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2014 NFC championshi

  • 30 May
    BALTIMORE -- Dealing with the powerful Baltimore Orioles lineup was easy for Scott Kazmir compared to keeping his aching back in working order. Kazmir took a no-hitter into the seventh, and by the start of the eighth inning he could pitch no longer. After he left, Cleveland quickly fell behind. Fortunately for the Indians, they scored two ninth-inning runs off Jim Johnson to pull out a 4-3 victory Wednesday night. A leadoff double in the seventh by Manny Machado was the only hit allowed by Kazmir, who gave up one unearned run and one walk in seven innings. He came out to the mound for the eighth but left with back spasms before throwing a pitch. "He was fighting them for probably three innings," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. It was a tough way for Kazmir to end a night in which he pitched magnificently. "Its something thats just more frustrating and irritating than anything," the left-hander said. "The start of the third inning, it seemed like it started tightening up quite a bit. The later innings it got a lot harder." Kazmir was perfect for four innings and retired 18 of the first 19 Baltimore batters. After Machado singled in the seventh, a wild pickoff attempt by Kazmir preceded a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis. And then, in the eighth, he was gone. Baltimore promptly scored twice against Joe Smith (4-0) to take a 3-2 lead, but the Indians rallied against Johnson (2-6) in the ninth. After Michael Brantley drew a leadoff walk, Jason Giambi hit his 400th career double. An intentional walk loaded the bases for Lonnie Chisenhall, who hit into a run-scoring fielders choice. Drew Stubbs also hit into a fielders choice to bring home pinch-runner Mike Aviles and chase Johnson. "I leave a ball up to Giambi on the next pitch after the four-pitch walk," Johnson said. "Now youve got second and third and you have to walk the next guy. So you have bases loaded and nobody out. It doesnt get much worse. At that point, Im trying to limit the damage, Im trying to worry about each individual pitch. I came real close to keeping it tied. But obviously I dug myself my own hole." Vinnie Pestano worked the ninth for his fifth save. "This was one of those games where it wouldve been just a killer loss and ends up being a great win," Francona said. Jason Kipnis homered for the Indians, who improved to 2-34 when trailing after eight innings. "I was happy the way our offence came out versus Johnson," Kipnis said. "We knew it was his third day in a row; he wasnt going to have his best stuff, hopefully." In the Baltimore eighth, an infield hit by J.J. Hardy, a walk to Chris Dickerson and a single by Alexi Casilla loaded the bases with one out for Nick Markakis, who drove in a run by hitting into a fielders choice. Machado then lined an RBI single off the left-field wall for a 3-2 lead. Johnson, who had given up only one run in his previous 14 appearances, couldnt make the margin stand up. It was his fifth blown save. "Jimmys been solid for us," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "Hes a rock." The start of the game was delayed 66 minutes by rain, and both pitchers seized control from the outset. Jason Hammel retired the first 10 batters he faced and Kazmir was perfect through four innings. Activated from the disabled list before the game, Clevelands Asdrubal Cabrera became the first player to reach base when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth. Kipnis followed with his 11th home run, the second in two nights, for a 2-0 lead. Kazmir officially retired the first 13 batters before issuing a four-pitch walk to Matt Wieters in the fifth, although replays showed a sliding Machado beat out a fourth-inning grounder despite being called out by first base umpire Will Little. The Indians put runners at the corners with two outs in the fifth before Hammel retired Michael Bourn on a grounder. In the Cleveland seventh, Stubbs looked at a third strike with two outs and runners on second and third. NOTES: To make room for Cabrera on the roster, Cleveland designated infielder John McDonald for assignment. ... Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy will undergo elbow ligament-replacement surgery Thursday in Florida. ... Clevelands Corey Kluber will bring a three-game winning streak to the mound Thursday night in the finale of the series. Miguel Gonzalez will pitch for Baltimore. ... Kipnis has reached safely in 28 consecutive games. ... The Indians expect to activate closer Chris Perez (shoulder) from the disabled list on Thursday. Josh Rosen Cardinals Jersey . Calgary scored on the first shift, and Michael Cammalleri scored twice as the Flames cruised to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Terrell Suggs Jersey Cardinals . The 18-year-old American had five birdies in her bogey-free round for a 17-under total of 196. Lee held