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AL Playoff Watch: Wild card contenders all win, gain ground on Blue Jays

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Julio Rodriguez doubled and scored before leaving with lower back tightness, and the Seattle Mariners avoided a three-game sweep with a 9-5 win over the Oakland A’s on Thursday.

Rodriguez slowly walked off the field with a trainer in the bottom half of the first inning. He recently missed three games in Anaheim with a lower back issue.

“Concerning,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s the same area in the low back. He’ll get work up tomorrow when we get to Kansas City, get an MRI and pictures of that.”

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Jarred Kelenic homered and doubled for Seattle in his first game since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma. Adam Frazier had three RBIs, and Matthew Boyd (2-0) pitched two innings for the win.

Seattle entered the day with a four-game lead over Baltimore for the third and final AL wild card.

Stephen Vogt tripled in three runs for Oakland. Vogt also announced he will retire at the end of the season, ending a 10-year major league career.

Kirby Snead (1-1) was charged with the loss.

ORIOLES 2, ASTROS 0

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Kyle Bradish came within one out of his first career shutout, outpitching Justin Verlander in a stellar performance and leading Baltimore to the victory.

Bradish (4-7) struck out 10 and walked none. He departed after Jeremy Pena’s two-out single in the ninth, and Felix Bautista struck out Aledmys Diaz for his 15th save.

Trey Mancini went 0 for 3 in his first game back at Camden Yards since the Orioles traded him to Houston on Aug. 1, and the Astros failed in their first attempt at earning their 100th victory this season.

The Orioles remained four games behind Seattle in the race for a postseason spot, but they were set to gain ground on the loser of the Tampa Bay-Toronto game.

Verlander (17-4) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his second game back from a calf injury.

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The Toronto Blue Jays lead the wild card race, one game in front of the Tampa Bay Rays, 1.5 ahead of Seattle and 5.5 ahead of the Orioles.

The top three make the playoffs.

CARDINALS 5, PADRES 4

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Brendan Donovan hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and NL Central-leading St. Louis to a victory against San Diego, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit of the 700-homer club is Dodger Stadium, where the Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday.

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Manny Machado hit his 30th homer for the Padres, who had won five in a row. Nick Martinez (4-4) got the loss.

Donovan’s slam made a winner of Jack Flaherty (1-1), who struck out nine in six innings. Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

BREWERS 5, REDS 1

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kolten Wong hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, leading Brandon Woodruff and Milwaukee to the victory.

Wong hit a two-run drive in the second inning against Hunter Greene (4-13). He hit another two-run shot in the sixth off Dauri Moreta and a solo drive in the eighth against Joel Kuhnel. Wong has 15 homers and 46 RBIs on the season.

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The second-place Brewers (80-70) opened a four-game set against lowly Cincinnati with their second straight win.

Woodruff (12-4) struck out 11 in six innings.

Kyle Farmer hit his 13th homer in the sixth for Cincinnati.

ROYALS 4, TWINS 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Jonathan Heasley pitched six innings of two-hit ball, and the Royals beat the Twins to complete a three-game series sweep.

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Edward Oliveras and Drew Waters homered for Kansas City. Salvador Perez also drove in a run, extending his streak to seven straight games with an RBI.

Heasley (4-8) allowed one run, struck out three and walked two. Brad Keller got three outs for his first career save.

The first home sweep of at least three games by the Royals since July 2021 also probably ended the fading playoff hopes of the Twins, who two weeks ago were in the midst of an AL Central race but lost eight of nine on their road trip.

Minnesota rookie Josh Winder (4-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.

GIANTS 3, ROCKIES 0

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DENVER (AP) — Mike Yastrzemski homered and John Brebbia pitched an inning in his second start of the series, helping the Giants complete a four-game sweep.

Brebbia was followed by five relievers in the 10-hit shutout. Jharel Cotton (3-2) pitched 2 2/3 innings for the win in his first big league appearance since he was claimed off waivers from Minnesota on Sunday. Camilo Doval got three outs for his 24th save.

Brebbia also worked a scoreless inning when he got the start for Tuesday night’s 6-3 victory. He became the first Giants pitcher to start twice in the same series since Dominic Leone against San Diego last September.

San Francisco pulled off its first sweep of at least four games against the Rockies since July 15-17, 2019.

