Saturday, September 29, 2012

Halladay, Phils top Marlins

AP Sports Writer

MIAMI — Roy Halladay survived a shaky opening inning, Jimmy Rollins had three hits and scored three times, and the Phillies beat the Miami Marlins 9-5 on Saturday night.

Chase Utley drove in three runs and Carlos Ruiz added a two-run double for the Phillies, who evened their record at 79-79 with four games left.

Halladay (11-8) allowed six hits and four runs, striking out seven and walking three in five innings.

Giancarlo Stanton had three hits, including his 36th homer, and drove in three runs for Miami. The Marlins led 3-0 after an inning but lost for the 91st time — matching the most by the franchise in any season since 1999.

Ricky Nolasco (12-13) allowed nine hits and five runs in five innings for Miami, which got a three-hit
night from Donovan Solano.

Miami loaded the bases in each of the last two innings, getting only one run out of those opportunities.

The Phillies said first baseman Ryan Howard will miss the remainder of the year with a broken right big toe, an injury suffered on Thursday when he dropped a metal pipe on his foot in the on-deck circle. The injury, which typically heals after a few weeks, is not expected to significantly impact Howard’s offseason training program.

Assuming he finishes with 11 wins, it’s the lowest total for Halladay since he went 8-8 for Toronto in 2004. His ERA, if it holds, will be 4.49, nearly double the mark of 2.35 from a year ago and well over the 2.98 he posted from 2001 through 2011.

The 132 strikeouts match his fewest since 2006, and opponents have posted their highest average against him — .261 — since 2007.

And Miami, which flailed at everything Halladay threw when he pitched a perfect game at the Marlins’ former ballpark in 2010, wasted little time getting to him on Saturday.

Bryan Petersen and Solano led off with singles, and Jose Reyes walked on four pitches to load the bases for Stanton. He tapped a two-run single to center, and Rob Brantly later brought Reyes home and put the Marlins up 3-0.

From there, other than Stanton hitting a solo homer in the third, the night was pretty much controlled by the Phillies.

Pete Orr’s two-run double in the second got Philadelphia on the board, and the Phillies added three in the fifth — an inning where Halladay led off with a single. Utley’s two-run single tied the game, and he scored the go-ahead run on Domonic Brown’s triple to center.

Ruiz’s double in the seventh pushed the lead to 7-4, and Utley’s third RBI in the eighth gave the Phillies a four-run cushion.

The Marlins got an RBI single from Gil Velazquez in the eighth, after loading the bases with none out. Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns went down on strikes for the second out; the pitch got away from Ruiz, who retrieved it and flipped to reliever Antonio Bastardo in time to easily catch Carlos Lee trying to score from third.

Lee popped up for the second out when the bases were loaded again in the ninth, and Jonathan Papelbon — not in a save situation — struck out Greg Dobbs to end the 4-hour, 3-minute game.

Notes: Rollins hit a foul ball that drifted into the third-base seats in the seventh, and a fan tried to catch the pop-up with his popcorn bucket. Predictable hilarity followed — popcorn sailed everywhere. Rollins eventually reached and scored his 100th run of the season on Ruiz’s double. ... LHP Cole Hamels (16-6) pitches for the Phillies on Sunday afternoon against Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (3-6). ... The Marlins have set their rotation for the final three games against the New York Mets: RHP Josh Johnson is scheduled to go on Monday, RHP Jacob Turner on Tuesday and LHP Mark Buehrle in the finale on Wednesday afternoon.

Trentonian Saturday HS football chat at 11 a.m.

Welcome to our Week 4 Saturday high school football chat.
We have four big games we're following this morning in Mercer County:
Ewing at Lawrence, 11 a.m.
Trenton at Steinert, 11 a.m.
Hamilton at Princeton, 11 a.m.
WW-P North at Nottingham, noon
Join us right here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Yankees pound Jays, stay in first

TORONTO (AP) — Fired up by a furious playoff race, Yankees catcher Russell Martin is finishing the season strong.
Martin hit a three-run homer, Eric Chavez added a two-run shot and New York maintained its one-game lead atop the AL East by beating the Toronto Blue Jays 11-4 on Friday night.
The victory let New York keep its slim lead over second-place Baltimore, which used six first-inning runs to beat Boston 9-1.
Martin, who has six home runs and 16 RBIs this month, said he's feeding off New York's battle with Baltimore.
"This is the type of baseball that I enjoy," he said. "It's high intensity. This is why you play the game."
He acknowledged, however, that the Orioles are proving a difficult opponent to put away.
"We want them to lose as much as possible but they don't really seem like they want to give in," Martin said. "It's going to be coming down to the wire."
Martin came into the final month batting just .198, but has heated up since and is hitting .298 over his past 19 games.
"Just trying to make a bad season look better," he said. "It's September, it's time to get going."

Mets win on Chipper's night

ATLANTA (AP) — Lucas Duda and Jonathon Niese stole some of the spotlight on Chipper Jones' big night.
Duda's three-run homer in the seventh inning gave New York the lead, Niese pitched seven strong innings for his third straight win and the Mets beat Tim Hudson and the Braves 3-1 on Friday night.
Niese outpitched Hudson on a special night. A sellout crowd of 51,910 packed Turner Field for a pregame tribute to Jones.
Niese wasn't distracted.
"It was a special night for Chip," Niese said. "It couldn't go to a more deserving guy. He plays the game the right way. All the respect, all the accolades are deserved.
"It's always an honor to be able to face a player like that, a future Hall of Famer. To do it tonight in front of all those people was pretty special."
Niese (13-9) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings for his third straight win.

LIVE Friday Night Football chat at 7 p.m.

Staff Report
Welcome to Week 4 of our Friday Night High School Football Chat. We will be following games in Mercer, Bucks and Burlington counties starting at 7 p.m.
Please note that the Council Rock at Pennsbury game has been postponed until Monday.
Here are the game we are following.
Florence at Robbinsville
Hightstown at Notre Dame
No. Burlington at WW-P South
Hopewell Valley at Allentown
Neshaminy at Truman
William Tennent at Council Rock North
Join us right here at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jayson Werth avoids throwing ball to "snarling, intoxicated" fans

Jayson Werth got the last laugh, but he is taking the high road.
Werth had nothing but politically correct and nice things to say about the Phillies after his two-run single crushed their miniscule playoff hopes on Wednesday night, but he was candid in his explantion of why he snubbed some kids in the front row out of a ball that came his way in the on-deck circle in the ninth inning.
The crowd grew even angrier with Werth than they already were, but the intense at-bat ended when Werth silenced the crowd with the single and sent them to the exits.
He did not throw the ball to the kids because of a previous incident in right field where a man stole the ball from a woman and threw it back on the field. He also said he saw "snarling," "possibly intoxicated middle-aged men" behind the kids, which made him hesitate to throw the ball.
Check out the video here.

