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Jan 16, 2013 12:17am
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MINNEAPOLIS Daniel Bard went back to the bullpen to help out, and Cody Ross
made him a winner. Bobby Orr Blackhawks Jersey . For at least
one night, all was right with the reeling Red Sox. Ross homered twice, tying the
game with a two-run shot in the seventh inning and giving Boston the lead with
two outs in the ninth to snap a five-game losing streak for the Red Sox and beat
the Minnesota Twins 6-5 on Monday. “Its been a tough go,” Ross said. “Everybody
knows how tough its been on us, but nobody feels sorry for us. Were going to
keep having to go out there and grind it out.” Starter-turned-temporary-reliever
Bard (1-2) recorded two critical outs in the eighth after the Twins put the
leadoff runner on third. Alfredo Aceves picked up the save, his third in five
tries, and all was right with the reeling Red Sox for at least one night. Aceves
gave up a one-out single and a high drive to the warning track in left-centre to
Trevor Plouffe, but Denard Span bounced back to the mound to end it. “It gives
them some confidence,” Ross said. “We have some guys that are really good out
there, and we believe in them as a team.” Ryan Sweeney misplayed Jamey Carrolls
single into a two-base error that put him at third with none out in that pivotal
eighth, after the ball bounded down the right-field line, ricocheted off the
padded facade of the seats in foul territory and skidded away. But
Franklin Morales got Joe Mauer to ground out weakly to first base, and Bard
retired two of the three batters he faced sandwiched around an intentional walk
to Justin Morneau. Josh Willingham greeted Bard with a sharp line drive, but it
zipped straight at third baseman Kevin Youkilis for the second out. “He allowed
everybody to be happy campers,” manager Bobby Valentine said. Bard shrugged off
his bullpen appearance. “Same deal. Youre just trying to get out. You just have
a little less time to warm up. Thats it,” he said. Then Ross put the Red Sox in
front with his drive off Matt Capps (0-1), who threw a 92-mph, 0-1 fastball at
the kneecaps, a tough one for anyone to hit, let alone far enough to reach seats
to the opposite field. “Thats tough to do. He did it. He hit it,” Twins manager
Ron Gardenhire said. Said Capps: “I dont think Ive ever seen Cody Ross hit a
ball that way. He put it a good swing on it and obviously squared it up well.”
After a rainout on Sunday gave the rotation an extra day of rest, Valentine put
Bard in his struggling bullpen for a few days amid calls for the young
right-hander to take over for Aceves as the closer. But Bard and Valentine
insisted the move was merely temporary, and Bard is still on track to make his
next start on Friday. “I still view myself as a starter, and they said they do,
too,” Bard said before the game. Jon Lester allowed six hits, five runs and four
walks over seven innings. He struck out four but wasted a 3-0 lead, after
Jarrod Saltalamacchias two-run homer in the second. Danny Valencias two-run
homer, his first of the season, followed Ryan Doumits two-run double in a
four-run fourth for the Twins. Then Plouffe drew a leadoff walk in the fifth,
Span singled and a run scored when Carroll grounded into a double play. Still,
Valentine fervently praised the way Lester bounced back with strong a sixth and
seventh. “Nothing changed physically or mentally, but something got me locked
in,” Lester said. Carroll got the Red Sox back for that in the sixth. With one
out and runners at the corners, he dived to stop a grounder by David Ortiz up
the middle and flipped to the second baseman Plouffe from his stomach with one
hand. Then Plouffe whirled around for a perfect relay throw to finish the double
play. But Jason Marquis gave the game back to the Red Sox on that two-run drive
by Ross that soared high above left field and into the upper-deck seats. NOTES:
Red Sox RH Daisuke Matsuzakas rehab start for Class A Salem, his first real game
since undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery last June, was rough. He gave up
six hits, three runs and two homers in four innings. ... CF Marlon Byrd, 3 for
43 with the Cubs before being traded Saturday, had a single in his Red Sox
debut. ... Twins starters are 2-9 with a 6.46 ERA, last in the majors. ...
