Yankees star to miss at least 1 week

Yankees star to miss at least 1 week

From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Rafael Soriano has been so reliable for the New York Yankees that they've hardly missed a beat without Mariano Rivera.Until now.Colby Rasmus hit a three-run homer off Soriano with two outs in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays took advantage of Derek Lowe's wild pickoff throw in the 11th to beat New York 8-7 Monday night, snapping a seven-game losing streak."He's been so good for us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He's done a great job. Just tonight wasn't his night."It was Soriano's third blown save in 36 chances since taking over as closer for the injured Rivera in May. New York fell to 69-5 when leading after eight innings.Soriano left the clubhouse without speaking to reporters.Moments after Rasmus' stunning drive put Toronto ahead 7-6, Derek Jeter tied it with a home run off Casey Janssen. But the last-place Blue Jays didn't cave, scratching out a run two innings later to stop an eight-game slide at Yankee Stadium.The loss might be a costly one in more ways than one for the AL East leaders. Slugging first baseman Mark Teixeira was pulled with a left calf injury and sent to the hospital for an MRI that revealed a Grade 1 strain. Teixeira said he expects to miss at least a week, maybe two."He's been such a backbone to our lineup," Nick Swisher said. "For a guy like that to be out of our lineup, that's a big deal."The injury is another blow to the middle of New York's power-packed batting order. Alex Rodriguez has been sidelined since July 25 with a broken left hand but was cleared to take batting practice Tuesday."It's very frustrating," Teixeira said. "We've had our share of bad luck, as most teams in baseball have. We'll have guys step up."Yorvit Torrealba had a two-run shot and Adam Lind also went deep in his first plate appearance for the banged-up Blue Jays since coming off the disabled list. Missing slugger Jose Bautista and several other regulars, Toronto had dropped a season-worst eight straight on the road."When you come here to play in Yankee Stadium, man, anything can happen. I think everybody knows that," Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver said.Robinson Cano homered twice and Swisher hit a two-run drive for New York.Torrealba singled leading off the 11th for his third hit and pinch-runner Mike McCoy scampered to third when Lowe's pickoff attempt got past first baseman Eric Chavez and rolled into foul territory up the right-field line. Lowe (8-11) was charged with an error."It's a simple throw to first and it cost us," he said, shaking his head. "It's inexecusable, but it happened."After a strikeout, Adeiny Hechavarria hit a slow grounder toward third that forced Jayson Nix to charge the ball. McCoy waited until Nix threw to first, then dashed home and beat Chavez's throw to the plate with a slide."Great instincts," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.Oliver (3-2) pitched two hitless innings for the win, Toronto's first at Yankee Stadium since May 23, 2011.Rookie right-hander David Phelps gave the Yankees another solid spot start, this one in place of injured Ivan Nova, and New York opened a 6-3 lead in the fifth. Hechavarria got Toronto's comeback started with a two-out RBI single off Cody Eppley in the seventh.Moises Sierra and Rajai Davis singled in the ninth to bring up the slumping Rasmus, who drove a breaking ball deep into the second deck in right for his 21st home run."Real pleased with the way guys competed all the way through the end of the night," Farrell said. "We didn't roll over and we kept coming at them. ... These are those games, in the 11th inning on the road you win it. Sometimes if they go the other way they can almost feel like two losses."On a night when it was downright dangerous to be a Toronto pitcher, four times the Yankees hit sharp comebackers that caromed off the body of a Blue Jays hurler.Henderson Alvarez took the worst one, Russell Martin's hard grounder that smacked off the right-hander's leg in the fourth inning and careened into shallow right field for an RBI single. Alvarez hobbled over to the first base line and bent over in pain. He was checked by a trainer and walked slowly off the field with a bruised left shin."That's just the way the season's gone," Lind said.X-rays were negative and he is day to day. Aaron Laffey relieved and was given all the time he needed to warm up.Alvarez also was checked by the trainer in the second inning after Chavez's comebacker deflected off his pitching hand for an infield single. He threw a couple of warmup pitches and appeared to be OK.Chavez had another infield single in the eighth that hit reliever Aaron Loup. Laffey recovered from a body shot to throw out Jeter in the sixth. Laffey left with a bruised left calf and is day to day."In some ways we dodged a couple of bullets," Farrell said.NOTES:Bautista, back on the disabled list with a left wrist injury, was examined by a hand specialist in Cleveland and was on his way to New York to rejoin the team, Farrell said. The Blue Jays were awaiting test results. ... Yankees RHP David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning hours after his wife, Erin, gave birth to their first child, a baby boy they named Luke Joseph. ... RHP Phil Hughes (12-11, 4.15 ERA) starts Tuesday night for the Yankees against struggling LHP Ricky Romero (8-11, 5.63).

