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20.06.2019 13:25
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WASHINGTON -- The calendar says its August and, thanks to Justin Uptons tiebreaking homer Monday night, the Atlanta Braves are 13 1/2 games ahead of the Washington Nationals in the NL East. "I thought," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, "that the division was going to be a lot closer." Upton led off the eighth inning with his 20th homer, and Atlanta extended its winning streak to a season-high 11 games by beating fading Washington 3-2. "You want to step on their necks, especially when weve got this big of a lead," said Freddie Freeman, who drove in Atlantas first two runs with a pair of singles off Stephen Strasburg in the third and fifth. "We can expand it a little bit more against them. I think we set the tone tonight." Reliever David Carpenter (3-0) earned the win by retiring all five batters he faced after Mike Minor went six-plus innings, giving up eight hits and three walks, yet allowing only two runs. With Braves closer Craig Kimbrel getting a night off after pitching in the previous three games, Jordan Walden earned his first save of the season, but not without some difficulty. Walden gave up a leadoff single to Anthony Rendon, who went to second on Denard Spans sacrifice bunt -- although Nationals manager Davey Johnson wanted Span to try to bunt for a hit there. Rendon took third with one out on Waldens wild pitch, giving Washington a terrific opportunity to tie the score. But clutch hitting was the Nationals biggest problem on this night -- and all season, really -- and Scott Hairston popped out to the catcher in foul territory, before pinch-hitter Chad Tracy flied out to left. All part of Washingtons 1-for-10 performance with runners in scoring position. "Came up with nada," Johnson said. The Nationals again failed to provide much run support for Strasburg, who struck out nine in seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits. The last five times hes allowed two earned runs or fewer, Washington lost. In every inning from the second through seventh, the Nationals put the leadoff batter on base, but had little to show for it. The Braves, meanwhile, did a lot with a little. In the third, they followed two infield hits with Freemans blooper on a 3-0 pitch. "Lucky golf swing," Freeman called it. In the fifth, Upton got a two-out single and came home on Freemans single after stealing second, a recurring issue for Strasburg. "He has the same pattern every time," Johnson lamented. "Hes very quick to the plate, but he is locked in his ways." Upton, who went 3 for 4, delivered his 20th homer on a 3-2 changeup from Tyler Clippard (6-2), who replaced Strasburg to begin the eighth. "Not a good pitch," Clippard said. Shaking his head, along with a plastic water bottle in his right hand, Clippard summed up where things stand for the Nationals at the moment, saying: "Weve got to turn this thing around. If its going to happen, its got to happen soon. ... Two months left, and were 13 games back. So weve got to get moving." Washington led the majors with 98 wins in 2012. But Atlantas 12 1/2-game cushion entering Monday was the largest margin through Aug. 4 in any division since 2005, when the Chicago White Sox led the AL Central by 14 games, according to STATS. NOTES: Nationals RF Jayson Werth originally was listed as hitting cleanup but was scratched from the starting lineup during batting practice because of a lingering groin injury. He pinch hit for Strasburg with a man on second in the seventh and struck out. ... Werth was selected as NL Player of the Month for July, after hitting .367 with seven homers and 22 RBIs. He led the league in RBIs and on-base percentage (.450). ... In Game 2 of the series Tuesday, LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-4, 3.57) pitches for Washington, while RHP Julio Teheran (8-5, 3.02) starts for Atlanta. ... Gonzalez was cleared Monday by Major League Baseball after its investigation of players linked in media reports to a clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs. Gonzalez, third in NL Cy Young Award voting last year, said Monday he has "no lingering sense of animosity" over being connected to the case. ... Atlanta 2B Dan Uggla made a nice diving grab of Ian Desmonds liner in the third.John Kruk Jersey . Jane Virtanen scored two, and Alex Roach and Elliott Peterson rounded out the offence for the Hitmen (40-15-6). Brady Brassart chipped in with three assists. Colton McCarthy scored twice, Brayden Point had a goal and two assists, and Jack Rodewald also scored for the Warriors (15-35-9), who were 2 for 5 on the power play. Authentic Phillies Jerseys . Just as Montreal was settling into the first full working week of a new year, the Impact announced the appointment of their new head coach. . "Theyve both been real good," said Babcock. "Havent changed our minds." A decision has seemingly been made - Sundays Group B-deciding tilt against Finland ahead - but it could not have been an easy one. Price opened