the overnight lead but mixed three birdies with two bogeys for a 70. http://www.arizonacardinalsshoponline.com/josh-rosen-cardinals-jersey.html . -- James Young couldnt wait to apply those tweaks to his jump shot, and the first one he made against UT Arlington told him it could be a good night. Arizona Cardinals Gear Cheap . -- Ryan Getzlaf grabbed the three pucks wrapped in tape and held them up to his chest in the Anaheim Ducks dressing room for a celebration nine seasons in the making. Customized Arizona Cardinals Jersey . With their top three point guards and Kobe Bryant all sidelined by injury, the Lakers signed Marshall out of the D-League on Friday before their home game against Minnesota. The Latest on Week 1 of the NFL season (all times Eastern):11:40 p.m.The New England Patriots have survived a last-minute field goal attempt to beat the Arizona Cardinals 23-21 in Jimmy Garoppolos debut.The Patriots took a two-point lead on Stephen Gostkowskis 32-yard field goal with just over 6 minutes, but Arizona marched into field goal range.A low snap threw kicker Matt Catanzaro off and he pulled his 47-yard field goal left.Garoppolo threw for 264 yards and a touchdown in his first game in place of Tom Brady, who has been suspended the first four games of the season for his role in Deflategate.Carson Palmer threw for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Larry Fitzgerald, who became the 10th player in NFL history to reach 100 receiving touchdowns.---9:55 p.m.The New England Patriots lead the Arizona Cardinals 10-7 at halftime in Jimmy Garoppolos first start at quarterback.Garoppolo is starting New Englands first four games with Tom Bradys Deflategate suspension.The 24-year-old Garoppolo completed 10 of 16 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown in the half. He connected with Chris Hogan on a 37-yard touchdown pass and helped set up Stephen Gostkowskis 47-yard field goal.Arizona scored on 3-yard pass from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald in the second quarter.---8:50 p.m.Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown a touchdown pass in his first drive as New Englands fill-in starting quarterback.The 24-year-old Garoppolo overthrew his first pass against the Arizona Cardinals, but connected on four straight after that. He capped the opening 76-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown pass to Chris Hogan to put the Patriots up 7-0.Garoppolo hit 4 of 5 passes for 75 yards on the drive.Garoppolo, who had 31 career pass attempts before this season, is New Englands starter while Tom Brady serves a four-game suspension for the Deflategate episode.---7:50 p.m.The NFLs late afternoon slate finished up with three tight games, with Detroit, Seattle and the New York Giants scoring late to slip past their opponents.Lions kicker Matt Prater hit a 43-yard field goal with 4 seconds left to deliver the win for Detroit over Indianapolis. Quarterback Matthew Stafford led a quick 50 yard drive to set up the kick after Colts quarterback Andrew Luck tossed a short touchdown to Jack Doyle with less than 1 minute.Russell Wilson threw a touchdown to Doug Baldwin in the last minute for the Seahawks, but Miami had a chance to win with a field goal or TD after blocking the extra point attempt. But Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was sacked as time expired on a play that appeared to catch Miami off guard with the clock running.Victor Cruz did his first end zone salsa dance since 2014, catching a TD to put the Giants up 20-19 midway through the fourth quarter. The Cowboys last drive failed when wide receiver Terrance Williams couldnt get out of bounds after a catch near midfield.---6:20 p.m.Receivers were once routinely warned to stay off Revis Island, that portion of an NFL field where Jets shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis prowled.No more.Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green pitched a tent there Sunday in the Bengals narrow 23-22 win, catching 12 passes for 180 yards and beating Revis on a 54-yard footrace of a touchdown in the first half.How good was his day? According to NFL Research, Bengals QB Andy Dalton had a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeting Green with Revis covering: 10-for-10, 152 yards, 1 TD.---5:25 p.m.Fantasy owners are celebrating Brandin Cooks right now. They have the steady Drew Brees to thank.Cooks emerged as the top wideout in fantasy for early games on Sunday, scoring 27 points on 143 yards and two touchdowns. Its a great sign for fantasy players who drafted him despite a somewhat down year last season for Cooks and Brees.Brees was the top quarterback, posting 32 points on 437 passing yards and four touchdowns.Fantasy players who plugged in Kansas City running back Spencer Ware for the ailing Jamaal Charles were rewarded with a big surprise -- 129 receiving yards on seven catches to go along with a touchdown and 70 yards rushing for 25 total fantasy points.