Raiders

Happy birthday Willie -- Giants walk off on Rox

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Happy birthday Willie -- Giants walk off on Rox

May 6, 2011BOX SCORE GIANTS POSTGAME VIDEOMLB PAGE MLB SCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) A birthday tribute and a little icing on the cake, too.The Say Hey Kid couldn't have had a better night at the ballpark.
URBAN: Mays' sixth tool was joy
Freddy Sanchez singled home the winning run off Felipe Paulino in the ninth inning, giving the Giants a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on a Friday night when San Francisco celebrated Willie Mays' 80th birthday.Sanchez's line drive up the middle against Paulino (0-2) scored Cody Ross from second and sent the Giants pouring out of the dugout, delighting a roaring crowd that came to toast Mays on a chilly, breezy night along San Francisco Bay."Happy birthday, Willie!" Ross said. "This is your birthday present."Nate Schierholtz tied it with a two-run double in the eighth in a gritty at-bat against Rafael Betancourt, setting the stage for some of that postseason magic from a year ago that's been missing this young season for the World Series champions.Brian Wilson (1-1) pitched the ninth before Ross led off the bottom of the inning with a double down the right-field line. Paulino struck out Aaron Rowand before Sanchez capped San Francisco's comeback from a 3-0 deficit with another strong at-bat on a night full of them."It was a great win for us. A lot of guys came through in some big situations," Sanchez said.The Giants put the exclamation point on a night dedicated to the franchise's most famous star.They honored Mays before the game with a video tribute that included everyone from Hank Aaron to former President Bill Clinton and singer Tony Bennett. A congratulatory letter from President Barack Obama also was read and several of the Hall of Famer's former teammates were alongside him in the infield for the celebration.Colorado nearly crashed the party.Troy Tulowitzki started things off for the Rockies with his 100th career home run in the second inning, a solo shot off Matt Cain. Jonathan Herrera had an RBI single and Carlos Gonzalez added a sacrifice fly in the third to give Colorado a 3-0 lead."We didn't do anything to lose the game. They just came back and won it," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "They had some good luck in my opinion with some well-placed hits."The early lead appeared to be enough, with starter Ubaldo Jimenez back to throwing a wicked breaking ball that was at times dominant. Yet he was still puzzling other times, walking five, and departed after throwing 118 pitches in six innings.Jimenez, whose only run allowed came on a RBI groundout by Buster Posey in the sixth, has been searching for his command after spending time on the disabled list with a cracked cuticle on his pitching thumb. And while his performance offered a glimmer of hope for the Rockies ace, the inconsistency was a reminder he still isn't back to his form from a year ago - when he was 15-1 by the time he took the mound as the National League starter for the All-Star game."I was more confident and felt more comfortable," said Jimenez, who's still searching for his first win this season. "I felt like I was more consistent with my delivery."His bullpen just couldn't hold it.Posey singled and Pat Burrell later doubled with two outs off Betancourt in the eighth. Schierholtz knocked a double down the line past diving third baseman Ian Stewart that tied it 3-all, giving the Giants a chance to deliver a win on a night that was special for so many other reasons."It was nice to see Willie out there with his friends," manager Bruce Bochy said. "And it's nice to hand him a birthday present."NOTES: The Rockies are planning to start RHP Clayton Mortensen on Saturday in place of Esmil Rogers, Tracy said. Rogers is dealing with lateral discomfort and could miss more than one start. The team will announce a move before Saturday's game to clear space for Mortensen. ... Giants LHP Barry Zito (sprained right foot) threw on flat ground from about 60 feet. He will be evaluated by a doctor Saturday. ... Giants CF Andres Torres (strained left Achilles' tendon) will remain on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno through Sunday. ... Giants reliever Santiago Casilla threw a bullpen session and will likely face hitters in a simulated game Sunday. ... Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval (broken bone in right wrist) said he will have his hard cast removed next week and replaced with a removable cast. He is optimistic he will be back in the lineup on schedule within six weeks.

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.”

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

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USATSI

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

Kevin Durant doesn't take it easy on anyone. Not even the children of teammate Zaza Pachulia.

After practice on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pachulia's two sons, Davit and Saba, were playing one-on-one at the facility the Warriors were using. Kevin Durant filmed one sequence and posted it to his Instagram Story.

One of Pachulia's sons grabbed the ball and drives around the other without dribbling. As he makes the shot, Durant offers his commentary and took a shot at the Warriors starting center.

"That's a travel. Such a travel. Same thing your pops do," Durant said, taking a shot at Pachulia.

Durant also had another message for Pachulia written on the video.

"Yo, @zazapachulia at some you have to teach the boys how to play off the bounce," Durant wrote.