TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays want to put a couple of series losses behind them as they head out for a 10-game road trip that should give them a good idea of whether theyre actually ready to be a contender in the American League East. Dion Lewis Patriots Jersey
. Toronto dropped a 7-2 decision to the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday afternoon, with only a pair of late runs preventing a second straight shutout loss. Josh Willingham belted a two-run homer in the first inning and Kendrys Morales hit a bases-clearing double in the seventh as the Twins took the rubber game of the three-game series. Twins starter Phil Hughes (7-2) struck out nine and allowed seven hits over seven shutout innings. With the loss, Torontos lead atop the division standings fell to five games over Baltimore and New York. The Orioles were home to Boston on Wednesday night while the Yankees were in Seattle. The Blue Jays will play Baltimore and New York next week before closing out their trip against the Cincinnati Reds. "Well see how good we are," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "Were playing a couple good teams in our division. Weve got a small little lead on them but theyre right there. So we need to play good baseball on this road trip, especially the way the last four or five games have gone. "For our psyche more than anything else we need to regroup and put a couple good ball games together." Toronto (39-28) has been giving up early leads of late, with the opposition scoring first for the seventh straight time Wednesday. Danny Santana opened the game with a single off Marcus Stroman (3-1), who was making his third career start. The leadoff man scored when Willingham turned on a 1-2 pitch and put it into the second deck. "It was just a bad pitch," Stroman said. "It was probably the worst pitch of the outing. It was just one of those that was supposed to be buried but it just kind of hung up there. I tried to do too much with it." The Blue Jays starter allowed three earned runs and nine hits while striking out four. Triple-A callup Bobby Korecky replaced him in the seventh and loaded the bases before Morales cleared them with a three-run double. Toronto avoided the embarrassment of a fourth shutout loss in five games by scratching out a pair of runs in the eighth. Casey Fien got the last four outs for his first save of the season. "Theres no doubt weve cooled off with the bats," Gibbons said. "But that can turn in one day, that can turn overnight. But I do think its going to be good to get out on the road. "Weve been at home a long time. A little change of pace, a little change of scenery might do us some good." The Blue Jays led several offensive categories last month and, despite the recent cold stretch, have won 16 of their last 22 games and 21 of 29. "The bats are going to come around," Stroman said. "All the guys in the clubhouse are pretty positive about it. I have 100 per cent confidence in every single guy in that lineup that the guys are going to start doing what they were doing at the beginning of the year. Its close." The Twins, meanwhile, moved two games under the .500 mark with the win. Minnesota (31-33) outhit Toronto 16-10 while Hughes picked up his ninth quality start of the season. "Super job by him of changing speeds, moving the ball in and out," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He used his breaking ball a lot better today." Hughes did well to get out of a jam in the sixth inning after Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an infield single. Reyes moved to third base on a Melky Cabrera single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Oswaldo Arcia made a nice sliding catch in foul territory on a Jose Bautista flyout and Hughes struck out Edwin Encarnacion and Adam Lind to escape. "I felt like I kind of found myself in the third or fourth inning and was able to ride that through," Hughes said. The Blue Jays fell to 20-17 at home this season. They have been much stronger away from Rogers Centre this year and at 19-11, have the fewest road losses in the major leagues. "The bats will heat up again," Gibbons said. "Hopefully sooner than later." Notes: Announced attendance was 45,080. There were several groups of schoolchildren in the crowd. ... Koreckys callup from the Buffalo Bisons was announced Wednesday morning and he was sent back down after the game. The Blue Jays also optioned outfielder Kevin Pillar to the Bisons and recalled outfielder Darin Mastroianni. ... Dozier left the game in the fourth inning due to tightness in his lower back. He was replaced at second base by Eduardo Escobar and is listed as day to day. ... Toronto will kick off a four-game series at Baltimore on Thursday night. Left-hander Mark Buehrle (10-2, 2.04 ERA) is scheduled to start against right-hander Kevin Gausman (1-1, 4.91). ... The Blue Jays will get an off-day Monday before playing three games against the Yankees and three against the Reds. ... Reyes turned 31 on Wednesday. ... The game took two hours 57 minutes to play. Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots Jersey
