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  1. Kyle Freeland has a silhouette of a mountain range tattooed along his right arm. So Johnny Gaudreau Jersey Kids , no, the Denver native doesn’t mind pitching in a little thin air. Freeland elevated his game once again at Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies scored the go-ahead run in the seventh on a throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford to rally for a 5-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Monday night. Freeland (8-6) settled in to go seven strong innings after surrendering a homer to Gorkys Hernandez on the first pitch of the game. That mistake hardly weighed on him. ”There were a lot more pitches to be thrown,” said Freeland, who allowed three hits. ”You have to have faith in your offense they’ll come through for you.” The left-hander hardly feels intimidated by the hitter’s park. Freeland has allowed three or fewer runs in all but one of his seven starts at Coors Field this season. ”To me, it’s still the game of baseball. You have to make your pitches,” Freeland said of his approach at Coors. ”If you don’t make your pitches, there’s a strong chance they’re going to get whacked – hard.” Part of Freeland’s good groove of late has to do with the development of his changeup. He’s throwing it with confidence – and success. ”There is a poise factor that comes into play when you’re playing this game,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”He’s learning this at the highest level. … I love the day that Kyle pitches.” Scott Oberg threw the eighth and Wade Davis worked his way around a one-out double by Buster Posey in the ninth for his 24th save. He struck out Crawford to end the game. Madison Bumgarner (1-3) was cruising along until the seventh when he began to unravel. After allowing three straight singles, he was replaced by reliever Reyes Moronta, who walked Nolan Arenado and then allowed the tying run on a double play. Ian Desmond followed with a roller that Crawford gobbled up only to throw wide to first, allowing the tiebreaking run to score. ”Just didn’t throw it 100 percent. I gave it about an 80-percent throw,” Crawford explained. ”One-hopper, I had time.” Pinch-hitter Tom Murphy added an insurance run in the eighth Kris Versteeg Jersey , with Charlie Blackmon bringing in another on a sacrifice fly. Arenado finished 2 for 3 with two walks. Bumgarner ran his streak to 22 scoreless innings before it came to a halt in the seventh when he was charged with three runs, two earned. Before Monday, the left-hander hadn’t allowed a run since June 16 in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. ”I don’t care about the streak. I’m just trying to win,” Bumgarner said. ”That’s a tough loss. Everything was going our way early on and didn’t go our way late. That’s all there is to it.” TRAINER’S ROOM Giants: RHP Johnny Cueto (elbow) was schedule to throw a bullpen session Monday in Sacramento, while RHP Jeff Samardzija (shoulder) was slated to make a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento. ”It’s a fairly big day in Sacramento,” manager Bruce Bochy cracked. ”Tomorrow, we’ll have a plan.” Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (right calf strain) had a bullpen session Monday and ”threw the ball well,” Black said. Shaw will throw a simulated game Wednesday and may soon go out on a rehab assignment. … RHP Chad Bettis wore white tape on his middle finger after developing a hot spot during Sunday’s start. Bettis was pulled after three innings. ”We’re concerned about him for sure,” Black said. GREAT GRABS Austin Slater played a big role in keeping the Rockies off the scoreboard early by making a sliding catch in left field to end the third with the bases loaded. Slater also had a diving catch in the second. UP NEXT Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.45 ERA) faces the Rockies on Tuesday for a second time in less than a week. He allowed five runs over four innings last Thursday. Rockies: RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-1, 6.23) will be recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and make his first start of the season Tuesday. He takes the place of opening day starter Jon Gray, who was optioned to Triple-A over the weekend. — Some extra rest left Julio Teheran feeling so strong he was unhittable for six innings. That was more good news for an Atlanta rotation that is gaining momentum. Teheran pitched six no-hit innings before being pulled from his first start since coming off the disabled list, and Atlanta relievers gave up six hits Sunday while finishing off a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres. Teheran’s velocity was up Mark Giordano Jersey , with his fastball hitting 92 mph. He had been closer to 89 mph before he missed less than two weeks with a sore thumb. The boost in his fastball also helped his offspeed pitches. ”Those 10 days helped me to get everything on track,” Teheran said. ”… It was kind of fun to have my stuff back.” Teheran (5-4) struck out a season-high 11, walked three and threw 95 pitches while recording 15 consecutive outs. Manager Brian Snitker said he could immediately see the difference in the right-hander’s pitchers. ”It was just good to see the life on the fastball again,” Snitker said. Teheran’s changeup and slider also were effective. ”He was throwing all his pitches for strikes,” said San Diego’s Cory Spangenberg. ”I know through three at-bats I only got one fastball. When a pitcher is doing that, he’s pretty tough to hit.” Over the last 11 home games, Braves starters have a 1.00 ERA, allowing eight earned runs in 72 innings. No starter allowed more than two runs during the streak. The bid for a combined no-hitter ended with one out in the seventh when reliever Shane Carle allowed a single to Spangenberg. Freddy Galvis added another single before Carle pitched out of the jam. Jose Vizcaino gave up singles to Spangenberg and Galvis in the ninth before striking out Christian Villanueva and Raffy Lopez. Right fielder Nick Markakis, running toward the foul line, made a diving catch of Raffy Lopez’s flyball to end the game. Vizcaino earned his 15th save, including his third of the series. Johan Camargo’s two-run double in the fourth off Jose Castillo (1-1) gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Tyler Flowers hit a two-run homer off Brad Hand in the eighth. The Padres, who lost 1-0 on Saturday, ended a 16-inning scoring drought in the eighth. Franmil Reyes singled off A.J. Minter Youth Matthew Tkachuk Jersey , moved to third on Eric Hosmer’s single and scored on Jose Pirela’s sacrifice fly. Hunter Renfroe’s fourth strikeout of the game ended the inning. TRAINER’S ROOM Braves C Kurt Suzuki left the game after he was hit on his helmet by Lopez’s bat as he struck out with a big follow-through to end the second inning. Suzuki was knocked to the ground but was able to walk off the field. Manager Brian Snitker said Suzuki should be able to play in Atlanta’s next game at Toronto on Tuesday. Braves third base coach Ron Washington had words with Lopez when Lopez emerged from the San Diego dugout to open the third inning. Snitker said the discussion was about Lopez not checking on Suzuki before walking away from the plate. SERIES STREAK ENDS The NL East-leading Braves won three of four in the series, ending San Diego’s streak of five straight series wins. The Padres’ last series loss came on May 25-27, when they dropped two of three to the Dodgers. ROSTER MOVE Braves LHP Luiz Gohara was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett, where he will start. RHP Luke Jackson was re-signed to a major league contract after being designated for assignment on Wednesday. BULLPEN GAME Matt Strahm made his fourth start as the Padres continue to use a bullpen committee approach for one spot in their rotation. Strahm allowed only one hit with five strikeouts in 2 2/3 scoreless innings. San Diego’s first four relievers allowed only two runs. ”We just didn’t do enough offensively,” manager Andy Green said. UP NEXT Padres: Following an off day on Monday, LHP Eric Lauer (3-4, 6.20) will face Oakland’s Paul Blackburn (1-1, 11.05) on Tuesday night in the first game of a two-game home series. Braves: Atlanta is off on Monday before opening a two-game series at Toronto on Tuesday night, when rookie RHP Mike Soroka (2-1, 2.57) faces LHP Jaime Garcia (2-5, 5.71). —
  2. The Indians caught a lucky break. Carlos Carrasco is only bruised. An MRI taken Monday revealed that Cleveland’s steady starter only suffered a bruised right elbow when he was struck by a vicious line drive on Saturday against Minnesota. ”We dodged a huge bullet Lane Taylor Jersey ,” said relieved Indians manager Terry Francona. Carrasco, who has previously sustained serious injuries after being hit by comebackers, will be treated for swelling over the next 48 hours before being evaluated on Wednesday. At this point, it’s expected that Carrasco will return to the rotation and mound once his stint on the disabled list ends. ”He still got hit really hard and there’s some trauma,” Francona said before the Indians opened a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox. ”The hope would be, once he gets the swelling out of there, that he’ll come quick because it’s a bruise and it could have been a lot worse.” In the second inning on Saturday, Twins star Joe Mauer hit a line drive that Carrasco couldn’t avoid. The 31-year-old, who has been one of the AL’s most consistent pitchers the past three seasons, braced himself before absorbing the liner. He was forced to leave the game and taken to the hospital. Carrrasco has a history of being hit on the mound. He was struck in the face in 2015 and then missed the 2016 playoffs after breaking his hand, a blow that left the Indians short one of their top pitchers during their run to the World Series. But despite Carrasco’s track record of being a target, Francona isn’t worried about the 31-year-old showing any jitters when he pitches. ”He’s been hit before and you think, `OK will it bother him?”’ Francona said. ”He’s been hit before so I think he’s champing at the bit to get this out of there and start pitching again. It’s easy to tell him, `Hey, don’t worry about it.’ I’m not the one standing out there. ”This is fourth time, and I’ve never seen any ill effects before and I don’t anticipate any going forward. I think he’s just glad that it’s a bruise and see how quick he can get better.” Francona chalked up Carrasco’s mound misfortune to bad luck. ”I do think there are pitchers that put themselves in a position where they are not able to field their position Alexander Kerfoot Jersey , but Carlos is fine,” Francona said. ”He lands flat and he’s in a really good position, most of the time. The fact that he could get his hand up and kind of block it and not hit somewhere else.” — The Seattle Mariners signed general manager Jerry Dipoto to a multiyear contract extension on Friday, a reward for the club being on track to end the longest playoff drought in the four major professional sports in the U.S. The agreement comes with the Mariners 24 games above .500, and striving to make the postseason for the first time since 2001. ”We’re obviously happy with the work he’s done so far and look forward to the next several years as well,” team president and CEO Kevin Mather said. ”We are having some success on the field, but when I said the work he has done so far, I’m referring to day one. We hired him Sept. 28, 2015 and he hasn’t stopped since the day he got here.” Since the start of the 2016 season, Dipoto’s first full year, the Mariners have the eighth-best record in the majors at 220-192. Seattle’s 56-32 start through 88 games is tied for the second-best mark in franchise history. Only the 2001 team that tied the major league mark for most wins in a season with 116 victories surpassed the start of the 2018 Mariners. ”This is a no-brainer for me,” Dipoto said. ”I told you all when I got here that this was a dream job for me. It’s a great market in a city that is starved to win, with an opportunity to be creative.” While there are still issues in the farm system, Dipoto has succeeded in making the major league