Adam Haseley and Andrew McCutchen shared a quiet moment in the Philadelphia (Philadelphia Phillies championship rings for sale) clubhouse on Wednesday. The 23-
year-old Heasley made his big league debut a day earlier because of McCutchen's season-ending knee injury. "He said congrats," Haseley recalled. I'm just excited to be here, but it's terrible for Cutch." Haseley drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with his first big
league hit, and the Phillies rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the San Diego Padres 7-5. "I think it was one of the most important wins of the year," Philadelphia manager Gabe Kapler said. "It would have been easy to quit and go back home and lick our wounds on the off
day. But I thought our guys fought until the very last out and that was a really impressive victory for us and the momentum of our club."
Haseley made his major league debut Tuesday as the center fielder for the NL East-leading Phillies, who are scrambling to reconfigure their outfield. Odubel Herrera has been on administrative leave since May 28 while he is investigated under baseball's domestic violence
policy, and McCutchen tore his left ACL on Monday. Philadelphia acquired Jay Bruce from Seattle on Sunday.
Haseley was promoted from Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 29. He was 0 for 4 in his Phillies (championship rings for sale) debut and went 1 for 3 with a walk on Wednesday, batting eighth in the
order both days. After the game Haseley was engulfed by his wife, parents and other family. "It's just weird all the things that have happened so fast," Haseley said. "A week ago I was sitting in Reading and now I'm here. It's pretty crazy." Craig Stammen (4-2) walked Scott
Kingery with two outs in the eighth, and Haseley sliced a sinker for an opposite-field double down the left-field line. Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp followed with an RBI single for Philadelphia, which won its second straight after a season-high five-game losing streak.
"It was an all blur honestly," Haseley said. "I was just trying to put the ball in the play. It was 0-2 and all I was thinking was just trying to stay alive. All three pitches were away and it was running a lot so I was just looking over there." Philadelphia trailed 5-2 in the seventh
when Cesar Hernandez hit a run-scoring triple off Trey Wingenter. Bryce Harper greeted Stammen with an RBI double and scored the tying run on Jean Segura's single. San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the eighth before Hector Neris struck out pinch-hitter Ian
Kinsler and retired Manny Machado on a flare that was caught by Segura in short left field.
"It was definitely a heart attack moment in the dugout," Kapler said. Juan Nicasio (1-2) retired Wil Myers on a comebacker that ended the seventh. Neris got five outs for his 12th save in 14 chances. San Diego's Cal Quantrill, a son of former-Padre Paul Quantrill, allowed two
runs and five hits in five innings. "I'm really excited to see him throw the baseball like that," Padres manager Andy Green said. Philadelphia's Jake Arrieta gave up five runs, seven hits and five walks in a season-low 4 2/3 innings. Josh Naylor also homered for the Phillies (mlb championship rings for sale) and Myers went deep for the Padres.
Buehler held the Diamondbacks to a run on two hits in eight innings, matching the longest start of his career, and Corey Seager hit a three-run homer as the Los Angeles Dodgers (custom Los Angeles Dodgers championship rings) beat the Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday. The NL West-leading Dodgers won their sixth straight, improving to 42-19. The Diamondbacks saw their two-game winning streak halted. Buehler (6-1) lasted just three innings at Dodger Stadium on March 31 against Arizona, but carried a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth Monday and got the first two outs before Christian Walker homered. Buehler struck out a season-high 11 without a walk for his first career win over the Diamondbacks.
"The efficiency is the biggest thing for me," the 24-year-old right-hander said. "I think I'm going to strike guys out in this league and I've kind of shown that. To get deeper into games is obviously my goal." Seager hit a full-count pitch from Arizona starter Robbie Ray (4-3) out to left-center field in the top of the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Justin Turner singled and David Freese walked with one out ahead of Seager's eighth homer of the season. Going into Monday's game, Seager was 3 for 26 in his career against Ray. "He's a tough matchup," Seager said. "Kind of tried a bunch of different things and didn't have success against it, and still trying to figure out how to grind out some at-bats against him. He's good." Walker almost had his second hit with one out in the eighth, but Chris Taylor reached up and caught his line drive in deep center field. Buehler struck out Carson Kelly to end the eighth and walked to the visitors' dugout to a standing ovation from Dodgers fans seated along the first-base side.
"Wasn't stressed at all, because he was just so efficient in his delivery," Dodgers (cheap championship rings) manager Dave Roberts said. "But honestly it was the fastball on both sides of the plate that was just dominant and missing bats all night long." Arizona failed to provide enough run support for Ray, who gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings and struck out nine. "It felt like my command was as good as it has been all year," Ray said. "I was pounding the zone, keeping them off balance with my off-speed, honestly just one bad pitch." Kenley Jansen worked the ninth inning for his 18th save in 20 chances. Arizona brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but David Peralta popped out to end the game.
Peralta, the Diamondbacks' leading hitter this season, returned to the lineup for the first time since May 21. He missed 11 games with a sprained right shoulder. Peralta made an early impact defensively. He fielded Alex Verdugo's two-out single to left field and one-hopped a throw home to get Freese trying to score from second base. Diamondbacks catcher Kelly applied the sweep tag on Freese's arm to end the top of the second. Turner was in the starting lineup for the first time since May 29, and had two hits. He missed the next three games with hamstring tightness before drawing a walk on Sunday in his lone plate appearance. "Buehler in L.A. was still coming back from a short spring training and wasn't at full strength, and you could see what he is capable of doing," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "It was pretty impressive." The Diamondbacks made left-handed hitting outfielder Corbin Carroll out of Seattle's Lakeside High School their first pick in Monday's draft. Carroll was the 16th overall selection.
The Diamondbacks and Dodgers each had two first-round picks. Los Angeles (mlb championship rings) chose Tulane third baseman Kody Hoese with the 25th overall pick. Arizona took high school left-hander Blake Walstson at No. 26, and the Dodgers chose North Carolina second baseman Michael Busch at No. 31.
Former major leaguer Dwight Smith Sr. rose to his feet and emphatically pumped his fist as the ball cleared the center field fence. His son not only ignited the home crowd, he also paved the way for one of the biggest wins of the season for the Baltimore Orioles.
Dwight Smith Jr.'s first career grand slam capped a six-run outburst in the first inning and the Orioles (Baltimore Orioles championship rings) outslugged the San Francisco Giants 9-6 Friday night. "I feel like every time he is around I do something," the younger Smith said. "He's a good luck charm. He was acting like he was at a football game tonight. It was pretty funny to watch on the big screen." The teams met at Camden Yards for the first time since 2004.
Trey Mancini and Renato Nunez also homered for the Orioles (championship rings for sale), who overcame a five-run, first-inning deficit and improved to 8-21 at home. Nunez has homered in seven of his last 11 games and has a team-leading 14 homers this season. Jonathan Villar had two hits and scored twice. The Orioles second baseman is 13 for 39 (.333) with four doubles, two home runs and six RBI in the last 11 games. "It's been a rough couple of months," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "We've had so many tough losses. For us to be able to come back and take a serious blow in the top of the first to stay with it and stay in the game and continue to take good at-bats and stay together in the dugout, I thought it was just awesome."
