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Jan 16, 2013 12:09am
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

CINCINNATI, Ohio—The National Leagues lowliest lineup is starting to flex
some muscle. Colin Kaepernick White Jersey . Clint Barmes
had three hits and drove in three runs, and the Pittsburgh Pirates extended
their home-run tear by hitting three more for an 8-4 victory over the Cincinnati
Reds on Tuesday night. Neil Walker hit a two-run homer, and Casey McGehee and
Alex Presley had solo shots, giving the Pirates seven homers in their last two
games and a feeling that the NLs least-productive offence is starting to get
itself together. “It just shows what were capable of on offence,” Walker said.
“Up and down the lineup, weve been able to relax a little more and go out and
compete.” A.J. Burnett (5-2) won his fourth straight start, beating the Reds for
the second time in a week. He gave up three runs while pitching into the sixth
inning, struggling to control his curveball much of the game. “You want to go
deeper into the game, especially when they get that kind of lead for you early,”
Burnett said. “Its a good sign for our offence today.” Joey Votto singled home a
run in the ninth off Juan Cruz, but Joel Hanrahan came on with two runners
aboard and fanned the three batters he faced for his 15th save in 16 chances.
Pittsburgh scored six runs in only three innings off Homer Bailey (4-4), who had
won his last three starts. It was his shortest outing of the season. “Its good
to score early,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “Its hard to take that team
out of the game in this ballpark because they have confidence late.” The Pirates
have won eight of their last 10 games overall, moving two games behind
first-place Cincinnati in the NL Central. Its the closest the Pirates have been
to first place since April 11. Pittsburgh ranks last in the league in batting
average, runs and hits, but has shown a little liveliness lately. The Pirates
have scored at least six runs in four of their last eight games. They hit a
season-high four homers for a 6-5 win in Milwaukee on Sunday, and followed that
with three more on Tuesday. The Pirates tweaked their lineup before the game,
calling up outfielder Alex Presley to beat leadoff. He tripled and homered off
J.J. Hoover. Bailey was coming off one of his best performances in the majors, a
four-hitter last Tuesday for an 8-1 win at Pittsburgh. It was his second career
complete game, both of them coming at PNC Park. This time, he didnt even make it
past the third inning. “My fastball was up a little bit, and I couldnt get the
feel of my slider and curveball,” Bailey said. “When you have a night like that,
theyre usually short.” Bailey gave up eight hits and six runs, matching his
season high. Barmes had an RBI double in the second, and Walker hit a two-run
homer in the third. Barmes made it 6-2 with a bases-loaded, two-out single in
the third on a 1-2 pitch from Bailey. “The big blow was the two-out, two-run
single by Barmes,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “If not for that, Homer
mightve been able to stay in the game. He had trouble locating his fastball, and
his secondary pitches werent as good as they had been.” Votto singled home a run
in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to a season-best 11 games. The
Reds again had trouble with Burnett, who beat them 2-1 last Wednesday at PNC
Park by going seven innings. Burnett allowed only five hits but walked four and
left after facing two batters in the sixth, his pitch count already at 100. The
Reds played a video tribute and held a moment of silence before the game to
honour reliever Pedro Borbon, who died from cancer on Monday at his home in
Texas. Borbon was a key reliever on the Big Red Machine. NOTES: The Pirates
optioned Gorkys Hernandez to Triple-A. ... Pittsburghs Josh Harrison, who grew
up in Cincinnati, met high school teammates on the field before the game and got
a loud ovation when he pinch-hit in the eighth. ... The Red Hot Chili Peppers
took batting practice before the game at the invitation of Reds RH
Bronson Arroyo, a music enthusiast who is a friend of group member Josh
Klinghoffer. The group performs in Cincinnati on Wednesday. ... 3B Scott Rolen
has started hitting off a tee and taking infield practice. Rolen has been on the
DL since May 12 with an inflamed left shoulder. ... Reds CF Drew Stubbs said he
felt a pain in his left side on a swing in the seventh inning. He was replaced
by Wilson Valdez in the eighth. Colin Kaepernick Kids Jersey . TSN Hockey
Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted on Tuesday that Ryan may be available again after
he was taken off the market following the departure of former Ducks head coach
Randy Carlyle last fall. Dwight Clark Jersey . —Adrian Peterson says
he is still working his way back toward feeling normal after left knee surgery.
. —Warriors centre Andrew Bogut insists he will no longer even attempt to
guess when he might return to the court for Golden State, saying only that he is
out “indefinitely. Aldon Smith Limited Jersey . Czech team
officials say Rosicky travelled to Prague with physiotherapist Pavel Kolar and
is expected to rejoin the team in Wroclaw on Tuesday before the European
Championship quarterfinal against Portugal. Rosicky picked up the injury during
Tuesdays 2-1 win against Greece and hasnt trained since. Colin Kaepernick Authentic Jersey . Matsuzaka
is making his first major league start since having last season cut short after
elbow reconstructive surgery last June 10. To make room, the Red Sox designated
outfielder Marlon Byrd for assignment.NEW YORK - It was so ugly, Chauncey
Billups had to do some heavy scrubbing to put it behind him. At least when one
of their worst nights ever was over, the Detroit Pistons finally could go home.
