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Royals Sweep Angels, Meet Orioles in ALCS

Royals Sweep Angels, Meet Orioles in ALCS

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY) -- In their first playoff appearance since 1985, the Kansas City Royals swept the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, reaching the American League Championship Series (ALCS). The 8-3 margin was the largest in the best-of-five series after Kansas City won two games in Los Angeles in extra innings.

"I've never seen this group of kids so confident on the big stage," said manager Ned Yost. "It's really fun to see their development and watch them come into the postseason and just really take their game to the next level."

The Angels, who earned homefield advantage by having the leagues best regular-season record, took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Mike Trout homered off James Shields for his first-ever postseason hit. That lead quickly evaporated in the bottom half of the inning when the Royals' Alex Gordon drove in three runs with a double off C.J. Wilson, chasing the Los Angeles starter.

Kansas City added to the lead in the third inning on Eric Hosmer's second homer of the playoffs, a two-run shot to center. Albert Pujols tried to spark a rally for the Angels with a solo shot of his own, but that was all Los Angeles could muster off Shields.

"Big Game" James went six strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out six, while the offense added two runs in the fourth and another in the sixth. Wade Davis gave up a run in the eighth but the bullpen shut down an otherwise punchless Angels offense.

The Royals will now meet the Baltimore Orioles, who swept Detroit earlier in the day, in the best-of-seven ALCS. Game One is Friday night in Baltimore.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/5/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: American League Division Series: Baltimore Orioles 2 - Detroit Tigers 1 (Orioles win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

Kansas City Royals 8 - Los Angeles Angels 3 (Royals win series, 3-0, Advance to ALCS)

NFL: New England Patriots 43 (3-2) - Cincinnati Bengals 17 (3-1)

Carolina Panthers 31 (3-2) - Chicago Bears 24 (2-3)

Cleveland Browns 29 (2-2) - Tennessee Titans 28 (1-4)

Philadelphia Eagles 34 (4-1) - St. Louis Rams 28 (1-3)

New York Giants 30 (3-2) - Atlanta Falcons 20 (2-3)

New Orleans Saints 37 (2-3) - Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31 (1-4) - Overtime

Dallas Cowboys 20 (4-1) - Houston Texans 17 (3-2) - Overtime

Buffalo Bills 17 (3-2) - Detroit Lions 14 (3-2)

Indianapolis Colts 20 (3-2) - Baltimore Ravens 13 (3-2)

Pittsburgh Steelers 17 (3-2) - Jacksonville Jaguars 9 (0-5)

Denver Broncos 41 (3-1) - Arizona Cardinals 20 (3-1)

San Francisco 49ers 22 (3-2) - Kansas City Chiefs 17 (2-3)

San Diego Chargers 31 (4-1) - New York Jets 0 (1-4)

NASCAR: Joey Logano won at Kansas Speedway.

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Kemp’s Homer Helps Dodgers Even Series

Kemp’s Homer Helps Dodgers Even Series

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Despite giving up a late lead for the second straight night, Matt Kemp's eighth inning home run lifted the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night. The victory helped the Dodgers even the best-of-five series at one game apiece before it shifts to St. Louis on Monday.

Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead in the third when Dee Gordon ground out to second, plating A.J. Ellis before Zack Greinke scored on an Adrian Gonzalez single. Greinke seemingly was in control while on the hill, tossing seven scoreless innings and giving up just two hits.

Manager Don Mattingly went to his bullpen in the eighth and J.P. Howell gave up a game-tying, two-run homer to Matt Carpenter. The Cardinals jubilation was short lived as Kemp led off the bottom of the inning with his go-ahead blast off Pat Neshek.

"He tried to get me with a couple of sliders," Kemp said. "I laid off some tough ones that were close on the plate, but he left one just out on the plate that I could do something with and I put a good swing on it."

After falling 10-9 in Game One, the Dodgers now travel to St. Louis with the series tied an Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching against John Lackey in Game Three.