Mike Yastrzemski, who was traded by Baltimore on March 23 after he was reassigned to minor league camp, homered and tripled in his first two at-bats for San Francisco, which has lost eight of nine. "A great day by the kid," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "He's done a nice job out in the outfield, swinging the bat. He got us going there in that first inning, then leads off with a home run to give us life again."
The Giants (mlb championship rings for sale) charged to a 5-0 lead off Andrew Cashner (6-2) in the first inning. Yastrzemski, Buster Posey and Steven Duggar had RBI singles and Brandon Crawford drove a run in with a sacrifice fly. The Orioles countered with six runs, highlighted by Smith's grand slam, in the bottom half off Drew Pomeranz (1-6). Cashner and Pomeranz combined for 90 pitches in the opening inning. It was the first time that two teams scored at least five runs in the first inning since July 6, 2012, (Yankees and Red Sox), according to STATS LLC. After Yastrzemski tied the game 6-6 with a solo homer in the second, the Orioles regained the lead in the bottom half on a two-run homer by Mancini that ended the night for Pomeranz.
The Giants (San Francisco Giants championship rings for sale) left-hander tied a career-high by allowing eight runs on six hits. Pomeranz's ERA rose from 6.45 to 8.08. Cashner didn't allow another run after the first and lasted five innings, with a season-high 109 pitches. He allowed six runs and eight hits with five walks. "It was probably one of my worst starts of my career," Cashner said. "I just kept telling myself to get through the fifth, try to save the bullpen as much as I can no matter how many runs you give up." Nunez homered off Sam Dyson in the seventh inning to make the score 9-6. The Orioles' bullpen took over, with Paul Fry and Mychal Givens combining for 2 1/3 scoreless innings before Richard Bleier got the last five outs and picked up his second save.
Josh Bell is finishing off one of the best power-hitting months in Pirates (Pittsburgh Pirates championship rings for sale) history. The switch-hitting first baseman tied the club record with his 12th homer in May , and Pittsburgh beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 Wednesday for a split of their four-game series that ended with more bruised feelings. Bell's three-run homer gave him 18 overall and equaled Jason Bay's mark of 12 in May 2006. His 23rd extra-base hit in the month left him one shy of Paul Waner's club record for any month.
Bell also had a pair of singles, raising his average to .345 and extending his hitting streak to nine games. He's hit safely in 28 of the last 29 games. "It's been one of the most special starts I've seen in all the years I've been at the major league level, and I've seen some really good players," manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Pirates (championship rings) already had starters Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon on the injured list heading into the series, and Jordan Lyles had to leave Tuesday night after only four innings because of discomfort in his left hamstring. Bell was the constant, going 7 for 17 during the series with two homers. "He's seeing everything so well, it's a joke," left-hander Steven Brault said. "He's going to hit something hard."
The series wrapped up with another tense moment between the Ohio River rivals. Reds (cheap Cincinnati Reds championship rings) manager David Bell was ejected by umpire Jeff Nelson in the eighth for a heated discussion with the umpire crew after Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch. Pittsburgh's Clay Holmes got Suarez on the back of the left hand with a fastball. Suarez walked toward the mound and exchanged words with Holmes , but players stayed in the dugouts. Suarez left the game for X-rays that were negative. Bell continued arguing. "Clearly, we're not going to be protected by the umpires," said Bell, who's been ejected four times this season. "Clearly, they think it's OK to let them throw at our hitters. The league seems to think it's OK."
Last season, a pitch by Taillon broke Suarez's right thumb, causing him to miss 16 games. "I just wanted to let them know I don't like that up-and-in," Suarez said. "Last year they hurt my thumb. I wanted to know why he hit me. They said it wasn't intentional." Colin Moran also had a three-run shot off Anthony DeSclafani (2-3), who has given up seven homers in his last three starts.
Brault (2-1) allowed three singles in 5 1/3 innings, his latest shutdown performance against the Reds (world series rings). Brault is 4-0 career against Cincinnati with a 1.03 ERA and a scoreless streak of 19 2/3 innings. His biggest task was stopping Derek Dietrich, who homered three times during an 11-6 win Tuesday night. Seven of Dietrich's 17 homers this season are against the Pirates, including one he admired last month at PNC Park that upset the Pirates and led to a benches-clearing fracas. Dietrich was limited to a pair of singles.
Less than two weeks ago Jack Mayfield flew to Boston because the Houston Astros (cheap Houston Astros championship rings) told him he was going to make his long-awaited major league debut after seven seasons in the minors. When he arrived, they didn't need him after all after an injury to Aledmys Diaz wasn't so bad. So and he had to hop on a plane and head right back to Triple-A. The undrafted free agent got the call again on Sunday night, and on Monday after more than 600 games and 2,500 plate appearances in the minors, Mayfield made his major league debut, getting a hit and driving in a run to help Houston to a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs.
"It just delayed my debut," Mayfield said of his jaunt to Boston. "But everything happens for a reason and I got to make it here in Houston, so it was still special." Manager AJ Hinch beamed when asked about Mayfield's performance Monday. "It's a long journey for these guys and his story is one to be told because it's improbable and he never thought he'd get the opportunity," he said. "We teased him a little bit last week with almost an opportunity, and I can only imagine the emotions that someone (goes) through."
Gerrit Cole tied a season high with 12 strikeouts in six solid innings and the Astros (cheap championship rings) reached Cole Hamels early and held on for the victory in the opener of an interleague series. Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer in the first inning, but Cole (5-5) dominated after that, allowing two singles and striking out 10 over the next five innings. Playing without injured stars Jose Altuve and George Springer, and Carlos Correa, who got a day off, the Astros cut the deficit to one in the second and scored five times off Hamels (4-1) in the third to take a 6-2 lead.
Yuli Gurriel had three hits and an RBI and Derek Fisher and Alex Bregman added two hits each as the Astros (mlb world series championship rings) won for the third time in four games. Hamels, who had allowed just six runs combined in his last three starts, yielded seven hits and a season-high six runs in four innings for his first loss. "He wasn't sharp, but this has been going on for about a week -- the ball is just missing our defense by a bounce here or a ball down the line there," manager Joe Maddon said. "But he wasn't sharp and he'll be the first one to admit that. Cole was not typical Cole Hamels." The Astros sent eight to the plate as they built their lead in the third. Bregman singled before Michael Brantley drew a walk. Houston tied it when Bregman scored on a single by Gurriel. A double by Robinson Chirinos scored Brantley.
Mayfield's RBI groundout made it 4-2 before Tyler White walked. Chirinos and White both advanced a base on a wild pitch by Hamels, which led to the pitcher calling catcher Willson Contreras to the mound for a chat. But a run-scoring single by Fisher came next and Jake Marisnick pushed the lead to 6-2 with an RBI groundout.
