A's offense looks to remain hot vs. Lackey, Sox


A's offense looks to remain hot vs. Lackey, Sox

April 19, 2011

BOSTON (5-10) vs.
A's (8-8)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on CSN Plus

OAKLAND (AP) -- The Oakland Athletics' offense has stepped up over the last two games, and John Lackey looks to slow it down - much like he has throughout his career.

Lackey takes the mound Tuesday night when the Boston Red Sox visit Oakland to start a two-game set.

NEWS: Spotlight on the Red Sox

The right-hander has beaten the Athletics more than any other team, going 17-5 with a 2.90 ERA in 31 career starts.

However, Lackey (1-1 15.58 ERA) struggled in his first two starts of 2011, allowing 15 runs in 8 2-3 innings. He gave up six runs in five innings April 8 in Boston's 9-6 win against the New York Yankees, and manager Terry Francona opted to skip his turn in the rotation after Thursday's game against Tampa Bay was rained out.

Opponents are hitting .395 against Lackey, but pitching coach Curt Young believes he'll be ready to go despite the long layoff.

"He's a guy that has great command, great aptitude for pitching, and like I said, he knows Tuesday will be here in a hurry," Young told "Ten days feels like a long time when you're a starting pitcher like that, but he's a guy that has such great command, I don't think there should be any issues."

The Red Sox (5-10) will be looking for their fourth straight victory after beating Toronto 9-1 on Monday in their best offensive performance of the season. Boston pounded out a season-high 13 hits, led by Jed Lowrie's 4-for-5, four-RBI outing.

NEWS: MLB standings

Lowrie, who is 8 for 14 with two homers and seven RBIs during Boston's win streak after being inserted into the starting lineup, downplayed his torrid hitting.

"You don't think about it," said Lowrie, who is 9 for 28 (.321) with 10 RBIs lifetime versus the A's. "You just continue to do what you're doing and go out there and just let it happen."

Oakland (8-8) got a boost from its offense over the weekend, scoring 11 runs in victories Saturday and Sunday against Detroit.

Josh Willingham drove in two runs and Mark Ellis doubled twice in Sunday's 5-1 win, giving the Athletics two straight home wins after losing four of their first five in Oakland.

REWIND: Cahill dominant for A's in win over Tigers

"Big offense, up and down the lineup," manager Bob Geren said. "Great win going into the off-day. Just a nice way to finish off the weekend."

However, the offense has provided little for left-hander Brett Anderson (0-1, 2.29 ERA) in his three starts, giving him three total runs of support in his 19 2-3 innings pitched. He allowed three runs in 5 2-3 innings against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday and left trailing 3-1 before Oakland rallied for a 7-4, 10-inning win.
REWIND: Stunning late rally lifst A's over White Sox

Anderson has been solid versus Boston, going 3-1, 2.61 ERA lifetime. After losing his first career start against the Red Sox, he's 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA and 24 strikeouts in the last four.

Anderson and Lackey faced each other Sept. 11, with Anderson earning a 4-3 victory. Lackey allowed three runs in seven innings, while Anderson also pitched seven and yielded two.

Oakland has won four of the last five meetings.

How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League


How seven Giants prospects performed in the 2017 Arizona Fall League

The Arizona Fall League came to an end for seven Giants prospects on Thursday as the Scottsdale Scorpions (12-17-1) came up short from playing in Saturday's championship game. 

Let's take a look at how these seven names fared against some of the top young talent in all of baseball. 

The Hitters

As the Giants are linked to trade targets in center field like Billy Hamilton and Jackie Bradley Jr., a young in-house option only helped his case in the desert.

Steven Duggar likely would have seen the AT&T outfield this season, but his season was hindered by injuries, keeping him to only 44 games between three levels. With the Scorpions, Duggar took advantage of his opportunity with more at-bats. 

Duggar left Arizona with a .263/.367/.421 slash line over 20 games. The speedy lefty also stole nine bases and hit three home runs. Even if the Giants go for an experienced glove in center field this offseason and keep Duggar, the 24-year-old has also played 135 games in right field during his minor league career. 

For the second straight year, the Giants sent catcher Aramis Garcia to the AFL. And he's sure to be coming home much happier this go around with an up-and-down campaign.

Splitting time behind the plate with three other catchers, Garcia appeared in 13 games and slashed .259/.293/.333 and hit one home run. Garcia struggled to get one base with only one walk to 10 strikeouts, but showed his natural ability to drive runs in with 10 RBI. 

Rounding out the Giants' trio of bats they sent to Arizona is arguably their top prospect, but his time in the AFL was cut short. Chris Shaw only played in five games and hit .158. He dealt with a sore shoulder.

The Pitchers

The Giants sent two starting pitchers (Tyler Beede and Joan Gregorio) and two relievers (Tyler Cyr and D.J. Snelten) to the AFL. 

Pitching for the first time in nearly three months, Beede showed exactly why he's the Giants' top pitching prospect. Beede went 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts, but his final three show the potential he's full of -- 14 innings pitched, three earned runs, a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts and only one walk. 

Gregorio, who was suspended this season for Performance Enhancing Drugs, pitched in eight games (three starts) for Scottsdale. He left with a 1-0 record and 5.87 ERA. In Triple-A, Gregorio went 4-4 with a 3.04 ERA this year over 13 starts. The 25-year-old presents an interesting arm that can help sooner than later in the bullpen. 

Cyr's stats don't look pretty (0-1, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP), but he's catching some attention. The right-hander was named to the Fall Stars Game and is most likely to start 2018 in Triple-A after converting 18 saves at Double-A in 2017. 

Snelten, a 6-foot-7 lefty, impressed in eight appearances out of the bullpen. He didn't allow an earned run until his final outing of the fall, bringing his ERA from a perfect 0.00 to 2.25 in 12 innings pitched.

After combining for a 2.20 ERA to go with an 8-1 record between Double-A and Triple-A in 2017, Snelten is a name to know as the Giants look to find more lefties for their bullpen.

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.