. -- The Oakland Raiders added a veteran presence to their young receiving group by signing free agent James Jones to a three-year contract Monday. Rob Gronkowski Jersey
. - Loosening up for their first training camp practice, the Miami Dolphins high-stepped sideways up and down the field while House of Pains song "Jump Around" blared on the loudspeakers.SAN DIEGO - Sometime soon, a baseball will be getting a prominent spot among the trophies on Justin Verlanders mantle. Its the ball he hit up the middle for a single in the second inning Saturday night, the one that will forever shut up his teammates. Verlander had the first two hits of his career and recovered from throwing 31 pitches in the first inning to pitch seven strong innings and lead the Detroit Tigers to a 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres on Saturday night. "It felt great. Its been a long time and I can finally get all these guys off my back ...," Verlander said. Verlander had been 0 for 26 with 15 strikeouts in his career when he stepped in against Ian Kennedy in the second inning and singled up the middle. When the ball came back to Kennedy, he tossed it to a ball boy near the Padres dugout. Home plate umpire Seth Buckminster motioned for the ball boy to throw it to the Tigers dugout. "I think the Padres and probably Ian didnt know that I had never had a hit," Verlander said. "Its been nine years in the big leagues now. They probably werent thinking about that but I sure as heck was. I was watching that ball like a hawk." The last time Verlander had a hit? "High school. Its been a long time," he said. "I guess I have no more leverage," catcher Alex Avila said. "Were all happy for him. It was fun to watch." Verlander cited a list of times when he came close to getting a hit. "I think its kind of been an anomaly that I havent had one yet," he said. "I feel like Ive probably hit five or six hard that have been caught." Verlander singled to right in the fourth, although he had to hustle to avoid being thrown out by Chris Denorfia. "I hit it pretty hard, too. It was a bang-bang play but I beat it out, thank goodness," said Verlander, who eventually scored on Torii Hunters two-run single. The sight of Verlander (1-1) on the mound at Petco Park was another reminder of how the Padres flubbed the top pick in the June 2004 amateur draft. Not wanting to pay a big signing bonus, the team passed on players such as Jered Weaver, Stephen Drew and Verlander in favour of local shortstop Matt Bush. Marcus Cannon Jersey
. . Bush, who signed for $3 million, never reached the big leagues and had numerous off-field problems. In December 2012, he was sentenced to four years and three months in a Florida prison for a drunken driving hit-and-run crash. Verlander was taken by the Tigers with the second pick. He has thrown two no-hitters and came within two outs of a third, won the AL MVP and Cy Young Award in 2011, was voted AL Rookie of the Year in 2006 and is a six-time All-Star. Verlander allowed two runs and eight hits, struck out eight and walked one. He improved to 2-0 against the Padres, having also beaten them at Petco Park in 2008. "Hes a guy who obviously has that power arm when he needs to," San Diegos Yonder Alonso said. "He works his way into the game and if he feels like hes in trouble, hes going to attack. He made some good pitches but we just missed a lot of guys on base." The Tigers had plenty of offence one night after being held to one hit by Andrew Cashner in a 6-0 loss. Austin Jackson hit a two-run double one batter after Miguel Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases in the ninth; Hunter, who missed the previous two games with a bruised left knee, hit a two-run single; and Cabrera and Ian Kinsler each had an RBI double. Rajai Davis scored three runs. San Diego got its runs on Jedd Gyorkos sacrifice fly and Yasmani Grandals RBI single. Kennedy (1-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked one. NOTES: A candidate in the Padres in-season contest to find a new public address announcer committed a big flub in the first inning. As Cabrera, the two-time AL MVP, walked to the plate, he was announced as Austin Jackson. Cabrera turned and looked up at the booth. Frank Anthony, the Padres PA announcer since Petco Park opened in 2004, was fired in January so the team could hold open tryouts as part of the 10th anniversary of Petco Park. ... The series concludes Sunday when reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (0-0, 1.20 ERA) is scheduled to face Tyson Ross (0-2, 4.35). Cheap NFL Jerseysnfl jerseys china
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