All-Star slugger hits 2 homers to reach 300

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All-Star slugger hits 2 homers to reach 300

From Comcast SportsNet
DETROIT (AP) -- Miguel Cabrera's 300th homer cleared the wall in center field with room to spare and sailed toward the ivy at Comerica Park. That's not the easiest place to retrieve a baseball, but this one should make a nice keepsake. "Somebody got it. They got it somehow," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "They got in there and got it, and that's his 300th, so I'm sure they'll take care of it for him." Cabrera homered twice to reach another milestone in his remarkable career, and the Tigers finished a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 6-4 victory Sunday. Detroit wrapped up a 6-1 homestand against the White Sox and Los Angeles Angels and now leads the AL Central by 1 games over Chicago. The White Sox have lost five straight. Cabrera became the second Venezuela-born player to reach 300 home runs. Andres Galarraga hit 399. "For my country, yes, it's very special," Cabrera said. "Hopefully a lot of players can follow from Venezuela and try hitting 300 more." Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch also homered for Detroit to help rookie Jacob Turner (1-1) earn his first career win. Four relievers pitched for the Tigers, with Joaquin Benoit working a perfect ninth for his second save of the year. Detroit closer Jose Valverde has been dealing with a balky back and did not pitch. Philip Humber (4-5) allowed six runs in three innings. Alex Rios and Kevin Youkilis homered for the White Sox. The Tigers have won 16 of 21. Turner, Detroit's rookie right-hander, bounced back after giving up seven runs in two innings in his last start against the Angels. He went 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. He struck out three without a walk before being lifted after Rios hit a two-run homer in the sixth. "I think the biggest difference is just being more aggressive, attacking the hitters and not really worrying about who might be at the plate, but just going right after them," Turner said. Cabrera and the Detroit offense provided plenty of support. After an RBI single in the top of the first by Rios, the Tigers scored three runs in the bottom half before Humber retired a batter. Berry's two-run homer gave Detroit the lead, and Cabrera followed with a high drive that cleared the fence just to the left of center field for home run No. 299. "I picked the wrong day to get balls up in the zone," Humber said. "The stuff was there, but when you are facing that team, and especially that team when they are hot, your stuff doesn't matter if you leave it up." Cabrera's second homer, in the third inning, was even longer. It ended up around where a camera platform is set up beyond the wall in center. A Tigers spokesman, citing ESPN Stats and Info, said it was estimated at 457 feet. "Dude has some of the most ridiculous pop I've ever seen," Berry said. "His smooth swing, to be able to go that high up and dead center, it's amazing. It's fun to watch. He does it in BP and he does it in the game. It's unreal." It was Cabrera's 23rd homer of the year, and he became the 14th player to reach 300 before turning 30, according to STATS, LLC. Cabrera was 29 years, 95 days old Sunday. When Hank Aaron was that age, he had 309 home runs, according to STATS. Barry Bonds had 222 by that age. Boesch added a two-run shot later in the third to make it 6-1. Humber allowed seven hits and a walk with no strikeouts. He's 3-5 with a 7.55 ERA since pitching a perfect game at Seattle on April 21. The White Sox chipped away after Humber was taken out. Rios' hit was ruled a homer after umpires consulted replay footage, and Youkilis hit a solo shot off Phil Coke in the seventh. Octavio Dotel, the third Detroit reliever, came on with one out and a man on in the seventh and retired all five hitters he faced, with four strikeouts. The White Sox were swept in a series for the first time all season. NOTES: Coke was pitching for the first time since his wife gave birth to a baby girl. Mickenzie LouAnn was born Saturday morning. ... The Tigers could afford to go deep into their bullpen with an off day coming up Monday. Chicago hosts Minnesota, with RHP Gavin Floyd (7-8) returning from a problem with his throwing elbow to start against Minnesota LHP Francisco Liriano (3-9).

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John Wall faces music alone, questions effort after Wizards' loss

John Wall faces music alone, questions effort after Wizards' loss

No matter how bad a loss has been, or how listless the Wizards were in a game like the one they lost Tuesday to the Orlando Magic, John Wall waits.

In previous years, Garrett Temple, Paul Pierce and Ramon Sessions, to name a few, would join him if their time was requested by the media following a performance like this one -- giving up 124 points in regulation to one of the NBA's worst offensive teams. 