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Giants Win Longest Game in Postseason History

Giants Win Longest Game in Postseason History

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Brandon Belt's home run in the top of the 18th inning gave the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 lead, and eventual win, in the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball history on Saturday night. The victory also gave the Giants a 2-0 series lead over the Washington Nationals as the series now shifts to San Francisco.

Washington took a third inning lead on Anthony Rendon's RBI single off Tim Hudson. That looked to be more than enough for Nationals starter Jordan Zimmerman, who pitched into the ninth inning without allowing a run. Zimmerman retired the first two batters in the top of the ninth but walked Joe Panik to put the tying run on base.

Manager Matt Williams went to his bullpen, calling on Drew Storen to close the door. Buster Posey would eventually single before Pablo Sandoval doubled in the tying run, forcing extra innings. Posey was tagged out at home on the play, preventing the Giants from taking the lead.

Both teams used a combined 17 pitchers over the next nine innings, before Belt's homer against Tanner Roark opened up the top of the 18th. Hunter Strickland picked up the save, tossing a scoreless bottom of the 18th, while Yusmeiro Petit got the win going six shutout innings in relief.

The six hour and 23 minute affair surpassed a the 2005 NLDS Game 4 contest between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros for the longest in playoff history. Houston won that game, and swept the Braves, on a walk-off homer from Chris Burke in the bottom of the 18th inning.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/4/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/4/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB Playoffs: San Francisco Giants 2 - Washington Nationals 1 in 18 Innings (Giants lead series, 2-0)

Los Angeles Dodgers 3 - St. Louis Cardinals 2 (Series tied, 1-1)

Top 25 College Football: (1) Florida State 43 (5-0) - Wake Forrest 3 (2-4)

(11) Ole Miss 23 (5-0) - (3) Alabama 17 (4-1)

(25) TCU 37 (4-0) - (4) Oklahoma 33 (4-1)

(5) Auburn 41 (5-0) - (15) LSU 7 (4-2)

(12) Mississippi State 48 (5-0) - (6) Texas A&M 31 (5-1)

(7) Baylor 28 (5-0) - Texas 7 (2-3)

Utah 30 (4-1) - (8) UCLA 28 (4-1)

(9) Notre Dame 17 (5-0) - (14) Stanford 14 (3-2)

(10) Michigan State 27 (4-1) - (19) Nebraska 22 (5-1)

(13) Georgia 44 (4-1) - Vanderbilt 17 (1-5)

Arizona State 38 (4-1) - (16) USC 34 (3-2)

Northwestern 20 (3-2) - (17) Wisconsin 14 (3-2)

(20) Ohio State 52 (4-1) - Maryland 24 (4-2)

(21) Oklahoma State (4-1) - Iowa State 20 (1-4)

(22) East Carolina 45 (4-1) - SMU 24 (0-5) 

(23) Kansas State 45 (4-1) - Texas Tech 13 (2-3)

NASCAR: Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Nationwide Kansas Lottery 300

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Royals Beat Angels in Extras Again, Hold 2-0 Series Lead

Royals Beat Angels in Extras Again, Hold 2-0 Series Lead

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(ANAHEIM, Calif.) -- For the second consecutive night, the Kansas City Royals used an extra inning home run to beat Los Angeles, 4-1, in the American League Divisional Series (ALDS) on Friday night. Eric Hosmer's two-run homer in the top of eleventh gave the Royals a 3-1 lead, taking a 2-0 series lead over the Angels.

Kansas City became the first time in Major League history to open up a postseason with three consecutive extra-inning wins, after spending 29 years without a playoff berth. They are the sixth team to win a trio of extra-inning games in one playoffs appearance. The previous five have all gone on to win the World Series.

The Royals took an early lead against Matt Shoemaker when Alex Gordon drove in Hosmer with a single in the second. Los Angeles would eventually knot the score in the sixth on an Albert Pujols single, making it a 1-1 game after six innings.

The Angels had a chance to take a lead in the bottom of the eighth. C.J. Cron doubled off reliever Wade Davis and was pinch-ran for by Collin Cowgill. Following Chris Iannetta's fly-out to center, newly inserted Jarrod Dyson threw out Cowgill trying to advance to third.

