Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Beninati: Successful Return For Ovie

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

You have to admit the old Patrick Division rivalry games, the ones with Philly and the New YorkNew Jersey teams, are played at an exciting pace.The Caps displayed a pretty complete game this evening. They received goals from their big stars and their grinders. They were good on special teams and they didn't flinch when the Rangers big gun fired away at them.The return of Alex Ovechkin was a successful one. He looked especially fresh in the third period. There was no rust on his skating legs. His power play bomb was vintage Ovie. The coaches adjusted Alex back to a point position on that second man advantage of the game and he rewarded them quickly.Marian Gaborik has always been a game breaker and he's acclimated himself nicely to Ranger red, white, and blue. His speed can be frightening and his shot explodes the way it does for the game's top scoring threats.The Caps penalty killers did an excellent job protecting Semyon Varlamov tonight. We always say special teams play can be very instrumental in winning the close games and it was the difference tonight. Aside from Varlamov losing his angle a couple times, he was nice and steady. Goalie fans have to love when you get a matchup that includes the Caps youngster and Rangers standout Henrik Lundqvist.Great job by Matt Bradley on the winning goal and all night long working with David Steckel and Jay Beagle. Those three guys busted their butts and won the little battles all over the ice. Bradley was bloodied in a first-period fight with Aaron Voros, a fight he had the upper hand in at the start. His finishing touch on the breakaway against Lundqvist was very well done.There were a lot of heroes for the Caps in this one. John Erskine deserves praise for the way he made it a tough night for Sean Avery. Every time the Rangers' pest would try to stir it up, Erskine put him back in his place. That's the kind of hard work that should not go unnoticed. Lastly, the news on Quintin Laing wasn't very promising. He's staying overnight in New York after suffering a significant injury to his jaw. Laing is a fearless shot blocker, but his timing was off and he was struck by a slap shot at close range. He's one tough athlete. The fact that he walked off after that exchange is all the proof you need.

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Huerter, Turgeon win gold medal with Team USA win over Canada

Huerter, Turgeon win gold medal with Team USA win over Canada

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and incoming freshman guard Kevin Huerter will return home from Chile with gold medals after Team USA's 99-84 victory over Canada in the championship game of the U18 FIBA Americas title on Saturday night.

Turgeon served on the team's staff as an assistant. Huerter contributed throughout the tournament, including finishing as the team's leading scorer in a victory over Chile

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A photo posted by Kevin Huerter (@kevin_huerter) on

Huerter, a 6-6 guard who can play both backcourt positions, figures to be a contributor for Maryland in 2016-17. His outside shooting stroke should allow him to slot seamlessly into Turgeon's well-spaced scheme.

Turgeon served on the Team USA staff with Connecticut head coach Kevin Ollie and Texas head coach Shaka Smart.

MORE TERPS: LAYMAN RECAPS SUMMER LEAGUE PERFORMANCE

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Kevin Gausman goes a strong seven in Orioles' 5-2 win

Kevin Gausman goes a strong seven in Orioles' 5-2 win

BALTIMORE—Kevin Gausman has pitched well this season. He just hasn’t had many wins. In his 17th start, Gausman picked up his second win. 

Gausman worked seven innings, and didn’t allow a run and only four hits in the Orioles’ 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians before 31,946 at Oriole Park on Saturday night. 

The win gave the Orioles (56-40) a 1 ½ game lead over Boston in the AL East. They Orioles are an outstanding 35-14 at home. 

Gausman (2-7) gave up a double to Carlos Santana to start the game, but he was the only Cleveland (56-40) runner to reach scoring position in the first eighth innings. Mike Napoli walked, but Jose Ramirez popped to third to end the fist. 

He struck out seven and walked three in throwing a career high 116 pitches. Gausman was helped out by three double plays in the fourth, five and sixth. 

Gausman’s best inning was the seventh, when he retired Ramirez, Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin in order. He struck out Naquin three times. 

The Orioles have taken four of five against the Indians this season. 

“It’s always good. But it’s more important that we won this series. That’s a very good team that we are playing. I think they have the most runs scored in the American League. It’s a good offense and I think me and [Dylan] Bundy both pitched well the last few days and really everybody has pitched well. I think that more than anything is big. Any time you beat a team in the American League, especially a team that is leading their division, it’s huge,” Gausman said. 

Manager Buck Showalter has said he doesn’t care how many wins he’s starters have. 

“I’m happy to see the Orioles get the win and so is Kevin,” Showalter said. “I’m telling you, it’s not a topic or a theme. I understand that that’s something that’s consistently appearing and I’m sure because we talk about it a lot in here, but I’m happy that he got a return for a really good outing.”

For the second straight night, the Orioles scored three runs in the first inning. Adam Jones led off with a single. With one out, Manny Machado patiently waited Josh Tomlin out and then tapped a single to right. Jones was running on the pitch and made it to third.

Chris Davis grounded to second. Machado was forced, and Davis beat the throw to first, allowing Jones to score.  

Mark Trumbo hit his 30th home run to left field, and the Orioles had a 3-0 lead. Trumbo is just four games away from his career high set in 2013. 

“He's been very valuable. He's been a real consistent human being. He likes to compete. He doesn't like to fail. It's an honor to be around him,” Showalter said. 

At one point, Tomlin (10-3) retired 10 straight. He was removed after Pedro Alvarez hit a long home run to right field to start the seventh. It was Alvarez’s 12th of the season. 

