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Catcher A.J. Pierzynski Plans to Play in 2015

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski Plans to Play in 2015Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After just completing his 17th Major League season, which is no easy feat for a catcher, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports A.J. Pierzynski plans to play again in 2015. Pierzynski spent last season w...

Don Mattingly will Return to the Dodgers in 2015

Don Mattingly will Return to the Dodgers in 2015Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers front office has undergone a shake up, manager Don Mattingly will be with the team next season. In his introductory press conference, Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers newly-named ...

K.C. Royals Sweep the Orioles in the ALCS

K.C. Royals Sweep the Orioles in the ALCS

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Royals are the kings of the American League.

The Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday to punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1985.

Royals starter Jason Vargas along with relievers Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland held the Orioles to just four hits. Kansas City pushed across two runs in the first inning on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph.

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the ALCS MVP after going 8-for-15 (.555), with two doubles and five runs scored.

The Royals will play the winner of the San Francisco Giants-St. Louis Cardinals NLCS matchup in the World Series.

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Giants Grab 2-1 NLCS Lead on Throwing Error

Giants Grab 2-1 NLCS Lead on Throwing Error

Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Randy Choate's throwing error in the bottom of the tenth allowed Brandon Crawford to score and give the San Francisco Giants a 5-4 win in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) on Tuesday. With the victory, the Giants now hold a 2-1 series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals.

San Francisco had to battle for the win despite putting up four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Travis Ishikawa hit a three-run double off Cardinals starting pitcher John Lackey, giving the Giants the early 4-0 advantage. St. Louis' veteran righty would settle down and wait as his team found a way to get back into the game.

The rally began in the top of the fourth when Kolton Wong tripled off the right field wall, plating both John Jay and Matt Holliday. San Francisco's Tim Hudson would get out of the inning but gave up another run on Jhonny Peralta's RBI single in the sixth, making it a 4-3 Giants lead.

Hudson, making the first LCS start in his 16-year career, got the first out of the seventh before Randal Grichuk homered to tie the game. That chased Hudson from the game and left it in the hands of the bullpen.

After St. Louis stranded the go-ahead run on base in the top of the tenth, Crawford worked a leadoff walk from the newly inserted Choate (0-1) in the bottom of the frame. Juan Perez then singled to put runners and first and second with nobody out.

That would bring up Gregor Blanco, who dropped a bunt down just the third-base side of the mound. As Choate went to field the ball, the lefty's throw went up the right field line, allowing Crawford to score the game-winning run. Sergio Romo (1-0) got the win by getting the final out in the top of the tenth inning.

Both teams meet in Game 4 on Wednesday night at 8:07 p.m. ET in San Francisco. Shelby Miller (0-0, 3.18 ERA) takes the ball for St. Louis while the Giants turn to Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 1.59).

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/14/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/14/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: NLCS: San Francisco Giants 5 - St. Louis Cardinals 4 in 10 Innings (Giants Lead Series, 2-1)

NHL: New York Islanders 6 (3-0-0, 6 points) - New York Rangers 3 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Anaheim Ducks 4 (3-1-0, 6 points) - Philadelphia Flyers 3 (0-2-2, 2 points) Shootout

San Jose Sharks 6 (3-0-0, 6 points) - Washington Capitals 5 (1-0-2, 4 points) Shootout

Dallas Stars 4 (1-1-1, 3 points) - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (2-1-0, 4 points)

Toronto Maple Leafs 3 (2-2-0, 4 points) - Colorado Avalance 2 (1-2-1, 3 points) Overtime

New Jersey Devils 2 (3-0-0, 6 points) - Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (2-1-1, 5 points)

Buffalo Sabres 4 (1-3-0, 2 points) - Carolina Hurricanes 3 (0-2-1, 1 point) Shootout

 

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Chip Hale Named Manager of Diamondbacks

Chip Hale Named Manager of Diamondbacks

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(PHOENIX, AZ) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have named Chip Hale as the new manager of their baseball franchise.