---4:50 p.m.Former President George W. Bush, who was in office on 9/11, did the coin toss before the New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys game near his Dallas home.Bush took the field to chants of USA, USA as he walked to midfield with former first lady Laura Bush next to him. After tossing the coin, Bush grabbed the FDNY cap off the head of New York linebacker Zak DeOssie.The crowd roared when the giant video board over the center of the field showed Bush saluting the crowd with the hat and putting it back on. Then he whistled at DeOssie to get his attention and give him the hat back.Its the third time the Giants have played on the anniversary of 9/11. They lost at Washington on the 10th anniversary five years ago.---4:45 p.m.Alex Smith dived for a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, completing the Kansas City Chiefs frantic rally from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the San Diego Chargers 33-27 in their season opener Sunday.Smith threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, the second a back-shoulder fade to Jeremy Maclin with just over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter that trimmed the Chiefs deficit to 27-17.Cairo Santos kicked a 33-yard field goal a few minutes later, and after forcing a three-and-out, Spencer Ware finished off a four-play drive with a touchdown plunge to knot it at 27.Kansas City needed 10 plays to march 75 yards in overtime, and Smith finished off one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history with his keeper from the 2-yard line on third-and-goal.---4:25 p.m.Eagles fans are notoriously tough, but they found plenty to like about the new coach-and-QB combo unveiled at home Sunday in a 29-10 season-opening win over the Browns.New sideline boss Doug Pederson arrived there unheralded and Cleveland let the Eagles grab quarterback Carson Wentz by trading away the No. 2 pick. Bad move. Wentz completed 22-of-37 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns in his debut.In other early games, Baltimore outlasted Buffalo 13-7; Tampa Bay slipped past Atlanta 31-24; Houston beat Chicago 23-14; Green Bay handled Jacksonville 27-23; Cincinnati nudged past the New York Jets 23-22; and Minnesota overpowered Tennessee 29-16.---4:20 p.m.The Chiefs and Chargers are headed to overtime tied at 27.San Diego built a 21-3 halftime lead on the strength of Melvin Gordons first two NFL touchdowns and a pass from Philip Rivers to Danny Woodhead on blown coverage by the Kansas City defense.In fact, the Chargers still led 27-10 in the fourth quarter when Josh Lambo missed a 54-yard field goal, and the momentum swung to Kansas City. Alex Smith led the Chiefs to a pair of touchdowns around a field goal by Cairo Santos, the tying score coming on a touchdown run by Spencer Ware.- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.---4:15 p.m.Four Miami Dolphins players kneeled during the national anthem befoore kickoff against Seattle.ddddddddddddArian Foster, Michael Thomas, Jelani Jenkins and Kenny Stills took a knee just before the anthem began. The four held their hands over their hearts as the anthem played and stood immediately at its conclusion.The Dolphins released a statement saying they encourage players and staff to stand during the anthem but recognize an individuals right to reflect during the anthem in different ways.On the opposite sideline, Seahawks players and coaches locked arm-in-arm. That included defensive back Jeremy Lane, who sat during the national anthem in the preseason finale in Oakland in a sign of support for San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.Lane indicated earlier in the week a plan to continue sitting during the anthem but changed after the Seahawks decided to stand together as a team.Lane stood next to Richard Sherman and near coach Pete Carroll.- Tim Booth in Seattle.---3:25 p.m.Drew Brees knows a mismatch when he sees one and the Raiders paid spectacularly. On first down from his own 2, the Saints quarterback saw the Raiders defense lined up to stop the run, leaving small, speedy receiver Brandin Cooks in single coverage out wide against the taller, but slower, Sean Smith.Brees decisively floated a long pass down the left sideline, hitting Cooks in stride for the longest pass play and scoring play in Saints history. The Saints dont hesitate to acknowledge Cooks is their fastest player, and anyone watching the play saw it. He not only raced away from Smith, but also safety Reggie Nelson, who initially appeared to have an angle, only to be left in the dust.The 98-yard touchdown put New Orleans ahead 24-10 in the middle of the third quarter.The play was Brees longest career completion. It also gave Brees 309 yards and three TDs passing to that point.The previous longest scoring play in Saints history was a 90-yard pass play from Billy Joe Hobert to Eddie Kennison against Atlanta on Oct. 10, 1999.