dusty Baker and the like. Gonzalez is doing a great job with that team.

It’s good to see Washington getting a chance from the Rangers and getting a vote of confidence, he’s a good man I wish he would have come back to Oakland as manager of the A’s. He’s won two pennants with the Rangers in 2010 and 2011. The Rangers had lost Nelson Cruz this season with that suspension for PEDs so the A’s are having problems and Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish who is pitching remarkable for Texas and a few days ago he lost a great duel to A’s pitcher Bartolo Colon whose 40 years old.

The A’s are looking very good and it should be a very exciting divisional playoffs. The Twins are coming to Oakland for a weekend series and half of the team is a triple A team although the Twins Joe Mauer is hitting way over .300 who is fourth or fifth in the league in hitting and Mauer has won three batting titles already. The Twins could hurt you but if the A’s win three out of four from the Twins they could clinch at the Coliseum.

If the A’s can sweep the Twins they’ll still be one game short unless they get help from Texas if they lose a few this weekend to Kansas City as they enter Thursday’s schedule with a magic number of five. In four games you still need the Rangers to lose one game so there’s a good chance the A’s could clinch this Saturday or Sunday at the Coliseum.

Amaury Pi Gonzalez does News and Commentary each week for Sportstalk Radio and is the Spanish radio voice for A’s baseball