Nats sink Phillies nearer to elimination

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — All that chasing has taken a toll on the Philadelphia Phillies.
Bryce Harper hit his 20th homer, Ian Desmond and Kurt Suzuki also connected and the Nationals beat the Phillies 8-4 Wednesday night to move closer toward winning their first division title since moving to Washington.
The Phillies, who closed to within three games of St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot following a late push, are on the verge of elimination. The five-time defending NL East champions are 5½ games behind the Cardinals.
They need to go 7-0 and hope St. Louis finishes 1-5 to force a tie, assuming Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Dodgers don't win more than four the rest of the way.
"We've been pushing real hard and it's catching up to us," manager Charlie Manuel said.
The Phillies came from way behind to make it interesting. They were 45-57 and 13 games behind the second wild-card team on July 31.
At least they won't be eliminated at home. The Phillies are guaranteed to be mathematically alive after Thursday's home finale.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yankees can't hold lead against Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Phil Hughes ran out of gas in the seventh inning and Boone Logan couldn’t hold the lead for him as the New York Yankees missed a chance to go up 2 1/2 games on Baltimore in a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night.
Hughes (16-13) was strong through six innings and the Yankees jumped out to a 3-1 lead. But he left with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, and the lefty Logan let one run score on a wild pitch before giving up a two-run double to Denard Span that put the Twins in front.
Joe Mauer followed with his third single of the game to cap the four-run seventh, and the Twins held on to keep the Orioles, who lost to Toronto earlier on Tuesday, 1 1/2 games back of New York in the AL East.

Ruf hits first homer as Phillies win

PHILADELPHIA — One hit does not make a career. Plenty of faceless players have hit home runs for the first hit of their big-league tenures.
However, not many have made their first big-league hit the 40th home run of their season.
That is why Darin Ruf’s first big-league hit, a solo home run off Ross Detwiler in the second inning of the Phillies’ 6-3 win over the Nationals at Citizens Bank Park Tuesday night, does more to instill hope than most.
The best part of Ruf’s homer wasn’t the majesty of its towering path into the left-center field seats, or the rousing ovation he received from the fans in the left-field seats when he took the field in the top of the third. Rather, it was the marathon freeze session his teammates put on the rookie afterward.
It wasn’t the first time veterans played a gag on a young player by not lining up to congratuate him at the dugout steps. But Ruf remained unacknowledged for the rest of the inning -- an inning that included two more hits and lasted several minutes. However, once Jimmy Rollins popped out to end the inning, Ruf got swamped by teammates.
Ruf got his first start for the Phillies after 2 1/2 weeks of watching the team try in vain to make up the wildcard expanse between them and the Cardinals. Two losses over the weekend to the Astros dried up the feasability of that quest, so it was time to give the 26-year-old who slammed 20 home runs in August for Double-A Reading a shot.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Rutgers beats Arkansas, gets to 4-0

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Gary Nova did his best to prove Rutgers is indeed for real.
Nova was 25 of 35 passing for a career-best 397 yards and five touchdowns Saturday night to lead the Scarlet Knights to a 35-26 win over Arkansas.
The win secures Rutgers' first 4-0 start since the 2006 season, and first-year coach Kyle Flood becomes the third coach in school history to start his career with that mark. The last was John Bateman in 1960.
Nova threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Coleman, who finished with six catches for 89 yards. Jawan Jamison had 33 carries for 118 yards for Rutgers.
Tyler Wilson, returning after missing a loss to Alabama with a concussion, was 20 of 40 passing for 419 yards for Arkansas (1-3). Cobi Hamilton had 10 catches for a Southeastern Conference record 303 yards and three touchdowns for the Razorbacks.
Rutgers trailed 10-0 in the first quarter before storming back behind Nova, who had never thrown more than two touchdowns in a game. The sophomore shattered that mark, as well as his previous best 298-yard passing effort against Connecticut last season.
For more, go to here.

Trentonian Saturday Football Chat

Welcome to our Trentonian Saturday football chat. Here are the games we are watching today.
Nottingham at Steinert, 11 a.m.
Allentown at Hamilton, 11 a.m.
WW-P South at Princeton, 11 a.m.
Burlington Twp. at Lawrence, 11 a.m.
WW-P North at Trenton, 1 p.m. 
Notre Dame at Rancocas Valley, 1 p.m.
Join us starting at 11 a.m. for all the action.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Martin's walk-off keeps Yankees in first place

NEW YORK (AP) — Russell Martin led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a homer off Sean Doolittle, and the AL East-leading New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 2-1 Friday night for their sixth straight win.
Brandon Moss hit a towering home run to right field with one out in the ninth inning off Rafael Soriano to spoil a dominant three-hit outing for CC Sabathia to tie it 1-all, stunning the boisterous crowd of 40,759 into silence. It was Soriano's fourth blown save in 46 chances.
With the win, the Yankees have a one-game lead on Baltimore in the AL East.
The A's, losers of four of five, were tied with Baltimore for the wild-card lead.
For more on this game, go to here.

Trentonian LIVE football chat at 7 p.m.

It's Week 3 of the Trentonian High School Football Chat, and we have plenty of games to track as the lights come on at 7 p.m.
We'll be watching, among others in Jersey and across the river in Pennsy:
Robbinsville at Cinnaminson
Hightstown at Hopewell Valley
Holy Cross at Ewing
Truman at Pennsbury
Pennington at Morrisville
Rock South at Bensalem
Join us right here live at 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Manning, Giants dominate Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Eli Manning didn't need a scintillating fourth quarter comeback Thursday night.
The two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback, running back Andre Brown and the rest of the New York Giants were too good for the first three quarters to need one.
Brown ran for a career-high 113 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start and the routed the Carolina Panthers 36-7.
Four days after rallying from 14 points down to beat Tampa Bay, the Giants dominated the first half, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 20-0 lead.
The defending champion Giants (2-1) were without three starters but it hardly mattered.
For more on the Giants' win go to here.

Yankees beat Jays, lead AL East by one

NEW YORK (AP) — Streaking Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher's grand slam, and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 10-7 Thursday night to open a one-game AL East lead over idle Baltimore.
After struggling for much of the summer, the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays and have won five in a row, their longest winning string since June 23-27.
Backed by an 8-2 lead, Phil Hughes (16-12) lasted just five innings.
Toronto trailed 10-4 before a three-run eighth. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season and first since May 8.

Phillies pound Mets into submission, 16-1

NEW YORK (AP) — Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley sparked an eight-run first inning, Ryan Howard added a late grand slam and the Philadelphia Phillies routed the inept New York Mets 16-1 before a few hundred fans Thursday night at quiet Citi Field.
Rookie right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-1) pitched eight innings of three-hit ball and the Phillies stayed four games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card, with two other teams in their path. The Phillies and Cardinals both have 12 games left.
Juan Pierre matched a career high with five hits, Utley added four and Philadelphia set season highs for runs and hits (21) — including 19 singles. Utley had four RBIs, and his double in the sixth was the only extra-base hit until Howard hit his 12th career slam in the ninth.
Boosted by their biggest inning of the year, the resurgent Phillies finished a three-game sweep and won for the 11th time in 14 games.
New York rookie starter Jeremy Hefner (2-7) did not record an out in the makeup game for Tuesday night's rainout. With the Mets setting marks for futility at home, it appeared fewer than 1,000 fans were in the stands for the first pitch.
For more, go to and read more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Howard's homer lifts Phillies over Mets

NEW YORK (AP) — Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead homer with two outs in the ninth inning and the Philadelphia Phillies rallied to beat the New York Mets 3-2 on Wednesday night, adding a dramatic victory to their late-season playoff push.
Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff home run but the Phillies went into the ninth with only two hits. Chase Utley worked a two-out walk against rookie Josh Edgin (1-2), filling in for ailing Mets closer Frank Francisco, and Howard launched a 93 mph fastball off the facing of the second deck in right field to give his team a 3-2 lead.
The big slugger pumped his fist as he rounded first base and Phillies players broke into a happy frenzy on the bench. It was Howard's 11th homer in an injury-shortened season and first since Aug. 31.

