Unlike the retirements of Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, the announcement by defensive end Justin Smith wasn’t a complete surprise to the 49ers. How does this affect the development of first-round draft pick Arik Armstead of Oregon, the former Pleasant Grove High School standout?
The A’s again enjoyed success at Houston’s Minute Maid Park. After losing 10 of their previous 11 games, the A’s scratched out a 2-1 win over the Astros on Brett Lawrie’s tiebreaking bases-loaded single in the sixth inning. The A’s are 3-1 in Houston and 11-25 everywhere else.
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Juan Perez homered twice to lead an 18-hit attack as the visiting River Cats overpowered the Albuquerque Isotopes 12-5. Perez hit a two-run homer in the third inning and a three-run drive in the eighth.
A Western Conference finals featuring the Warriors and Clippers would have incited more regional heat – raw, unfiltered antipathy – than any NBA series since the controversial 2002 Kings-Lakers Western finals. But area fans still have reason to root against Houston.
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