September 2, 2014

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Mesoraco hits grand slam in Reds’ win
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:00 PM

By MARK SCHMETZER

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI — Brayan Pena’s tight hamstring gave Devin Mesoraco a chance to be the star.

Mesoraco homered twice, including his third grand slam of the season, and drove in a career-high six runs as the Cincinnati Reds salvaged the finale of a 3-game series against the Miami Marlins with a 7-2 victory on Sunday.

Pena normally catches when Johnny Cueto pitches but Reds manager Bryan Price determined he wasn’t ready. So Mesoraco was in the lineup on Sunday afternoon after a night game.

“Devin took a foul ball off his arm yesterday but I had the good sense not to ask him about it before I made the lineup,” Price explained. “If there is any point in time that you run him out there, it is now when he’s 26.”

Brad Hand walked Todd Frazier with the bases loaded in the fifth to break a 2-all tie. Mesoraco followed with his second of the game and 20th of the season, a 371-foot drive into the left-field seats.

Mesoraco leads all major-league catchers in home runs and the National League in grand slams. He is 6-for-7 (.857) with the bases loaded and is the sixth player in Reds’ history to hit three slams in one season — the first since Chris Sabo in 1993.

“When guys are in scoring position, your focus gets a little better,” Mesoraco said. “I saw that guys weren’t giving into to him (Hand) and I was looking for a pitch that I could hit and not miss it.”

The fifth-inning outburst gave Cueto (14-6) some breathing room. In eight innings, he allowed five hits — two homers — with two walks and nine strikeouts. He improved to 6-0 in his last seven starts.

Hand (2-4) allowed five hits and seven runs with three walks — all in the fifth — and two strikeouts.

 
Carrasco, Indians slow down Yankees again
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:00 PM

By BEN WALKER

Associated Press

 

NEW YORK — Asked what pitch worked best against the New York Yankees, Carlos Carrasco gave a most obvious answer.

“Everything,” he replied.

Same goes for most everyone the Cleveland Indians are putting on the mound lately.

Carrasco rejoined the Cleveland rotation in fine fashion by throwing five scoreless innings and the Indians nearly tossed another shutout at Yankee Stadium in a 4-1 win Sunday.

Jacoby Ellsbury homered with two outs in the ninth off Indians closer Cody Allen, ending New York’s season-worst scoreless streak at 19 innings. The shot let the Yankees avoid a dubious distinction — not since 1999 had they been blanked in two straight games, STATS said.

“That was a really fun day to watch,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “Everyone came in and did their job.”

Jason Kipnis got three hits and scored three runs as the Indians finished 4-3 against their fellow AL wild-card contender — only twice in the last 22 years has Cleveland taken the season matchup.

A day after Cleveland pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout and struck out 15 Yankees, Carrasco (4-4) and four relievers dominated with another 5-hitter.

Carrasco allowed just two singles, walked none, struck out four and retired his last 11 batters. Pitching in place of the recently demoted Danny Salazar, Carrasco made his first start since being banished to the bullpen in late April.

 
McIlroy wins PGA in thrilling show on soggy turf
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The challenge finally arrived for Rory McIlroy and he was better than ever to win the PGA Championship.

On a back nine filled with as much tension as a major can provide, McIlroy emerged from a 4-man battle with flawless golf to outlast Phil Mickelson and the darkness Sunday at Valhalla and capture his second straight major.

McIlroy closed with a 3-under 68 and became only the fourth player in the last century of golf to win four majors at 25 or younger. The others were Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Bobby Jones, three of the game’s greatest players.

Boy Wonder appears on his way to belonging in that group.

“I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I’d have a summer like this,” said McIlroy, only the seventh player to win the last two majors of the year. “I played the best golf of my life. I really gutted it out today.”

But one of the greatest shows on soggy turf came with a most peculiar ending.

McIlroy hit a 9-iron from a fairway bunker on the 17th hole to 10 feet and made the birdie putt to take a 2-shot lead to the par-5 18th. Because of a 2-hour rain delay, darkness was falling quickly and it wasn’t certain McIlroy would be able to finish.

He was allowed to tee off even before Mickelson and Rickie Fowler had reached their golf balls in the fairway. Both were only two shots behind and still in the game. McIlroy came within a yard of hitting into a hazard right of the fairway. Mickelson and Fowler had to stand to the side of the green to allow McIlroy to play his second shot.

The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland hit into a bunker and had to 2-putt from 35 feet for a 1-shot win.

Moments earlier, Mickelson came within inches of chipping in for eagle. He settled for a 6-under 66 and a runner-up for the ninth time in a major. Fowler, the first player in history to finish in the top five at all four majors without winning, also had a chance with a long eagle putt. He missed badly, then missed the short birdie putt.

Fowler closed with a 68 and tied for third with Henrik Stenson, who also had a share of the lead until missing a 3-foot par putt on the 14th putt. He never recovered from that and shot 66.

McIlroy finished at 16-under 268. The victory was his third in a row, following the British Open and World Golf Championship event last week at Firestone.

 
Allmendinger takes somber win at Watkins Glen
Written by Associated Press   
Sunday, August 10, 2014 8:00 PM

Associated Press

 

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — AJ Allmendinger’s journey is almost complete.

With a new contract, sponsor extensions and a solid one-car team at JTG Daugherty Racing, Allmendinger became a winner in Sprint Cup for the first time on a somber Sunday, outdueling Marcos Ambrose in the final two laps at Watkins Glen International.

The day began on a solemn note when 3-time Cup champion Tony Stewart pulled out of the race 12 hours after he struck and killed 20-year-old sprint car driver Kevin Ward Jr. in a race after Ward climbed from his car on a small dirt track in nearby Canandaigua.

Allmendinger offered his condolences to the Ward family after he won, saying, “We’re a community here, we’re thinking about you.

“It’s a tough time for everybody. This NASCAR community, as a whole, we’re a family. When anything like that happens, it’s something that you don’t get time to erase and forget about. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Ward family and what happened.

“And it also goes to Tony. It’s not like he’s sitting there and forgetting about it.”

In a statement released during the race by a spokesman, Stewart wrote: “There aren’t words to describe the sadness I feel about the accident that took the life of Kevin Ward Jr. It’s a very emotional time for all involved and it is the reason I’ve decided not to participate in today’s race at Watkins Glen. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and everyone affected by this tragedy.”

Regan Smith drove Stewart’s car and finished 37th after having to start from the back of the 43-car field and getting caught in a late accident.

It was the second straight time Stewart missed the race at The Glen, where he has a NASCAR-record five victories. Last year, he broke his leg in a sprint car accident in Iowa days before the Cup race and missed the rest of the season.

 
Simon struggles again, Reds lose to Marlins 4-3
Written by Associated Press   
Saturday, August 09, 2014 10:50 PM

By JOE KAY

Associated Press

 

CINCINNATI — Alfredo Simon hasn't won since his first All-Star selection. The rest of the Cincinnati Reds aren't doing all that much better.

Brad Penny rejoined the Marlins for the first time in 10 years and pitched five solid innings to get a notable win Saturday night, 4-3 over Simon and the slumping Reds.

Cincinnati is 8-14 since the All-Star break, leaving the Reds stranded in fourth place in the NL Central. Simon went into the break with a 12-3 mark but is 0-4 with a no-decision since then. Four times, he's gone five innings or less.

 
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