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  • June 8, 2020
    PITTSBURGH -- Tyson Ross gave up a leadoff single to Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco followed with a two-run home run. [b]Cheap NFL Jerseys Shop[/b] . Three batters later, Jordy Mercer singled. All three of Pittsburghs early hits came at the expense of Ross slider. Even without his best pitch, Ross figured it out. Ross recovered from a two-run first to pitch six strong innings, and Seth Smith hit a bases-loaded triple, leading the San Diego Padres to an 8-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday. "I just didnt have a good feel for my slider pretty much all day," Ross said. "I gave up three hits in the first inning, all on sliders that were up in the strike zone, and its kind of out of the norm for me." San Diegos win clinched a 14th-consecutive series victory at PNC Park. Ross (11-10) allowed Gregory Polancos two-run shot in the first then shut down the Pirates. He yielded six hits and walked two. "I thought he battled without his best stuff and his best command," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "Hanging slider to Marte to lead off the game and then a hanging slider to Polanco, I think that kind of woke him up a bit." Charlie Morton retired the first 10 batters he faced before Yangervis Solarte walked with one out in the fourth and scored Yonder Alonsos single. "In the fourth inning, the sinker away to left-handers starting elevating," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "A couple left-handers were able to get balls out over the plate and hit them to left field." That happened when Morton left a 2-0 fastball over the plate and Smith tripled to left for three RBIs and scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 lead. Morton (5-11) was lifted after the fifth, responsible for five runs, five hits, a walk and five strikeouts. "It was almost like two outings for him," Hurdle said. "One through three and then four and five, its just two different sides of it." Alonso added an RBI with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Jedd Gyorko singled in two more runs after Jeanmar Gomez walked three to load the bases in the ninth. TRAINERS ROOM Padres: First baseman Tommy Medica was out after a pitch hit him in the head Saturday night. ... Shortstop Everth Cabrera was scratched shortly before first pitch with a left hamstring cramp. Pirates: Second baseman Neil Walker (back spasm) was scratched from the lineup. He pinch-hit Saturday night and was slated to start Sunday. ... Center fielder Andrew McCutchen (rib) was out of the lineup for the sixth straight game. ... RHP Gerrit Cole gave up one hit in six shutout innings Sunday as he made his third rehab start for Triple-A Indianapolis. ON DECK Padres: San Diego returns to Petco Park to open a three-game set with the Colorado Rockies. RHP Jesse Hahn (7-3, 2.28 ERA) starts for the Padres against Colorado RHP Jordan Lyles (6-1, 3.72 ERA). Pirates: Pittsburgh continues its eight-game homestand with a two-game interleague series against the Detroit Tigers. LHP Jeff Locke (3-3, 3.78 ERA) opposes Detroit RHP Justin Verlander (10-10, 4.57 ERA). FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS Since PNC Park opened in 2001, the San Diego Padres have never lost a series in Pittsburgh. Their 14-series winning streak at PNC Park is the longest active streak against a single opponent in a single location in the league. Overall, the Padres are 33-12 in Pittsburgh since 2001. "Were just playing good baseball," Black said. "Maybe the times of the year we come in here, were playing well and were pitching well." [b]Cheap NFL Jerseys 2020[/b] . The St. Louis Cardinals were scheduled to arrive in Boston in time for a workout on Tuesday afternoon. Much of Mondays discussion focused on Bostons lineup considerations as the series progresses, specifically when the venue shifts to St. [b]Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale[/b] . Sami Vatanen had a goal and an assist and Anaheim used a four-goal first period to extend their winning streak to six games with a 5-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night.BOSTON – The scab of their Game 7 defeat here was nearly six months old. And though the sting may have wavered some since mid-May, the Leafs exited TD Garden in Boston on Saturday evening just a little bit short once more. "Youre never going to get an easy game, especially coming in here," said Joffrey Lupul, the lone Leafs goal-scorer in a physically testing 3-1 defeat. "We knew what to expect." Chunks of good, clusters of bad and bits of ugly defined a long-awaited return to Boston, the first since a historic collapse in the first round of the postseason last May. The disjointed but