After finishing 64-98 last season under Kirk Gibson, who was fired with three games remaining in the season, the Diamondbacks tabbed the 49-year-old Hale to lead the team.  Hale spent the least three seasons as the third base coach for the Oakland Athletics.

In May, Arizona named Tony La Russa as the chief baseball officer.  After the season, the Diamondbacks fired GM Kevin Towers and named Dave Stewart as his replacement.

"When you walk into a room like that and you sit down to talk baseball you know this is the place you want to be." Hale said, in reference to working with La Russa, Stewart and special assistant to the team president Luiz Gonzalez.

Under the leadership of Towers and Gibson the Diamondbacks were 353-375.  While the team has promising players such as Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt, La Russa, Hale and Stewart will have work to do bringing in players that fit Arizona's style of play.

"We wanted a guy that would give us our best chance to communicate with the players that we have in our clubhouse," Stewart said of Hale. "The chemisty in our clubhouse is important and the guy that leads that chemistry is important."

 

 

 

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ALCS Game 3 Postponed Due to Rain

ALCS Game 3 Postponed Due to Rain

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Game Three of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) was postponed Monday night due to rain in Kansas City. The Royals currently lead the Baltimore Orioles two games to none in the best-of-seven series.

The game was rescheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium. Jeremy Guthrie will get the start for Kansas City while Baltimore will send Wei-Yin Chen to the hill. Major League Baseball Senior Vice President Peter Woodfork said the decision was made, in part, with the players and fans in mind.

"We want a game we know we can get through nine innings, hopefully play dry baseball, not risk player safety or uncomfortable fans," noted Woodfork.

This change in schedule also shifts Game 4 to Wednesday and Game 5, if necessary, to Thursday. The final two games of the series, if needed, will be played in Baltimore on Friday (Game 6) and Saturday (Game 7).

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/13/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB: ALCS: Kansas City Royals - Baltimore Orioles (Royals lead series, 2-0) Postponed

NFL: San Francisco 49ers 31 (4-2) - St. Louis Rams 17 (1-4)

NHL: Anaheim Ducks 5 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Buffalo Sabres 1 (0-3-0, 0 points)

Colorado Avalanche 2 (1-2-0, 2 points) - Boston Bruins 1 (1-3-0, 2 points)

Ottawa Senators 1 (2-1-0, 4 points) - Florida Panthers 0 (0-2-1, 0 points)

Tampa Bay Lightning 7 (2-0-1, 5 points) - Montreal Canadiens 1 (3-1-0, 6 points)

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Bumgarner Dominant as Giants Take Game 1

Bumgarner Dominant as Giants Take Game 1

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS, MO) -- The Giants have struck first, taking game one from the Cardinals with a 3-0 victory in St. Louis. 

Madison Bumgarner pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings allowing four hits while fanning seven.  

Bumgarner continues to stymie opposing lineups as he set a major league postseason record with 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road.

His start wasn't without a little controversy. In the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on second and third Tony Cruz at the plate for the Cardinals, Bumgarner stepped off the mound after being in the set position. Cruz and the Cardinals screamed for a balk but no call came. With the next pitch, Bumgarner struck Cruz out.

Travis Ishikawa and Brandon Belt each had and RBI for the Giants. Gregor Blanco drove in Hunter Pence on a throwing error from Matt Carpenter in the top of the second.

Game 2 starts Sunday as Jake Peavy will take the rubber for the Giants facing off against Lance Lynn for the Cardinals. 

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Kansas City Tops Baltimore 6-4

Kansas City Tops Baltimore 6-4

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(BALTIMORE, MD) -- The Kansas City Royals put the Baltimore Orioles behind the eight ball with a 6-4 victory in Camden Yards.

Following the trend of his teammates late inning heroics, Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar broke a 4-4 tie when he hit a double to drive in pinch runner Terrance Gore from second.  Escobar would soon score when Lorenzo Cain singled to left.

With a 6-4 lead, closer Greg Holland once again took to the mound to seal away a victory. 