product better. He has turned over a roster that had gotten old and added key younger pieces like Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura and Dee Gordon, who are major contributors in Seattle’s start to this season. Dipoto also has locked up key parts of Seattle’s core for the next several seasons Authentic Travis Kelce Jersey , either through club control through arbitration or long-term extensions. Seattle’s current starting rotation is under contract through the 2019 season and the only everyday player without club control beyond this season is designated hitter Nelson Cruz. When Dipoto took over in 2015, the Mariners were looking for stability after a tough finish to Jack Zduriencik’s tenure with the club. Dipoto himself was trying to rebuild his own career after a less than amicable departure from the Los Angeles Angels amid conflict with manager Mike Scioscia. Dipoto made numerous moves in his first year with Seattle, starting the roster churn that added more youth to the club. Seattle won 86 games in 2016 before backsliding to 78-84 last year amid numerous injuries to the pitching staff. Seattle was thought to be a fringe playoff contender this year but is in the thick of the hunt nearing the All-Star break. ”My time here – the 2 1/2 years – has, I think, gone just as well as I hoped it could go, provided we finish strong,” Dipoto said. ”It takes a village to build a baseball organization, and we’ve got a pretty good village. This is a new day to move forward. The Mariners are playing very well. I’m thrilled for this group, but I’m more thrilled that this group has an opportunity to continue to do what they’re doing.” With Dipoto locked up, the focus turns to manager Scott Servais, whose contract is up at the end of the 2018 season. ”Scott has been my partner for far longer than we’ve been here,” Dipoto said. ”Whether it be dreaming about what we wanted to create as a franchise, whether it be in player development and what we are doing in scouting, or now culminating with how to build a major league roster and how to guide it, I don’t envision a time where I’m doing my job without him doing his job.” —
  3. Jed Lowrie loves the feeling of coming through with a clutch hit late to lift his team Youth Armani Watts Jersey , and he just keeps showing a knack for it. He is a big reason the A’s are rarely out of games even when down by a couple of runs. The Oakland second baseman delivered his 12th game-winning RBI after filling in beautifully at third base during Matt Chapman’s absence, hitting a three-run double in the decisive sixth to help rally the Athletics past the San Diego Padres 6-2 on Tuesday night. If that’s not enough to make Lowrie an All-Star for the first time in an 11-year career and at age 34, manager Bob Melvin might just throw his hands up in disbelief. ”It would be the icing on the cake. I feel like I’ve been close a couple times and haven’t been there,” Lowrie said. ”So that would be something I would always be able to say.” Mark Canha added a solo homer in the sixth and Chad Pinder connected in the seventh. The A’s finally got to San Diego starter Clayton Richard (7-8). Pinder walked to start the sixth as the first five hitters reached base. Khris Davis followed Lowrie’s double with a run-scoring single before Canha’s 11th home run, after a double play. Emilio Pagan (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win in relief of A’s starter Chris Bassitt. Chapman went 0 for 3 in his return from the disabled list after missing 16 games with a recurring right hand injury that began bothering him during the offseason. He had played in 149 straight games before the DL stint. Wil Myers hit a run-scoring double in the fifth right after Eric Hosmer’s RBI groundout got the Padres on the board. Bassitt, who has just one win in five starts since being called up last month, escaped jams in the first and third innings as the Padres stranded five baserunners. The A’s made a pair of forceouts at home in the third, including first baseman Matt Olson’s nifty throw after a backhanded stop. Myers’ double chased Bassitt. He was tagged for two runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out six and walked three. Richard allowed five runs and six hits, walked a season-high five batters over six innings and struck out two in his second straight defeat. ”Defense picked me up early in the game but that’s the story of it was just too many three-ball counts and then put too many guys on with the walk,” Richard said. Oakland, which had its six-game winning streak snapped Sunday by Cleveland, won for the 13th time in 16 games despite grounding into five double plays. ”As much as any team I’ve ever had, at least at this point, there’s no panic when we’re down,” the skipper said. Leadoff hitter Travis Jankowski had three hits for San Diego Youth Kalen Ballage Jersey , which will conclude the short two-game series Wednesday having played 23 of its last 28 away from Petco Park. BIG MAC HONORED Padres bench coach Mark McGwire, a former A’s slugger who spent his first 11 1/2 big league seasons in the East Bay before being traded to the Cardinals in 1997, was honored before the game as part of Oakland’s 50th anniversary season festivities in a ceremony at home plate with team President Dave Kaval. Big Mac received his green No. 25 commemorative A’s jersey and the Bash Brother tipped his cap to the cheering crowd. TRAINER’S ROOM Padres: RHP Jordan Lyles, scratched in the bottom of the first inning June 23 just before his scheduled start and on the DL with inflammation in his pitching elbow, played catch with the relievers and depending how he felt afterward the Padres would decide when he is ready to throw off a mound. … The Padres placed RHP Kirby Yates on the paternity list and recalled RHP Colten Brewer from Triple-A El Paso. Athletics: RHP Trevor Cahill, who has an impingement in his throwing elbow, pitched in the Arizona League and is likely to make another rehab appearance Sunday or Monday before potentially joining the A’s in Houston early next week. … RHP Daniel Mengden (sprained right foot) threw a bullpen session and if all was OK by Wednesday the A’s planned to send him to Triple-A Nashville for a rehab assignment. … Oakland optioned INF Franklin Barreto to Nashville to clear roster room for Chapman’s return. UP NEXT Padres: RHP Luis Perdomo (1-2, 8.36 ERA), a taxi squad player, will be called up Wednesday to make his fifth start of 2018. Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.38) is coming off a masterful June during which he went 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in five starts. — Corey Kluber doesn’t often appear hittable, beatable or unremarkable. It’s a baseball rarity, like a triple play. On Friday night, it happened. Kluber had a rare rocky performance, lasting just five innings and losing for the first time in seven starts as Kyle Gibson outpitched the Cy Young winner and Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer off him to lead the Minnesota Twins to a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians. ”I guess he proved he’s human,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”He doesn’t look like it very often.” Kluber (10-3) allowed a homer on his fourth pitch of the game to Eddie Rosario and was pulled after throwing just 65 pitches by Francona Youth Durham Smythe Jersey , who wants to preserve his ace for bigger games ahead. ”If we want to get where we want to go, he’s going to have a major part in that,” Francona said. It was the shortest outing this season for the All-Star, who came in 5-0 with a 0.76 ERA against AL Central teams and was riding several other impressive streaks. Kluber didn’t offer any excuses and understood Francona’s rationale for lifting him. ”Just out of whack a little bit mechanically,” Kluber said. ”Obviously didn’t make good pitches to a few guys. Made some mistakes and they took advantage of it.” Gibson (2-4) limited the Indians to one run and three hits in seven innings and got his first win since his season debut on March 31. Yan Gomes homered in the ninth and the Indians closed to 6-3 before closer Fernando Rodney struck out Francisco Lindor with one on for his 15th save. The Twins came into the series struggling at the plate and figured to be in for a tough time against Kluber, who has been as dominant this season as any stretch of his career and was seeking to become baseball’s first 11-game winner. Kluber, though, wasn’t Kluber. With Joe Mauer returning from the disabled list after missing 25 games with a strained neck and concussion-like symptoms, Minnesota manager Paul Molitor dropped Dozier from the leadoff spot to No. 5 and the second baseman responded with his two-run homer in the fourth and three RBIs. Minnesota’s plan was to be aggressive against Kluber and it worked. ”He’s not really a guy where anybody’s too comfortable getting behind or hitting with two strikes,” Molitor said. ”A lot of our damage was aggressive at-bats, Rosie first pitch and Doz I think maybe second pitch of his at-bat, so we were trying to get after him a little bit.” Dozier put the Twins ahead 4-0 in the fourth, when Kluber allowed his first walk in seven starts. After Rosario doubled, Kluber threw four balls to Eduardo Escobar, snapping his string without a walk at 46 1/3 innings – the longest for a Cleveland pitcher in 11 years. Rosario then scored when Lindor’s return throw to first after a force out nearly went into Minnesota’s dugout. Dozier followed by snapping an 0-for-20 slump with his 10th homer, a shot that put Kluber in an unfamiliar hole. The steady-and-stoic star had not given up more than three runs in a game since Aug. 3 Youth Jason Sanders Jersey , a span of 27 starts and testament to his consistency. ERROR PRONE Lindor had two more errors, giving the Indians All-Star shortstop 10 this season, tying his total from 2017. Francona isn’t concerned about it becoming a lasting trend. ”Shoot, he’s so good,” Francona said. ”We forget how young he is sometimes, because he’s so good. If that’s the worst thing we can come up with, he’s pretty good. ” SIDELINED The Indians were without starting first baseman Yonder Alonso, who was placed on the family-medical-emergency list and will miss at least this series. CLEVELAND ROCKS A trip to Progressive Field may have helped Dozier snap out of his funk. His homer was the 14th of his career at the ballpark, his most in any visiting stadium. Dozier has reached base in each of his last 19 games in Cleveland, batting .316 (24 for 76) with eight homers and 19 RBIs. TRAINER’S ROOM Twins: OF Byron Buxton (toe fracture) is working out with the team and could begin a minor league rehab assignment in a few days. He was injured May 29 and placed on the disabled list the following day. Indians: There’s still no definitive plan with All-Star LHP Andrew Miller, who has been out since May 24 with right knee inflammation. Francona said the team is taking a ”long-term” approach with the elite reliever, who has been on the DL twice this season. ”When we get him back, we want to keep him back,” Francona said. UP NEXT Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco shut out Chicago with 11 strikeouts in seven innings in his last outing. He’ll make his third start this season against the Twins, who will counter with Fernando Romero. —