The Cubs (custom Chicago Cubs championship rings) got going again at the plate after Cole exited, cutting the lead to 6-3 on an RBI single by David Bote in the seventh to chase Hector Rondon. Will Harris who got out of the inning when White stretched to make a tough catch on a line drive by Kyle Schwarber with two men on base. Albert Almora Jr., homered off Roberto Osuna to start the ninth. Addison Russell added a solo shot with one out and Bote singled before Osuna struck out Schwarber. He got his 14th save when he struck out Javier Baez to end it.
Winless for almost two weeks, the Detroit Tigers (Detroit Tigers championship rings) finally busted loose for nine runs and needed every last one of them. JaCoby Jones homered and had a career-high four RBI , including a go-ahead double in the seventh inning, and Miguel Cabrera also connected as the Tigers halted their nine-game losing streak Friday night with a wild 9-8 victory over the New York Mets. "We had early work, trying to get all of that other bad stuff out of our system, and they just played. This is the way we know how to play -- we just haven't done it in a few days," said Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire, who spent his major league playing career with the Mets from 1981-85. "We've had a lot of struggles and it's kind of beat us down a little bit. But like I said, this is the kind of game we've been waiting for." In a back-and-forth slugfest between two teams swept by lowly Miami within the past week, Detroit blew an early 4-0 lead and then rallied three times from one-run deficits to win for the first time since May 12 at Minnesota. "We've been grinding, been through tough games, and to have a tough game tonight like that and to come away with a W, that's huge for us," Jones said.
New York (championship rings for sale) hit five home runs at windy Citi Field, including a tiebreaking shot by pinch-hitter Aaron Altherr off winner Buck Farmer (3-3) in his first plate appearance with the Mets. Amed Rosario, Adeiny Hechavarria, Pete Alonso and Wilson Ramos also went deep for New York. "It was a crazy game," Altherr said. "A lot of home runs hit, momentum swings." Cabrera reached base safely four times, delivered a sacrifice fly and went the other way for his 467th home run and second this season. The two-time MVP had gone 81 at-bats without a long ball since April 26 before connecting off an ineffective Noah Syndergaard to tie it 5-all in the fifth.
Jones laced a two-run double with two outs in the seventh against Drew Gagnon (3-1) to put Detroit (mlb championship rings for sale) ahead 8-7. Pinch-hitter Brandon Dixon followed with an RBI single. Jones, batting eighth, also hit a two-run homer in the second off Syndergaard, who gave up six runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against an offense that was ranked 29th out of 30 teams in runs. "I take full responsibility for this loss," he said. "I just didn't get the job done." It was the most earned runs allowed by Syndergaard since he yielded seven in four innings at San Diego in June 2015. The right-hander has served up 10 homers in 69 1/3 innings this season after permitting only nine in 154 1/3 innings last year.
"I think tonight, he felt like his mechanics were a little off," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. Shane Greene got three quick outs for his AL-leading 16th save in 17 chances, bouncing back nicely after giving up a go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss to the Marlins on Thursday that capped Detroit's 0-9 homestand. The stretch also included a suspended game against Oakland that the Tigers are losing in the late innings. It will resume in September.
The Mets (New York Mets championship rings) were coming off a four-game sweep over NL East rival Washington and had won seven straight at home. They have lost seven of eight against Detroit dating to June 2011.
Tigers: SS Jordy Mercer (strained right quadriceps) felt fine after running the bases and taking swings during early batting practice. He is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Toledo in the next day or two.
Mets: OF Michael Conforto was eligible to come off the seven-day concussion list, but wasn't activated. The team is waiting for Conforto to be cleared by Major League Baseball and hopes that will happen this weekend. Conforto said it appears Sunday is most likely, and he's ready to get right back in the lineup. He took batting practice on the field before the game and has been feeling good after going through baseball activities. Conforto took a concussion test early in the game, administered by Mets doctors, and the results will be passed along to MLB. "It's pretty difficult," he said. "It's really thorough."
Playing in a small ballpark against a struggling pitching staff, the New York Yankees (custom New York Yankees championship rings) went with their most obvious strength to pound out another victory. Gleyber Torres hit two of New York's five home runs, and the Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Wednesday night to secure their sixth straight series win. New York has homered 33 times in 11 games against Baltimore this season, including 10 by Torres and nine by Gary Sanchez. The Yankees are 6-0 at Camden Yards with an astounding 25 home runs. "We're going to hit the ball out of the ballpark," manager Aaron Boone said. "There's going to be games where we take advantage of some mistakes, and it's one of the ways we score runs. On a given night, when guys are locked in, that's something we're certainly capable of."
Torres homered leading off the third and fifth innings to help New York take a 7-2 lead. He has four multihomer games this season -- all against Baltimore. "The ballpark is for hitters," he said. Torres is the first player in major league history to hit 10 of his first 12 home runs in a season against the same team. "Anytime you have that much success in a short stretch against someone, you just kind of shake your head at it a little bit," Boone said. "It's unusual and rare." Sanchez , DJ LeMahieu and Thairo Estrada also connected for the Yankees, who lead the series 9-2 and will seek to complete a four-game sweep Thursday afternoon.
Baltimore (championship rings for sale) has lost five in a row to sink to 15-34, the worst record in the majors. CC Sabathia (3-1) allowed five runs and six hits, including two home runs, in five innings. Although his ERA climbed from 2.97 to 3.48, the lefty took advantage of New York's ample offensive display to win at Camden Yards for the first time in seven starts since June 2016. Sabathia will likely miss his next start as he receives a cortisone shot and other medical attention for knee inflammation. Boone says the six-time All-Star could end up on the IL. "It's like a shooting pain goes through every time that I land," Sabathia said. "So it makes it hard to finish my pitches." Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.
The Yankees (mlb championship rings for sale) took charge in the second inning when Estrada and LeMahieu hit two-run homers off Dan Straily (1-4), who gave up two more long balls before being pulled after four ineffective innings. Asked to explain the success enjoyed by Torres and Sanchez, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said, "There's definitely a pitching plan. It's definitely not to throw the ball in the middle part of the plate. We just continue to do it. When you don't do it, you get them out." Torres hit Gabriel Ynoa's second pitch over the right field wall, the 105th home run yielded by Baltimore pitchers in 49 games. One night earlier, the Orioles broke the record held by the 2000 Kansas City Royals for quickest to allow 100 home runs (57 games). Richie Martin hit his first big league homer and Renato Nunez added a two-run shot in the Baltimore fifth to make it 7-5.
Orioles (custom Baltimore Orioles championship rings) first-year general manager Mike Elias has no choice but to be patient while the team struggles to be competitive at the outset of a major rebuilding project.
"There have been good things this year so far. The win-loss record is not one of those good things," Elias said Wednesday. "If we're able to add a couple of guys and have them stick and be pieces here, that would make this year a huge success. But look, we've got a big effort on our hands. This is the beginning of it. That doesn't mean we're not going to push harder to get better, but it's where we're at right now."
