Sharks

Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays

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Snider's home run sinks A's in 5-3 loss to Jays

April 6, 2011BOXSCORE A'S VIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
TORONTO (AP) -- Dallas Braden isn't panicking about Oakland's poor start to the season.Travis Snider hit a three-run home run, Yunel Escobar had three hits before leaving with an injury and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Braden and the A's 5-3 on Wednesday night.Oakland has lost four of five to star the season and will try to avoid being swept by Toronto Thursday afternoon. The A's visit Minnesota and Chicago before returning home."We have a tough trip obviously but I like the way we've been playing," manager Bob Geren said. "We've been playing a lot better overall, swinging the bats a little better. The starting pitching has been fantastic."Still, some victories would be nice.RATTO: New challenge for A's -- expectations
"Hopefully we'll put all three facets of the game together (Thursday)," outfielder Josh Willingham said. "We need to get a win this series, for sure."Braden (0-1), who allowed 10 hits and five runs in seven-plus innings, understands there's plenty of time to right the ship."There's always room for improvement," Braden said. "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."Jesse Litsch pitched 6 1-3 innings for his first win since July 20 and Jon Rauch got two outs for his first save as the Blue Jays won for the eighth time in 11 games against the A's.Starting for the first time since Aug. 1, 2010, Litsch allowed three runs and six hits, walked two and struck out a career-high seven. Litsch missed the end of last season after undergoing hip surgery.Oakland, which came in with a major league high nine errors through four games, didn't make another miscue but did misplay two balls. Escobar was involved both times, picking up a single after third baseman Andy LaRoche couldn't handle his grounder in the first, and a triple on a ball that eluded right fielder David DeJesus in the fifth.
NEWS: Ross called up, Wuertz to DL
Escobar was shaken up after sliding face first into LaRoche's leg on his triple, laying on the ground and being tended to by the trainer before getting up. Escobar ran the bases and played defense in the sixth but was replaced by John McDonald in the seventh after complaining of dizziness."We're hopeful and at least cautiously optimistic at this point that we're not entertaining something like (a concussion)," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.Adam Lind's RBI double in the first gave Toronto an early lead, but Oakland's Hideki Matsui answered with a two-run double in the fourth.After Juan Rivera walked and Edwin Encarnacion singled, Snider restored Toronto's advantage with a booming drive to right in the bottom half, his first."I left one pitch north of the border and it ended up further north of the border," Braden said. "That's how that goes."RELATED: MLB standings scoreboard
The Athletics got one back in the fifth when Coco Crisp hit a two-out triple and scored on Daric Barton's single.Toronto chased Braden in the eighth when McDonald led off with an infield single and Lind followed with a ground-rule double. Brad Ziegler came on and gave up an RBI single to Aaron Hill but escaped further damage by striking out Rivera and getting Encarnacion to ground into a double play.Braden walked one and struck out three.NOTES: Toronto LHP Ricky Romero (1-0) faces Oakland RHP Trevor Cahill (0-0) on Thursday. ... Oakland placed RHP Michael Wuertz (strained left hamstring) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Tyson Ross from Triple-A Sacramento ... Athletics 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff, who made an error and misplayed two balls in Tuesday's loss, was held out of the starting lineup but pinch hit in the seventh. ... Oakland RHP Rich Harden (right shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Thursday. ... A's LHP Brian Fuentes, out since Apr. 2 with a sore finger, threw before the game and declared himself ready to return.

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

Sharks dominate Ducks for two wins in two nights

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM -- Mikkel Boedker had two goals and an assist, Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist, and the San Jose Sharks beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-2 on Sunday night.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Aaron Dell stopped 33 shots.

Rickard Rakell and Ryan Getzlaf scored for Anaheim. John Gibson stopped only 17 of 22 shots and was replaced after giving up his fifth goal. Anaheim had a four-game home winning streak snapped.

Four goals came in the third period. First, Anaheim pulled within one when Ondrej Kase stole the puck from behind the net and quickly fed Getzlaf, who fired it past Dell.

One minute later, the Sharks answered when Thornton's slap shot went in.

Boedker's second goal gave San Joe a 5-2 lead, and Karlsson's goal on goalie Ryan Miller made it a runaway.

The Ducks first found the net in the final minute of the second period, but that took a two-man advantage and a bit of luck.

Rakell was camped a few feet below the crease when he snapped a shot. San Jose's Justin Braun stuck out a stick, but it deflected the puck off the back of Dell's arm and into the net.

It was Rakell's team-high 17th goal this season.

San Jose appeared to take a commanding 3-0 lead on a power play in the second period. Boedker fired a shot from the top of the right circle that whistled past Gibson.

The Sharks took a 2-0 lead early in the second period when Anaheim's No.1 line turned the puck over. Thornton snapped it out to Labanc, who popped free for a breakaway. He beat Gibson on his short side for his fifth goal.

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a nifty give-and-go when Tomas Hertl skated down the far side and sent a pass through the legs of Anaheim's Brandon Montour and right to Vlasic in front of the net.

Vlasic snapped it past Gibson for his seventh goal of the season.

UP NEXT

Sharks: Return to San Jose on Tuesday night to play the Jets.

Ducks: Remain at home to play the Rangers on Tuesday night.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

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USATSI

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.