  4. The Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds are meeting for the first time in three years Mike Daniels Jersey , so understandably they don’t know much about each other. But the White Sox already know this: Don’t be confused by the Reds’ place in the standings. They’re not playing like a last-place team in the NL Central, even when they’re down late in a game. And the White Sox pitchers will be told this constantly before the second game of the three-game series Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park: Anthony DeScalfani is a pitcher — and thus wouldn’t even take a swing in the American League — but is very dangerous with a bat in his hand in an NL ballpark. But it took the Reds only one game to learn this: You must pitch to White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia very, very carefully. The Reds overcame a Garcia homer and a two-run deficit to beat the White Sox 5-3 Monday night in the series opener — the byproduct of an unusual four-run rally in the eighth inning keyed by a bases-loaded grounder to first base in which the White Sox tried to get two outs and ended up with none. Pinch-hitter Alex Blandino’s two-run double to right field off Chris Volstad broke a 3-all tie with two out in the eighth gave the Reds their third straight victory — 12th in 15 games and 15th in 20 games. They also dealt the White Sox their fourth loss in five games and 13th in 18 games. “He was living on the outside corner, nibbling out there and didn’t want to give me anything to hit, but I was able to put a good swing on it,” said Blandino, who was 3-for-21 (.143) coming into that at-bat. “This is a game of opportunities, when things don’t go as well as you hoped, you’ve got to keep fighting. And tonight is a step in the right direction. “It’s been awesome … it’s somebody different every night, and we’re loving it right now.” The Reds still trail first-place Milwaukee by double digits in the division, but they’re creeping closer to fourth place Pittsburgh after being in last since the day the season started. And they now have a winning record under interim manager Jim Riggleman (34-33), who took over for Bryan Price when the Reds were 3-15. “We had some really good at-bats … and (after the play at first) the opportunity was there for us to win it Youth Su'a Cravens Jersey ,” Riggleman said. “There was a lot of good baseball tonight.” On Tuesday, White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito (5-7) will oppose Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (3-1) in a matchup of pitchers who have never faced the other team. Giolito is 2-3 with a 6.81 ERA in his last seven starts, while DeSclafani has won his last three decisions. Giolito is coming off perhaps his best start, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning before leaving after giving up one run in 6 1/3 innings Thursday in what became a 2-1, 13-inning White Sox loss to the Minnesota Twins. “I’m starting to throw the ball a lot better, I feel like it’s coming better out of my hand,” Giolito told reporters after the game. “Just take some good lessons from (this). In the seventh inning, I kind of let some pitches get away from me there. I wasn’t executing like I was earlier in the game. (I’ll) learn from that.” DeSclafani is a pleasant surprise to the Reds after missing all of last season and the first two months of this season with multiple injuries. Not only is he pitching well, he hit a grand slam, one of the Reds’ club record-tying nine this season, during a June 23 start against the Chicago Cubs. The Reds have six grand slams in their last 17 games. The Reds started off Monday night with a Scott Schebler leadoff homer in the first, then did very little offensively until White Sox starter James Shields was lifted with two out in the seventh. In the eighth Youth Courtland Sutton Jersey , the Reds had the bases loaded with one out when Adam Duvall hit a grounder to first baseman Matt Davidson, who attempted to touch the base for the force out before throwing home to try to get Scooter Gennett at the plate. But Gennett slid in safely, and Duvall was ruled safe at first because Davidson threw home before stepping on the bag. That set up Duvall’s opposite-field game-winning hit. Reds right-hander Luis Castillo held the White Sox to a run over 6 2/3 innings, and the Reds withstood Garcia’s fifth homer, a solo shot in the eighth off Jared Hughes. Garcia is 19-for-52 (.365) during a 12-game hitting streak. He also has six hits in his last two games and is 11-for-24 with two doubles, two triples and two home runs in his last five games. Struggling Cincinnati Reds right-hander Homer Bailey has halted his injury rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville. Bailey made one start for Louisville and allowed five runs in three innings Monday. He has been on the disabled list with right knee inflammation since May 30 and interim manager Jim Riggleman said before Friday night’s game against the Pirates that Bailey informed the Reds that he is not healthy enough to pitch. In 12 major leagues starts this season, Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA. He pitched no-hitters in both 2012 and 2013 for the Reds but has been limited to 38 starts over the last four seasons because of arm injuries. Bailey, 32, is making $21 million this season in the fifth year of a $105-million, six-year contract.
  5. Eric Thames doesn’t give much thought to the way he wrecks the Reds http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-durham-smythe-jersey , leaving everyone else to marvel. Thames hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning Thursday night, and the Milwaukee Brewers slowed the Cincinnati Reds‘ best surge of the season with a 6-4 victory . Thames has been the Reds’ biggest nemesis. He hit a record 10 homers against Cincinnati last year – the most by a Brewer against one team in a single season. Thames gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead when he homered in the seventh inning off reliever Amir Garrett (0-1). Thames’ third home this season against the Reds was the turning point in a game that started badly for the Brewers and included a benches-clearing incident in the third inning when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto exchanged words with catcher Erik Kratz. ”I’m not really thinking about, `It’s the Reds, yeah I’m going to get some hits,’ or whatever,” Thames said. ”In this park, the ball will travel a little bit, so that’s nice. For me, it doesn’t matter if it’s the Royals, the Yankees or the Reds, I try to have the same approach.” Thames is 3 of 3 in his career against the left-handed Garrett with three homers. ”Me and him, we have a past history – three home runs,” Garrett said. ”He got me today. Sometimes, you get got. That’s how the game is.” Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run homer off Anthony DeSclafani, connecting for the third straight game. Eric Sogard added a sacrifice fly in the ninth. Milwaukee beat the Reds for the sixth straight time and improved to 6-1 overall against Cincinnati this season http://www.dolphinsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jason-sanders-jersey , including 4-0 at Great American Ball Park. Junior Guerra (4-5) gave up Jose Peraza’s second career leadoff homer and Jesse Winker’s two-run shot while getting his first victory since May 14. Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances. The last-place Reds were the hottest team in the NL Central heading into the game, winning nine of their last 10 games. Votto was in the middle of a dispute for the second straight game. The third inning opened with Votto thinking he’d drawn a walk on a 3-1 pitch, but plate umpire Roberto Ortiz called it a strike. When Votto returned to the batter’s box, he exchanged words with Kratz. Votto removed his batting helmet, and the benches and bullpens emptied. Players milled briefly, many joking with one another. When play resumed, Votto flied out. ”It was just a little bit of a misunderstanding at the plate,” Votto said. ”It was just two guys having words. It was really nothing.” Votto was ejected in Atlanta on Wednesday by plate umpire Carlos Torres for arguing a called third strike, his eighth career ejection. MILWAUKEE MOVES The Brewers called up LH reliever Mike Zagurski from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned RH Adrian Houser. Zagurski last pitched in the majors in 2013 with the Pirates. He played in the Japan Central League in 2015-16. THAMES’ STATS Thames homered off a left-hander for the first time since June 6 last year against San Diego’s Ryan Buchter. Thames missed 41 games earlier this season with a torn ligament in his left thumb. His three homers off Garrett are his highest total off any pitcher. He has six homers in 34 career at-bats in GABP. ”We’ve had no answer for him,” interim Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. GOING DEEP Aguilar has homered in three consecutive games for the second time this season – he also did it from May 18-20. He recorded his eighth three-hit game this season, a career high. TRAINER’S ROOM Brewers: CF Christian Yelich left the game with a tight lower back after he grounded out in the first inning. He felt his back tighten a couple steps toward first base. … Travis Shaw was back at third base after missing two games with a sore right wrist. He took batting practice pregame and felt good enough to play, although the wrist is likely to bother him at times. He went 0 for 4. Reds: Top prospect Nick Senzel today had surgery on his broken right index finger. Senzel hurt his finger Friday with Triple-A Louisville. There’s no estimate for the infielder’s return. UP NEXT Brewers: Chase Anderson (5-6) beat the Reds 7-6 at Great American Ball Park on May 1, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He’s 2-1 with a 4.15 ERA in six career starts at Great American. Reds: Sal Romano (4-7) has lost all of his four career starts against the Brewers, giving up 13 runs in 18 2/3 innings. — MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Gausman has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season for the Baltimore Orioles, who bring the worst record in baseball to Target Field on Saturday as they continue a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins. Gausman takes the mound with a 2.76 ERA in his last five outings and is fresh off perhaps one of his best starts of the year. He held the Los Angeles to one run and two hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight innings on July 2 for his first victory since May 11 — a span of nine starts — and is now 4-6 with a 4.05 ERA this season. “I felt like early on in the season http://www.vikingsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-mike-remmers-jersey , I kind of put together a little bit better of a month, but I feel like I’m throwing the ball well,” Gausman said. “I feel really good in my delivery, and ever since I went hands over the head, “I feel like this has just been night and day, able to command the ball and really all my off-speed pitches. That’s the key word — consistency. You’re always trying to be the same guy every five days.” Orioles manager Buck Showalter thinks Gausman’s success this season is overlooked in part because of the team’s record, but also because of the competition he has faced. “I don’t chuckle or eye-roll or any of that stuff,” Showalter said. “When I hear people kind of negative, Kevin has cut his teeth in the American League East and he’s kind of a good hardened to it. This guy doesn’t dwell around too much on successes and failures.” Success has been hard to come by for the Orioles lately and failure has been plentiful. Baltimore’s loss Friday night in Minnesota extended its losing streak to four games. The Orioles have dropped 11 of their last 12 games and 22 of their last 27 overall while winning only two in their last seven series. They’ll try to turn that around Saturday against Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who has been the poster child for lack of run support this season. He has allowed more than three runs in a game just once since May 18 — a span of eight starts — but has taken the victory just twice. In the six other games, the Twins have averaged just 1.8 runs. Gibson hasn’t let the tough luck get to him. “We’ll start being on the right side of these games,” Gibson said. “We’ve just been running into some pitchers throwing the ball well and caught a couple tough breaks offensively.” His last two starts haven’t been among his best. He allowed a season-high five runs and 11 hits against the White Sox on June 27 in Chicago and the Milwaukee Brewers followed by tagging him for four (three earned) in five innings earlier this week in Milwaukee. Saturday will mark Gibson’s ninth career start against the Orioles. In the eight previous meetings, he’s 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA. He faced them once already this season, throwing six no-hit innings with six strikeouts on March 31 in Baltimore.