ADDING AN OUTFIELDER
The Orioles bolstered their outfield defense by acquiring Keon Broxton from the New York Mets on Wednesday for $500,000 in 2019-20 international signing bonus pool allotment.
"He has speed, excellent center field ability, he's got some raw power," Elias said.
The memories came flooding back to Jake Arrieta as the fans showered him with cheers when he stepped to the plate for the first time. His 4 1/2 seasons in Chicago (Chicago Cubs championship rings) included an NL Cy Young Award in 2015, a drought-busting World Series championship in 2016, two no-hitters and an All-Star selection. There were plenty of ovations, just none quite like this. Arrieta allowed one run over six innings in his return to Wrigley Field, J.T. Realmuto hit a solo homer in the 10th and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Monday. Realmuto connected with two outs against Kyle Ryan (0-1), driving a 1-2 fastball a few rows into the left-field seats to decide the opener of a four-game series between the NL East and Central leaders. But the night belonged to Arrieta. He got a warm welcome on a chilly evening during the pregame introductions and was greeted with a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the third inning. He responded by tipping his helmet toward the crowd while Yu Darvish stepped away from the mound.
"It felt great," Arrieta said. "Kind of something that I experienced pretty much from Day 1 here with the fan base. Cubs (championship rings) fans all across the country, all across the world, they really respect and appreciate what guys are able to do here for them. It means a lot. It really does. I'll never forget this city, the fan base, the organization and everything that they did for me. It was 4 1/2 incredible years of my career." It was a fitting reception for a pitcher who played such a huge role in turning those "Lovable Losers" into drought-busting champions. Arrieta left to sign with Philadelphia before the 2018 season. But the mark he left in Chicago won't fade anytime soon. "I loved it," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I absolutely loved it. Very happy that our fans -- which you would expect from our fans -- would acknowledge him like that. ... Jake deserved it. Absolutely."
Arrieta gave up eight hits in his first appearance at Wrigley Field since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2017 NL Championship Series. "It brings back a lot of memories of what we were able to do as a team, from beginning in `13 all the way through `17," Arrieta said. Hector Neris (1-1) worked a scoreless ninth. Adam Morgan struck out Jason Heyward leading off the 10th, and Juan Nicasio earned his first save since last June 28 when he got Daniel Descalso to ground into a double play after giving up a single to Albert Almora Jr.
Philadelphia (Philadelphia Phillies championship rings) scored three runs with two outs in the sixth against Darvish for a 3-1 lead. Realmuto hit an RBI single, and Cesar Hernandez followed with a two-run triple to right that ricocheted off the side wall and bounced over Heyward's head. The Cubs scored three in the eighth against Seranthony Dominguez. Descalso drove in two with a triple to left-center, then was rewarded home when the relay from shortstop Jean Segura ricocheted off his right foot and into Chicago's dugout. Philadelphia tied the game in the ninth against Brad Brach when Maikel Franco doubled and came home on a two-out bloop single to right by Segura. Darvish gave up three runs, four hits and three walks in six innings while striking out seven. Anthony Rizzo had three hits, including an RBI single.
Phillies (mlb championship rings): Manager Gabe Kapler said RHP Vince Velasquez (right forearm strain) threw on the side Monday and will throw a bullpen session Wednesday. ... RHP Victor Arano (right elbow inflammation) will seek a second opinion after experiencing discomfort following a recent bullpen session. Kapler said Tommy John surgery "doesn't seem like the concern right now."
Cubs: SS Javier Baez (jammed right heel) sat out his first game after starting the first 44. He was hurt fielding a grounder in the third inning and exited in the sixth. ... Closer Brandon Morrow has started throwing again after experiencing a setback in his recovery from offseason elbow surgery. President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Morrow threw from 45 to 60 feet Monday in Arizona. The Cubs shut down Morrow's rehab last month after he didn't recover well from a bullpen session. ... Epstein also said reliever Pedro Strop (strained left hamstring) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Monday.
The Eastern Conference doesn't belong to Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks (Milwaukee Bucks championship rings) -- yet. But they're two wins away, after Antetokounmpo had 30 points and 17 rebounds, Ersan Ilyasova came off the bench to add 17 points and the Bucks never trailed on the way to a 125-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday night and a 2-0 lead in the East finals. "He plays so hard, he lays it all on the line, every time," Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "It was a great start for us. I think everybody fed off of Giannis and how he started the game."
How he finished, too. Antetokounmpo scored 11 points in the fourth for the Bucks, who wound up with six players in double figures -- three of them reserves. Nikola Mirotic scored 15, Malcolm Brogdon had 14, George Hill 13 and Khris Middleton 12. "We really rely on each other ... especially the bench," Ilyasova said. "The starting five set the tone." Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points for Toronto, which gave up the game's first nine points, never led and trailed by double digits for the final 39 minutes. Kyle Lowry scored 15 and Norman Powell had 14 for the Raptors. "We didn't do much well tonight, obviously," Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto. "We get to go back home and protect our home court, like they did these last two games," Lowry said. "We've got a chance to go home, protect home court and do what we're supposed to do."
Milwaukee, an NBA-best 60-22 record during the regular season, became the 16th team to start a postseason with at least 10 victories in its first 11 games. Only three teams -- the 1989 Los Angeles Lakers, the 2001 Lakers and the 2017 Golden State Warriors -- opened the playoffs 11-0. The Bucks led by as many as 28, before Toronto did just enough chipping away to keep some semblance of hope. Eventually, Antetokounmpo decided enough was enough.
With 5:51 left to play Antetokounmpo backed Leonard down on the block, spun back toward the center of the lane, scored while getting hit and starting a three-point play. He yelled to the crowd and punched the air. The knockout blow was landed, and the Bucks are two wins from their first NBA (cheap nba championship rings) Finals berth in 45 years. "At times, I forget that I have to stay aggressive," Antetokounmpo said. Not in that moment, he didn't. Aggression wasn't an issue for the Bucks at any point. Milwaukee's lead was 35-21 after the first, 64-39 at the half. It was the first time Toronto had been outscored by 10 or more points in each of a game's first two quarters since May 25, 2016, against Cleveland and the 25-point halftime hole was, by far, the Raptors' worst of the season. They trailed Houston 55-37 on March 5.
"The beginning kind of set us in a real bad spot," Gasol said. "We couldn't get a grip of the game early on." Toronto was down 21 when Lowry got his third foul with 1:27 left until the break. The Raptors left Lowry in; he wound up getting his fourth foul while battling Mirotic for a rebound 24 seconds later and let the referees have an earful as he headed to the bench. Another roll of the dice didn't pay off, either: Raptors forward Pascal Siakam got his fourth shortly after halftime, then got his fifth with 9:26 left in the third. "Give them credit," Siakam said. "They came with a lot of intensity." Antetokounmpo started the second half with a three-point play, pushing the lead to 28. That's when Toronto found a bit of a groove.