generally inspired effort featured yet another off-kilter, one-sided start; a middle frame that featured arguably the clubs best hockey of the season; and a rare complete defeat in the special teams department. "I think that the game was played in a couple parts for us," said Randy Carlyle afterward, encouraged by some aspects of the performance, unhappy with others. Like a slew of other opening periods this season, the start didnt inspire much confidence for the visitors. Treading water in their own zone for most of the first 20 minutes, the Leafs were caught in retreat by the muscle of the home side attack. Mustering just seven shots – out-attempted 30-14 – they trailed 1-0 on a power-play goal from Zdeno Chara, the first of two opposite a penalty kill that had yet to yield more than one in a game all season. "I didnt think we had a very good start to the game," Carlyle said. "They were all over us." The structure of the evening reversed course considerably in the second. With their line combinations jumbled (more on that below), the Leafs established improbable shift after shift of relentless pressure in the Bruins end. They were fast, physical and completely in line with the template Carlyle has been harping on all year; more slug-it-out hockey and less of the show-time inspired brand thats dominated early season play. "Thats more the type of hockey that were going to ask this hockey club to play," he said of the effort. The Leafs outshot the Bruins 18-10 in the period, mustering a goal when Lupul slung a puck above and beyond the glove of Tuukka Rask, who was otherwise brilliant with 33 saves. "I thought we elevated our game quite a bit, especially in the second period," said Lupul, who fired a season-high eight shots opposite Rask. "We really took control of the game for a while, but unfortunately Rask was pretty solid and we couldnt get that second one by him." It took only 66 seconds for whatever momentum theyd gained in the second to burst in the third, done in by a familiar foe. Patrice Bergeron, left open just outside the blue paint on a power-play, scored what proved to be the game-winner. He would add an empty-netter to stem any late comeback. A rare instance in which their special teams was beaten entirely, the Leaf power-play – which entered the evening as the leagues 5th best – failed in all three opportunities, including a glorious chance with less than five minutes to go. The penalty kill, as mentioned, yielded more than one goal against for the first time all year. "We battled hard and it looked like we ran out of gas in the third period," Carlyle said. Just as they proved in improbable fashion late last spring, the Leafs showed themselves a worthy rival of the revamped Bruins once more on this night. But as has been the case throughout the course of an uneven start (now 11-6-0), they were unable to string together a well-rounded effort in line with the identity they aspire to establish; their woeful start, empty special teams, and late fizzle all to blame. There was certainly good in the loss, as there was in the playoff run, but not enough to overcome a team of Bostons caliber. "Were here to get two points and we didnt," Lupul concluded. "Thats disappointing, but certainly some positives we can take out of it." Five Points 1. Kadri scare Coming through the neutral zone midway through the third frame Nazem Kadri was crunched by Johnny Boychuk, his jaw squarely in the firing line of the 6-foot-2, 225 pound Bruins defender. After skating gingerly to the bench, the 23-year-old had a brief conversation with head athletic therapist Paul Ayotte before departing to the dressing room for concussion tests. “They pretty much forced me to [go],” said Kadri. “As I was going through the test I was getting pretty agitated and just wanted to get back out there.” The test, as Kadri explained it, was of the generic sort. “Month, date, who we played last, months of the year,” he said. “They make you say it backwards and then youve got to remember four or five words and say it backwards. I guess its something thats mandatory now and I had to do it.” As for the hit itself, Kadri wouldnt say if he believed it to be dirty. “Its tough for the referee to call; everythings happening pretty fast,” said Kadri, who did receive an explanation from the official as to why no penalty was called. “But my helmet was almost sideways when I looked up. Thats for the league to decide and Im sure they can see it a lot better when its slowed down.” Already down Tyler Bozak and Dave Bolland down the middle, the Leafs could ill afforrd an injury to their sparkplug centre. [b]Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping[/b]. But aside from being a little sore, Kadri claimed to be fine. 2. Lines redrawn After yet another lacklustre start, Carlyle redrew his line combinations to much success in the second frame. Though Phil Kessel would bounce from line to line in attempts to shake free of the Chara shadow, the combinations would appear as follows: Mason Raymond James van Riemsdyk Phil Kessel Joffrey Lupul Nazem Kadri Nikolai Kulemin Carter Ashton Jay McClement David Clarkson Frazer McLaren Jerred Smithson Troy Bodie Carlyle trimmed his bench in the final period, employing 10 forwards; Bodie and McLaren did not see the ice in the third. 