J.J. Hardy singled off Jeff Manship. He eventually scored on Jonathan Schoop’s infield single to make it 5-0. 

Mychal Givens pitched a perfect eighth. Brad Brach allowed a two-run double to Lonnie Chisenhall with two outs in the ninth, and for the second straight night, Zach Britton recorded the final out and picked his 32nd save. 

Britton tied a major league record for most consecutive converted saves by a left-hander.  

“Just trying to roll with it, not really think about what’s going on just stay in the moment a little bit. I think it’s helping so far. Maybe in the offseason I can think about it a little more,” Britton said. 

Usually, Showalter tries to limit Britton to no more than three consecutive games, but he’s only thrown 19 pitches in three days. 
“If anything, the warmup is the hardest part of the last three days. If there’s an opportunity tomorrow, physically I feel fine,” Britton said.

NOTES: Showalter said that Darren O’Day will activated either Sunday or Monday. … It was the first time all season Brach had allowed more than one run. … Play was interrupted by rain for 14 minutes after the third inning. … The Orioles signed 34 of their 41 draft picks, including their first 17. The highest picked player not to sign was Tyler Blohm, a left-handed pitcher from Archbishop Spalding in Severn, Md. The 18th rounder will attend the University of Maryland in the fall. … Corey Kluber (9-8, 3.42) faces Vance Worley (2-1, 3.16) on Sunday. The first 20,000 fans 15 and over receive a Jim Palmer replica jersey.

 

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Stephen Drew walk-off lifts Nationals to win over Padres

Stephen Drew walk-off lifts Nationals to win over Padres

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 3-2 walkoff win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night at Nationals Park.

How it happened: Success off the bench as a pinch-hitter can be fleeting and some, no matter how good they were as everyday players, never find the secret.

Not Stephen Drew. Even six days off due to flu-like symptoms could not cool the Nats' bench hero down, as he walked off the San Diego Padres on Saturday night with an RBI triple in the bottom of the ninth.

The final blow came against Kevin Quackenbush, who was the final pitcher summoned from a Padres staff that had otherwise baffled the Nats through 8 2/3 innings. Anthony Rendon scored the game-winning run after leading off the inning with a single to left field.

The Nats got their other two runs on a Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly in the third inning and a Ben Revere RBI double in the fifth. Max Scherzer did his part with seven innings and just two runs allowed. The Nats' bullpen picked up from there with a scoreless eighth by Shawn Kelley and ninth by Jonathan Papelbon. Both relievers allowed extra base hits, but left the mound unscathed.

What it means: With the win, the Nats evened up their season series against the Padres at 3-3 and snapped a three-game losing streak to San Diego. They stand 58-40 on the season.

MORE NATIONALS: GIOLITO GETS NOD SUNDAY VS. PADRES

Scherzer keeps rolling: Scherzer's recent dominance continued on Saturday night as the Nats ace went seven strong innings of two-run ball with 10 strikeouts and zero walks. It didn't start out well for Scherzer, who allowed a two-run homer to Ryan Schimpf in the second, but he recovered after that and finished his outing by retiring 14 of the last 15 batters he faced. It was the 13th time in 21 starts this season that he's gone at least seven innings and the eighth time he's recorded double-digit strikeouts. 

Over his last five starts, Scherzer has allowed just four earned runs across 34 1/3 innings. And since May 6, he holds a 2.19 ERA (24 ER, 98.2 IP) in 14 outings. Scherzer had a 4.60 ERA when he took the mound on May 11, but has since pared that down to in impressive 2.92.

The homer to Schimpf was Scherzer's biggest mistake and it was, of course, the continuation of a year-long trend. Scherzer has now given up 22 on the season, tied for fourth-most of all MLB pitchers. That's despite the fact he had only given up one in his previous four starts entering Saturday night.

Revere bounces back: Revere's frustrating 2016 season had reached one of its lowest points on Friday night, when he went 0-for-5 in a loss to the Padres. It was so bad that Nats manager Dusty Baker spoke with Revere's father and grandfather afterwards. They thanked the skipper for being patient with the Nats outfielder, despite him batting nearly 100 points lower than the .300 average he had carried in each of the previous three seasons. Baker expressed sympathy for Revere, but noted he had been back for over a third of the season. Patience was running out. Baker said "we need him badly."

What Revere did to respond on Saturday night is exactly what Baker had in mind. The embattled leadoff man walked in his second at-bat in the third inning and later scored on a Murphy sacrifice fly. Revere set that up by moving from first to third on a singly by Jayson Werth. Revere then doubled home Danny Espinosa in the top of the fifth to tied the game at 2-2. Before Saturday night, Revere had just three hits in his last nine games, a stretch of 29 at-bats.

Harper keeps scuffling: It was another long night for the reigning MVP, who went hitless in four at-bats and left four men on base. His worst moment came in the bottom of the fifth when the Padres opted to walk Murphy with two outs to put two men on to face Harper. Harper promptly popped out to right field to end the rally. Harper is now just 5-for-39 (.128) with 10 strikeouts in his last 11 games.

Up next: The Nats and Padres close their series with a 1:35 p.m. start on Sunday afternoon. Rookie Lucas Giolito (0-1, 4.70) will make his third career MLB start opposite San Diego lefty Christrian Friedrich (4-6, 4.55).