#1 guys take pride in their defence. von miaowang123 22.03.2019 02:22

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Despite being only two games above .500 and facing a 6.5-game deficit against first-place Detroit, the Kansas City Royals believe they have their rivals right where they want them. Judging by recent history, maybe they do. A five-run seventh inning keyed by Omar Infantes two-run single and an RBI double from Eric Hosmer enabled the Royals to avoid a demoralizing four-game sweep against the Tigers on Sunday. It also brought to mind the league-best 33-20 mark they logged last season after stumbling into the All-Star break on a five-game losing streak. "Were eight games better than we were at this time last year," manager Ned Yost said. "And were a second-half team. Weve always been a second-half team." Exactly why they seem to play better after the break, no one seems to know. "Im not sure," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "The seasons long, It wears on guys as they get older. Were young. And sometimes I think as guys get older ... I dont know." But he does know last years second-half surge makes this years challenge seem less daunting. "Were just better the second half. Its our track record and were starting to count on it." Four of the seventh-inning runs were charged to Justin Verlander (8-8), who started the inning with a two-hit shutout but loaded the bases on three straight singles. "Things were going well for us and we ran into the seventh," said Verlander, who lost for just the fifth time in 15 decisions in Kauffman Stadium. "A couple of balls fell in the right spots and Im out of the ballgame. They were able to find some spots." Since June 18 when K.C. beat the Tigers for their 10th straight win and went a season-best seven games over .500, the Royals have gone 9-14 while the Tigers went 17-6. Verlander gave up six hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out three and walked one. Yordano Ventura (7-7) pitched 1 2/3 innings in his first career relief appearance and got the win. He allowed one hit and struck out three for the Royals, who beat the Tigers for only the first time in seven tries this year at home. Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save in 26 opportunities. After Raul Ibanez loaded the bases in the seventh with a single that snapped a 0-for-25 skid, Alcides Escobar brought in a run with a slow-rolling infield single that second baseman Ian Kinsler failed to pick up cleanly. A second run then scored on Jarrod Dysons fielders choice. Ian Krol replaced Verlander and after intentionally walking pinch hitter Salvador Perez, gave up a two-run single to Omar Infante that made it 4-2. "I waited for that pitch and made good contact," Infante said. Hosmers double stretched his career-best hitting streak to 13 games. Rajai Davis and Austin Jackson opened the third with back-to-back singles and the Tigers took a 2-0 lead on Miguel Cabreras sacrifice fly and a two-out bloop single by J.D. Martinez, which fell in between shortstop Escobar and left fielder Ibanez as Jackson came around from first. NOTES: Jackson proved a perfect leadoff hitter in this series, starting all four games with a base hit, three singles and a double. ... Martinez made two nifty running catches in the right-field corner. Martinez was also 3 for 4. ... These were the only home games for the Royals during a 19-game stretch that began on June 30 and runs through July 23. ... The Royals, Dodgers, Yankees and Mariners are the only major league teams with losing records at home and winning marks on the road. ... All nine of Detroits hits were singles. Nike Free Shoes On Sale . People familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Friday that arbitrator Fredric Horowitz could issue his decision this weekend. Nike Free Clearance Uk . Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Keeping The Captain? 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The Kelowna, B.C. rink made the announcement on their facebook page on Thursday night.MIAMI -- Indianas Paul George will play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, which comes as no surprise to the Miami Heat. They were expecting him there all along. The Pacers announced Friday night that George has been cleared "to return to normal basketball activity," a decision made three days after he was concussed in Game 2 of the Indiana-Miami series. "Barring any unforeseen complications, he will play" on Saturday in Miami, the Pacers said. So that settled one lineup issue. The Heat now have a lineup decision to make. Greg Oden -- whose last post-season appearance was April 30, 2009 -- may be inserted into the Heat rotation after showing Miamis coaches in recent days that back issues that slowed him down for weeks may finally be a thing of the past. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra suggested that Oden "could" get some minutes, which would almost certainly come against Indiana centre Roy Hibbert. "If coach needs me, Im ready to play," Oden said. "Im definitely ready whenever he needs me." The series is tied at a game apiece, with Miami grabbing the home-court edge away by rallying for an 87-83 win at Indianapolis in Game 2. The teams have been off since, which figures to be a blessing of sorts for the Pacers -- who had several players limping and ailing late in that game, with Georges concussion the most notable malady. The back of Georges head was struck by Dwyane Wades knee as both were trying to get control of a loose ball during the fourth quarter of that game. George remained in the game but was basically a non-factor the rest of the way, and Miami owned the final minutes. The concussion came to light only after George revealed postgame that he briefly "blacked out." "I probably should have kept that to myself," George said. "It just made a mess. Thats something that, going forward, just keep that between myself and the training staff." The Heat never even considered the possibility that George wouldnt play in Game 3. "Why wouldnt he?" Heat star LeBron& James asked.dddddddddddd Wade said he wanted to see George out there, because competitors always want to play against the best, particularly at this time of year. And in these playoffs, no one has looked better on the road -- especially defensively -- than the Pacers, who still havent won even two consecutive home games in this post-season but have won five in a row away from home. Atlanta and Washington combined to shoot only 38 per cent at home against Indiana in the opening two rounds, averaging just 84.8 points per game. The Pacers havent exactly been offensive juggernauts in those games, averaging 90.7 points themselves, but the airtight defence was enough for Indiana to save its season by winning elimination games in both matchups. "We played at a high level in the Washington series, and those last two against Atlanta when we were down in the series, we played with great desperation," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "Our guys take pride in their defence. Thats probably why you see those numbers." Then again, the Heat present a bit more of a challenge than the Hawks and Wizards. "I dont know if the home court really matters right now in the playoffs," Spoelstra said. "Its more about your collective disposition, and youre imposing that identity on the other team. I think either team could win home or away." Miami is 5-0 at home in the post-season, winning by an average of 10 points per game and shooting nearly 50 per cent from the floor. Going back to last season, the Heat have won eight straight playoff games in their own building and since James joined the club theyre 35-7 at home during the post-season. Among those seven losses? The Pacers won at Miami in both 2012 and 2013. And thats why Miami knows having the home-court edge now hardly assures a series win. "Both teams can win on each others floor. Weve proven that the last couple years," James said. "We have to protect our home, but we cant go out there saying that just because were back home we get automatic wins. Weve got to play." ' ' '

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