Mike Moustakas continued his playoff tear as he hit another home run, his fourth of the postseason, and as many in the last five games. 

Yordano Ventura went 5 2/3 innings for the Royals allowing four earned runs on five hits.  Orioles pitcher Bud Norris was knocked out after only 4 1/3 innings after allowing four earned runs on nine hits.

The Royals now take a 2-0 lead in the ALCS as they head home for game 3 Tuesday. Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound for the Royals in Kansas City, while Wei-Yin Chen gets the nod for the Orioles.

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Royals Take Game 1 Over Orioles 8-6

Royals Take Game 1 Over Orioles 8-6

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(BALTIMORE, MD) -- The Kansas City Royals have struck first, taking game one of the ALCS from the Baltimore Orioles, 8-6.

Powered by tenth inning home runs from Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas the Royals continued their extra inning success.  The Royals now have four wins this postseason in games that have gone longer than nine innings.

Gordon spoke about the sudden power outburst. "We know we're capable of hitting home runs,"Gordon said, "We didn't do it during the regular season, but it doesn't really matter."

Greg Holland earned the save in the tenth, though not without some drama. After earning the first two outs, Holland gave up a single to Ryan Flaherty and a walk to Jimmy Paredes. Delmon Young smacked a single to center driving in Flaherty making the score 8-6. Holland locked it down with the next batter as he forced Nick Markakis to groundout to second, ending the game.

In game two, Bud Norris will take the hill for the Orioles and Yordano Ventura will get the nod for the Royals.

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Scoreboard Roundup – 10/10/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 10/10/14Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- MLB ALCS Game 1: Kansas City Royals 8  -Baltimore Orioles 6 - 10 Innings (Royals lead series, 1-0) NCAAF: Stanford Cardinal 27 (4-2) - Washington State Cougars 17 (2-5) NHL: New York Islanders 5 (1-0-0) - Carolina ...

Giants Knock Off Nationals, Headed to NLCS

Giants Knock Off Nationals, Headed to NLCS

Brandon Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- The Giants are back in the NLCS again after beating the Washington Nationals 3-2 on Tuesday night.

The Giants took the best-of-five series 3-1 and will travel to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals on Saturday night in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Joe Panik scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on Aaron Barrett's bases-loaded wild pitch and Santiago Casilla closed the door in the top of the ninth.

Ryan Vogelsong tossed 5.2 innings and gave up one run with four strikeouts, but got the no decision after Bryce Harper hit a game-tying homer run in the top of the seventh.

Hunter Strickland gave up the homer to Harper, but when Panik scored in the bottom half of the inning, he got the win in relief.

"It's been a remarkable journey. I wouldn't trade it for the world," Giants outfielder Hunter Pence said. "If it was easy, it wouldn't be as fun."

The Nationals had the best record in the National League, but will watch the rest of the playoffs from home.

"It's tender and it's bitter and all of those things, but I'm proud of them," rookie manager Matt Williams said.

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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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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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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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Jake Peavy Helps Guide Giants to 3-2 Win over the Nats, Lead NLDS 1-0

Jake Peavy Helps Guide Giants to 3-2 Win over the Nats, Lead NLDS 1-0

Brandon Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Starting pitcher Jake Peavy has pitched like a true ace since being traded to San Francisco and he continued to do so on Friday after he helped pitch the Giants to a 3-2 win over the Washington Nationals to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS.

Peavy 5.2 innings of work and gave up just two hits, no runs, and struck out three batters.

In 20 starts for the Boston Red Sox this season, Peavy had a 4.72 ERA. In 12 regular season starts for the Giants, Peavy posted a 2.17 ERA.

RBIs by Joe Panik, Brandon Crawford, and Buster Posey were all the Giants needed on offense despite a pair of solo home runs hit by Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera in the 7th inning.

The Giants have won nine-straight postseason games, which is fifth longest streak in Major League Baseball history, and the most ever by a National League team.

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval also extended his postseason hitting streak to a Giants-record 12 games.

Game 2 will be played on Saturday.

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