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  • 12 Jun
    OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Houston Astros remain in the thick of the AL wild-card race, thanks to a pair of big swings from Evan Gattis and a clutch throw by catcher Jason Castro.Gattis homered twice, Castro threw out a runner to end the game and the contending Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Wednesday to complete a sweep.Just trying to finish strong, said Gattis, speaking both of himself and the Astros. You dont want to limp out of the season. You kind of want to sprint, you know?Houston has been sprinting ever since a 1-6 stretch that ended Sept. 13.The Astros, who began the day two games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild-card spot, have won five of six since then.They had to sweat out their latest win after giving up an unearned run in the ninth.Oakland scored on second baseman Jose Altuves fielding error with two outs to pull within 6-5. Castro then threw out pinch runner Arismendy Alcantara trying to steal second, and the call was upheld on a replay review.I dont think (Alcantara) got his best jump on that one but thats what hes in there for and Castro made a good throw, As manager Bob Melvin said.Collin McHugh (12-10) won his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings. Five relievers combined to record the final 10 outs, with former As setup man Luke Gregerson retiring three batters for his 15th save.We just need to beat the teams that we should beat, and I think this is one of them, Gregerson said. We need to keep winning, keep us in the wild card and hopefully keep getting bumped up.Gattis reached 30 homers. He hit a two-run drive in the sixth off Daniel Mengden (2-8) for a 4-1 lead and connected again in the eighth.Carlos Correa had two hits, including an RBI double, and Altuve singled twice and scored a run. Gattis homered for third time in three days to finish the three-game sweep.Really just trying to stay inside the ball and behind it instead of trying to come around, Gattis said. There are a lot more outs at the end of the bat.The Astros scored their first run without a hit in the fifth and added three more in the sixth.Altuve, the ALs leading hitter, had a one-out single and scored the go-ahead run on Correas double. Gattis followed with a home run.Gattis homer in the eighth was a towering shot that hit off the fa?ade underneath the luxury suites in center field.Danny Valencia singled and scored twice for the As. Oakland has lost the first three games on its final homestand after an impressive 6-1 road trip.MENGDEN WEARS DOWNMengden needed only 26 pitches to get through the first three innings and didnt give up a hit until Yuli Gurriels one-out single in the fourth before things quickly unraveled. He allowed four runs over 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks.SEPTEMBER STRONGMcHugh won for the third time in four starts this month and improved to 11-0 in September since 2014.TRAINERS ROOMAstros: OF Colby Rasmus missed his third straight game because of a lot of different physical issues, according to manager A.J. Hinch. Rasmus missed 23 games earlier this season after undergoing surgery to remove a cyst in his right ear. ... Preston Tucker was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday and the team is confident the outfielder will be healed in time for spring training.Athletics: OF Khris Davis missed his second straight game after being a late scratch Tuesday because of an illness. ... Reliever J.B. Wendelken will seek a second opinion on his right elbow but Melvin indicated its likely Wendelken will undergo Tommy John surgery.UP NEXTAstros: RHP Mike Fiers (11-7) faces the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday in the opener of a four-game series. Fiers has a 4.06 ERA over his previous 19 starts.Athletics: Kendall Graveman (10-10) starts against Texas on Friday at the Coliseum. The right-hander is winless since Aug. 24. Wholesale Custom Bruins Shirts . Thats about all he can do right now, so hes trying not to think about when he might be able to play again for the Los Angeles Lakers. Cheap Custom Bruins Jersey . "I wrote 36 on my sheet at the beginning of the game," the Cincinnati coach said, referring the yard line the ball would need to be snapped from. http://www.custombruinsjersey.com/custom-eddie-shore-jersey-large-72t.html . Irving scored 23 points, Tristan Thompson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and the Cavaliers beat the Denver Nuggets 117-109 on Friday night. 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The lowdown on American archer Mackenzie Brown: She knits, line dances, used to be a competitive swimmer -- backstroke was her specialty -- and shoots arrows while listening to country music to hone her concentration.Then theres this: The 21-year-old from Flint, Texas, may just be the archer to interrupt the dominance of South Korea, the nation thats captured seven of the last eight Olympic gold medals in the womens individual event heading into Rio.Brown certainly has the aim to pull off the feat -- the poise, too.If I go in with the right amount of confidence, Im usually going to do really well, said Brown, whos attempting to become the first U.S. woman to win Olympic gold since Luann Ryon in 1976. Im my biggest competitor when it comes to that.Brown took third at a Rio test event last September at the Sambadrome venue, the iconic stadium designed for the Samba Parade at Carnival. She finished behind winner Choi Misun of South Korea and runner-up Tan Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei.(The stadium) is really catching to the eye, Brown said. Its going to be a really good venue.Brown will be the lone American woman competing in Rio after teammates Khatuna Lorig and Hye Youn Park narrowly missed making the Olympic squad. Lorig is a big name in archery circles for whats shes accomplished -- she was trying to make her sixth Olympic team -- and for being the one who enhanced the archery skills of actor Jennifer Lawrence for her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games.Im just going to do my best and feel like thats going to earn me a medal, Brown said.She grew up a swimmer before being introduced to archery in middle school. From the start, she was talented -- winning tournaments in divisions above her age.I grew up in deep Texas, where all I heard of was bow hunting. I had this image of the movie `Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Thats what I knew about archery, Brown said. Soon, I found out it was so much more. It was something I definitely have a passion for.Typically, she will train to music in order to work on tuning out distractions. When shes not listening to country stars like Garth Broooks or George Strait, shes jamming to Meghan Trainor.ddddddddddddBeing able to push that (noise) away and focus on what I need to focus on, it becomes a benefit, explained Brown, whose hobby is knitting and makes garments to protect her equipment while traveling. Im just really looking forward to how things turn out.The archery competition starts Aug. 5. Here are some things to know:INSIDE SCOOPArchery targets are set up 70 meters away -- about three-fourths of an American football field -- and feature 10 rings with different point values and colors. For scoring purposes, remember this: Gold is great. White, not as much, and missing altogether even worse.KOREAN COMMANDThe South Koreans have such a deep archery program that defending mens individual champion Oh Jin-Hyek didnt make the squad. Also missing from the team is visually impaired archer Im Dong-hyun, who helped the country to a bronze medal in the team event at the 2012 London Games. On the womens side, Ki Bo-Bae will defend her gold. The South Korean women have also won every gold in the team event since it was included in 1988.BRAZILIAN HOPETeenager Marcus DAlmeida of Brazil is sometimes referred to as Archerys Neymar, because his quick rise to stardom -- much like the soccer great. DAlmeida will be one of the host countrys top medal contenders. The 18-year-old captured a silver medal at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in 2014.AMERICAN MIGHTThe American men have a full team in Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Zach Garrett. Ellison and Kaminski led the U.S. to a silver medal in the team competition at the London Olympics.QUITE AN ACHIEVEMENTZahra Nemati of Iran is scheduled to compete in both the Rio Olympics and Paralympics. The 31-year-old Zahra earned a black belt in taekwondo before she injured her spinal cord in an accident in 2004, according to her profile on Paralympic.org. She took up archery soon after and captured gold at the 2012 London Paralympics in the individual recurve W1/W2. ' ' '