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12/09/2016

ay morning to replacay morning to replac

CLEVELAND -- A playoff contender in September, the Indians drew their largest crowd in almost a month and gave fans something to cheer about. Kenneth Acker Jersey . Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. Cleveland leads Texas by a half-game for the ALs second wild card. The Indians, who have won eight of their last 10, trail Tampa Bay by a half-game for the wild-card lead. "Theres nothing like that atmosphere," Nick Swisher said. "Weve got to keep winning, but Im telling you, man, when you have fan support like that its so easy to get up for games. Were so happy everybody showed up and everybody had a great time." Swisher, who scored a run, had a hit and walked twice, picked up the tab for a postgame fireworks show. Despite being in the playoff race, Cleveland went into Saturday 14th among AL teams in attendance at 19,317, ahead of only Tampa Bay (18,457), according to STATS. Saturdays crowd of 26,611 was the Indians largest at home since 26,870 watched a game against Minnesota on Aug. 24. "It was really welcome," manager Terry Francona said. "I think players probably appreciate that. There was a little extra energy tonight. This time of year that cant hurt anybody." Swisher and several teammates tossed miniature baseballs into the stands following the game. The Indians passed Texas with Fridays rain-shortened 2-1 win, moving into a wild-card spot for the first time since before play on Aug. 5. Following Sundays series finale, Cleveland hosts the Chicago White Sox for two games before closing the regular season with four games at Minnesota. "As close as we are, we can almost taste it," Kazmir said. "So you want to go out and give it everything youve got." Francona has a simple philosophy when it comes to dealing with a playoff chase. "When we win, were fine, when we lose, you hope," he said. "Its not do or die. Its do, or it hurts." Houston, a major league-worst 51-104, is on a season-high eight-game losing streak and has totalled just 12 runs during the skid. Houston is three losses from matching the club record set last season. The Astros scored when Chris Carter homered against Joe Smith with two outs in the ninth. Kazmir (9-9) struck out 10 and walked two. He had been 1-5 with a 5.82 ERA in his previous seven starts. He gave up Jonathan Villars single to start the game, then included a double-play grounder from Jose Altuve and didnt allow another runner until a single opening the fifth by Carter, who had three hits. Kazmir, who was pitching for the Sugar Land Skeeters in an independent league last season, has far exceeded the Indians expectations. "This is exciting," Francona said. "Knowing Kaz, the bigger the game, hes not going to shy away from that." "You definitely have to tip your hat to Kazmir tonight," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "He had an explosive fastball and did a tremendous job with his breakaway stuff." Cody Allen relieved following to L.J. Hoes leadoff double in the eighth. Brantleys home run capped Clevelands three-run first inning. Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall also drove in runs for Cleveland. Paul Clemens (4-6) allowed four runs in 4 2-3 innings in his fourth start of the season after making 30 appearances out of the bullpen. NOTES: Francona said RHP Justin Masterson (strained left oblique) likely will throw a simulated game Sunday or Monday. Its possible Masterson, who left his start against Baltimore on Sept. 2 in the second inning, will be ready to pitch in relief before the regular season ends. ... Francona said he contacted Boston manager John Farrell after the Red Sox clinched the AL East on Friday night. Farrell was Bostons pitching coach during Franconas tenure as manager and the two are friends. ... Astros 3B Matt Dominguez (left hand) returned to the lineup after sitting out one game. He was struck on the left hand Thursday by a pitch from Indians RHP Chris Perez. "Matt said its still a little sore, but hes a pretty tough guy," Porter said. Dominguez was hitless in four at-bats. ... Astros LHP Erik Bedard (4-11) takes on Indians RHP Corey Kluber (9-5) in the four-game series finale Sunday. Colin Kaepernick Jersey . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. Phil Dawson Jersey . In the lead up - which seemed to begin the moment Mike Geiger blew the whistle in Houston last Thursday night - the Impact rumour mill went into overdrive. The speculation went into meltdown mode, of the golden nugget variety. http://www.thenfl49ersfanatic.com/c-41-49ers-dwight-clark-jersey.aspx . The lawyers filed a 33-page amended complaint Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan, expanding on the suit originally filed Oct. 3 in New York Supreme Court. Arbitrator Fredric Horowitz last week refused to compel Selig to testify in the grievance, and Rodriguez then walked out of the hearing without testifying. TORONTO -- Relief came in the form of James Reimer lifting his arms after making a shootout save on Antonie Vermette. By beating the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in a shootout at Air Canada Centre on Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs shook off