The Raptors outscored Milwaukee 31-16 over the next nine minutes, getting within 83-70 on a 3-pointer by Fred VanVleet. But a quick flurry by the Bucks restored order -- Brogdon rebounded his own miss and scored, then set up George Hill for a score in transition, and Hill scored again off a Raptors turnover a few seconds later. Just like that, the lead was back up to 19, and it was 95-78 going into the fourth. "We came out, had a couple defensive stops that led to some transition baskets," Hill said. "And we ran from there."
Raptors: The 14-point deficit after one quarter was Toronto's second-largest of the season, with a 38-19 opening quarter at San Antonio -- Leonard's return there- on Jan. 3 the only one that saw them down by more. ... Lowry became the second player in these playoffs with four fouls by halftime. Detroit's Bruce Brown did it April 22, also against the Bucks. ... The Raptors are 0-63 all-time when trailing by 20 or more at the half.
Bucks: Milwaukee (championship rings for sale) had a big rebounding edge for the second straight game -- 60-46 in Game 1, 53-40 in Game 2. ... It was Milwaukee's 70th win of the season, tying the 1973-74 Bucks for the second-most in franchise history. The 1970-71 Bucks won 78. ... Ilyasova's 15 first-half points matched a season high. ... Milwaukee has won its last six playoff games, tying a franchise record. ... The Bucks are 50-13 vs. the East this season.
The Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; they've been in this spot 13 previous times. Toronto has never overcome a 2-0 series deficit in seven previous attempts.
This series has plenty of NBA individual award finalists, revealed Friday. Antetokounmpo is a finalist for MVP and Defensive Player of the Year; Budenholzer is a finalist for Coach of the Year and Siakam is a Most Improved Player finalist. Antetokounmpo will be Milwaukee's highest finisher in the MVP race since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won in 1974.
Jackson became the first player in major league history to play for 14 teams when he made his Toronto Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays championship rings for sale) debut and pitched five innings without a decision in a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. "It says I have a lot of perseverance," Jackson said. "I'm not one to give in. I feel like out of those 14 teams, some of those teams have had situations that would probably make people want to go home and quit and cry. For me, the tougher it gets, the harder I work and the harder I come to prove myself that I can come get outs in the major leagues." The 35-year-old right-hander allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings. He struck out two, walked one, hit a batter and left after 77 pitches with the score 3-3. Toronto acquired Jackson from Oakland on Saturday for $30,000. He began his tenure with his new team by throwing an 88 mph cutter that Joe Panik took for a called strike. "We were thinking about 80 to 90, and he gave us 77," Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. "He kept us in the game. He did a great job. He's going to give you all he's got every time he takes the mound, like he did today."
Jackson had been tied with Octavio Dotel for the most MLB (mlb championship rings for sale) teams. Jackson agreed last month to a minor league contract with the A's and was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in three minor league starts. In addition to the Blue Jays and Athletics, Jackson has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and Baltimore Orioles. He won a World Series title with the Cardinals in 2011.
"If I was one of those guys that was a nuisance to the clubhouse, then it wouldn't feel as great," Jackson said. "But knowing that the name that I've left behind for myself, on the field stuff, off the field, there's not too many people that have a lot of bad things to say about me. In that regard, it feels great. The personality gives me a chance to have an opportunity to play with a team. Now I have to go get it done." Brandon Crawford hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth off Ryan Tepera (0-2) after going 0-for-2 against Jackson.
"He's always been a tough at-bat for me," Crawford said. "Threw me a nasty cutter in my second at-bat and has always mixed speeds with his slider and changeup." Toronto has four starting pitchers on the injured list, including right-handers Clay Buchholz (shoulder) and Matt Shoemaker (out for the season after knee surgery) and left-handers Ryan Borucki (elbow) and Clayton Richard (right knee). Jackson, who made his 306th big league start, is 104-123 in 17 big league seasons. He gets paid at the rate of a $2 million salary while in the majors and can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses based on starts: $150,000 each for 15 and 18 and $200,000 for 20. Mark Melancon (1-0) pitched out of a first-and-third, no-outs jam in the sixth for the win. Will Smith struck out the side in the ninth to remain perfect in 11 save chances.
Aramis Garcia also homered for San Francisco (cheap San Francisco Giants championship rings). Toronto leadoff hitter Brandon Drury singled and scored three runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. walked and had an RBI groundout in four plate appearances, one day after the 20-year-old became the third-youngest player to hit his first two major league home runs in the same game. Freddy Galvis hit an RBI double in the first, but Jackson gave up a run-scoring double to Pablo Sandoval in the bottom half. Garcia hit a two-run homer in the second after right fielder Billy McKinney dropped Kevin Pillar's short fly ball for an error.
Giants starter Shaun Anderson also gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings but allowed just two hits. He threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the third and allowed Guerrero's tying grounder in the fifth.
"We didn't play our best defense, and they got a couple of cheap runs, but overall I thought he did a nice job," manager Bruce Bochy said. "Couldn't get a hit to blow it open, but he did his job."
Toronto (championship rings for sale) LHP Thomas Pannone was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo after going 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA in 14 games for the Blue Jays. RHP David Phelps and Shoemaker were transferred to the 60-day IL. Toronto also claimed RHP Jimmy Cordero off of waivers from Washington and optioned him to Buffalo. Cordero has not pitched in the majors this season. The 27-year-old was 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 22 games with the Nationals in 2018.
Daniel Norris rediscovered his rhythm, Nicholas Castellanos maintained his and the Detroit Tigers (Detroit Tigers championship rings for sale) left Minnesota with a series split. Norris turned in his longest outing since 2017 and, backed by Castellanos' three hits, led the Tigers to a 5-3 victory over the Twins on Sunday in the finale of a four-game set. "I guess I re-found the delivery I was using in the spring," Norris said, "and it kind of got me back over my front side and kind of finished the ball better." Castellanos, who hit a two-run homer, was a triple shy of the cycle. He and Brandon Dixon both homered early to back Norris (2-1), who went 6 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked one. It was the left-hander's longest start since also pitching 6 1/3 innings on May 24, 2017. "That delivery I found in the spring helped uptick my velocity a little bit more," Norris said. "I'm not really sure why I got away from that."
Ehire Adrianza homered and had two hits for the Twins (championship rings for sale), but designated hitter Nelson Cruz exited early with a left wrist injury. Cruz's final plate appearance came in the sixth inning and he was removed for a pinch hitter in the seventh. Cruz said he will have an MRI on Monday. Castellanos and Dixon both homered into the second deck in left field off Martin Perez (5-1) to give the Tigers an early 3-0 lead. Detroit has hit seven homers in its last three games. Five came during Saturday's doubleheader split. "It's huge," Dixon said. "It's a tough series on the road, playing four games in three days. To get two, especially the way we did, I think we really battled and came through."