The Rockies lost their fifth in a row at home and were shut out for the 12th time this season.

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Colorado right-hander Jose Urena (3-7) was charged with two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

RANGERS 5, ANGELS 3

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, sending Texas to the win.

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Seager drove a 1-1 fastball from Jose Quijada (0-5) deep to left-center for his 32nd homer, extending his career best in his first season with Texas. Quijada came in to pitch the eighth and walked leadoff hitter Marcus Semien before Seager connected for his opposite-field shot.

Matt Moore (5-2) got three outs for the win, and Jose Leclerc handled the ninth for his seventh save in eight opportunities.

Angels star Shohei Ohtani was held out of the starting lineup, but he pinch-hit with one out in the ninth and doubled into the right-field corner. Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout then struck out swinging.

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Kenny Pickett Set Unique NFL History In His Debut

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(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have turned another page in their storied history when rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett took over for Mitchell Trubisky during their Week 4 game against the New York Jets.

While the former Pitt Panther threw three interceptions, he also had ten completions for 120 yards.

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Pickett also had two rushing touchdowns.

It remains to be seen if the Steelers will have Pickett start in Week 5.

Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin did not give a definite answer on who their starter will be versus Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills, but recent reports indicate it is the rookie’s job for good.

Steelers players like wide receiver Diontae Johnson expressed their endorsement for the only quarterback taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Regardless of how the situation unfolds, Pickett had a historic performance during his professional debut.

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ESPN Stats and Info tweeted, “Zero of Kenny Pickett’s 13 pass attempts against the Jets on Sunday hit the ground. 10 went to Steeler’s receivers, while 3 found the hands of Jets’ defenders. That’s the most pass attempts in a game in NFL history without any hitting the ground.”

Save for the three picks, a case can be made for Pickett having a perfect game of completing all 13 pass attempts.

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But he will have to work on his ball placement because some of his interceptions were thrown high.

 

The Clamor For Pickett Intensifies

The Steelers might benefit from a change behind center because Trubisky has struggled in the Steelers’ first four games.

The former North Carolina standout completed just 59.5 percent of his passes for 653 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

His highest output was 207 yards against the Cleveland Browns.

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The team hoped that Trubisky could become a solid bridge quarterback until Pickett is ready.

But with the way things are going, they will have to go with the rookie to save their season after losing three of their first four games.

The post Kenny Pickett Set Unique NFL History In His Debut appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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NFL Power Rankings: Eagles, Cowboys move up; Steelers, Colts in trouble

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Four games into the 2022 season, what do we know? We rank all 32 teams through the volatile first quarter of the campaign.



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Bobby Wagner Became A Security Guard Monday Night

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(Photo by Mike Christy/Getty Images)

 

The Los Angeles Rams had a frustrating Week 4 Monday Night Football game against the San Francisco 49ers.

They failed to score a touchdown, and quarterback Matthew Stafford threw an interception.

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In contrast, the 49ers scored 24 points, which included a touchdown run by Jeff Wilson Jr. and a 57-yard reception for a score by Deebo Samuel.

The Rams defense also had a poor showing after tallying zero sacks, while San Francisco finished with seven.

San Francisco safety Talanoa Hufanga also scored a 52-yard pick-six to bury the Rams further.

Despite the defeat, All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner led the way for Los Angeles with ten total tackles.

It would have been 11 if the tackling of fans counted.

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NFL Unlimited shared the video of a spectator who disrupted the game.

The flare-carrying man ran to the playing field as stadium security tried to chase him.

The disturbance ended when Wagner laid out his frustration on that person.

That incident only enhanced the tension Wagner felt because none of their defensive schemes worked.

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Tough Ordeal For Players And Security

While football players are big and muscular, they are at risk when an intruder takes the field, especially if he is yielding a concealed weapon.

Meanwhile, stadium security also feels deflated every time a spectator breaches their ranks.

It’s a problem that is difficult to solve because some individuals find pride in being able to stop the game.

Likewise, it is a perfect platform to attract the attention of a huge audience.

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Luckily, no one was harmed, except for the fan, who might face some charges.

The game ended peacefully, but the Rams will feel restless after losing to their division rivals.

The Rams can go back to their winning ways by defeating the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.

The post Bobby Wagner Became A Security Guard Monday Night appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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