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hong wei Jan 30

OAKLAND Trey Hopkins Jersey , Calif. — Two teams that began heading in opposite directions at just about the time they saw each other last month hook up again when the San Diego Padres and Oakland Athletics open a two-game interleague series Tuesday night.

The Padres were within arm’s length of .500 at 34-40, having won nine of 15, when the A’s ventured into San Diego and used a ninth-inning, two-out, two-strike, game-tying home run from Stephen Piscotty off relief ace Brad Hand to trigger a two-game sweep, winning 4-2 and 12-4.

The Padres now head north well out of contention in the National League West, having lost 11 of 14.

The A’s, meanwhile, have won 12 of 15 to surge well above .500 at 46-39 and into contention in the American League wild-card race.

Oakland has made much of its recent run without standout third baseman Matt Chapman, who has taken time off to allow pain in his right hand to subside.

Two cortisone shots later, Chapman had a pain-free hitting session Sunday and was sent to Class A for an injury-rehab game Monday.

It’s possible he could be reinstated from the disabled list during this series.

“He hit a few off the back wall in center field, so that tells me enough,” A’s manager Bob Melvin observed Sunday. “Getting him back in the lineup will be a nice little kick for us.”

The A’s need no such boost in their pitching. They have allowed two or fewer runs in four of their last five games.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-3, 2.82 ERA) will look to extend that impressive run while at the same time taste his first career success in interleague play.

The 29-year-old began the A’s recent pitching showcase with six innings of two-hit, scoreless ball in a 3-0 win at Detroit last Wednesday.

He has never faced the Padres in his career, and has lost both interleague starts despite a 2.45 ERA.

One intriguing potential matchup in the series is A’s closer Blake Treinen against Padres slugger Eric Hosmer, a pairing that carried a bit of history into a game-ending showdown in the A’s earlier 4-2 win in San Diego.

Then a member of the Kansas City Royals, Hosmer bombed a two-run, go-ahead homer off Treinen in the eighth inning of their first career head-to-head last August.

Treinen then extracted a measure of revenge in the June 19 rematch in San Diego Torey Krug Jersey , closing out the 10-inning game by striking out Hosmer as he represented the potential tying run.

Bassitt will be opposed by left-hander Clayton Richard (7-7, 4.29), who had a four-game winning streak stopped in a 5-2 loss at Texas last Wednesday.

He retains a good interleague record (9-5, 3.50) despite not having beaten an American League opponent since 2015.

You have to go back three years before that to find his last appearance against the A’s in Oakland, but it was a memorable one. He shut out a playoff-bound A’s team for 7 2/3 innings in 2012, allowing five hits in a 2-1 win.

He has faced the A’s three times in his career, twice as a starter, and gone 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA.

One A’s hitter that Richard will have to deal with is the aforementioned Piscotty, who played last season for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Piscotty has dominated the head-to-heads, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a flyout to deep center field in the only non-hit of the matchup.

A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy, another former National Leaguer, also has a successful history against Richard, going 7-for-18 (.389) with two doubles and a homer.
Chanting through chattering teeth, Browns fans finally felt victorious.


Maybe the winless season wasn’t a total loss.

Thousands of disgruntled Cleveland fans, some of them calling for owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam to sell the franchise or jump in Lake Erie, paraded once around the team’s stadium in frigid conditions Saturday following a historic 0-16 season.

It was a protest and it was a party as fans showed their outrage and creativity following a season many would gladly forget.

Despite wind chills below zero, fans lined the street around FirstEnergy Stadium, which has been dubbed the ”Factory of Sadness” in recent years, to cheer as 80 vehicles, a rock band on a flatbed truck and a group carrying 28 tombstones to represent the team’s 28 starting quarterbacks since 1999 Randy Bullock Jersey , took a ”no victory” lap.

Cleveland police conservatively estimated the crowd at 3,200, and reported no major incidents or arrests.

This was frozen fun mixed with some fury.

”I’m here to protest,” said Patty Szylakowski, who grew up in a football-loving household with five brothers. ”We don’t deserve this. We deserve better people in the front office.

”We deserve better people coaching and we deserve better players. We’re buying Browns gear every year. We support them every year no matter what. Something has to be done and this is not a black eye on Cleveland.

”Every fan in all the NFL cities should be thinking about this. If they got crap like we did, they would be doing the same thing.”

That was the overriding sentiment among the frosted faithful who gathered on the sidewalks just feet away from a statue honoring legendary Browns running back Jim Brown.

This was a day for fans to express frustration at their football team, and most of the anger was aimed at the Haslams, who bought the team in 2012 but have been unable to produce the winner they’ve promised.

One fan held a sign that read: ”Jimmy and Dee Go Jump in the Lake.” Another carried by a fan dressed as a bishop said: ”Deliver us from Jimmy and Dee.”

The biting cold may have deterred some fans from attending, but it did nothing to curb Cleveland’s creativity or sarcasm.

Prompted by a fan with a bullhorn, one group of marchers chanted, ”What do we want? Watchable football. When do we want it? Now.” There were floats, a few of them with obscene themes, fans wearing paper bags on their heads, and a Big Bird wearing Johnny Manziel’s jersey. A band played John Mellencamp’s ”Hurts So Good,” a song that underscores the pain and passion Browns fans feel for a team whose glory days are long gone.

For Chris McNeil, the day was a triumph for Cleveland.

A season-ticket holder, McNeil became the event’s unintended organizer – and a pariah to some – when his sarcastic post on Twitter last season that the winless Browns ”deserve a parade” spawned a revolt by some Cleveland fans.

McNeil endured severe backlash by fans who felt he was only embarrassing a city that has taken its share of shots over the years.

”No fights, no violence,” he said as the parade unfolded. ”I didn’t have to wear a flak jacket, none of that would reflect badly upon us. I don’t think anybody’s looking at this thing and going Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey , `look at these idiot Clevelanders who are celebrating 0-16′. I don’t think that’s the message. This is a clear message to those people (the Haslams) inside the building. That’s who we were looking for.”

For obvious reasons, none of Cleveland’s players attended the event.

However, defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah posted a message on Twitter critical of anyone who went.

”That parade is a joke,” he wrote. ”Don’t call yourself a true browns fan if you go to that thing! Going 0-16 was embarrassing enough as a player. That is like adding fuel to the fire and it is completely wrong!”

McNeil’s only goal was to give Browns fans a voice. He felt he had done just that.

”This stuff matters in this town,” said McNeil, who is donating nearly $15,000 raised for the event to the Cleveland Food Bank. ”That’s why I care about this stuff. I almost get choked up when I think about it, because people don’t realize that. You go to other markets, and people enjoy their teams and I get that. But there’s a connection here where it’s like family. And to see something like the Browns be bad, it’s easy for me to make jokes, it’s either you do that or you cry.

”But then you look at something like this and you say, `Man, we had this. In the `80s, this is when you’d leave a ballgame. I remember that. As a kid I’d be sitting in the backseat people honking, people yelling. You’d see that all the time after wins. To get that, we have to create this parade. It just says so much about the character of this city, the character of the people here.

”This is all positive and fun.”





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