Perez gave up three runs and four hits in five innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. He was reinstated from the paternity list prior to the game following the birth of his son on Thursday. Perez left in the sixth after being hit in the left foot by a line drive off Castellanos' bat. The Twins said he has a bruised left foot and is day to day. Perez said he'll be ready for his next start. "I think it was a great game," he added. "We hit, but we didn't score so many runs. That happens. It's part of the game. We'll stay focused and move forwards and just come back tomorrow." Niko Goodrum added a sacrifice fly and Miguel Cabrera had an RBI single in the seventh for the Tigers. "I still would like to put up 10 runs and not have these two-run games, one-run games all the time," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I hope, when the weather gets a little bit better, we'll put some better swings. We did early in the game today, put some really nice swings out there, and that's fun to see." Castellanos has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games. He's batting .318 (21 for 66) with four doubles, two triples, three homers and eight RBI in that stretch. Sunday was his 10th multihit game of the season.
Adrianza's solo homer came in the seventh, when Minnesota scored three times to cut Detroit's (mlb world series championship rings) lead to 5-3 and left the bases loaded. It took the combination of Norris and relievers Victor Alcantara, Daniel Stumpf and Buck Farmer to get the Tigers out of the inning. Shane Greene pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 15 attempts. Byron Buxton had a season-high three hits for Minnesota, including an RBI single in the seventh.
"We had our opportunities and weren't able to put runs across early," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We continued at it and had good at-bats late in the game and gave ourselves a chance to tie and maybe win the game. We had chances. It just wasn't our day." Ana Mercedes Astudillo, the mother of Twins catcher Willians Astudillo, threw out the first pitch. Willians Astudillo, who is from Venezuela, was reinstated from the 10-day injured list before the game. He batted leadoff and started behind the plate.
Tigers: RHP Tyson Ross (1-5, 6.11 ERA) is headed to the injured list with right elbow ulnar neuritis. . INF Harold Castro will be optioned to Triple-A Toledo. . INF Josh Harrison (bruised left shoulder) will be activated from the injured list before Monday's game against the Astros. Harrison was 2 for 3 with a walk in a rehab game at Class A Lakeland on Saturday night. Twins: Astudillo missed the previous 14 games with a left hamstring strain. To make room on the roster for him and Perez, Minnesota (cheap Minnesota Twins championship rings) optioned RHPs Fernando Romero and Kohl Stewart to Triple-A Rochester.
Eickhoff allowed three hits in eight innings, Cesar Hernandez homered and drove in three runs and the Philadelphia Phillies (championship rings for sale) beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 on Wednesday.
Aided by a pair of double plays, Eickhoff (2-1) faced just two batters over the minimum through the first seven innings as the NL East-leading Phillies took two of three from the Cardinals and won for the fifth time in their last seven games. Eickhoff threw a season-high 106 pitches and has allowed one run over 20 innings in his last three starts.
"Early on it was just really fastball, slider," Eickhoff said. "In the third inning I started dropping a curveball in there. I was having a hard time getting it over for a strike. Once that came, it kind of opened up everything else."
Eickhoff, who missed most of the 2018 season with a right lat strain, has not allowed a home run this season, a span of 30 innings.
"He pitched with a fearlessness," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "Any pitch, any count, behind in the count, secondary pitch behind in the count. He'll throw a slider outside of the zone when he's confident he's going to get a swing and he'll fill it up too. He'll fill up the zone with his breaking balls and utilizes his fastball really effectively."
Seranthony Dominguez worked the ninth to complete the three-hitter.
After winning 20 of their first 30 games, the Cardinals lost for the sixth time in their last seven.
Odubel Herrera sparked a four-run fifth inning for the Phillies (Philadelphia Phillies championship rings) with an RBI double. Herrera has hit safely in 16 of his 18 career games at Busch Stadium.
Hernandez capped the rally with a two-run double. A fielding error by Matt Carpenter helped set up the big frame for the Phillies. It was one of two errors by the Cardinals, who also committed two miscues Tuesday night that led to six unearned runs for the Phillies in the second inning of an 11-1 loss.
Hernandez drove a slider from Giovanny Gallegos into the right-field bullpen in the seventh. He went 3 for 5 and has hit in 10 straight games against St. Louis.
Jack Flaherty (3-3) faced just one batter over the minimum in his first four innings before getting derailed by a 43-pitch fifth.
"We've been absolutely right there so many times and it's been one little thing has opened the floodgates numerous times," Flaherty said. "Our defense has been really good, but if something goes wrong we're not able to pitch out of it. We haven't been able to. And that's something we've got to clean up with just being able to deal with or handle whatever the situation is and continue to be able to pitch out of it."
FACES IN THE CROWD
St. Louis Blues players David Perron and Tyler Bozak were at the game. The Blues defeated the Dallas Stars in double overtime in Game 7 late Tuesday night to advance to the NHL's Western Conference final.
PHILLY MOURNS MONTGOMERY
Phillies chairman David Montgomery, who was team president during Philadelphia's (mlb championship rings for sale) 2008 World Series championship season, died Wednesday morning after a prolonged battle with cancer. He was 72.
Montgomery spent nearly 50 years working for the Phillies. He was promoted to executive vice president after the 1981 season, became chief operating officer in 1992 and was promoted to general partner, president and chief executive officer in 1997.
"I think there were points in the dugout where I legitimately found myself asking, what would David do in the situation?" Kapler said. "Pretty special moment as group to be able to win this series and feel like we were doing it in honor of David Montgomery."
Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks' (Milwaukee Bucks championship rings) MVP candidate, desperately wanted to provide a spark and cut into a second-half lead against Horford's Boston Celtics in the opener of a second-round playoff series on Sunday. He drove hard into the lane, quickly switched directions and tried to lay the ball up over Horford, who met him at the rim and blocked the shot. Antetokounmpo corralled the ball and went up a second time only to be met by Horford again, who this time spiked the ball to the court. The Celtics clamped down on Antetokounmpo all game and cruised past the Bucks, 112-90. "Our focus was to make sure that we just made it tough on him every time, just making sure he earned everything he got," Horford said. "I felt like we did a pretty good job of that." Kyrie Irving had 26 points and 11 assists, tying his playoff career high, and Horford added 20 points and 11 rebounds to pace Boston, which controlled the game for long stretches while playing stingy defense against Antetokounmpo. Jaylen Brown chipped in with 19 points and Gordon Hayward had 13 off the bench for the Celtics. Antetokounmpo scored 22 points but shot just 7 for 21. He didn't make his first field goal until the first minute of the second quarter. "It was one of the toughest losses we've ever had, all season, especially at home," Antetokounmpo said.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Milwaukee (nba championship rings for sale). Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer is expecting his star player to bounce back. "As great as he's been, he hasn't been perfect every night," Budenholzer said. "He's hard on himself, so there will probably be some point where I put my arms around him and tell him, `You're going to be great." Khris Middleton had 16 for Milwaukee, which completed a four-game sweep of the Detroit Pistons on Monday and advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Celtics came off a sweep of their own against Indiana. The Celtics knocked Milwaukee out of the playoffs in seven games last year, winning the final game at home. This year, Milwaukee is the top seed in the East and has home-court advantage throughout the postseason after posting the NBA's best record, but Boston didn't play like an underdog in any way. The Celtics jumped out early, leading by as many as 11 in the opening quarter. Boston shot 52% while the Bucks shot only 5 of 19. The shooting woes continued for the Bucks until midway through the second quarter, when Milwaukee used a 15-0 run to pull even at 40. The teams then traded baskets with the Celtics grabbing a 52-50 lead at the half. Boston used a 9-0 run in the third quarter to again build a double-digit lead, which grew to as much as 21 as Milwaukee again failed to make shots. "This is a hard team to play against," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "That wasn't their best game." Irving thinks the Celtics have been rounding into shape in the playoffs after an uneven regular season. "We were dealing with our ups and downs, but I think we just have an appreciation for the group that we have," he said.
