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Dec 4, 2012 9:28pm
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LOS ANGELES - After the solid eight-inning stint Aaron Harang gave the Los
Angeles Dodgers, his teammates wanted to see him get rewarded with a victory
after he was lifted for a pinch-hitter with the score tied. Reggie Wayne Jersey . Up stepped Tony Gwynn
Jr., who came through with an RBI single off Matt Belisle to help the Dodgers
beat the Colorado Rockies 2-1 on Saturday night and improved the best record in
the majors to 22-11. James Loney led off the eighth with an infield single
against reliever Josh Outman (0-1), advanced on A.J. Ellis sacrifice bunt and
came home when Gwynn lined an 0-2 pitch to left field. “I struggled against
Belisle in the past,” Gwynn said. “Hes a short-armer, and the ball gets on you
real quick, so I just tried to keep my swing short with two strikes and stay
away from anything in the dirt. I was actually able to take a pretty good swing.
Looking at it on tape, it looked like he threw the ball where he wanted to—
about chest-high—and I was just able to get enough barrel on it.” Harang
(2-2) allowed a run on four hits and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third,
helping send the Rockies to their seventh loss in eight games and dropping them
a season-worst 8 1-2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. Harang has 15
strikeouts in 31 2-3 innings over his last five starts, after fanning a
career-high 13 against San Diego on April 13—including a franchise-record
nine straight. But he realizes hell be more successful getting groundballs and
keeping his pitch count down. “I felt good. I felt like I was locating the ball
well and I was able to keep them off-balance,” Harang said. “The defence was
there to back me up, and these guys battled out there to the last inning and got
us the victory.” The 6-foot-7 right-hander was 0-3 with an 8.64 ERA in his
previous five starts against Colorado since Aug. 22, 2008, when he pitched six
scoreless innings for Cincinnati in an 8-5 win at Coors Field. Kenley Jansen got
three outs for his third save in four attempts. It was the hard-throwing
right-handers first save opportunity since manager Don Mattingly took
Javy Guerra out of the closers role last Monday and gave it to his setup man.
“Its nice to be able to see him go in there and be able to shut the door,”
Harang said. “Hes got good stuff, and hes only going to get better with the more
confidence he gets in that role.” Harang and Colorado right-hander Juan Nicasio
dueled to a 1-1 tie through seven innings in a rematch of their April 30
encounter at Coors Field, when Nicasio threw a career-high 115 pitches over six
innings and allowed two runs in a 6-2 win. Nicasio gave up five hits, struck out
nine and walked none. “Juan Nicasio was great,” manager Jim Tracy said. “He
pounded the strike zone with his fastball. And between his slider and change-up,
he had enough going on to keep them at bay the entire time he was out there.”
Nicasio, aided by a double play in the first, faced the minimum number of
batters through four. But Andre Ethier led off the fifth with a double and
scored on a one-out broken-bat bloop single to centre by Juan Uribe—one pitch
after catcher Willin Rosario went to the mound to discuss with Nicasio what he
should throw on the 0-2 count. Rockies centre fielder Tyler Colvin, making his
ninth start of the season because Tracy wanted to get his bat in the lineup,
tied it in the seventh with his third homer—sending a 2-0 delivery deep into
the right-field pavilion on a four-seamer that Harang tried to get inside on him
but ran back over the plate. Right before the home run, Michael Cuddyer grounded
into a double play following a leadoff single by Todd Helton. The Rockies wasted
a great scoring chance in the third after Rosario led off with a double over the
head of centre fielder Matt Kemp. Rosario advanced on Nicasios sacrifice, but
was cut down at the plate after first baseman Loney made a diving stop on
Marco Scutaros grounder in the hole and threw a perfect strike to Ellis.
Jonathan Herrera followed with a double, but Troy Tulowitzki flied out with the
bases loaded on a fastball down and away after an intentional walk to
Carlos Gonzalez. Tulowitzki is 5 for 28 with runners in scoring position, after
batting .309 with 144 RBIs in those situations over the previous two seasons.
Notes: Tracy, who piloted the Dodgers for five seasons—and was saddened to
see the way it decayed in the final years of Frank McCourts ownership—is
encouraged by whats happening now with the new group led by Mark Walter, Stan
Kasten and Magic Johnson. “I dont know how quickly theyll turn it around, but I
think its safe to say its a very professional group of people theyve assembled.
Theres no getting around that fact,” Tracy said. “And to have a guy like Magic
Johnson, having been in this town as long as he has, what hes meant to this
city, the impact that hes had on this city in relation to what he accomplished
as a Los Angeles Laker, his mindfulness of the impact that proper ownership can
make to this baseball team—and knowing the rich history that this team
possesses—hes certainly a nice guy to have out on the forefront of their
ownership group.” ... Kemp, who set a Dodgers franchise record for April with 12
home runs, has none in his first 31 at-bats this month and is hitless in three
straight games for the first time since July 8-10, 2011. ... Nicasio is 0-3 with
a 4.73 ERA in nine career starts in the road. Coby Fleener Womens Jersey . Madrid is seven
points clear of its top rival with three games to play, so even a Barcelona loss
earlier in the day will award the Spanish leader its record 32nd domestic crown.
