McCarthy lit up for seven; Angels top A's again


McCarthy lit up for seven; Angels top A's again


ANAHEIM - The A's had two players hurt on the same third-inning play, losing the red-hot Coco Crisp to a tight left quad, and then lost the game, 8-3 to the Los Angeles Angels and a rookie pitcher Tuesday night.The A's (11-13) have now dropped the first two games of a series for the fifth time in eight series this season.The Angels (14-10) pounded out five extra-base hits off Brandon McCarthy, 14 hits total, in his season-low 5 13 innings. In his previous four starts, the right-hander had given up a total of 27 hits.The 14 hits McCarthy surrendered were the most allowed by an A's starter since Barry Zito gave up 15 hits to Tampa Bay on July 8, 2003 in Oakland.McCarthy (1-2) was charged with seven runs while striking out three, walking one and uncorking two wild pitches."Too many hits, too many runs," McCarthy said. "A lot of infield singles, just some things that were tough to work throughI just kind of compounded the problems there."A lot of it with two outs, a lot of it with two strikes. That's just unacceptablea lack of sharpness for the most part."Angels right-hander Tyler Chatwood (2-1) also went 5 13 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, one strikeout and four walks.The Angels got to McCarthy with two runs in the second inning.With two out, Howie Kendrick at third base and Peter Bourjos at first, Alexi Amarista, making his big league debut, doubled into the left-field corner. Bourjos, running on the pitch, scored standing up and the Angels had a two-run lead.But the A's answered in the third.David DeJesus' fielder's choice scored Kevin Kouzmanoff, who had walked to lead off the inning. One batter later, Conor Jackson turned on a Chatwood fastball and drove it into the left-field seats for a two-out, two-run homer. It was Jackson's first home run of the season, and it gave the A's a 3-2 lead.McCarthy, though, gave it all back immediately.
GUTIERREZ: Not even Crisp can outrun A's injury bug
"Seems like like we were right there putting it on them," Jackson said. "Then they came back and scored a couple of runs and it's kind of deflatingwe just couldn't match them tonight."A lead-off single by Bobby Abreu was followed by a double from Torii Hunter and then a McCarthy wild pitch that allowed Abreu to scamper home to tie the score.A Vernon Wells single off McCarthy's hand scored Hunter and Hank Conger's flare single to right brought in Kendrick, who had again doubled.The Angels added two more with two out in the fifth.Kendrick singled to left and came around on Conger's double off the right-field wall. A's second baseman Mark Ellis might have had a play on Kendrick at the plate, but right fielder Ryan Sweeney did not throw to the cut-off man, instead throwing to second in trying unsuccessfully to get Conger.One pitch later, Bourjos hit a stand-up triple to right-center and the Angels led 7-3 and aedd another run in the eighth after Bourjos' second triple was followed by an Amarista sac fly to center.For the A's, clean-up hitter Josh Willingham did not play after leaving Monday night's series opener with back stiffness.
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Crisp pulled up lame in his second at-bat, beating out an attempted 6-4-3 double-play, but Cliff Pennington has his left hand stepped on by Angels second baseman Alexi Amarista sliding into second on the play. Pennington played on, with the hand heavily taped."Same thing happened to the other hand last year, diving back to first on a pick-off play," Pennington said. "I guess I just have to keep my hands away from people's feet."It wasn't feeling super-great, but it didn't affect me (in the game).A's manager Bob Geren said Crisp was "day-to-day but probably doubtful for tomorrow."

Raiders counting heavily on lightning rod CB against Patriots


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


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.