That helped send the game into extras for the second straight night. Lorenzo Cain stretched out an infield single before Hosmer's go-ahead blast off Kevin Jepsen. Kansas City reliever Greg Holland pitched a scoreless bottom half of the inning, striking out Mike Trout to end the game.

The series now shifts to Kansas City where James Shields will take on C.J. Wilson.

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Cardinals Rally, Beat Kershaw in Game 1

Cardinals Rally, Beat Kershaw in Game 1

Elsa/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- In a matchup that featured two of the top pitchers in the game, the St. Louis Cardinals won a 10-9 game over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the National League Divisional Series (NLDS) on Friday night. The Cardinals scored eight runs in the seventh inning to come from behind against Clayton Kershaw before holding off the Dodgers late.

It started out as a blowout in favor of Los Angeles, as they built up a 6-1 lead through five innings. After Randal Grichuk homered in the first to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead, the Dodgers quickly took the lead scoring twice in the third. Two more runs were added in the fourth before A.J. Ellis launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth off Adam Wainwright.

Meanwhile, Kershaw was mowing down opponents striking out eight batters through six innings. The southpaw had only given up two hits, both solo home runs, going into the seventh inning. It was then that the Cardinals made their rally.

The first four batters of the inning would reach on Kershaw, culminating on a Matt Adams RBI single. Pete Kozma then struck out for the first out of the frame before John Jay singled in another run to make it a 6-4 deficit. After another strikeout got the Dodgers within an out of ending the inning, Matt Carpenter cleared the bases with a double, giving St. Louis a 7-6 lead and chasing Kershaw.

The Cardinals would go on to score three more runs when Matt Holliday homered off reliever Pedro Baez for a 10-6 lead. Los Angeles threatened to take the lead back in both the eighth and ninth innings. Adrian Gonzalez's two-run homer in the eighth made it a 10-8 ballgame, while an RBI ground out got the Dodgers within a run and put the tying score at third. However, Yasiel Puig struck out to end the ballgame and give St. Louis a 1-0 series lead.

Game Two of the NLDS is set for 9:30 p.m. on Saturday at Dodger Stadium. Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74 ERA) gets the call for the Cardinals while the Dodgers send Zack Greinke (17-8, 2.71 ERA) to the hill.

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Scoreboard Roundup 10/3/14

Scoreboard Roundup 10/3/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB Playoffs: Baltimore Orioles 7 - Detroit Tigers 6 (Orioles Lead Series, 2-0)

San Francisco Giants 3 - Washington Nationals 2 (Giants Lead Series, 1-0)

St. Louis Cardinals 10 - Los Angeles Dodgers 9 (Cardinals Lead Series, 1-0)

Kansas City Royals 4 - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1 in 11 Innings (Royals Lead Series, 2-0)

NCAA Football: Utah State 35 (3-2) - (18) BYU 20 (4-1)

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O’s Blast Tigers in Game 1 of ALDS

O’s Blast Tigers in Game 1 of ALDS

Baltimore Orioles/MLB(BALTIMORE) -- The Orioles got their post season off to a fast start.Nelson Cruz had a home run and three RBIs, and Baltimore scored eight runs in the eighth inning, on their way to routing the Detroit Tigers 12-3 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series Thursday.Chris Tillman (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing four hits, two runs, one walk, while striking out six in the victory.The Orioles started off fast when Cruz hit a two-run homer off Detroit ace Max Scherzer in the first. Scherzer (0-1) finished the day pitching 7 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, five runs, one walk, while striking out two.The Orioles' 12 runs were the most the team ever recorded in a postseason game.Game 2 is Friday in Baltimore. The Tigers send Justin Verlander to the mound. He will be opposed by the Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/2/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/2/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: American League Divisional Series: Baltimore Orioles 12 - Detroit Tigers 3 (Orioles lead series, 1-0)

Kansas City Royals 3 - Los Angeles Angels 2 - 11 Innings (Royals lead series, 1-0)

Top 25 College Football: Arizona 31 (5-0) - (2) Oregon 24 (4-1)

NFL: Green Bay Packers 42 (3-2) - Minnesota Vikings 10 (2-3) 

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Bumgarner Twirls Gem, Sends Giants into NLDS

Bumgarner Twirls Gem, Sends Giants into NLDS

Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- Madison Bumgarner pitched a complete game shutout to help the San Francisco Giants stop the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-0 in the National League Wild Card game Wednesday night.

