A's look to salvage a game in Toronto


A's look to salvage a game in Toronto

April 7, 2011

A's (1-4) vs.

TORONTO (AP) -- Ricky Romero and Trevor Cahill each had an impressive second season in the majors in 2010.

While Romero seemed to pick up right where he left off in his 2011 debut, Cahill wasn't quite as sharp.

These promising pitchers square off Thursday, with Romero looking to continue his success against the Oakland Athletics while Cahill tries to prevent the Toronto Blue Jays from completing a three-game sweep.

Romero (1-0, 1.42 ERA) went 14-9 with a 3.73 ERA last year and didn't seem to miss a beat during Friday's 13-3 season-opening win over Minnesota. He allowed seven hits and three runs - one earned - with seven strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings.

"He got strikeouts, swings and misses," catcher J.P. Arencibia said. "You have to really respect his fastball because he can get to the mid-90s and then he's got that devastating changeup. It's kind of the equalizer."

The left-hander has won all three starts he's made against Oakland while posting a 2.25 ERA. No current member of the Athletics has ever homered against Romero.

Cahill (0-0, 1.93), meanwhile, earned the opening-day start for Oakland (1-4) after going 18-8 with a 2.97 ERA in his second major league season.

The right-hander, though, struggled in Friday's 6-2 loss to Seattle, allowing four hits and four walks while surrendering one run in just 4 2-3 innings. He failed to last at least five innings just twice in 30 starts last year.

Cahill, a 2010 All-Star who finished the year fourth in the AL in ERA, is 0-2 with an 8.04 ERA in three lifetime starts against Toronto (4-1).

After escaping with a 7-6 win Tuesday thanks to shortstop Yunel Escobar's two-run homer in the 10th inning, the Blue Jays beat the Athletics 5-3 on Wednesday night.

REWIND: Snider's home run sinks A's in loss to Blue Jays

Oakland, which committed the fifth-fewest errors in the AL last season (99), had recorded a major league-worst nine in the first four games before cleaning up its play Wednesday.

"There's always room for improvement," said Dallas Braden, the losing pitcher Wednesday. "But I don't feel like we're so down and out or at the bottom of the barrel or anything like that. I don't have that sense at all about this team. For game five to feel like we're behind the 8-ball or feel like we're not doing our best, I think it's a little early."

Escobar went 3 for 3 before leaving with dizzinesses and outfielder Travis Snider hit a three-run homer for Toronto, which was playing without 2010 home run leader Jose Bautista for the second consecutive game due to the birth of a child.

Bautista, who hit 54 homers last season, is unlikely to play Thursday. Escobar's status is unknown.

"We're hopeful and at least cautiously optimistic at this point that we're not entertaining something like (a concussion)," manager John Farrell said of Escobar, who left the game after sliding face first into third baseman Andy LaRoche's leg on a triple.

The Blue Jays have taken 11 of 13 from the Athletics at Rogers Centre while outscoring them 71-40. Toronto collected 11 hits Wednesday and is hitting .311 as a team.

Toronto won four of the seven meetings between these clubs last season. ... Oakland's starting pitchers have posted a 1.53 ERA (317.2) in the team's first three games of the season, but its relievers have struggled out of the gate, allowing six earned runs in 9.1 innings (5.79 ERA). ... Toronto leads the American League in OBP (.397). The Blue Jays were 12th in the A.L. in that category last season (.312). ... Brandon McCarthy will be making his first major-league appearance since October 2, 2009, having missed the 2010 season following shoulder surgery. He has won his last two starts against Toronto, allowing four runs in 12.1 innings. ... J.P. Arencibia leads all rookies with two home runs and five runs batted in. The only other rookie with a homer so far this season is San Francisco's Brandon Belt (1). ... Jo-Jo Reyes is winless in his last 21 appearances in the majors (0-9). His last victory came back on June 13, 2008 in a 5-2 decision over the Angels.

Instant Analysis: Cowboys hand 49ers worst loss in four-year history of Levi's


Instant Analysis: Cowboys hand 49ers worst loss in four-year history of Levi's


SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ streak of consecutive close losses came to an end on Sunday.

