NCAA

Anderson struggles in Texas again, A's lose 7-2

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Anderson struggles in Texas again, A's lose 7-2

May 10, 2011BOX SCORE A'S POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Ron Washington's new-look lineup jump-started the Texas Rangers' slumping offense.Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer and Colby Lewis pitched into the eighth inning in a rain-delayed 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.Beltre, who was given a night off Monday and had gone 4 for 31 over his previous nine games, connected in the fifth to chase starter Brett Anderson (2-3).Beltre batted sixth for the first time this season as Washington tried to change his team's luck after the Rangers hit .231 in their previous nine games. Beltre's first 35 starts this season had been at cleanup."It worked," Beltre said. "If that's going to work, I'll be happy to be hitting sixth. I don't make up the lineup. I just hope I'm going to be in there - it doesn't matter where I hit. The lineup worked, so we'll probably do it again."
GUTIERREZ: Anderson owned by Rangers...for now
Texas designated hitter Michael Young, making the first start of his 12-year career in the No. 4 slot, went 3 for 4 with a two-run triple in the sixth.Washington said he got the idea to change the lineup while watching a "Seinfeld" rerun on Monday night."We got on base 18 times," the manager said. "Michael was huge. Beltre was huge with a two-run bomb."Will he come back with the same order for Wednesday's series finale?"I'll see when I'm watching 'Seinfeld'," Washington said.The Rangers are without injured sluggers Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz, and Washington decided to shake things up. He also moved regular No. 9 hitter Julio Borbon into the leadoff position, and normal leadoff man Ian Kinsler into the No. 3 hole.Washington wrote out his 29th different lineup in 37 games this season.
A'S INSIDER NOTES: Bailey getting closer to return
Lewis (3-4) allowed one run and five hits over 7 1-3 innings. He walked one and failed to register a strikeout for the Rangers, who had lost seven of nine and 11 of 15.The right-hander got 16 outs on balls hit in the air and threw a season-high 115 pitches.Oakland's Cliff Pennington homered in the sixth before a 59-minute rain delay, and Conor Jackson added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.The Rangers loaded the bases in the fourth against Anderson on two singles and a walk, and Mike Napoli walked to force in the game's first run. Craig Gentry's two-out single, his first RBI this season and the fifth of his career, made it 2-0.In the fifth, Young doubled and Beltre ripped a 1-1 pitch into the left-field seats for his eighth homer and a 4-0 lead.Anderson allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2-3 innings with five strikeouts and four walks.Anderson had problems gripping the ball, saying after the game that it was like holding "a wet cue ball in the fourth. I had no control over where it was going. It was all over the place. Then I did a pretty good job of correcting it and getting some outs with some good defensive plays behind me, but made a terrible, terrible pitch to Beltre, a fastball middle-up."David Murphy greeted reliever David Purcey with a single and scored on Napoli's double for a 5-0 lead.Pennington's one-out solo homer in the sixth was his third of the season.Lewis remained in the game after the sixth-inning delay, working out of a first-and-third jam when he retired Daric Barton on a lineout and Ryan Sweeney on a popup."He was still feeling good," Washington said. "He wanted to come back out. He came off the field and went back in the cage and kept his arm going. He wanted to save the bullpen, and he did. When he's able to command his fastball, that makes his stuff so much better. He looked good and strong."NOTES: Anderson is 0-3 with an 8.62 ERA in four career road starts against Texas. ... Lewis had his first start without a strikeout since May 22, 2007, while a member of the A's, a string of 37 straight starts. ... CF Leonys Martin, the Cuban defector who signed a five-year, 15.5 million contract with Texas, will report to Double-A Frisco on Thursday. ... Oakland RHP Andrew Bailey, on the 15-day DL all season with a strained right forearm, pitched his first simulated game of the season Tuesday at Rangers Ballpark. Manager Bob Geren said his closer allowed one walk and no hits in 30 pitches to "six or seven hitters. It was decent for his first time out there like that. He threw all his pitches and he was throwing strikes." In Bailey's absence, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour and Brad Ziegler have all registered saves for the A's.

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots

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AP

Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots

MEXICO CITY – The Raiders cornerback David Amerson didn’t practice all week, but ran just well enough to be considered “doubtful” for Sunday’s game against New England.

Translation: Outlook for Sunday is not good, but Jack Del Rio’s fingers remained crossed real, real tight. The Raiders hope there’s a way he can be active against Tom Brady’s buzz saw attack, because their cover men are beat up.

Amerson has missed two straight with a foot injury, and has dealt with injury all year. Gareon Conley’s season officially ended Monday, when he was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Antonio Hamilton and Demetrius McCray were already there.

Reggie McKenzie hasn’t reached out for reinforcements. That leaves TJ Carrie, Dexter McDonald and Sean Smith to play cornerback. Carrie’s been the rock, a sure tackler who hasn’t made spectacular plays but doesn’t give them up. McDonald has been forced into action, with holes let in his game.

Smith should be the No. 1 guy in this group, the steadying presence on the outside. That hasn’t been the case this year, where he lost a starting job in training camp and sub-package snaps during the season, only to have injuries to Conley and Amerson bring him in the fray.

He’s also been dealing with felony assault and battery charges in Los Angeles stemming from a July 4 incident in Pasadena.

Smith has been a lightning rod for fan criticism, a byproduct of his $9.5 million salary this year and explosive plays allowed early in the year.

If there’s an anvil weighing on his mind, teammates insist you’d never know.

“We’re human at the end of the day,” Amerson said. “You feel it, but you have to find a way to remain even keel and professional and do your job well.”

Smith will be counted on heavily Sunday against New England, especially if Amerson can’t play as expected. He has proven vulnerable to speed without help and proper disruption at the line of scrimmage, though that hasn’t been an issue lately because the Utah alum has recovered well after a rough start.

He got pulled after struggling against Vernon Davis in Washington. He didn’t play against the Chargers after giving up two huge plays to Baltimore the week before.

Amerson originally sprained his foot in Week 7 against Kansas City – he hasn’t played since – and Smith was called upon to respond. He wasn’t targeted in that game, and has been strong in coverage ever since.

Smith has allowed three catches for 12 yards in four targets over the last two games. The ninth-year veteran insists he wasn’t doing anything markedly different, and had zero interest in patting himself on the back for recent jobs well done.

“I’m not,” Smith said. “I’m out there doing my job, man, the best way I can.”

Smith says the off-field distractions during a roller-coaster season, one of his career’s most trying yet, haven’t impacted him much

“Nope. Not at all,” Smith said. “As long as I wake up a Raider, I’m all right. I’ll deal with whatever happens. I’ll always be there for my guys, and I’ll do whatever it takes to help our team win.”

Raiders defensive backs laud Smith’s locker room presence, saying he’s an excellent teammate. Cornerbacks in general must have a short memory when things go bad, to refocus and prevent that from happening again. Smith apparently has that in spades.

“I know how things go, especially when you have a target on your back,” Amerson said. “Sometimes you get hit with the perfect pass and you give up some plays. You can’t do anything about that but take advantage of the next opportunity. Sean’s a good player, and he definitely has that mindset.”

Smith will lend experience to this big game, something the Raiders need after suffering so many injuries.

"It sucks that so many of us have gone down,” Smith said. "You want to have all your guys out there, but that’s the NFL. Injuries happen. As long as everybody comes to work and acts like a pro, we’ll be all right. We all have a job to do. We all would like to start, but you have to be ready when your number’s called.”