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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:06 am    Post subject: environment exists for both Reply with quote

HOUSTON -- Manny Machado is trying not to make too much of his big game on Sunday that led the Baltimore Orioles over Houston. Still, the slumping All-Star cant help but think it could be a turning point in a season thats off to a tough start. "I hope so. I really hope so," he said. "(Sunday) was a good day at the plate. Felt good, and my legs are finally getting under me. Feel like I can continue that." Machado hit his first career grand slam, David Lough homered and drove in three runs, and the Orioles beat the Astros 9-4. Orioles slugger Nelson Cruz, leading the majors with 20 home runs and 52 RBIs, left in the third inning with a bruised left hand after being hit by a pitch from Scott Feldman. X-rays were negative and Cruz was listed as day to day. "Anytime you get hit in the hand you get concerned," Cruz said. "I tried to stay but I wasnt able to grab the bat. So hopefully (Monday) Ill be good." Machados towering shot capped a six-run sixth inning. The 21-year-old Machado missed the first month after off-season knee surgery and has struggled since his return, prompting manager Buck Showalter to move him from the second spot to seventh in the batting order. He was back to batting second on Sunday and also doubled, giving him two hits for the second straight game and raising his average to .230. Machado doesnt feel like hes back to last years form, but hes making progress. "I feel much (more) comfortable in there," he said. "It was overall a good day. The pitching staff threw well. Were finally getting some hits when we need to. Things are coming into place." Wei-Yin Chen (6-2) scattered four hits with one run over 5 1-3 innings. Feldman (3-3) allowed nine runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. Matt Dominguez hit a two-run homer in the eighth for the Astros, who have lost two straight after winning a season-high seven in a row. Machado doubled before Feldman plunked Cruz. Machado and Cruz pulled off a double steal before a sacrifice fly by Adam Jones made it 3-0. Cruz was replaced in right field for the bottom of the third inning. He didnt think that Feldman, who was a teammate of his in Texas, tried to hit him and Feldman said it was in no way in intentional. "I didnt want to hit him," Feldman said. "I checked after the game to make sure he was all right and they said it was just a bruise so that was a little relieving. It happens, its part of the game trying to pitch inside." The Orioles open a series at Texas, where Cruz spent the last eight seasons, on Tuesday. Showalter expects Cruz to try to play when the series begins. "Hes going to be sore," Showalter said. "If I know Nelson, hes going to want to play on Tuesday. Its got nothing to do with who were playing. He just likes to be there." Astros rookie George Springer snapped an 0-for-9 slump with a double that sailed over the head of Lough in right field to start the fourth inning. Chris Carters two-out single cut Baltimores lead to 3-1. Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Jonathan Schoop hit consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs in the sixth. Lough hit an RBI single, and an intentional walk to Nick Markakis set up Machados third homer. "I got into a situation there in the sixth that really just got out of hand," Feldman said. "Bases loaded and I just couldnt make a good pitch to Machado and left one right over the middle." Both teams had nifty plays by an outfielder. Left fielder Delmon Young robbed Jonathan Villar of a hit when he made a sliding catch shortly after entering the game in the third. Houstons defensive highlight came when right fielder Springer sprinted to make the catch on a sacrifice fly by Nick Hundley in the sixth. Springer slipped and fell on his backside after making the catch and made the throw in while still on the ground. NOTES: Showalter said Baltimore RHP Tommy Hunter, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21 with a left groin strain, felt good after throwing a bullpen session. He will travel to meet the team during its series at Texas and throw another bullpen session there on Tuesday before a decision is made on when hell begin a rehabilitation assignment. ... Houston recalled RHP Paul Clemens from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned LHP Brett Oberholtzer to the minor league team. Air Jordan Online From China . - Vince Carter, heading into his 17th NBA season, doesnt consider age a big issue anymore. Cheap Real Air Jordan . The Hockey Canada Foundation is donating $50,000, with Hockey Quebec contributing $15,000. Hockey Canada also announced it will hold a skills camp for all levels of minor hockey in Lac-Mégantic during the 2013-14 season. Representatives from Hockey Canada, the Hockey Canada Foundation and Hockey Quebec were on hand Tuesday night at a meeting of the AHM de Lac-Mégantic to make the announcement and presentation. http://www.cheapairjordanonline.com/ Wholesale Air Jordan Authentic . The Kings paraded the Stanley Cup through downtown Los Angeles on Monday to celebrate their second NHL title in three seasons. Nike Air Jordan Cheap Free Shipping .com) - Jimmie Johnson won Sundays AAA Texas 500 while championship contenders Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski as well as their teams were