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"Hes made some adjustments but his number one job is to
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ldh2013

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The hallmark of a good team, at least in Royals manager Ned Yosts opinion, is the ability to wedge open the smallest of openings that an opponent provides. His club sure did that against Cleveland on Wednesday. The Royals scored all their runs by tying a franchise record with four sacrifice flies, and Yordano Ventura dominated the Indians over seven stingy innings in a 4-1 victory. "Its finding a way to win a ballgame thats important," said Yost, whose team has won four straight. "Good teams find ways to score those runs, and we did it four times today." In doing so, the Royals became only the second team to score four runs all on sacrifice flies since it became an official stat in 1954. The Expos managed to do it against the Cubs on May 28, 1980, according to STATS, although that happened in an 8-4, 14-inning loss. "See?" Yost said. "We made history." Ventura (4-5) allowed six hits while striking out three without a walk to win back-to-back starts for the first time. The only run he allowed came in the sixth, when he gave up consecutive singles to start the inning and Carlos Santana hit an RBI single. By then, Indians counterpart Trevor Bauer (1-3) had already allowed sacrifice flies to Jarrod Dyson, Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar. Billy Butler added another sacrifice fly off reliever John Axford in the seventh to complete the scoring. "Usually Im able to strike out guys in situations like that," Bauer said. "I made a couple of good pitches today, but they fouled them off and put them in play. So it is unusual." The Indians loaded the bases off Wade Davis with nobody out in the eighth, but two strikeouts and a groundout ended the threat. Greg Holland worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save. The Royals (33-32) moved over .500 for the first time since May 18. They also jumped over Cleveland into second place in the AL Central as they embark on a trip that begins with the White Sox and concludes with the division-leading Detroit. Lonnie Chisenhall had a pair of hits for Cleveland, extending his hitting streak to a career-best nine games. Hes had at least two hits in his last five. Prior to the game, Indians manager Terry Francona recalled with disdain the last time his club faced Ventura -- the young flamethrowers debut last September. Ventura allowed one run over 5 2-3 innings, and at one point threw a pitch to Yan Gomes clocked at 102 mph. "Hes got pretty special stuff," Francona said. "Kind of hope we dont see that today." Turns out he did. Ventura kept the ball down in the strike zone and forced the Indians to chop into a series of groundouts. He retired seven straight batters at one point, never allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield. "I went out there with the mentality to throw a lot of strike," Ventura said through a translator. "Something good was going to happen if I threw a lot of strikes." Nobody was more frustrated than Jason Giambi. With the Royals shifting their infield, the Indians DH grounded out to the exact same spot three straight times before popping out. "Hes got great stuff," Giambi said. "When he locates like he did today, hes tough. He really is. Hes got good mound presence and attacks the strike zone." The Royals scored their first run when Dyson followed a double by Mike Moustakas and a single by Escobar with a sacrifice fly in the third. Nori Aoki followed with a single, and Infante hit his sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 2-0 lead. Escobars sacrifice fly came after a double by Salvador Perez and a single by Moustakas in the fourth, and Butler added his sacrifice fly after singles by Infante and Eric Hosmer. That was enough to beat Bauer, who has still never won in seven road outings. The Indians starter allowed three runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. "That type of energy and intensity we played with today, thats the way we need to play," Butler said. "Bauer was pitching really well. Every opportunity we had we capitalized on." NOTES: Escobar has hit in 10 straight games. ... Indians OF/1B Nick Swisher (left knee) planned to make a final rehab start Wednesday for Double-A Akron before joining the team Thursday in Boston. Asked if Swisher would be activated immediately, Francona said, "Well see."
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. A goal machine for the MLS team when healthy, the former striker is back in his native Netherlands these days.
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. - Eries top line of Dane Fox, Connor Brown and Connor McDavid combined for six goals and 14 points as the Otters crushed the visiting Windsor Spitfires 9-0 on Sunday in Ontario Hockey League play.
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.J. -- Thierry Henry and Lloyd Sam scored second-half goals to give the New York Red Bulls their first win of the season, 2-1 over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.
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. - Eries top line of Dane Fox, Connor Brown and Connor McDavid combined for six goals and 14 points as the Otters crushed the visiting Windsor Spitfires 9-0 on Sunday in Ontario Hockey League play.
