US beats Mexico in Mexico for 1st time

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US beats Mexico in Mexico for 1st time

By Michael Weissenstein
Associated PressMEXICO CITY (AP) -- Michael Orozco Fiscal scored in the 80th minute, giving the United States its first-ever win at Mexico with a 1-0 victory in an exhibition Wednesday night.

Brek Shea, who entered two minutes earlier, went down the left flank and around Severo Meza. Shea, back with the national team after being dropped for six months, crossed to Terrence Boyd. He made a quick backheel pass to Orozco Fiscal, who had entered in the 77th

Orozco Fizcal, who plays in Mexico for San Luis, kicked the ball past goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa for his first international goal.

Tim Howard preserved the lead, changing directions to stop a deflected shot by Javier Hernandez in the 85th, then pawing away a 4-yard downward header by Chicharito in the 89th.

The U.S. had been 0-23-1 against El Tri in 75 years of games at Mexico, including 0-19-1 in the thin air at altitude in Mexico City -- where they have been outscored 81-14.

It was the second big win for the Americans this year, following their first-ever victory over Italy in a friendly at Genoa in February.

With the European clubs seasons getting under way, the U.S. used a half-strength roster and a makeshift central defense.

Mexico, also below strength following the Olympics, dominated possession but failed to connect on several open shots as the Americans paired Maurice Edu and Geoff Cameron in the center of their back line.

The game marked the start of the Americans' second year under coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who replaced Bob Bradley last summer after Mexico overcame

The U.S. figures to have a lineup closer to full strength for a pair of World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica next month, on the road on Sept. 7 and at Columbus, Ohio, four days later. Mexico plays Costa Rica twice on those same days.

Landon Donovan, searching for his 50th international goal, left at the start of the second half because of a tight hamstring and DaMarcus Beasley came in for his 97th international appearance. Boyd came in at the same time to replace an ineffective Jose Torres.

Cameron got his head on a cross from Elias Hernandez in the 56th minute, preventing Hernandez from an open shot in front. A minute later, Jesus Zavala put an open header over the crossbar.

With Ochoa off his line, Kyle Beckerman put a long, sliding shot just over the crossbar in the 60th.

Andres Guardado hooked a free kick just wide to Howard's right post in the 65th after Cameron fouled Hernandez just outside the penalty area. Hernandez then sent an open header wide in the 76th off a cross from Hernandez.

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When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

When it comes to Madden corners, there's Josh Norman, then everyone else

What do Chris Harris Jr., Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis have in common? They're all excellent NFL corners — and they all rank behind Josh Norman when it comes to ratings in Madden 17.

The Bronco (93 overall), the Seahawk (92), the Cardinal (91) and the Jet (91) should be proud of the grades handed to them for the next edition of the legendary video game. It's Norman, though, who's at the top of these top-notch defenders, checking in with a skillset that's good enough for a 94 in the eyes of EA Sports.

"Norman is expected to be a lock down corner for the Redskins this season," reads the description underneath Norman's name in a post ranking the elite cornerbacks that was published Thursday. "He is best in zone with his 97 zone coverage rating, but has the ability to match up in man to man situations with 90 speed and 92 man coverage."

These numbers are subject to change during the course of the season, so if No. 24 has a rough outing or two, he could tumble down a few points and give up the crown to someone else. As it stands now, however, Madden thinks he's the preeminent man at his position. 

And that's something Odell Beckham Jr. can't say.

RELATED: WHY DID SCOT MCCLOUGHAN PUNCH WALL?

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Turner and Zimmerman sit as Scherzer, Nats play at Giants

Turner and Zimmerman sit as Scherzer, Nats play at Giants

Nationals (60-42) vs. Giants (59-43) at AT&T Park

The Nationals hung on two beat the Giants in the opener on Thursday night despite a finish that was anything but smooth. On Friday, they will look to win their third straight game overall with Max Scherzer (10-6, 2.92) on the mound.

Scherzer has been brilliant as of late with just four earned runs allowed across his last five starts (34.1 IP). He struck out 10 in seven innings against the Padres his last time out.

Behind Scherzer will be a new-look lineup with Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Danny Espinosa all getting the day off. Ben Revere is in center, Clint Robinson is at first base and Wilmer Difo is in at shortstop.

They will face Jeff Samardzija (9-6, 4.22), who has allowed at least four earned runs in five of his last six starts and in seven of his last 10.

First pitch: 10:15 p.m.
TV: MASN2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats -Max Scherzer vs. Giants - Jeff Samardzija

NATS

CF Ben Revere
RF Bryce Harper
2B Daniel Murphy
C Wilson Ramos
LF Jayson Werth
1B Clint Robinson
3B Anthony Rendon
SS Wilmer Difo
RHP Max Scherzer

GIANTS

CF Denard Span
LF Angel Pagan
2B Joe Panik
SS Brandon Crawford
1B Brandon Belt
3B Connor Gillaspie
RF Gregor Blanco
C Trevor Brown
RHP Jeff Samardzija

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Like the July weather, J.J. Hardy's hitting has been very hot this month

Like the July weather, J.J. Hardy's hitting has been very hot this month

While other Orioles have had disappointing Julys, J.J. Hardy’s has been one to remember. 

Entering Friday’s game in Toronto, Hardy has an excellent .355 average that’s raised his 2016 average from .240 to .284. 

It’s his best month since June 2011 when he was new to the Orioles. He batted .362 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs. 

He’s had 11 two-hit games, and while he’s only hit two home runs this month, Hardy isn’t relying on power as he has in prior years. 

The Orioles are quite satisfied with the offense he brings the team as well as his steady defense. 

Hardy missed seven weeks with a fracture in his left foot, and so far has played only 55 of the Orioles’ 101 games. 

Last year, he suffered from several injuries that substantially cut into his playing time, and his average fell to .219. 

After a healthy offseason, Hardy said he felt terrific in spring training, and after he fouled a ball off his foot on May 1, he’s recovered nicely. 

NOTE: Aberdeen pitching coach Justin Lord has been named as one of the pitching coaches for the Arizona Fall League’s Mesa Solar Sox. The Orioles and four other teams contribute players and coaches to the Solar Sox. 

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