Bumgarner continued his road dominance, winning his 12th game of the season away from home, allowing four hits and one walk, while striking out 10.

The Giants got on the board in the fourth when Brandon Crawford belted a grand slam off Pirates starter Edinson Volquez. "The last thing on my mind was probably hitting a home run," Crawford said. "I was just trying to hit something good enough to get Pablo (Sandoval) home, and I figured that would probably be good enough for Madison."

  Volquez pitched five innings allowing five hits, five runs, three walks, while striking out three in the loss.

Brandon Belt knocked in three runs and got on-base four times in the win.

The Giants advance to the National League Division Series where they'll take on the Washington Nationals. Game 1 is Friday in Washington.

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Perez Sends Royals into ALDS with 12th Inning Single

Perez Sends Royals into ALDS with 12th Inning Single

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Salvador Perez's walk-off single with two outs in the 12th sent the Kansas City Royals past the Oakland Athletics 9-8 Tuesday night, in the American League Wild Card game.

After the Athletics took the lead in the top of the 12th on an Alberto Callaspo RBI single, the Royals answered back. Eric Hosmer hit a triple and then scored the tying run on Christian Colon's RBI infield single. Colon then stole second base before scoring the game-winner on Perez's clutch hit.

"This will go down as the craziest game I've ever played," Hosmer said. "This team showed a lot of character. No one believed in us before the game. No one believed in us before the season."

Hosmer is right, the game was pretty crazy. The Royals, who were playing in their first postseason since 1985, were leading 3-2 in the sixth inning when starting pitcher James Shields allowed a hit and then walked a batter. That prompted Kansas City skipper Ned Yost to pull Shields for rookie Yordano Ventura. Ventura then allowed a three-run home run to Brandon Moss, his second homer of the game, to make it 5-3. The A's added two more runs that inning, creating a deficit that appeared the Royals would not overcome. But Kansas City clawed out three runs in the eighth and Norichicka Aoki's sacrifice fly in the ninth sent the game into extra innings.

This is the Athletics seventh-straight loss in a winner-take-all playoff game since 2000.

The Royals now advance to take on the Los Angeles Angels in their best-of-five Division Series. Game 1 is Thursday night in Los Angeles.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/30/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/30/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB American League Wild Card: Kansas City Royals 9 - Oakland Athletics 8 - 12 Innings (Royals Advance)

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MLB Postseason Matchups Set

MLB Postseason Matchups Set

Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- It took all 162 games, but the Major League postseason was decided on Sunday as the top 10 teams found out where and when their next games will be. Both the American League and National League Central division titles were also won on Sunday while the final AL Wild Card spot was decided.

David Price tossed seven and one-third innings of shutout baseball, giving up four hits and striking out eight, to give the Detroit Tigers the AL Central crown for the fourth straight year. Ian Kinsler drove in a pair of runs in the 3-0 victory while Joe Nathan picked up his 35th save of the season. The Tigers will travel to AL East Champion Baltimore to begin best-of-five divisional series against the Orioles on Thursday.

The Tigers' victory means that Kansas City's first postseason appearance in 29 years will come in the Wild Card round. The Royals will host the Oakland Athletics, who eliminated the Seattle Mariners with a 4-0 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday, in a one-game "play-in" on Tuesday night. The winner of that contest will then travel to Los Angeles to battle the Angels in the divisional round, beginning Thursday.

In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 after they were already crowned Central division champs. Pittsburgh's 4-1 loss relegated the Pirates to the Wild Card round where they will host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Whoever advances will then visit the Washington Nationals, winner of the NL East, in the divisional series on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals begin their defense of the NL Pennant on Friday when they travel to NL West champion Los Angeles to battle with the Dodgers.

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Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- With just two days remaining in the regular season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Washington Nationals each clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs in their respective leagues on Friday.