Now the last guy standing is Wall, who at $80 million on a five-year contract is one of the best contracts just three years after it was widely questioned if he deserved it or not. 

Wall had a career-high 52 points on 18-for-31 shooting, including 5 of 8 three-pointers and 11-for-14 from the foul line. On top of that, he had eight assists, four rebounds and three steals. Until Bradley Beal's 10 points in the fourth quarter to finish with 19, Wall had no company as the Wizards tried to erase what had been a 20-point deficit.

"Our job is to wake up and just play hard. Before you made it to the NBA or got a college scholarship, you played hard every day to get to where you wanted to," said Wall, who had surgeries to both knees May 5. "To still be talking about playing hard, that's something that you should be able to do after just waking up. Everybody has a job and they have to go work hard. Our job is to come here and play hard and compete. That's the easiest thing that you should do without any contracts or any money, just come in and play basketball … if I had the answer we wouldn't be in this situation."

It doesn't matter if Wall has 11 turnovers like he did against the Sacramento Kings or a night like Tuesday. Wall's demeanor is the same. The way he answers the questions? The same. The way he handles praise and criticism? The same. 

[RELATED: TAKEAWAYS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO MAGIC, WALL'S CAREER NIGHT]

In his seventh season, the three-time All-Star behaves like a professional and takes on the responsibility that comes with the job. During a 41-41 record last season, Beal began disappearing after games like this after previously staying put. The $128 million max contract he signed this summer isn't enough to force him to stick around. 

Marcin Gortat, who at 32 is the oldest player, won't do it, either. He's afraid of saying something that could get him in the crosshairs of coach Scott Brooks.

This was almost a repeat of Monday's game at the Brooklyn Nets. The Wizards allowed them to score 66 points in the first half, falling down by 15 but were able to lock down defensively to come back. The Magic had 65 in the first two quarters, and the only reason the Wizards had a chance was because of Wall. The Magic scored 31 points above their regular-season average.

"We just didn't come out with our defensive intensity. It was kind of like our last game in Brooklyn, the way we played in the first half," Wall said. "We didn't play with any edge or chippiness. They were the more aggressive team and that's why they got out to a great start."

[RELATED: PUTTING WALL'S CAREER NIGHT IN CONTEXT]

In Pierce's brief time in Washington during the 2014-15 season, he'd limp out to the middle of the locker room no matter the result or how he performed. Even though he was playing on a $5.5 million contract and no longer the lead dog in terms of his talent, he felt part of the burden was on him to explain what happened. And if necessary, he'd fall on the sword.

When he was with the Boston Celtics, where he won a championship in 2008, Pierce would do something similar after a bad loss: "Somebody has to answer for this (expletive)."

That's what leaders do. The Wizards may have been underachieving during that time, but they weren't rudderless. Now, absent of Wall, they could be. He played 42 minutes Tuesday, the third time he has eclipsed 40 in a little more than a week.

By the time Wall exited, less than an hour after his teammates had cleared out and he was finished with his standard treatment in the trainer's room, he was told that he was the only Wizards player to talk postgame upon request. 

"Just me?" Wall asked while still managing to smile. "Just doing my job."

[RELATED: 5 MUST-SEE MOMENTS FROM WIZARDS' LOSS TO MAGIC]

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The 5 must-see moments from the Wizards' loss to the Magic

The 5 must-see moments from the Wizards' loss to the Magic

The Wizards lost a tough one to the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center, a game that featured John Wall setting a new career-high with 52 points but the Wizards ultimately losing to a sub-.500 team. It was another defeat for Washington, but there were plenty of entertaining plays along the way.

Here are the five moments worth revisiting from the Wizards' loss... 

1. Wall set a career-high in scoring, but he still found time to set up his teammates like he always does:

2. Marcin Gortat looked great on that first play. On this one, he just had to laugh after falling and having the basketball bounce up and hit him square in the face:

3. Wall used a clever stop-and-go to get to the hoop for this layup in the second half:

4. A steal let Magic forward Aaron Gordon get out wide open on the fastbreak and he did what he does best:

5. Wall tied his previous career-high of 47 points with this and-1 layup. He then knocked down the free throw to set a new personal best:

[RELATED: WIZARDS SEND ROOKIE MCCLELLAN TO D-LEAGUE]