A's beat White Sox 8-3 behind Cahill's strong start


A's beat White Sox 8-3 behind Cahill's strong start

PHOENIX (AP) White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen thinks Jake Peavy is on track to start the season in the big leagues.Peavy, in his fourth start following shoulder surgery in July, had his longest outing of spring training, pitching into the sixth inning of the White Sox's 8-3 loss to Oakland Athletics on Saturday.
He gave up seven hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings. Peavy walked none and struck out three.Guillen said Peavy "is making a lot of progress. He threw very well. If everything goes the way it has gone so far, he'll be on the ballclub" for opening day.Peavy threw 83 pitches, striking out the last two batters he faced. A stomach virus almost forced him to scratch his start, but he was pleased with the effort."The strength is starting to come back. All in all, I feel good," Peavy said. "We got through it."His big mistake was an opposite-field two-run homer to Ryan Sweeney in the third inning on a 3-1 pitch.Sweeney has played in just five games so far. The A's outfielder has been eased back into action after a knee injury ended his season last July."My swing feels comfortable right now," Sweeney said. "I'm trying to be more aggressive with the hitter's count. I didn't know if I got it or not, but I heard the crowd's reaction."Trevor Cahill took a shutout into the seventh inning for the A's. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three in 6 1-3 innings. His previous longest outing was four innings, and this one reduced his spring ERA from 7.59 to 5.29."My changeup was a lot better," Cahill said. "I've been throwing it more and more. It's a 'feel' pitch."Cahill, in his fifth spring start, gave up four hits and one run. He walked one and struck out three in 6 1-3 innings. His previous longest outing was four innings.The right-hander, who was 18-8 with a 2.79 ERA last season, said he was glad for the extended work on Saturday.He gave up just three singles in the first six innings, then Adam Dunn's ground-rule double leading off the seventh. After Alexei Ramirez grounded out, Guillermo Moscoso relieved Cahill. Dunn scored on A.J. Pierzynski's groundout for Chicago's first run.NOTES: The A's acquired Sweeney from the White Sox in the 2008 deal that sent Nick Swisher to Chicago. ... The attendance was 8,091, a sellout at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. ... Oakland CF Coco Crisp sat out with a tight hamstring. ... The White Sox and A's also played Friday in Glendale, with Chicago winning 18-1.

Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game


Joerger shakes things up, Cauley-Stein responds with big game

SACRAMENTO -- Faced with demotion, you have two options, sulk or come out swinging. Willie Cauley-Stein chose option two Friday evening at Golden 1 Center.

After starting all 14 games to begin the season, Cauley-Stein found himself relegated to the second unit against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 7-footer looked energized by the move and made one play after another as the Kings came away with the 86-82 victory.

“I felt free - period,” Cauley-Stein said following the win. “Both offensively, defensively. I’m quarterbacking on defense. I’m getting to make plays on offense. I just feel liberated. I feel like it’s unlocking.”

The third-year big began the 2017-18 campaign with back-to-back double-doubles, but hadn’t notched double-figures in rebounds since. Over his previous eight games, the Kings’ starting center was averaging just 4.3 boards per game.

Against Portland, Cauley-Stein played sparkling defense, hit 9-of-17 from the floor for a team-high 22 points and hit the glass for 10 boards. He skied above the Blazers bigs for a rebound with 3.4 seconds remaining and his second free throw attempt sealed the win for a Kings team in desperate need of a win.

“Willie’s a hell of a player, obviously,” veteran big Kosta Koufos said. “He’s really athletic, he’s a special talent.”

Koufos and Cauley-Stein made a devastating defensive duo for Sacramento. Both bigs showed on the high pick-and-roll and avoided fouling the Blazers high-powered guards.

“That’s a crazy defensive lineup right there, me and Kosta play really well together,” Cauley-Stein said. “I’ve been waiting for that lineup since we started.”

Damian Lillard scored 29 points, but he shot just 9-of-25 from the field and 5-for-14 from long range. C.J. McCollum knocked down 8-of-15 from the floor, but he missed all four of his 3-point attempts as Sacramento closed out and pressured the shooter all night long.

Cauley-Stein wasn’t the only starter to find himself on the bench to start the game. Dave Joerger turned to a dual point guard backcourt, using De’Aaron Fox and George Hill side-by-side, while bringing rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic in with the second unit.

Playing off the ball for long stretches, Hill responded to the move with 14 points and five assists in 27 minutes. Fox had a quiet offensive night, but his defense on both Lillard and McCollum was inspired.

“We can both attack and he’s a great shooter so that really helps me,” Fox said of Hill. “He’s a mentor on the court. It’s a lot easier to play with him then to watch him play.”

Sacramento held Portland to just 37 percent shooting overall and 28 percent from behind the arc. They pressured the Blazers in the backcourt and slowed the game to screeching halt.

With the win, the Kings snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 4-11 on the season. They jumped a plane for Portland following the game where they’ll face the same Trail Blazer team Saturday in a rare back-to-back against the same team.

The Kings likely be without the services of shooting guard Buddy Hield, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Hield limped into the locker room on crutches following the victory and the initial indications point to him missing the rematch.

A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach


A's hire Matt Williams as third base coach

OAKLANDThe Oakland A’s named Matt Williams as third base coach on Bob Melvin’s coaching staff for the 2018 season, the club announced today.

Williams spent five seasons on the Arizona Diamondbacks coaching staff as first base coach (2010) and third base coach (2011-13, 16) and also managed the Washington Nationals for two seasons.  He was named National League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA in his first season as manager in 2014, guiding the Nationals to a 96-66 record and an NL East title.  He went 83-79 in 2015 for a 179-145 (.552) record in two seasons as manager.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors with San Francisco (1987-96), Cleveland (1997) and Arizona (1998-2003).  He was a .268 career hitter with 378 home runs and 1218 RBI in 1866 games.  Williams was a five-time All-Star and won four Gold Gloves as a third baseman.

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