  6. Christof Innerhofer was again fastest in training Friday for the last World Cup downhill race before the Olympics. The Italian DJ Moore Color Rush Jersey , who was also fastest in Thursday’s practice, sped down the 3.3-kilometer (2-mile) Kandahar course in 1 minute, 55.57 seconds to edge Matthias Mayer by 0.63 seconds and Dominik Paris by 0.67. ”I am very satisfied with my trainings the past two days and I have generally been feeling very confident on my skis,” Innerhofer said. ”I used every day to train hard.” Vincent Kriechmayr was fourth, ahead of Matteo Marsaglia and local favorite Thomas Dressen, who was 0.88 behind Innerhofer. Dressen ended Germany’s 13-year wait for a men’s downhill win last Saturday in Kitzbuehel Donte Jackson Color Rush Jersey , Austria. ”I still do not realize what I have achieved,” Dressen said. ”Knowing that I can be part of the best racers with a perfect run gives me a lot of confidence.” Downhill leader Aksel Lund Svindal was 0.90 off the pace in a tie for seventh with Hannes Reichelt and Norwegian teammate Aleksander Aamodt Kilde. Svindal, who has two victories this season, has never finished on the podium in seven attempts in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. ”Hopefully it will work out this year,” the Norwegian said. Beat Feuz, who is also challenging for the downhill title Rashaan Gaulden Color Rush Jersey , was 24th. ”In the end, it is about who wins the small crystal ball – Svindal or I,” said the Swiss skier, who is only 10 points behind his rival. Saturday’s downhill will be followed by a giant slalom on Sunday. BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-7) UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WRs Mike Wallace and Michael Campanaro; TEs Benjamin Watson and Crockett Gillmore; OT James Hurst; Cs Ryan Jensen and Luke Bowanko; QB Ryan Mallett; RB Terrance West; CB Brandon Boykin; LB Steven Johnson. RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None. NEEDS: Even if they retain Wallace and Campanaro, Ravens are going after big-play wide receiver. Baltimore appears ready to give up on 2015 first-round pick Breshad Perriman, who has thus far been bust. Baltimore also needs pass rusher to help out 35-year-old Terrell Suggs and could use more depth on offensive line Billy Price Color Rush Jersey , especially if Hurst and Jensen end up elsewhere. Tight end is also trouble spot, given that Watson is 37 and Gillmore has struggled to stay healthy. AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $5.4 million. —
  7. Injured Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier doesn’t just plan to play again following a spinal injury. He says he wants to make it all the way to the Hall of Fame. Shazier opened up to teammate Roosevelt Nix on Nix’s podcast Authentic Kyle Lauletta Jersey , Shazier’s first public comments since injuring his spine in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4. Shazier told Nix, who released the podcast on Tuesday night , that he plans to walk again on his own and return to a career that was on the verge of stardom before the injury, one that required spinal stabilization surgery and left him in the hospital for two months. Article continues below ... ”I’m really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler,” Shazier told Nix. ”I’m sorry, because I feel I got snubbed this year for All-Pro even though I got hurt. But I feel like my stats are as good as those who made it.” The 25-year-old is undergoing outpatient therapy and has documented a portion of his recovery on social media. General manager Kevin Colbert said last week Shazier has been a fixture at the team’s headquarters watching film. Shazier said it’s necessary to keep him mentally sharp while aggressively attacking his rehab. ”I’ve got to get back,” said Shazier, who has not released the exact nature of the injury. ”Right now I’m reading a book and it’s basically saying trust the process. I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, `Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day.” Shazier has been vague about specific aspects of his recovery Authentic Chris Herndon Jersey , though he is quick to point out that he can stand on his own, as he did when the cameras cut to him recently while attending a Pittsburgh Penguins game. Either way, Shazier insists he’ll one day run back through the tunnel at Heinz Field with his No. 50 jersey on ready to get back at it. ”I’m still reaching for that Hall of Fame because I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever,” Shazier said. ”I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?” ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays continue to win games they perhaps shouldn’t, and they’ll have an opportunity for more of that Saturday against Houston’s Justin Verlander. The Rays (40-41) hit the midway point of their 2018 season with a 3-2 win over Houston, giving them six wins in their last seven games. Their pitching has led the way — three times in the last four games, they have held their opponent to three hits or less, this after doing so only three times in the first 77 games of this season. “If we are going to win a lot of game and we are going to string a bunch together, we have to have good pitching Authentic Nathan Shepherd Jersey ,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The timely hitting is great, but we have to stay in the ballgame. For us to have allowed three runs in 18 innings against arguably the best team in baseball, we should find a way to win one.” Houston will send Verlander, who has been dominant (9-3, 1.82 ERA) but has gotten surprisingly little run support from a potent Astros lineup. Houston is just 11-7 in games he starts, and the Astros have scored a total of two runs in five of those losses. So Saturday could look like Thursday’s 1-0 Astros win, or could look like Friday’s 3-2 loss, which saw two errors factor in Tampa Bay’s scoring. Verlander faced the Rays just 11 days ago in Houston, again pitching well, allowing one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings Authentic Arden Key Jersey , but ultimately taking a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. He has 136 strikeouts in 113 innings this season and a ridiculous 0.81 WHIP. Against the Rays for his career, Verlander is 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA, but since 2010, he’s just 4-3, despite a 1.72 ERA in his last five starts against the Rays. At Tropicana Field, he’s 5-2 all-time with a 2.53 ERA, including a 1.20 ERA in his last two outings. The Rays counter with reliever-turned-starter Ryne Stanek, who has thrived in the “opener” role that Tampa Bay has essentially created in the past six weeks. He’s starting for the second time in three days against the Astros having thrown 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball Thursday night. For the month of June, he’s pitched in 11 games and 14 2/3 innings without allowing a run. He’s held opponents to just four hits Authentic Markus Wheaton Jersey , lowering his season ERA to 1.85, just barely above Verlander’s. The Astros know they have to be careful with the white ceiling of Tropicana Field — the Rays’ three-run fourth inning got a spark Friday when center fielder Jake Marisnick couldn’t hold onto a pop at the warning track, allowing a run to score. “When you play here, you try to not take your eye off the ball,” Marisnick said. “With the ceiling, I kind of glanced quickly at the ball, then looked back up and lost track. I wasn’t able to come up with it. That’s a play I need to make 10 out of 10 times.”
