Canada Sports News

Gordon’s 24 helps Rockets push Warriors to the brink

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 22:33

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Rockets inch closer to dethroning Warriors as Eric Gordon provides Game 5 boost

CBC Sports - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 21:45

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State's last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Houston Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Nimmo reaches 5 times, Matz sharp as Mets beat Brewers

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 21:33

MILWAUKEE — Brandon Nimmo is making a strong case to remain in the New York Mets‘ everyday lineup.

Nimmo reached base five times, Steven Matz pitched six solid innings and the Mets beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 on Thursday night.

Nimmo raised his on-base percentage to .450, best in the majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances, with a career-high four hits and a walk. The 25-year-old outfielder had a triple and two doubles, and he has reached base eight consecutive times.

"I’m in a good place right now," Nimmo said. "I’m really glad I’ve been able to create some traffic for (Asdrubal Cabrera) behind me. He’s really been carrying this offence for a while now."

Nimmo has gotten consistent playing time as the leadoff hitter for the past two weeks, which he said has bolstered his performance.

"I’ve been getting into a really good rhythm," he said.

Nimmo’s performance earned praise from manager Mickey Callaway, who will have some tough decisions to make with the Mets outfield when Yoenis Cespedes returns from the disabled list.

"If you have a guy who can be as patient as he can be and walk and hit extra-base hits, that turns into a really valuable player," Callaway said.

Cabrera and Wilmer Flores each had two RBIs.

Matz (2-3) matched his longest outing of the season. Both of his victories this season have come against the NL Central-leading Brewers.

"I’m feeling more comfortable out there and am able to attack the zone a little bit more," Matz said.

Being injury free has been important, said Matz, who had surgery last August to reposition and decompress the ulnar nerve in his pitching elbow.

"I’m just very thankful that I’m healthy and get to work on stuff," Matz said.

The Mets got on the board first in the third when Nimmo tripled off starter Zach Davies (2-4) and scored on Flores’ sacrifice fly.

New York extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth on Cabrera’s two-run double, which chased Davies, who was returning from a nearly month-long stint on the disabled list due to right rotator cuff inflammation. The Mets added another run in the inning on Flores’ run-scoring single off reliever Dan Jennings.

Davies gave up four runs and six hits in four innings. He struck out two and walked two in the shortest outing of his seven starts this season.

"The command wasn’t there pretty much all night," Davies said.

Devin Mesoraco drove in a run with a double in the seventh off Jorge Lopez to extend the margin to 5-0.

Matz gave up four hits while striking out two batters and walking two. He threw 94 pitches, one off his season high.

Relievers Paul Sewald and Jacob Rhame combined for three innings to complete the shutout.

The Brewers were held without a hit from the fifth inning until Hernan Perez’s lead-off single in the ninth.

FAMILIA SUPPORT

Callaway offered support for closer Jeurys Familia, who blew his fourth save of the season Wednesday in a 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins. "If you look at the numbers, he’s been our best reliever," Callaway said. "The year he had 51 saves, his numbers (this year) are way better than that. He’s having a career-year numbers-wise."

CLOSE CALL

With the bases loaded in the first inning, Mets’ catcher Mesoraco smacked a liner up the middle that nearly struck Davies in the head. He fell to the ground after deflecting the ball with his glove, then scrambled to his feet in time to throw Mesoraco out at first.

"He had the wherewithal to stay calm and make the play," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "It looked like a line drive right at his head."

GREEK FREAK

Milwaukee Bucks’ All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo attended the game.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: OF Juan Lagares had surgery Wednesday in Manhattan to repair a complete tear of the left big toe plantar plate.

Brewers: Ryan Braun was re-instated from the disabled list and started in left field. He had a single in four at-bats. … 3B Travis Shaw got the night off to rest.

UP NEXT

Mets: Noah Syndergaard (4-1, 2.91 ERA) is 2-0 with a 0.49 ERA in three career starts versus the Brewers. He struck out eight consecutive Milwaukee batters in an April 15 start.

Brewers: Junior Guerra (3-3, 2.98) is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.

Rockets hold on to beat Warriors, take 3-2 series lead

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 21:30

HOUSTON — Chris Paul’s grit and veteran leadership have pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink of elimination.