No, the 49ers did not pick up their first victory of the season. Rather, the Dallas Cowboys blew out the hapless 49ers on Dwight Clark Day at Levi’s Stadium.

After their NFL-record streak of five straight defeats by three points or fewer, the 49ers were dealt an embarrassing 40-10 loss to drop their record under first-year coach Kyle Shanahan to 0-7.

It was the worst loss in the four-season history of Levi’s Stadium. The previous-worst defeat for the 49ers since the move from Candlestick Park was a 41-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints last season. The 49ers have lost 10 consecutive home games over the past two seasons.

The 49ers and Cleveland Browns, also 0-7, are the only winless teams remaining in the league.

The poor showing – and inability to slow down Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott – put a damper on a festive day for the 49ers, as Clark was recognized for his contributions to the dynasty of the 1980s.

Clark, whose leaping 6-yard touchdown catch in the NFC Championship game against the Cowboys, catapulted the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. Now 60, Clark is battling ALS. He delivered remarks to his former teammates and the crowd during a halftime ceremony.

But when the second half opened, Elliott had a 72-yard touchdown reception from Dak Prescott to give Dallas a 27-3 lead. Elliott had a big day against the 49ers, as he also rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 26 rushing attempts.

The Cowboys did not need much of an opening, but they took advantage of some critical 49ers miscues in the first quarter.

After the 49ers’ defense forced a three-and-out on the opening drive with DeForest Buckner swatting down two passes at the line of scrimmage, rookie Trent Taylor gave it right back when he fumbled a punt.

The Cowboys took over and drove 20 yards on three plays with Elliott scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run.

On Dallas’ next possession, 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson surrendered 17 yards on a pass-interference penalty. Then, Robinson’s illegal contract penalty nullified a 15-yard loss for intentional grounding.

Elliott, again, wasted little time as he scored on a 25-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys a 14-0 lead with 7:57 remaining in the first quarter.

Rookie C.J. Beathard was beat up in his first NFL start after taking over for struggling veteran Brian Hoyer last week.

Beathard, a third-round draft pick from Iowa, completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Beathard also rushed five times for 30 yards and touchdown.

But Beathard was under constant harassment, as he was also sacked five times for minus-48 yards and lost two fumbles.

Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster started as he made his first appearance since the opening game of the season, when he sustained a high right ankle sprain. But Foster exited in the third quarter with a ribs injury to his right side.

Foster recorded five tackles, including one for a loss, in his most extensive playing time of the season.

Right tackle Trent Brown left the game in the second half and was diagnosed with a concussion. Brown was pass through the NFL’s concussion protocol in order to be cleared for the 49ers’ game next Sunday at the Philadelphia Eagles.


--Fullback Kyle Juszczyk (back) and pass-rusher Aaron Lynch (calf) were among the 49ers’ seven inactive players.

--Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who came into the game with a league-leading 8.5 sacks, moved to the other side of the line and beat left tackle Joe Staley for a sack-strip to thwart a 49ers scoring chance late in the first half.

Earthquakes secure spot in playoffs with clutch goal in stoppage time

Earthquakes secure spot in playoffs with clutch goal in stoppage time


SAN JOSE — Marco Urena scored in the third minute of stoppage time and the San Jose Earthquakes secured a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory over Minnesota United on Sunday in their regular-season finale.

San Jose (13-14-7) needed a win for the final spot in the Western Conference after FC Dallas' 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy. It's an unexpected run for the Earthquakes, who fired coach Dominic Kinnear midway through the season.

In the build-up to the winner, San Jose goalkeeper Andrew Tarbell sent a long ball that was chested by Victor Bernardez and headed to Quincy Amarikwa inside the 18-yard box. Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth pushed Amarikwa's shot wide but San Jose star Chris Wondolowski chased it down for a feed to an open Urena in front of goal.

The Earthquakes have won seven of their last nine home games — with every win coming by one goal.

Wondolowski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead in the 55th with an easy redirection of Danny Hoesen cross at the back post.

Minnesota (10-18-6), which has lost nine of its last 12 road games, tied it at 2 in the 81st on Francisco Calvo's header off the crossbar.