Yankees sweep doubleheader

NEW YORK (AP) — Ichiro Suzuki had a go-ahead single in the eighth inning, his seventh hit of the day, to help the New York Yankees complete a doubleheader sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 2-1 win Wednesday night that ensured they remained atop the AL East.
Suzuki made a difficult catch with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of the opener to preserve a lead for Andy Pettitte in a 4-2 victory.
New York ensured at least a half-game division lead at the end of the night.
The wily outfielder had three hits in the opener batting leadoff in place of Derek Jeter, who rested his sore ankle in the first game of the day-night doubleheader. Jeter started at shortstop for the first time in a week and got his 200th hit on Ricky Romero's first pitch.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Thunder fall as Aeros clinch ELCS


TRENTON – With two outs and the bases loaded, the ninth inning on Saturday night bore the same distinct feel that rest of the season had. No matter the deficit – in this case five runs – no matter the situation – down to their last out in Game 4 of the Eastern League Championship Series – there was no obstacle too imposing for the 2012 Thunder.

It wasn’t until Davis Stoneburner had accepted Matt Lawson’s feed at second base and the Akron Aeros were dancing on the infield as champions after a 6-1 win at Waterfront Park that one could finally be certain that Trenton didn’t have one final trick up its sleeve.

Perhaps that’s why the clubhouse afterward didn’t feel like a postmortem. Instead, there was an air of content, knowing that – just like they had all season – they’d left everything on the field, even it meant they’d come up short.

“There’s nothing more you can say. We played aggressive. They beat us,” shortstop Addison Maruszak said. “They outhit us, they outpitched us, we didn’t get hits at the right time. They just flat-out beat us today, just like we grinded it out yesterday. Unfortunately, we had to win all the rest.”

Down five runs, David Adams and Zoilo Almonte each grounded to third on the first pitches they saw. Then Maruszak, the only Thunder player to hit better than .300 on a team that collectively hit .207 this postseason, socked a single to center off of Preston Guilmet, Akron’s closer and the Eastern League’s Reliever of the Year.

J.R. Murphy and Kevin Mahoney followed with walks, setting things up for Rob Segedin, who swung at Guilmet’s first pitch. For a moment, it appeared as if his duck snort would fall in and slice at least two runs from Akron’s lead. Instead, it dropped just foul in shallow right. Two pitches later, Segedin’s roller to second started the Aeros’ party.

Watching from the bench, the Thunder thought the inning might just have had the makings of yet another special moment in a season packed with them.

“That’s what I was hoping for,” Adams said. “Honestly, I think four or five guys on the bench were like 
‘Segy, you put up a big one right here and it’s over.’ You’ve got to tip your hats to those guys. They played well all year. They had our number early in the year and they just beat us right there. They just beat us.”

The driving force for the Aeros on Saturday night was unquestionably Toru Murata, a 27-year-old former Yomuiri Giant pitching in the postseason for the first time.

Murata, who allowed just four earned runs over his final 30 2/3 innings of the regular season, held the Thunder to one run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings before being lifted for strong-armed righty Shawn Armstrong. Before Maruszak’s single knocked him from the game, Murata had retired 15 consecutive hitters, starting in the second inning.

Nik Turley, taking the ball for just the third time in Double-A, was one bad inning away from matching Murata. The lefty fanned eight over six innings before yielding to David Aardsma, who pitched a scoreless seventh in his fourth appearance with the Thunder this postseason.

In the second, a triple from ELCS MVP Adam Abraham off of Turley plated Akron’s first run. He scored a batter later on Ryan Rohlinger’s sac fly to right field to give Murata and the Aeros all the support they’d need.

Murphy’s longball in the bottom half of the inning provided all of Trenton’s offense, though a controversial call at home plate in the first inning helped quash another potential rally.

With one out and Adonis Garcia on third after a leadoff triple, Adams grounded a ball toward first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who fired home to catcher Roberto Perez. Home plate ump Shaun Lampe made no call, indicating that he believed Garcia missed the plate. Perez then followed Garcia toward the dugout to apply the tag.

“That was a big momentum-breaker for us,” Adams said. “Then after that it seemed like we just couldn’t get anything going. We couldn’t get guys on base. I mean, we only had three hits off the guy. It’s tough to win games when you only have three hits.”

Though photographs later showed that Garcia had gotten the plate with his left hand, Trenton’s chance at an early run went by the wayside.

“The call in the first inning kind of set the tone for things to come,” manager Tony Franklin said. “If it had gone the other way, I’m not so sure what would have happened. It just kind of set the tone for the game. We just couldn’t get untracked.”

Afterward, Franklin, who strongly indicated that he’d be willing to come back for a seventh season at Trenton’s helm, said he’ll remember this team as one that fought for each other through what was, at times, an incredibly frustrating five and a half months.

“Extremely (proud), more than I can express,” he said. “I think this group of guys was kind of underestimated as to how far they were going to go. I certainly didn’t know in the beginning, but after the first month of the season, you start to recognize your personalities. It was very evident to me that we had a bunch of guys who were extremely motivated to do some good things.”

And although they didn’t finish the season as champions, the players in the locker room on Saturday night seemed extremely pleased with what they had managed to accomplish and all the challenges they’d overcome over the last 150 games.

Phillies shut out by lowly Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 Saturday and avoided their 100th loss of the season.
The Phillies were slowed in their surge for an NL playoff spot for the second time in three games by the worst team in the big leagues. Philadelphia entered the day three games behind St. Louis for the final wild-card spot. The Cardinals played the Dodgers later Saturday.
Kyle Kendrick (9-11) struggled early and was done after just five innings, his shortest outing in more than a month. He gave up four runs on seven hits, including a two-run homer to Justin Maxwell.
The Phillies blew a 4-0 lead in Friday's 6-4 loss to Houston (47-99) to open the four-game series, a loss that snapped a seven-game winning streak.
Jose Altuve, Brett Wallace and J.D. Martinez added RBIs for the Astros, whose 34-23 record against Philadelphia since 2004 is tops in the NL.

Saturday High School Football LIVE chat at 11 a.m.

It’s Saturday morning, and there are five CVC games today for your chatting pleasure.
Schedule is as follows:
Notre Dame at Hamilton, 11 a.m.
Robbinsville at Burlington City, 11 a.m.
Nottingham at Trenton, 1 p.m.
Lawrence at Florence, 1:30 p.m.
Hopewell Valley at West Windsor North 2 p.m.

Join us right here starting at 11 a.m.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Phillies' offense gets back on track, beats Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Jimmy Rollins hit a leadoff homer, Domonic Brown had a two-run shot and John Mayberry and Ryan Howard each had three RBIs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Houston Astros 12-6 on Friday night.
The Phillies rebounded from Thursday night's 6-4 loss to Houston, which broke a seven-game winning streak and left them four games back for the second NL wild-card spot.
Rollins' homer keyed a four-run first inning on a night when the Phillies came one run shy of a season high.
A two-run homer by Matt Downs got Houston within 5-3 in the fourth. Mayberry's two-run single in the fifth stretched the lead to 7-3.
Justin Maxwell added a solo shot in the fifth for the last-place Astros.