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. -- Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew is being sued in Florida, accused of punching a bouncer at a St.DUNEDIN, Florida The following players will make up the Blue Jays 38th opening day roster: STARTING ROTATION (in order of appearance:) R.A. Dickey, Drew Hutchison, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Dustin McGowan. BULLPEN: Casey Janssen, Steve Delabar, Sergio Santos, Brett Cecil, Aaron Loup, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, Jeremy Jeffress. CATCHERS: Dioner Navarro, Josh Thole. INFIELDERS: Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind, Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie, Ryan Goins, Maicer Izturis. OUTFIELDERS: Jose Bautista, Colby Rasmus, Melky Cabrera, Moises Sierra. DISABLED LIST: J.A. Happ. Dustin McGowan typically isnt long-winded. Wednesday morning was no exception when he found out the news he would be starting the Blue Jays 38th home opener on April 4 against the New York Yankees. "I was kind of speechless," said McGowan. "I told them, thank you for the opportunity and Ill be ready." What this decision says about McGowan is one thing. What it says about the state of the Blue Jays starting rotation is another. First, McGowan, who turned 32 on March 24 and suddenly is the author of an unlikely story. At one time the organizations highly prized pitching prospect, McGowan cemented himself as a bona fide big leaguer when he won 12 games and posted a 4.08 ERA in 27 starts for the Blue Jays in 2007. The persistent shoulder problems began on July 8, 2008, when he was forced to leave a game against Baltimore after four innings. He wouldnt pitch again that year and his rehab took him into the 2009 season. McGowan was progressing before developing a cartilage problem in his knee, which required surgery. He missed all of 2010 with a torn rotator cuff. It wouldnt be until September 6, 2011, that McGowan would pitch in another big league game. He finished the season with the Blue Jays but returned to the disabled list out of spring training in 2012 with a foot problem. Later that summer, he was back under the knife for arthroscopic shoulder surgery. It wasnt until last season, when McGowan made 25 relief appearances, that he showed he could continue to pitch at the big league level. Late in the season, he expressed an interest in trying to be a starter one more time. It seemed unlikely at the time but, then again, the fact he pitched at all last year was proof McGowan could overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. "I always had the resolve to push through," said McGowan. "Theres no quitting in my blood. There was times I thought it may not happen anymore but it wouldnt be from lack of trying so I kept pushing hard for moments like this." "He was one of the top up-and-coming pitchers here in this organization a few years ago and we got a glimpse of it before he had his injuries," said manager John Gibbons. "Its pretty amazing in my mind that hes come back this far and looked this good. Were going to run with it and see where it takes us.dddddddddddd" Really, what option does Gibbons have? J.A. Happ, like Ricky Romero last spring, pitched his way out of the rotation with four poor Grapefruit League performances (20.57 ERA) and will begin the season on the disabled list. "He had that back issue earlier on," said Gibbons. "It hasnt been a big deal. Hes getting better but its something we think its limited him a little bit right now and its affecting him so hell go on the DL and hell get himself right and well look at it in the near future." Disabling Happ is nothing more than a paper move, which enables the Blue Jays to carry an eight-man bullpen to start the season. Each of Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond and Jeremy Jeffress is out of options. When Happ is activated, someone will have to go. The Jays are simply delaying the inevitable. Gibbons confirmed Redmond is the next starter in line should there be an injury in the rotation. Meanwhile, Josh Thole beat out Erik Kratz for the second catchers job behind Dioner Navarro. "Hes got something special with Dickey," said Gibbons. "Hes caught him the last few years. Theres a little bit of something theyve got working so were going to run with that." Thole has caught Dickey for a total of 565 innings during their time together with the Mets and Blue Jays. While its expected the second catcher is going to have to play more this year, Navarro hasnt played in more than 89 games in any of the last four seasons, the ability to handle Dickeys knuckleball is being prioritized ahead of offence. "I think hes a better hitter than he showed last year," said Gibbons, referring to Tholes .175/.242/.216 slash line. "Hes made some adjustments but his number one job is to catch Dickey. Thats what hes here for. Well take whatever offence we can get." Kratz has an option remaining and will begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo. "He was disappointed," said Gibbons of Kratzs reaction to his demotion. "I mean, you expect him to be. It was a long time coming to get to the big leagues. Hed been up there a little bit with Pittsburgh and of course, Philly, and yeah, he was very disappointed and I dont blame him but the way were going to start this thing out, let Thole run with it. Our number one job, the big question mark is how good our starting pitching is going to be, weve got to take care of those guys." It appears it will be a short stay with the Blue Jays for utility infielder/outfielder Matt Tuiasosopo, who was informed on Wednesday he wouldnt make the opening day roster. He was seen leaving Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in street clothes. No formal roster move has been made. Tuiasosopo is out of options, meaning he will have to clear through waivers before being sent to the minor leagues. If he isnt picked up by another club, he would likely start in Buffalo. ' ' '
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"Hes made some adjustments but his number one job is to
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