Now the Houston Rockets must wait to see if his injured leg is strong enough to help them take one last step to the NBA Finals.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 24 points and his steal on Golden State’s last possession secured a 98-94 victory Thursday night that gave the Rockets a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference finals. But the victory came with a cost, as Paul had to leave the game in the final minute with a right hamstring injury that could keep him out of Game 6.

"His spirits aren’t great," coach Mike D’Antoni said. "He wanted to be out there, and for sure he’s worried … we’ll see tomorrow how it goes."

Paul was receiving treatment after the game and did not speak to reporters.

The Rockets head to Oakland for Game 6 on Saturday night a win away from knocking off the defending champions and advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time since winning back-to-back titles in 1994-95.

Kevin Durant scored 29 points for the Warriors, who lost in Game 5 of a playoff series for just the second time since 2015. Just like Cleveland in the East, a run of three straight trips to the championship round is on the verge of ending.

"We haven’t been in this position before … so it’s a chapter we need to figure out and finish the story," Stephen Curry said.

The Rockets won a second straight defensive struggle between the two potent offences, leaving the Warriors a loss from missing the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.

Draymond Green made a 3-pointer with just over minute left to get Golden State within one. Harden, who was 0 for 11 on 3s, missed his last one with less than 30 seconds left, giving the Warriors the ball back.

Curry missed a floater and Trevor Ariza grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 10 seconds left. But he made just one of two free throws to give the Warriors another chance.

But Gordon came up with his steal when Green lost control in the lane and added two free throws with 2.4 seconds left to put it away.

Green was asked what was supposed to happen on the play.

"We was supposed to score," he said. "I lost the ball … not much more to it than that."

Harden scoffed at a reporter who questioned him about his struggles from long range in the last two games, where he’s gone a combined 3 for 22.

"Who cares," he said. "I’m just missing shots, but we’re winning."

Klay Thompson shook off a knee injury that had his status for this game in question to score 23 points and Curry added 22. A bruised left knee kept Andre Iguodala out for the second straight game, and Kevon Looney started in his place.

After losing Game 1 of the series, the Rockets made the best of home-court advantage this time, thrilling a sellout crowd that included Justin Timberlake, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt and rapper Travis Scott.

It’s Houston’s second straight win in the series after snapping Golden State’s NBA playoff-record, 16-game home winning streak with a 95-92 victory on Tuesday night.

Golden State led by one to start the fourth before Paul got going, scoring seven points to power a 10-5 run that gave the Rockets an 81-77 lead with about 9 1/2 minutes left.

Thompson made a 3-pointer after that and then officials reviewed Paul’s first basket of the quarter and ruled he got it off after the shot clock expired, leaving the Warriors ahead 80-79.

The Rockets were clinging to a one-point lead with about seven minutes left when Durant fouled Gordon on a 3-point attempt, losing one of his shoes in the process. Gordon made all three free throws to start a 7-2 spurt that extended the lead to 88-82 midway through the quarter.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr was unsure Thursday if Iguodala would be able to return for Game 6. "He’s dying to play, but he’s not healthy enough," Kerr said. "We’ll just continue to take it day to day."… Curry made four free throws to tie Rick Barry for most free throws made in the playoffs in franchise history with 378. … Golden State had 18 turnovers.

Rockets: Clint Capela had 12 points and 14 rebounds for his seventh double-double this post-season. … Houston made 13 of 43 3-pointers, led by four from Gordon.

SANTA FE STRONG

The Rockets honoured the 10 people killed in last week’s school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, before the game, with the school’s choir singing the national anthem and team owner Tilman Fertitta wearing a "Santa Fe Strong" T-shirt, before Houston scored the game’s first six points in a first half where the team led by as many as 11.

Houston also wore rectangular patches on its jerseys that read: "Santa Fe HS," to remember those affected by the tragedy.

"We wanted to come out and give them light, put smiles on their faces (and) clear their minds a little bit," Harden said.

UP NEXT

After Game 6 on Saturday, the Rockets would host Game 7 on Monday if necessary.

Duffy stymies Rangers as Royals win their third straight

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 21:28

ARLINGTON, Texas — Danny Duffy didn’t need much help Thursday night. Still, he and catcher Salvador Perez got a nifty assist from Shin-Soo Choo’s face.