Price stifles Yankees in Rays' win

NEW YORK — David Price earned his league-leading 18th win with another superb performance against the New York Yankees, and the Tampa Bay Rays opened a key series against their AL East rival Friday night by taking advantage of a fading CC Sabathia and hanging on for a 6-4 victory.
The Rays began the day four games behind division co-leaders Baltimore and New York.
Out of the rotation since Sept. 2 because of a sore shoulder, Price (18-5) boosted his AL Cy Young Award credentials with seven innings of two-run ball. Striking out six and giving up five hits, the lanky lefty got a big lift from an inadvertent deflection off an umpire and a fine play by second baseman Elliot Johnson.
Price improved to 7-3 against the Yankees. The Rays have won seven of the eight games he has matched up against Sabathia.
With Price out of the game, Alex Rodriguez hit his 647th homer, a two-run shot off Joel Peralta in the eighth that sent him past Lou Gehrig for ninth place on the runs list with 1,889 and scored Derek Jeter to make it 5-4.
Jeter, serving as the designated hitter for a second straight day because of an injured ankle, singled leading off to wake up the 45,200 fans that were silenced by Tampa Bay's rally against Sabathia (13-6). Jeter had an infield single in the fifth to pass Willie Mays for 10th on the hits list with 3,284.
After a walk to Robinson Cano, closer Fernando Rodney entered. The top reliever by ERA in the majors (0.68) struck out Russell Martin, threw a wild pitch and walked pinch hitter Raul Ibanez. Curtis Granderson meekly grounded to end the threat and send many to the exits.

Trentonian Friday Night LIVE football chat

Join our Friday Night Football chat right here starting at 7 p.m.
Here’s where we’ll be tonight:
Princeton at Hightstown
Steinert at West Windsor South
New Egypt at Allentown
Pemberton at Ewing
Archbishop Ryan at Bensalem
Souderton at Neshaminy
Pennsbury at Downingtown East
Morrisville at Lansdale Catholic

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Phillies' winning streak ends in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — Pinch hitter Jed Lowrie delivered a two-run double in the eighth inning and the Houston Astros stung Philadelphia, rallying for a 6-4 victory Thursday night that ended the Phillies' seven-game winning streak.
The Phillies' surge had pushed them within three games of St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.
Philadelphia couldn't hold an early 4-0 lead, and Lowrie's two-out put the Astros ahead 5-4.
Matt Dominguez hit a three-run homer for Houston, which has the worst record in the majors.
Philadelphia's bullpen had pitched four scoreless innings after an early exit by starter Tyler Cloyd before running into trouble in the eighth.
Phillippe Aumont (0-1) took over in the eighth with a 4-3 lead and walked Jason Castro with one out. Pinch runner Jordan Schafer was caught stealing on a strong throw by catcher Erik Kratz from his knees.
But Aumont walked Dominguez and plunked pinch-hitter Scott Moore on the foot. Jake Diekman, the fifth Phillies reliever of the game, gave up Lowrie's hit that stopped a string of 21 consecutive scoreless innings pitched by Philadelphia's bullpen.
Check out more here at

Rutgers downs USF, improves to 3-0

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jawan Jamison ran 151 yards and a touchdown and Kyle Federico kicked three field goals to help Rutgers begin Big East play with a 23-13 victory over South Florida on Thursday night.
Gary Nova threw for 277 yards and one TD for the Scarlet Knights, who snapped a 13-13 tie on Federico's 22-yard field goal with 2:48 remaining. Jamison sealed the outcome when he scored on a 41-yard run after USF (2-1, 0-1) turned the ball over on downs.
It was the fourth consecutive 100-yard game for Jamison dating to last season.
Mark Harrison scored on a 6-yard reception, and Federico also kicked field goals of 51 and 30 yards for Rutgers (3-0, 1-0), which forced four turnovers — three in the third quarter.

Jeter, Hughes knock off Sox to keep pace with O's

BOSTON (AP) — Derek Jeter shook off an injury to tie Willie Mays for 10th place on the career hits list, backing Phil Hughes and helping the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 2-0 Thursday night to maintain a share of the AL East lead.
New York won consecutive games for the first time in a month and kept pace with the Baltimore Orioles, who completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-2, 14-inning win.
Hughes (15-12) retired his first 10 batters and gave up five hits in 7 1-3 innings. He struck out seven, walked one and allowed just three runners past first base, ending a streak of seven straight starts in which he allowed home runs. Hughes has given up two or fewer runs in five of his last six starts.
Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 38th save in 41 chances.
Jeter started at designated hitter after leaving Wednesday night's 5-4 win when he pulled up lame lunging for first base trying to avoid a double-play grounder in the eighth.
He was 0 for 3 then blooped a run-scoring single to center field in the seventh inning for the 3,283rd hit of his career to match Mays. Eddie Collins is next at 3,313.
New York, which led the division by 10 games before play on July 19, went 5-5 on a trip to Tampa Bay, Baltimore and Boston.
Check out more here at

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jeter hurt in win over Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) — Derek Jeter doesn't even want to miss one inning of the New York Yankees' playoff push.
The shortstop pulled up lame after lunging for first base on his double-play groundout to end the eighth inning of New York's 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night. Manager Joe Girardi had to talk him into coming out of the game, but Jeter said he would be back in the lineup when they try to hold onto first place in the AL East again Thursday.
"It's really not a thing," Jeter told reporters, refusing to confirm any details about the injury. "They just said, 'Put ice on it (and) come back tomorrow.'"
A day after Jacoby Ellsbury's game-ending single dropped New York into a tie with Baltimore atop the division, the Yankees got all their runs on homers to remain there. Curtis Granderson hit two home runs and Robinson Cano also homered for the Yankees.
The Orioles beat Tampa Bay 3-2 on Wednesday night, preserving the tie and dropping the Rays three games back in the division.
"It's playoff baseball," Girardi said. "You're playing in the playoffs right now. That's the way it is for us."
For more, check out here.

Thunder fall to Akron in Game 2


AKRON, Ohio – Tony Franklin has spent the entire year working his way back from offseason knee surgery. When he walks, it’s with the gait of a man fighting against gripping pain. So when he took off in a full run toward home plate to dispute a late out call on Thursday night, one could easily recognize the urgency in his movement.

The argument was to no avail. Tom Woodring stuck with his call, which pictures later proved correct, and the Thunder eventually fell to Akron, 7-5, in Game 2 of the best-of-five Eastern League Championship Series at Canal Park.

With the Thunder down four and with runners at second and third, Rob Segedin shot a ball through shortstop and into left-center field. J.R. Murphy scored easily, but because the ball was hit in front of him, Mahoney had to freeze briefly. That, plus a momentary stop sign from Franklin before Tyler Holt bobbled the ball, cost Mahoney some time.

The throw in arrived just before Mahoney, and catcher Roberto Perez threw his body in front of the dish to cut off Mahoney’s path. His tag was high, though, and the play at the plate was very close. Mahoney briefly screamed at Woodring before Franklin interjected vehemently enough to earn an early shower.

“I thought I had cause to be out there on that play, because I definitely thought Mahoney had gotten in there before the tag was applied,” Franklin said. “Close play, no question about it, but from my vantage point from where I’m standing – and I’m a long way away – it just looked to me like he got his leg in there.”

The call changed the face of the game. Instead being down one with a runner on second and one out, the Thunder were down two. Adonis Garcia bounced harmlessly to short on the next pitch from Kyle Landis, killing Trenton’s rally.

Afterward, Woodring explained what he saw.

“I just had him going too far out. Never got his foot to the bag and he got blocked off the plate,” he said.

Mahoney, of course, disagreed. He thought that because the tag was high there was no way it could have come in time to beat his foot to the plate. He also added that he didn’t believe Woodring was in the correct position to make an accurate call.

“Coming home, I felt that the catcher was way too far away, for me, that he wasn’t going to make the play,” Mahoney said. “When he caught it he came at me high, so I went low, slid through the plate, and as soon as I hit the plate I popped up. … All I can say is it’s a tough call from where he was at. I didn’t think he was in the best position to make the call.”

