Phillies trade two All-Stars to the West Coast

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Phillies trade two All-Stars to the West Coast

From Comcast SportsNet

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Shane Victorino will hear an unfamiliar sound at Chavez Ravine: cheers.

The Phillies traded the two-time All-Star center fielder to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin.

Philadelphia also gets a player to be named or cash for the 31-year-old Victorino, who can become a free agent after the season. The last-place Phillies then sent two-time All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for three players.

Victorino is batting .261 with nine homers, 40 RBIs and 24 steals. He helped the Phillies win five straight NL East titles and the 2008 World Series championship.

"We're excited to add an All-Star caliber player with postseason experience," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He plays the game with passion, gives us a top of the order bat from both sides of the plate, can steal bases and is solid defensively in the outfield."

Victorino has been booed at Dodger Stadium since Game 3 of the 2008 NL championship series. Victorino took exception to a fastball thrown over his head by Hiroki Kuroda. He shouted at Kuroda while pointing at his own head and upper body as if to say: "It's OK to throw at my body, but not my head." Benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.

Since that day, Victorino has been a villain to Dodgers fans.

Not anymore.

Victorino joins a team that's tied for first place in the NL West with the Giants. Though he's a three-time Gold Glove winner, he could move to left field because reigning Gold Glove winner Matt Kemp plays center. Kemp, however, told team officials that he'd be willing to move to left before the trade.

The Phillies also traded two-time All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for three players on Tuesday.

The last-place Phillies got outfielder Nate Schierholtz, minor league catcher Tommy Joseph and minor league right-handed pitcher Seth Rosin.

Pence is batting .271 with 17 homers and 59 RBIs this season. Schierholtz is hitting .257 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 77 games.

Earlier, the Phillies sent two-time All-Star center fielder Shane Victorino to Los Angeles for two pitchers.

Joseph was San Francisco's No. 2 ranked prospect by Baseball America. He's hitting .260 with eight homers and 38 RBIs in 80 games for Double-A Richmond. Rosin was 2-1 with 10 saves and a 4.31 ERA in 34 games (five starts) for Single-A San Jose.

Pence fills a major need for the Giants, giving them a right-handed hitter with power. He'll help replace the injured Pablo Sandoval in the lineup. Sandoval was placed on the disabled list last weekend with a hamstring strain.

The Phillies acquired Pence from Houston on July 29 last year, and he helped them win their fifth straight NL East title. But Philadelphia is stuck in last place this season and is cutting payroll.

Pence is making 10.4 million this season and stands to get a raise in arbitration next year.

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Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen to be reevaluated Thursday

Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen to be reevaluated Thursday

Matt Niskanen suffered an upper-body injury in the first period Wednesday night and did not return. The team says the veteran defenseman will be reevaluated on Thursday morning.

“I don’t have a real good update,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “Obviously, he took that hit. For precautionary reasons we kept him out. He’s going to be reevaluated in the morning and we’ll make a decision and maybe an announcement on where he is. He took a big hit. He’s an important piece for us.”

RELATED: Capitals find no joy in victory on Wednesday

Niskanen was hit from behind by Bruins center Patrice Bergeron late in the first period of the Caps’ 4-3 overtime win. At first, the team said Niskanen was probable to return to the game. Then, prior to the start of the third period, he was ruled out.

It marked the second time in five games that Niskanen could not finish a game due to injury. In Toronto, he left after 40 minutes because of a lower body ailment.

Trotz said a decision to recall a player from Hershey could be made as soon as Thursday morning since the team is set to travel to Buffalo for a game against the Sabres on Friday night.

“We’ll see where we are in the morning because we are a capped [out] team,” Trotz said. “That will impact what we have to do going forward, or maybe it’s not impacted at all.”

Asked what he thought about Bergeron’s hit, Trotz declined to give his opinion.

“I don’t have an opinion on it,” he said. “It was a hard hit. [Niskanen] went face-first into the boards. I’m sure the league looks at all the hits, so we’ll see if they think it was a dirty hit or not.”

MORE CAPITALS: Caps hold players-only meeting after Wednesday's win

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Capitals find no joy in victory after giving up three-goal lead to Bruins

Capitals find no joy in victory after giving up three-goal lead to Bruins

The Capitals walked away with the overtime win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, but you wouldn't know it from the mood in the locker room following the game.

For a team that has found wins hard to come by of late, heading into Wednesday's game Washington had lost three of their last four, you would expect some measure of relief after taking two points in the standings.

But there was none of that.

"It's not good enough," Nicklas Backstrom said. "We wanted to be a better team, we want to play tight, we want to be able to shut teams down."

RELATED: Caps hang on against Bruins in OT

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead over the Bruins, the Capitals took their foot off the gas, allowing Boston to tie the game and force overtime.

"We sat back," Justin Williams said. "Three-nothing lead isn't like it was 10 years ago. you still have to play the same way that got you the lead. We sat back and if you sit back five percent, ten percent, teams feel that and they put the pedal down."

The feeling of frustration and disappointment was evident following the game. It wasn't that the Caps had allowed Boston to erase a three-goal deficit, but the way they did it.

After taking a 3-0 lead at the 5:51 into the second period, the Capitals would not register another shot on goal until 12:28 had elapsed in the third period. That's a stretch of 26:27 without a single shot on goal.

Sloppy mistakes also cost the Caps, especially on Boston's second goal.

With the score 3-1, the game still felt very much in hand for Washington until Boston capitalized on an egregious turnover from Evgeny Kuznetsov.

David Pastrnak dispossessed Kuznetsov of the puck at the Bruins’ blue line with a poke check. Kuznetsov then nonchalantly turned to retrieve the puck, but Pastrnak out-hustled and outmuscled him for the breakaway goal. Suddenly Washington had lost control and Boston had seized the momentum.

The fact that Washington was still able to escape with two points was little consolation after the game.

"Results don't always show what happens," Braden Holtby said. "That's why you play 82, the averages even out over 82."

He was not referring to the three games the Caps had lost since Thanksgiving. He was referring to his own team and an effort that should not have been good enough to earn a win on Wednesday.

"Really we were lucky to get two points," Backstrom said. "I think that's on us."

MORE CAPITALS: Niskanen leaves game for 'precautionary reasons'