Duffy took a shutout into the eighth inning after Perez threw out a baserunner on a ball that hit Choo in the nose, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 for their season-best third straight victory.

Perez had four RBIs on a pair of two-run singles with two outs, first in the fifth and then the seventh innings. But the catcher’s caught stealing in the first inning was more memorable.

Duffy’s pitch in the dirt bounced off Perez and then hit Choo in the face, sending the left-handed hitter staggering out of the box. Perez scrambled to get the ball from in front of home plate, then threw out Delino DeShields trying to take second on the play.

"I saw the ball like right in front of me," Perez said. "I said, ‘Bro, I think you’re bleeding."’

Choo remained in the game and drew a walk in the plate appearance.

Duffy (2-6) allowed a run and four hits, struck out five and walked two in 7 2/3 innings in his longest outing of the season. The veteran left-hander entered the game with a 6.88 ERA this season and had allowed at least five earned runs in five of his previous 10 starts.

"It was nice to do something beneficial to the team," said Duffy, who said his slider might have been his best of the season.

"He needed it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was on the attack. He was throwing the ball in good spots and was ahead in the count."

Last season against Texas, Duffy allowed only one run in 15 2/3 innings. Both of Duffy’s 2017 appearances vs. Texas were 1-0 Rangers wins. He got one loss and one no-decision.

"I’ve been throwing baseballs professionally for almost 11 years now. You notice trends that you have success against people," Duffy said.

After DeShields led off Texas’ first inning with a single to right field, Duffy didn’t allow another hit until Choo singled in the seventh. Rougned Odor broke up the shutout bid with a two-out single in the eighth, ending Duffy’s night.

Texas’ offence struggled a night after matching a season high for runs in a 12-10 win over the New York Yankees.

"(Duffy) had a good start tonight," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "There’s not a whole lot other that you can say."

Rangers right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-1) gave up six runs, four earned, on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. He made his season debut for Texas after his contract was purchased from Triple-A Round Rock earlier in the day.

Ramon Torres had two hits and three runs in his first appearance of the season. He was a late lineup replacement for Alex Gordon, who had a sore hip and a stiff neck.

The Royals scored two unearned runs in the second inning after having no one on with two outs. Torres, who was recalled from Triple-A Omaha last Saturday, followed Ryan Goins’ single to centre that rolled past DeShields’ glove. Goins and Torres both scored on the three-base error.

Bibens-Dirkx filled the rotation spot left vacant when left-hander Matt Moore went on the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a sore right knee.

THE OLDEST GETS OLDER

Rangers right-hander Bartolo Colon, the major leagues’ oldest active player, turned 45 on Thursday. His teammates honoured him with a cake before the game, and his face ended up in the cake during the celebration.

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, from the Dominican Republic like Colon, said he had pictures of Colon on his bedroom walls when he was a teenager.

"He was my idol," Herrera said.

SHORT HOPS

To make room for Bibens-Dirkx on Texas’ 40-man roster, left-hander Brandon Mann was optioned to Round Rock. Mann appeared in three games, making his major league debut on May 13, after pitching 15 years in the minors and Japan.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Royals: Gordon was injured making a diving catch during Wednesday’s win at St. Louis.

UP NEXT

Royals LHP Eric Skoglund (1-4) has lost three straight. He allowed six earned runs in five innings Sunday in the New York Yankees’ 10-1 win.

Rangers LHP Mike Minor (3-3), who spent last season as a Royals reliever, has also lost three straight. He gave up 14 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings in the three games.

Snell pitches 6 scoreless innings, Rays beat Red Sox

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 20:59

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Blake Snell had another strong outing against Boston — something that is becoming a regular occurrence for the Tampa Bay lefty.

Snell threw six scoreless innings, Wilson Ramos drove in two runs, and the Rays avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Red Sox 6-3 on Thursday night.

Snell (6-3) allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight to improve to 2-0 in three starts against Boston this season. He gave up two runs and 11 hits in 19 innings.

"Blake, you know, looks good against them," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. "Really, really good performance."

Snell gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings in a 4-3 road victory over Boston April 27. He had a no-decision March 30, going 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Boston’s 1-0 win.

"Every start, I want to be aggressive," said Snell, who is 3-1 with an 0.86 ERA in five home starts.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and Rafael Devers had an RBI double off Matt Andriese in the ninth as Boston got within three runs. But, Alex Colome retired Sandy Leon on a two-out grounder with Devers on second to get his 11th save.