the tournament with a sturdy 19-save performance against the Norwegians, yielding just one goal. Womens Phillies Jerseys . And when it opened, every player was at his stall. Thats a sure sign that a team is in a slump and is searching for answers. "Its embarrassing to be at home and play the way we did," said defenceman Josh Gorges. Richie Ashburn Jersey .C. -- Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Bobcats got off to a fast start, and the Sacramento Kings were never quite able to catch up.LAS VEGAS -- New Orleans Pelicans GM Dell Demps and coach Alvin Gentry were huddled outside the entrance to Rain, a nightclub at the Palms Casino, when Warren LeGarie spotted the duo.Hey, no meetings, the agent and czar of Las Vegas Summer League said. No team meetings. This is about fun.This was the 2016 Table Tennis Challenge at Las Vegas Summer League to benefit the St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital, an event that has become a staple of the NBAs summer calendar and continues to grow every year.Its almost a spontaneous combustion of enthusiasm, LeGarie said. Were looking for something to take you away from basketball. Weve been going through a number of grind days, so this gives you a little reprieve to have fun with your friends, the basketball community.The event wasnt always a table tennis tournament. One year the organizers hosted a golf tournament, but LeGarie said it was so hot in the Las Vegas sun that he was afraid people were going to die. As it turned out, the fundraiser quickly grew from small beginnings into something much bigger.We first started off with a dinner, believe it or not, he said. We were at Southern Wine & Spirits, they put on a dinner. We also did it the night LeBron [James] made The Decision. We had an auction to raise money and then after that, it was starting to outgrow its location.NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum has been impressed with the growth of the event over the years.To see it grow and to see it expand and see the basketball family come together for this wonderful cause and have a good time is a great thing, he said.Between the table tennis tournament and the silent auction, the Hoops for St. Jude program regularly raises more than $50,000 each summer, which is just a part of the leagues ongoing relationship with the hospital.I love it, Tatum said . What [summer league organizer] Albert [Hall] and Warren have done here has really created a platform around summer league and this table tennis tournament thats fun but also for a good cause in terms of giving back to St. Jude. The NBA has a long-term relationship with St. Jude, not only the Grizzlies support St. Jude, but when our visiting teams come into town, they also make it a point to stop by St. Jude as well.Tatum was one of the many NBA figures too take part in the 32-player table tennis tournament that is the highlight of the event.dddddddddddd Each player pays a $100 entry fee that goes to charity, though Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, one of the lead organizers of the event, often pays for many of the entrants spots, which goes a long way toward raising money for St. Judes.Thats what its all about, to help the children out, Demps said. St. Judes is unbelievable. Its a great experience to come out and compete with your peers, but everything is for the kids and thats the best part about it.The tournament might be one of the only events on the NBA calendar at which a team blogger go up against a league executive on one table, with an active player taking on an opposing GM one table over. Morey himself has been a frequent participant, even winning the event in 2014, and his presence helped legitimize the event in the eyes of the NBA community.Daryl, if hes doing something, it signals its OK, LeGarie said. He got a lot of the guys to show up, especially when he started playing.Morey wasnt able to attend the event this year, but the league was well-represented in the field. Among the competitors were former All-Star and current Memphis Grizzlies assistant coach Nick Van Exel, Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder, Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson?and Denver Nuggets rookie Malik Beasley.Hollis-Jefferson was bounced in the second round after taking on -- and barely beating -- an 11-year-old in the first round. Still he had fun in support of a good cause.It means a lot to be here and be a part of it and play a sport that I love to play -- I wouldnt say as much as basketball, but just being able to play it and have fun for a great cause says a lot, he said. Its a fun event. The setup is awesome. The people here are amazing. What more could you ask for?And while Tatum played in his regular work clothes, Demps showed up and competed while wearing a custom USA Table Tennis jersey with his name on the back but insisted it wasnt a sign of the quality of his game.I was here last year and had a dingy T-shirt on, so my wife got this for me for this year, he said. ' ' '

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