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Report: Patriots trade C Bryan Stork to Redskins

Report: Patriots trade C Bryan Stork to Redskins

The Patroits have traded center Bryan Stork to the Redskins, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. 

The news is unexpected following reports earlier in the day that Stork had been released. 

In fact, Redskins Insider J.P. Finlay explored whether Washington should sign the former first-round pick a few hours ago. 

The Patriots selected Stork in the fourth round of the 2014 draft from Florida State, and in two seasons with New England he has started 17 games. Stork has also dealt with concussion issues, last year playing just eight games and starting six.

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 315 lbs., Stork is big for a center. Current Redskins starter Kory Lichtensteiger lists at 6-foot-2 and 295 lbs., and was limited to five regular season games last season.

The Redskins have Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long and Josh LeRibeus competing at the center position, but none have the high-end potential that a Stork could bring to the position. 

Unfortunately, in addition to concussion issues, Stork has been kicked out of practices for fighting and can cross the line separating legal and dirty play on the field, according to CSNNE.com Patriots beat writer Phil Perry

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Ravens kick return job still up in the air

Ravens kick return job still up in the air

With two preseason games left, the Ravens appear to have little clarity in their efforts to find a kick return specialist, and although Michael Campanaro had all three punt return chances against the Colts last weekend, the Ravens aren't ready yet to declare the job his.

Last year's leading returners — Kaelin Clay and Jeremy Ross — are no longer with the team.

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Coach John Harbaugh, the former special teams coach that he is, blasted the Ravens special teams play against the Colts, both in kick returns and in kick coverage.

"We kicked the ball to them, and they kicked the ball to us, and we got our butts kicked," Harbaugh said after the game. "That's unacceptable."

Harbaugh seemed particularly agitated about the Ravens kickoff coverage; the Colts averaged 28.0 yards per kick return, nearly 10 yards better than the Ravens (18.8).

Earlier this week, Harbaugh declared, "We have not found our punt returner or our kick returner yet."

As for kick returns, three running backs — Kenneth Dixon, Terrance West and Stephen Houston — returned kicks at Indianapolis last week with unimpressive results. West had the longest return at 23 yards, and two returns left the Ravens inside their 20-yard line.

The Ravens are giving both West and Dixon a long look as kick returner — Houston is a longshot to make the team — with the idea that a fourth running back could also contribute in the return game. Rookie Tavon Young has also been given reps as a kick returner, though he missed the Colts game with a hamstring injury.

Campanaro headlines a group of punt return candidates that includes former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. Campanaro had all three punt return chances against the Colts, with one fair catch and one 21-yard return. Reynolds, who has had an inconsistent camp as a returner, served on the punt coverage team and had a tackle against the Colts but was not back as the return man at all.

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Campanaro "showed some real positive things" against the Colts, but Rosburg was not ready to hand him the job yet.

"Michael's out there trying to win the job," Rosburg said after practice on Wednesday. "It's really not his job, it's the returner. The job belongs to the team, and he's trying to get that job."

Expect the auditions for both jobs to continue Saturday night against the Lions.

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RB Chris Thompson unlikely to play in Bills game, says Jay Gruden

RB Chris Thompson unlikely to play in Bills game, says Jay Gruden

Redskins fans know that Presumed starting running back Matt Jones will not play Friday night against the Bills.

But on Wednesday, Jay Gruden said that Chris Thompson is also unlikely to play. 

Gruden said that Thompson is nursing a sore knee and shoulder and that the team would rather not "have him get banged around."

The coach pointed out it also lets rookies Keith Marshall and Robert Kelley get more snaps as the 'Skins try to determine what they have in the young runners. 

In his fourth season out of Florida State, Thompson is a known quantity for Washington.

A skilled receiver out of the backfield, Thompson emerged as a quality third down back for Gruden last year and a trustworthy target for Kirk Cousins out of the backfield. 

Gruden also announced that Chris Baker might sit out Friday's game against buffalo. The defensive tackle is batting soreness in his quad. 

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