3:22 PM EST, Mon February 27, 2017
1 hour ago

Giants hope Cueto will arrive soon, but they remain unsure

On a chilly, cloudy afternoon Monday, Jeff Samardzija will complete the Giants' first turn through their rotation in the Cactus League, with one notable exception. Two weeks after Giants pitchers and catchers reported, No. 2 starter Johnny Cueto remains in the Dominican Republic trying to finalize arrangements to bring his ill, 71-year-old father to Arizona with him. General manager Bobby Evans said a resolution might be near, that Cueto is close to securing a passport and visa for his father, who apparently is well enough to make the trip. The Giants' main concern is Cueto's readiness to...
2 hours ago

A’s John Axford’s Oscar ploy works for ‘Moonlight’

A’s reliever John Axford is a movie buff whose annual Oscar picks get some attention, particularly after he filled out a perfect ballot three years ago. Axford had told The Chronicle that because he’d picked movies he’d wanted to win Best Picture each of the previous two years and they’d lost, he was going to use “reverse psychology” and pick “La La Land” over “Moonlight” - the film he loved most, in the hopes that would push result in a “Moonlight” victory. “I feel like my reverse-psychology move worked - I finally got the film I wanted to win,” Axford said with...
18 hours ago

Warriors’ Kevin Durant expected to return vs. 76ers

PHILADELPHIA — Warriors forward Kevin Durant is expected to return for Monday’s game against the 76ers, Steve Kerr said after Golden State practice. Durant, who sat out of Saturday’s win over the Nets with a left hand contusion, had no problems going through shooting drills Sunday without a wrap on his hand. Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
18 hours ago

Niners could mimic Raiders in attempt to turn around fortunes

Niners could mimic Raiders in attempt to turn around fortunes The 49ers appear to be at the beginning at an interminably long rebuilding project, but the Raiders have proved the climb from punchline to power can take far less than a presidential term. Just hit grand slams with their first two drafts picks in 2017 — and make sure one of those selections is a franchise quarterback. The NFL combine in Indianapolis begins Wednesday and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will arrive as the just-hired leaders of a franchise that looks remarkably similar to the...
20 hours ago

Warriors prepare for ‘crazy’ road stretch

Warriors prepare for ‘crazy’ road stretch Late Saturday night, after their 112-95 win over the Nets, a text message surfaced in the inboxes of all 57 members of the Warriors’ travel party. In it was a detailed rundown of the team’s Sunday trip to Philadelphia: flight duration, forecast, bus times, hotel and dinner locales. “After we land, I’ll send another text message about what’s going on right then, then what’s going on the next day,” Golden State equipment manager Eric Housen said. The keeper of the team travel itinerary, Housen tries to eliminate distractions so the...
20 hours ago

Prospect Daniel Gossett makes surprise start for A’s

Daniel Gossett, who pitched at three levels of the A’s system last year, unexpectedly got the start Sunday vs. the Angels when the team decided to rearrange their pitching plans in the wake of Sonny Gray’s departure from the WBC. “He impressed everybody in the organization last year, so in talking about that fifth starter, who knows?” manager Bob Melvin said. Gossett, 24, went 10-6 with a 2.69 ERA combined at Class-A Stockton, Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville last year and he led Oakland’s system with 151 strikeouts. “It was just a different look, and I had some success...
Feb 26, 2017

A’s Sonny Gray: WBC insurance denial ‘an unfortunate thing’

Sonny Gray became the third A’s player to step back from the World Baseball Classic in a week, but his departure from Team USA was not Gray’s choice. “As much as I’d like to participate and represent the A’s and Team USA, it’s just an unfortunate thing that came up and there’s nothing we can really do except try to get ready to start the season,” Gray said Sunday at Hohokam Stadium. The A’s ace wanted to pitch in the second round of the WBC next month, but the insurance carrier for the event pulled the plug because Gray didn’t meet some requirements after twice missing...
Feb 26, 2017