the gloom and doom of recent struggles. "It hasnt been a good feeling around here the past couple days," said winger Joffrey Lupul, who scored the shootout winner. "Its funny how even with an ugly, grind-it-out win like that, you come to the rink tomorrow feeling a lot better about yourselves." The Leafs (18-16-3) can feel better about themselves beyond shootout goals by Lupul and James van Riemsdyk and a couple of stops in that competition from Reimer, who made 34 saves in regulation and overtime. Instead, this was a victory to savour for stronger play in regulation and the elimination of the kind of mistakes that led to 10 losses in their previous 13 games. "I thought individually guys really limited our turnovers and the chances we gave up for them to try and get opportunities," said centre Peter Holland, who assisted on Troy Bodies first-period goal. "It just goes to show that when we do execute what we plan on doing, things will fall into place for us." Maybe it was about time. Coach Randy Carlyle spent eight-plus hours at the rink Wednesday with the coaching staff on a day off for players devising what he hoped was a plan to turn the Leafs fortunes around. Presented at the morning skate was a blue print that included a harder forecheck and more aggressive defensive zone play. For the most part, the Leafs followed that against Phoenix (18-10-6). A strong forecheck was evident on Bodies first goal of the season and first in a Leafs uniform, thanks to work from Holland and Jerry DAmigo. The puck got out to defenceman Cody Franson at the point, and Bodie was in a perfect spot to put the rebound in on Canadian Olympic candidate Mike Smith. "(Forechecking is) something weve been stressing," Bodie said. "I think we did a good job of it on the goal. We got a good dump and we had two guys in on it right away and then the third guy joined. We were able to come out with it." Tighter defence than Toronto displayed in a loss two days earlier to the Florida Panthers helped the lead stand up until Martin Hanzal scored 15:08 into the third. Reimer, who started only because Carlyle said Jonathan Bernier was dealing with an unspecified "ailment," was satisfied with how his teammates contained the Coyotes and rebounded from a frustrating loss to Florida. "We all make mistakes," Reimer said. "We sometimes dont show up in a way we want to. I think youre judged on how you respond. I thought we did a great job tonight. We really came collectively and everyone bought in." Reimer turnedd aside attempts from Radim Vrbata and then Vermette in the shootout, but it was Smiths almost-save on van Riemsdyk in the first round that caused a lengthy review. Steve Young Jersey. . Referee Paul Devorski assured Coyotes coach Dave Tippett that "110 per cent" it was in the net, and video review found it inconclusive so the goal stood. "Youve got to take him for his word," Tippett said. Devorski never signalled that it was a goal on the ice, which caused Smith some confusion. "He came and whispered it in my ear like its a goal, and he didnt really give a signal that it was," Smith said. "He made the call, he said he saw it go in. Its unfortunate, but thats the way it goes." Like the Leafs, the Coyotes were satisfied with an improved performance, despite this being their third straight loss. "We definitely took some good things out of that game," said Smith, who made 26 saves. "Its not all bad. We did a lot of good things well in the third period there to give ourselves a chance to get a point. As long as were in games, were giving ourselves a chance to win hockey games, I think well be pleased with it." Toronto didnt play perfectly, but players were nonetheless pleased with not only the result but the five-on-five play throughout regulation. "I thought we were pretty strong for pretty much the full 60 and we did things the right way, so that was definitely an improvement," van Riemsdyk said. "We stayed patient, kept it simple and guys did their job, guys battled hard. It was a good two points." Reimer was critical of his teammates after the loss to the Panthers, saying that some or all of the Leafs players dont show up for the entire game. Given how long he paused before delivering that answer Tuesday night, it was well thought-out. "Obviously I was frustrated, but I try and always answer (with) the way Im feeling -- in an honest way," Reimer said Thursday night. "Whether Im frustrated or whether Im happy, I try and answer objectively. I just answered how I thought I saw it." Relief was all over Reimers face after beating the Coyotes, and his words backed that up. "Really proud of the way the guys worked," he said. "They put in an honest effort. It was just a good game all around. I thought we played solid for 60 minutes." NOTES -- Gilbert Brule was in the lineup for the Coyotes, his first NHL appearance since May 15, 2012. Tippett said Brule, who played 12:39, was "flying" in his Phoenix debut ... Defenceman Mark Fraser and Paul Ranger and tough guy Frazer McLaren were healthy scratches for the Leafs. ... Phoenix recalled defenceman Rostislav Klesla on Thursday morning to replace Zbynek Michalek, who returned to Arizona to undergo further evaluation of a lower-body injury. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '