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Jan 28, 2013 2:33am
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DETROIT —Doug Fister was breezing along after striking out nine straight
batters and setting an American League record. Ray Lewis Vapor Jersey . Detroit led by four
runs in the eighth inning—but for the 2012 Tigers, nothing has come easy. The
Tigers nearly wasted Fisters dazzling streak, blowing a big lead late before
beating Kansas City 5-4 on Thursday when Alex Avila drove home the winning run
in the ninth with a bases-loaded grounder. Detroits lead in the AL Central grew
to two games when the slumping Chicago White Sox lost to Tampa Bay 3-2. “Getting
a win is big,” Avila said. “We have to be able to win tight games like this. Its
the only way were going to be able to get in the playoffs and go far in the
playoffs.” Detroit finished 50-31 at home this season—and will now try to
wrap up the division on the road. The Tigers play three games at Minnesota,
followed by a season-ending three-game series at Kansas City. Fister came within
one strikeout of matching Tom Seavers major league record of 10 in a row. He
struck out Salvador Perez to end the top of the fourth, starting a streak that
didnt end until Perez grounded out to the shortstop on a two-strike pitch in the
seventh. “Its crazy, to go through a whole lineup and strike everybody out,”
Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. “And I dont think he threw more than four
pitches to any of the batters.” The AL record of eight consecutive strikeouts
had been accomplished several times, most recently by Kansas Citys Blake Stein
on June 17, 2001. After Perez grounded out for the third out of the seventh,
first baseman Prince Fielder put his arm around Fister as they headed back to
the dugout. “I said, Congratulations, man. You made history. He was like, What
are you doing?” Fielder said. “He was locked in so it was kind of like, Get away
from me. I was like, All right, theyll tell you.” At that point, Fister had
retired 16 straight hitters and Detroit led 4-0—but he was oblivious to the
strikeout record. “Honestly, I had no idea,” Fister said. “(Fielder) was yelling
at me to step off during the inning, and I kind of looked at him. Normally, hell
do that, to slow me down, if Im getting too quick. ... I thought that was kind
of what he was doing there. He just said, Hey, step off. I look at him, and he
kept looking at me, and he said, Aw, Ill tell you later.” Fisters performance
almost went for naught. The Royals scored three runs in the eighth, and
Billy Butler tied it in the ninth with a solo homer off Joaquin Benoit (5-3).
Fielder led off the Detroit ninth with a chopper that went past the mound and
charging shortstop Tony Abreu. The hefty slugger made it all the way to second
for a double on a ball that only ended up a few feet beyond the infield.
Delmon Young was intentionally walked, and pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago bunted
into a forceout at third, leaving runners at first and second. Kelvin Herrera
replaced Tim Collins (5-4) on the mound and got Jhonny Peralta to hit what
looked like a potential double play grounder to third, but Mike Moustakas
misplayed it for his third error of the game—and Kansas Citys fifth. Avila
hit a full-count pitch to first baseman Brayan Pena, who made a diving stop and
touched the bag, but had no play at home. “Pena still made a great play on that
one,” Fielder said. “Baseball is really hard because even if youre good, you
have to be a little lucky, too.” Fister finished with 10 strikeouts in 7 2-3
innings. He allowed two earned runs and five hits. Kansas Citys Luis Mendoza
allowed two earned runs in seven innings. Francoeur hit an RBI double in the
eighth, Johnny Giavotella added an RBI groundout, and Abreu, pinch-hitting,
drove in a run with a single to make it 4-3. Detroit took a 4-0 lead thanks in
part to four Kansas City errors in the first two innings. Moustakas was charged
with two errors on one grounder by Quintin Berry—one for mishandling it and
another for a bad throw. Fielder drove in a run later in the first with a
single, advancing to second on an error by left fielder Alex Gordon. Young hit a
sacrifice fly, and Gordon threw Fielder out at home on a single by Andy Dirks to
end the inning. Berrys two-run triple in the second made it 4-0. NOTES: Detroit
closer Jose Valverde was sick and unavailable. ... Royals 1B Eric Hosmer left
the game with a strained right shoulder. ... The Tigers play at Minnesota on
Friday night. LHP Drew Smyly (4-3) will start because of an injury to
Max Scherzer. Minnesota will counter with LHP Scott Diamond (12-8). White Ray Lewis Jersey . Another win for the
Atlanta Falcons will make the pain a lot easier to take. Elite Justin Tucker Jersey . Jacksons
suspension began immediately. He will be able to apply for reinstatement in
exactly one year. This is Jacksons third drugs-related suspension, the previous
two coming during his five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 2007
fourth-round pick was banished for four games in 2009 and for 12 months starting
in September 2010. http://www.nflravensgearshop.com/dennis-pitta-jersey/
. A day after Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask reinjured his groin,
Volchenkov, who is playing with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the KHL, fractured a
bone in his left foot. Youth Haloti Ngata Jersey . —
Mark Calcavecchia has one more reason to like Canada. Ravens Torrey Smith Jersey . The result was
worth it. Rolen hustled for a triple and rushed home on an infield out for the
go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Cincinnati Reds won their fifth
straight game, 5-4 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night.LONDON—With
a little British pomp and a lot of British pop, London brought the curtain down
on a glorious Olympic Games on Sunday in a spectacular, technicolour pageant of
landmarks, lightshows and lots of fun. The closing ceremony offered a sensory
blast including rock n roll rickshaws, dustbin percussionists, an exploding
yellow car and a marching band in red tunics and bearskin hats. There was a
show-stopping reunion of the Spice Girls and a comedy sequence featuring Monty
Pythons Eric Idle performing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”
accompanied by Roman centurions, Scottish bagpipers and a human cannonball. It
was all delivered in a psychedelic mashup that had 80,000 fans at Olympic
Stadium stomping, cheering and singing along. Organizers estimated 300 million