  8. Quarterback Matt Ryan is in the playoffs for the sixth time in 10 seasons and still searching for the ultimate prize. Last year’s meltdown in the Super Bowl has been well documented with the Atlanta Falcons blowing a 28-3 lead and losing to New England Oakland Raiders Jerseys Womens , but Ryan has his team back in the postseason despite a big drop-off in points and yards. At 10-6, they’ve gone from the No. 2 seed to the sixth, but they’re the only NFC team to return to the playoffs. Ryan hasn’t enjoyed the kind of seamless production that made him the league MVP last season, yet he likes the team’s chances even though the offense has scored just two touchdowns over the last two weeks. ”We do a very good job throughout the week of getting ourselves prepared and ready to play,” Ryan said Tuesday. ”That provides confidence, so I think guys just need to focus on doing the best that they can with where their feet are at that time of the day. ”If we do that and we’re locked in for practice and walkthroughs, that’s going to give us the best chance to be successful.” Atlanta has won three of four and six of its last eight heading into Saturday’s wild-card game at the Los Angeles Rams (11-5). The defense is better than a year ago, moving into the top 10 in scoring and total yards for the first time at the end of the regular season the 1998 Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl. But the offense has been unable to match last year’s productivity, dropping from first to 15th in scoring as opponents have held five-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones to just three touchdowns. Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are still a tough tandem to defend, but both have missed time with concussions. The offensive line hasn’t been as stout despite another Pro Bowl season from center Alex Mack. Regardless of what’s happening around him, Ryan said his best course of action during the week is to stay focused on the game plan. He doesn’t want to get caught up in discussions about his legacy and whether he has what it takes to win a Super Bowl. ”That’s not something I worry about or think about too much,” he said. ”I try to focus or worry or lend my brain space to trying to win games. I’m lucky to have a lot of good friends around this league. I certainly have a lot of respect for the guys I play against week in and week out and I imagine they feel the same way.” Ryan has won 95 of 158 career starts in the regular season, but he’s 3-5 in the playoffs and 0-2 on the road. That kind of discrepancy is why he said he puts little stock in whether last season’s easy victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum could help the Falcons this week. The Rams’ defense has flourished in a new scheme devised by 70-year-old coordinator Wade Phillips and it has found success with a trio of dual-threat linebackers in Alec Ogletree, the former Georgia star, Robert Quinn and Mark Barron. Atlanta also must keep tabs throughout the game on defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who has 11 sacks. ”He’s one of the better players against the run at the position they play him at, but he’s also one of the better interior pass rushers in the league,” Ryan said. ”That creates some problems, but we’ll have a plan to account for where he’s at, and we certainly trust our guys up front to play well.” Notes: WR Julio Jones was held out of practice with ankle and rib injuries. Jones was hit hard on the opening drive last week by Carolina safety Mike Adams, but he missed only a couple of snaps. He was limited in practice last week with ankle and thumb injuries. Jones has yet to miss a game despite being on the injury report this season with a hip flexor Philadelphia Eagles Jerseys Womens , back and knee injuries, too. … Freeman was held out of practice with a knee injury. … Listed as limited Tuesday were Mack (calf), receiver Taylor Gabriel (hamstring), tight end Levine Toilolo (knee) and defensive end Adrian Clayborn (calf). … LG Andy Levitre (triceps) was placed on season-ending injured reserve. Ben Garland will start in his place. — When surging Texas goes for a three-game sweep of the visiting Chicago White Sox on Sunday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas, Cole Hamels, the pitcher the Rangers expected to be their bell cow in this season of rebuilding, will be on the mound. It remains to be seen how much longer Hamels (4-6, with a 3.61 ERA) stays in that position. He could, instead, be a huge piece to the puzzle in a trade that would net more prospects for a team in dire need of them. The White Sox will send right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (3-5, 3.73 ERA) to the mound in the series finale. The Rangers beat Chicago 13-4 on Saturday behind five solid innings from the ageless Bartolo Colon, a three-run double from Robinson Chirinos, a home run from Joey Gallo and a seven-run eighth inning. Texas was without designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo on Saturday as he battles right quad soreness and was given the night off. Choo said his upper quad has been bothering him over the past 10 days, but he’s played through it well enough to extend his streak of reaching base to 41 straight games, tops in the Major Leagues this season. It’s also tied with Toby Harrah (1985) for the third-longest single-season streak in club history. “I felt like it was an opportunity to get him off his legs, give him a day,” manager Jeff Banister told mlb.com about Choo’s absence from the starting lineup. “He’s played through it for a while.” Choo underwent an MRI at his own request on Saturday and said afterward he does not believe the injury is serious. “I know I have the streak going on, but my body and staying healthy is more important,” Choo said. “And winning games is more important than records. I don’t want to make it worse. I don’t think it’s serious.” Chicago is another team building from the ground up but already has its second baseman of the future, Yoan Moncada Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys Womens , on the field as an everyday player. Moncada, who was acquired from Boston as part of the trade that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox, has struggled through the first half of the season, hitting just .225 after batting .231 in 54 games last season. He also has a team-high 13 errors at second base. “I did not expect to have as many tough, difficult moments as I’ve been having,” Moncada told the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’ve learned that this is a process, it’s something young guys have to get used to. You can’t get frustrated at any point. If you keep your faith in what you do, you’re going to be good.” Lopez will make his 17th start of the season, 10th on the road and second against the Rangers this season when he takes the hill on Sunday. He is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA over his past three road starts. His last time out, on June 26, Lopez earned the win versus Minnesota, allowing four runs on six hits over 6 1/3 innings in an 8-4 Chi-Sox victory. Lopez is receiving a 3.45 run support average this season, the ninth-lowest in the AL. He will be making his third career start against the Rangers and second at Globe Life Park. Lopez garnered the win in his last start against Texas on May 20 in Chicago, pitching eight scoreless innings. Hamels will also make his 17th start of the season and leads all Texas starters in ERA (3.61), starts (16), innings (97 1/3), and strikeouts (97). He has gone 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA in his nine starts since May 5 to lower his ERA from 4.08 to 3.61. Hamels will be working on five days’ rest and last worked and took a no-decision in the Rangers’ 7-4 win on Monday at home against San Diego. He allowed a season-high nine hits in that game, exiting after trailing 4-1 in the sixth, ending a streak of eight straight starts six-plus or more innings pitched. Hamels has gone 2-0 with a 2.86 ERA in four career starts against the White Sox, recording quality starts in three of those four outings.
  9. Colby Rasmus is leaving the Baltimore Orioles after struggling to play through a left hip injury for two seasons. Baltimore placed the outfielder on the restricted list after he told the club Tuesday he was leaving. Rasmus informed manager Buck Showalter of his decision prior to a game against the Phillies. ”Colby talked to me this afternoon and said he made the decision to go home and discontinue playing http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-cody-latimer-jersey ,” Showalter said. ”We’re going to honor that. Give him the privacy he’s due, and hope everything is for the best. Wish him well, and we’ll see what the future brings.” Rasmus was hitting .133 with one homer in 18 games this season after signing a one-year, $3 million deal in the offseason. A 2005 first-round pick of the Cardinals, Rasmus left Tampa Bay in midseason last year after dealing with similar hip problems. He hit his only homer on June 21 on the same day he was activated from the 60-day DL with a left hip flexor strain, but he was hitless in his last 11 at-bats. — Nolan Arenado should have no trouble getting to sleep now. Arenado homered for the third straight game and drove in five runs to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday. After hitting .171 while the Rockies lost eight of 10 over the last two weeks, Arenado hit .538 in the last three games. ”When you’re losing and you’re not getting hits it hurts http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-patrick-omameh-jersey ,” Arenado said. ”It keeps me up at night.” Arenado also doubled to back another strong outing from Kyle Freeland (7-6). Freeland has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his last 11 starts and has emerged as the team’s most reliable starter. Arenado had just two home runs in his first 15 games of June, but has four in his last seven. He put the Rockies ahead 3-1 with a three-run homer in the first off Steven Matz (3-5), his 16th of the season. He delivered a two-run double in the second to drive in five for the second time this season. He also had five RBIs at the Chicago Cubs on May 2. ”Today was a special day. I’m not going to drive in five every game,” he said. Todd Frazier gave the Mets a 1-0 lead in the first with his eighth homer. New York has lost three in a row after winning three straight. The Mets got within two runs when Frazier and Michael Conforto led off the eighth with singles. Yency Almonte, making his major league debut, relieved Chris Rusin and allowed one inherited runner to score that made it 5-3 before getting an inning-ending double play. It was the fifth double-play grounder by New York on the afternoon. The Rockies tied a franchise record for a nine-inning game by inducing five ground-ball double plays. It’s only the third time in any game the Rockies induced five groundout double plays. Freeland got out of three jams with double plays. ”He made some really good pitches down,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I’ve seen Freeland in the past http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-terrelle-pryor-sr.-jersey , he does a good job of executing the balls just down under the zone. If you chase one and put it in play, it becomes a double play.” Gerardo Parra’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth restored the three-run lead. New York got one back when Kevin Plawecki tripled in the ninth and came home on a groundout. Dominic Smith doubled with two outs, but Jake McGee struck out Brandon Nimmo to get his first save of the season. TRAINER’S ROOM Mets: INF Asdrubal Cabrera was out of the lineup, but Callaway said he was fine a day after hitting his left elbow making a tag. … Callaway said OF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip flexor) did some stretching and the hope is he progresses in the next few days. NUMBERS GAME Arenado has only 14 career at-bats against Matz but he’s made them count. He is hitting .357 with four home runs and 12 RBIs against the Mets’ lefty after Thursday. ”I threw a couple of bad pitches and Arenado beat me twice,” Matz said. ”That really sums up the whole game.” Matz struck out Arenado looking in the fourth and settled down to go 5 2-3 innings. ”When you put your team in a hole like that you gotta look ahead and go as deep as you can,” Matz said. ROSTER MOVE Before the game, the Rockies recalled Almonte from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned INF Ryan McMahon to their top farm team. Almonte said he was struggling with nerves when he jogged to the mound in the eighth. ”I came in and it was first and third and I thought http://www.jetsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-thomas-rawls-jersey , `I need to do something, get a ground ball or a fly out,”’ Almonte said. ”That was huge for me.” UP NEXT Mets: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.82) will open a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night. Wheeler has gone six or more innings in nine of his 13 starts. Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (6-7, 5.89) takes the mound in the opener of a weekend series against Miami. Gray has allowed 12 earned runs in three June starts and holds a 6.75 ERA for the month. —