Shoved aside by all the ruckus was a poor performance from Shaeffer Hall, whose gem in Game 2 of the Division Series helped swing the momentum back from Reading. Hall, a command specialist who needs to live down in the zone, was up all night, and he paid for it.

He allowed seven runs – five earned – in three innings before being yanked for Craig Heyer. No matter how far the series goes, Hall’s season finished in incredibly bitter fashion for a pitcher who has been a rock in the rotation not only this season, but since the beginning of 2011.

There was no doubt in the clubhouse afterward that this one is going to gnaw at him for a long while.

“I take a lot of pride in being that No. 1 or No. 2 starter in our rotation all year and going deep into games,” he said. “Having that pressure of being down 0-1 in the finals of the Eastern League, trying to get our team back on the winning track and tie this series up, I take a lot of pride in it. I wanted to do that for my team tonight and unfortunately I didn’t get that done.”

After a day off on Thursday, the series shifts back to Waterfront Park for its final act. In Akron, the Thunder are facing both their foe and, if they choose to look at it that way, their inspiration. The Aeros were down 0-2 to Bowie in their Division Series only to come back and win the final three games at Canal Park.

And although he knows the road isn’t going to be easy, the convictions Hall has formed by watching comeback after comeback over the last five months lead him to believe that if any team can overcome this deficit, it’s this one.

“We have three games left in this series, and I’m not counting us out yet.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yankees fall at Fenway

BOSTON (AP) — Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the winning run with his fourth hit of the game in the ninth inning and the Boston Red Sox beat New York 4-3 on Tuesday night, dropping the Yankees into a tie for first place in the AL East.
Pedro Ciriaco, who started the rally with a single, slid in to beat the throw from right fielder Ichiro Suzuki to give Boston its second win in 13 games.
The loss left the Yankees and Orioles tied with 79-62 records. Baltimore beat Tampa Bay 9-2 on Tuesday night. The Rays are two back in the division.
Andrew Bailey (1-0) got the win after allowing one hit in one inning.
David Robertson (1-7) retired his first four batters before giving up Ciriaco's single to left field with one out in the ninth. Mike Aviles then singled into the shortstop hole where Derek Jeter fielded the ball but couldn't make the throw.
Then Ellsbury capped an outstanding performance on his 29th birthday with a sharp single to right.
The Red Sox wasted a chance in the seventh when they loaded the bases with one out and couldn't score. But they got outstanding work from their bullpen, which allowed just a hit and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2-3 innings.
Dustin Pedroia tied the game for Boston in the sixth with a solo shot, his 15th of the year and third hit of the game.
The Yankees took a 3-2 lead in the top half on a two-run, ground-rule double by Jeter after a walk to Curtis Granderson, a single by Andruw Jones and a sacrifice by Jayson Nix.
Lester had control trouble from the start, walking three in the first when the Yankees took a 1-0 lead. Jeter led off with a walk, took third on a double by Nick Swisher and scored on a groundout by Robinson Cano. Russell Martin and Steve Pearce also walked but were stranded.
Lester walked the first two batters in the third and the leadoff hitter in the fourth but retired the next three batters in each inning. Then he struck out the side in the fifth, giving him 1,045 career strikeouts, the most by a Red Sox lefty. Bruce Hurst had the old mark of 1,044.
The Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the third on a double by Ciriaco and RBI singles by Ellsbury and Pedroia.
Ciriaco went 2 for 3 and is 17 for 35 in nine career games against the Yankees, all this season with the Red Sox.
NOTES: Lester's previous career high was five walks on nine different occasions, most recently on July 22 in a 15-7 loss to Toronto in which he allowed 11 runs. ... Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte is scheduled to throw in a simulated game Wednesday. He's trying to work his way back into the rotation after breaking his ankle June 28. Pettitte hopes to throw about 60 pitches. ... Injured 1B Mark Teixeira also was with the club even though he is sidelined for up to two weeks with a strained left calf, an injury he aggravated Saturday. "I think we can get plenty of work done here. There's really not that much I can do anyway. It's a lot of ice and a lot of ultrasound and stuff like that," Teixeira said. ... Swisher snapped an 0-for-28 slump with his double in the first. ... David Phelps (3-4) pitches for the Yankees against Aaron Cook (3-9) in the second game of the three-game series on Wednesday night. ... Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda issued no walks and has just 14 in his last 15 starts.

Phillies finally get back to .500

By DENNIS DEITCH, @DennisDeitch

PHILADELPHIA -- This isn't going to be easy.

Yes, the Phillies have been playing their best baseball since the All-Star break, and their best keeps getting better as the weeks pass. And yes, the St. Louis Cardinals are tripping over themselves with intriguing frequency.

This, however, will be a complicated surgery the Phillies attempt in these final weeks. Whittling away a 14-game deficit in the second half of a baseball season is no lunchtime liposuction. It's a heart transplant.

Life seemed simple enough for much of Tuesday night's game against the Marlins. Roy Halladay had a 3-run lead after one inning, a 5-run lead after six.

Instead, Miami started to hit balls through holes in the infield, including the one between Chase Utley's legs. And after three relievers and much perspiring in the seventh inning, that big lead was back to one.

That was just the beginning of the sweat. It wasn't until the Phils got through a tightrope eighth inning and a strong closing effort by Jonathan Papelbon that they could enjoy a 9-7 win, their sixth straight to tie a season high.

Thunder drop Game 1 of ELCS

AKRON, Ohio – The Thunder dug themselves out of an early hole to win the Division Series, and they’ll have to do so again if they hope to win a third crown.
Brett Marshall was solid, but his offense was absent in a 3-0 loss to the Akron Aeros in Game 1 of the Eastern League Championship Series on Tuesday at a mostly empty Canal Park.
Adonis Garcia opened with a single on the first pitch from Akron righty Paolo Espino, the last hit the Thunder got until David Adams led off the sixth with a double tucked just inside the third-base line.
That’s not to say the Thunder lacked scoring chances.
They loaded the bases in the fourth with one out on walks from Adams and J.R. Murphy and a hit by pitch against Addison Maruszak. That rally was snuffed when Espino froze Tyler Austin on a hammer curveball and induced an infield pop-up from Kevin Mahoney.
That’s when the momentum swung toward Akron’s dugout.
The Aeros got the first two runs off Marshall in the bottom of the frame. With runners on second and third, the right-hander uncorked a wild pitch and allowed a sacrifice fly to Matt Lawson.
They also had a budding rally with Adams at third with one out in the sixth, but Maruszak and Murphy grounded out to kill the threat.
The futility against Espino was especially surprising given the success the Thunder had against him in the regular season. In 10 2/3 innings against him, Trenton struck for 10 hits, seven earned runs and two victories. On Tuesday, he limited the Thunder to two hits over seven shutout frames.
On the other side, Marshall held the Aeros to the three runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked none before being lifted in the seventh for Tommy Kahnle. With the six frames, Marshall escalated his career-high innings pitched to 171 1/3, 31 more than his previous peak.
David Aardsma made his third relief with Trenton on Tuesday, and it didn’t go terribly well. The righty, working his way back from Tommy John surgery loaded the bases before recording an out in the eighth but recovered with a strikeout and a double play to extricate himself from a huge jam unscathed.
Shawn Armstrong and Eastern League Reliever of the Year Preston Guilmet pitched the eighth and ninth to finish the shutout.
With the opening loss, Trenton will once again turn to Shaeffer Hall to even the series headed back to Trenton. The lefty spun 5 2/3 innings of one-hit ball in relief of Aardsma last Thursday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading.
If he can even it again, the Thunder will be no worse for wear heading home. If not, the road to the trophy becomes nearly impassable.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Homers, blown call send Yanks to defeat

AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE — The Orioles continued their long-ball onslaught against the Yankees, hitting three home runs off CC Sabathia in a 5-4 victory Saturday night that moved Baltimore back into a tie atop the AL East with New York.

