8:43 PM EDT, Sun August 20, 2017
1 hour ago

Giants officially eliminated from the NL West after blowing late lead

The word "spoiler" usually does not enter the baseball conversation in August. Then again, this is not a normal season. So this is where the Giants have landed. With Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Phillies, the Giants were mathematically eliminated from the National League West "race." No team likes to see that notation in the standings, especially for six weeks. The Giants took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, when Hunter Strickland, who had settled nicely into that setup role, allowed three runs on five straight singles. Pedro Florimon's two-run hit to right scored...
3 hours ago

Astros’ errors, nice work by Jharel Cotton spur A’s win

HOUSTON - The A’s will take what they can get against the Astros, and if it’s runs gifted via mistakes, that’s swell. Oakland, dominated for the past year by Houston, scored two runs Sunday when the Astros made two errors on one play and also scored on a passed ball, accounting for all the A’s runs in a 3-2 win over the AL West leaders. Houston had won 19 of the previous 21 games between the teams, including 12 of 14 this season. Boog Powell, leading off for the second time since coming over from Seattle in exchange for Yonder Alonso, singled to...
5 hours ago

Giants’ Panik ahead of Belt in concussion recoveries

In the "race" between the two right-side infielders to return from concussions, Joe Panik is many furlongs ahead of Brandon Belt. Panik ran sprints on the field and took 50 swings off a tee and soft-toss from a coach Sunday and said if he feels well enough Monday he will take batting practice on the field. Belt remains tethered to the gym, just beginning to do as much cardio work he can tolerate. "With Belt, the best way I can describe it is, he's doing OK," manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's doing cardio up to the point he needs to stop. He's...
6 hours ago

A’s Bruce Maxwell held out aftter fall ball off the mask

HOUSTON - Catcher Bruce Maxwell was held out of the A’s lineup Sunday at Minute Maid Park as a precaution after taking a foul ball of the mask the night before. Maxwell said that he felt a little bit out of it Saturday, didn’t sleep well after the game and was feeling sluggish Sunday morning. “He took a shot to the mask again,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s taken quite a few of these. No concussion symptoms, certainly no concussions, but with a day game, we’re trying to be proactive. If he took another one today, there’s a potential for...
17 hours ago

49ers QB Hoyer on gaffe: ‘It’s the worst feeling’

The 49ers had five turnovers Saturday night, but the giveaway that provided the defining moment in a 33-14 preseason loss to the Broncos is clear. Late in the first quarter, quarterback Brian Hoyer dropped back, cocked his arm to rip a downfield pass to wideout Jeremy Kerley and … had the ball slip from his grasp and fall behind him as he finished his throwing motion. The Broncos recovered tyhe loose ball. “I went to throw it, and I was going to throw it hard, and, literally, I think my arm even went forward and then I’m looking around, like, ‘What...
19 hours ago

Raiders’ starting offense mostly click in loss to Rams

It was Derek Carr’s first game since he broke his leg here, at the Oakland Coliseum, last December. But more important, Saturday night was the Raiders quarterback’s first NFL game without his personal bodyguard, 6-foot-4, 315-pound left tackle Donald Penn. Penn is holding out for more money — Saturday marked Day 23 — and Raiders fans held their breath every time Carr went back to pass. But the offensive line held up fine and Carr threw two touchdown passes in the 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Oakland’s second preseason game. The 19-yard...
19 hours ago

49ers lose a laugher thanks to comedy of offensive errors

First, Brian Hoyer stumbled, and then he fumbled, and his consecutive-play blooper reel neatly captured a disastrous performance for the 49ers’ first-team offense Saturday night. In a 33-14 preseason loss to the Broncos, the 49ers quarterback directed an attack that left Levi’s Stadium aghast. The results of the four first-half drives by the 49ers’ offensive starters: punt (three-and-out), fumble, interception and fumble. It couldn’t have been any worse. Or maybe it could have? The 49ers, after all,...
20 hours ago

