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> In A Six-game Winning Streak And The Nationals At
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WASHINGTON -- A Washington homestand that began with three losses to Atlanta was about to culminate in a six-game winning streak and the Nationals at .500 for the first time since mid-July. One swing of the bat rewrote that happy ending. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the Nationals 4-3. Down to his last strike, Sanchez connected off closer Rafael Soriano (2-3) on a 3-2 pitch. The drive landed just inside the right field foul pole in the second deck. "That one hurt. That one hurt," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. The loss kept the Nationals (59-61) from reaching .500 for the first time since July 20. Ian Desmond doubled home two runs and Jayson Werth added two hits for the Nationals. Buster Posey led off the ninth with a single against Soriano and Roger Kieschnick drew a two-out walk. That set the stage for Sanchez, who was pinch hitting for Javier Lopez. Soriano, pitching for the third straight day, got ahead in the count 0-2, but Sanchez worked the count to 3-2 on a pitch that umpire Jim Joyce ruled high, but that Soriano felt was a strike. Sanchez homered on the next offering. "I try to throw (a) cutter in. I think it was a bad pitch," Soriano said of the home run pitch. "At the same time, I think the game (should have been over). That (2-2) pitch, to me, I think it (was) a strike. I think thats when the game changed." Johnson pointed to the walk to Kieschnick. "Basically (Joyce) called the low strike all day and didnt call the high strike. He was consistent with that," Johnson said. "He gave a lot of borderline pitches low. It wasnt that pitch. Walking the left fielder and he had Posey two strikes and threw a hanger. But walking the left fielder." Lopez (2-2) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Sergio Romo worked a scoreless bottom half for his 29th save. The loss spoiled Dan Harens six-inning, one-run effort. Since coming off the 15-day disabled list on July 8, Haren has a 3.20 ERA in seven starts. "Dan did a great job. Hes been great," said Desmond, who reflected on the winning streak. "A lot more positives than negatives, but right now I think were just kind of resting on the negative. Shake that off and well be ready to go tomorrow." Brandon Belt homered for the Giants and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Ryan Vogelsong allowed three runs in the third inning, all with two outs. San Francisco snapped a three-game losing streak. "It doesnt get any bigger than that. Youre down to your last strike and he hit it," manager Bruce Bochy said one day after a Giants ninth-inning rally fell short in 6-5 loss. "But the boys needed this. To come up short last night after fighting so hard there in the ninth. Save a little sanity here." Vogelsong laboured during a 39-pitch third inning. Desmonds double into the gap in left-centre drove home both Denard Span and Werth. Adam LaRoche then followed with an RBI single to score Desmond and put the Nationals up 3-0. In the seventh inning, LaRoches line drive struck Giants reliever Sandy Rosario in the chest. Rosario immediately left the game and was replaced by Lopez. Bochy said Rosario has a bruised sternum and is day-to-day. San Franciscos struggling offence did little against Haren, who during one stretch allowed just two runners to reach base out of 14 batters. One of those runners came via error and was erased by a double play. Belt snapped that stretch with a home run in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 3-1. But Haren escaped the inning without further damage. He threw 98 pitches and gave up three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. NOTES: Washington agreed to terms Thursday with international free agent 3B Anderson Franco, 16, of the Dominican Republic. . The Nationals recalled RHP Drew Storen from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned RHP Ryan Mattheus to Syracuse. ... Nationals C Wilson Ramos (strained hamstring) missed his second straight game. Washington manager Davey Johnson said Ramos will return to the lineup Friday in Atlanta. . The Nats begin a three-game series with the NL East-leading Braves. RHP Taylor Jordan (1-3, 4.14) opposes LHP Alex Wood (2-2, 2.78). Wholesale Nike Free Nz . The team also announced Tuesday that the Braves will wear a commemorative patch on the right sleeve during the season. The patch, shaped like home plate, carries the number 715, Aarons autograph and a "40th Anniversary" banner. Nike Free Cheap Nz Wholesale . A 23-year-old rookie, Stroman is 4-2 with a 3.44 earned run average in 12 games this season, the past seven of those being starts. He logged the first scoreless outing of his career on Friday versus Oakland in a no-decision. http://www.cheapnikefreenz.com/ . The Bruins forward has been fined $5,000 by the National Hockey League for spearing Red Wings defenceman Danny DeKeyser in the groin. Clearance Nike Free Nz . Of all the names out there who could realistically be dealt by Wednesdays deadline, Ryan Kesler remains No. 1 on the most desired list. And while were not sure if theyre any closer to a deal, we now have a defined price. Nike Free Nz Online . The Spanish champions decision not to sign a defender during the January transfer window may have backfired after Valencia took advantage of a lethargic, uninspired effort by its hosts at the Camp Nou, where former Spain coach Luis Aragones -- who previously coached the Catalan side -- was honoured after his death on Saturday. CLEVELAND -- Olympic champions together, Kevin