Mark Reynolds, Lew Ford and J.J. Hardy homered for the Orioles, who have won 11 of 15 overall and nine of the last 13 against the Yankees. With a victory Sunday, Baltimore will win the season series (10-8) for the first time since 1997.

Trying to secure a victory for Joe Saunders (2-1), Baltimore closer Jim Johnson entered with a 5-3 lead in the ninth. He promptly gave up three straight singles, the last a bunt by Derek Jeter, to load the bases with no outs. 

Nick Swisher drove in a run with a forceout. Johnson then went to 3-0 on Mark Teixeira, who was playing for the first time in 11 games after being sidelined with a calf injury. On a 3-2 pitch, Teixeria hit a grounder to second that turned into a game-ending double play in spite of Teixeira’s desperate slide into first.

That gave Johnson his 42nd save, improved Baltimore’s record in one-run games to 25-7 and delighted Orioles fans in the sellout crowd of 46,067.

Baltimore has hit 12 home runs, three by Reynolds, in the first three games of a four-game showdown that concludes Sunday.

But it might have been a costly win. Orioles leadoff hitter Nick Markakis was struck in the left hand by a pitch from Sabathia in the fifth inning and immediately left for a pinch runner. The team offered no word on his condition, but Markakis was wearing a splint while watching from the dugout in the late innings.

Coming off a victory Friday night, New York was seeking its first winning streak since mid-August. The Yankees have now gone 22 straight games without successive victories.

Sabathia (13-5) gave up five runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. The three homers he allowed were a season high, and the left-hander has now yielded a career-high 21 for the year.

It was the first time in six starts Sabathia surrendered more than three runs. The Yankees have lost each of his last three starts, something that’s happened only once before — in May 2010. He’s now 16-4 lifetime against Baltimore, with two of those losses coming this season.

Alex Rodriguez hit his second homer in two games for New York to extend his hitting streak to 12, his longest run since a 12-gamer in 2009.

Making his third start for Baltimore since coming over in a trade with Arizona, Saunders allowed two runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander left with two on in the sixth, and Darren O’Day came in to strike out Russell Martin and pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson.

Granderson had another chance to deliver in the eighth after Rodriguez homered off Pedro Strop to make it 5-3. With runners on the corners and two outs, Brian Matusz entered and retired Granderson on a foul pop.

New York got a first-inning run when Jeter singled, took third on a double by Teixeira and scored on a fly ball by Rodriguez.

A walk to Martin and an RBI double by Ichiro Suzuki made it 2-0 in the second. In the bottom half, Reynolds homered and Ford followed with a shot to center.

Baltimore went up 3-2 in the third when Markakis singled and Hardy delivered a two-out double. 
After Hardy hit a solo shot in the sixth, Adam Jones doubled and scored on a single by Ford, whose two RBIs in the game doubled his season total.

NOTES: Swisher went 0 for 5 and is hitless in his last 24 at-bats, part of a 2-for-39 skid. ... Baltimore has 107 homers at home, 14 short of the club record set in 1996. ... Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte pitched a simulated game at Camden Yards, throwing 45 pitches without discomfort. Pettitte, who’s been on the DL since June 28 with a fractured left ankle, is expected to throw around 60 pitches in another simulated game in Boston next week. ... New York sends Freddy Garcia (7-6) to the mound in Sunday’s finale. The Orioles will start LHP Zach Britton (5-1).

Trentonian Saturday LIVE high school football chat

The first Saturday high school football chat is here, and we’ll have five games on the slate for live updates today on ScribbleLive. Our live chat will begin at 1 p.m. with the following games:Lawrence at Pemberton, 11 a.m. (joined in progress)
Hamilton at Hopewell Valley, 1 pm
Hightstown at Nottingham, 2 p.m.
Rancocas Valley at WW-P North, 2 p.m.
No.Burlington at Princeton, 2 p.m.

Join us right here at 1 p.m.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Phillies rally for walk-off win over Rockies

AP Sports Writer
PHILADELPHIA — Nate Schierholtz hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Phillies to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hit a tying, two-run double in the seventh, and the Phillies won for the 10th time in 14 games.
Jimmy Rollins walked off Will Harris (1-1) to start the bottom of the ninth. Rollins advanced to second on Juan Pierre's sacrifice. After Chase Utley was intentionally walked, both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Schierholtz then hit a sharp grounder to right field past a drawn-in infield.
The five-time defending NL East champion Phillies are within four games of .500 for the first time since they were 36-40 on June 26. They're 22-14 since trading outfielders Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino at the trade deadline.
Jonathan Papelbon (4-6) tossed a scoreless ninth to earn the win.
Cliff Lee didn't get much run support again and failed to win his third straight start. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out seven.
The Phillies have scored three runs or fewer in 15 of Lee's 25 starts.
Rockies starter Jeff Francis struck out seven in 5 2-3 scoreless innings. He gave up six hits to lower his ERA to 5.38
Down 2-0, the Phillies rallied in the seventh off a trio of relievers. Pinch-hitter Pete Orr led off with an infield single against Carlos Torres. Two outs later, Pierre hit a single. Matt Reynolds entered and walked Chase Utley to load the bases. Josh Roenicke came in and allowed the double to Nix to tie it at 2.
Coming off consecutive 1-0 losses at Atlanta, the Rockies jumped ahead 2-0 in the first. They got help from a fielding mistake by second baseman Utley.
Josh Rutledge hit a foul pop down the right-field line, but Utley overran it and the ball fell behind him. Rutledge then ripped a single just over shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Carlos Gonzalez followed with a double to left-center to score Rutledge. Wilin Rosario's RBI single made it 2-0.
Francis pitched out of a jam in the first after the Phillies had runners on second and third with one out. He struck out Ty Wigginton, and fanned Domonic Brown to end the inning after an intentional walk to John Mayberry Jr.
Francis again struck out Wigginton with a runner on third and one out in the third. He then retired Mayberry on a foul pop.
Francis looked like the ace who won 17 games in 2007 and baffled the Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS. The soft-tossing lefty beat Cole Hamels in that game, spoiling Philadelphia's return to the postseason after a 14-year absence. Francis allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, striking out eight in a 4-2 win at Citizens Bank Park. The Rockies swept the Phillies en route to reaching the World Series.
Since that time, Francis underwent shoulder surgery that sidelined him for all of 2009, spent last season with Kansas City and started this season in the minors for Cincinnati.
Notes: The Phillies activated All-Star C Carlos Ruiz from the disabled list. Ruiz has been sidelined since Aug. 3 because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. ... Philadelphia placed 3B Placido Polanco on the DL with lower back inflammation. His season is likely over. ... Pierre had two steals in the third inning for 34 this season. Despite starting only 88 games, he's only four behind NL leader Michael Bourn. ... Phillies 3B Kevin Frandsen was a late scratch. ... Francis has more wins (five) than Lee (four), even though he didn't make his first start until June 9. Francis made his 200th career appearance, all but one as a starter. ... Rutledge will play 2B when two-time All-Star SS Troy Tulowitzki returns from the DL. ... All-Star lefty Cole Hamels (14-6) tries for his career high-tying 15th win on Saturday against Colorado's Tyler Chatwood (4-4).

