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Nov 16, 2012 10:12pm
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BARCELONA, Spain—Struggling in the Spanish league and the Europa League,
Athletic Bilbao was fortunate to escape with a 0-0 draw from its visit to
third-division Eibar in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey on Thursday. Logan Mankins Jersey . Fernando Llorente made
his first start of the season for Bilbao since refusing to extend his contract
with his boyhood club beyond next summer. But even with the Spain striker on the
pitch with a first-choice side, Bilbao was outplayed by the fellow Basque club.
The 23-time cup winner Bilbao showed none of the verve that led it to last years
final. Eibar, meanwhile, created three clear scoring chances in the first half
that its forwards failed to finish. “We played poorly in the first half and
should have been losing by halftime,” said Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa, whose
team has only won two of its first nine games in the Spanish league and is
winless in three games in its Europa League group. “It may sound strange to hear
—Im not especially disappointed with drawing with Eibar. But it would be
arrogant to say that we showed we were better than our rival.” Bilbao was not
the only favourite to flop in the opening leg of the knockout series on
Thursday. Fellow first-division sides Levante, Real Sociedad and Osasuna all
lost to lower-division opponents. Levante will have to look to bounce back in
the second leg from a 1-0 loss at third-tier Melilla. Melilla midfielder
Fernando Velasco scored from the penalty spot in the 39th after being fouled by
Nikolaos Karampelas. Melilla, the team of one of Spains two enclave cities on
the north African coast, held on for the victory despite Carlos David receiving
his second booking in the 71st. “There are no excuses for the result,” said
Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez. “Our rival went for the win and the risk
paid off. We need to remember that we cant lose our sense of humility.” Cordoba,
playing in the second division, beat visiting Sociedad 2-0 at Arcangel stadium
with goals by Javier Patino and Vincenzo Rennella. Sporting Gijon—relegated
from the first division last season—edged Osasuna 1-0 at home thanks to Gaston
Sangoys goal in the fifth minute. Getafe was the only first-division team to get
a win over a lower-division opponent. The Madrid-based team routed
second-division Ponferradina 4-0, with two goals from Jaime Gavilan and one
apiece for Pablo Sarrabia and Paco Alcacer. Sevilla, a cup winner in 2010, beat
an Espanyol side full of reserves 3-1 to take commanding lead in their tie.
Espanyol looked set to snatch a valuable away draw when Cristian Alfonso
cancelled out Federico Fazios early opener with a long-range shot in the 69th.
But Sevilla defender Juan “Cala” Torres volleyed in a corner seven minutes from
time, before Alvaro Negredo converted a spot kick in added time after Ernest
Galan pulled the striker down in the box. Sevilla coach Michel Gonzalez said his
teams winning margin was larger than its performance had merited. “We didnt have
the ball, and not because they took it away from us, but because we kept losing
it,” Michel said. “We have a lot to improve.” Elsewhere, Alberto Bueno scored
five minutes from halftime to give 10-man Valladolid a 1-0 home win over Real
Betis. Valladolids Henrique Moreno was red carded for striking an opposing
player, but Betis failed to take advantage of its extra man for the final 25
minutes. Mallorca took away a 1-1 draw from Deportivo La Coruna after Pedro
Geromel levelled in the 71st following Deportivo defender Manuel Pablos
beautiful long-range strike in the 54th. The return legs of the round-of-32—
the first with Spains 20 first-division teams joining the lower-division
survivors from the opening three rounds—will be played during the last week of
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Novak Djokovic and five-time winner Rafael Nadal were a pair of third-round
victors Thursday at the $3. CLEVELAND —Jarrod Parker pitched into the sixth
inning and Oakland hit four home runs, leading the Athletics to their sixth
straight win, a 12-7 victory over the free-falling Cleveland Indians on Thursday
and a sweep of the four-game series. Oakland, which has won eight of nine,
maintained its one-game lead over Baltimore for the top spot in the AL wild card
race. George Kottaras three-run double broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth while
Coco Crisp, Cliff Pennington, Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson homered. While the
Athletics are flying high, the Indians continue to fade. Cleveland has lost five
straight, 14 of 15 and is 5-27 since July 27. Questions about manager Manny
Actas job security increase with every loss. Owner Paul Dolan said before the
current homestand began last week that he had no immediate plans to fire the
third-year manager, but the Indians have gone 1-6 since and show no signs their
slide is going to end any time soon. Parker (9-7) gave up a leadoff home run to
Jason Kipnis to start the game, but his teammates teed off on Cleveland starter
Justin Masterson. The right-hander (10-12) has stopped losing streaks of 11 and
nine games this month, but on Thursday he allowed eight runs, including three
homers, in four innings. Masterson was pulled after the first three batters in
the fifth reached base. Kottaras and Reddick drove in three runs apiece. Reddick
had three hits while Crisp, Pennington and Yoenis Cespedes had two apiece.
Crisps two-out homer in the third tied the game. Cespedes single and walks to
Seth Smith and Josh Donaldson loaded the bases in the fourth. Kottaras, batting
.148, scored all three runners with a drive up the gap to right-centre.
Pennington followed with a two-run homer. Stephen Drew started the fifth with a
single and scored on Reddicks homer to right. Masterson was pulled after
Cespedes single. Donaldson hit a solo home run in the ninth. Parker has won his
last two decisions after losing three straight starts. Ryan Wendell Jersey. He pitched eight shutout
innings against the Indians on Aug. 19 in Oakland. Masterson continued to
struggle against the Athletics. The right-hander is 1-5 with a 10.36 ERA in six
career starts versus Oakland. Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana managed to
play the entire game, but even that couldnt help the Indians. Both had short
nights Wednesday as Cabrera was ejected for arguing in the first while manager
Acta benched Santana for not running out a ground ball. Cleveland pitching coach
Ruben Niebla was ejected in the seventh inning by plate umpire Paul Emmel.
Niebla went to the mound after Tony Sipp walked the bases loaded. Emmel broke up
the conversation and kicked Nielba out after the two exchanged words. The
argument continued at home plate and Acta stood between Niebla and Emmel. The
Indians losing ways have shown up in the attendance. The sparse crowd of 14,500
on Thursday was quiet for most of the game and players could be clearly heard as
they called for popups. One frustrated fan taped empty bags to several seats
near him. The biggest noise of the day came from the Blue Angels jets flying
over Progressive Field as they prepared for this weekends air show at the
lakefront airport. NOTES: According to STATS LLC, the Houston Astros were 5-27
from July 20-Aug. 23 this season. Manager Brad Mills was fired on Aug. 18. ...
Oakland is 61-35 with Cespedes in the lineup. ... The Athletics return home to
begin a six-game homestand against Boston and Los Angeles. RHP Brandon McCarthy
(7-5) faces RHP Aaron Cook (3-7) in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.
... RHP Chris Perez pitched the ninth for the Indians. Clevelands closer hadnt
pitched since Aug. 25 when he recorded a save against the Yankees in Clevelands
last win. ... The Indians are 5-9 at Progressive Field since Aug. 6. ...
Cleveland starts a three-game home series with Texas on Friday. RHP
Ubaldo Jimenez (9-13) meets RHP Ryan Dempster (9-6). ’ ’ ’ 

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