A’s Sonny Gray out of the WBC because of insurance issue

A’s ace Sonny Gray is out of the World Baseball classic after being denied insurance coverage for the event, according to Oakland general manager David Forst. Gray did not comply with all criteria required for coverage, but Major League Baseball pushed hard to try to get a waiver for the right-handed starter to pitch for Team USA. “It’s not up to us or MLB, it’s up to the insurance company,” Forst said. Susan Slusser is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Feb 26, 2017

Warriors release Briante Weber, expected to add Jose Calderon

Guard Jose Calderon will fill the Warriors’ final roster spot, according to multiple reports. Calderon, 35, is a Spanish national team member whose 12-year NBA career has spanned stops with five clubs. Though Calderon is only shooting 35.3 percent from three-point range this season, he boasts a career clip beyond the arc of 41.1. By adding Calderon, the Warriors would ensure the back end of their backcourt has a veteran presence. Weber, though a promising young player, has only played 14 career games in the NBA.
Feb 26, 2017

Marleau scores winner as Sharks top Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Patrick Marleau scored the winner and Martin Jones made 35 saves as the Sharks defeated the undermanned Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Saturday night. The Canucks were without five players because of the mumps, or symptoms associated with the highly contagious virus. Boedker then put the game out of reach with his seventh, and first in 20 games, after grabbing a turnover in the neutral zone and beating Miller over the blocker at 11:31 of the third.
Feb 26, 2017

Without Kevin Durant, Warriors top Nets convincingly

A female fan was in the middle of an enormous version of skee-ball when the two-time reigning NBA MVP intercepted the ball midair and tossed it into a big container in the back row. Curry (27 points) and Klay Thompson (24) shouldered the offensive load while the frontcourt nagged Brook Lopez, a recognizable face in a cast filled with spare parts, to 3-of-13 shooting. With Durant sidelined against Brooklyn, Steve Kerr inserted rookie guard Patrick McCaw into the starting lineup to preserve his second unit. The new-look group seized an early 14-4 lead before the Nets trimmed the deficit to...
Feb 25, 2017

Warriors’ Patrick McCaw to start vs. Nets

With Warriors forward Kevin Durant sidelined Saturday night with a left hand contusion, rookie guard Patrick McCaw will start against the Nets. Kerr opted for McCaw over Andre Iguodala to keep his second unit intact and minimize the changes to his rotation. Though Durant’s injury isn’t severe, Golden State wanted to be cautious with a five-city, eight-night road trip looming. Connor Letourneau is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer.
Feb 25, 2017

Jonathan Quick returns to spark Kings to 4-1 win over Ducks

Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in his return from a groin injury, and Tyler Toffoli scored two of Los Angeles’ four third-period goals as the host Kings beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Saturday. Quick missed 59 games after injuring the groin in the first period of the season opener Oct. 12 against the Sharks, and he took advantage of a timely end to Los Angeles’ recent offensive power outage. Dustin Brown added his 10th goal of the season, and Jeff Carter scored an empty-net goal, securing a much-needed two points in the Kings’ chase for a wild card in the Western Conference after losing...
Feb 25, 2017

A’s fifth-starter battle gets underway in loss to Cubs

Jesse Hahn started for Oakland, and if he hadn’t lunged for a grounder to his right in the second inning, his final line probably would look a lot neater. “That was my fault, I think Semien had a clean play on it,” said Hahn, who’d been hoping he might have a shot at the runner at the plate. “He attacked the zone really well, his changeup looked really good, his curveball was sharper than ever,” catcher Bruce Maxwell said. Hahn, who is trying to win the fifth-starter job, allowed four hits, a walk and three runs and he struck out two in his 1 2/3 innings. Raul Alcantara, also...
Feb 25, 2017

Giants get perfect inning from new closer Melancon

Giants get perfect inning from new closer Melancon Giants fans waited a whole winter -longer than that, really - to see a closer like Mark Melancon. In his first game Saturday, he pitched a perfect inning that meant nothing and everything at the same time. Chicago knocked the Giants out of the postseason last year for want of a Melancon. Melancon pitched the third inning of the Giants' 8-6 victory and got grounders from big-leaguers Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez and a flyball from Jeimer Candelario. Melancon's first inning also meant his first time throwing to Buster Posey in...