-Brett Martel in New Orleans.---3:20 p.m.What a turnaround in Atlanta.The Falcons were leading until Tampa Bay scored a touchdown in the closing seconds of the first half. The Buccaneers quickly tacked on two more scores in the third period to build a 31-13 lead.Jameis Winston is putting on quite a show.Bouncing back from an early interception, the Buccaneers quarterback is 21 of 30 for 268 yards and four touchdowns.- Paul Newberry in Atlanta.---3 p.m.Jimmy Graham is active for the season opener as he recovers from a knee injury.The game Sunday against Miami comes 9+ months after the Seattle Seahawks tight end tore the patellar tendon in his right knee. Graham went through an extensive pregame workout about two hours before kickoff and his name was not on the inactive list.Graham had 48 catches but only two touchdowns in 2015, his first season with the Seahawks. He was injured in late November in a game against Pittsburgh, just when he was finding more of a role in the offense.The Seahawks will be without rookie guard Germain Ifedi after suffering an ankle injury in practice this week. Ifedi was wearing a walking boot on his left foot prior to the game.Miami was without standout center Mike Pouncey (hip) and wide receiver DeVante Parker (hamstring).- Tim Booth reporting from Seattle.---2:30 p.m.Green Bay Packers Jordy Nelson is looking good in his comeback from injury.Playing a meaningful game for the first time since the 2014 NFC championship, Nelson had a 6-yard touchdown reception late in the second quarter in the teams season opener at Jacksonville. It was his third catch in four plays, hauling in previous completions of 8 and 6 yards. Nelson, who injured a knee in the 2015 preseason and missed the entire season, hasnt shown his usual explosiveness but just being back on the field is huge for the Packers.- Mark Long in Jacksonville, Florida.---2:25 p.m.Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has been carted off the field late in the second quarter of their game against the Chiefs with what appears to be a serious right knee injury.Allen was making a cut toward the sideline on a passing route when he went down. He ripped off his helmet as trainers began tending to him, and was helped into the back of a cart and taken off the field.There was no immediate word on the extent of the injury.Allen, who missed the last eight games a year ago with a lacerated kidney, had six catches for 63 yards before he was hurt. The Chargers led 21-3.- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.---2:20 p.m.Tempers are starting to flare in the Chiefs-Chargers game.Late in the first half, with the Chargers already leading 21-3, Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters and San Diego offensive lineman Orlando Franklin began jawing with each other.Eventually, the two teams got into a shoving match on the field.When play resumed, Chiefs coach Andy Reid had brought Peters to the sideline for a play.- Dave Skretta in Kansas City, Missouri.---2:15 p.m.Tampa Bay backup linebacker Jacquies Smith has been carted to the locker room in Atlanta with a right knee injury.A third-year player, Smith was injured while covering a punt in the first quarter. The seriousness of the injury isnt yet known, but the Buccaneers say hes done for the game.Falcons defensive end Brooks Reed also left the field after sustaining a shoulder injury, but was able to return before halftime.---2:10 p.m.Jets kicker Nick Folk missed the first extra point of his career, booting it wide right and appearing to hit the upright after a 15-yard touchdown catch by Eric Decker with 9:38 left in the first half -- ending a streak of 312 straight made PATS.Folk had set the NFL record for most extra points without a miss with 322 overall, including the playoffs.The reliable veteran, who held off Duke rookie Ross Martin in training camp, also had a 22-yard attempt blocked in the first quarter against Cincinnati when Bengals defensive end Margus Hunt tipped Folks low kick.Folk, in his seventh season with New York, missed the last eight games of last year with a quadriceps injury.- Dennis Waszak in East Rutherford, New Jersey.---2:10 p.m.In the early going of his Falcons career, Mohamed Sanu is providing quite a complement to Julio Jones in the Atlanta passing game.Sanus first catch with the Falcons was a 59-yarder in Sundays season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That set up a field goal by Matt Bryant that tied the game at 3.Then, Sanu hauled in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan to give Atlanta a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The receiver finished the period with three catches for 68 yards, while Jones was still looking for his first catch of the year.Sanu was a free-agent signee during the offseason. He had 33 catches for the Bengals in 2015.- Paul Newberry in Atlanta.---AP NFL websites: http://pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL ' ' '