Trentonian LIVE High School football chat

Welcome to the Trentonian's first high school football chat of the year on Scribble Live!

Join NOW!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Orioles power past Yankees in packed Camden Yards

AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE — Adam Jones had heard tales about how Camden Yards used to be when the place was packed and the Orioles were in a pennant race.
With one dramatic swing of the bat, Jones found out for himself just how crazy the place can get.
Jones hit the first of Baltimore's three home runs in a wild eighth inning, and the Orioles climbed back into a first-place tie with the Yankees in the AL East by defeating New York 10-6 Thursday night before a euphoric sellout crowd.
Mark Reynolds had two of Baltimore's season-high six home runs. Wieters and Robert Andino also connected for the Orioles, who have won 10 of 13 — a run that includes three of four over New York.
Jones' leadoff homer in the eighth off David Robertson (1-6) put Baltimore ahead 7-6 after the Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit in the top half.
"I've always asked our trainer, Richie Bancells, how loud can this place get? I always asked that," Jones said. "After I hit that home run, he came up to me and said, 'That's how loud this place can get.'"
Jones has hit many a game-winning home run, but none with the stakes so high.
"That's the biggest hit I've ever had in my life. Everything else up to this point has been leading up to this," he said.
Matt Wieters followed with a single and Reynolds hit a drive into the left-field seats. Chris Davis then slammed the first pitch from Boone Logan over the right-field wall.
After trailing the Yankees by 10 games on July 18, the surging Orioles pulled even Tuesday, then dropped a game back on Wednesday before taking the opener of this important four-game series.
"They are playing with a lot of confidence right now," New York's Alex Rodriguez said. "You have to tip your hat to Baltimore."
Reynolds, who also went deep in the sixth, has homered in three straight games and has eight long balls in his last seven, including two in each of the three wins against New York. With Reynolds leading the way, the Orioles hit a half-dozen home runs in a game for the first time since Aug. 28, 2007, against Tampa Bay.
Baltimore has played several significant games in September in recent years, but this is the first time since 1997 that the Orioles have been in the hunt for a playoff berth. The fans reacted accordingly, cheering from the first pitch to the very end.
"You couldn't ask for better," manager Buck Showalter said. "A special environment. Really appreciative. It helped. It was a real difference-maker for us."
The Yankees always attract huge crowds, but this time an estimated 90 percent of those in attendance were cheering for the home team. The full house and the boisterous orange-clad fans conjured memories of a time long ago, when Baltimore made two straight playoff appearances in 1996-97 prior to a run of 14 consecutive losing seasons.
"It looked like a big tangerine," Jones said. "I liked that."
New York trailed 6-1 in the eighth before mounting a comeback fueled by four walks. After Alex Rodriguez hit an RBI double and Curtis Granderson singled in a run, the Yankees put runners on second and third with two outs. The fans rose to their feet in anticipation after Pedro Strop prepared to throw a 1-2 pitch to Russell Martin, but Strop ultimately issued a walk to load the bases for pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson, who drew a four-pitch walk to make it 6-4.
Ichiro Suzuki followed with his third hit, a two-run single, before Darren O'Day (7-1) got the final out.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi derived little satisfaction from the comeback.
"When you're playing a team for first place, a loss is a loss," he said. "We swung the bats extremely well, but we didn't pitch well tonight."
Orioles starter Jason Hammel gave up one run and six hits in five-plus innings in his first outing since going on the disabled list in mid-July. The right-hander took a line drive by Robinson Cano off his elbow in the fourth, but stayed in the game.
After Hammel warmed up the rowdy fans with a 1-2-3 first, three straight singles against David Phelps in the bottom half produced a run before Wieters hit an opposite-field, three-run drive to left for a 4-0 lead. It was his 19th home run of the season and the first since he connected off Phelps on Saturday.
New York got a run in the fourth on Cano's hit off Hammel's arm and an RBI single by Granderson. In the Baltimore half, Andino hit his career-high sixth home run to make it 5-1.
Reynolds made it 6-1 with a solo shot off Joba Chamberlain.
NOTES: On the 17th anniversary of the day Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's mark of consecutive games played, the Orioles unveiled a statue of the Iron Man in the picnic area beyond the center-field wall. Ripken is the fifth of Baltimore's six Hall of Fame stars to be so honored this season; the last will be Brooks Robinson. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (strained left calf) jogged lightly in the outfield at Camden Yards before the game and said he's close to returning to the lineup. .. Cano played 2B for the first time since suffering left hip soreness on Monday. ... Girardi said LHP Andy Pettitte (broken ankle) will throw a simulated game at some point this weekend. Pettitte has been on the DL since June 28. ... Baltimore improved to 8-7 against New York this season. ... The Orioles will send rookie Wei-Yin Chen to the mound Friday night and the Yankees will start Phil Hughes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cowboys finally solve Giants

AP Pro Football Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD — The Dallas Cowboys waited all year for another shot at the New York Giants. When they got it in the 2012 season opener, they were ready.
So were the replacement officials, who barely were a story as Dallas dominated the Super Bowl champions for much of a 24-17 victory Wednesday night that wasn't nearly so close.
It won't make up for the New Year's Day loss that cost the Cowboys the NFC East title and sent the Giants on their way to the NFL championship. It sure could provide impetus for this season, though, particularly with the discovery of a new game-breaker, Kevin Ogletree.

While the officials were expected to be a big focus as the league's lockout of the regulars continued, there were no controversies, no blatant mistakes or rampant confusion. The spotlight belonged squarely on the Cowboys, from Tony Romo's three touchdown passes and 307 yards in the air to DeMarco Murray's 129 yards rushing to Ogletree's two scores.
Dallas' defense frustrated Eli Manning and his offense with three sacks and a half-dozen pressures, all before the largest crowd at MetLife Stadium for a Giants game. The 82,287 saw the defending league champs lose in the now-traditional midweek kickoff contest for the first time in nine such games.
When the Cowboys were threatened late — a spot they often have folded in against the Giants — Romo hit Ogletree for 15 yards on third down to clinch it. That gave Ogletree 114 yards on eight catches; he had 25 receptions for 294 yards and no scores entering the game.
The Cowboys' big-time receivers — Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten — were eclipsed by Ogletree, who sure didn't resemble a backup. In the first half, he had five catches for 47 yards and a TD, and broke free for a 40-yard reception early in the third quarter.
Ogletree thoroughly fooled New York's top cornerback, Corey Webster on his long score to start the second half — the kind of big play the Cowboys couldn't make enough of in that Jan. 1 showdown that ended their season. And they got another huge play from Murray, who broke two tackles in the backfield, scooted down the right sideline for 48 yards, and set up Dan Bailey's 33-yard field goal for a 17-10 lead through three quarters.
After Manning connected with former Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett for a 9-yard touchdown with 2:36 remaining, Dallas never gave the ball back.
Murray's counterpart with the Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw, scored on a 10-yard run — New York's first effective rush all game — for the hosts' first touchdown. And Ogletree's opposite number, Giants third wideout Domenik Hixon, made a spectacular leaping grab for 39 yards over two defenders to set up that score.
Dallas overcame its sloppiness late in the opening half basically on two big plays. Romo hit Bryant in stride over Webster down the right sideline for a 38-yard gain on third down. Two plays later, he sidestepped the pass rush and lobbed to a wide-open Ogletree for a 10-yard score.
America's thirst for football hardly could have been quenched by the first half — unless you enjoy strong defensive line play. Each team had one solid drive that was stymied in scoring position, and the only players moving the ball with consistency were punters Steve Weatherford for New York and Chris Jones for Dallas.
Sean Lee, the Cowboys' rising star inside linebacker, slammed into first-round draft pick David Wilson and the running back fumbled at the Dallas 29. Then the Cowboys moved 29 yards to fourth-and-inches at the Giants 37. Rather than try a quarterback sneak, Romo handed to fullback Lawrence Vickers, who never got close to converting.
Dallas showed similar strength after Michael Boley's 51-yard interception, throwing Bradshaw for losses on consecutive runs on which New York's line was overrun. Lawrence Tynes' 22-yard field goal made it 3-0 moments after the first murmur of officiating controversy.
Manning threw to Victor Cruz in the middle of the end zone and Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick arrived along with the ball. Manning and Cruz motioned for a flag, but it did not come, perhaps because the ball was thrown a bit behind Cruz.
Otherwise, the feared flops by the replacement officials didn't materialize, although Dallas couldn't have been happy with 13 penalties for 86 yards.
The Cowboys could be happy with just about everything else, including Witten playing despite having lacerated his spleen last month.