  10. The Chicago White Sox snapped an eight-game losing streak with a victory Friday night over the Oakland Athletics. Now Packers Cheap Jerseys , the White Sox will try to start building momentum in a positive direction. Chicago (25-50) will go for back-to-back wins when it hosts Oakland (39-37) on Saturday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. The White Sox and A’s are coming off a doubleheader split and have two games left in the four-game series on Chicago’s South Side. The matchup will represent a personal milestone for White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey (3-2, 2.90 ERA), who will face the A’s for the first time in his career. The A’s drafted him in 2013 in the fourth round, but Chicago selected him in the Rule 5 draft before the start of last season. Covey endured a turbulent 2017 campaign but has performed much better this time around. The 26-year-old went five straight starts without a defeat before falling short in his most recent outing Monday against the Cleveland Indians. He gave up four earned runs on six hits over six innings in that 6-2 defeat. This will be Covey’s 20th start in the big leagues. He is 3-9 with a 5.95 ERA in his career. “On the outside looking in, I would say he’s on a path that leads us to believe he’s turning a corner and getting to where you feel comfortable with all of his approaches, when he’s attacking hitters, and that’s going to be able to have this become a sustainable activity for him,” Chicago manager Rick Renteria said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “The stuff is good. It’s always going to be, for all pitchers, trusting the stuff and commanding strikes.” For Oakland, right-hander Daniel Mengden (6-6, 4.06 ERA) is set to make his 16th start of the season. The Houston Astros drafted Mengden in the fourth round in 2014, and he was traded to Oakland the next season as part of a package for veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir. Kazmir has not pitched in the big leagues since 2016, but Mengden appears to have a bright future at age 25. He has struggled recently, however Colts Cheap Jerseys , allowing 16 earned runs in his past 14 1/3 innings for a 10.05 ERA during that span. He has given up eight home runs in that time. In his only career appearance against the White Sox earlier this season, Mengden allowed only one run and six hits in eight innings. He walked one and struck out six while picking up the win in Oakland’s 8-1 victory. A’s outfielder Matt Joyce could remain in the lineup one day after he was activated from the 10-day disabled list with a lumbar strain. He hit .196 with seven home runs and 13 RBIs before the injury, and he went 0-for-2 in his return Friday night. “Obviously, he’s been a big part of our lineup,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said to mlb.com. “Maybe not the year he envisioned up to this point, but we feel like he’s swung the bat a lot better than his numbers would suggest. He had a couple of hits the last couple of games, and he’s healthy again.” The White Sox are 13-25 at home. The A’s are 19-17 on the road. A fast recovery prevented Lindsey Vonn from crashing into the safety netting and possibly compromising another Olympics. Still, it wasn’t enough to preserve a victory. Sofia Goggia of Italy won a World Cup downhill on home snow Friday after Vonn’s mistake. Vonn was faster than Goggia midway down the Olympia delle Tofane course but had trouble landing a jump and slammed on the brakes to clear the next gate. ”The hill was really good today but obviously the light was not great,” Vonn said of the overcast conditions. ”I hit a rut funny and almost went into the net. But I recovered and I tried to take as much speed as I could but I unfortunately lost a lot of time and lost the win. ”But I still got second place, which is pretty outstanding all things considered. I have the speed and I know I’m skiing well so tomorrow is another chance, another opportunity. Hopefully I won’t be caught by that rut again.” Goggia finished 0.47 seconds ahead of Vonn in second. ”After my ski performance I was not happy, but it lasted and Lindsey made that mistake,” Goggia said. ”If that doesn’t happen she probably wins with a big advantage.” It was the fourth victory of Goggia’s career and second straight after also winning a downhill in Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, last weekend. Overall World Cup leader Mikaela Shiffrin finished third Jaguars Cheap Jerseys , 0.84 behind, in her first attempt at the Cortina downhill. Shiffrin holds a massive 871-point lead ahead of Goggia in the overall standings, while Goggia leads Shiffrin by 49 points in the downhill rankings. Julia Mancuso, another American standout, announced her retirement and bid the circuit goodbye by wearing a Wonder Woman suit during a casual run. Slowed by worsening hip problems in recent seasons, Mancuso failed to qualify for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics. Mancuso will be remembered for her record at big events, having won four medals at Olympics and five at world championships, despite having a small frame for a ski racer. ”In ski racing, for me it was always about having fun,” Mancuso said. ”And when I had fun success followed. … I hope my career can inspire others to just have fun, especially as an underdog.” In the finish area, teammates sprayed Mancuso with champagne. Friday’s race was originally scheduled for Val d’Isere last month but was moved from the French resort because of poor conditions. Another downhill is scheduled for Saturday, followed by a super-G on Sunday. Both races are big warmups for next month’s Pyeongchang Olympics. Vonn missed the 2014 Sochi Games because of a right knee injury. — More AP skiing coverage:
  11. It’ll be much easier to watch the Super Bowl online for free this year. NBC won’t require proof of a cable or satellite TV subscription Captain Munnerlyn Jersey , meaning that anyone in the U.S. can watch the game online. Plus, you’ll be able to watch the game on a phone even if you aren’t a Verizon customer, as was a requirement before. Here’s your online guide to the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots in Minneapolis. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday on NBC. — THE BIG GAME The best experience will be on a big screen TV. If you don’t have a cable subscription or a good signal with an antenna, you can fire up the NBC Sports app on a number of streaming TV devices, including Apple TV, Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV. Normally, TV networks require viewers to sign in with a cable or satellite subscription. That’s being waived starting with the pre-game coverage at noon ET. The free viewing will conclude with a postgame episode of ”This Is Us,” expected to run until about 11 p.m. On personal computers, the same coverage will be available through NBCSports.com and NBC.com, again without any sign-in requirements. Last year’s broadcaster, Fox, also waived the sign-in requirements. What’s new is a lifting of restrictions on phones. In the past, you had to be a Verizon customer to watch on a phone. A new rights deal means that customers of Verizon’s rivals will be able to watch, too. On Apple and Android mobile devices, you can turn to apps from the NFL and Yahoo Sports (Verizon now owns the latter). You won’t be able to watch on a phone with the NBC app, but you can use it on a tablet. The NFL and Yahoo streams will include pre- and postgame coverage, but not ”This Is Us.” — ALL ABOUT THE ADS The Super Bowl is the rare event where viewers do pay attention to ads. A 30-second spot goes for about $5 million. NBC says local ads sold by individual stations will also appear in the online streams Ian Thomas Jersey , depending on the viewer’s location. NBC will post the national ads at NBCSports.com as they air. An ad analytics company, iSpot.tv, will also track, record and post ads online soon after they air. YouTube’s AdBlitz will also have ads, but only the ones that brands choose to share there. You don’t have to wait until Sunday, as many of the ads are already available online. — BEYOND NBC Although NBC has the television rights this year, other outlets are planning features around the Super Bowl. Without rights to video, ESPN is planning to showcase ”the best photos throughout the game” on its website and app. The sports network will also feature analyses of big plays and controversial calls. The NFL also plans Super Bowl podcasts leading up to the game, along with a special edition of its daily Twitter show, (hash)NFLBlitz, on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. A look at what’s happening around the majors Tuesday: VERLANDER DAY Houston tries for its 13th straight win with AL ERA leader Justin Verlander on the mound against Tampa Bay. The Astros‘ ace is 9-2 with a 1.61 ERA, though he’s posted a 3.79 ERA over his past three starts and matched a season high with two homers allowed last time out in a 7-3 win over Oakland. Rays lefty Blake Snell (8-4, 2.58) will try to slow down Houston after the Astros beat Tampa Bay 5-4 on Alex Bregman’s game-ending two-run double Monday. ON THE MEND The defending NL champions are beginning to get healthier. Rich Hill comes off the DL to start for the Dodgers in the nightcap of a doubleheader against the Cubs in a rematch of last year’s NL Championship Series. Hill (1-2, 6.20 ERA) went on the disabled list May 20 with a blister on his left middle finger, a recurring problem for the veteran left-hander. He will be opposed by fellow lefty Mike Montgomery (2-2, 3.31), who is 2-1 with a 1.14 ERA in four starts since moving into the rotation after Yu Darvish was sidelined by right triceps tendinitis. Hill’s return comes one day after Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw threw a three-inning simulated game at Wrigley Field Authentic Derick Brassard Jersey , taking another step forward in his recovery from a strained lower back. The three-time Cy Young Award winner said he felt really good and plans to pitch somewhere in four or five days, either in a minor league rehab start or for the Dodgers. Veteran second baseman Chase Utley, sidelined by sprained left thumb, is expected to come off the DL with Hill. And rookie right-hander Walker Buehler, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, is scheduled for a bullpen session Saturday in New York, continuing his comeback from a right rib microfracture. MEASURING STICK One of baseball’s biggest surprises, the Seattle Mariners (46-26) embark on a 10-game road trip to the East Coast that should serve as a tough test. They open with three games against the New York Yankees followed by three in Boston – the top two teams in the majors. Marco Gonzales (7-3, 3.42 ERA) attempts to win his fifth straight decision when he pitches against Yankees rookie Domingo German (1-4, 5.23), who is coming off his first major league win. TIME TRAVELER Juan Soto’s feats are piling up. The latest from the 19-year-old rookie sensation: homering in a game played before he made his major league debut. Soto hit a tiebreaking, pinch-hit, two-run shot in the sixth inning of a game that began and was suspended because of rain last month, five days before Soto was called up from the minors for the first time. Soto’s sixth homer in 24 games lifted the Nationals over the Yankees 5-3. Washington is set to open a home series against Baltimore. The team will be joined this week by reliever Kelvin Herrera, who was acquired from Kansas City for three minor leaguers Monday. BAEZ BACK? Javier Baez may return to the Cubs’ starting lineup two days after being hit on the left elbow by a pitch. Baez was out of the lineup before Monday’s game against the Dodgers was postponed and said the elbow was still swollen, but the team decided no X-rays were needed. Baez leads Chicago with 14 home runs. The teams will play a day-night doubleheader at Wrigley after Monday’s game was delayed due to rain and a limited power outage. —
  12. PHILADELPHIA — The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles will compete in their first playoff game in four years when they host the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles lost MVP candidate Oliver Ekman-Larsson Jersey , quarterback Carson Wentz, down the stretch but still managed to finish 13-3 and earn the No. 1 seed with backup Nick Foles. Ironically, Foles was the quarterback in 2013 when the Eagles fell to the New Orleans Saints 26-24. The Falcons received the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC, then promptly traveled to the West Coast and defeated the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 in the wild-card round. Philadelphia became the first No. 1 seed to open as an underdog in the playoffs. In the last two regular-season games, the offense sputtered under Foles with a 19-10 win over the Oakland Raiders and a 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Foles did sit out the majority of the regular season finale against the Cowboys. “Yeah, there’s going to be wonder,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said when asked how his team will respond in the postseason. “But I’m going to tell you, ‘Listen, these guys are football players.’ I think sometimes the outside, whether it be the media, the fans, can make it bigger than it really is. When you boil it down, it’s football at the end of the day. It’s football at the end of the day. Just go do your job. “Do what you’ve been coached to do all week long and give it your best effort on Saturday. If it’s good enough, great. If it’s not, then we focus on next season.” Foles was 4 of 11 for 39 yards and an interception against the Cowboys and struggled to throw the ball downfield. Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld was 19 of 23 for 134 yards, but the Eagles have repeatedly made it clear that Foles is the starter. “As much as we and everybody else wants to run the football, you have to be able to stay aggressive in the pass game and get the ball down the field,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “Nick has proven that over the length and entirety of his career. He not only can get the ball downfield, he can do so very well. He wants to throw the ball downfield. He’s aggressive in his mindset, as aggressive a guy as I’ve been around. He’s looking to throw it down the field. Some guys are the dink-and-dunk kind of guys. That’s not Nick. Nick is aggressive. “So we need to be good in the run game and be able to mix in our play-action, take our shots down the field, keep the defense off guard and keep them guessing and that starts with good production on first down,” Reich added. The Falcons, who finished the regular season at 10-6 Richard Panik Jersey , are preparing for their second road playoff game. Quarterback Matt Ryan (personal reasons) and wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle, ribs) both missed practice Tuesday but are expected to start on Saturday. Ryan was 21 of 30 for 218 yards and a touchdown in the 13-point win over the Rams. It was his first road playoff win in three starts. “We’re not here just to get here,” Ryan told reporters. “We want to make noise while we’re here. This is what it’s all about. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity this time of the year to compete and play in games like this, and to win games like this.” Ryan led Atlanta to the Super Bowl last season in what wound up being a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New England Patriots. He was able to guide the Falcons back to the postseason once again. “He’s a hell of a competitor, and those of you that know him know the nice guy you see through the media, but in between those white lines, he is a wolf,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn told ESPN.com. “I love what he stands for as a competitor, and his teammates know that, too. I thought there’s all sorts of examples, getting hit and bouncing back up, getting ready for the next one. He really showed that kind of toughness to his teammates.” Ryan, who was raised in nearby Exton, Pa., and attended Penn Charter High School — is 1-3 all-time against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Falcons forced a pair of huge fumbles and turned them into 10 points against the Rams. Kicker Matt Bryant also booted four field goals. “We know that they’re a good team, and we know that they beat us last year,” Atlanta free safety Ricardo Allen told ESPN.com of the Eagles. “We know we’re going to have to go there and fight.” When Brewers pitchers went over the strengths and weaknesses of Cincinnati’s hitters to prepare for their series, they included reliever Michael Lorenzen in the mix. They need to do more studying. Lorenzen hit the second grand slam by a Reds pitcher in a week – and his third homer in his last three at-bats – as Cincinnati pulled away to a 12-3 victory Saturday, ending a seven-game losing streak against Milwaukee. Lorenzen’s pinch-hit grand slam off Jacob Barnes in the seventh inning completed an eight-run rally, Cincinnati’s biggest of the season. Lorenzen’s fifth career homer drew a curtain call from the crowd of 24,640. ”It was a surreal feeling, for sure,” Lorenzen said. ”I love this game and everything about it.” It was the reliever’s second homer in the series. He also had a solo shot Friday during Milwaukee’s 8-2 win. ”The guy’s swinging the bat really well, that’s for sure Shane Doan Jersey ,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”We treat him as a position player. We covered him in scouting meetings. We’re going to have to make some adjustments.” One week earlier, Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani hit a grand slam off Cubs left-hander Brian Duensing at Great American Ball Park. Lorenzen avoided the temptation to swing at a slider, and then hit a fastball deep to left field. ”The Reds have always put together some good-hitting pitchers, going back to Travis Wood and those guys,” Brewers catcher Erik Kratz said. ”You have to know who those guys are and where they want the ball and not throw it there.” Tyler Mahle struck out a career-high 12 batters in 5 2/3 innings, three shy of the Reds’ rookie record. David Hernandez (3-0) pitched the top of the seventh. The Reds fanned 18 batters, a club record for a nine-inning game. The Brewers’ depleted bullpen couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the seventh. Cincinnati’s first eight batters reached safely against three relievers, with left-hander Mike Zagurski (0-1) taking the loss in his first major league appearance since 2013. The NL Central leaders also were missing two starting position players. Christian Yelich left Thursday’s game with back tightness, and Ryan Braun came out of Friday’s game with the same issue. Counsell said Braun could be available on Sunday. Eric Thames homered off Mahle, his 14th home run in 22 career games against Cincinnati. Thames hit 10 last year, the most by a Brewers player against the Reds in one season. LORENZEN LORE The last pinch-hit grand slam by a Reds player came from Chris Heisey on April 13, 2014, against Tampa Bay. Lorenzen’s three homers this season are the most by a Reds pitcher since Micah Owings had three in 2009. The last major league pitcher to homer in three straight at-bats was Colorado’s Mike Hampton in 2001. POWER SURGE In the last eight days, Reds pitchers have produced four homers – three by Lorenzen, one by DeSclafani. For the season, Lorenzen is 4 for 6 with three homers and six RBIs. MAHLE’S STRIKEOUTS Mahle’s 12 strikeouts were the most by a Reds pitcher since Amir Garrett also fanned 12 Orioles on April 19, 2017. The club record for strikeouts by a rookie is 15 by Gary Nolan on June 7, 1967, against the Giants. TRADING PLACES With the game out of hand, Kratz moved to the mound for the eighth inning – his third career pitching appearance – and gave up a pair of runs. ”I’d rather catch nine innings and do high-fives,” he said. REDS DEAL The Reds sent minor league catcher Joe Hudson to the Angels for cash. The 27-year-old Hudson has never played in the majors. He batted .235 with no homers and three RBIs in 16 games for Triple-A Louisville this season. TRAINER’S ROOM Brewers: RHP Zach Davies had a setback in what was expected to be his final minor league rehab assignment as he recovers from a sore shoulder. He lasted only three innings and gave up 10 runs and three hits for Class A Wisconsin on Friday night, leaving after just 48 pitches because of a sore back. Reds: RHP Homer Bailey will make his fourth rehab start Tuesday for Triple-A Louisville. He’s been sidelined since June 2 because of a sore right knee. Bailey is 1-7 with a 6.68 ERA. UP NEXT Brewers: Freddy Peralta (3-0) makes his fifth start. The Brewers are 4-0 in his starts. Opponents are batting .093 against the right-hander. Reds: Matt Harvey (3-5) makes his 10th start for the Reds, who got him from the Mets in a trade for catcher Devin Mesoraco on May 8. Harvey has allowed six runs in his last three starts spanning 17 2/3 innings. —
  13. The Chicago Bears are parting with veteran guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Jerrell Freeman. Two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday the Bears have decided to decline their option on Sitton for next season and release Freeman. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the moves. A four-time Pro Bowl lineman Jordan Staal Jersey , the 31-year-old Sitton spent the past two seasons in Chicago after an eight-year run with Green Bay. He signed with the Bears after the Packers released him just before the 2016 season. Sitton dealt with rib and ankle injuries last season and missed three games. Article continues below ... The 31-year-old Freeman suffered a season-ending pectoral injury in the opener last year and was suspended for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs in each of his two seasons with the Bears. The second violation resulted in a 10-game suspension in late October. Freeman said on Twitter at the time that he also suffered a potentially career-ending concussion in the opener, providing context to the drug violation. He said he downplayed the severity of his head injury to family and friends. Freeman led Chicago with 110 tackles in 2016 despite serving a four-game suspension for his first violation. He played for Indianapolis from 2012-15. The Bears went 5-11 last season and finished last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. Chicago fired coach John Fox and replaced him with Matt Nagy. NFL Network first reported the Bears are declining Sitton’s option, while Pro Football Talk was first with the news on Freeman. — The Washington Nationals have activated right-hander Jeremy Hellickson from the 10-day disabled list and will start him against Philadelphia. The Nationals made the move before playing at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday. Reliever Sammy Solis was sent to Triple-A Syracuse. Hellickson is 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA in nine starts this season. The veteran right-hander has been sidelined since June 4 with a right hamstring strain. He was 6-5 for Philadelphia last year. Solis is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 40 games this season. In 28 innings, the left-hander has allowed 22 hits with 30 strikeouts and 15 walks. Also Justin Faulk Jersey , Washington transferred third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, who has been out since May 10 with a strained right oblique, to the 60-day DL. The Nationals reinstated catcher Raudy Read from the restricted list and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. Read, who appeared in eight games last season Justin Williams Jersey , is coming off an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
  14. The Chiefs have cut veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis Josh Morrissey Jersey , a move that was long expected with his pricy tag next season and the franchise’s tight salary cap situation this offseason. The team announced the move in a statement Thursday. Revis signed an incentive-laden, two-year contract in November, providing the Chiefs with some help down the stretch and in the playoffs. He started twice and made 10 tackles in five regular-season games. The Chiefs needed to free up salary cap space, and the release of Revis combined with the pending trade of quarterback Alex Smith to Washington will free up about $21.5 million. The 32-year-old Revis spent the previous 10 seasons with the Jets, Patriots and Buccaneers. In the Alpine ski race that Switzerland loves most of all, Beat Feuz gave the home team yet another victory in the Lauberhorn downhill on Saturday. Racing first, Feuz was watched by the Swiss president and 35,000 fans, setting a time on the longest World Cup course of 4.27 kilometers (2.65 miles) that only Aksel Lund Svindal could threaten. Svindal wore the No. 3 bib and led at four of the five time splits, but the big Norwegian finished 0.18 seconds behind Feuz’s 2 minutes Kyle Connor Jersey , 26.50 seconds. ”I’m very happy with the second place,” said Svindal, who watched Feuz’s run on television at the start house overlooked by the Eiger and Jungfrau mountains. ”I kind of figured it would be a tough one to beat.” Feuz punched the air with both fists in the leader’s box on seeing Svindal’s time – sensing a 62-man race that would take another two hours to complete was effectively over after eight minutes. ”A fantastic day, unbelievable. When Aksel came down, I knew mine was a good race,” said Feuz, who also won the world championships gold medal on home snow, at St. Moritz last February. Matthias Mayer of Austria was third, 0.67 behind Feuz. It gave the storied race a podium of the world champion, flanked by the most consistent downhill racer of the past decade Mark Scheifele Jersey , and the 2014 Olympic champion. Even fourth place was taken by Hannes Reichelt of Austria, who had his streak of five straight podium finishes at Wengen broken. When Reichelt won in 2015, he beat Feuz into second. Feuz also won at Wengen in 2012, and the Swiss team has now won five of the past nine editions. With his second downhill win this season, Feuz closed the gap on Svindal who leads the season-long standings. The 30-year-old Swiss previously won at Lake Louise, Canada, in November when Mayer and Svindal were also on the podium. Svindal extended an impressive streak of top-three finishes in each of five World Cup downhills this season in his latest comeback from serious injuries and surgery. ”I can’t train as much,” said the 35-year-old Svindal who took silver in the 2010 Olympic downhill. ”So I’m very happy that I’m able to pull it out for the races and make it happen.” On a clear and cold day, the race was run under blue skies with sun lighting much of the course. Feuz and Svindal were rewarded for choosing low numbers for the 12:30 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) start. World Cup rules let the top 10-ranked downhill racers pick an odd-numbered bib from Nos. 1 through 19. Mayer started No. 11, and said the snow had become ”sticky” and slower in the sun-bathed upper section. The fastest speed was recorded by Reichelt Mathieu Perreault Jersey , wearing No. 19, who clocked 147.5 kph (almost 92 mph) on a straight section two minutes into his run. Still, the Austrian veteran’s chance was gone after dropping a full second behind Feuz in the top half. Svindal lost time at halfway going through the S-shaped turns where he grazed his head against safety nets and exited at just 70.7 kph (44 mph). ”It’s one of those old-school turns that’s almost impossible to do with the speed you carry,” he said, revealing his helmet was marked blue from ”burned rubber.” A festive day included a pre-race fly-past by military jet fighters escorting a Swiss airlines jumbo. The host nation’s president, Alain Berset, watched in a public duty days before world leaders gather in Switzerland at Davos, where he is scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump. ”It’s really magnificent,” Berset told The Associated Press of Feuz’s win. ”It’s the biggest downhill race in the world for us obviously.”
