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Nov 16, 2012 11:52pm
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CHICAGO —Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle figured snapping a
season-high seven-game losing streak would be no easy task. Ryan Tannehill Black Firday Jersey .
Joel Hanrahan made it about as dramatic as it can get. Hanrahan allowed two runs
in the ninth, then struck out Dave Sappelt with the bases loaded to preserve a
7-6 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. Andrew McCutchen homered and reached
base four times for Pittsburgh, which had dropped 11 of 13 overall. “If it was
about everybodys comfort, youd choose to do it differently,” Hurdle said. “But
usually when you push through something like were going through right now, its
gonna take some drama, and its gonna take some wherewithal, and some confidence
and some grit. “It was enough today to get us out of the direction we were
headed in and headed in a new direction.” Wandy Rodriguez (11-13) held Chicago
to three runs—one earned—in helping the Pirates stop their free-fall in
the NL playoff race. Pittsburgh had lost 17 of 22, yet was just three games
behind St. Louis for the second NL wild-card slot entering the day. Rodriguez
improved to 3-0 with a 1.40 ERA over his last four starts after struggling
initially upon being acquired midseason from Houston. McCutchen launched
Jason Berkens pitch off the rear fence behind the left-field bleachers leading
off the third, his 28th homer of the season. He also singled and walked twice,
improving to .394 in 27 career games at Wrigley Field. Hanrahan allowed
Alfonso Sorianos RBI single in the ninth and walked in a run, but held on for
his 35th save. “Its obviously not how we write it up, especially with a
seven-game losing streak, you want to go out there and have it go smooth,”
Hanrahan said. “Being here in Chicago, dinner isnt good until about 6 oclock
anyway, so keep us around a little bit.” Starling Marte had an RBI triple,
doubled and scored twice as Pittsburgh scored more than four runs for the first
time since its losing streak began. The Pirates were aided by a pair of Cubs
errors that led to four unearned runs. Clint Barmes hit a solo homer in the
seventh, and enjoyed the return of his double-play combination, Neil Walker, who
started for the first time since Aug. 26 due to lower back tightness. Walker
went hitless in five at-bats, but his presence was felt elsewhere. “Just looking
over and seeing (Walker) out there, it brought a whole different feel to the
clubhouse,” Barmes said. “We need him out there. Having him out there puts
everybody a little more at ease.” Berken (0-1) struggled in his Cubs debut,
giving up eight hits in four innings, though just two of the six runs he allowed
were earned. Berken, who was claimed off waivers on Sept. 7 after Baltimore
designated him for assignment, became the 12th starting pitcher the Cubs have
used this season and the team-record 53rd player theyve used overall. “He was a
victim of a couple of errors,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Could have gotten
into the fifth only giving up two, but the errors cost him pitches and the
ability to go five or six today.” Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI for
Chicago, and Soriano drove in two runs, leaving him one RBI shy of his first 100
RBI season since 2005. Starlin Castro had two hits and reached base three times,
but missed a chance to move into a tie for the NL lead in triples when he
tripped over second base on a double up the right field line in the eighth.