Yankees top Rays, regain East lead

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — New York went ahead with help from a key Tampa Bay error, Russell Martin homered and had three RBIs, and the Yankees regained sole possession of first-place in the AL East with a 6-4 win over the Rays on Wednesday night.
Eliot Johnson's errant throw to home plate that led to two runs in the seventh inning helped New York win for just the fifth time in 15 games.

New York sat atop the division standings by itself for 84 consecutive days — its longest streak since 2004 — until Tuesday night's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay dropped the Yankees into a tie with Baltimore. They moved back into first place when the Orioles lost to Toronto 6-4. New York leads the Rays by 2 1/2 games.
Andruw Jones and Steve Pearce singled to start the seventh off Matt Moore (10-9) before Jayson Nix moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Derek Jeter, who had hits in his previous three at-bats, hit a grounder to Johnson. With the infield playing in, the second baseman's throw was off the mark allowing pinch-runner Ichiro Suzuki and Pearce to score as the Yankees took a 6-4 lead.
Ben Zobrist drove in two runs for Tampa Bay, which had won four in a row.
Jeter made a nice running, over-the-shoulder catch on Matt Joyce's flare with two on and two outs in the seventh. Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his 36th save.
After blowing a two-run lead, the Yankees went up 4-3 on Martin's solo homer in the sixth. He entered hitting just .199.
Tampa Bay quickly pulled even at 4 on Luke Scott's first long ball since July 19 off Hirkoi Kuroda (13-10) later in the sixth.
After Alex Rodriguez, who returned Monday after missing 36 games with a broken left hand, had an RBI double, Martin drove in a pair on a double that made it 3-1 in the fourth.
Evan Longoria put the Rays ahead 1-0 on an RBI single in the first inning. Tampa Bay tied it 3-all in the fifth when Zobrist hit a two-run triple.
Kuorda gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings. Moore allowed six runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings.
NOTES: The announced crowd was just 16,711. ... New York held a team meeting before the game in which manager Joe Girardi said gave an opportunity "to talk about some of the things that we're going through." ... The Yankees are not planning to use a lot of small ball to try and help their struggling offense. "We're not the 'Bronx Bunters,'" Girardi said. ... New York LHP Andy Pettitte (broken left ankle) threw 16-pitches in a simulated game and will face hitters again this weekend. ... Tampa Bay RHP Jeff Niemann (right shoulder) could pitch again before the regular season ends. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira (left calf) could run on Thursday. ... New York RHP Ivan Nova (right shoulder) felt fine one day after throwing batting practice.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Yankees fall to Rays, AL East tied

AP Sports Writer
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Evan Longoria hit a go-ahead homer and the Tampa Bay Rays beat New York 5-2 on Tuesday night to drop the struggling Yankees into a tie for first place in the AL East.
Coupled with Baltimore's 12-0 win at Toronto, the Yankees fell into a tie for the division lead with the surging Orioles after sitting atop the standings by themselves for 84 consecutive days — New York's longest streak since 2004.

Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton also homered for the third-place Rays, who pulled within 1½ games of the Orioles and Yankees. Tampa Bay trailed by 10½ games at the end of play on July 18.
New York opened its largest lead of the year that day (10 games) but is 19-26 since. The Yankees' biggest cushion in a season in which they failed to finish first was six games in 1933, according to STATS LLC.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi wasn't around to see the end of this one. He was ejected by plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the fourth inning for arguing after Chris Dickerson was called out on strikes.
Longoria hit a two-run shot off Freddy Garcia (7-6), wiping out a 2-1 deficit in the third inning. Jennings and Upton delivered back-to-back solo shots in the fifth, giving Alex Cobb (9-8) and Tampa Bay's bullpen all the offensive support they'd need against the Yankees' sputtering lineup.
Robinson Cano matched a career high for New York with his 29th homer, a two-run shot off Cobb, who allowed four hits over seven innings. Fernando Rodney earned his major league-best 42nd save in 44 opportunities.
The Yankees, who have lost five of six, finished with six hits. It was the fifth consecutive games they've been held to six or fewer — their longest such stretch since going six straight from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, 1990.
It appeared Dickerson wanted timeout in the fourth, but Randazzo did not grant it and Dickerson went down looking to end the inning. Dickerson didn't seem to like the call and moments later Girardi came storming out of the dugout, yanked his cap off his head and argued face-to-face with Randazzo.
Before heading back to the dugout, Girardi kicked dirt in the batter's box.
Alex Rodriguez went 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning infield hit in his second game since spending six weeks on the disabled list with a broken left hand. Curtis Granderson returned to the starting lineup after sitting out most of two games with a sore right hamstring and went 0 for 3.
Cano played despite experiencing tightness in his left hip reaching for a grounder that got past him for the game-deciding hit during the eighth inning of Monday's 4-3 loss to the Rays. He got treatment following the game and again early Tuesday before Girardi penciled him into the lineup.
The slugger has at least one hit in 13 of 14 games against Tampa Bay this season, including the past 11 — a stretch in which he's batted .438 (18 for 42) against a pitching staff that currently leads the major leagues in ERA, opponents' batting average and the AL in strikeouts.
Longoria homered for the sixth time in 26 games since being activated following a three-month stint on the disabled list with a partially torn left hamstring. It was his 10th of the season, coming on a 2-2 pitch after Garcia prolonged the inning with a two-out walk to Ben Zobrist.
Jennings and Upton homered five pitches apart to begin the fifth. Upton, who hit a solo shot off CC Sabathia in Monday's series opener, also doubled on a 3-0 pitch to drive in Tampa Bay's first run of the night.
Garcia allowed five runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings. The loss was the right-hander's first since July 30, even though Garcia had not pitched particularly well in two recent starts in which he wasn't involved in the decision against the White Sox and Indians.
NOTES: Cano has 22 homers and 84 RBIs in 130 career games against Tampa Bay. ... Longoria started at DH rather than his customary spot at third base as manager Joe Maddon continues to take precautions with the injury that sidelined the three-time All-Star for 85 games. ... Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte is set to throw to hitters Wednesday for the first time since breaking his left ankle in June and being placed on the 60-day disabled list. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira, sidelined the past seven games with a strained left calf, took batting practice and ran on a treadmill. He might field some grounders Wednesday and could return to the lineup as soon as Thursday, when the team begins a four-game series at Baltimore.