Red Sox starter Rick Porcello (6-2) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing six runs — four earned — and eight hits. He threw 92 pitches.

"Anytime I’ve struggled this year it’s been a result of falling behind hitters," Porcello said. "That’s what happened tonight. I got into some bad counts, and you get hurt by that."

Boston (34-16) dropped to 9-4 against the Rays this year.

The Rays took a 5-0 lead after two innings, helped by a pair of Boston miscues.

Denard Span scored the first of two runs during the first when Leon was charged with an error for dropping Porcello’s throw home on Ramos’ bases-loaded comebacker. Brad Miller added a sacrifice fly.

Ramos had a bases-loaded two-run single in the second that also saw Matt Duffy score a third run from first base when right fielder Mookie Betts picked up an error for an errant throw back to the infield.

Duffy put Tampa Bay up 6-0 on a third-inning RBI single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: RHP Hector Velazquez (strained lower back) was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Bobby Poyner was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

Rays: OF Carlos Gomez (strained right hamstring) will play at extended spring training Friday and could return by Sunday.

DUSTIN’S DAY

2B Dustin Pedroia will be activated by the Red Sox on Friday after missing Boston’s first 50 games while recovering from knee surgery. Pedroia’s return will come exactly seven months after cartilage-restoration surgery on his left knee.

DISAPPEARING ACT

Span stayed in the game in the fourth after falling into the front-row seats in the left-field corner attempting to catch Moreland’s foul ball. He was briefly out of view behind the wall before getting up and returning to the playing field. "Going into the stands means a lot to me," Snell said of the outfielder’s effort. Span also went over the wall on a foul drive by Devers in the ninth. "I went 0 for 2," Span said with a laugh.

SHORT STAY

Rays sent SS prospect Willy Adames back to Triple-A Durham after filling in while INF Joey Wendle was on paternity leave. Adames homered off Boston ace Chris Sale in his big league debut Tuesday. "He looks the part," Cash said. "A lot to be excited about."

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-1) will go against Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran (4-1) Friday night in the first of three games at Fenway Park.

Rays: Reliever Sergio Romo (1-0) is scheduled to start Friday night against Baltimore in the first of three "bullpen days." The right-hander is also slated to start the series finale Sunday.

Antoine Roussel ne dirait pas non au CH

Google Sports Canada French - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 20:51
  1. Antoine Roussel ne dirait pas non au CH  Le Journal de Montréal
  2. Antoine Roussel reste calme  Le Quotidien - Groupe Capitales Médias
  3. Full coverage
Categories: Canada Sports News

Criticism of Whitecaps super-sub Brek Shea has been overstated

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 19:44

Every Thursday/Friday, Sportsnet.ca will chat with Sportsnet 650 radio commentator Dan Riccio about the big stories and issues surrounding the Vancouver Whitecaps.

SN: What did you make of Vancouver’s comeback in last week’s 2-2 draw away to FC Dallas?
RICCIO: The Whitecaps were very lucky to walk away with a point in Texas. You could replay that match 100 times over at 2-0 down, and the Whitecaps likely wouldn’t complete the miraculous comeback again. Now, good on them for continuing to fight and not just play out the string, but this isn’t sustainable. They’ve now allowed the first goal in nine of the 13 matches they’ve played this season. In those games, they have just one victory. It isn’t hard to figure out why this Vancouver team is struggling to collect wins and valuable points. 

A few weeks ago you called Anthony Blondell the Whitecaps’ “X-Factor,” but also said you’d like to see more from him. What have you made of the Venezuelan’s play since then?
Unfortunately, the return of Kei Kamara to full fitness has diminished Anthony Blondell’s role and opportunities. He’s been an intriguing option in attack, but it is difficult to see how coach Carl Robinson fits both Blondell and Kamara on the field together. Robbo has no reason to try and force it, since Blondell couldn’t convert the many scoring chances he had while getting the bulk of the playing time. The lack of polish in his game has continued to haunt him, and until he cleans that up it will be an issue. 