Madrids record achievement—Barcelona is next closest with 21 trophies—
comes with the team building on its record 112 goals scored in a season,
Cristiano Ronaldo looking to establish a record scoring total in a season and
coach Jose Mourinho set to become the first coach to win league titles in four
different countries. Andrew Luck Youth Jersey . The veteran
right-hander showed Saturday that he can do just that in what may have been an
audition for a spot in the 2013 rotation. http://www.coltsteamstore.com/donnie-avery-jersey
. Dullahan blazed four furlongs in 45.97 seconds Sunday morning at Belmont Park.
A fast workout usually indicates a horse is in top shape. “He looked like he was
galloping, and then we got back to the barn he recovered quickly,” said Romans,
who won the 2011 Preakness with Shackleford. Dwight Freeney Jersey . An MRI revealed that
key striker Danny Koevermans, injured in a collision Saturday with New England
defender A. Donnie Avery Jersey . Right now theyre
holding down the second Wild Card position and they are only two games back of
division leading Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles.DALLAS—The Edmonton
Oilers lost more than just games during their season-long seven-game road trip.
Jordan Eberle, Edmontons leading scorer with 17 goals and 43 points, sustained a
knee injury in the opening period of a 4-1 loss in Dallas on Saturday and did
not return. Hes the second top-line player on the team to go down with injury
during the road trip, which Edmonton finished 1-6-0. Rookie of the year
candidate and top overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins suffered a shoulder injury in
Tuesdays 4-3 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins are Edmontons
top offensive threats alongside Taylor Hall, who scored the Oilers lone goal
against the Stars on Saturday. Nugent-Hopkins is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, but
theres still no word on how much time Eberle could miss. “I dont know the extent
of the injury or how long hes going to be out,” said Oilers coach Tom Renney.
Hall, meanwhile, had five goals during the road trip. “We didnt have the results
we wanted,” said Hall of the road swing. “But we had a lot of good efforts. We
need to stay together as a group and turn it around.” Mike Ribeiro and
Jamie Benn both scored twice for Dallas. Ribeiro took a puck to the face during
Thursday nights 4-1 win at Nashville, costing him a tooth and leaving him with a
bloody mouth. The shifty centre returned to the ice in that game after getting
treatment in the locker room and had a two-goal night. And he remained in the
lineup two days later, notching an insurance goal and adding an empty-netter
against Edmonton. “This morning my mouth was really sore,” Ribeiro said. “I
didnt take anything to help it. I dont like to take (pain-killers), I just
wanted to come play and once you skate and once youre out there, you dont feel
the pain. I knew that and Im fine. Its sore a little bit, but thats part of the
game.” Adding to his general soreness was a hit to the knee Ribeiro sustained
early in the second period against the Oilers. Again, Ribeiro had the injury
treated, and was soon back on the ice. Coach Glen Gulutzan praised Ribeiro for
“gutting it out for us.” Ribeiro opened the game wearing a metal cage attached
to his helmet to protect his mouth. But it restricted his vision, and he soon
ditched the wire cage. “Id rather be hurt again in my mouth than be
uncomfortable out there, and once I took it off I was more comfortable and able
to see the play,” Ribeiro said. Johnny Unitas Jersey. Ribeiro gave the Stars
a cushion when he skated behind the Edmonton net and flipped a shot toward the
goal that banked off Edmontons Josh Green and past goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin
at 13:39 of the final period, stretching the advantage to 3-1. Ribeiros
empty-netter with 1:14 remaining for his 10th goal of the season clinched the
win for the Stars, 3-1-0 in their last four. Rookie Richard Bachman made 25
saves and Loui Eriksson contributed three assists for the Stars. Bachman was a
late fill-in for Kari Lehtonen, who was set to start but wasnt available because
he was feeling ill prior to the game. Benn notched the games biggest goal, his
13th of the season. With the teams even at 1, Benn went hard to the net,
collected the rebound of Adam Burishs shot, and lifted the puck over Khabibulin
at 7:03 of the final period. The Stars havent lost at home to the Oilers in
regulation since Dec. 8, 2006, going 10-0-1 during that span. The 38-year-old
Khabibulin stopped 30 shots for the Oilers. Hall was credited with the only goal
of the first period at 17:19 when his shot from the low slot hit Dallas
defenceman Alex Goligoski, flipping into the air, over Bachman and past the goal
line. Benn pulled Dallas even at 1, skating up the slot and converting
Trevor Daleys centring pass at 14:39 of the second period. Stars forward
Steve Ott got the Oilers attention in the second period with a high check on
Edmontons Anton Lander. Green came to his teammates defence, fighting Ott, who
also received a minor for illegal hit to the head. “I thought he should be
getting a rest (suspension),” Renney said of Ott. NOTES: Dallas has three or
more goals in six of its last seven games. The Stars are 18-5-1 this season when
scoring three or more. ... Forward Tomas Vincour (knee), D Philip Larsen
(concussion-like symptoms) and D Sheldon Souray (sprained ankle) are out for
Dallas. Souray is skating and is expected to return next week. ... The Oilers
are without C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder), D Cam Barker (ankle), D
Taylor Fedun (leg) and D Alex Plante (concussion). ... The Stars havent allowed
a power-play goal in five games, killing 10 man-advantage situations over that
span. – with files from The Associated Press. ’ ’ ’ 

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