A health update on Heat star Chris Bosh

763516.jpg

A health update on Heat star Chris Bosh

From Comcast SportsNetMIAMI (AP) -- Heat forward Chris Bosh insists food tasted better this summer. People were friendlier to him and his family. Everything, he said, seemed more fun.It could have all gone a decidedly different way.The abdominal injury that nearly ended his season -- and probably would have doomed Miami's title chances -- is behind him now, Bosh said. But when things looked most bleak, when the Heat lost two straight games to the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals after he got hurt, Bosh was preparing himself for a long offseason without a championship to savor."I thought it was over," Bosh said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I didn't want to fully emotionally invest myself anymore because I didn't want to get hurt like last year when we lost the finals. I kind of had a letdown. I'm not going to lie. I was defeated. And then my wife came to me and said, You know, you said things were going to look bad, but you have to keep going.'"So he did. After missing about three weeks -- the typical recovery time for an injury like his is often twice that long -- Bosh returned for the East finals against Boston. He made a huge 3-pointer in Game 7 as part of a 19-point effort to help beat the Celtics, then averaged 14.6 points against Oklahoma City as the Heat beat the Thunder in five games for the NBA championship.On Saturday the Heat open training camp in Miami. And Bosh is eager to get the group back together."I feel good. I feel real good," Bosh said. "I've been pretty eager to get back with training camp looming and everything. I'm real excited to get back, start working. I've been in the gym a few times in the past couple weeks and that itch for basketball is there. I'm glad it's there and I'm looking forward to this season."He's beginning his 10th NBA season, as are fellow Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. Their ballyhooed decision to team up in Miami in the summer of 2010 led to countless adjustments to everyone, especially Bosh, who went from being the top option in Toronto to the perceived third-wheel with the Heat.In Miami, they insist that isn't even close to the truth. Wade and James routinely referred to Bosh last season as Miami's "most important player," and the reasons why they say that were on display when the Heat struggled in the playoffs while Bosh dealt with the abdominal injury."I know his talent," Wade said. "I know what he brings to the game."By now, probably just about everyone does.Game 7 against Boston was a classic for the Heat, a game where for 13 minutes -- a 46-possession span -- of the second half, neither team led by more than two points. Bosh changed that for good when he made his career-best third 3-pointer of the night and sparked the burst that pushed Miami to what became a 101-88 win.Hard to believe that a couple weeks earlier, he could barely walk."I remember thinking just before that shot, if it hits my hands, I'm shooting it," Bosh said. "I don't really think that one particular shot was a significant moment. There were a lot of significant moments. ... The whole time that game was going on, I just knew we were going to win. I didn't have any doubt in my mind. And every time I touched the ball and I shot the ball in that game, I knew it was going in. That's just how I felt."The biggest key for him now is not feeling the same sort of pain he felt when he got hurt while dunking in Game 1 of the second-round series with Indiana.It's been his biggest priority this summer, and will stay that way."It's behind me. But I still have to pay attention to stretching and strengthening all the muscles in the core around it and everything," Bosh said. "It's something that I just can't forget about. I'm not sure if I can re-aggravate it but I'm sure, just like anything, it has the potential to be chronic. If we stay on top of it and continue to do the proper treatment, proper stretching and proper strengthening, I don't see it being an issue."Bosh spent nearly a decade chasing his first NBA title, as did James. Several other players on last season's Heat roster waited even longer to be fitted for their first championship ring.The motivation going forward, Bosh said, is easy. He wants the Heat to, as he put it, "get greedy.""Winning a championship is only the beginning for this group, and we have to look at it that way," Bosh said. "We have to look at it as we're trying to have a dynasty. I think that's the next thing. The only way you can do that is to have more than one championship. I look at it as a five- to six-year increment, where we're trying to win as many as possible."

Quick Links

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.

The Nats got their other two runs on a Daniel Murphy sacrifice fly and a Ben Revere RBI double. 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.

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 58-42 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).

Quick Links

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 assured that the Orioles (56-40) would hang on to first place in the AL East for another night. 

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. 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. 

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.

MORE ORIOLES: JIMENEZ GONE FOR THREE DAYS

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. 

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. 

It was the first time all season Brach had allowed more than one run. 

NOTES: 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.

Quick Links

Maryland makes cut for 4-star local offensive lineman

Maryland makes cut for 4-star local offensive lineman

Four-star offensive lineman Marcus Minor of DeMatha Catholic (Md.) has trimmed his list to seven schools and Maryland is among them, he announced via Twitter on Saturday. 

The Terrapins are joined by Auburn, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida, Rutgers, and Michigan State.

At 6-4, 285 pounds, Rivals.com ranks Minor as the No. 37 player in the country at his position. 

Maryland has made it a priority to improve its offensive line since coming into the Big Ten, beginning with former head coach Randy Edsall and now continuing under DJ Durkin.

MORE TERPS: 4-STAR LOCAL SPURNS MARYLAND FOR OHIO STATE