What does Jake Nerwinski have to do to win back the job as Vancouver’s starting right fullback?
It’s a bit surprising that Jake has had less playing time of late. He’s largely been the same player he was last season when he earned a spot into the squad and almost reached 2000 minutes as a rookie, which doesn’t happen often in this league. Sean Franklin hasn’t been the answer for the Whitecaps at right back, so it really is only a matter of time until Jake finds his way back into the starting 11. This should be a good lesson for a young player who may just need a reminder that his spot in the eleven isn’t guaranteed. 

Brek Shea is someone who comes in for a lot of criticism from fans and media. Is that fair? What, if anything, does he bring to the table for the Whitecaps?
Brek is always going to be a polarizing figure where ever he plays. It’s reached a boiling point here in Vancouver because he is one of the club’s two designated players. How many teams in MLS have a DP that doesn’t regularly start? He is being utilized as a super-sub despite being one of the highest paid players on the team, but he has looked decent this year as the Whitecaps’ second leading scorer. For that reason alone, I think the criticism has been overstated. 

What things will you be looking for in Saturday’s home game against the New England Revolution?
It will be Kendall Waston’s final match before leaving for the World Cup, which will leave an already struggling defence shorthanded for the coming weeks. It isn’t a must-win for the ‘Caps by any stretch of the imagination, but you can tell the players are starting to feel the pressure of having just two wins in their last 11 MLS matches. I expect to see a desperate performance from Vancouver on Saturday because a win will go a long way to shoring up their confidence as they head into the summer months.  

Be sure to listen to Dan Riccio on a daily basis on Sportsnet 650. You can also follow Dan Riccio on Twitter

Astros’ Morton stays unbeaten with win over Indians

SportsNets - Thu, 05/24/2018 - 19:38

CLEVELAND — Charlie Morton remained unbeaten this season with six solid innings, Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick hit three-run homers and the Houston Astros defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-2 on Thursday night.

Morton (7-0) allowed two runs and five hits while extending his career-best winning streak to 10 games. The right-hander, who moved into a tie for the AL lead in wins, hasn’t lost since Sept. 9, 2017 against Oakland. He walked three and struck out five.

Morton fell behind after Michael Brantley’s two-run single in the third, but his offence gave him plenty of support. Houston scored three runs in the fifth and added five in the sixth to put the game away.

Mike Clevinger (3-2) opened with four scoreless innings, but couldn’t hold a 2-0 lead in the fifth. Bregman capped the inning with his fifth homer over the 19-foot high wall in left field that put Houston ahead. He added an RBI double in the sixth.

Marisnick, recalled from the minors Wednesday, homered to straightaway centre in the sixth off Neil Ramirez. Marisnick was sent to Triple-A Frenso on May 15 and was called up when outfielder Josh Reddick went on the 10-day disabled list with a leg infection. Marisnick, batting .141 going into the game, also singled in the fifth but was picked off first by Clevinger.

Houston’s go-ahead rally came with two outs in the fifth. Clevinger hit Tony Kemp on an 0-2 pitch and George Springer drew a four-pitch walk. Pitching coach Carl Willis visited Clevinger, but Bregman then jumped on a hanging breaking pitch and Houston had the lead.

Clevinger allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander was pulled with two on in the sixth, but pinch-hitter Max Stassi’s single off Tyler Olson drove in a run before Marisnick homered.

The defending World Series champions have won four straight and taken three of four from Cleveland this season

Brantley singled up the middle in the third to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead. Roberto Perez led off with a single and took third on Francisco Lindor’s double. Brantley is second in the AL in batting and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He began the season on the disabled list following ankle surgery in October.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Derek Fisher (gastrointestinal discomfort), who has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 19, could begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend.

Indians: Cleveland has four outfielders on the 10-day DL. Lonnie Chisenhall (strained right calf) will continue his minor league rehab assignment Friday. He’s played two games at Triple-A Columbus. … Bradley Zimmer (left rib contusion) is expected to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. … Brandon Guyer (strained neck) could join a minor league team soon before being activated. … Tyler Naquin (strained left hamstring) has resumed baseball activities.

UP NEXT

LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-6, 3.43 ERA) takes on RHP Corey Kluber (7-2, 2.36 ERA) in a rematch of their May 19 game in Houston. Kluber became the first AL pitcher to reach seven wins this season in Cleveland’s 5-4 victory while Keuchel got the loss, allowing four runs in five innings.