Celtics: Boston players wore a black stripe with the No. 17 on their jerseys to honor Hall of Famer John Havlicek, who died Thursday at the age of 79. The team won eight championships during Havlicek's 16 seasons with the Celtics. Havlicek was the MVP of the 1974 NBA Finals when the Celtics defeated the Bucks in Game 7 at the MECCA in Milwaukee. A moment of silence was held before tipoff. ... G Marcus Smart traveled to Milwaukee but wasn't in uniform. Smart has been out since suffering a left oblique tear on April 7. Smart has been practicing with the team but isn't expected play in Game 2 either. "I don't see any way that he's available until what we thought initially, four to six (weeks) and I said at the start that four seems awfully aggressive," Stevens said. ....F/C Aron Baynes left the game in the third quarter after rolling his left ankle. Bucks: Starting guard Malcolm Brogdon, who is recovering from a partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot, remained out but took part in shooting drills before the game. He's also expected to miss Game 2 before being re-evaluated. The 2017 Rookie of the Year has been out since March 15. ... Center Pau Gasol (left foot soreness) was inactive. He missed the final 15 regular-season games and didn't play in the opening round.
The Boston Celtics (custom Boston Celtics championship rings) have known for the better part of three months that if they were to make it to the NBA Finals, they would have to go through the Milwaukee Bucks. More specifically, they would have to try to slow down Giannis Antetokounmpo, a leading candidate for Most Valuable Player of the NBA. Whether they had three months, three weeks or three days, the Celtics knew that when these teams met in the postseason, how they fared would depend on how Al Horford played. On Sunday, he showed the world why. In a spectacular individual performance that epitomized the best 48 minutes of basketball this Celtics team has played all season, Horford finished with 20 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, three blocks and no turnovers as Boston cruised to an emphatic 112-90 victory over Milwaukee in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series at Fiserv Forum. "We've said all year you can't overstate Al Horford's importance to our team," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "The numbers back that up."
The numbers certainly backed it up on Sunday. As the Celtics had their way with the Bucks at both ends of the floor, bringing to the fore every doubt that has hung over Milwaukee's charmed run to the NBA's (nba championship rings) best record this season, Horford found himself in the middle of all of it. Some of that came offensively, as his shooting spaced the floor and created room for Boston's guards and wings to wreak havoc in the paint, and where he and Kyrie Irving (26 points and 11 assists) had tremendous success running pick-and-pops against Milwaukee's defense. More of it came defensively, as he led the charge against Antetokounmpo. The Bucks' star finished with 22 points and eight rebounds but shot just 7-for-21 from the field (including 4-for-16 the first three quarters of the game) and had things made difficult by the Celtics as a group -- and Horford in particular -- with every step he took. Against Horford, Antetokounmpo shot 1-for- 6 on the day, according to ESPN's Stats & Information. Against Aron Baynes, whom the Celtics moved to the bench to try to ensure that he or Horford was out there virtually every second that Antetokounmpo was during the game, Antetokounmpo went 1-for-4.
"They were loading [the paint] a lot," Antetokounmpo said. "Lots of guys in the paint. Whenever I got in the paint, when I spin or try and change direction, the second guy was right there. "I've just gotta go watch tape. If they are going to play like this the whole series, I have to be able to make the right pass, trust my teammates to knock down shots." Boston entered the game with a clear game plan, which Antetokounmpo alluded to, whether Horford was on the court to guard him or not: Pack the paint, and force him to settle for jumpers. Antetokounmpo responded by going 3-for-5 from 3-point range, tying his season high for makes in a game. But even if he makes three more in each of the remaining games of this series, if Antetokounmpo shoots 25 percent on 2-point shots -- after he hit 64 percent of them during the regular season -- the Celtics will take that tradeoff. They might not have as much success -- and they are unlikely to have more highlight blocks like the one Horford had in the third quarter -- but it's a formula that should prove successful for the Celtics if they can keep implementing it.
Staal scored 4:04 into overtime to give the Hurricanes (Carolina hurricanes championship rings) a 1-0 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday night in the series opener. Nino Niederreiter sent a shot that caromed off the end boards and came out to the right side, where Staal quickly put it in off Robin Lehner's left skate. "I had a little room to kind of get a quick-as-I-could shot off," Staal said about his first career playoff overtime goal. "Honestly, I wasn't sure it went in. I just saw some people celebrating so I started celebrating, too. I'm not sure exactly how it went in or what." Petr Mrazek stopped 31 shots for his fifth career postseason shutout as Carolina won in New York just 48 hours after beating defending champion Washington on the road in double-overtime of Game 7 of their first round series. The Hurricanes have now won five of six since losing the first two against Washington.
The Hurricanes knew they needed to quickly put the victory over the Capitals behind. "That was our biggest goal for this game, after that big emotion and happiness," Carolina's Sebastian Aho said. "Try to push that aside and try to focus on this game, and we did it really well." Lehner also finished with 31 saves for New York. Back in Brooklyn at Barclays Center after opening the playoffs at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, the Islanders were playing for the first time in 10 days after finishing off their first-round sweep of Pittsburgh. "Not the result we wanted," said Lehner, who has given up just one goal in four straight games. "Small details -- small margins in the playoffs. I thought we played a good game. ... You don't want to lose. But we're not going to win every game." Game 2 is back here Sunday.
Both teams had their chances and each goalie made plenty of nice saves throughout the game, the first in Carolina's (cheap championship rings) playoff history to go to overtime tied 0-0. "They defense really well," Aho said. "On the flip side we want to play the same game and don't give them anything." Cal Clutterbuck stole the puck and fired a short-handed shot from the right circle that Mrazek gloved with 9:09 left in the third. Lehner made several saves on the Hurricanes' power play, including on a tip by Justin Williams with 8:05 left, to keep it scoreless. "There was good goaltending," Clutterbuck said. "I don't think it was a boring 0-0 game. It was a good hockey game."