Willingham will miss Wednesdays game to be with his wife, who is about to have a
baby. Jonas Gustavsson Jersey . A.J. Pierzynski hit
a two-run home run in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox held on to beat
the Minnesota Twins 4-3. Jaroslav Halak Jersey . The team said Pedroia
has a hyperextended right thumb. Pedroia has not played since injuring the thumb
on Tuesday against the Oakland Athletics when he landed on the back of his thumb
trying to make a diving catch. http://www.officialnhlproshop.com/boston-bruins/tim-thomas-jersey/
. Cementing his status as Chelseas player for the big occasions, Drogba clinched
a 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Saturday to prove his enduring value to the team
at the age of 34. Henrik Sedin Jersey . Linebacker Marcellus
Bowman could be back in the lineup for the first time this season when Winnipeg
meets the Montreal Alouettes this Friday. Ray Whitney Authentic Jersey . She said it
happened on a whim, inspired by a newspaper article with the headline: “Boomers
believe theyve found a fountain of youth in a syringe.” She said it happened in
her posh master bathroom, which she described as being “like the size of a
kitchen.INDIANAPOLIS – Dan Wheldon couldnt win his third Indianapolis 500. Dario
Franchitti did it for him. And if it wasnt going to be Franchitti, then it would
be Scott Dixon. Maybe even Tony Kanaan. No matter what, one of Wheldons best
buddies was going to Victory Lane. In the end, they celebrated a 1-2-3 sweep
that honoured D-Dub, their missing friend. Franchitti stamped his name in the
record books by winning his third Indy 500 on Sunday, a day that started and
ended as a tribute to Wheldon, who won the race a year ago but was killed in an
October crash in the IndyCar season finale. As his three friends lined up with
six laps remaining for the final restart—Kanaan out front, Chip Ganassi
teammates Franchitti and Dixon second and third—they couldnt help but wonder
if Wheldon was at play. “Kind of like old times, the three of us back and
forwards,” Franchitti said. “I thought, Dan is laughing at us right now going at
it.” It was an absolutely fitting finish, even if the elation for Franchittis
win was tempered by the heartbreak for two other deserving drivers. Dixon, a
one-time Indy 500 winner, temporarily relocated his family to St. Petersburg,
Fla., to support Wheldons wife and two sons, and Kanaan, 0 for 11 now at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, had openly wept following the death of his former
teammate. “I think a lot of us that were close to Dan, you know, you wanted it
that little bit more,” Dixon said. “I guess maybe in the back of your mind, you
figured he would probably help you out today, too. I think in that situation,
seeing how it lined up with the top three, three of Dans friends, it was a tough
one.” Franchitti won a wheel-to-wheel, last-lap battle, sailing away to the
checkered flag when Takuma Sato spun out trying to make one last pass on the
inside and slammed into the wall. The race had shaped into what was expected to
be a duel to the finish between Franchitti and Dixon. But when the Scot made his
final pass of Dixon with two laps to go, he pulled Sato with him and it sapped
Dixons momentum. So the last-lap pass attempt was Satos for the taking, and he
couldnt pull it off as he hugged the inside white line through Turn 1. His
wheels appeared to touch Franchittis, he spun hard into the wall, and Franchitti
sailed past for the win—this one, just like the first two, under caution.
Dixon crossed the finish line in second, and Kanaan was third. “Everybody up
there was a friend of Dans, and that about sums it up. Everybody loved him,”
Franchitti said as bagpipes played over the public address system. “What a race!
What a race!” Franchitti said. “I think D-Dub would be proud of that one.” James
Hinchcliffe of Oakville, Ont., started second and finished sixth in his second
career Indy 500. Alex Tagliani of Lachenaie, Que., meanwhile finished 13th.
Dixon met his teammate in Victory Lane, and Franchitti was reminded of the
delicate balance in celebrating a team win vs. beating a teammate. “I want to
beat Scott. I know he wants to beat me. I dont think Ive met maybe a more
competitive individual, except maybe Dan in the early years,” Franchitti said.