or more were watching around the world. What a way to end a games far more
successful than many Londoners expected. Security woes were overcome, and
traffic nightmares never materialized. The weather held up, more or less, and
British athletes overachieved. It all came with a price tag of US$14 billion—
three times the original estimate. But nobody wanted to spoil the fun with such
mundane concerns, at least not on this night. “We lit the flame, and we lit up
the world,” said London organizing committee chief Sebastian Coe. “When our time
came, Britain, we did it right.” International Olympic Committee President
Jacques Rogge declared the Olympics over with praise for the athletes. “Through
your commitment to fair play, your respect for opponents, and your grace in
defeat as well as in victory, you have earned the right to be called Olympians,”
he said, adding “these were happy and glorious games.” But the night was about
splash more than speeches. Festive and fast-moving, the ceremony opened with pop
bands Madness, Pet Shop Boys and One Direction, a shout-out to Winston Churchill
and a tribute to the Union Jack—the floor of Olympic Stadium floor arranged
to resemble the British flag. Monochrome recreations of London landmarks were
covered in newsprint, from Big Bens clock tower and Tower Bridge to the London
Eye ferris wheel and the chubby highrise known as the Gherkin. Street percussion
group Stomp built the noise into a frenzy, and dancers brandished brooms, in a
nod to the spontaneous popular movement to clean up London after riots shook
neighbourhoods not far from Olympic Stadium just a year ago. Liam Gallagher
performed “Wonderwall,” a 1990s hit by his former band, Oasis, Muse rocked the
house with the hard-edged Olympic anthem “Survival,” and Queen guitarist Brian
May was joined by singer Jessie J for a crowd pleasing “We Will Rock You.” And
there still was more to come. The Who was expected to take the stage at the end
of the three-hour paean to British pop, and to the countrys triumphant turn
hosting the games. The headline performers were each paid a pound, a little more
than $1.50. Prince Williams wife, Kate, and Prince Harry took seats next to
Jacques Rogge, the president of the International Olympic Committee. They sang
along to “God Save the Queen.” But perhaps the best seats in the house were for
the 10,800 athletes, who marched in as one, rather than with their nations,
symbolizing the harmony and friendship inspired by the games. As the crowd
cheered their heroes and flashbulbs rippled through the stadium, the Olympians
cheered back, some carrying national flags, others snapping photographs with
smartphones and cameras. They held hands, embraced and carried each other on
their shoulders, finally forming a human mosh pit on the field. Soccer star
Christine Siinclair, known for her serious, focused demeanour on the pitch, was
absolutely beaming as she brought the Canadian flag into Olympic Stadium with
the nations other flag-bearers. Anquan Boldin Jersey. The rest of the
Canadian contingent followed soon after, dressed in denim jackets and khakis.
Canadas outfits received mixed reviews on Twitter, with some planning to
purchase their own jackets and others decrying the getup as stereotypical.
“Amazing. Great to walk in all together with many nations and athletes,” said
Canadian chef de mission Mark Tewksbury during the ceremony. “The pageantry of
the flags coming into the stadium really made it sink in for me. We are being
bombarded with great British pop.” The ceremony had something for everyone, from
tween girls to 1960s hippies. The face of John Lennon appeared on the stadium
floor, assembled by 101 fragments of sculpture, and just as quickly gave way to
George Michael. Muse, Fatboy Slim, and Annie Lennox all performed. There was no
sign of Queen Elizabeth II, who made a memorable mock parachute entrance at the
July 27 opening ceremony. Eight minutes were turned over to Brazil, host of the
2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, which promises an explosion of samba, sequins and
Latin cool. Following tradition, the mayor of London handed the Olympic flag off
to his Rio counterpart. Britons, who had fretted for weeks that the games would
become a fiasco, were buoyed by their biggest medal haul since 1908—29 golds
and 65 medals in all. The United States edged China in both the gold medal and
total medal standings, eclipsing its best performance at an Olympics on foreign
soil after the Dream Team narrowly held off Spain in basketball for the countrys
46th gold. “Its been an incredible fortnight,” said Coe, an Olympic champion in
his own right. While the games may have lacked some of the drama and grandeur of
the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there were many unforgettable moments. Jamaican
sprinter Usain Bolt became an Olympic legend by repeating as champion in both
the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints. Michael Phelps ended his long career as the
most decorated Olympian in history. British distance runner Mo Farah became a
national treasure by sweeping the 5,000- and 10,000-meter races, and favourite
daughter Jessica Ennis became a global phenomenon with her victory in the
heptathlon. Female athletes took centre stage in a way they never had before.
American gymnast Gabby Douglas soared to gold, the U.S. soccer team made a
dramatic march to the championship. Packed houses turned out to watch the new
event of womens boxing. And women competed for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei
for the first time. And then there was Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee from
South Africa running on carbon-fibre blades, who didnt win a medal but
nonetheless left a champion. And sprinter Manteo Mitchell, who completed his leg
of the 4×400 relay semifinal on a broken leg, allowing his team to qualify and
win silver. Britons seemed exhausted and exhilarated after two glorious weeks in
the worlds spotlight, and just months after the country celebrated the queens
60th year on the throne with a magnificent pageant and street parties. Some at
Olympic Park acknowledged happy surprise that not much had gone wrong, and so
much had gone right. “I was a bit worried we wouldnt be able to live up to it,”
said Phil Akrill of Chichester. “But walking around here its just unbelievable.”
Even non-Brits were proud of their adopted homeland. “Its just been a really
nice thing to see,” said Anja Ekelof, a Swede who now lives in Scotland. “The
whole country has come together.” ’ ’ ’ 

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