3. Ranger Progression Paul Ranger is now 17 games into his NHL comeback. He believes hes better adjusted to the speed of the game with each day gone by. "Just playing the game faster," he told the Leaf Report earlier this week. "When youre young you have to almost build up to it. Ive been there [before] so I know what it is; its just a matter of getting my mind and my body trained to be able to do it again." Ranger had 270 games of NHL experience before he joined the Leafs this past summer, all in Tampa. One facet of the game the 29-year-old has now, but didnt then, is a physical dimension. Ranger claims to have added 10-15 pounds since he last played with the Lightning in 2009 and feels able to impact the game physically because of it. "I just became a man I guess," he said with a laugh. "I can go and put guys up in the boards, eliminate them from plays and get the puck and go." Predictably inconsistent throughout the year and again on Saturday, Ranger helped the Leafs to their first goal when he broke up Loui Eriksson rush defensively before stumbling on Reimer as the netminder attempted to block Bergerons attempted game-winner. 4. Cap crunch victim When the cap dropped to $64 million this year more than a few players were bound to be squeezed out. Mason Raymond was among them initially; the 27-year-old inked to a professional tryout in training camp before agreeing to a one-year deal with the Leafs on the eve of the season. A veteran of 588 games following the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, Jerred Smithson felt the sting too. "I knew it was a possibility," he told the Leaf Report, "but I also thought something would work out – whether it was here or there or whatever." Smithson was without a contract when NHL training camps kicked off in September, a point of much frustration. He finally agreed to join the Marlies on a professional tryout in mid-October. "I had to keep reminding myself ‘Its out of your control," he said. "Give the fiancé a lot of credit there. She kept things in line and in order. It was probably driving her insane a little bit." Lacking the security of a contract, patience was difficult to find. "I [tried] not to lose too much sleep over it even though it was a tough few months there Im not going to lie," he said. "I couldnt control it so I just had to continue working hard and hopefully get a phone call, whether it was in the NHL, Europe or something like that. But I knew I wanted to continue to play in the NHL. Thats been my goal and dream since I was a little guy; very fortunate to have this opportunity." As it often does, opportunity presented itself with injury. Burned by injuries to Bozak and Bolland, the Leafs looked to the 34-year-old for help. Smithson was signed for one year at the veteran minimum of $550,000. 5. McClement PK Time No player assumed more time on the penalty kill last season than Jay McClement. But early this season the 30-year-old is actually garnering even more opportunity killing penalties than he did a year ago – nearly a minute more per game in fact. McClement is averaging 4:26 nightly for the Leafs shorthanded, significantly more than the 3:35 he assumed in 2013. The last time a forward garnered that much shorthanded ice-time (minimum 48 games) was in the 2006-2007 season. Coached by then-Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, Sammy Pahlsson averaged 4:28 per game for Anaheim – a number inflated by a boom in power-plays post-lockout. Stat-Pack 21:24 – Minutes for Joffrey Lupul against the Bruins, a season-high. 8 – Shots for Lupul, also a season-high. 18-10 – Shot advantage for Leafs in the second period. 2 – Power-play goals against; the first time all season the Leafs penalty kill has yielded more than one. 43 – Hits for the Leafs. 2 – Number of times this season the Leafs have not been outshot; both teams were equal with 34 shots on Saturday. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-3Season: 21.7 per cent PK: 1-3Season: 83.8 per cent Quote of the Night “Its tough for the referee to call; everythings happening pretty fast. But my helmet was almost sideways when I looked up.” -Nazem Kadri on the hit from Johhny Boychuk. Up Next The Leafs visit the Wild in Minnesota on Wednesday evening. ' ' '