“Hes my buddy. Out on the track, hes competition, but a teammate, and then
afterward hes my friend. I see the disappointment in his face. I see the
disappointment in T.K.s face. “I think both those guys will get more
championships and Indy wins. Theyre just too good not to. When you beat guys
like that, I take that as a big accomplishment because, God, theyre not easy to
beat.” Kanaan, who used a bold move on a late restart to dart from fifth to
first, couldnt hold off Franchitti and Dixon on the last restart. He was OK with
the final result. “I dont think it could have been a better result for Dan,”
Kanaan said. “Wherever he is right now, hes definitely making fun of Sato, I can
tell you that, and hes giving Dario a tap on the back for sure, and he was going
to call me a wanker that I didnt win this thing. “Im glad this is over. Im glad
that now I hope we can all move on and just remember Dan the way Dan was—a
happy guy, a wonderful friend.” Wheldons wife, Susie, went to Victory Lanee to
congratulate Franchitti, who hid his tears of joy behind a pair of white
sunglasses worn in tribute because they were Wheldons preference. Sergei Gonchar Jersey. She then sat next to
Franchittis wife, actress Ashley Judd, in the backseat of the convertible—the
same seat she had a year ago for Wheldons win—for the victory lap around the
2.5-mile oval. The day opened with car owner Bryan Herta driving a single parade
lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the car Wheldon drove to victory last
year. Fans were given white sunglasses to wear on laps 26 and 98, marking the
car numbers Wheldon used in his two wins. It was Susie Wheldons first trip to
any race track since her husbands death, and she watched from Dixons pit stand
with his wife, Emma. So it was apt on this hot day—the temperature hit 32
degrees Celsius, just shy of the Indy 500 record from 1937—that one of the
most competitive races in history ended with a frantic push from Wheldons
friends. Ten drivers swapped the lead 35 times, shattering the record of 29 in
the 1960 race won by Jim Rathmann. Until the last lap, when Sato made his move
for the win, the race was close but uneventful. The only multi-car accident came
when a spin by Mike Conway collected Will Power, who came to Indy as the series
points leader and winner of the last three races this season. It was a somewhat
frightening accident as Conway, who broke his front wing when he hit one of his
crew members on pit road, hit the outside wall and his car tilted on its side
before coming to rest. And Helio Castroneves had to deftly manoeuvre past a
bouncing tire that still grazed one of his own wheels. Besides that, though, the
race was slowed by just seven other cautions—including the one on the last
lap—for 39 of the 200 laps. Marco Andretti, who went into Sunday believing
the race “is mine to lose,” was strong at the start, but a series of adjustments
were not to his liking and he unravelled on his team radio before spinning to
bring out the final caution with 13 laps remaining. Franchitti and Dixon battled
back and forth in the final third of the race, with Sato consistently in the
mix. Then came Kanaan, from nowhere it seemed, but he was unable to hang on to
the lead on the restart after Andrettis crash brought out the yellow with 13
laps to go. Andretti said the wreck “definitely rang my bell.” Everyone thought
the race would go to a Chevrolet driver for either Andretti Autosport or Penske
Racing, which won the first four races of the season and swept the front two
rows in qualifying. But in the end, it was three Hondas fighting for their first
win of the season. After the last restart, Franchitti pulled past Dixon for the
final time, then went for the lead, pulling even with Franchitti. “Job done,” he
said he thought, but he went in too low and the tires appeared to touch. “It
looks like he didnt give me enough room to go there,” Sato said. “I was a little
below the white line. I had nowhere to go.” Sato said the cars never actually
hit but the white line marking the inside of the track “was less than touching
my own car—so, you know, I mean almost on the grass.” Franchitti coasted
across the line under a yellow caution flag to become the 10th driver to win at
least three Indy 500s. This was the second year in a row that a crash on the
final lap affected the outcome. In 2011, rookie JR Hildebrand was leading going
into the final turn when his car slammed into the wall, allowing Wheldon to
cruise past and take the checkered flag. “I was side by side with Takuma,”
Franchitti said. “We hit and I managed to keep it out of trouble.” The victory
snaps a disappointing start to the season for Franchitti, who has won the last
three championships but seemed stumped by IndyCars new car through the first
four races. In breaking out Sunday for his 31st victory, hes now in a tie with
Sebastien Bourdais and Paul Tracy on the all-time wins list. One more win will
move Franchitti into seventh place in the record books. The only drivers ahead
of him? The giants of open-wheel racing: three Unsers, two Andrettis and A.J.
Foyt, the all-time wins leader. ’ ’ ’ 

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