Zach Randolph had 25 points and eight rebounds, and the New York Knicks rolled
to an 89-65 victory Sunday night over the weary Pistons, who barely avoided the
worst offensive performance in franchise history. I just got off the shower,
washed it off, Billups said. I washed it right off on that shower. Got to forget
about that one. That was bad. With the Pistons playing the finale of a
four-game, five-night road trip and coming off a 103-100 overtime victory in
Charlotte on Saturday, the Knicks rolled to their most lopsided victory of the
season, giving coach Isiah Thomas a rare easy night – against his former team,
no less. We knew they would be pretty tired and we tried to play with as much
energy as we possibly could and I think we caught them on a good night, said
Thomas, who led the Pistons to two NBA titles. They were a little flat and we
played a good basketball game. Detroit needed a three-point play by Amir Johnson
with 13 seconds left to avoid finishing with the lowest point total in franchise
history. The Pistons shot 30.7 per cent (23-of-75), matching the NBA low for
field goals made in a game this season. They beat us bad, Detroit coach Flip
Saunders said. We didnt really do anything. We gave an unacceptable effort and
now weve got to bounce back. Leading scorer Richard Hamilton was 1-of-7 and was
held to a season-low three points. Tayshaun Prince missed all 10 shots and was
scoreless, and Rasheed Wallace had six points on 3-of-9 shooting. We couldnt hit
a shot and couldnt stop them from hitting shots and thats a deadly combination,
Billups said. I dont know if it was tired. I dont think it was any of that. We
couldnt throw a rock in the ocean tonight. Antonio McDyess had 15 points and 13
rebounds, and Billups scored 14 points for Detroit. Jamal Crawford scored all of
his 15 points in the third quarter, when the Knicks turned it into a blowout.
Their previous biggest victory was an 18-point win over Cleveland. Randolph
played only 10 minutes Friday in a loss to Toronto because Thomas thought he was
having trouble with the Raptors speed. That wasnt an issue Sunday, because the
Pistons were the slow ones. Playing without point guard Stephon Marbury, the
Knicks snapped a two-game skid and won for just the second time in 11 games.
Marbury was out with a sore left ankle, didnt watch from the bench with his
teammates, and Thomas said he didnt know when hed be back. The Pistons have been
held to 64 points on multiple ooccasions. Steve Young Jersey. They managed only 32
points in the first half, their worst half of the season, then the Knicks blew
it open in the third quarter. Crawford hit three straight three-pointers midway
through the period to extend a 14-point lead to 23, then converted a three-point
play – flipping the ball in over his head while drawing the foul – to make it
64-38 with 3:31 remaining. Were always playing catch-up and thats tough to do,
Crawford said. Against a team like that, you play catch-up youre dead because of
the pace and the tempo they play. So you just have to continue to try to put
pressure on them. It helped that they played last night, but you try to run and
get as easy baskets as possible. The Pistons, who started their trip by
splitting games at Dallas and San Antonio, didnt even hit 40 points until
Billups made two free throws with 2:17 left in the third. The lead ballooned to
31 points early in the fourth quarter, with Detroits entire starting five
already on the bench for the night. New York beat Detroit for only the third
time in the last 12 meetings. The Pistons embarrassed the Knicks 98-86 on Nov.
21, with Pistons guard Flip Murray saying afterward that the Knicks looked like
they didnt want to compete. The Knicks took control during a second-quarter
stretch that featured some of the loudest cheers of the season at Madison Square
Garden – though they werent for the Knicks. A timeout coincided with the Dallas
Cowboys final drive in their 21-17 loss to the New York Giants, so the MSG staff
played the football game on the overhead scoreboard – with some fans even
chanting DEFENCE! while watching. Play resumed with Dallas facing fourth down,
but the staff opted to keep showing the football game, even as Knicks centre
Eddy Curry was shooting free throws. With Nate Robinson motioning for the crowd
to quiet down, Curry missed both shots – though few fans seemed to care because
they were too busy watching the Cowboys drive, which ended with Giants
cornerback R.W. McQuarters intercepting a pass in the end zone. That all came
during a 7-0 spurt that gave the Knicks a 33-23 lead. Robinsons three free
throws with 0.4 seconds left made it 43-32 at the break. Notes: Given a do-over,
Thomas said he would have chosen his words differently Saturday, when he
responded to a question about the idea he could be fired by saying: When that
happens, well all know. Thomas said he didnt mean anything by saying when. Here
in New York, every word is analyzed and I guess the word would be if and not
when, Thomas said. .. The Pistons previous worst half was 33 points in the first
half against Houston on Dec. 12. ’ ’ ’ 

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