49ers stand for anthem after Lynch clarifies comments

A day after general manager John Lynch said he regretted how he explained his stance on national-anthem protests, the 49ers didn’t have a player kneel or raise a fist during “The Star Spangled Banner” before Saturday’s preseason game against Denver. As they did in their preseason opener, many of the 49ers stood with the right hand over their chest. On Friday, Lynch said he’d lost sleep after his comments a day earlier had inspired a mild controversy. Lynch said he thought anthem protests could be “divisive,” but respected players’ right to...
22 hours ago

Astros, now the A’s role models, come out on top again

HOUSTON - The Astros simply own the A’s to the point that they are now Oakland’s inspiration. In the first two games at Minute Maid Park, Oakland has scored just one run. The A’s fell 3-0 on Saturday, hitting into six double plays and wasting another decent outing by Kendall Graveman. They’ve dropped 19 of their past 21 games against the Astros. Just four years ago, Oakland took 15 of 19 games from Houston en route to the division title. Now the Astros are in first place and the A’s in last. "How quickly it can flip," A’s...
Aug 19, 2017

Ex-A’s minor-leaguer Peacock becoming a star in Houston

HOUSTON - In the finale at Minute Maid Park, the A’s will face Astros starter Brad Peacock - who is, get this, 10-1 with 121 strikeouts in 92 2/3 innings. Yes, that is the same Brad Peacock who was once an Oakland minor-leaguer and who was traded to Houston along with Chris Carter and Max Stassi in exchange for Jed Lowrie and Fernando Rodriguez before the 2013 season. “He’s made some significant adjustments,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “His arm angle is lower now, he’s got a different complement of pitches. He’s really reinvented himself....
Aug 19, 2017

Roaracle Arena: Warriors receive Best Home Court Advantage award

According to a new poll of NBA players by the NBA Players Association, the Golden State Warriors have the Best Home Court Advantage in the league.
Aug 19, 2017

Here’s what’s new on the menu at Levi’s Stadium for 49ers games

This week, the 49ers debuted new food items that will part of the fare at Levi’s Stadium. Some of the food won’t be available everywhere and most of it still needs to be priced. Nevertheless, a lot of it is scrumptious. So if the team is going to be bad again, there’s always the food coma option. Here are the highlights: Image 1of/11 CaptionClose Image 1 of 11 Getting to the Stadium and had a night of reverie, the night before? This is the meal for you! This a club level item (photo via levisstadium.com). Getting to the Stadium and had a night of reverie, the night before? This is
Aug 18, 2017

Sean Manaea much improved, A’s still fall to Astros again

HOUSTON - Sean Manaea’s awful August got something few other pitchers would consider a break: The left-hander faced AL West-leading Houston, one of his favorite opponents. Manaea typically is at his best against the Astros, and Friday he put together his strongest outing in weeks, bedeviled only by two stray home-run pitches and a wild pitch that led to another run. He still took the loss, however, his third in four starters, because Houston starter Dallas Keuchel was typically superb in the Astros’ 3-1 victory at Minute Maid Park. The Astros have taken...
Aug 18, 2017

Giants closer Melancon weighing surgery to repair pitching arm

In the firmest voice he uses in public, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said during batting practice Friday, "We have not stopped playing. Nobody here is saying the season is over." That includes relief pitcher Mark Melancon, who will continue to pitch despite acknowledging for the first time that he is weighing surgery to repair the forearm-muscle injury that has plagued him since spring training. Melancon reiterated that the ligament is intact, and team doctors have told the staff that the 32-year-old reliever is able to throw without risking a more significant...
Aug 18, 2017

A’s Matt Joyce getting it going against left-handers

HOUSTON — Matt Joyce started the season in a dreadful funk, batting .193 as late as June 9. Since then, he has lifted his average nearly 40 points, and he’s even starting to get regular at-bats — especially after delivering a three-run double off lefty Mike Minor in Oakland’s comeback win over the Royals on Tuesday. On Friday at Houston, Joyce was the lone left-handed hitter in Oakland’s lineup against lefty Dallas Keuchel. “He’s taking advantage of the opportunity,” manager Bob Melvin said. “You look at his swing and...