For the Nationals (94-66), their double header split with the Miami Marlins earned them the top seed in the National League. Washington got a complete game from Doug Fister in Game One, winning it 4-0 to wrap up home-field until the World Series. Fister allowed just three hits while striking out nine in the win. Miami (77-83) went on to win the nightcap 15-7 in a meaningless game for the Nationals.

The Angels (98-62) could clinch the top seed in the American League with a win over Seattle, but the Mariners hit three home runs and picked up a 4-3 victory. Los Angeles did get home-field advantage however due to Baltimore's 4-2 loss in Toronto. Leading 4-0 after five innings, the Mariners (85-75) held off a late charge from LA to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Seattle sits two games back of Oakland for the second wild card spot.

This is the second time in three seasons that Washington has the top record in the NL while the Angels clinched the top spot in the AL for the first time since 2008. The American League has home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to a 5-3 win in the All-Star Game.

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Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Zoonar/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- For the first time in 29 years, the Kansas City Royals are heading to the playoffs. Kansas City clinched their first postseason berth since 1985 with a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, ending the longest playoff drought in any of the four major North American sports.

Jeremy Guthrie (13-11) tossed seven scoreless innings for the Royals (88-72), who scored three times in the first inning. Norichika Aoki tripled, scoring Alcides Escobar, while a pair of RBI singles from Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler added to the advantage.

It the White Sox (72-88) until the eighth inning before finally scoring, getting an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez. In the bottom of the ninth, Greg Holland retired the side in order, getting Michael Taylor to pop up to secure the win. The last time Kansas City was in the postseason, George Brett led the squad to a World Series title over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Royals are still in contention for the AL Central division crown. The Detroit Tigers sit just one game ahead in the standings with two contests left in the regular season.

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Cardinals Clinch Playoff Spot, Lose to Reds

Cardinals Clinch Playoff Spot, Lose to Reds

Major League Baseball(SAINT LOUIS) -- The St. Louis Cardinals clinched a playoff spot for the fourth straight season, but did so despite losing to the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Sunday.

St. Louis (87-69) reached the postseason thanks to Milwaukee's 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh earlier.

Jay Bruce hit a pair of home runs, two of the four belted by the Reds (72-84), helping Cincinnati snap a six-game losing streak. Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (15-10) gave up just two run over six innings for the win. Todd Frazier's solo shot in the top of the sixth gave the Reds the lead for good, one that was ballooned by a Bruce RBI Single later that inning.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals must now fight for the National League Central division crown while battling a flu bug that is going throughout the clubhouse. Both Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter sat out for the second consecutive game due to flu-like symptoms.

"There are a lot of guys that are unavailable," said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. "Almost as many unavailable as available."

Matheny also added that more than 10 players are sick, many of whom may be held back from the team flight to Chicago on Monday. The Cardinals will play the Cubs in a three-game series and currently hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Pirates in the division.

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Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot

Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Despite only throwing five innings, Clayton Kershaw picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season as Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs (68-86) 14-5 on Friday. It was the shortest outing in nearly four months for Kershaw (20-3), who was aided by his offense.

"Obviously, you want to go eight or nine every time and be the reason why your team won," Kershaw said. "But sometimes your team does it for you and you just have to be out there. So that was the way it happened today and I'll take it."

The Dodgers hit four home runs as a team, including two from catcher A.J. Ellis. In total, Los Angeles (88-66) racked up 13 hits against Edwin Jackson (6-15) who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list. 

Los Angeles also clinched a playoff spot with Pittsburgh's 4-2 win over Milwaukee. It's the second straight season the Dodgers will be in the playoffs as they hold a 3 1/2 game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

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The Boston Red Sox Win The World Series

The Boston Red Sox Win The World SeriesTom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- The Boston Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the Fall Classic. It was a dramatic turnaround for a team that finished in last place in the...

David Ortiz Named World Series MVP

David Ortiz Named World Series MVPG. Fiume/Getty Images(BOSTON) --  The Boston Red Sox capped off a postseason for the ages when they topped the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, but they may not have been as fortunate without Big Papi. Designated hitter David Ortiz was nam...
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