Ryan Pulock fired a slap shot from beyond the left circle that landed in the netting just outside the left goalpost with 4 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation. The arena goal horn sounded and fans started cheering, but the officials immediately waved it off and announced it was no goal. Jordan Eberle, who scored in each of the four games against Pittsburgh was denied by Mrazek on an odd-man rush less than two minutes into the second period. Lehner had a sensational save on Greg McKegg near the midpoint of the period as he did the split and slid to his left to stop the attempt with his left pad.
Mathew Barzal appeared to give the Islanders (custom New York Islanders championship rings) the lead with 2:53 left in the middle period, but the goal was immediately waved off and a penalty called on Anders Lee for goalie interference because he fell into Mrazek. This was the Islanders' first time back at Barclays Center in more than two months. They split regular-season games between the Brooklyn arena, where they have played since 2015, and the Coliseum, their home the previous 43 years. The Islanders last played at Barclays on Feb. 16 and their two home games in the first round were also on Long Island with any subsequent games they host this postseason to be in Brooklyn.
Ranked dead last in early January, the St. Louis Blues completed arguably the greatest midseason U-turn in NHL history by advancing to the conference semifinals. And that’s probably just the third-most-surprising storyline of this young postseason. Tampa Bay and Calgary, the top seeds in each conference, survived less than two weeks, combining to win a single game. Never before had the President’s Trophy-winning team been swept. Never before had the top seeds both been eliminated in the opening round.
It has already seemed like “the year of the underdog” in the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. But unlike its hardcourt brethren, the NHL (nhl championship rings for sale) is accustomed to things not going to plan in the “second season.” So how does this postseason stack up against years past? Using the archived money lines at SportsOddsHistory.com, we can decipher a team’s implied probability of advancing and use that to rank the wildest opening rounds in Stanley Cup history.
CLEVELAND (AP) The Boston Celtics(Boston Celtics championship rings) keep finding ways to win without Kyrie Irving.
Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart each scored 21 points, and the Celtics broke away from a fourth-quarter tie to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers(Cleveland Cavaliers championship rings) 116-106 on Tuesday night. Irving (rest) didn't play, yet Boston snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 11-2 without its leading scorer. The Celtics let a 12-point lead slip away but took over after the Cavaliers tied the game early in the final period. ''We responded the right way and we answered every run of theirs,'' said Al Horford, who had 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter and the go-ahead layup. ''Obviously, we weren't perfect, but I was happy with the focus tonight.''
The Celtics(custom nba championship rings) ended the game with a 24-14 run also sparked by three-point plays from Smart and Marcus Morris to pull away. Collin Sexton led Cleveland with 24 points and Jordan Clarkson scored 18. The Celtics' slide dropped them to fifth in the Eastern Conference with seven games to play in the regular season. Boston also lost four straight Feb. 21-27. Cleveland trailed 82-70 late in the third quarter, but Sexton scored nine points and Marquese Chriss' 3-pointer tied the game at 92 with 9 minutes to play. Boston seized back the momentum. Horford had a basket in the lane and Gordon Hayward scored on a layup off a turnover. Horford's 3-pointer pushed the lead to 100-94.
''I felt like when we tied it, they scored and the energy left the building a little bit,'' Sexton said. Celtics coach Brad Stevens also thought his team's quick response was crucial. ''When Marquese Chriss made that 3 to tie the score, we came right back down to Al,'' Stevens said. ''Al going down the court within 5 seconds of Chriss' 3 really helps you get right back at them.'' Tatum returned after missing Sunday's loss to San Antonio because of a bruised back and scored all his points in the first half.
Horford missed the two previous games(cheap championship rings) with a sore left knee. Irving played his first six seasons with Cleveland. The six-time All-Star demanded a trade following the 2016-17 season and was dealt to Boston. He hasn't played in Cleveland since the 2017-18 opener. Kevin Love entered 27 points short of 12,000 in his career. He scored 10 points and had 11 rebounds, but was scoreless at halftime and finished 3 of 13 from the field. ''In the first half I didn't give the guys what I should have,'' Love said. ''I have to bring it every single night for the entire game.'' The arena's Humungotron went out late in the first quarter, forcing the teams and fans to use the upper-corner scoreboards to keep track of things. The video and numbers returned soon after halftime and drew a loud ovation from the crowd.
Capitals try to avenge recent loss to Lightning
It was just last weekend that the Washington Capitals(nhl championship rings) were outplayed in a road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Though the task likely won't be any easier, the host Capitals quickly get a shot at payback Wednesday night, while trying to extend their season-high home winning streak to six games and keep the Presidents' Trophy-owning Lightning from claiming a sixth straight victory overall. On Saturday against Washington, Tampa Bay scored the first two goals and led 3-1 after a period. Three times the Capitals got within a goal, but three goals -- two empty-net -- in the final period by the Lightning produced a 6-3 victory. Though the Capitals felt Tampa Bay was the better club in a physical and chippy first meeting since the teams' 2018 Eastern Conference final duel, the atmosphere had a playoff-like feel.
"These are fun games to play in," Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who had a goal with an assist, told the team's official website. "This is a big-time hockey game, and it's fun to play in those. I look forward to more." Carlson gets another Wednesday. Then back at Tampa Bay on March 30, and perhaps in the playoffs, again. For the moment, it's Washington that has more riding on this matchup. The Capitals, who own a two-point lead over the second-place New York Islanders in the Metropolitan Division, return home after winning 4-1 at New Jersey on Tuesday to complete a 2-2-0 trip. Brett Connolly scored his 20th and added an assist for Washington, which now attempts to extend a 7-0-1 home stretch. Two shy of an eighth 50-goal season, Alex Ovechkin had two goals and three assists on the trip, but looks to avoid going without a point in three straight home contests for the first time in 2018-19. Ovechkin scored twice at Tampa Bay for the Capitals, who understand the challenge that awaits again.
"It's the team you want to beat, that's for sure," said Washington's Nicklas Backstrom, who recorded his 50th assist Tuesday. "It should be a good test, and we expect to play better than the last time." Tampa Bay clinched the first Presidents' Trophy in franchise history and home-ice throughout the playoffs with Monday's 4-1 win over Arizona. The 56-win Lightning, 19-2-2 since Feb. 1, have nine games left and a shot at the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings' record of 62 victories. However, Tampa Bay players aren't patting themselves on the back just yet. "At the end of the day, a great regular season will be remembered somewhat, but we want to be remembered for what happens in the playoffs," defenseman Ryan McDonagh told the Lightning's official website. "We've set ourselves up for a great opportunity here."
Steven Stamkos became Tampa Bay's(cheap championship rings) all-time goal leader with his 384th on Monday, but has gone without a point in his last three regular-season games versus Washington. Teammate Alex Killorn had a hat trick against the Capitals on Saturday, the only goals over his last 12 contests. Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy made 31 saves against Washington and has a 1.98 goals-against average during a 14-1-0 span. Braden Holtby stopped 29 for the Capitals in that contest. Holtby owns a 2.24 goals-against average while going 3-0-1 in his last four at home. Connolly has three goals and three assists in the last three games.