Love and LeBron James spent the last 30 days waiting to become teammates again. Cleveland has craved a championship for 50 years. One drought over. One to go. On the first day they were able to complete the long-discussed blockbuster trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves sent Love to the Cavaliers, who capped a spectacular summer on Saturday by acquiring the All-Star power forward as another running mate for James to make them instant title contenders. James didnt waste any time in making Love feel at home. "Welcome to the Land (at)kevinlove!" the four-time league MVP posted on his Twitter account. Yes, Cleveland, a city without a major sports championship since 1964, has another new superstar. The Timberwolves receive a bountiful return for parting with Love, the disgruntled face of their franchise. They acquired No. 1 overall draft choice Andrew Wiggins and former top pick Anthony Bennett from the Cavs and veteran forward Thaddeus Young from the Philadelphia 76ers in the three-team deal. "When it boils down to it, Kevin over his six years, he kept on saying I want to win. I want to win," Timberwolves President Flip Saunders said. "Unfortunately over these last years, both him and the team havent been able to do that. He felt it was best for him to go elsewhere. "I was happy we were able to work with him and (agent) Jeff Schwartz and put him in a situation that hes going to have the ability to do that and were going to have the ability for us to have an identity of where our team is at and continue to grow." The Sixers received a 2015 first-round draft choice from Cleveland -- ironically, one of the ones the Cavs got from Miami for James in 2010 -- and guard Alexey Shved and forward Luc Mbah a Moute from the Timberwolves, who also receive a trade exception worth about $6.3 million. The Cavs and Timberwolves had discussed a trade involving Love for months, long before James decided to end his magnificent run with the Heat and come back home to Ohio. The deal dragged through the summer, first because of Clevelands unwillingness to include Wiggins, and then due to a rarely used league rule that prohibited it from being completed until 30 days after Wiggins signed his rookie contract. That bit of fine print in the collective bargaining agreement triggered an agonizing wait in both cities, more so in championship-starved Cleveland where generations of fans have longed for the Cavs, Indians or Browns to win it all. But once the teams completed a conference call with the league on Saturday, there was nothing to prevent the planets best player from aligning with the leagues best power forward. Add in All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving and James is the ringleader of a trio as potentially devastating aas the one with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh he broke up last month.dddddddddddd "Kevin joining the Cavaliers represents a very special and unique opportunity for our team," Cavs general manager David Griffin said. "At only 25, Kevin has already firmly established himself as one the NBAs elite players and his talent, versatility and fit are major parts of our teams vision for success." Loves arrival caps a stunning two-month turnaround for the Cavs, who won just 33 games last season and havent been to the playoffs since James left in 2010. Cleveland locked up Irving, last years All-Star Game MVP, to a maximum contract extension on the first day of free agency and then James rocked the league by announcing his return to bring a title to Northeast Ohio. Beyond that, Cleveland signed free agents Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and James Jones, veteran players with NBA titles on their resumes. Love is the biggest piece. Hes coming off of his best season, averaging career highs in points (26.1) and assists (4.4) while grabbing 12.5 rebounds per game and shooting 37.6 per cent on 3-pointers. "Welcome to Cleveland Wes," Irving tweeted at Love, alluding to a Sprite ad campaign the two players starred in where Love played a character called "Uncle Wes." Despite his play, the Wolves finished 40-42, well out of the playoff chase in the demanding Western Conference, and he made it clear to the organization that he would opt out of his contract next summer and look for a contender. "I want to personally thank Kevin Love for his six seasons with the Wolves," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. "On the floor, Kevin has worked hard to make himself a great player in the NBA. He also made it a priority to give back to the community ... we wish him nothing but the best in Cleveland." The Cavs were initially reluctant to deal Wiggins, the super-athletic small forward who spent one year at Kansas. The Timberwolves entertained offers from several other teams for Love, who can opt out of his contract next summer. But they stayed patient, and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and Taylor agreed last month in Las Vegas that Wiggins had to be included. Adding Wiggins, Bennett and Young, an underrated seven-year veteran who will start in Loves spot, along with first-round draft pick Zach LaVine transforms the Wolves into a far more dynamic team around pass-happy point guard Ricky Rubio. "Weve all of a sudden become athletic, exciting and fast instead of being maybe a little bit slower and more plodding," Saunders said. For Cleveland, Love could cure years of frustration. The citys pained wait to celebrate a title may be nearing an end. James and Love are together again, and the hope of ending so much sports heartbreak rests on their shoulders. ' ' '
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