2014 Winter Games News

AP Sports
Indians’ opener filled with energy, expectations PDF Print E-mail
Written by TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 18:08
CLEVELAND — The huge crowd will be red-clad, raucous and ravenous, hungry for a championship. The starting pitcher will be the same, and the air will be chilled and energized.
It’s only early April, but Friday’s home opener will feel a lot like last October to the Indians.
Six months since their first postseason appearance since 2007 ended with a disappointing shutout loss to Tampa Bay in the AL wild-card game, the Indians, carrying expectations they’ll contend again, will begin their home schedule at Progressive Field against the Minnesota Twins.
For All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis, the sights and sounds of the home opener are unmatched.
“Having a sea of red come out, seeing nothing but Tribe colors,” Kipnis said, envisioning the downtown scene. “Having all the fans show up to the ballpark, the excitement, the balloons, the fireworks, the music going on. The things going on in the streets around the stadium — there’s just a buzz around the ballpark the whole day.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone. Everyone knows that it’s probably the most fun day of the season.”
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Reds break record slump, beat Cardinals PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOE KAY AP Baseball Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:30
CINCINNATI — Chris Heisey did a lot of standing around before he got his chance to snap Cincinnati’s historic slump.
Heisey’s pinch-hit single in the bottom of the ninth inning ended the Reds’ longest scoreless streak to open a season and sent Cincinnati to a 1-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night following a long rain delay.
The Reds set a modern franchise record by failing to score in the first 17 innings of the season. Their previous worst was 13 scoreless innings in 1909 and 1934.
It got broken by a player making only his second at-bat of the season.
“There’s nothing like it,” Heisey said. “Sit around 10 hours, then get one at-bat. That’s part of being a pinch-hitter.”
Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier opened the ninth with singles off Carlos Martinez (0-1). After a sacrifice, Brayan Pena was walked to load the bases and Heisey singled to center.
“Hits have been at premium these past two days,” Heisey said. “It’s nice to play close games early and get the blood pumping.”
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Nyquist scores to help Red Wings beat Bruins PDF Print E-mail
Written by LARRY LAGE AP Hockey Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:27
DETROIT — The NHL-leading Boston Bruins followed their game plan of keeping Gustav Nyquist in front of them for more than two periods.
When the puck got loose, and Nyquist got to it, though, one of the game’s best defenseman and goalies couldn’t stop the surging goal-scorer.
Nyquist broke a tie with 7:12 left in the third period on his only shot of the game, and the Detroit Red Wings held on to beat Boston 3-2 on Wednesday night.
“I didn’t think Gus had one of his best games by any means, but he scored a big goal,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Nyquist has a league-high 23 goals since Jan. 20 and a team-high 27 this season. He has given the Red Wings the breakout player they needed to boost their chances of extending their postseason streak to 23 seasons while missing many key players, including Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.
The 24-year-old Swede started the season with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins after scoring a total of four goals in 40 games the previous two seasons.
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Indians rally to split doubleheader with A’s PDF Print E-mail
Written by JOSH DUBOW AP Sports Writer   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:29
OAKLAND, Calif. — Michael Brantley gets to head home celebrating a game-winning hit instead of dwelling on a rare error.
Brantley atoned for a dropped fly ball by hitting a two-run single in the ninth inning off new Oakland closer Jim Johnson that helped the Cleveland Indians salvage a split of a day-night doubleheader with a 6-4 win over the Athletics in the nightcap Wednesday.
“It’s just a never-die attitude, never quit, always picking each other up and always fighting to the end,” Brantley said. “What we did tonight was fun. It was special, and hopefully we’ll use that momentum to keep going.”
Scott Kazmir (1-0) pitched 7 1-3 scoreless innings against his former team in his Oakland debut to help the A’s win the opener 6-1. They appeared to be on their way to a sweep when they took a 4-3 lead into the ninth with help from Brantley’s dropped fly ball.
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George, West lead Pacers past Pistons PDF Print E-mail
Written by JIM JOHNSON Associated Press   
Thursday, 03 April 2014 06:23
INDIANAPOLIS — The hard part for the Indiana Pacers isn’t over. It takes time to climb out of a slump.
“Once you’re not playing well and you finally get a win, the hardest part is maintaining that consistency,” Paul George said. “You have to understand that it’s going to be different every night, but you got to find a way to build off the first win.”
George had 27 points and 13 rebounds, David West scored 15 points and the Indiana Pacers snapped a three-game skid with a 101-94 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
George hit a 3-pointer from 35-feet to give the Pacers a 94-90 lead with 3:19 remaining and Indiana never trailed the rest of the way.
Josh Smith scored 15 of his 24 points in the first quarter and finished with five rebounds, and Greg Monroe added 16 points for the Pistons, who have lost four of their last five games.
Brandon Jennings hit a 3 to get Detroit within 94-93 before George scored, forced a turnover and West hit a jumper to give the Pacers a 98-93 lead with 1:35 left to play.
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