Josh Vitters throwing error on a routine ball led to three unearned runs in the
fourth, all scoring with two outs. Marte pounded an RBI triple to centre, while
Travis Snider and Garrett Jones drove in runs to cap the rally. NOTES: Cuban OF
Jorge Soler made his first visit to a big league ballpark Saturday when he
participated in pregame drills with the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The
powerfully-built 20 year old put on an impressive display in batting practice,
knocking two balls onto Waveland Avenue and three more that easily cleared the
ivy in left. The Cubs won a hotly-contested bidding war for Soler, signing him
to a nine-year, $30 million contract in June. . Hurdle declined to answer a
pregame question about whether removing James McDonald from the starting
rotation was an option. “Were doing some internal talking in a lot of different
areas. I had a talk with James yesterday. Well just leave it at that right now,”
Hurdle said. McDonald lasted only 3 2-3 innings Friday and is 3-5 with a 7.08
ERA in the second half. . OF Alex Presley (right foot) was unavailable Saturday
after being hit by a pitch in the ninth inning Friday. Dan Carpenter Jersey . In overtime, Ference
sent McDonagh crashing into the boards and was assessed a five-minute major for
charging and a game misconduct on the play. The Rangers scored on the ensuing
power play to win the game. Brian Hartline Jersey . In comments
translated from French, Federer appeared to criticize Wawrinkas performances in
the 5-0 first-round whitewash at the weekend. But speaking at a pre-tournament
news conference Monday at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam,
Federer said there was no rift with Wawrinka. http://www.dolphinsfansstore.com/ryan-tannehill-jerseys
. The Jays halted the five-game skid by topping the New York Yankees, 10-7, on
Sunday in the finale of a three-game set. Rajai Davis drove in five runs and
made a superb defensive play, as Toronto avoided the sweep. Reggie Bush Orange Jersey .S. national team
in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Clippers say Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the
Kerlan-Jobe Clinic performed the surgery. Griffin returned to Los Angeles last
Thursday after experiencing discomfort in the same knee that bothered him during
the playoffs. Ryan Tannehill Jersey . Prude was injured in
the third quarter of Edmontons 28-20 win over Saskatchewan after lowering his
head to make a hit on Roughriders receiver Terence Jeffers-Harris.ARLINGTON,
Texas—Mike Napolis three-run homer put the Texas Rangers ahead to stay. The
catcher also blocked the plate to prevent a run and was in sync with pitcher
Matt Harrison all night. Not a bad all-around effort. Nelson Cruz added a homer
of his own and two outfield assists, combining with Napoli to deny Brendan Ryan
an inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning, and Texas beat the Seattle
Mariners 4-2 on Monday night. “That was awesome,” said Harrison, who tossed
eight strong innings. Napoli and Cruz homered before Michael Saunders singled in
the eighth for Seattle. Ryan followed with a liner to right-centre that bounced
over the glove of a diving Craig Gentry and rolled to the wall. While Saunders
scored easily, Cruz ran down the ball and threw to second baseman Ian Kinsler,
who made a perfect relay to the plate. Napoli tagged out the sliding Ryan. “Im
never going to forget that as long as I live,” Ryan said. “I dont even know
where to start with that. ... I never had the opportunity before. Loss aside and
all that, it would have been pretty sweet. Kind of a baseball bucket list
thing.” Except Ryan never touched the plate because of the block by Napoli after
the heads-up play by Cruz. “The play was really made by Nelson Cruz backing up
that play when Gentry dove for the ball,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
“Kinsler made a really tremendous relay throw and Mike blocked the plate, but
Nelson Cruz was the one that saved that run by backing up. He could have been
watching what was going on, but instead was where he was supposed to be.” Cruz
homered in the second to tie the game at 1. Napoli went deep for the second game
in a row when he hit a tiebreaking shot in the sixth. Napolis ninth homer came
off reliever Steve Delabar (1-1), who gave up three runs while facing only four
batters. Napoli was mired in a career-long 24-game homerless drought before his
two-run shot Sunday. “That was a huge hit for Mike, to give the team a boost
like that,” Kinsler said. “It was kind of like we were waiting all night for the
offence to just kind of explode and we could never do it, really. ... For Napoli
to come up with that big hit, it was huge for the team and pretty much won the
game.” Harrison (6-3) struck out five and allowed two runs, less than a week
after holding Seattle to one run over seven innings. “I was just trying to hit
Napolis glove and make them put the ball in play. We were on the same page
pretty much the whole game—shoook him off twice,” Harrison said. Anthony Fasano Jersey. “The defence was
outstanding, and we ended up scoring some runs late.” Cruz also got an outfield
assist in the fifth after Kinsler misplayed Alex Liddis popup in short