involved in a post-race fight on pit road after the two clashed in the closing laps at Texas Motor Speedway.Five Quick Thoughts for a Monday: 1. NORRIS COLE (Heat): Its funny, you watch a guy play and now really produce and it just jumps off the page at you - why? You put a young player with potential in a winning environment where there is veteran leadership, outstanding coaching and management and a way that things are done and its a wonderful environment for growth, improvement in a climate of constant accountability and expectation of achievement/production. When he was drafted out of Cleveland State this was a young man who could go either way as a pro but the professionalism of the team that drafted him has been a wonderful place for him to be nurtured and educated on how to be a good pro. Hes really impressed me with his play off the bench and has made a significant difference against Indiana in key moments. Proper environment truly does effect outcomes. 2. INDY DEFENCE: Im sorry but the Pacers have NO chance of winning this series if they continue to allow the Heat to shoot 50 per cent plus as theyve done in all of the first three games. The Pacers have been an outstanding defensive team the past few years and thats their "calling card" - it sure aint their offence! To think that youre going to run up and down with the Heat and match buckets - good luck with that. The small/skilled lineups that the Heat throw out there are making Roy Hibbert and David West ineffective to say the least. Its easy to say but hard to do, but the Pacers have to start mucking it up and make this a much more physical and hotly contested defensive style of play. Miami is a flow team and if you allow them to get in rhythm and swing the ball with minimal resistance you might as well set up tee times for next week. The D had better be drastically better on Monday night or this series will wind down quickly. 3. SERGE IBAKA and REGGIE JACKSON (Thunder): A combined 30 points from two starters vs. minimal production from Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha - what a difference! Add another playmaker in Jackson (five assists) to the mix and suddenly the ball moves with a purpose and they look like a "team" instead of an "iso show" and then Ibaka was brilliant coming back from the injury with seven boards and four blocks - talk about impact performance. Suddenly the rim/paint was being protected and the Thunder played with some force and swagger defensively and on the boards. Good players used properly and healthy enough to play changes how things go drastically. Winning is really hard and you need your top guys there or you are overwhelmed at times. Now that looked like the OKC Thunder on Sunday night. If theyy can continue to play that way weve got a series that will go seven games.dddddddddddd 4. NBA DRAFT: You watch the Playoffs so far and the thing that continues to jump out at me is how the NBA has changed over the years. How that reflects on this years Draft is that if youre the Cavs and the Bucks with the first two picks youve really got to think long and hard about how Joel Embiids game fits in the league today versus the upside over a 10-12 year period of guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker. This has become a perimeter-based league with skilled guys who can do it all versus the traditional brand of power basketball which still has its place in the game...yet at what price? Always a terrific philosophical discussion for GMs, executives and coaches to hash out. 5. POTENTIAL VS. PRODUCTION (Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors): You can talk about the No. 20, 37 and 59 picks in this years Draft that the Raptors have and the free agent decisions and possible moves that GM Masai Ujiri can make this off-season. But for the Raptors to continue to improve and take nice gradual building steps over the next few years the significant improvement in every respect from these two youngsters is paramount. Players are made in the off-season and teams are developed in-season. Will these two young men pay the price between now and early October and come back stronger, more skilled, more knowledgeable and ready to be consistent winning pieces that take an organization from respectable to another gear? Only time will tell. "To whom much is given (major minutes and starting opportunities as sophomores), much is expected." Cant wait to see what both young men come back like in the Fall. Their improvement/development will define the next step for the Raptors. Lots of attention will be focused on the role of head coach Dwane Casey and his staff along with the support staff in the further growth of both guys but in my opinion its a whole lot more now on these two guys personally of how bad do they want to be next level players? When you reach your third year as a pro its time for you to be able to "figure it out" on your own and the coaches are there to guide you on the proper path - yet its on YOU. Its time to be consistent producers in every respect. How these young men (I really like both of them) take personal ownership of their professional careers will set the stage for the long-term direction of the Raptors and the moves Ujiri needs to make accordingly to fill in the blanks. The proper environment exists for both to improve significantly - now its on them to seize the opportunity given to them. 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