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Jan 22, 2013 2:12am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

MIAMI —Kelly Shoppachs biggest hit with the New York Mets highlighted a
four-run ninth that secured the teams sixth victory in seven games. Super Bowl
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. Shoppach hit a go-ahead two-run single with two
outs in the ninth inning that cleared the bases when centre fielder
Justin Ruggiano misplayed the ball Saturday night, lifting the New York Mets to
a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins. “No matter where you are in this game,
those are big moments, not only personally, but as far as the momentum going for
us,” said Shoppach, acquired from Boston on Aug. 14. The Mets had been
frustrated most of the night by Josh Johnson, who was on the verge of snapping a
personal four-game losing streak. Johnson allowed a run and three hits in eight
innings and held the Mets hitless until the fifth. He left leading 3-1. New York
rallied for four runs in the ninth against closer Steve Cishek (4-2).
Daniel Murphy and David Wright led off with singles to put runners on first and
second. Cishek struck out Ike Davis before Lucas Duda singled home Murphy, with
Wright reaching third. Mike Baxter fouled out to shortstop Jose Reyes before
Cishek walked Andres Torres, loading the bases. After Jason Bay entered to run
for Duda, Shoppach singled to centre. How did Shoppach, a late-game defensive
replacement, feel stepping to the plate? “Panic, mostly—my first at-bat
coming in in that situation,” Shoppach said. “I dont think Ive faced Cishek
before. I had a bunch of pitches to see during Andres (Torres) at-bat.” Ruggiano
let the ball get by him for an error while attempting to field it, allowing
Torres to score and Shoppach to reach third. The three runs gave the Mets a 5-3
lead. Mets manager Terry Collins praised Shoppach for hanging in against the
side-arming Cishek. “That was a big at-bat for him tonight. Hes faced lefties
all year and coming in to face a guy like that is really tough,” Collins said.
Ramon Ramirez (3-3) pitched the eighth and Frank Francisco earned his 23rd save
in 26 tries with a perfect ninth. The Marlins scored a run in the eighth when
Carlos Lees one-out single scored Reyes from second. Jeremy Hefner allowed two
runs and six hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out four. “He was
down in the zone all night with all his pitches, and threw his breaking ball
from behind in the count. I thought he pitched really well,” Collins said.
Hefner liked what he saw in the ninth. “It was awesome to fight back like that,”
he said. “Cisheks a good pitcher. That shows the fight in this team. It was fun
to watch.” Miami went ahead 2-1 in the sixth when Giancarlo Stantons infield
single scored Reyes from third. With one out, Reyes and Lee singled to put
runners on first and third. Stanton then hit a grounder with much spin toward
first. Davis fielded the ball, looked toward the plate, then made a back-handed
flip to second baseman Murphy, who was covering first. Murphy caught the ball
but his foot fell way short of the first base bag. Stanton was credited with an
RBI single. Baxter doubled to left-centre leading off the fifth for the Mets
first hit. Baxter took third on a groundout by Torres and scored when Josh Thole
grounded out to short with the infield in. Reyes made a nice play to field
Tholes grounder on a hard hop, but had little chance to prevent Baxter from
scoring. Bryan Petersens RBI double in the third gave Miami a 1-0 lead.
Donovan Solano led off with a single and reached second when John Buck grounded
out to shortstop. After Johnson struck out, Petersen lined a double to
left-centre, where the ball tailed away from centre fielder Torres. Thole
snapped an 0-for-30 skid when he open the eighth with a single. But pinch-runner
Ronny Cedeno was erased on pinch-hitter Justin Turners double-play grounder.
With Cedeno running on the pitch, Turner grounded to the second base bag where
Solano fielded the ball, stepped on the base and threw to first. NOTES: Shoppach
is hitting .346 (9 for 26) with two homers and seven RBIs for the Mets. ... It
was Cisheks fourth blown save. ... The series continues Sunday when Mets RHP
Chris Young (3-7, 4.64 ERA) opposes Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (12-11, 3.62). ...
The Mets recalled C Mike Nickeas and 1B-3B Zach Lutz from Triple-A Buffalo
before the game. . With the win, the Mets won a third straight series for the
first time since Aug. 29-Sept. 7, 2011. . Baxter walked on three balls in the
fifth inning Friday night. Baxters at-bat should have continued with a 3-2
count. The mistake was not caught until after the inning. Super Bowl
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. 8. For Andy Murray, its No. 1—and the first
for a British man since 1938. NFL Customized Jerseys . The Twins announced
the move on Wednesday, a few hours before playing the Seattle Mariners. Parmelee
has struggled in three stints with the Twins this season, hitting . http://www.nflsuperbowljerseys2013.com/ .
LOUIS —The St. NFL Super Bowl Jersey . Cole admitted
bringing the game into disrepute when he reacted angrily last Friday to an FA
commission questioning the evidence he gave in defending teammate John Terry
against a charge of racially abusing an opponent. Super Bowl
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. The fact remains, however, the departure of the
stellar Canadian slotback gave his former team the financial wherewithal to
address some arguably more pressing concerns.(Sports Network) – Neither
Kyle Lohse or Jordan Zimmermann would likely be too excited about a possible
playoff series between the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals. The
Cardinals are still trying to lock up their berth to the postseason and turn to
Lohse on Saturday evening in the second of three straight meetings with the NL
East-leading Nats, who have a chance to lock up the division. Lohse and
Zimmermann squared off in a Sept. 1 meeting in Washington and neither had
outings to remember in a high-scoring 10-9 victory for the Cards that netted
both starters no-decisions. The right-handed Lohse had the longer effort of the
two, going 5 2/3 innings but yielding eight runs—five earned—on nine hits.
