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Matsui gets first spring hit, A's lose 6-3 to Mariners

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Matsui gets first spring hit, A's lose 6-3 to Mariners

March 7, 2011BOXSCORE A'SVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD

PHOENIX (AP) Mariners ace Felix Hernandez was fortunate to get through his first batter of spring training.Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, shook off a line drive by A's leadoff hitter David DeJesus that just missed hitting him in the head.He stayed in the game and struck out three in 2 2-3 innings of his spring debut and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Monday.NEWS: A's owner Wolff waits for commissioner's call
"It was fun," Hernandez said. "It's been a while since I pitched in a big league game, but I feel pretty good. I was down in the zone, throwing a lot of strikes."Hernandez allowed a run and five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He threw 53 pitches and had a quick chat with DeJesus while walking back to the dugout after the first inning."I was like 'Whoa, first game, man, you're gonna do that?'" Hernandez said he told DeJesus in jest. "It was scary."Hernandez, who will pitch every five days throughout the rest of spring training, was lifted after giving up a run on Kevin Kouzmanoff's two-out single in the third and walking the last batter he faced.Chris Gimenez drove in two runs and Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Wilson and Brendan Ryan each had an RBI for the Mariners.Right-hander Michael Pineda, a prized rookie who's a strong candidate for the Seattle starting rotation, pitched two scoreless innings with two walks and a strikeout.He threw 40 pitches, 23 for strikes."It's a little difficult (pitching after Hernandez) because he's nasty," Pineda said. "I'm working on the mound. I threw the ball inside, outside. It's OK."For the A's, Kouzmanoff had two hits and is batting .500 in spring games (6 for 12). Hideki Matsui blooped a single in the first inning for his first hit of spring training (1 for 11), Andy LaRoche hit a two-run home run and starting pitcher Guillermo Moscoso allowed one earned run in three innings with two strikeouts."He had a good changeup, good fastball, good control," A's manager Bob Geren said of Moscoso, who is competing for a spot in the rotation.Notes: Mariners C Miguel Olivo's MRI on Sunday revealed a strained abductor muscle, and no timetable has been set for his return. Olivo was injured while running from third base to home on a sacrifice fly on Saturday. Olivo was scheduled to be Seattle's starting catcher after signing as a free agent in the offseason. ... C Adam Moore, among those who could get more playing time with Olivo out, was scratched from the starting lineup for Monday's game and sent home due to illness. Gimenez replaced Moore. ... A's RHP Joey Devine walked four of the five hitters he faced. ... Pitchers Craig Breslow and Andrew Bailey threw batting practice Monday. Breslow was limited with a tight hamstring and Bailey is expected to pitch in a game Thursday.

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

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USATSI

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

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AP

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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