  15. TORONTO — Jose Bautista will return to the scene of some of his biggest moments in baseball Tuesday night when the New York Mets visit the Toronto Blue Jays. The Mets and Blue Jays will play a two-game interleague series at the Rogers Centre Brandon Saad Jersey , where Bautista starred for the better part of nine years. The Mets will start right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.47 ERA) against Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.53) in the series opener. While the Blue Jays (39-45) were losing 3-2 in 10 innings on Monday afternoon to the Detroit Tigers at the Rogers Centre, the Mets (33-48) had the day off. It gave Bautista a chance to renew acquaintances in Toronto. “I have some stuff scheduled, to meet up with people who were part of my life when I was there and visit some of the usual spots,” Bautista told reporters in Miami, where the Mets played last weekend. “It’s definitely a place that I hold dear and close to my heart. It’s going to be a fun time.” Bautista twice led the American League in home runs with the Blue Jays, hitting 54 in 2010 and 43 in 2011. His most famous home run came in 2015 at the Rogers Centre, a three-run blast with an iconic bat flip that won the American League Division Series in the fifth and deciding game against the Texas Rangers. He played 1,235 regular-season games for the Blue Jays from 2008 to 2017, hitting 288 homers (second only to Carlos Delgado’s 336) with 776 RBIs (third on the team’s career list). Bautista also had an influence on his teammates. “He was a huge help in my development,” Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar said. “There was a time in my first full year when I went from left to center and I was making some plays and I kind of earned his respect and he metaphorically gave me the keys (to the outfield) and told me to go get anything I could. And my voice became the voice in the outfield. That was pretty special to me.” When the Blue Jays did not pick up the option on his contract for this season Brent Seabrook Jersey Kids , he became a free agent. He did not have a team until the Atlanta Braves signed him on April 18. After a minor-league stint, he struggled with the Braves for 12 games and was released May 20. The Mets signed him May 22. In 36 games with the Mets, the 37-year-old is batting .250/.418/476 with three homers and 13 RBIs. In his past 14 games, he is hitting .300/.462/.650 with three homers and 10 RBIs. “I’m not surprised by what he’s doing,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “He probably just needed some at-bats to get going and now we’re seeing the byproduct of him being ready. I’ve always known he’s a really good hitter. He keeps himself in really good shape. He’s probably in the best shape of anybody on our team and is (the oldest player on the team). Great approach, great patience, still has bat speed.” “Not having a spring training, wanting to swing the bat and some other things might’ve played into me not (reaching base) as much in Atlanta,” Bautista said. Bautista always has been a versatile player. He played mostly right field with the Blue Jays but also manned third base and occasionally first base. He has played 12 games in left field for the Mets, 10 in right field, two at third base and one at second base. This will be the second series between the teams. They split two games on May 15-16 at Citi Field. Wheeler was the losing pitcher on May 16, a 12-1 Blue Jays victory Youth Corey Crawford Jersey , in his only career outing against Toronto. He allowed six runs, seven hits and three walks and struck out seven in four innings. Estrada is 0-2 with a 7.27 ERA in seven career games (two starts) against the Mets. He struggled earlier in the season but is 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA in his past five starts. Al Michaels has a similar level of anticipation heading into his 10th Super Bowl broadcast as he had the first time he worked the biggest stage on television 30 years ago. Michaels is set to join Pat Summerall as the only play-by-play announcers to call at least 10 Super Bowls when he works next weekend’s game in Minneapolis between New England and Philadelphia. ”It’s every bit as exciting and even more so in a way,” Michaels said in a phone interview. ”As you get older and you get the opportunities to do these events, you probably savor it more. ”When I look at guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, as they get older, I think they begin to appreciate and savor the opportunities more because you’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning and you never know how many more you have left.” The 73-year-old Michaels is in no hurry to give up the microphone on NBC’s ”Sunday Night Football” broadcast, which is on target to be television’s highest-rated show for a record seventh straight year, passing the mark set by ”American Idol.” With a comfort level with his broadcast team led by executive producer Fred Gaudelli, director Drew Esocoff and analyst Cris Collinsworth, Michaels is having as much fun as he ever had since becoming the lead announcer for ABC’s ”Monday Night Football” in 1986. Michaels points to advice from former Buffalo coach Marv Levy about never considering retirement. He could be in position to stay long enough to match Summerall’s record of 11 Super Bowl play-by-play broadcasts. ”If you think about retiring, you’ve already retired,” Michaels said. ”That rings in my ears. I have a great amount of passion for what I do. I love what I do. I work with the greatest people I’ve ever worked with in this business top to bottom. I still get excited going to the games. I love walking into a stadium. I love sports.” It’s been a remarkable career for Michaels Adam Henrique Jersey , who has called eight World Series, including the Earthquake Series in 1989; nine Olympics, including the ”Miracle on Ice” in 1980; and now is preparing for his 10th Super Bowl. He still remains at the top of his game in his sixth decade of work. ”Working with Al has been a professional highlight and all-out blast,” said Gaudelli, who will work his sixth Super Bowl with Michaels next week. ”I’ve been watching sports all my life and in my opinion no one can capture the moment quite like Al can. It’s never rehearsed or predetermined – he sees it, calls it and somehow the words are perfect. He never ceases to amaze me.” Michaels’ first Super Bowl came following the 1987 season when Doug Williams led Washington to a 42-10 victory. Several of his others have included some of the most dramatic finishes in Super Bowl history, from Scott Norwood’s missed field goal for Buffalo in 1991, to Mike Jones’ tackle of Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line on the final play to preserve St. Louis’ title in 2000, to Eli Manning’s second comeback drive to beat Tom Brady six years ago. But two stand out the most. The first was in 2009, when Pittsburgh’s James Harrison returned an interception 100 yards for a score on the final play of the first half, and then Santonio Holmes caught the winning TD for the Steelers in the final minute of a comeback win over Arizona. Then in the most-watched television event in U.S. history three years ago, the Patriots won their fourth title when Malcolm Butler intercepted a pass from Russell Wilson at the goal line when it looked as if the Seahawks were poised to score the go-ahead TD in the closing seconds. Those are the moments no broadcaster can ever prepare for Womens Andrew Cogliano Jersey , and only the most accomplished can handle as adroitly as Michaels has over the years. ”John Madden once had a great line. We prepare like crazy. We prepare for any eventuality. But you get to the booth, and as John would say, all of a sudden a game breaks out,” Michaels said. ”The game has to come to you. You can’t go to the game. We have a million things we can talk about, but if you start talking about them and they’re not germane to the game, the listener will find that cacophonous. You have to blend what you know with what’s going on in the game.” One aspect Michaels didn’t have to deal with for most of his career but has risen up this season has been social justice protests during the national anthem. He realizes it’s a delicate balance for an announcer because many fans will be offended by networks showing or talking about the protests, while others will be equally as upset if they are ignored. While no Eagles or Patriots are currently protesting, Michaels is prepared for any scenario. ”We’re there to report what happens,” he said. ”If there is something that does take place, you have to cover it. You don’t have to editorialize about it. You report here is what happened and you don’t lecture people on this is bad or this is good. People tune in to watch the game and we’ll bring them the game.” —