Lohse gave up one of his two homers to Adam LaRoche, a two-run shot, in the
second inning after having already been touched for four runs in the first.
Zimmermann, though, could not hold that early lead, charged with eight runs over
3 2/3 innings. He served up two-run homers to David Freese and Matt Holliday in
consecutive innings before getting charged with another four runs in the fourth.
The Nationals right-hander remained winless in his career versus the Cardinals,
0-2 with a 10.71 earned run average in four starts, while Lohse is 4-2 with a
5.16 ERA lifetime in this series. That outing was a rare hiccup this season for
Lohse, who is 16-3 with a 2.77 ERA in 32 starts this season. He has allowed
three runs or fewer in nine of 10 and 19 of his last 21 starts while losing just
one of his past 11 decisions. The 33-year-old won his second straight start on
Sunday at the Chicago Cubs, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk over
six innings while fanning five. Lohse is 8-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 15 outings at
home this year. Zimmermann, meanwhile, has settled down since his rough outing
versus the Cards. He is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts since and won his
second straight outing on Monday, holding the Milwaukee Brewers to a run on four
hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. “I was throwing the fastball and
getting ahead, and when I do that, I feel like I can control the game,”
Zimmermann said. “Im glad Im having a few good ones here as the regular season
is coming to a close.” Zimmermann, 26, is 12-8 with a 2.90 ERA over a
career-high 31 starts and 189 1/3 innings. Washington was routed in Fridays
opener by a 12-2 margin, trailing by eight runs after the first two innings, but
still saw its magic number to win the NL East fall to two thanks to the Atlanta
Braves loss to the New York Mets. The Nats lead the Braves by four games for
first place with five to play and can lock up the crown with a victory tonight
and another Braves setback The Cardinals, meanwhile, lowered their magic number
for clinching the leagues second wild card spot to three. They are three games
up on the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are hosting the Colorado Rockies this
weekend. “We have to take things one game at a time and not get ahead of
ourselves,” said St. Louis Allen Craig, who went 4-for-4 and drove in two runs.
“We need to just focus on playing god baseball and get into the playoffs.” The
Cards, who have won nine of their last 11, did lose Holliday in the sixth inning
after he was hit by a pitch on his left elbow. He has a contusion and is
considered day-to-day. Roger Bernadina hit a solo home run and LaRoche drove in
the other run for the Nationals, who had won their previous two and are tied
with the Cincinnati Reds for tthe best record in the majors. Super Bowl
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. “Its getting down to the wire and we know that,”
noted Washington starter Edwin Jackson. “We like our chances, but nothing is
done until its sealed up so were just staying positive and will keep playing
hard.” Jackson lasted just 1 1/3 innings, yielding nine runs—eight earned—
on six hits and four walks to take the loss. The Nationals have won nine of
their past 13 versus the Cardinals, including three of four at home from Aug.
30-Sept. 2. Houston Astros at Milwaukee Brewers (Sports Network) – Right-hander
Marco Estrada takes the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers tonight with their
playoff hopes hanging by a thread as they host the Houston Astros in the middle
game of a three-game series. Milwaukee dropped a 7-6 decision to Houston in
Fridays opener while St. Louis was winning against Washington, which pushed the
Brewers to five games back of the Cardinals in the chase for the final National
League postseason berth. Each team has five games remaining. Houston goes with
rookie lefty Dallas Keuchel, whos aiming for a third consecutive victory. The
24-year-old was 1-7 through his initial 13 starts before beating Philadelphia
and Pittsburgh in his last two outings while giving up a run on nine hits in 12
1/3 innings. The Brewers won eight of the initial 14 games between the teams in
2012, though Houston won two of three in a home series from Aug. 10-12. New York
Mets at Atlanta Braves (Sports Network) – Coming down the stretch this season,
Mike Minor has been one of the best pitchers in the Atlanta Braves rotation.
Minor aims to win his fifth consecutive decision tonight when the playoff- bound
Braves continue their three-game set against the New York Mets. The left-hander,
who is unbeaten in his last six starts and hasnt lost since Aug. 19 to the
Dodgers, has given up three runs over his last four starts. Minor is 2-1 with a
7.56 ERA in five games against the Mets. Chris Young, who has just one victory
over his last eight starts, counters for the Mets. The righty is 2-3 with a 7.36
ERA in seven contests versus the Braves. Atlanta heads into Saturday trailing
the Washington Nationals by four games with five left to play for the NL East
lead. The Nats have a magic number of two to clinch the division, meaning they
can do so on Saturday with a win coupled by a Braves loss. Colorado Rockies at
Los Angeles Dodgers (Sports Network) – Even though they are on their longest
winning streak since the beginning of the month, time is running out for the Los
Angeles Dodgers. Theyll try to do their part to keep their playoff hopes alive
on Saturday night in the continuation of a three-game series with the Colorado
Rockies. Los Angeles will try to win four in a row for the first time since Aug.
12-15 with Joe Blanton on the hill. Blanton is just 1-4 with a 5.57 earned run
average in nine games since being acquired by the Dodgers in a trade with the
Philadelphia Phillies.