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09.04.2018 09:59
PITTSBURGH -- Neil Walker wasnt expecting to have a big offensive game Friday night, especially with Michael Wacha pitching for antworten

PITTSBURGH -- Neil Walker wasnt expecting to have a big offensive game Friday night, especially with Michael Wacha pitching for the St. Andrew McCutchen Jersey . Louis Cardinals. The last time Wacha started at PNC Park was in the Game 4 of last years National League Division Series and he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in beating the Pittsburgh Pirates. Yet the hot-hitting Walker had three hits, including a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning, and drove in four runs to help the Pirates beat the Cardinals 6-4. "Wacha is so good, as we found out last year," said Walker, who has reached base in 22 of his last 40 plate appearances. "He throws hard and youve got to shorten up your swing and put the ball in play. Thats the best way to approach him because youre usually not going to do too much against him." While Walkers first two hits were against Wacha, his seventh homer came off Carlos Martinez (0-2) and rallied the Pirates from a 4-3 deficit for their third straight victory. Jordy Mercer and pinch-hitter Gaby Sanchez led off the inning with singles and were bunted up a base by Jose Tabata before Walker hit a drive into the right-field stands. "Martinez is as tough as Wacha, but he hung a slider and I was able to put a good swing on it," Walker said. "I was surprised. The guy has such great stuff that youre not thinking that youre going to hit a home run in that situation. It was huge." Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said it didnt appear that Martinez got the home run pitch "where he wanted it." Mercer had three of the Pirates 12 hits, while Ike Davis, who hit a two-run double in the first inning to open the scoring, and Tabata had two hits apiece. Pittsburgh beat St. Louis for the 10th time in 13 games at home. Mercers performance was a welcome development for the Pirates and their shortstop, who is hitting just .187. "Ive been putting in a lot of time in the batting cage, trying to figure things out and its nice to have some results because I feel confident now when I step in the batters box," Mercer said. "Confidence is such a big part of hitting." St. Louis had gone ahead earlier in the seventh on Jhonny Peraltas solo home run, his eighth. Allen Craigs three-run home run, his fourth, accounted for the Cardinals other runs. Peralta and Craig had two hits apiece in the Cardinals second loss in five games. Justin Wilson (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced, Matt Adams, to end the top of the seventh. Mark Melancon, filling as the closer for injured Jason Grilli, pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save. Both starting pitchers worked five innings and had uneven performances. Pittsburghs Francisco Liriano allowed three runs, five hits and four walks while striking out five, while Wacha gave up three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Liriano has gone a career-long 11 regular-season starts without a win since beating the Texas Rangers last Sept. 10. Wacha is winless in his last five starts. NOTES: The game was delayed 25 minutes in the top of the fourth inning because of rain. . Pirates OF Travis Sniders appeal of his two-game suspension for his actions in an April 20 brawl were upheld and he began serving his penalty Friday night. . The Cardinals recalled OF Joey Butler from Triple-A Memphis and optioned OF Randal Grichuk to the same club. . Pittsburgh recalled INF Brent Morel from Triple-A Indianapolis. They had optioned RHP Phil Irwin to Indianapolis on Thursday. . Grilli threw from the top of the mound Friday for the first time since April 21 when the closer went on the disabled list with a strained left oblique. . Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (4-1, 3.51) will start Saturday night against RHP Edinson Volquez (1-3, 4.19). Jung-ho Kang Jersey .com) - American Madison Keys grabbed a first- round victory on Sunday in a rainy start to the Apia International Sydney tournament. Josh Harrison Jersey . Pospisil, whose season-ending goal is to improve his ATP Tour ranking enough to qualify for one of the 32 seedings at Januarys Australian Open, dominated Karlovic in 59 minutes. The world No. 40 never faced a break point and limited the big mans threatening ace count to a mere eight, while striking five key aces of his own. http://www.pittsburghpiratesprostore.us/Gerrit-Cole-pirates-jersey/ . According to Yahoo! Sports, the team has reached a five-year deal to play their home games on the roof of the Plaza Hotel and Casino.PHILADELPHIA – Like the rest of his teammates, Carl Gunnarsson was doing what he could to remain positive after yet another loss, the seventh straight for the sinking Leafs, but it wasnt easy. The 27-year-old wants to believe that a turnaround is still possible, that his team can salvage the season, dig out from a deepening slide and claim a second straight playoff berth. But as time ticks down and the results continue to linger in the wrong direction, that belief is tested. "Its a struggle," he said in a near-empty visitors dressing room at Wells Fargo Center. "Ill tell you that. We thought we had something going here tonight." Whatever fight they mustered in a 4-2 loss to the Flyers didt matter by the time the night was through. It was just another empty loss, another opportunity to regain ground for not. "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night," said coach Randy Carlyle afterward, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." Never more evident than at this late stage in the season, the difference between winning and losing remained painfully thin. And for the Leafs it was just enough for defeat. Two power-play goals against, a few too many odd-man rushes, a bad break or two and a key mistake at the wrong time. Claude Giroux was the benefactor of one such mistake that sealed defeat for the visitors. The Flyers captain picked off former teammate James van Riemsdyks neutral ice pass attempt - the puck ricocheted off the skate of Scott Hartnell - and zipped a bullet beyond the glove of Jonathan Bernier. "Right now every big scoring chance they get, I think it feels like its going in," said Bernier afterward. "When its not going your way, thats usually what happens." "I thought we played pretty good," he continued. "A few mistakes that end up being goals. From the last game, obviously, I think we played a lot better." But like their harrowing loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday, one that saw them manhandled for half the game by the top team in the West, Fridays defeat in Philly counted all the same. It was just another loss at a critical point in the season. "We worked hard," Carlyle said. "Did we work smart enough in some areas? No." Any chance the Leafs have at resuscitation starts Saturday night in a massive showdown with the Detroit Red Wings. A victory reignites whatever belief and hope still lingers. They may have no hope of catching either the Montreal Canadiens or Tampa Bay Lightning, but sitting on near-equal ground with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Red Wings and Washington Capitals - all have 80 points, but with games in hand - a wild card position is still in play. "Obviously, this one, its going to be a tough one to swallow," Bernier said. "But, at the same time, we cant feel sorry for ourselves. [Saturday] is a big game and we all know that." Five Points 1. Carlyles Approach Carlyle has tried to push a few different buttons in midst of his teams recent slide. "Some days, it is a little bit more harsh. Some days, its a pat in the back. Some days its a hug," Carlyle said on Friday morning. "Whatever it is, whatever you feel is necessary. Nobody in life feels like coming to work and being ground into the dirt everyday and thats part of the process. Youve got to pick and choose when to apply pressure and when not to." As to his preferred approach of late, Carlyle said, "Its been more reality of the situation. Just showing and trying to get an understanding that were not that far away. But there are some areas that need to be addressed. Thats as simple as I can put it. Our compete level has to go up. We havent won enough one-on-one battles. Weve given up too many odd-man rushes and breakaways. Weve got to play better on the defensive side of the game." 2. Penalty Kill The Flyers scored twice on the power play, marking the 12th time this season that the Leaf penalty kill has given up two goals in a game this season. Vincent Lecavalier fired a laser for the first of two, a five-on-three goal that was not without some controversy. Jay McClement, taking the draw as Torontos lone forward, was thrown out of the face-off ciircle, charged with knocking the puck from the hand of linesman Michel Cormier. Gregory Polanco Jersey. Dion Phaneuf promptly stepped in and lost the first (and likely last) face-off of his career, Lecavalier blowing the one-timer by Bernier just three seconds later. "Thats not something that you want to happen," McClement said of the face-off incident. "I dont think [Cormier] wanted to do it either. But he explained to me that its black and white when I knocked it out of his hand." Scott Hartnell would add the second power-play marker, redirecting a Kimmo Timonen point shot just beyond the grasp of Bernier. The Toronto penalty kill remains third-worst in the NHL this season. 3. Bollands Comeback Dave Bolland scored for the third time this season in Philadelphia and the first time since his left ankle was sliced by the skate of Zack Kassian on November 2. The 27-year-old hasnt played more than 13 minutes since he returned from the injury and he was kept right in that region against the Flyers. "I just see that in some of the situations, hes struggled with the mobility," Carlyle said of Bolland before the 4-2 loss. "Its not sore, [but] it just doesnt have the strength there. Wre going to try to find a way to get him some more minutes. We know what kind of player he is." 4. The 18-Wheeler Luke Schenn was there in 2012 when the Leafs collapsed and knows all too well how quickly the pressure rises in Toronto. "Lose a couple in a row and everything magnifies that much more," he said. "You lose three in a row and people tend to get on you a little bit. All the fans and the media think that everythings falling apart. Thats just the way it is over there. "Its obviously a tough market to play in when things arent going the way you want them to, but its a great market when things are going well. Theres always adversity in Toronto. Its never going to change. Im sure those guys are going to get through it." Reflecting back to the infamous 18-wheeler skid two years earlier, Schenn couldnt put his finger on just what wrong. "There is no exact reason why. Its probably a combination of different things. Id have to go back and look. Obviously, youre probably getting off to some tough starts in games. Special teams probably werent as good as they need to be. At the end of the day - when I was there - it probably just came down to being outcompeted some nights. Obviously, you lose a couple in a row, confidence isnt always there. Thats just the way it goes. Youve got to find ways to get out of it." 5. Gardiner Offence Just ahead of a clash with the Flyers three weeks ago, Jake Gardiner revealed his disappointment with the offence hed put together to that point. "I dont think my point production has been that great this year,"he said. "Id like to improve on that." The 23-year-old scored a goal the next night in a 4-3 overtime win, rounding up nine points in the past 11 games, including a helper on Bollands seventh goal this season. "Ive tried to jump in the play a lot more and be an offensive threat from the blue line," he explained of his recent surge prior to the game. Gardiner has 26 points on the year. Stats-Pack 1-8-0 – Leafs record in the past nine games. 9 – Points in the last 11 games for Jake Gardiner. 3 – Goals by Dave Bolland in Philadelphia this season. 24:31 – Ice-time for James van Riemsdyk opposite his former team Friday, tied for the team-lead. 15 – Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, who has just 10 this season. 8 – Number of times the Leafs have allowed the first goal in the past nine games.4 – Seconds elapsed in the second period before van Riemsdyk scored the first Leafs goal. It was the fastest goal to start a period for the team this season. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-4Season: 20.6% (4th) PK: 2-4Season: 78.1% (28th) Quote of the Night "Overall, I didnt think that we had that bad of a night, but we were on the wrong side of the score and thats what counts the most." -Randy Carlyle, following a seventh straight loss in Philadelphia. Up Next The Leafs return home to host to the Red Wings on Saturday night. 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